Friday, October 22, 2021

Maryland, My Maryland

Stephen Green (aka Vodka Pundit) at PJ Media, Crabby Marylanders Want Out
West Virginia—itself a product of intrastate secession during the Civil War—could gain three new counties currently part of western Maryland on the off chance that lawmakers in both states agree.

Six Republican lawmakers from Maryland’s three westernmost counties—Garrett, Allegany, and Washington—wrote to Republican legislative leaders in West Virginia earlier this month with a request that they “advise on [the] next steps” to join The Mountain State.

“We believe this arrangement may be mutually beneficial for both states and for our local constituencies.”

Western Maryland is much more rural and conservative than the rest of the state, which is dominated by the deep blue Baltimore metro area and its resident federal government employees and lobbyists.

“We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t feel there is a strong sense of unrest and unhappiness among people in our rural area of the state,” said Wendell Beitzel, a Western Maryland delegate and cosigner of the letter.

Virginia is the only state to successfully split apart, and it took a war for that to happen. But there are other rearrange-the-pieces efforts to split counties off one state and tack them onto another. Earlier this year, five eastern Oregon counties petitioned to become part of Idaho.

There are even attempts to create all-new states out of parts of several neighboring states. The most famous is probably the proposed state of Jefferson that would be carved out of southwestern Oregon and northern California.
Election results in the 2020 Presidential 
Ah yes, I remember. It's still a good idea, although, some parts of NorCal are too blue to go. 
. . . for the move to happen, it would have to be approved by the GOP-dominated West Virginia legislature, the Democrat-dominated Maryland legislature, and the US Congress. There’s absolutely no reason that Maryland would allow itself to be shorn, just to make a Red State bigger.

In my personal opinion, Maryland is such an oddly shaped and poorly governed state that the whole thing should be broken up and attached to various neighboring states.

As for Baltimore, it’s sunk so low into crime and corruption—a true “wretched hive of scum and villainy“—that a few hardy survivors ought to take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.

It’s the only way to be sure.

From the West (by God) Virginia Gov Jim Justice (WaPoo),

“We would be tickled to death to have them,” Justice said of Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties. He added, “We have got it going on in West Virginia right now.”

Will you take Calvert too? 

Virginia Striper Recruitment Holding Up

Virginia Striped Bass YOY index history
The Daily Press, Virginia’s striped bass forecast looks stable as juvenile numbers hold steady

Juvenile striped bass numbers are holding steady in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay tributaries, the latest annual survey by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science found.

But a parallel survey in Maryland waters showed below-average numbers.

The surveys look at striped bass that hatched in the spring and that will be large enough to catch, legally, in three to four years.

Happy Payne with a fine specimen
 If they allow it, by then (see below).

Preliminary results of the Virginia survey showed an average of 6.3 fish for each haul of a seine net in the James, York and Rappahannock rivers. These young striped bass usually measure between 1.5 and 4 inches. That’s the 9th consecutive year of average or above average results, VIMS said.

Last year’s average was 13.89 fish. The survey has returned results above the long term average of 7.77 fish for five of the past 10 years, with one below average result in 2012. The 2021 return is considered to be average because it is within a range that statistical theory considers to be essentially equivalent because of the challenges of estimating wildlife populations.

At least Virginia makes a pretense of acknowledging the variability inherent in the survey. Maryland doesn't bother. 

VIMS said juvenile striped bass populations can vary widely but that its surveys show populations are relatively stable.

Striped bass numbers in Chesapeake Bay rebounded from historic lows in the late 1970s and early 1980s after fishing bans were enacted in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia in the mid- to late-1980s.

But in 2019, scientists found that striped bass, coastwide, were overfished, and that more were caught than the population could withstand over the long term.

I can't really say how much the Virginia recruitment helps boost the striper population in MD. Certainly adult stripers are very migratory, with adults from MD swimming past Virginia on their way to the ocean to grow and back to spawn. But do stripers recruited in VA join the big masses of fish that populate the middle and upper Bay in summer? I just don't know, and I suspect that hasn't really been examined carefully. We might find out the hard way that they don't. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ survey showed below average results, as it had in 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2020. VIMS said the reasons for such differences can be hard to determine.

“The low recruitment of young-of-the-year striped bass in parts of the Chesapeake Bay, a crucial nursery area for 70 percent of striped bass on the East Coast, continues the troubling news about this iconic fish,” said Chesapeake Bay Foundation Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist Chris Moore.

With a tip of the hat to the old James Bond saw that "once is happenstance, twice is coincidence", we must start to ask what is Virginia doing right that Maryland might not be. 

I heard a rumor from Pete the other day that either AMFSC or MDDNR was preparing a proposal for a 5 year moratorium on Striped Bass fishing in MD. 

Alec Baldwin Investigated in Homicide

Halyna Hutchins, Baldwin's victim
 Stacy McCain has a Violence Against Women Update

They’re calling this an “accident”:
A tragedy occurred on the set of the latest Alec Baldwin movie where the actor reportedly accidentally shot and killed a female cinematographer and injured the director due to a prop gun misfire.
“Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a set in New Mexico on Thursday, accidentally killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza,” reported Variety.
The tragic incident reportedly occurred on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Alec Baldwin was shooting his upcoming Western, Rust. Hutchins, who originally remained unidentified, died after being transported via helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital.
Director Joel Souza remains in emergency care after being transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Thursday that both Hutchins and Souza “were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor.”
Sources told Deadline, which initially reported that the incident occurred when Baldwin reportedly “cocked a gun during a rehearsal, unaware that there were live rounds in it, hitting two people, a man and a woman.” Representatives for Baldwin, a rabid anti-gun demagogue, did not immediately respond to media requests for comment.
His living victim, Joel Souza
A few more details, via Daily Mail:
Alec Baldwin allegedly repeatedly asked ‘why was I handed a hot gun?’ after he accidentally shot and killed a female cinematographer and wounded a director yesterday on the set of his new film Rust. . . .
A spokesman for the movie’s production company has insisted that only blanks were used, but the sheriff’s department is yet to confirm that. It’s unclear if this was the first and only shot Baldwin fired, or if others had been fired safely.
Immediately after firing the fatal shot, Baldwin asked why he’d been handed a ‘hot’ gun, according to Hollywood gossip site Showbiz 411. . . .
Mike Tristano, 60, a Hollywood armorer with 30 years’ experience . . . said ultimate responsibility for gun safety on movie set rests with the armorer. . . .
‘There should have been blanks in the gun, the on-set armorer’s job is to check that before handing the weapon over,’ Tristan said.
‘They then make sure that the actor stands on a mark and never points the gun at the crew or cast… the editing makes it seem like they were pointing at their co-actor.
‘That’s why everyone in the industry is very confused. How this happened is a total mystery at the moment.’
Total mystery, as well as a tragedy, but the fact that Alec Baldwin, an outspoken opponent of Second Amendment rights, shot and killed a woman is also deeply ironic. Make of that what you will.

The last line of defense against a gun accident on set should be the actor that picks up the gun, who should check to see if it's loaded or loaded with blanks. The last should be the producer, to make the rules such that safety is a priority on the set. Guess who that person would be.

Why would there be any live ammunition on the set? I know blanks can kill, but it's hard to imagine killing one and seriously wounding another with ammunition without a projectile. 

UPDATE: There was apparently one live round in the gun used by Baldwin. It passed through Hutchins, and into Souza. Still no word on how or why that round got into the pistol.

Election 2020: Merrick Makes a Stand

A couple of note worthy topics today. First, AG Merrick Garland went before the House to testify, and he was grilled extensively on the topic of his letter siccing the FBI on the case of rowdy parents at schoolboard meetings. The Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.21.21 has extensive related links. Power Line's John Hinderacker Merrick Garland Testifies. From Da Fed's Jordan Davidson, AG Garland Admits Federal War On Parents Sprang From NSBA Letter, Not Evidence,   At Am Great, Eric Lendrum reports MI Parents Sue AG Garland Over Plan To Target Anti-School Board Protests. Jon Fournier at Da Tech Guy, Moms For America Tells Biden’s DOJ Where To Stick Their Intimidation. At The Political Hat: The Woke War On Teachers – Terminating Whistleblowers, Purging Dissenters, & Unions Against Dissidents. But Wait, there's more! Some highlights! From Twitchy, ‘What are you afraid of?’ Here’s the video Dems did NOT allow Rep. Jim Jordan to play for AG Merrick Garland (and you’ll see why). Sundance at CTH has the video, of course as Representative Jim Jordan Confronts Merrick Garland – The Great Awakening of The American People Has Begun. Victory Girls, Garland Tap Dances Amid Questions About DOJ School Memo. Across da pond at Da Mail, 'Trump's DOJ was political? Are you kidding?' Republicans grill Biden's AG Merrick Garland as he defends FBI school board memo, insists parents are entitled to protest and denies calling them domestic terrorists. Emily Zanotti at Da Wire, Merrick Garland Grilled On Loudoun Case, Says He ‘Doesn’t Know’ About Alleged Sex Assault. That incident was cited as an excuse for the letter. 

At Breitbart, Merrick Garland Did Not, Will Not Seek Ethics Review over Alleged Family Ties to Critical Race Theory, and sundance at CTH, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Refuses DOJ Ethics Review, Claims Conflict of Interest Ethics Rules Do Not Apply to Biden Administration "In a clear conflict of interest, Merrick Garland is using his office to protect the income and investments of his son-in-law’s business. However, when questioned about this conflict today, Merrick Garland says he will refuse to accept any ethical review of his conduct. Watch"

WaFreeBee complains that White House Knew About Letter That Compared Parents to Domestic Terrorists, "National School Board Association collaborated with Biden administration, emails show" and at Da Wire, NSBA Collaborated With White House Before Letter Describing ‘Domestic Terrorism’ At School Board Meetings: Report and at Da Caller, White House Collaborated With School Board Group On Letter Comparing Parents To ‘Domestic Terrorists’. A pre-arranged hit job. Tim Pierce at Da Wire, DeSantis Promises To Fight DOJ’s ‘Dangerous And Un-American’ Schools Memo.

More general links about the rebellion in Loudoun County and related school things. Paul Bedard at WaEx reports Backlash: 57% oppose FBI hounding parents at school board meetings. 43% are fascists. Under the Political Hat, Quick Takes – The Woke War On Teachers: Terminating Whistle-blowers; Purging Dissenters; Unions Against Dissidents. Elle Reynolds at Da Fed wonders When Did Sexual Assault In Schools Become A Partisan Issue?. When Republican used it against Democrats. As the NYPo notes Democrats aim to make anyone who disagrees with them an enemy of the state

However, the AG was nominally there to talk about Jan .6. Spencer Brown at Town Hall notices that AG Garland Debunks Democrat 'Insurrection' Claims About January 6th. No one charged with insurrection. Sundance observes Representative Thomas Massie Questioning AG Merrick Garland About FBI Agents and Informants Participating and Agitating in January 6, DC Protest, and highlights at least one guy who was almost certainly on the FBI payroll advocating the Jan. 6 Capitol Incursion on Jan 5th and 6th. Breitbart, WATCH as Gohmert Grills Merrick Garland on Double Standard for Jan. 6 Detainees. At Da Wire (again), Lawmaker Born In USSR Grills Merrick Garland: ‘The FBI Is Starting To Resemble Old KGB’. From ET, Garland Tells Lawmakers He Missed Leftist Demonstrators’ Attack on Interior Department, after all, he doesn't work in Interior building, and he doesn't watch Fox. 

“I’m not going to be able to reference that specific incident since this is the first I know of it,” he said.

Steube was referring to Oct. 14 protesters from an extreme left-wing environmental activist group, People vs. Fossil Fuels, which had organized five days of protests at the Interior headquarters building in Washington. They were seeking to force President Joe Biden to stop approving fossil fuel energy projects.

As happened with the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol, the October protestors forced their way into the building, and multiple federal security and law enforcement personnel were injured in the resulting confrontation, including some who required hospitalization. Fifty-five of the protestors were arrested.

Which sort of seques into the Virginia Governors elections, were via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.21.21, American Power sees the GOP Gaining In Virginia Governor Race. From Town Hall, Larry O'Caonnor at T-Mac in Trouble? McAuliffe's Virginia Meltdown and Guy Benson, Analysis: Is Terry McAuliffe Panicking? From 'Bonchie' at Red State, Desperation Sets in as Glenn Youngkin Is Accused of ‘Anti-Semitism'. Politico whines ‘Everyone should be very worried’: Dems seek wake-up call as Virginia goes to the wire. Ace, A New Poll Shows the Youngkin-McAuliffe Race for VA Governor Tied "Losing Karen." Don't count those chickens yet. WaPoo reports Biden to campaign with McAuliffe in home stretch of Virginia governor’s race, with his 41% approval rating among independents. 

See the porn that is being taught in Loudoun County at and prompted Terry McAuliffe to say parents should stay out of school business. JD Davidson at da Fed, Rotherham Child Sex Abuse Scandal Looms Over Loudoun County

Switching topics, and as sure a shit flows down hill, WaEx reports House holds Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress for ignoring subpoena, sends to DOJ. AllahPundit at Haut Hair is pleased to report Nine House Republicans vote with Dems to hold Bannon in contempt after defying subpoena. As WaPoo puts it, with massive ambiguity, Bannon only one of 19 not cooperating with Jan. 6 panel and Althouse picks that nit, in An absurdly ambiguous headline: "Bannon only one of 19 not cooperating with Jan. 6 panel." He's the only one not "cooperating." At Da Caller, House Votes To Hold Steve Bannon In Contempt, Setting Up Justice Department To Bring Criminal Charges. Remember when Eric Holder and Lois Lerner were cited for contempt? Somehow, it went unprosecuted. 

Matt Margolis at PJ Media, Liz Cheney Goes Full Wack Job Conspiracy Theorist Over Capitol Riot. Going, going, gone. At Red State, WATCH: Liz Cheney Dumps on Trump Over Executive Privilege Claim, Marjorie Taylor Greene Buries Her “Oh, she’s just jealous and she hates Trump. Who cares? Nobody cares about Liz Cheney. I mean, I think that’s the biggest story. No cares about Liz Cheney or their stupid committee.”" HuffPo whines that the Jan. 6 Probe’s Move Into Courtrooms Could Let Trump Run Out The Clock. What do they want, a lynching?

Good news in the real insurrection as Wa Free Bee sees Ivy League Firebombers Plead Guilty, Face 10 Years Under Terror Law, "The leftwing attorneys are accused of distributing Molotov cocktails to fellow protesters". John Sexton at Haut Hair, Brooklyn lawyers who made Molotovs plead guilty to one count each, face years in prison,  "Gothamist reports that they will both be disbarred, which is the right outcome. No one who tried to literally burn down the system should be part of that system." Am Great, New York City Lawyers Who Firebombed Police Car Last Year Plead Guilty

The confession and subsequent possibility of a 10-year sentence has drawn criticism from the far-left and elitist circles, who insist that the two did nothing wrong. In the immediate aftermath of their arrest, as soon as their connection to the crime was uncovered, an intelligence official in the Obama Administration, Salmah Rizvi, guaranteed Rahman’s bail, in a manner similar to how future Vice President Kamala Harris supported a bail fund for rioters in Minneapolis who burned down a police station.

Capt. Ed at Haut Hair, Manchin retreats: I did offer to leave caucus -- if it helped Schumer. That lower my respect for him. From atop Da Hill, Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats

Manchin said he had told Biden, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his caucus that if it would help them "publicly" for him to become an Independent who still caucuses with the party, as they face pressure from activists to craft a bill as large as possible, he was willing to do so.

Politico opines, What if Trump’s Grip on the GOP Isn’t as Strong as It Seems?, but what if it's stronger? Also, Trump’s Postmortem Roasting of Powell Could Burn Him in the End. Maybe, maybe not. 

At Da Wire, Trump Releases New Details On Social Media Platform That He Is Launching Soon

“I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump said in a statement. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.”

More from Sundance, Shares of Trump Special Media Acquisition Company, DWAC, Climb 400% in Heavy Trading Despite NASDAQ Halts of Trading. Meh; it might work. At TNP, Phil Kline claims Zuck’s Bucks were ILLEGAL. I'm inclined to agree. 

Fish Pic Friday - Darlene Grattet

Instagram, Amateur Lady Angler🧜🏼‍♀️ 🚤 🎣NQ NPC Bikini Competitor👙, Salt Life🌊☀️🏝🐬🐟 Jeep Life🚙

I give her extra points for species diversity. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

MD Increases Bribe for Farmers to Protect Streams

Southern Maryland Chronical, Farmers One-Time $1,000/Acre Signing Bonus for CREP Enrollment

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has increased its one-time signing bonus to $1,000 per acre for eligible farmers and landowners who install forest buffers along qualifying stream corridors through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Farmers and landowners with new contracts for CREP practice CP22 riparian buffers effective on or after October 1, 2021, are eligible. All other CREP contracts and re-enrollments remain eligible for a $100 per acre signing bonus.


Now in its 24th year, Maryland CREP has helped thousands of landowners plant streamside buffers, establish wetlands, protect highly erodible land, and create wildlife habitats on their properties. CREP is a state-federal conservation partnership that pays landowners attractive annual rental payments to take environmentally sensitive land out of production and install conservation practices that protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat. Rental contracts range from 10 to 15 years for this voluntary program.

New this year, up to 100% cost-share is also available through the Maryland Agricultural [Water Quality] Cost-Share Program (MACS) to establish streamside buffers and wetlands. Free technical assistance to install these and other conservation practices is provided by local soil conservation districts.

I approve. They're asking farmers to take some of their land out of production for the sake of the rest of us. They can pay for that, and I'm fairly sure it's cheaper than trying to condemn the property and take it over under eminent domain. 

Beach Report 10/21/21

A lovely October day, with temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s, all but windless, and all but cloudless.

Georgia called me over from the waters edge, to see this male Spicebush Swallowtail struggling on the beach. Cold months coming aren't good for butterflies. 
We had a decent low tide rising, and found 18 shark's teeth. This badly beaten Snaggletooth was by far the biggest. 

Election 2020: Manchin to Bail from Democrats?

Will he or won't he? At NYPo, a report that Manchin might bolt Democratic Party over Biden spending plan

Manchin (D-WV) has allegedly told associates in recent days that he’s devised a detailed exit strategy for his departure, Mother Jones reported Wednesday, citing people who overheard the Senator discussing the matter.

Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.20.21, The Geller Reports Manchin Mulling Leaving The Democrats? Ace, Joe Manchin: I Might Quit the Democrat Party. But alas, Manchin seems to be on record denying the rumor; At JTN, Manchin denies he’s considering changing parties, calls report BS, "Manchin says the report is nothing more than rumors, and that he has never considered changing parties." John Sexton at Haut Hair, Manchin thinking about leaving the Democratic party (But Manchin calls BS), and at IJR, 'Capital B': Manchin Reacts to Report He Is Considering Switching Parties. He is a politician; he'll say no until it's in his best interest to switch. I'll take him over Liz Cheney any day.

Speaking of Liz, AllahPundit at Haut Hair crows that Cheney begs GOP colleagues at Jan. 6 hearing: Tell our voters the truth, that the election wasn't rigged and Dan Chaitin notes Liz Cheney says privilege claims indicate Trump 'personally involved' with Capitol riot. No presumption of innocence allowed. At WaEx, House Jan. 6 committee recommends holding Steve Bannon in criminal contempt.  Atop Da Hill Rebecca Beitsch (I wonder how that's pronounced) is upset to hear House GOP leaders urge 'no' vote on Bannon contempt. Also from JTN, Mark Meadows: Pelosi asked about 'lunch' for Congress members during Jan. 6 Capitol riot, "Trump "had asked for up to 10,000 National Guard troops to be available" to the speaker and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser," said the former president's chief of staff. "And, unfortunately, they did not take him up on that." Matt Vespa at Town Hall reports US Marshals: We're Looking to See If the January 6 Defendants Are Being Deliberately Mistreated. About time. 

The Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.19.21 (Evening Edition), Am Great Paul Gottfried is Dealing Honestly with Election Issues "However extravagant may be his phrasing, former President Trump’s insistence that the election of 2020 was rigged is entirely true and it remains an urgent problem." From the  The Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.20.21,  Joy Pullman at Da Fed says Leftist Shadow Governments Control A Lot More Than Our Elections. From the National File,  Trump Announces New Social Media Site ‘TRUTH Social’ To Launch Early 2022, "Trump's new social media launches early in 2022" The PI claims a New Poll Shows Super Majority Of Republicans Have Made Their 2024 Choice. Too far away to matter. Karen Townsend at Haut Hair worries Is Trump's influence waning in Texas? Election audit bill ignored during special session
.  Jordain Carney on Da Hill observes that the GOP blocks Senate Democrats' revised elections bill. Good. Also at da Hill, soft core porn actress Alyssa Milano arrested at White House voting rights protest.

At JTN again, Federal court tosses Illinois Democrats’ legislative maps, give challengers chance to fix, "Republicans and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund sued in federal court." Based on guesses. Try not to make it worse.

Before final U.S. Census data was released, Democrats passed new legislative boundaries in May. The governor signed those maps.

Republicans and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) sued in federal court saying the maps were based on estimates and are malapportioned. Tuesday’s ruling issued by a three-judge panel in federal court agreed.

The election for the governor of Virginia has reached a fever pitch, if you believe the amount of TV ads flooding us. McAuliffe walked out of an unfriendly TV interview early after complaining about the questions and Stacy McCain says the McAuliffe Campaign Implosion Continues "Do candidates who are winning act like this?" From The Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.19.21 (Evening Edition), Twitchy report Terry McAuliffe’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad campaign gets WORSE as he flips out during interview, scolds reporter and storms off (watch). Fox, Terry McAuliffe abruptly ends interview, tells local Virginia reporter, 'You should've asked better questions' Across da pond at Da Mail, Biden-backed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe walks out of TV interview and tells reporter he should have 'asked better questions' after being grilled on vaccine mandates, critical race theory and crime. Fox again, Glenn Youngkin slams McAuliffe for walking out during TV interview: 'He's losing it' and McEnany on McAuliffe abruptly ending interview: Dems 'can't handle it' when media asks tough questions. Capt. Ed at Haut Hair, The new empty chair: McAuliffe walks out on election interview

 The Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.20.21 hosts Don Surber: Why McAuliffe Should Be In Trouble, and Earnie Walton at Am Think thinks Virginia Voters, Beware The Weaponization Of Teachers

AllahPundit warns Upset brewing: Another poll of Virginia shows race between Youngkin and McAuliffe tied. Whether by design, or by poor polling, polls often favor democrats unrealistically, so we can hope. In another sign of desperation, Fox reports Harris hitting campaign trail with McAuliffe amid tight race for Virginia governor. When your hopes rest on Kamala . . .  

Wa Free Bee, BEASTMODE: Youngkin Calls Out McAuliffe for Alliance With Blackface Gov Northam. At Town Hall, Youngkin Campaign Responds After Being Accused of Taking McAuliffe's Words 'Out of Context'

Tattoo Thursday