Friday, April 20, 2018

That's a Lot of $#!*

Heavy rain in Washington brings flooded roads and slow commutes — and sewage overflows into local rivers. Monday’s storm was the first test of a new $2.6 billion tunnel designed to prevent those overflows.

The tunnel worked as intended, according to DC Water, preventing roughly 170 million gallons of sewage and rainwater from flowing into the Anacostia during heavy rainstorms earlier this week. The 23-foot diameter tunnel runs under the Anacostia River to Blue Plains treatment plant, where the water and sewage can be processed. The tunnel can hold more than 100 million gallons, and Blue Plains can treat 225 million gallons a day.

Even with the new capacity, Monday’s storm filled the tunnel, causing between 10 and 20 million gallons to overflow into the Anacostia. That’s about 10 percent of what would have spilled into the river without the tunnel.
We saw the opening of the tunnel  a few days before it opened, and I predicted it would be big step forward. It is, but if it leaked 10% in the little rains we had last week, what is going to happen in one of our gully washers or tropical storms. Fortunately this is the 2nd of 4 planned tunnels.

Rushing Into Russiagate

A couple of big items. First,  by way of Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 04.19.18", Legal Insurrection gives us the good news that DOJ IG Sends Criminal Referral of McCabe to U.S. Attorney of DC
CNN has reported that the Department of Justice’s inspector general sent a criminal referral of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to the US attorneys office in DC.

Last week, the IG office published its report on McCabe revealing that McCabe authorized a leak to The Wall Street Journal in an attempt to boost himself, but lied to investigators and former FBI Director James Comey.
DOJ watchdog sends criminal referral for McCabe to federal prosecutorWhoa: DOJ Inspector General Sends Criminal Referral For Andrew McCabe To U.S. Attorney  Andrew McCabe swipes at James Comey: He's not telling the truth,  Andrew McCabe Is Going to Have to Cut a Deal "Which is bad news for “truth-teller” James Comey."
McCabe has been fired, the OIG has branded him a liar, and now he appears to be headed for criminal prosecution. Meanwhile, his friend Comey is on a nationwide self-adoration tour promoting his best-selling self-aggrandizing account of how he repeatedly saved America from the forces of darkness thanks to his moral superiority. And, oh-by-the-way, Andy’s a liar.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, under these circumstances, McCabe’s head exploded. But hopefully, before that happens, McCabe and his legal team will strike back by sharing publicly the sworn testimony and documents that they claim prove Comey’s a liar.
I'd rather see Comey in jail than McCabe, but both would suit me fine.  McCabe Faces Possible Criminal Charges, But Are Hillary and Company Next? One can always hope.

The other big event of the day were reports that Deputy Dawg Rod Rosenstein has told President Trump he not a target in the investigations swirling around his attorney, Michael Cohen or in the Mueller probe: Trump allies press Rosenstein in private meeting in latest sign of tensions,  Rosenstein Tells Trump He’s Not a Target in Mueller, Cohen Probes
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Donald Trump last week that he isn’t a target of any part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation or the probe into his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Rosenstein, who brought up the investigations himself, offered the assurance during a meeting with Trump at the White House last Thursday, a development that helped tamp down the president’s desire to remove Rosenstein or Mueller, the people said.
to which the standard reply is "Watch out, it's a trap!"
Rosenstein’s message may have been based on a technicality. Trump may not officially be a target, but Mueller hasn’t ruled out making him one at some point in the future, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the unfolding investigation.
Ace:   "I don't believe it, and prosecutors lie a lot about whether you're a target or not." This one also breaks the news that Rudy Giuliani has joined the presidents legal team: Rosenstein Claims (Like Comey Did Before Him) That Trump Is Not the "Target" of Muller's and the DOJ's Probe Into Cohen; Guiliani Joins Trump Legal Team to Try to "Negotiate" an End to the Mueller Probe
It's a bad idea. It signals vulnerability and will just encourage them. Prosecutors only negotiate plea deals to spare them the use of some resources in some cases.

When a prosecutor has unlimited resources, and when he's a partisan hunting the biggest of big game, why would he "negotiate" anything? Even if he comes up with nothing, he gains something by just keeping this shit-show going for years and years. He ties down the president, his political enemy.
Rudy Giuliani joins Trump legal team, hopes to end Russia probe in ‘a week or two’ I have my doubts. Democrats are having too much fun.  Rudy Giuliani Joining Trump’s Legal Team ‘For the Good of the Country’BIG LEAGUE: Giuliani Looks To Swiftly End Mueller's Investigation

In the ongoing Comey comedy: Figures. Dirty Cop Comey Was Only Taking Pre-Screened Questions at First Book Signing Event in NYC I'd like to see him grilled honestly. Jonah Goldberg: The Comey–Trump Dance They're both attention seeking narcissists. I thought conservatives cared about character and values, Comey whined. We tried it for decades. It didn't work. Jonathon Turley: Comey 'tell-all' violates all rules of justice Rules are for the little people.
Trump may not have had the benefit of all of this information at the time he removed Comey, but in terms of whether Comey was the right person to serve as head of the FBI under the new administration, Trump’s instincts proved to be correct.
Far-right activist interrupts Comey book event I don't like it when lefties do it without consequences, but I don't believe we should unilaterally disarm either. No one likes James Comey. Well, he has a wife and kids (Hillary partisans) and maybe a dog. Trump complains that Comey is making money off his book while Flynn’s life is ‘totally destroyed’. There is that.

Justice Dept. turns over James Comey's memos on talks with Trump and immediately this leaked Comey: Trump says Putin bragged about Russia having the 'most beautiful hookers in the world'. Well, it's true. Comey memos offer new details on his interactions with Trump as the FBI’s Russia probe intensified. Sheryl Attkisson: Trump Was Right To Fire Comey; Here Are 12 Reasons Why:

Joseph E. diGenova tells it like it is: The Politicization of the FBI
Over the past year, facts have emerged that suggest there was a plot by high-ranking FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials in the Obama administration, acting under color of law, to exonerate Hillary Clinton of federal crimes and then, if she lost the election, to frame Donald Trump and his campaign for colluding with Russia to steal the presidency. This conduct was not based on mere bias, as has been widely claimed, but rather on deeply felt animus toward Trump and his agenda.

In the course of this plot, FBI Director James Comey, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok, Strzok’s paramour and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, FBI General Counsel James Baker, and DOJ senior official Bruce Ohr—perhaps among others—compromised federal law enforcement to such an extent that the American public is losing trust. A recent CBS News poll finds 48 percent of Americans believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia collusion probe is “politically motivated,” a stunning conclusion. And 63 percent of polled voters in a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll believe that the FBI withheld vital information from Congress about the Clinton and Russia collusion investigations. . .
Senate panel will vote on bill to protect Mueller despite McConnell's opposition. It will never pass the house, and if it does, Trump would veto it, so what's the point again? At Manafort Hearing, Judge Weighs Scope of Mueller’s Authority
A federal judge expressed doubt Thursday over efforts by former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to have criminal charges against him dropped, but she appeared more receptive to his request to dismiss one of the counts.
. . .
Judge Berman appeared more receptive, however, to another argument from Mr. Manafort’s legal team, that two of the counts in the indictment against Mr. Manafort essentially charge him with the same crime.

Mr. Manafort was charged with lying about his lobbying work in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. He was also charged with lying about that work in violation of a law that forbids false statements to the federal government.

A prosecution on both counts, Mr. Manafort’s lawyers argued, would seek to punish him twice for the same alleged offense.
Would A Prosecutor Ever Misuse His Powers To Remove A Political Opponent? Yes, let us re-count the ways. . .
Here's a summary of the above:  Seven indictments, all by Democrat prosecutors against high-ranking Republican office-holders, and all with a potential to influence political control of some important government body.  Of the seven prosecutions, one (Greitens) has not yet gone to trial (and may never), one (Perry) was dismissed on motion before ever going to trial; but the other five all resulted in convictions -- all of which were subsequently reversed.  Of the five convictions, three were then undone by the trial (Stevens) or appeal (DeLay, McDonnell) courts in ways that precluded retrial, and one (Bruno) resulted in an acquittal on retrial.  Skelos awaits retrial.  The number of convictions that have stuck: zero.  Meanwhile, the Congress flipped from Republican to Democrat control after indictment of the Republican Majority Leader, the Senate got its 60th Democrat Senator just in time for the Obamacare vote, the governorship of Virginia flipped from Republican to Democrat just prior to the indictment of the outgoing Republican governor, and the New York State Senate flipped from Republican to Democrat majority after conviction of the Majority Leader.

By the way, can you think of a single example of a Republican prosecutor prosecuting a Democrat officeholder on a dubious charge in a similar swing situation with the potential to change political control of some important body?  I cannot.
Michael Barone: Collusion, anyone?
As the likelihood of the charges of Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia seems headed toward zero, the likelihood of proof of a different form of “collusion” seems headed upward toward certainty.
. . .
Meanwhile, the evidence builds of collusion by the Obama administration's law enforcement and intelligence personnel in trying to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat and delegitimize Donald Trump in and after the 2016 presidential election.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asks to close loophole that could let Trump pardons block state charges Pesky double jeopardy rule. Instapudit seems to think Adam Schiff's proposal to curb Trump's pardon power is legal, if not wise.

We Must Protect Attorney-Client Confidences - It’s wrong to celebrate the fact that Sean Hannity’s name was revealed in open court. Right, wrong, who cares? It's the agenda, man! Who is Kimba Wood? Judge on Cohen case officiated Soros wedding, was Clinton AG pick. Nothing to see here! Andy McCarthy: Sean Hannity’s Outing Violated Legal Standards, again, standards are for Republicans! CNN Washes Out Its Own Role in Outing Hannity's Legal Chat with Michael Cohen
According to reports from inside the courtroom, Judge Wood was ready to allow Michael Cohen to submit the name of his third client — who we now know is Sean Hannity — under seal, but an attorney for five news organizations, including CNN and the New York Times, convinced her otherwise.
. . .
CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz confirmed the 'under seal' part, but omitted that the attorney was representing his employer. Prokupecz merely tweeted: "I was in court yesterday and if it wasn’t for the attorney representing the press, Sean Hannity’s name would have been filed under seal. Judge Kimba Wood was ready to accept the name under seal, when the attorney representing the press stood up and argued successfully against it."
Let’s Apply The Sean Hannity Standard To ‘Objective’ Journalists With Hidden Political Ties 
CNN’s Jim Sciutto is the network’s chief national security correspondent who also serves as a fill-in anchor for Jake Tapper and Erin Burnett. He has quite the prominent role considering the fact that he’s a former Obama administration official. You can’t even find Obama’s name in Sciutto’s full bio on CNN’s website. Isn’t he obligated to tell his viewers that he had served in the previous presidency, which has its animus towards the current one?

Then there’s also the face of ABC News, George Stephanopoulos, who famously served as White House Communications Director for President Bill Clinton. But no one seems to think it’s a “conflict of interest” when he interviews people like Hillary Clinton or former FBI Director James Comey.

And we can’t forget all those reporters who were exposed aiding the Clinton campaign in John Podesta’s hacked emails during the 2016 election. Glenn Thrush, who at the time worked for Politico, sent Podesta drafts of Clinton puff pieces for him to approve and even referred to himself as a “hack.” And what happened to him? He got a better job at The New York Times. NYT reporter Mark Leibovich emailed Palmieri to ask permission about what portions of an interview with Hillary Clinton he could use. Was he ever suspended? No. CNBC’s John Harwood, who co-moderated a GOP primary debate, asked Podesta what sorts of questions he should ask Jeb Bush during an interview. Did anyone call for his firing? Of course not.
Cohen drops libel suits against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPSTrump allies worry Cohen will flip
“They’re going to squeeze him like a grape. I think in the end he’ll pop unless Trump pardons him,” said Paul Rosenzweig, a senior fellow at the nonprofit R Street Institute and a former senior counsel during independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation into President Bill Clinton.
Trump’s problem isn’t that he has bad lawyers. It’s that he’s a bad client. Both can be true, embrace the healing power of "and."
For a lawyer, this is the job. We go to war with the client we have, not the client we wish to have. That’s a good thing: We’re all flawed; we all do foolish things. It’s a privilege to fight vigorously for someone regardless of their mistakes, just as we would want to be supported when we err.

Never-Trumper Protests Fish Porn

Darcizzle and a Sailfish, almost certainly released
Instagram Is Killing Fish
Dear Mark Layman,

I was just reading in the failing New York Times that fishermen, -women, and -other are using Instagram to document their catches. Will they be allowed outside to fish when you send them to Gitmo?

Sean Medlock

Indiana or Iowa or wherever
Brooke with a Bone
Matt Labash, the author of this piece, is a "conservative" write for the Weekly Standard and the Daily Caller and a staunch never-Trumper. He's also apparently, a fly fishing snob. Figures.
Sometimes, when I start losing faith in humanity, I cheer myself up by perusing the latest casualty reports that result from people taking selfies at inopportune moments. It’s not that I wish harm on anybody. But so long as the Lords of Karma hold that someone needs to get kicked in the shorts, such a fate might as well befall those who truly deserve it. If you take the Darwinian long view, what could be considered a tragic loss for Mom and Dad and Sis (when Buddy takes an Instagram snap of himself licking the third rail at the Acela station), is probably a net gain for the gene pool. The Idiocracy already suffers enough from overpopulation.
Luiza snookered this Snook
 Sounds like he suffers from flyover state envy.
Sadly, not too many people lose their lives by taking pictures of themselves with fish. But after reading the piece you reference—cringingly titled “Lots of Fish On the Screen”—I unwittingly found myself pulling for Poseidon to finish them off with his trident. I don’t begrudge the New York Times writing about something they seemingly know little about (fishing). But they should be more respectful of anglers/readers who don’t try to infringe on their own areas of expertise (championing transgender bathrooms at open-border crossings, for instance).
Cindy Nguyen and a Tarpon
"Sadly, not too many people lose their lives by taking pictures of themselves with fish"? What an ass!
Fisherpersons worth their salt largely follow in the steps of the late, great John Voelker, who wrote that “most fishermen swiftly learn that it’s a pretty good rule never to show a favorite spot to any fisherman you wouldn’t trust with your wife.” But the Times writer opens by chipperly informing us that “the adage says if you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. Today, if you teach a man to fish, or a woman for that matter, they’ll end up on Instagram.” In case you’re not yet wincing enough, it gets worse from there.
 And then, they'll have a criticism from another fisherman. That's how social media works. Unless they're a cute chick. Then everybody loves them
We are introduced to Nicolle, who is Kardashianizing fishing. A Colorado medical marijuana dispensary manager who is new to the sport, Nicolle has already successfully promoted herself, via social-media harlotry, into a contract with Hardy. The British fly rod and reel maker now sponsors her in exchange for gratuitous mentions to her 21,500 Instagram followers.
 I'll have to check her out!
There is Chris, a Wisconsin outdoor photographer, who claims that people tended not to believe fish stories, but now that everyone has a camera on their phone, “it’s definitely a thing in the community to document what you catch.” Thus jeopardizing the fisherman’s fourth favorite pastime behind catching fish, drinking, and escaping their families: lying about what they caught.
What? Fishermen don't lie. Well, maybe a little. What's an inch or two between friends?

Then there’s Daniel, who runs a fishing charter out of Montauk and says “being a captain these days is all about being a good photographer. I know where the light is. I know where they need to stand.” Why, “within two hours of hitting the docks,” Daniel says, “I’ll get five or ten new followers.” In olden days, fishing skippers styled themselves after Captain Ahab or Santiago from The Old Man and the Sea: demented loners who thirsted for adventure. Now, thanks to social media, their job carries all the romance of being an insecure tween-cum-mall shutterbug at Olan Mills.

But what Daniel, as a professional fisherman of sorts, should recognize above even the unseemliness of his new job description, is that Instagram is literally killing fish. To my knowledge, there have been no studies formally establishing it yet. But it irrefutably stands to reason. Here’s why:

Some estimates have it that even cleanly caught and released fish (on flies and non-treble-hook lures) still result in 10 percent fish mortality. About a third of bait-caught fish die after being released, and nearly 60 percent of deep-hooked fish will die*. Add camera-time to this equation, where seconds count, and the numbers must go up exponentially.
The classic hero shot

There certainly is some mortality that goes along with catch and release fishing, and it varies a great deal depending on the temperature, and the type of gear used. Striped Bass for example, have very low mortality when caught in salt water at less than 60 F on single hook lures. It rises with higher temperatures, and if the fish is hooked deep. Over 80 F, it's quite high.

“Hero shots,” as they’re called in the fish-bragging business, take time. Time to pull fish out of the water. Time to unhook them. Time to keep them from wriggling out of your hands. Time to fumble around in your pocket, then to choose the “vivid warm” filter on your iPhone, as the fish attempts to avoid slow suffocation. And even though many of Daniel’s charter-fishing customers have gone to catch-and-release, instead of reflexively filling the meat bucket, time is something fish don’t have a lot of if they’re to live to see another lure or fly, or even just to get on with their lives with the residual fish PTS.
Well, you could eat it!
 Fish PTS? The guy is crazy. I blame Trump.

Put yourself in their place. Imagine if you were about to feed on a Delmonico, or spawn with your favorite lady friend, and all of the sudden a fish hooked you, pulled you underwater, and fought you until you quit resisting. Traumatic enough. But to cap it off, what if he had to de-hook you, hold you with his pectoral fins, then take a picture for posterity so he could boast to his fish friends, or possibly garner a few more followers on Fishtagram, before letting you return to shore.
Fish aren't that emotional.  They mostly swim away without a second thought. They didn't have many to begin with.
Understand that I’m no crusading PETA moralist. I have blood on my hands, as well. I fly fish like I suffer from a fishing disorder, catching well more than 1,000 fish every year. I haven’t deliberately killed a fish since I was a kid. Yet any fisherperson being honest with themselves understands that catch-and-release fishing is something of a cheat. We congratulate ourselves that we’ve allowed the fish to be fruitful and multiply. But we’ve still tortured it for our own entertainment, however much we like to couch it in the language of “communion with nature.” (Many of us have also taken communion at church, but don’t make a habit of hooking our minister in his upper lip with a Clouser Minnow, playing him until he tires.)
I rarely play a fish "until he tires". In most cases, I have my drag set as tight as I can safely, and whip the fish to the boat, and lip it as quickly as possible. A really big striper may take 5-10 minutes max, depending on how much line was out when it was hooked. I rarely see a fish in distress after its release, unless it was hooked in the gills, which does happen once in a while. I photograph a few fish, obviously. One per trip often, regardless of size, unless I'm catching multiple species. If I waited for my next fish larger than my current best (46 inches for stripers), I'd be waiting a long time.
The best method I’ve found to deal with this moral dilemma is denial. A distinctly human capability that separates us from the animals. I have abiding affection for fish, and as ridiculous as it sounds, I don’t love them any less for hooking them in the mouth with sharp steel. (Tough love, some might call it. Ours is a bit of an Ike’n’Tina dynamic.) I often kiss them after catching them, and even apologize to them if they’ve deep-throated my fly when I’m slow on the trigger, as I gently dislodge it with hemostats, attempting not to do any damage. But if I didn’t catch them, I wouldn’t see them, or hold them, or release them—the best part of all, when you watch them swim away freely, making you feel like a governor commuting the sentence of a death-row inmate. Sick power games aside, as a lukewarm Christian, I buy into amazing grace: the revelation that we didn’t get what we thought we had coming to us. If you spend any time in nature, you know that such acts of mercy are rare. It’s generally the law of fang and claw out there. Eat or be eaten.
It ain't that complicated. You're doing something that gives you pleasure, at some cost in convenience, even sometimes the health and life of a species we deem sufficiently beneath as not to matter much.
But at least in the animal kingdom, there is nutritive value in it for the vanquisher over the vanquished—they gain the sustenance that helps them complete the circle of life. Unlike their human counterparts, they’re not merely ego stroking, accidentally killing because they couldn’t get their iPhone out of their pocket in time, all for no greater good than inspiring envy in their social media followers, which is the most unattractive and prevalent human instinct of all.
Not likely to be released
You're supposed to leave the phone or camera out where it's easy to get to.

I won’t fib and say that I’ve never taken a hero shot, even if I’m not on social media. I have, to my shame. And if you’ve caught that once-in-a-lifetime fish (which I didn’t)—the goliath Tigerfish in the Congo River, the monster arapaima in the heart of the Amazon jungle—go ahead and take your hero shot. You’ve earned it. Those fish could put a hurting on you, as easily as you could on them. But when you put a two-pound largemouth bass’s life in jeopardy with your photoshoot, just to prove it looks like all the other two-pound largemouth I’ve caught, and if I went ahead and liked it on Instagram, we should both wallow in mutual shame. We’ve earned it.
He should try commercial fishing. No time to take a picture of every fish, or any fish, most of the time.

Several years ago, Field and Stream’s Kirk Deeter put it plainly, while giving catch-and-release tips. Aside from always wetting your hands to make sure you don’t rub off the fish’s protective slime, and cutting off a deep-set fly instead of performing surgery, which gives a fish a fighting chance, he said that if you must take a happy snap of your fish, keep this in mind: “Hold your breath as you photograph a fish out of water … as you feel uncomfortable, odds are, the fish does also.”
Not a really fair comparison. The fish has just been in the fight of its life.  On the other hand, fish,cold blooded animals, need a lot less oxygen than us warm types.
Though maybe better still to not photograph your fish at all. Just catch it, and let it go. You have the mental picture. Which is what matters most, anyway. Experience usually trumps the evidence of experience. Maybe it’s a little less “social.” But so what? If you fish like I do, you don’t fish to earn validation from other people, but to free yourself from the kind of people who need the validation of likes and followers. As Voelker put it, fishing is “a way to recapture the rapture of solitude without the pangs of loneliness.”
Get lost, Matt. Seriously. Find something more important to bitch about, like Antifa.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I Guess It Comes Down to Who Gets to Play Her in the Movie

The pilot’s voice was calm yet focused as her plane descended, telling air traffic control she had “149 souls” on board and was carrying 21,000 pounds — or about five hours’ worth — of fuel.

“Southwest 1380, we’re single engine,” said Capt. Tammie Jo Shults, a former fighter pilot with the U.S. Navy. “We have part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit.” She asked for medical personnel to meet her aircraft on the runway. “We’ve got injured passengers.”

“Injured passengers, okay, and is your airplane physically on fire?” asked the air traffic controller, according to audio of the interaction.

“No, it’s not on fire, but part of it’s missing,” Shults said, pausing for a moment. “They said there’s a hole, and, uh, someone went out.”

The engine on Shults’s plane had, in fact, exploded Tuesday, spraying shrapnel into the aircraft, causing a window to be blown out and leaving one woman dead and seven other people injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that investigators will examine whether metal fatigue caused an engine fan of the Boeing 737-700 to snap midflight. The protective engine housing broke off, and pieces were later recovered in fields in Berks County, Pa., 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia International Airport.
. . .
In the midst of the chaos, Shults deftly guided the plane onto the runway, touching down at 190 mph, saving the lives of 148 people aboard and averting a far worse catastrophe.

“She has nerves of steel,” passenger Alfred Tumlinson said Wednesday.
She was a cutie back in the day

 She was among the first female fighter pilots for the U.S. Navy, according to her alma mater, MidAmerica Nazarene University, from which she graduated in 1983.

A Navy spokeswoman said Shults was “among the first cohort of women pilots to transition to tactical aircraft.” After commissioning in the Navy in 1985 and finishing flight training in Pensacola, Fla., her duties took her to Point Mugu, Calif., where she was an instructor pilot on planes including the F/A-18 Hornet.

She was a decorated pilot who rose to the rank of lieutenant commander and twice received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, along with a National Defense Service Medal and an expert pistol Marksmanship Medal, according to a biography provided by the Navy Office of Information.
I'm thinking maybe Dana Delaney.

You Can't See the Forests For the Powerplant

Drax Power Station, North Yorkshire, England
Green Shock: Entire Forests Being Murdered to Produce Wood Pellet Biomass
Greens have discovered to their horror that producing renewable wood pellet biomass requires a large supply of dead trees.
Hardwood forests cut down to feed Drax Power plant, Channel 4 Dispatches claims
Brendan Montague | 16th April 2018
A Dispatches investigation has uncovered evidence of hardwood forests being chopped down to provide ‘green energy’ for the UK. Experts say unique habitats rich in wildlife are under threat as Britain’s power stations switch from burning coal to wood, writes BRENDAN MONTAGUE
Huge areas of hardwood forest in the state of Virginia are being chainsawed to create ‘biomass’ energy in Britain as the government attempts to reach targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in efforts to tackle climate change, an investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches has found.
A key part of government efforts to hit its green energy targets is to switch from generating electricity from burning coal to burning wood – or so-called biomass. It’s a policy that is costing taxpayers more than £700 million per year through a levy on their electricity bills.
The biomass industry and government argue that because wood is a renewable source of energy and trees can be replanted to reabsorb carbon dioxide this policy is good for the environment.

The power station giant claims that burning pellets instead of coal reduces carbon emissions by more than 80 percent.
However, Dispatches conducted a simple experiment at a laboratory at the University of Nottingham to compare the carbon dioxide emitted when burning wood pellets, similar to those used by Drax, instead of coal.
Dozens of scientists
It found that to burn an amount of wood pellets that would generate the same amount of electricity as coal it would actually produce roughly eight percent more carbon.

Read more:
Lets hope the next Dispatches investigation is a wind turbine special titled “where have all our birds gone?“.
Burning wood for heat (which is all a power plant does, with either wood or coal) is slightly more efficient than coal in terms of CO2 produced, because wood is also partly hydrogen, being a long chain carbohydrate. However, most of the claims of carbon dioxide savings is due to the renewable nature of wood. In theory, you can burn the wood, producing CO2, while existing trees continue to soak up equivalent amounts of CO2 from the air to build biomass. However, to run that as a cycle with no net output of CO2 would require an enormous forest tract to tap continuously, and no losses to fossil fuel use in the growing, harvesting, and transportation of the wood for fuel. And I know for a fact that the ships carrying the wood from Virginia to England don't run on wood, electricity, wind power or nuclear. They use oil, either diesel or bunker oil.

A Ridiculous Amount of Russiagate

Something big has to happen soon, before this becomes a singularity and sucks up all the digits. Do you notice how little Russia actually gets discussed?

Via Wombat-socho's In The Mailbox: 04.18.18: Twitchy: Attorney For CNN, NYT Reportedly Talked Judge Into Publicly Naming Sean Hannity, Don Surber: The Comey Boomerang, Internet Works Feverishly To Identify Stormy Daniels’ Alleged Threatener After Her Attorney Promises Reward, Weasel Zippers: Lawmakers Make Criminal Referral On Clinton, Comey, Lynch & McCabe To Justice Department:
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, along with nine other colleagues sent the letter Wednesday to Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray criminally referring former FBI Director James Comey, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for their involvement in the investigations into President Trump and alleged violations of federal law. FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whose anti-Trump text messages obtained by the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, were also included in the referral.
In the last administration, the DOJ simply denied Congressional requests, like the one to refer Eric Holder for prosecution for contempt of Congress in the Fast and Furious scandal. Let's see if Sessions is any better. Being a former senator, he may actually respect the institution a little.

From Ace's Morning Report: "No-Nads" Nadler Kvetching that Push to Reveal Comey Memos Could Land RosenSteinPenis in Contempt of Congress, Shut Down Mueller, Comey Book Event in DC Packed with Press; Only One "Normal Person" Attended  Comey Debunks the Steele DossierCoulter: One Percent Chance Comey Not a Self-Dramatizing Fruitcake

PJ Media's Wednesday's HOT MICMeghan McCain faces off with Stormy Daniels on ‘The View’: ‘Seems like a publicity stunt’Stormy Daniels reveals sketch of man who allegedly threatened herJudge shoots down CNN request for audio of proceedings in Cohen caseWaPoABC poll: Majorities want more sanctions on Russia — and a summitAmericans have conflicting views of Mueller probe: pollsTrump anti-leak drive nets first guilty pleasMitch McConnell shuts down the idea of passing a bill to protect Mueller from being fired by Trump

And at Thursday's HOT MIC: The band is back together! "Politico ran this story with the headline: Trump allies urge criminal investigations of Clinton, Comey, Lynch. Can you ever remember the mainstream media describing Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer as "Obama allies" in their official actions and public statements?" Comey says McCabe lied, confirms he kick-started probe that led to his firingLanny Davis: Obama Should’ve Fired ComeyHouse Judiciary chair plans to subpoena to get Comey memosIf you've got the time, we've got the fear, Mueller fear. Heh.

Regarding James Comey: John Podesta thinks he's an idiot. From the guy who gave away the DNC emails to a phishing scam. Comey: I Didn’t Leave The Republican Party, The Republican Party Left Me and that's a good thing. Comey Claims Nobody Asked About Clinton Obstruction Before Today but maybe he just wasn't in the mood to listen. Comey Pushed for the Investigation That Ended McCabe’s Career, accidentally doing the right thing. Actually, Comey Had Good Reason To Announce The Clinton Email Probe Wasn’t Over But his reason was self-aggrandizement, so it doesn't count. Meghan McCain to James Comey: Are You Sure You're Not a Partisan Political Commentator? Cuz You Sorta Sound Like a Partisan Political Commentator to Me
By the way, does anyone else notice that Comey looks luminously orange, with ghost-taint white half-moons under his eyes, in all of his media appearances? Check out Comey's Hunter Moon make-up on the former Bill Clinton communications director's nonpartisan political show, and this other picture from that appearance here, and then compare those looks to the lambently-orange glow he sports on The View appearance (video at the link).

Who's orange now, bub?

It's almost as if that's a fairly standard make-up application for tv appearances, and it's almost as if someone who spent a decade on TV might have just adopted it as a habit.
James Comey Delivers Stephen Colbert’s Third Biggest ‘Late Show’ Ratings Ever but No One Shows Up for His Book Signings Except the Press, showing, I suppose, that democrats watch TV but don't read books.

On the matter of Sean Hannity and Michael Cohen: Attorney for @CNN and @NYTIMES convinced judge to publicly name Sean Hannity but Flashback: Clinton Lawyer Represented Tons of Journalists. It always different when democrats do it. Chuck Todd: I Am "Stunned" Sean Hannity Wasn't Suspended For A Week. Who's your lawyer, Chuck? “You Only Hire Cohen for One Reason”: Inside Fox News, Sean Hannity’s Michael Cohen Disclosure Stokes a Crisis as Murdoch Wavers on TrumpHannity’s rising role in Trump’s world: ‘He basically has a desk in the place’ Hannity ain't my cup of tea. I'm more of a Gutfeld guy.  Judge Napolitano To Sean Hannity: You Can’t Have It Both WaysLimbaugh Rips Media in Full-Throated Defense of Hannity: He’s ‘Three Times as Honest’ as Rest of Media. Not a high bar. Cohen Would Turn Against President if Charged, Counselor Warned Trump He wouldn't be the first. American history is loaded with people how betrayed their boss under pressure.Michael Mukasy: Trump, Cohen, and Attorney-Client Privilege: The protection has limits, but is it worth testing them over a possible campaign-finance offense?
After anthrax spores killed five people, infected 17 others, and showed up in envelopes mailed to U.S. senators and media organizations in 2001, the current special counsel, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spent years chasing and destroying the reputation of a microbiologist named Steven Hatfill, zealous in the belief that Mr. Hatfill was the guilty party. Another zealot, James Comey, then deputy attorney general, said he was “absolutely certain” no mistake had been made.

After Mr. Hatfill was exonerated—he received more than $5.5 million in damages from the government—Mr. Mueller then decided that another microbiologist, Bruce Ivins, was the culprit. When Ivins committed suicide, Mr. Mueller pronounced the case closed. A subsequent investigation by the National Academy of Sciences suggests Ivins too was innocent.

Mr. Mueller is not a bad man, nor is Mr. Comey. It’s just that both show particular confidence when making mistakes, which makes one grateful for safeguards like the attorney-client privilege.
Stormy Daniels to donate to Planned Parenthood in Trump and Cohen's names if she wins case: report
Adult film star Stormy Daniels reportedly told Penthouse Magazine that she will donate $130,000 to Planned Parenthood in President Trump and Michael Cohen’s names if she wins her legal case against the men.

Daniels, who will be featured on the cover of Penthouse next month, made the commitment during an interview with the magazine, The Daily Beast reported Tuesday. Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney, paid Daniels $130,000 to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.

The cover of the magazine shows Daniels with an American flag and the headline, “Penthouse Pet of the Century: Getting Intimate With the Most Wanted Woman in America.”
. . .
“I don’t have shame. You can’t bully me,” Daniels told the magazine, according to the Daily Beast.
Well, she has room in that chest for a big heart.

Karen McDougal Freed From “Catch And Kill” Deal As Stormy Daniels Lawyer Threatens Trump With Defamation Suit
This seems like the worst of all worlds for POTUS and Michael Cohen. They had two routes to choose from on the hush-money stuff. One: Don’t enforce the NDAs. Let Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal and whoever else say what they want publicly about Trump. How much could it hurt, really? Maybe warn them publicly that they could be sued at any time, but don’t actually sue. The chief benefit of this approach is that neither Trump nor Cohen nor their friend David Pecker at the National Enquirer would be subject to discovery.

Two: Enforce all the deals. Daniels, McDougal, anyone else who comes forward — they all get dragged into arbitration, not necessarily because what each of them has to say is damaging in isolation but because there *may* be other women under NDAs and the cumulative effect of all of them coming out of the woodwork could inflict real political pain on POTUS. The risk here, obviously, is that each woman would do what Daniels is trying to do, removing the matter from the privacy of arbitration to the public spectacle of a courtroom. That means discovery and lots of dirty laundry potentially aired via discovery. Trump and Cohen would need to assess their jeopardy on that point if they were to go this route. The chief benefit of doing so, though, is that any other woman under an NDA who’s watching all of this play out might be deterred from coming forward. If they know Trump and Cohen will play hardball, if they know they’re going to be buried in legal bills and at risk of paying Trump millions in damages if they lose the arbitration/court case, maybe they decide that silence is golden after all.

Instead we’ve now got a hybrid approach. Trump and Cohen are suing Daniels but the Enquirer’s parent company, AMI, is *not* suing Karen McDougal. They just reached a settlement with her that frees her from the “catch and kill” deal she signed with them in 2016. Now, if you’re a secret former Trump mistress who’s mulling whether to come forward, you can talk yourself into believing that it might work out well for you no matter what happens. Maybe you’ll be let out of your contract because the other party, whether Trump, Cohen, Pecker, or all three, is terrified of the prospect of discovery. Or maybe you’ll get yourself a good lawyer like Stormy Daniels did and go on offense, winning your suit and then cashing in on your story with the tabloids or even recovering money from Trump or Cohen via a defamation claim.
Slate? Please Stop Predicting the End of Trump’s Presidency, Unless you can explain exactly how he gets impeached or why he resigns.

A good question from The Lid: IG Report Shows Andrew McCabe Is A Criminal – So When Is He Going To Jail?

The Deep-State Liars of the #Resistance, Democrats are rehabilitating the deservedly poor reputations of surveillance-state officials who were caught lying to the American people. Whatever tool they need.

That pesky constitution: Schiff: Let’s Put Some Real Oversight On Trump’s … Pardons?

And speaking of wishful thinking: Pittsburgh police told to prepare for protests over potential Mueller firing: report

Arabian Fossil Gives "Out of Africa Theory" the Finger

A lone finger bone unearthed in the desert suggests modern humans had penetrated deep into Arabia already 85,000 years ago, said a study Monday that claimed to advance our African exodus by millennia, reported Agence France Presse.

The research, published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, challenged a long-held consensus that humans started to move en masse from our birthplace in Africa only about 60,000 years ago, with a few small, unsuccessful migrations before.

Recent archaeological finds have started to question that idea, with some claiming evidence of homo sapiens spreading beyond Africa and the adjacent Levant region already 120,000 years ago or more.
I find it hard to imagine that humans stayed restricted to Africa and the Levant for 240,000 years from when they evolved in Africa 300,000 years ago.

However, many of those discoveries -- including from China and Australia -- have doubts hovering over their authenticity and dating, said the authors of Monday's study.

Their new fossil finger bone, on the other hand, unquestionably belonged to a human and could be dated directly using radiometric technology, said the team.

Its age served as rare evidence that "our species was spreading beyond Africa much earlier than previously thought," said study co-author Huw Groucutt from the University of Oxford, reported AFP.

The bone, just 3.2 centimeters (1.6 inches) long, is thought to be the middle bone of a middle finger, likely of an adult. It was discovered in the Nefud Desert of Saudi Arabia in 2016, and analyzed over two years.

Groucutt and a team used a form of radiometry called uranium series dating to determine the bone's age by measuring tiny traces of radioactive elements.

The tests revealed it was at least 85,000 years old -- possibly 90,000 -- making it the "oldest directly-dated homo sapiens" fossil ever found outside of Africa and the Levant, said the team.