Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Specktacular Fishing

Walleye Pete had a last minute screw up on his reservations, and found himself without a charter for today, so he put up a notice on Facebook for a walk-on trip last night. He got it filled in 15 minutes, and I was lucky enough to see it in time to sign up.

We left Solomons Island at 7 PM, headed across to the familiar sunken lands of Maryland's Eastern Shore. The day was cool and drizzly, and not particularly photogenic.

Pete rather quickly found a honey hole where we caught some 11 keeper sized Speckled Trout, and a few more small ones. After we were chased out by the tide, we left for other spots
Specks were rare thereafter, but small Striped Bass were found at most of the other places we stopped. One familiar spot held a pretty good school of decent fish, and we managed half a limit of keepers.

Some Tiegen for Tuesday

Damn those shells!

Reason #5545 That Trump Was Elected

Historically Black College Leader: So Far, Trump a Step UP From Obama
Despite the boos for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at Bethune-Cookman, leaders of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are noticing that Trump is a step up from Obama:
“For [President] Obama, people expected him to come in and fix everything -- especially for black people. ... But he never campaigned strongly for HBCUs,” said Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans, using the common abbreviation for the schools.
Now, he says, the reverse has happened -- Trump came in with no expectations placed on him, and some black educators have been pleasantly surprised. “So people now want to see what’s going to happen because he’s coming in saying he’s going to be the president for HBCUs,” Kimbrough added. “It’s a very different perspective, but it’s still the first 150 days, so we’ll see what happens.”
Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a nonprofit that helps provide financial assistance to students who attend black colleges, says the signs from the White House are encouraging.
“In the first four months of this presidency, the Trump administration has been far more responsive to our community than the past administration,” Taylor said. “I, for one, judge people by what they do -- not what they say.”
A Republican president, the party that allegedly hates minorities, is the one actually keeping his promises about expanding minority educational opportunities.
Following his inauguration, Trump’s most overt outreach to African Americans has been his efforts to woo students and leaders of black colleges that were founded in the years after the Civil War and today consist of 101 public and private schools nationwide.
To be fair, it was never actually in President Obama interest to help fix race relations, since he campaigned on the fact that they were bad.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Oopsy! Navy Dumps 94,000 Gallon of Jet Fuel into Bay

An incorrectly positioned switch that routed jet fuel into a tank that was too small and overflowed for hours appears to be the cause of a spill last week at Oceana Naval Air Station that contaminated a nearby creek and chased residents from their homes, Navy Rear Adm. Jack Scorby said Friday.

Scorby, commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, said how the switch was left in the wrong position is still under investigation. The jet fuel was routed into a 2,000-gallon tank instead of three 880,000-gallon tanks. The Navy doubled the number of active-duty and civilian personnel assigned to stand watch and handle quality control around the clock at the fuel farm where the spill occurred, following a safety review, he said.

About 94,000 gallons of jet fuel – the equivalent of a little more than 1,700 55-gallon drums – spilled during a routine refueling at Oceana during the evening of May 10. It is believed to be the largest ever at Oceana, the Navy’s master East Coast jet base.

The spill went unnoticed until the next morning. By then, about 25,000 gallons had spread to London Bridge Road as well as a ditch that runs parallel to it and into Wolfsnare Creek, a tributary of the Lynnhaven River.
. . .
There are no national standards for exposure to the jet fuel spilled at Oceana, said Dr. Heidi Kulberg, Virginia Beach Director of Public Health. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health sets an air quality benchmark for workers without respiratory protection at 14 parts per million for an 8-hour day over a 40-hour work week, she said.

There was one reading of 17 parts per million taken in the Oceana spill’s immediate aftermath, but that was far away from a residential area, Kulberg said. All other readings taken since then have been well below that, she said.

Air quality readings taken in affected neighborhoods since Tuesday afternoon have been near zero, Scorby said. Tests of drinking water wells of two area residents also came back clear.

The Navy said booms placed along Wolfsnare Creek appeared to have stopped the fuel before it reached the Lynnhaven River, but approximately 700 animals – about 75 percent of which were fish – have been found dead.

As of Friday morning, 48 families – 177 people – had accepted the Navy’s offer to temporarily move to area hotels, Navy officials said.
One writer had to turn this into a "social justice" issue:  Outcry would have been heard in Richmond, had jet fuel spill happened in more affluent part of Virginia Beach 
Let’s pretend it was residents in these neighborhoods sprinkled liberally with McMansions who were told it was safe for them to stay in their homes, despite fuel fumes that were so strong they had headaches and were gagging.

Chances are, there would have been a parade of Mercedes and BMWs headed to Norfolk as the residents ignored official assurances of safety and decamped to The Main.
Yep, let's bulldoze those neighborhoods, and put in another Navy base.

Obamacare Schadenfreude Dragging On

and on and on. . .

Left over from before the day we left for Italy, news that Obamacare continues the spiral of destruction: Aetna pulls out of Virginia Obamacare market. Only because it's so good and well thought out, right? Trump, Shouting ‘Death Spiral,’ Has Nudged Affordable Care Act Downward, whines the New York Times. Ben Voth at the American Thinker wonders How many Americans does Obamacare kill each day?, utilizing the usual liberal tools:
In 2015, something unexpected and unusual happened to the United States. For the first time since 1993, life expectancy in the United States declined. The decline was significant and extensive. Life expectancy is one of the most basic indicators of human health and the United States is one of the most advanced nations in the world. The decline should be causing a careful consideration of its causes and potential solutions. This is largely being ignored by our intellectual leadership for a rather obvious reason: the Affordable Care Act that promised to make health insurance more affordable and available for Americans. Recognizing the most important achievement of the Obama administration and its potential role in declining health outcomes for Americans is an important investigation. . . 
I know, correlation is not causation, but the  article does go on to point out how Obamacare has negatively impacted American healthcare. Michele Malkin, with Jimmy Kimmel in mind asks Who has Absolute Health Care Moral Authority?
When I countered late-night joker Jimmy Kimmel’s Obamacare-cheerleading monologue tied to his newborn child’s chronic illness with my own experience as a mother of a chronically ill child, left-wing readers called me an “insensitive b—-” “mean-spirited” and “twisted.” One reading comprehension-challenged letter writer, Diane Goldwater, wrote:
“Perhaps one day one of your children will suffer from a life-threatening disease… what goes around comes around we will see how you feel when it happens to someone you love.”
Along similar bloodthirsty lines, in response to all Republicans who supported the House health insurance package, Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald seethed on Twitter that he wanted his political enemies and their loved ones to be “tortured:”
“I hope every GOPr who voted 4 Trumpcare sees a family member get long term condition, lose insurance & die.”
As ever, absolute moral authority only belongs to those who preach civility and compassion for others — while ramming their own policy preferences and values down our throats.
What? House GOP hasn’t sent health-care bill to the Senate, may need to vote again. Maybe, maybe not!

"Death Panel" redux: Remember IPAB? It's time for a full repeal
The Independent Payment Advisory Board aroused considerable furor when it was included in the 2010 healthcare overhaul, then all but vanished from the public consciousness. It's about to come roaring back, and Congress should kill it before it can.

The idea behind the IPAB is to restrain the growth in spending by having 15 bureaucrats decide what should and should not be covered by Medicare – in effect, those unelected "experts" will be rationing healthcare for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

IPAB is supposed to come into being when Medicare spending growth begins to exceed target levels. We're not there yet.

The report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' chief actuary, who determines whether growth is exceeding projections, is past due for 2017. But projections indicate there is a good chance growth will exceed the target this year or next. That gives Congress a narrow window to kill the beast before it emerges fully from its lair.

The decisions made by IPAB carry the force of law unless Congress specifically rejects them under Obamacare rules that make such a rejection extremely difficult. That gives this cabal of Washington power brokers almost unilateral authority to dictate healthcare policy, putting those bureaucrats between you and your doctor.

Congress has for the second year in a row refused to fund the IPAB as it awaits its summons from the actuary. But starving the beast isn't good enough. Lawmakers need to drive a stake through its heart.

Reason #5544 That Trump Was Elected

Here are some of the highlights from the latest batch of trial balloons:

  • The budget will slash $1.7 trillion in spending on entitlement programs, according to Bloomberg.
  • Trump’s budget will include a massive nearly $200 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the modern version of food stamps, over the next 10 years – what amounts to a 25% reduction, according to The Washington Post.
  • The food stamp cuts are part of a broader $274 billion welfare-reform effort, according to a report by The Associated Press.The budget calls for about $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid for fiscal year 2018, WaPo reported.
  • The budget also calls for $2.6 billion in border security spending, $1.6 billion of which will be earmarked for Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.’s southern border.
  • The budget is also expected to propose major domestic discretionary spending cuts - an earlier version of the budget called for $54 billion in such cuts next year alone.

Predictably, Democrats are already up in arms over the proposal, even though a formal draft isn’t expected until Tuesday.
Bureaucrats and welfare cheats hurt worst.

I'm not expecting all of this to materialize, but if someone doesn't propose it, it never will. Someday. we'll have to get spending under control, either that or sit back and let the Chinese foreclose.

Morning Music - "Fight to Win"

Heather Gillis also played with the Butch Trucks Band: