Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Best of 32

A pretty good day at the beach. It was cloudy, and low 50s, but not windy. The tide was a "high" low, that is to say, it was time for low tide, but the water is still unusually high from the storm offshore.

The top one is a Mako Shark lower tooth, 1 5/8ths inches long, while the lower is of course a Snaggletooth Shark (Hemipristis serra) upper tooth, about 5/8ths. The Mako is the best of its species this year by a long shot and will dwell for a while on the top shelf of the window in the kitchen on display, while the Snaggletooth is good, but not that good, and will go in the month jar.

Yes, It's More Russiagate

Another signal that the long awaited report from IG Horowitz regarding the origins of the Russiagate probe is about to land, from Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Senate Sets Date For FISA Abuse Hearing for Dec. 11, which presumably means the report will be made public, to the extent it will be, by then. More speculation, of course by Sundance at CTH: IG Michael Horowitz Will Testify About FISA Report to Senate on December 11th…, including
It is possible the FISA report release, and the 12/11 Horowitz senate testimony will come at the same time the House of Representatives moves the impeachment inquiry into the House Judiciary Committee. According to the Pelosi calendar the last day for the House of Representative is Thursday December 12th.
Dan Chaitin at WaEx,  Ratcliffe: Democrats 'racing' to beat disclosure that 'damages the Obama-Biden administration'. So who is stepping on who? Twitchy, NAILED it: Byron York lays out why Dems don’t want the public to know origins of Ukraine or Russia probe and WOW, and in his own words, Democrats don't want public to know origins of Ukraine investigation like they didn't want public to know origins of Russia investigation
But there is more to the story. Should the whistleblower have connections to prominent Democrats, exposure of his identity could be embarrassing to the party. And perhaps most of all, reading through the impeachment investigation depositions that have been released so far, it's clear that cutting off questions that could possibly relate to the whistleblower has also allowed Democrats to shut off any look at how the Trump-Ukraine investigation started. Who was involved? What actions did they take? Why did some government employees think President Trump's July 25 call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky represented a lost opportunity, or poor judgment, while others thought it represented wrongdoing requiring congressional investigation?

Democrats do not want the public to know. And in that, their position is familiar to anyone who has watched Washington for the last two years: The Democrats' determination to cut off questions about the origins of the Trump-Ukraine investigation is strikingly similar to their determination to cut off questions about the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. In both cases, they fought hard to keep secret the origins of investigations that have shaken the nation, deeply divided the electorate, and affected the future of the presidency.
From sundance, FBI Releases Internal OPR Report Containing Details of Peter Strzok Investigation…. "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Here’s the report It seems they were mostly pissed that he made them look bad, also, Bad News/Good News – Bulk Metadata (FISA) Reauthorization Hidden in Short Term CR / Extended to March 15th, 2020…, so they can continue to collect all your data.

From Sarah Lee at Red State, another interview with the Russian/British woman used by Stefan Halper to set up Michael Flynn. Caught in the Crossfire Hurricane Crosshairs: An Interview With Svetlana Lokhova, Part 1 – The Setup. She was just collateral damage in the war on Donald Trump.

Will Chamberlain at Human Events claims Senate Republicans Are AWOL In The Oversight War. That's not unfair.

CNN, House investigating whether Trump lied to Mueller, WaPoo, House examines whether Trump lied to Mueller
The hearing followed Friday’s conviction of longtime Trump friend Roger Stone for lying to Congress. Testimony and evidence at his trial appeared to cast doubt on Trump’s written answers to Mueller’s questions, specifically about whether the president was aware of his campaign’s attempts to learn about the release of hacked Democratic emails by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

Pam Geller,  Russian media: 2020 election will cause an American civil war. They might be right.

It is, of course, Vindman day at Congress, House Impeachment Hearings – Day Three – 9:00am Vindman and Williams / 2:30pm Volker and Morrison – Livestream Links…. John Davidson, WaEx, Let’s Stop Pretending Every Impeachment Witness Is A Selfless Hero. Not everybody in uniform is a selfless hero. Sundance, Senator Ron Johnson Outlines Concerns With Lt. Col. Vindman Running Rogue Policy Group Against President Trump…
Within his deposition the ideology of Lt. Col Vindman is clear. Vindman’s mission focus was/is to shape U.S. policy toward Ukraine (and by extension NATO) regardless of the actual policy view of President Trump. Within his deposition Vindman admitted to giving countermanding instructions to his Ukraine counterpart two weeks after understanding opposite policy objectives from his commander-in-chief.

During his deposition Lt Col Vindman also admitted -with considerable angst and attempts to deflect from his legal advisors provided by the Dept. of Defense- that he was intentionally usurping the chain of command in an effort to follow his own ideological agenda; and perhaps that of his DoD leadership.

By itself that level of admitted and direct insubordination should be alarming for many reasons; not the least of which is his lineage within the U.S. Military. Indeed Vindman’s intent and purpose explains why he appeared for his deposition in full military uniform.
 Allah Pundit, Ron Johnson’s Letter To Nunes And Jordan Is The Strongest “Testimony” So Far In Support Of Trump
It’s a letter, responding to the letter that Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes sent him this morning asking him to recount his dealings with Trump and the Ukrainians this year, so it’s not official testimony under oath. It’s also partly political in tone, with Johnson stepping away at the beginning and end from his factual recollections to emphasize that he thinks the impeachment effort is part of a “concerted, and possibly coordinated, effort to sabotage the Trump administration” which he thinks began the day after Election Day 2016. He doesn’t use the term “deep state” but he’s very much a believer that the Ukraine scandal is largely a product of diplomatic and natsec bureaucrats channeling their policy frustrations with Trump into a narrative about misconduct. And he singles out Alex Vindman (who’ll be testifying this week) for special criticism on page three, suggesting that Vindman took to leaking because he can’t stomach that the president sets foreign policy and not the intel bureaucracy.
Breitbart, Emails: Open Society Kept Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella Updated on George Soros’s Personal Ukraine Activities
The emails informed Ciaramella and a handful of other Obama administration foreign policy officials about Soros’s whereabouts, the contents of Soros’s private meetings about Ukraine and a future meeting the billionaire activist was holding with the prime minister of Ukraine.

A primary recipient of the Open Society emails along with Ciaramella was then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who played a central role in the anti-Trump dossier affair. Nuland, with whom Ciaramella worked closely, received updates on Ukraine issues from dossier author Christopher Steele in addition to her direct role in facilitating the dossier within the Obama administration.
 Eric Swalwell Nuked MSNBC With a Massive Fart...All on Live TV
CR, Devin Nunes says ‘tough luck’ to impeachment witnesses upset with Trump’s policy toward Ukraine, Eric Felten, RCI, Analysis: Media's Biden Standard of 'No Evidence' Is a Double Standard
For three years many of journalism’s most prestigious news outlets won acclaim for making and repeating claims President Trump and his team had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. No accusation, from secret meetings in Prague to tales of prostitutes peeing on beds, was deemed unfit to print. When they wanted to signal to readers that they were conveying claims instead of facts, their hedge words of choice – “unverified” or “not yet proved” were favorites – strongly suggested that confirmation was on the way.

Call it the Trump Standard.

Now those same news outfits are observing a new standard of proof, at least when it involves former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who enjoyed a lucrative relationship with a Ukrainian gas company. This new norm demands that, absent definitive proof, assertions must be labeled as “without evidence” or said to be supported by “no evidence.”

Call it the Biden Standard.
Remember that the next time the press informs you there is "no evidence." Also, in this light, read John Solomon, Impeachment surprise: How Adam Schiff validated my reporting on Ukraine
For weeks, media have claimed my Biden column was a debunked “conspiracy theory” and no one saw anything wrong. Now we know the very people working on Ukraine policy below Joe Biden in the State Department saw the appearance of a conflict, long before I reported it. And they were so concerned about Burisma’s corruption reputation that they took official actions to distance the U.S. from the firm that hired Hunter Biden.
The second point I made in my columns was there was significant evidence that some officials tied to Ukraine tried or did influence the 2016 election. That evidence included:
  • an OpEd written by the Ukrainian ambassador to Washington in August 2016 slamming Donald Trump
  • the release of sensitive law enforcement information by two Ukrainian government officials against Paul Manafort that forced the Trump campaign chairman to resign in 2016. A Ukrainian court later ruled the two officials’ actions were an improper effort by Ukraine to interference in the 2016 election.
  • A solicitation by a Democratic National Committee contractor seeking dirt from the Ukraine embassy on Trump and Manafort in spring 2016. The Ukrainian embassy confirms the solicitation, and says it was rebuffed,.
Schiff’s witnesses confirmed they knew about those issues in 2016 and 2017 but took no formal action. Yovanovitch was among those who said she didn’t raise any alarms, drawing this rebuke from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
but read the whole thing. Front Page, Schiff’s “Hail Marie” Hearing Comes up Empty "Fired ambassador Marie Yovanovitch fails to pin a crime on President Trump." Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 11.18.19, Victory Girls: Yovanovich Testified Obama Administration Was Worried About Hunter Biden & Burisma.

An interesting twitter threat on Yovanovich ending in:
Ukraine found out, Trump stripped her of her ambassador position and didn't give her another, and now Ukraine's been investigating her, something NO MSM WILL TELL YOU.
And more impeachment bullshit than you can shake a stick at

Levin shreds Pelosi's bogus bribery accusation against President Trump - Conservative Review

Blame the Impeachment Flop on Botox – American Greatness

Democrats Omit Exculpatory Information from Summary of Tim Morrison Transcript | Breitbart

Profiles in cowardice: The Democrats’ push to impeach Trump – Da Tech Guy Blog

Democrats Concede Their Impeachment Argument Is Failing

Althouse: Trump says he likes the idea of testifying in "the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt."

Theo Spark: Cartoon Round Up....

Nancy Pelosi says President Trump 'so much worse' than Nixon

Trump: I'll "strongly consider" giving written testimony in House impeachment inquiry

The Secret of Liberal ‘Success’ : The Other McCain

Schiff falsifying records, may be found guilty of conspiracy - YouTube

Nancy Pelosi has ‘no idea’ when impeachment inquiry will end | One America News Network

Hilarious Adam Schiff Posters Popping Up All Over Los Angeles (Video) » Sons of Liberty Media

House Dem: Some in my caucus having second thoughts about impeachment

Neil Cavuto Rips Trump for Attack on Colleague Chris Wallace

Closest witnesses kicking off big Trump impeachment week

41% who support impeaching and removing Trump made up their mind before the Ukraine story first broke

In Genius Move, Trump Supports Impeachment, Forcing Democrats To Oppose | The Babylon Bee

Key Dates Highlight Pre-planning of Impeachment Agenda – Pelosi, Schiff, and The Hand-off To Nadler… | The Last Refuge

Jim Jordan Highlights Four Unwavering Facts That Dispute Impeachment Construct…. | The Last Refuge

Lee Zeldin Discusses House Impeachment Fiasco and Adam Schiff Hiding Testimony to Shape a Narrative… | The Last Refuge

You know, that Adam Schiff really is a creepy little bastard – The Daley Gator

Trump's aides eye moving impeachment witnesses out of White House jobs - CNNPolitics

Get Woke, Go Broke

They can't go bankrupt fast enough.

But they're trying. Oh, is Hollywood trying!
In the wake of Terminator: Dark Fate's failure at the B.O..., we have the further breakdown of cinema IP in Sony’s Charlie's Angels reboot, which is tanking with a God-awful $8.6M domestic opening, $27.9M worldwide (from 26 markets), 3 Stars on Screen Engine-Comscore’s PostTrak, and a B+ Cinemascore.
The Elizabeth Banks-directed-written and produced pic is also opening in 27 offshore markets, China being one where it’s also bombing, with a $7.8M 3-day take in third place behind No. 1 local title Somewhere Winter ($13.1M). All of this is primed to further spur a WTF reaction and anxiety among film development executives in town in regards to what the hell exactly works in this have-and-have-not era of the theatrical marketplace....
Naomi Scott as Elena Houghlin

Says RelishMix, which also foresaw this disaster approaching on social media chatter, "Angels is the latest example in a 'woke' effort to reboot a franchise that many were not all that interested in to start with. In fact, many references to the 2000 version get a call-out as a reason this one doesn’t seem to compare -- whether it’s the cast or the action teased from the film. And, as observed with other recent films, some action/adventure, unfortunately fans say they’re steering clear of this one because of its 'girl power' messaging."
Full-time feminist and occasional director Elizabeth Banks tried the usual "dark marketing" tactic of insulting men to get the women (and liberal soy-based men) who despise men to support her movie, making "Gender Aggrievement" the central marketing pitch for a popcorn movie:
 Ella Balinska as Jane Kano

In the age of reboots, revivals, and sequels, Elizabeth Banks wants to know why people are criticizing her for creating another chapter in the Charlie’s Angels franchise.
In a recent profile in WSJ Magazine, the Charlie’s Angels writer/director/star responded to the criticism she's been facing for rebooting the franchise with Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, and Naomi Scott. "You've had 37 Spider-Man movies and you’re not complaining!" Banks says. "I think women are allowed to have one or two action franchises every 17 years -- I feel totally fine with that."
In this interview, she announces that almost every story in history is told from a "cisgendered white male perspective" and that any woke story is therefore "fresher."
Kristen Stewart as Sabina Wilson 

Audiences don't seem to agree, especially because almost every movie is now #Woke gender-swapped trash. How is this "fresh" given that eight thousand other movies in the past five years do it?

"Fresh" would be a movie about men doing masculine-type things. People would be shocked at that bizarre, unexpected gender twist.

She also declares that men have a responsibility to see women's movies, and I guess particularly those women's movies which intentionally demean and scapegoat men.

She also made sure that audiences knew this movie wasn't only for women -- it was also for the other 50% of the country, Teh Gays.

And that, my friends, is how you manage to ruin a movie with four reasonably attractive women; direct it towards an audience that doesn't appreciate them:
They also seem to be trying to "Defeat the Male Gaze" by casting women who aren't hot and by deliberately making them look less hot than they could look. "Take that, you incels!," as Ya Boi Zack says.
Lots more at Ace's.

Monday, November 18, 2019

I'm Surprised It's Not Higher

More than a third of Ph.D. students have sought help for anxiety or depression caused by Ph.D. study, according to results of a global survey of 6,300 students from Nature.
Thirty-six percent is a very large share, considering that many students who suffer don’t reach out for help. Still, the figure parallels those found by other studies on the topic. A 2018 study of mostly Ph.D. students, for instance, found that 39 percent of respondents scored in the moderate-to-severe depression range. That’s compared to 6 percent of the general population measured with the same scale.

Nature’s survey of graduate students of different backgrounds and fields is its fifth in a decade. It asked about a range of issues, from planned career paths to work hours to overall program satisfaction. But the data on mental health, including a question asked of all respondents for the first time this year, are particularly alarming -- even as they add to our vital understanding of a serious problem.

“Sadly, the findings are very in line with what we hear, and what we ourselves experience,” said Kaylynne M. Glover, director of legislative affairs at the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, an advocacy organization.

Calling graduate education “systemically abusive,” Glover said it's “a problem that crosses cities and cultures, and it affects students from low-income and marginalized backgrounds the worst.”
Graduate students are the infantry of academia; thrust out on foot to take an objective or die (wash out). Intelligent and obsessive (at least for the most part), with a goal that's often indeterminately far in the future, and with their ability to use the degree once it's attained often uncertain, it's a wonder that any of us survived with our sanity intact.

Why, I haven't had a student dream in weeks.

Monday Morning Russiagate

Gah; too much already; First from sundance and CTH, John Ratcliffe discusses race between the House impeachment and the  coming IG Report: “The Inspector General is going to have to find that there were things that were done wrong”…

and Doug Collins -vs- Maria Bartiromo – Interview Brushes Up Against FISA Reauthorization…
Representative Doug Collins appears with Maria Bartiromo and points out a position on FISA reauthorization that is hopefully carried by the majority of Republicans. Collins states an approach where he, perhaps others, would advance a “short-term” FISA extension pending a full review of the upcoming FISA report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz, prior to any longer term reauthorization.

FISA-702 authority, bulk U.S. person metadata collection, storage and surveillance, is set to terminally expire December 15th. The last FISC report from Judge Boasberg stated that all violations of FISA law are still ongoing and there have been no substantive corrections by the intelligence community to fix the abuse issues. The Judge Boasberg report was written in September of 2018 but not released (redacted) until last month. {Go Deep}

The Intelligence Community (writ large), the FBI and the DOJ are all seeking a permanent reauthorization. In my humble opinion this FISA reauthorization is the cornerstone motive for an IG report delay. There is an alignment of interests.
From Twitchy,  ‘Had concerns about Vindman’s judgment’: Byron York breaks down Tim Morrison’s transcript and it AIN’T lookin’ good for Schiff, It looks like Vindman was trying to make mountains out of molehills. Thanks to Schiff, he succeeded. Dan Flynn at AmSpec, Democracy Dies in Darkness — Speak the Whistleblower’s Name. At this point, the media is pretending not to know, and Democrats are pretending to believe them. From Elizabeth Vaughn at Red State, FOIA Emails: Eric Ciaramella, Victoria Nuland Received Regular Updates From Top Official at Soros’ Open Society Foundations. Look for coded orders.

OAN, New Documents Allege Millions Went To Biden’s And Kerry’s Firm. The original John Kerry and his son. Apparently he was not content with Theresa's ketchup money. Tom Lifson, AmThink,
Dems' star witnesses bungle Hunter Biden's Burisma bounty
but according to Althouse "An overwhelming 70% of Americans think President Donald Trump’s request to a foreign leader to investigate his political rival... was wrong..." ABC News reports on its new poll. Was Sondland acting on Trumps orders to encourage an investigation? Politico, Sondland said he was acting on Trump’s orders, aide told investigators. I would hope so! Little Timmy also claimed White House Official Feared Trump Transcript Leak Could Be Politically Damaging according to Adam Schiff's latest leak. We even heard that Trump talked to Bolton about Ukraine. Imagine that. Impeach Trump for talking to his advisers!

Rabbi Fischer at AmSpec, Did You Know This About Marie Yovanovitch? An Obama holdover with anti-Trump biases of long standing. I have no problem believing it, but I wish the Republicans would come up with some evidence or witnesses. Andy McCarthy at NR Breaks Down the Fallout from Marie Yovanovitch’s Testimony
The president’s camp is the unapologetic source of the whispering campaign. They depict a very different Yovanovitch: a partisan deep-state operator, who abetted and covered up Ukrainian collusion with Democrats in the 2016 campaign. On Friday, that alternative view was the dog that never barked.
On Elise Stefanic, Yahoo whines that Stefanik embraces spotlight at impeachment hearings.  John Hinderocker Power Line, thinks She Must Have Hit a Nerve, for Democrats to post a photoshopped picture of her flipping off the camera. Democrats are all nerves and no brains. Scott Johnson, also at Power Line, Please Support Elise Stefanic.
Her Democratic opponent is fundraising off Rep. Stefanik’s stellar performance and she is taking incoming such as the vile tweet from one George Conway noted in Ryan Saavedra’s Daily Wire story “‘ABUSIVE CREEP’: George Conway Blasted For Smearing Elise Stefanik With Alleged Doctored Image, Calling Her ‘Trash.’” Brit Hume responded in his understated style that should be sufficient to shame those who can be shamed (tweet below, also included in Saavedra’s compilation).
Nick Arama at Red State, CNN Contributor Claims Doctored Pic of Stefanik Is ‘Believable’
Twitchy again, Our ‘moral betters’ like Joan Walsh and Chrissy Teigen show us who they REALLY are in tweets to Elise Stefanik
The only good Chrissy Teigen is a naked Chrissy Teigen (NSFW).  Victory Girls, The Knives Are Out For Elise Stefanik and Erielle Davidson:
And, of course, more random impeachment nonsense:

I’m Sorry, Is Impeachment Not Entertaining Enough for You?

Impeachment Hearings Are Boring. No One Cares. Get Over It.

The Democrats Aren’t Fooling Anyone | Power Line

Schiff: Democrats will send "charlatan" Trump back to golden throne

IG report will be an indictment of Adam Schiff: Rep. Ratcliffe - YouTube

Sunday Talks: Jim Jordan -vs- Margaret Brennan – Important Note: Media Given Leaked Sealed Transcripts from Friday Depositions… | The Last Refuge

Goodwin: Nancy Pelosi has gone full coup coup in Trump impeachment push

Peter Navarro: If Pelosi Could Pause the Impeachment, Congress Could Pass the USMCA… | The Last Refuge

Is the impeachment inquiry legitimate? – Stopping In Flyover Country

Victor Davis Hanson on the impeachment inquiry/coup – The New Neo

Fox News? More like Trump’s impeachment shield - Hot Air

Nancy Pelosi on "Face the Nation": Trump has "every opportunity to present his case" in impeachment inquiry - CBS News

Some Warm Milk for Monday Morning

I'm not as offended as the author of the attached article; breast milk is clean and nutritious. But I'm not much of a milk drinker myself, and if I do drink it, I prefer it with chocolate.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Climategate: Ten Years After

It’s Officially the Tenth Anniversary of Climategate – and they’ve learned nothing
By Charles Rotter and Anthony Watts

From Charles:

It was ten years ago today that I personally first viewed the instructions to download the Climategate files from the anonymous Russian server. That set in motion a series of events still affecting the outcome of worldwide energy and environmental policy today. The whitewashers at the BBC, The Guardian, and elsewhere have started putting up their officially sanctioned narrative version, amounting to little more than nothing to see hear move along.

I wrote up my contemporaneous version of events here.

Anyone who wants to rebut claims of exoneration can use this Ross McKitrick paper for reference.

A couple of days ago we reposted Judith Curry’s excellent 10 year anniversary write up.

There’s little I can say that Dr. Curry does not touch upon, except for the fact that it is gratifying to see ideas we help disseminate echoing back to us via both traditional and social media.

At the time of the event, Patrick Courrielche did one of the best jobs covering it in the media.

His original three part series can be found here (part 1), here (part 2), and here (part 3)

Patrick also published an interview with Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Steve Mosher, and myself earlier this year on his Redpilled America Podcast. It is excellent and worth a listen.
The Curry article is well worth the read.

From Anthony:

Coincidentally, 10 years ago today is not only the day that “Mr. FOI” released the files, it was (and is) WUWT’s birthday. On November 17th, 2006, I wrote my first post.

In November 2009, while Charles was holding the fort at WUWT and examining the emails left by “Mr FOI”, I was in Brussels at a climate skeptic conference being put on by Hans Lobohm.

I remember the first message I got from him: “You need to look at this!“. Then reading the emails, wide-eyed, and realizing I was about to go through security at the EU, I wondered about the timing….and told Charles that under no circumstances would we write anything about it or release it until I was back on U.S. soil. Then, after clearing customs at Dulles two days later, I sat down in the airport, and wrote the story, breaking the news on the 19th. I was literally the last person on the plane back to Sacramento, and in those days, WiFi on planes didn’t exist. So I was faced with over six hours of unknowing. Thoughts of “what have I done?” raced through my mind. See the “Red Pilled America” audio interview above for my personal recollections.

Luckily, James Delingpole picked up the story for his column, and it’s entry into the British newspaper The Telegraph started the chain reaction that made the story grow, becoming the “worst scientific scandal of our generation“.

Today, I look back, especially at the latest BBC “whitewash” of the issue, and I shake my head. These people, journos and climate scientists alike – have learned absolutely nothing. . . .
I was a catastrophic warming skeptic before Climategate, but Climategate crystallized my skepticism of the climate science cabal.

More Research into Russiagate

“We, the undersigned, respectfully request that the President of the United States grant a full and unconditional pardon to Roger Jason Stone Jr,” reads an official White House petition — which has now generated nearly 5,000 signatures.

It’s unclear who started the petition, with the creator only identified as “J.V.”

If the petition gets 100,000 signatures within 30 days, the White House will be forced to respond, according to the government’s official petition website.
Althouse echos Scott Adams:

I would be OK with a Stone pardon. Now John Brennan, that's another story GP, Brennan Sends President Trump Ominous Warning in the Middle of Schiff’s Impeachment Show Trial, ‘May Your Downfall be Swift’.

A generalization from "Bonchie" at Red State, Andrew Napolitano Has Been Wrong About Basically Everything.  Much like Paul Krugmann; always wrong, never in doubt.

A flashback from Rob Urie at Counter Punch, Impeachment, Brought to You by the CIA. Today from sundance at CTH, A Seditious Conspiracy – Lt. Col. Vindman, CIA “Whistleblower” Source #1, Shaped False Summary of April Trump-Zelensky Phone Call…

From ET, Official Linked to ‘Spygate’ Hatched Plan for Biden to Force Firing of Top Ukrainian Prosecutor
State Department Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland worked with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in late 2015 to create a plan to force the firing of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, according to Kent. Nuland was also among a network of Obama administration officials involved in the distribution and recirculation of the infamous Steele dossier, the document used by the FBI to secure a maximally intrusive spy warrant to surveil a Trump-campaign associate.

“My understanding is that the conversations that were near-daily between Ambassador Pyatt and Toria Nuland regarding what to do on the way forward then included pitching the office of the Vice President to push President Poroshenko to remove Shokin,” Kent told lawmakers on Oct. 15.
They weren't pissed that he was a corrupt prosecutor; they were pissed he was prosecuting the wrong corruption; that involving children of American politicos. From Dan Sobieski at AmThink,Time to Subpoena Alexandra Chalupa
Now we find out, thanks to Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch that DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa, who worked with Hillary Clinton to get Ukraine dirt on Trump, visited the Obama White House 27 times and even had meetings with the alleged Ukraine whistleblower whose name dare not be spoken, Eric Ciaramella.

This is the whistleblower coached by Adam Schiff and who colluded with him, a deep-state CIA agent whom we are told might wet his pants out of fear if his identity was publicly acknowledged. Ironically, as I noted recently, in a major goof-up, Schiff forgot to redact Ciaramella’s name in a posted PDF of the transcript of Ambassador Bill Taylor’s testimony.

As Judical Watch notes in its recent press release:
Judicial Watch announced today analysis of Obama-era White House visitor logs that detail meetings of controversial CIA employee Eric Ciaramella, who had been assigned to the White House. Ciaramella reportedly was detailed to the Obama White House in 2015 and returned to the CIA during the Trump administration in 2017. The logs also reveal Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor hired by the DNC during the 2016 election who coordinated with Ukrainians to investigate President Trump and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, visited the White House 27 times.
Judicial Watch noted that White House visitor logs revealed a number of individuals met with Eric Ciaramella while he was detailed to the Obama White House. A few examples paint a picture of WH involvement . . .
Ace, Hannity: I Predict "Masha" Yavonovich will "Cry on Cue" In Order to Give the Impeachment Some Soap Opera Drama - Day Two of Impeachment: Masha Yavonovich Cries on Cue, as Predicted
Devin Nunes actually brought a box of Kleenex tissues and had them positioned right to his front right in the hearings. I saw speculation that his plan was to gallantly offer Masha a tissue the moment she turned on the Made for TV waterworks.

Alas, he didn't.

This wasn't merely a prediction -- Free Beacon reported that Democrats really wanted "Masha" there to testify not because she had facts relevant to impeachment (she admitted that she knew nothing about the phone calls or aid hold-up) but only because she cried like a little girl in her deposition, and Reality TV producer Adam Schiff thought she'd make a good cast member for his show.
Tristan Justice at Da Fed, Marie Yovanovitch Admits There Was No Crime, No Bribery From Trump On Ukraine.  Dr. John at Flopping Aces, These are the three yuge stories out of yesterday’s Yovanovitch tear jerker and a star is born
One - Yovanovitch is forced by Chris Stewart to admit she knows nothing of any Trump crimes . . .

Two - She disclosed that the obama administration knew about the corruption Hunter Biden was engaging in and they prepped Yovanovitch for that. . .

Three - The investigation into Burisma corruption was not closed as Biden and democrats have been falsely asserting . . .
From Breitbart, Marie Yovanovitch Not Interested in Hunter Biden Corruption or Ukrainian Election Meddling and Marie Yovanovitch Compares Herself to Diplomats Killed in Benghazi. Matt Margolis at PJ Media, Obama Left An Ambassador to Die, But We’re Supposed to be Outraged Over Trump's Yovanovitch Tweet?. Politico whines that Trump attack on Yovanovitch exposes GOP's muddled impeachment defense

Of course, the real heroine of the Yovanovich hearing (from the right) and the villainess  from the left's perspective was Elise Stefanik. Althouse, WaPo acknowledges the rise of a new GOP star: "Elise Stefanik emerges in impeachment hearings as key Trump defender — and GOP celebrity."
The piece — by Mike DeBonis — begins with Stefanik's record as a "maverick" — voting against the 2017 tax bill and supporting LGBT rights and DACA. But at the impeachment hearings, we're told she's "a complete team player."
Ace, To the Democrats Marie, Not Elise, was yesterday's star. NYT via Hot Air, Elise Stefanik Emerges In Hearings As Key Trump Defender — And GOP Celebrity, which is not a good thing from their point of view.
“I think everything they did today was strategy,” said Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), one of three Democratic women on the committee. “She’s one of the newer members on the committee, and she’s a woman. . . . When they are badgering a female witness who is a career Foreign Service officer with an impeccable record, and they want to badger her, I think it’s a better look when a woman is taking the lead on that.”
Sundance, After Rep. Elise Stefanik Highlights Ambassador Yovanovitch False Statement – Stefanik Becomes a Target…. You know you're over the target when you're taking flak.

Reuters reports Support for Trump's impeachment unchanged after hearings begin. Only partisans are tuned in, and their opinions are pretty well fixed.

Sundance, House Releases Transcripts from Jennifer Williams and Tim Morrison Depositions…. and David Marcus at NYPo discusses Why Democrats still need secret hearings

Althouse, Politico chooses a head-on-a-platter photograph of Adam Schiff... ... for its "What Was Truly Unprecedented in This Week’s Impeachment Hearings?" article:

To hide his skinny neck? It's a good look on him.

Mickey Kaus at Da Kausfiles, The Maidan's Tail
We can start in 2013, in the Maidan, Kiev's central square, where demonstrators gathered to protest the decision by Ukraine's President, Viktor Yanukovych, to shift away from more integration with the European Union and instead accept a Russian bailout. The US foreign policy apparatus was clearly rooting for the protesters — and why not? They were the defenders (for the most part) of Euro-style civil society and human rights. Yanukovych was corrupt and pro-Russian. Who wouldn't want “Euromaidan” to prevail?

Senator John McCain soon showed up at the Maidan and gave a rousing speech. Our ambassador, Victoria Nuland, passed out cookies to the demonstraters (and plotted behind the scenes on the makeup of a post-Yanukovych government). Eventually, the protesters did win — in February 2014 when the police pulled back and Yanukovych fled Kiev. He was replaced in a parliamentary vote that was nevertheless short of what was required under the Ukraine constitution to impeach him. The parliament cited "circumstances of extreme urgency.” This was Ukraine's "Revolution of Dignity."

All in all, a triumph for the U.S. foreign policy bureaucracy (if you don't count Russia's reaction — invading Eastern Ukraine). But it had an unattractive anti-democratic aspect.  The Maidan protesters were not elected, after all. The president they took down was elected, to a term that ran into 2015. The protesters represented an appealingly Westernized urban constituency, yet — maybe I'm out of my depth here! — that didn't mean they were a majority. Ukraine is a big country.

But, within the foreign policy (“interagency”) world, these annoying thoughts could be safely buried. It's not the job of the State Department to observe every jot and tittle of another country's election laws. It's the job of the State Department to pursue U.S. interests. If that also involves meddling in another country's politics to a degree that would send Robert Mueller into permanent state of shock if Russia did it to us -- well, welcome to the world. . .
DiGENOVA: An "Impeachment" Constructed of Lies
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has been trying to overturn the 2016 election from day one, and he isn’t about to let something as trivial as the truth get in his way.

Schiff has pursued that aim relentlessly for the past three years, jumping from one conspiracy theory to another—from Russia to Ukraine, from tax returns to absurd “dossiers,” from Robert Mueller to Michael Avenatti, and back again. All the while, he has revealed his naked partisan motivations and portrayed himself as some kind of defender of truth.

In reality, everything about Schiff’s still-fruitless crusade against our duly-elected president is built on lies. The dishonesty runs back to the very beginning of the Trump presidency. Just one month after Inauguration Day, for instance, Schiff was gleefully reading juicy tidbits from the blatantly fraudulent Steele dossier into the Congressional Record . . . 

Linked by EBL in  Car Models.

Perhaps She Should Try Venezuela

Latin Grammys 2019: Chilean singer Mon Laferte exposes her bare chest in political protest
Chilean musician Mon Laferte is making a political statement at the Latin Grammys.

The singer-songwriter, 36, exposed her bare chest  during the biggest night in Latin music Thursday in protest of police brutality in Chile.

While walking the red carpet in Las Vegas, Laferte stopped and opened her black jacket to reveal the phrase "En Chile torturan violan y matan" on her chest, which translates to "In Chile they torture, rape and kill."

That wasn't her only political statement of the night. Laferte won best alternative album for "Norma" at the Latin Grammys and dedicated her win to her home country.

"I want to thank my colleagues … and especially to the public, the people, the fans that are there; without people nothing could happen," she said during her acceptance speech.
Chile is no heaven on earth, but it's pretty mild by the standards Venezuela. Keep the protests alive!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Scooter Won't Let Me Sing, Sang Taylor Hatefully

Taylor Swift had planned to perform a medley of hit songs from throughout her career when she takes the stage later this month to celebrate being named Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards.

But the pop star may have to rethink her performance because talent manager Scooter Braun, who now owns the rights to her previous albums, won't let her perform them, she says.

The artist wrote on social media Thursday that Braun, who recently bought her first six studio albums, is interfering with the performance, the latest development in a months long feud with the manager and Scott Borchetta, chief executive of her former label Big Machine Records.

"Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed next year," Swift said.

Scot and Scooter denied the allegation: Scooter Braun, Scott Borchetta deny Taylor Swift’s performance-ban claims
“As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her tumblr statements yesterday based on false information. At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere,” the music company wrote in its statement.

“Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.”
I dunno; sound like she should just use them and challenge them to sue her. Besides, I think she can afford it.
 We have worked diligently to have a conversation about these matters with Taylor and her team to productively move forward. We started to see progress over the past two weeks and were optimistic as recently as yesterday that this may get resolved,” the statement continued.

Although the company felt they were seeing “progress” in its negotiations with Swift and her team, Big Machine claims that “despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.” . . .
Can we bring back Tom Swifties, using Taylor?

Hear the Wind Howl

All day winds were 15-25, thanks to a storm off the Atlantic coast.

Skye and I took our walk after lunch. It was cold, but with a heavy jacket and gloves, I was fine, and Skye was content when another fossil nut recognized her and gave her some pets.

We saw an eagle catch a fish, now that the Ospreys are gone and they have to fend for themselves.

Fossil hunting was awful; the beach was mostly sand, and the surf was too rough and frothy to look in. I found one tooth.

Continuing Russiagate Coverage

But according to Rushbo, The Real Whistleblower Is Donald J. Trump

At Althouse, "How a CIA analyst, triggered by Trump's shadow foreign policy, alarmed an impeachment inquiry " — a misread headline.
Misread by Meade, looking at the WaPo headline, "How a CIA analyst, alarmed by Trump's shadow foreign policy, triggered an impeachment inquiry."

Meade says, "I think it's more accurate my way."
Switching to impeachyment, at Ace's Morning Rant the gorilla says"
"OK, here are some take-aways from the Democrats' impeachment show trial:

"The president needs to prove his innocence.

"Surprisingly, hearsay evidence is actually better than direct, first-hand evidence.

"The purpose of impeaching Trump is to make sure he does not get re-elected. The Democrats are openly admitting this. See also here.

"Also, President Trump is being impeached because he tried to 'wrest control' of U.S. foreign policy from 'seasoned diplomats.' (see the second item under the fold). Which is weird, you know, because diplomats, no matter how 'seasoned', are supposed to follow policy, not set it.

"The breath-taking arrogance of this last one is especially galling. The old common wisdom was that the 'Deep State' was just a kwazy konspiracy theory cooked up by kooky konservatives from their paranoid, delusional fantasies. But, upon further reflection, the Deep State is apparently the fourth branch of government, not mentioned in the US Constitution, but nevertheless real and necessary; a bulwark, if you will, that protects the perks, privileges and prerogatives of an unaccountable, bureaucratic elite against American citizens who have the insolence to believe that they're entitled to participate in constitutionally mandated elections." . . .
Matt Margolis PJ Media, Top Democrats Concede They're Losing The Impeachment Battle. The battle is not to win impeachment, but to dirty Trump before the election.
CNN reported Thursday evening that top Democrats are privately acknowledging that the impeachment hearings will do little to persuade the vast majority of the public that President Trump committed an impeachable offense. According to CNN, in a private meeting earlier this week, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants were skeptical about the prospects of a dramatic shift in opinion even as public impeachment hearings began this week, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter." Nevertheless, they intend to carry on, in the hopes that things might change.
From sundance at CTH, Speaker Pelosi Selected “Bribery” For Impeachment Narrative After Focus Group Polling in Key States…, AllahPundit at Hot Air, Confirmed: Dems Switched From “Quid Pro Quo” To “Bribery” Because A Focus Group Told Them It Was Better. A former constitutional law prof, Althouse has doubts in "The reason bribery is now the Democratic impeachment word of choice has less to do with the law than with politics."
People may continue to think bribery is terrible, but the central question becomes is this bribery? The risk is, once you've said it's a question of bribery, you're focusing us on the definition of bribery, and when it looks like you're trying to stretch the definition so it fits whatever it is Trump did, it seems dishonest. I mean, look at Schiff, selling his expansive definition of "bribery":
"Well, bribery, first of all, as the Founders understood bribery, it was not as we understand it in law today. It was much broader. It connoted the breach of the public trust in a way where you're offering official acts for some personal or political reason, not in the nation's interest...."
Seen in that light, is there anything politicians do that is not bribery?
Teach at Pirate's Cove, New Democrat Narrative: Ukraine Was About An Attempted Crime, Not A Crime Crime. Breitbart, Bureaucrats Fail to Respond to Ratcliffe Question ‘Where Is the Impeachable Offense?’
From the New Neo, Impeachment can be preventive…
says AOC:
Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN’s Situation Room that House Democrats need to move quickly, citing the “potential compromise of the 2020 elections,” that could lead to “a potentially disastrous outcome.”
“This is not just about something that has occurred, this is about preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year,” she said.
What a great idea, like so many of her ideas.
and The Democrats want to define Trump being president as a high crime and misdemeanor. Mark Levin on impeachment hearings: Swalwell doesn't know what he's talking about. He could have left that unqualified.

From the The Schiff coup: Day one, by J. Marsolo at AmThink
If this were a real trial, the judge would dismiss the complaint and assess counsel fees and costs against the Schiff Democrats for bringing a suit with no basis in law or fact, and brought solely in bad faith to harass President Trump.
Althouse watches Da View, so you don't have to, "Well, Linda Tripp — remember, Clinton was impeached because of Linda Tripp’s testimony, which was complete hearsay!"/"Well, she was not under the desk with Monica. Let’s put it that way. So that’s hearsay." Discussion of the hearsay rule on "The View.". Well, there was the DNA on the infamous blue dress. From the Weasel Zippers, MSNBC’s Maddow: The Impeachment Process Will Unify America… "Yeah, no." Top 10 Tweets from BadBlue Tonight: 11.15.19
Politico whines, Rand Paul may force vote to bring Hunter Biden as witness in impeachment trial.  I don't blame Hunter for trying. I blame his dad for enabling him.

Venturing into competition with the Babylon Bee, Waterford Whispers rumors Beyoncé Set To Perform At Trump Impeachment Halftime Show

The halftime show will also feature an indoor fireworks display. Ever the restrained and dignified leader, president Trump has vowed to continue to incriminate himself and justify the impeachment inquiry on Twitter before ultimately taking to the stand to scream ‘You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth’.
Of course, no news review would be complete without the conviction of Roger Stone, Jerry Dunleavy, WaEx, Guilty on all counts: Roger Stone, longtime Trump confidant, convicted of lying, obstruction, and intimidation
He was found guilty on five separate counts of lying to the House Intelligence Committee in addition to two more charges of obstructing a congressional investigation and intimidating a witness following a two-week trial that centered on the actions taken by the self-identified "dirty trickster" and GOP agent provocateur during the 2016 election and beyond.

Stone, 67, now faces up to 50 years in prison, a maximum of 20 alone for the most serious charge. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who has presided over the case since January, will hand down Stone's sentence in February.

The jury found Stone repeatedly misrepresented and concealed his 2016 attempt at collaborating with WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange to obtain dirt on then-candidate Hillary Clinton and stolen emails when speaking with Trump-Russia investigators from the House Intelligence Committee in a spin-off case from special counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation.

The charges against Stone included one count he “corruptly influenced, obstructed, and impeded” the congressional investigation and another that he attempted to “corruptly persuade” Randy Credico’s congressional testimony. Stone also faced five counts of making “materially false, fictions, and fraudulent statements” to Congress.
Sundance, Roger Stone Convicted on All Seven Counts – Sentencing in February, Faces 20 Years in Federal Prison…  Ace, DC Jury Finds Roger Stone Guilty of Seven Counts of Process Crimes, The Same Crimes That Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr, etc. Are Not Being Charged With,  "Made Men in the DC Mafia play by a different set a rules than the mere citizens they intimidate and extort." NYPo, Trump tweets about Roger Stone’s conviction, calls it a ‘double standard’. He's not wrong. EBL, Roger Stone Found Guilty 🙀

In more vindictiveness on the part of the Deep State, Rudy Giuliani Investigated For Lobbying And Campaign Finance Violations (Victory Girls).

Aaron Mate at RCI has an expose on The Brennan Dossier: All About a Prime Mover of Russiagate A taste:
  • Contrary to a general impression that the FBI launched the Trump-Russia conspiracy probe, Brennan pushed it to the bureau – breaking with CIA tradition by intruding into domestic politics: the 2016 presidential election. He also supplied suggestive but ultimately false information to counterintelligence investigators and other U.S. officials.
  • Leveraging his close proximity to President Obama, Brennan sounded the alarm about alleged Russian interference to the White House, and was tasked with managing the U.S. intelligence community's response.
  • While some FBI officials expressed skepticism about the Trump/Russia narrative as they hunted down investigative leads, Brennan stood out for insisting on its veracity.
From Judicial Watch, Documents Reveal Extensive Relationship Between Dossier Author Steele and Top Obama State Department Officials

John Sexton at Hot Air, IG’s Office Says Witnesses Can’t Submit Written Feedback, Then Clarifies Hours Later
Wednesday we learned that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz had submitted his report to witnesses for their review, a final step before the report is released. Last night, the Washington Post published a story claiming that the IG’s office had told those witnesses they were not allowed to submit written feedback on the report. Instead, they would need to give feedback orally. But a few hours later, the IG’s office appeared to reverse itself, saying that wasn’t the case:
The Post’s report, first published early Thursday evening, detailed a series of parameters that some feared could make the final document less accurate. At the time, the Justice Department inspector general’s office declined to comment. But late Thursday night, Stephanie Logan, a spokeswoman, said the office would clarify to witnesses that they could submit written feedback “consistent with rules to protect classified information.”
“As part of our factual accuracy review, and consistent with our usual practice, we are providing witnesses with the opportunity to review portions of the report that relate to them,” Logan said. “Also consistent with our practice, we undertake every effort to ensure witnesses can provide their comments and we are clarifying to witnesses that they will be able to provide written comments, consistent with rules to protect classified information.”
So it sounds as if there was some change here though the Post admits it has no idea what the initial restriction was about. Was it limited to an individual? Was their some specific purpose for it? We don’t know.
At least "We don't know" is generally an honest response.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and links.