Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Yes, Deer

Skye and I were walking down to the beach yesterday when we came upon this little fawn browsing along the roadside. It let us walk up within a short distance before taking notice of us.
When it finally did appear to take notice, it took a few tentative steps toward us. However, when we took a few steps, it got concerned and took off. Hope it found it's mother quickly.
The famous Marsh Swamp Rose  Mallow, growing by the harbor.
 An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail flits over Skye as she wades into the Bay to cool off. Not that it's much help, the Bay is about 80 F.
 A Red Spotted Purple puddles on the beach.
The end of the line. We chose not to force our way past this spot where a a piece of the cliff came down recently, and made it a tough climb to get past.
A Great Blue Heron fishing off one of the groins.
 A Spicebush Swallowtail on the beach
By the time we were leaving, only a few people had come down to the beach

Reason #6390 - #6392 that Trump was Elected

President Trump Modifies Asylum Rules…
In an effort to deal with the problem of growing fraudulent asylum claims at the southern U.S. border, the Trump administration is modifying the asylum rules to include a requirement that asylum should be sought at the first safe country of travel.

During a video interview U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli explains the new rule requiring asylum-seekers to apply in the first country they enter instead of the U.S.
(Fox News) – The Trump administration on Monday announced a sweeping new policy tightening restrictions for asylum seekers, in a move that could drastically reduce the number of Central American migrants eligible to enter the United States in this way.
The new rule, published in the Federal Register, would require most migrants entering through America’s southern border to first seek asylum in one of the countries they traversed – whether in Mexico, in Central America, or elsewhere on their journey. In most cases, only if that application is denied would they then be able to seek asylum in the United States.
“Ultimately, today’s action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits,” Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement, describing the “targeted changes” as critical.
[…] The latest change is meant to crack down on asylum seekers coming to the U.S. more for economic reasons than to escape persecution in their home countries. The new policy does include a couple other exceptions, mainly for certain victims of human trafficking. (read more)
 Predictably, ACLU, others file suit in San Francisco federal court to halt Trump asylum ban (WaPoo)
Plaintiffs led by the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the Trump administration in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday in an attempt to halt the implementation of a new policy disqualifying most asylum seekers who pass through Mexico before reaching the United States.

The attorneys suing the government argued in their complaint that the Trump administration lacks the authority to exclude asylum seekers who arrive across the U.S. southern border because U.S. immigration law states clearly that the government cannot disqualify applicants on the basis of how they arrived.

“As part of our nation’s commitment to the protection of people fleeing persecution and consistent with our international obligations, it is long-standing federal law that merely transiting through a third country is not a basis to categorically deny asylum to refugees who arrive at our shores,” the complaint states.

A separate petition seeking an injunction against the asylum change was filed by two other immigrant rights groups in the U.S. District Court in Washington on Tuesday evening.

The lawsuits came just hours after the Justice and Homeland Security departments published an “interim final rule” in the Federal Register that aims to severely restrict the ability of asylum seekers to qualify for safe haven in the United States if they failed to request protections in other nations while en route to the border.
Illegal Alien Charged with Child Molestation in South Carolina "Sanctuary City"
An Asheboro man has been charged with 4 counts of felony indecent liberties with a child among several other charges, according to Randolph County Sheriff’s Office news release. The release says deputies received a report on July 5 about allegations of sex offenses involving a minor.

An investigation into the allegations showed evidence that Victor Estuardo Diaz, 22, of Asheboro, committed acts against a child under 15, deputies say.

Deputies also say warrants for arrest were issued and on Friday, Diaz was arrested and taken to the Randolph County Detention Center. There Diaz was charged with felony disseminate obscene material to a minor, four counts of felony statutory sex offense with a child under 15, four counts of felony indecent liberties with a child and misdemeanor disseminate harmful material to a minor, the release says.

He was given a $250,000 secured bond and his first court appearance was set for Monday.

Russiagate in the Dog Days

It's just brutally hot here in the D.C. region (and even worse in D.C. than down here in the Slower Maryland) and getting hotter. I don't think anyone has any energy left for Russiagate, but it here goes anyway.

From Peter Svab at ET, Flynn’s Lawyers: Mueller Team Wanted False Testimony, Possibly Retaliated When Rebuked
Prosecutors from the team of special counsel Robert Mueller wanted Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to testify to something that isn’t true, Flynn’s lawyers said. When he refused, they tried to label him a co-conspirator in a case where they previously said he was only a witness.

A federal judge denied the prosecutors’ move, saying the government didn’t present enough evidence to introduce Flynn’s statement as one of a co-conspirator.

Flynn, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, is expected to face a light sentence after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI and after extensively cooperating with the Mueller team and the Justice Department. He was also expected to testify on another case of making false statements on foreign lobbying registration forms.

In his November 2017 guilty plea, he said that the forms submitted by lawyers for his now-defunct lobbying company, Flynn Intel Group (FIG), contained false and misleading statements. The prosecutors, however, recently asked him to testify that he signed those forms knowing about the falsities and intending for them.

He refused.

“Mr. Flynn cannot give that testimony because it is not true,” Flynn’s recently hired lawyers, Jesse Binnall, Sidney Powell, and William Hodes, said in a July 8 court filing.
Things aren't going so well for the Mueller team in the Flynn persecution.

Roger, Roger, Roger, Roger Stone avoids jail, banned from major social media after judge rules Trump friend breached gag order in Mueller case (The Peacock).
A federal judge on Tuesday banned Republican operative Roger Stone from posting anything at all on major social media platforms after ruling that the longtime confidant of President Donald Trump violated an already strict gag order in his criminal case.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson during a hearing in Washington, D.C., district court walked through a litany of Stone’s recent posts from his Instagram account that appeared to breach his order not to speak publicly about his case.

Jackson barred Stone from posting on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter — but she decided not to revoke Stone’s bail bond or hold him in contempt for violating her order.
“It seems he is determined to make himself the subject of the story,” Jackson said of Stone, according to BuzzFeed News.
It seems to my simple mind, that the judge has no business limiting his speech. Whether  he helps himself or hurts himself, why should she intervene? I expect the government to drop this nonsense case at some point.

Ellen Ratner
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit, Lawsuit Outs Reporter Ellen Ratner as Source for Seth Rich Information reported:
Ellen Ratner relayed information from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to Texas businessman Ed Butowsky regarding Seth Rich’s role in transferring emails to Wikileaks, according to an amended lawsuit that I filed this morning on behalf of Mr. Butowsky.
Although Ms. Ratner is by no means a Republican or a conservative, and her role in the Seth Rich saga (like that of journalist Sy Hersh) obliterates the Democratic narrative that right-wing zealots fabricated the story about Mr. Rich leaking emails from the Democratic National Committee.
Mr. Rich, a DNC employee, was murdered in Washington, D.C. on July 10, 2016, and the murder remains unsolved. Here’s an excerpt from the amended suit (“RCH” stands for “Russian Collusion Hoax”):
45. Mr. Butowsky stumbled into the RCH crosshairs after Ellen Rattner [sic], a news analyst for Fox News and the White House correspondent for Talk Media News, contacted him in the Fall of 2016 about a meeting she had with Mr. Assange. Ms. Rattner’s brother, the late Michael Rattner, was an attorney who had represented Mr. Assange. According to Ms. Rattner, she made a stop in London during a return flight from Berlin, and she met with Mr. Assange for approximately six hours in the Ecuadorean embassy. Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange told her that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to Wikileaks. Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange wanted the information relayed to Seth’s parents, as it might explain the motive for Seth’s murder.

Queen Anne to Vote to Ban Balloon Escapes

Queen Anne’s looks to limit balloon releases
A bill was submitted to the Queen Anne’s County Board of Commissioners last week to outlaw their release, and slap a $250 fine on those who purposely let them fly into the atmosphere.

The bill, introduced by Commissioner Christopher Corchiarino, is backed by the Eastern Shore’s oldest environmental organization, the Queen Anne’s Conservation Association.

“Deflated mylar and latex balloons, and the ribbons they’re attached to, are rapidly accumulating in the environment, maiming and killing wildlife, sea creatures, and farm animals. We applaud the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners for taking the lead against this increasing, but readily preventable, form of environmental pollution.”
 Can a move to ban balloons all together be far behind?

“Intentionally releasing balloons into the atmosphere is nothing short of littering,” said Commissioner Corchiarino.

Now the bill does not penalize little birthday girls who accidentally let a balloon loose when distracted by her birthday cake, nor does it include hot air balloons, or scientific or meteorological balloons sent aloft by government agencies.

“What it does is raise awareness, and tell people to be thoughtful, because these colorful, non-biodegradable balloons are a serious form of environmental pollution,” said Jay Falstad, Executive Director of the Queen Anne’s Conservation Association. "We’re one county, but this is a nationwide problem, and balloons in trees or farm-fields, the Chesapeake Bay or any other waterway are a significant, if not widely realized, environmental threat.”
 Significant? Maybe.

Falstad and others report that increasing numbers of the balloons are showing up all over the county.

Kristin Weed of Kent Island Beach Cleanups said her organization constantly finds balloons as part of their efforts.“We find clusters of balloons during every single beach or road cleanup. They’re usually stuck in trees or bay grasses, on the beach, and in ditches along our county roads,” she said in a written statement.

Falstad said balloons are often mistaken for food by marine animals such as turtles and birds that become tangled in the ribbons and are wounded or die.
I haven't seen one yet.

He noted balloons from the midwest have landed in Queen Anne’s and pointed to a recent cluster of balloons let loose in Ohio that landed in northern part of the county four days later.

He said balloons let go on the shore drift to the Atlantic and has had sailors, boaters and off-shore fishermen report finding clusters of helium balloons miles off shore.

The balloons are a problem for farmers too, Falstad said. An online poll found farmers are frustrated with the hazard.

“When balloons land in our pastures, the cows—and especially calves—can ingest them and the balloon strings can cause choking,” said farmer Clara Bramble “I’ve witnessed horses being spooked by shiny balloons landing in our fields and seeing a horse run through a fence to get away from the balloons.”

Wye Mills farmer Jon Shaw says they recover at least 50 clusters of balloons a year. “We find them almost every week. Balloons spook our horses, they get trapped in our hedgerows, and get wrapped in our equipment all the time,” he said in a written statement.

A hearing on proposed County Ordinance 19-13 will be held at the Commissioner’s Aug. 13 meeting.
Making Nena an eco-criminal!

I have more sympathy for this measure than for a straw ban. Turtles really are stupid enough to confuse a balloon with a jellyfish. We see a fair number washed up on the beach and afloat on the bay. And a deflated Mylar balloon could plug the water intake on an outboard, and make the engine overheat. Try to do that with a straw.

But who will the balloon police be?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Balmer Sun Proposes Pennsylvania Suit

Sue Pennsylvania? Maryland editorial on Pa.'s efforts to clean up Chesapeake Bay draws governor’s fire
Pennsylvania has been criticized by a variety of parties for not pulling its weight in the long-term effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, but a new Baltimore Sun editorial seems to have stepped on a nerve.

In an opinion piece published Monday, the newspaper from the land of fine crabcakes said it may be time for other Chesapeake stakeholders to sic the lawyers on Pennsylvania’s state government to bring more urgency to efforts to control damaging runoff from farms and city streets.

Bad idea, said Wolf’s Press Secretary, J.J. Abbott.

"Unlike Maryland, Pennsylvania doesn’t benefit from the millions generated by tourism on the Chesapeake Bay. If any entity in Maryland is interested in diverting funds to Pennsylvania to bolster the governor’s efforts, he would gladly accept them.

"A lawsuit would just take resources from efforts to solve the broader problem.”
Exactly the point I've been making. Pennsylvania has very little intrinsic reason to spend a lot of money to clean the Bay; they don't share very many of the benefits. Redistribute the tourist dollars, and maybe they'd see it the other way.

I'm trying to think of a Maryland problem that we can export of Pennsylvania, but they already have most of them. The Beltway maybe?

Why Choose, When Both Can Be True

Blunder or Genius?
John Hinderaker has called President Trump’s Sunday morning tweet-storm “a blunder of epic proportions” — an “own-goal,” as they say in soccer — and maybe it is, but Steven Hayward points out:
With a wedge opening up between the Democratic Party leadership and the noisy Four Freshmen reps . . . Trump has now forced Pelosi and every other Democrat to come to their defense, elevating their profile further and cementing them as the authoritative face of the Democratic Party. What’s the downside of that? . . .
Trump’s subtle target here is multiculturalism and “diversity” — the tacit premise of the left that America should be guilty and abject before the supposedly “oppressed” nations of what we used to call the Third World. Trump goes way too far as usual, but his bit about “come back and show us how” is actually a good argument. Once again, Trump may know what he is doing. What is it the old left liked to say? “Heighten the contradictions!”
Do I think Trump is playing four-dimensional chess here? Did he carefully calculate the possible ramifications? No, I think this was his gut instinct, but those instincts are usually rather shrewd. Because he doesn’t think in the predictable terms of standard-issue politics, sometimes Trump wins by doing what would seem to be the wrong thing, but which turns out to be effective in the long run. If Hayward is correct in his estimation, what Trump has done here will have the effect of making radicals like AOC and the Somali immigrant Ilhan Omar the “face” of their party, and make it impossible for Pelosi (or Chuck Schumer, or whoever the Democrats nominate for president in 2020) to distance themselves from these unpopular radicals. At a press conference today, Trump doubled down, saying these Democrats “hate our country” and “many people agree with me.” (Analysis: True.)
Trump's instinct is to do pretty much the opposite of what Republican leaders have tried for years, unsuccessfully. If they have tried to be reasonable, and continued to face unreasonably vile opposition, he figures that taking the opposite tack, he can't lose much faster, and might even win. It works surprisingly often. The Democrats have now embraced the worst in their party, and risk alienating the third of voters that identify as independent. Contrary to what they would like you to think, socialized medicine, an ever expanding welfare state and open borders are not winning issues.

Russiagate, For Your Eyes Only

Only two issues in today's collection. First, Ambassador Douche Darroch. I didn't think much of when it was revealed he called Trump some bad words. I'm sure ambassadors talk shit about the people they are sent to cover, as well as their own countrymen all the time. People do that. I assumed that it was just part of the upcoming takeover of the Brits by the Brexit crowd, leaking to get him fired, and it worked. But now, Sara Carter reveals that the British Ambassador Who Resigned Vouched For Christopher Steele as ‘Absolutely Legit’
Kim Darroch reportedly told a U.S. official that Christopher Steele, the author of the discredited anti-Trump dossier that the FBI used to justify secretly monitoring members of the Trump team, was “absolutely legit.” Steele, in producing the dossier and several of its false or unsubstantiated claims, was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

The leaked diplomatic documents were published by the The Mail on Sunday, days after the paper published several anti-Trump messages Darroch sent to Downing Street from 2017 to present.
And from Tom Rogan, WaEx,  Ousted UK ambassador leaked US intelligence
According to one current and one former U.S. government official speaking on the condition of anonymity, Darroch repeatedly leaked classified U.S. intelligence information, including highly classified information, to a journalist for a U.S.-based media outlet. The sources are consolidated by the reaction my related inquiries have received from other government officials.

These leaks are unrelated to the diplomatic cables which sparked Trump's anger and Darroch's departure.

Still, one source says that the U.S. government was so alarmed by Darroch's leaks that it launched an official investigation to find the source of the information. That source described the leaked intelligence as “very sensitive,” and suggested that exigent U.S. security concerns motivated the investigation. That source says that non-U.S. government derived records showed the ambassador and journalist exchanging messages on a continuing basis. The source emphasized that these communications were not derived from U.S. government actions.

A second source, a career government official, described the leaks as "unprecedented."
Ace comments, I'd like to pass along an invitation to the Saudi embassy in Turkey. I hear the meat plate is stunning.

There's good evidence that people in the British government were playing along with the Brennan/Clapper/Comey axis in trying to rig the election against Trump. I think we have just identified one of them. Maybe Boris Johnson will extradite him to Gitmo for some "special" questioning.

And from Sundance at CTH, Lawsuit Claims Julian Assange Confirmed DNC Emails Received From Seth Rich – Not a Russian Hack…
A rather stunning report from Gateway Pundit outlines information contained within a lawsuit filing. The lawsuit, filed by Businessman Ed Butowsky, alleges Wikileaks founder Julian Assange confirmed to Fox News analyst Ellen Ratner that the DNC leaked emails were received from Seth Rich and his brother Aaron.

The details contained within the lawsuit filing (full pdf below) are stunning.

If this information is true and accurate, the DOJ claim of a Russian hack –based on assertions by DNC contractor, Crowdstrike– would be entirely false. Additionally the DC murder of Seth Rich would hold a far more alarming motive.

Here’s the Full Court Filing:
Robbin Young with Roger Moore in "For Your Eyes Only"
In even more colorful prose, 100%FedUp writes, BREAKING WIKILEAKS BOMBSHELL! Murdered DNC Staffer Seth Rich Was DNC LEAKER: “He Was My Whistleblower”
Wikileaks just confirmed murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was the source of the DNC leak.

Wikileaks released a series direct messages from US alleged “Russian spy” Guccifer 2.0 to actress model Robbin Young (NSFW link) (according to Young).

In the stream of texts the discussion leads to the DNC leaker.

His name is “Seth”…

** In November Julian Assange said Russia did not hack into the DNC servers. -h/t GP
Here’s the proof:
The fact that it's cited in a law suit doesn't make it true. But it does suggest the evidence is strong enough not to be too embarrassing to the lawyer submitting it.

She'd Play a Table or a Rifle Pretty Well, Too

Scarlett Johansson spoke candidly about her storied acting career and the growing 'trend' of politically correct casting in a revealing new cover story for As If magazine.

The 34-year-old award winning actress stunned in a retro inspired shoot for the outlet for its spring/summer 2019 issue, on newsstands now.

I know how to pretend that I’m cold. I can pretend that I can’t feel my feet or toes,' the actress continued. 'If I wanted to decide to be wet and cold in order to feel wet and cold I’ll make that choice myself, you know? But, sometimes directors imagine that they can do something like that.

The Tony winner noted that the landscape in her industry has changed quite a bit since she began as a child actor.

Recently Scarlett not-so-gracefully bowed out of an upcoming project as a trans character following significant backlash that the role wasn't given to a trans actor.

At first the star dug in her heels and refused to give up the role but in time, the pressure got so intense that she relinquished the role.

She addressed was she called the 'political correctness' in casting without directly mentioning her controversial casting in Rub & Tug.

'You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job,' she said point blank.

She continued: 'I feel like it’s a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions.'

'I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.'

The star, who has been in the industry for much of her life, went on to explain that as someone in front of the camera, she rarely ends up with the movie she thought she was making.

The end product that hits theaters is 'usually different from the movie I thought I was making. It’s very rare that it’s what I thought I was making. Sometimes it’s devastating, and sometimes it’s a pleasant surprise.'
All I can say, is if I have to watch a trans character in a movie, I want it to be played by ScarJo