Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Double Bay Day

After lunch, Skye and I headed to the beach. On the way this Spicebush Swallowtail presented herself for a photo op.
The Bay was gorgeous. Flat, sunny, big puffy clouds. and mostly empty.
But not too empty.
This three masted tall ship passed by Taylors and James Island as we walked the opposite direction. I tried to find it on marinetraffic.com just now, but was unable to find a match. I should have tried sooner.
A look at Flag Harbor. My boat is just visible on a lift at the lower right.
A Blue Eyed Grass flower in the roadside on the way home. A tiny member of the Iris family.

 Later in the afternoon, Trevor and I went out to try our hand at fishing. Out in the deep water, we jigged up a couple of 22 inch keepers, and Trevor had one big one get off near the boat. A thunderstorm was running down the Delmarva the whole time.
After getting bored offshore, we headed for "Location X" where we rapidly filled our two fish limits with 24 inch fish, and headed for home.

Illinois Nukes Demand Share of Green Payouts

Nuclear Demands a share of Illinois Carbon Subsidies
Illinois nuclear plant operators have demanded more subsidies, to help keep unprofitable nuclear plants open, to prevent a surge of fossil fuel usage which they claim will occur if they are closed. If the British experience is any guide, this is just the beginning.
Nuclear Power Fights for a Spot in Illinois’ Clean Energy Future
State lawmakers are debating whether to keep ailing nuclear plants alive. The outcome will set a precedent for more states to come.
With hard times setting in for some nuclear power plants, Illinois state legislators are trying to decide whether they should put nuclear facilities on life support, or lay them to rest early.
A combination of market forces and policy choices has made the nuclear business tougher in recent years, and that’s the case at two facilities in Illinois operated by Exelon. The company is telling lawmakers that the money-losing reactors will have to be brought offline prematurely unless the state lends support. That would result in lost jobs and a big dip in the state’s capacity to produce electricity—one that could have dirty, carbon-burning power plants stepping up to close the gap. With jobs, tax dollars, and environmental quality at stake, it’s turned into a dramatic battle in the final days of the state’s legislative session.
Exelon is searching for a way to subsidize the struggling plants, arguing that the steady, zero-carbon energy source is a public good worthy of public support. One idea in particular is dividing environmental groups: Should nuclear plants, by virtue of being carbon-free, be grouped in with solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources in state initiatives to clean up the grid? It’s a dilemma that could soon spill over into other states as the business and policy landscapes change around clean energy.
Read more: http://www.citylab.com/politics/2016/05/illinois-exelon-nuclear-power-plants-renewable-energy-portfolio/484046/
It's hard to argue with their rationale, but while the ostensible reason for the subsidies are to help fund non-carbon producing forms of power for the future, the real reason was to subsidize energy sources that liberals like that don't produce enough power to matter.

Indictment Imminent at Clinton.com?

A Former State Dept. IG: I would have investigated Clinton’s server too Which explains why there was no State Dept. IG during Clinton's reign at State:
“Inspectors general are not necessarily popular for the reason you just said,” Krongard tells Herridge. He added, “They are the people who enforce the rules and there was no one enforcing the rules at that time.”

Referring to the over 2,000 classified emails found on Clinton’s server, Krongard told Herridge it was a “very deliberate act” for information to jump from classified systems to an unsecured one. Asked by Herridge if it could happen by accident, Krongard replied, “No.”

Finally, Krongard also weighed in on a phrase used repeatedly by the Clinton campaign and the State Department to defend her behavior. Krongard says “retroactively classified” is a misleading phrase because the content of the messages is what matters not the markings. In his view, the “retroactively classified” material was classified all along, it just wasn’t being handled properly.
Shades of Hillarycare Schadenfreude: Hillary's ObamaCare problem.
ObamaCare premiums are expected to rise more sharply than they have in previous years, and Republicans are seizing on the issue for electoral advantage.

“Despite premium hikes under ObamaCare, Clinton continues to take credit for the law on the campaign trail,” the Republican National Committee wrote in a recent email, above a compilation of headlines about steep proposed increases.
. . .
Maybe Democrats think the middle class should just get over double-digit premium increases,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “Maybe Democrats think it’s funny that millions of Americans lost their plans because of ObamaCare. Republicans think we should work toward better care instead.”
It's just not that popular, and neither is she. After 25 years, Americans are bored with Hillary Clinton – and it could stop her becoming the first female president Much like a sit-com which has jumped the shark. But I don't see what female has to do with it. Although, it might still be amusing if she came out as trans. Clinton Embodies Washington’s Decadence. I could see her play the lyre while Washington D.C. burned. That might even be a better outcome.

Via Larwyn's Linx: Hillary Clinton’s Emails Now Might Finally Take Her DownSanders Says Superdelegates Should Consider Clinton’s Email ScandalFearing Defeat Hillary Clinton Adds Emergency California Campaign StopsHillary Clinton May Face Racketeering Charges?The struggles of Huma AbedinFormer State Dept. watchdog debunks central Clinton email claim, and Whoops! HuffPo pulls blog post revealing possible fate of Hillary Clinton:

The New York Times contemplates the apocalypse Can Donald Trump Win Hillary Clinton Lose? These Battleground Regions Will Decide.

Kurt Schlicter: Why Is This Hardcore Conservative Not #NeverTrump? Because Hillary Is So Much Worse
Let's look at their respective policies. Hillary’s policies are all liberal all of the time, and always will be all liberal all of the time. Trump has embraced some terrible policies in the past, but also a number of conservative policies. With Hillary, I have exactly 0% chance of her implementing conservative policies. With Trump, I have a >0% chance of having him implement conservative policies. Advantage Trump.
You would have more luck telling mosquitos to avoid a bug zapper: Dems urge Clinton to ignore Trump’s attacks

Following up on the Larwin's link Huffington Post Writer: Editors Deleted My Article on Hillary’s Imminent Indictment, Disabled Me from Writing and following that link to the source:
James Comey and The FBI will present a recommendation to Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the Department of Justice, that includes a cogent argument that the Clinton Foundation is an ongoing criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and soliciting bribes in exchange for political, policy and legislative favors to individuals, corporations and even governments both foreign and domestic.
Dynamite, if true. But alas, I don't see any real evidence, although the author lays out the crimes at Clinton.com in excruciating detail.

Hillary Cackling, Pandering And Pretending To Understand Spanish...Oops!

WARNING: Don't listen to this if you have sensitive ears. . .

Awarded blog post of the days at Pirate's Cove in one of his delightful "If All You See" posts.

Amber Heard Granted TRO against Johnny Depp

Previous Rule 5 winner Amber Heard was in court requesting a temporary restraining order against husband Johnny Depp. The request was granted amid evidence for domestic abuse:

Hollywood seemed nonplussed by the reports. I won't pretend to know the truth here. Johnny could be a wife beater, or Amber could be a money grubbing gold digger.

The judge also rejected a similar order for the family dog.

UPDATE, Stacy McCain digs into it and finds that Johnny Depp may havemade the classic mistake of marrying a girl crazier than he is (a very high bar) in "Johnny Depp, Chump?"

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: D is for Debbie"  up at The Other McCain.

Monday, May 30, 2016

More Dog Park Butterflies

Butterflies from two recent trips to the dog park. On the left, the epitome of common beauty, a Cabbage White, the weed of butterflies, on a Dandelion.
A little bitty Eastern Tailed Blue (the first of the year) on a Clover flower.
The first Horace's Duskywing of the year. Kind of a rough picture.
A couple of Great Spangled Fritillaries. I didn't see any attempt at sex.
 Another view, showing the spangles.
An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail stopped to puddle in the dirt under Skye's favorite shade tree. She almost ate him.
An American Lady (as opposed to the nearly identical Painted Lady). It's the first I've been able to clearly identify this year. Not strictly at the dog park, I spotted it when we stopped at Chesapeake Bounty on the way home.

Some Memorial Day Obamacare Schadenfreude

Time for a cleanup. It's been a while.

Prices for health care under the so called "Affordable Care Act" continue to climb. New York Health Insurers Request Huge Rate Hikes For 2017
Health insurers in New York have submitted rate increase requests for 2017 to the state, and some of the hikes are massive. The Empire Center blog has the chart showing what each company is requesting, ranging from 6% to 89%. The average is 12%, which is still bad considering that premiums are already high. The state probably won’t allow the full increases but it will probably still be painful for those who aren’t subsidized. And you’ll never guess why we keep seeing these big rate hikes. . . 
It's too late to paddle faster now... now you can prepare to be like Ned Beatty in "Deliverance" and squeal like a pig.
Happy American Taxpayers, you should have paddled faster when you heard the banjo's, but it's too late now!

The WSJ is reporting that filings by insurance companies for 2017 reflect double-digit premium increases for ObamaCare.
While service continues to diminish: "Sorry, We Don’t Take Obamacare" and As health care insurance companies leave ACA markets, some counties left with only one insurer.

The White House insists it's working, though. I suppose that depend on the meanings of the words "it" "is" and "working". Great news from the White House: ObamaCare has made things so much better
Are the insurance markets better? A new study of those markets by McKinsey & Company show that despite rapidly rising premiums, insurers’ losses accelerated as a percentage of their business in 2015. The Hill reports that it’s just a fact that loss-margins more than doubled:
The study from McKinsey & Company finds that in 2014, insurers had a margin of minus-4.8 percent, translating to an overall loss of $2.7 billion on the individual health insurance market, which includes ObamaCare’s marketplaces.
The study finds those losses roughly doubled in 2015 to between minus-9 and -11 percent margins, based on preliminary data.
Many insurers have been complaining about their losses on the ObamaCare marketplaces and are pushing for policy changes. Premium increases are expected to be higher for next year than in previous years, which is likely to become an election issue.
Even the good news from the McKinsey study shows little hint of healthy markets. The authors see little risk of a “death spiral,” but that doesn’t reflect the health of the market itself. It’s just a fact that the risk is entirely dependent on federal subsidies, and that “traditional factors” such as a sustainable economic model are not relevant. In order to survive, McKinsey makes it clear that the federal government will have to ramp up spending to “stabilize” the markets.
‘Hahahahahahahahaha’! Sorry, Josh Earnest, but nobody’s seriously buying this Obamacare spin

Speaking of "spending to stabilize the markets", Highmark Health sues government for risk corridor payments
For 2014 alone, government officials have acknowledged that this program should have reimbursed Highmark for more than $220 million based on a mathematical formula everyone agreed on when the ACA was created. The government now says it will pay only about $28 million of that amount. In effect, that leaves our organization to pick up the remaining tab. That’s not acceptable.
IRS had concerns about legality of Obamacare payments that are subject of GOP lawsuit

One of the more interesting things that has happened to Obamacare during the hiatus was the unanimous decision by the Supreme Court kick the decision back to the court, and the fighting contestants to work out:
The Supreme Court has issued a unanimous per curiam opinion in the Little Sisters of the Poor case. Rather than deciding the legal issues before it, the Court vacated the judgment of the Court of Appeals, which was adverse to the Little Sisters, and sent the case back to that court so the parties can be given “sufficient time to resolve any outstanding issues between them.”
From Hot Air: 
Following oral argument, the Court requested supplemental briefing from the parties addressing “whether contraceptive coverage could be provided to petitioners’ employees, through petitioners’ insurance companies, without any such notice from petitioners.” Post, p. ___. Both petitioners and the Government now confirm that such an option is feasible. Petitioners have clarified that their religious exercise is not infringed where they “need to do nothing more than contract for a plan that does not include coverage for some or all forms of contraception,” even if their employees receive cost-free contraceptive coverage from the same insurance company. . .
In other words, don’t come back any time soon, y’all. The plaintiffs in all of these cases have said all along that their objection came from the demand by HHS that they had to sign a certification to allow coverage of contraception, as that represented active participation in actions their religious beliefs consider sinful. Every iteration of HHS’ supposed compromises involved some sort of involvement from the employers in those transactions, which is why they refused to back down — and why these cases have dragged on for years.

HHS and the Obama administration didn’t offer this kind of compromise until the Supreme Court’s oral arguments seemed to suggest that the court took a dim view of their argument. It shows that the federal government’s desire all along was to wear down their critics through expensive and lengthy litigation. When that strategy ran out, the Obama administration suddenly got flexible.

So this isn’t a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs as much as it is a signal that the road has run out for pushing nuns, priests, and ministers to pay for contraception, or to certify contraception coverage for those they employ. Given the non-issue that access to contraception is in the US, a rational decision on the lack of compelling interest by the Supreme Court would have been the best outcome. Considering the status of the court today, this may have been the best realistic outcome.
Media Want To Make Sure You Never Hear About ‘The Little Sisters Of The Poor’
Mona Charen noticed something curious about media coverage of the Little Sisters. Over at National Review she wrote:
What’s in a name? The top story in the print version of today’s Washington Post carries this headline: “Justices Return Contraceptive Case to Lower Courts.” In the six and a half paragraphs explaining the decision on the front page, the plaintiff’s name goes unmentioned. When you flip to the jump, you’ve got to read down another five paragraphs to learn this is the case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor. We shouldn’t fetishize language, but the name of this order of nuns (however it was arrived at — I have no idea how long it has been around or how it chose its name) is perfectly pitched to make liberals/progressives squirm. Just as the Left used every possible locution to avoid using the term “partial-birth abortion” — the editors of the Post and others go to some considerable trouble to bury the name “Little Sisters of the Poor.”
Isn’t that interesting? That our media that seek out and histrionically elevate every sympathetic plaintiff when it comes to cases advancing sexualityism suddenly have trouble even naming the Little Sisters of the Poor?
And Oregon's catastrophic history with Obamacare is back in the news:  GOP report: Oregon wasted millions of Obamacare funds and Kitzhaber administration tried to cover up Cover Oregon failures

Memorial Day Memos About Clinton.com

We'll start off this day of remembrance with some oldies:

From The Lid: The Clintons’ First Email Scandal: Project X 1996-1998
During Bill Clinton’s tenure in the White House a “glitch” (or person) turned off the automatic email archiving system causing the loss of of around one million emails. The missing emails just “happened” to occur at the same time as the Kenneth Starr was subpoenaing emails for the Monica Lewinsky scandal and congress was asking for emails because they were investigating the “Filegate” scandal. The emails lost just “happened” to be from the accounts of President Clinton and other who were being investigated in the above scandals and the people who discovered the missing emails were threatened with jail if they spoke about the missing emails.
If it worked once, why wouldn't she repeat it? And from the way back machine to 1996: Memo Places Hillary Clinton At Core of Travel Office Case
 A memorandum by a former Presidential aide depicts Hillary Rodham Clinton as the central figure in the 1993 travel office dismissals, a politically damaging episode that the aide said had resulted from a climate of fear in which officials did not dare question Mrs. Clinton's wishes.

The newly released draft memorandum, written by David Watkins, the former top administrative aide at the White House, also sharply contradicts the White House's official account of Mrs. Clinton as merely an interested observer in the events that led to the dismissal of the White House travel staff and their replacement with Clinton associates from Arkansas.
And now back to the present. FactCheck fact checks Hillary on the current email scandal and concludes: "The State Department inspector general contradicts several of Clinton's long-standing talking points." That's longer for "she lied." Powerline shows us How to Read the IG report:
“So what conceivable legal privilege do Clinton, Mills, Sullivan, and Abedin have that would allow them to refuse to answer investigators’ questions? Only one: the Fifth Amendment privilege — i.e., the refusal to answer on the grounds that truthful responses might be incriminating.”
They also object to Ruth Marcus's excuse for Hillary's pattern of lying: Why the "Scar Tissue" Excuse for Hillary's Document Destruction Fails"Clinton’s crooked practices are rooted in her personality. It’s that simple."

If true, this could make things interesting: Unbeknownst to Clinton, IT firm had emails stored on cloud; now in FBI’s hands. It's always best to assume nothing can be deleted beyond recovery.

Reliable liberal Linda Stasi: After latest email revelations and endless dishonesty, time for Hillary Clinton to head for the hills. I imagine she's all in for Bernie, who is changing his tune somewhat on the importance of the email: Sanders says Clinton’s email situation has changedI still don’t care about those emails, but I’m sure the Superdelegates do. Of course not, he, like a majority of democrats, don't put any value on national security.

Ann Althouse catches Diane Feinstein struggling to support Hillary in Hillary's problem of "insularity and... arrogance" — "there was no one around her who was willing to tell her that she was wrong." and:
Speaking of Noonan, she also said this:
NOONAN: When you look at the tape of Mrs. Clinton saying things about the e-mails that have been shown to not of them true in the IG thing, she has been -- I hate to say lied, but she has lied coolly and -- in a creamy, practiced way. It doesn't look good.
Creamy... I wrote that word down to search for in the transcript. Hillary lied in a coolly... creamy, practiced way.
A good haul as Larwyn's Linx contributes: Hillary's week from hell: can she shake troubles to take on Trump?Hillary Clinton’s Emails: Lying in Plain SightClinton has been burying emails since she was First LadyTop 3 Lies Hillary Clinton Told About State Department EmailsOrigin of key Clinton emails from report are a mysteryThe Scandal Over Clinton’s Emails Still Isn’t a Scandal (Caution: Troll Alert)LBJ’s Ad Men: Here’s How Clinton Can Beat Trump, and Senator Highlights Clinton Ties to Nigerian Donor

Rubes self-identify as MSBNC Anchors are Upset Clinton’s Played Them For Fools.

Probably not coming to a theater near you, Clinton Cash Is the Movie Every Voter Should See before Election Day

Hillary Clinton Struggles to Find Footing in Unusual RaceClinton campaign faces a deficit of a vital commodity: enthusiasm,  Why Recent National Polls Should Worry Hillary Clinton, even Oregon! Oregon General Election Voters Give Edge to Trump over Hillary; Support for Billion-Dollar Tax Hike Weak . If Hillary can lose Oregon. . .

Asked and Answered

The Question, from the Washington Post

The left won the culture war. Will they be merciful?
True, many religious social conservatives still think it’s their duty to take America back, their disposition expressed in the fierce eloquence of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). But many do not. Many have finally given up on the whole idea of a culture war or are willing to admit they lost it. They are determined only to remain who they are and to live as amiably and productively as they can in a culture that doesn’t look like them and doesn’t belong to them.

In time, this shift in outlook may bring about a more peaceable public sphere. But that will depend on others — especially the adherents of an ascendant social progressivism — declining to take full advantage of their newfound cultural dominance. I see few signs of that, but I am hopeful all the same.
The Answer, from Drudge:

91-Year-Old WWII Vet Beat With Oxygen Tank...
The former ball-turret gunner cheated the reaper again last week, but instead of dodging German anti-aircraft guns' flak from inside a B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber, police say the 91-year-old veteran survived a savage attack inside his North Port home by the caregiver entrusted with his welfare.

Police say Tristano's caregiver, whom he had known for at least a decade, clubbed him in the head multiple times with an aluminum oxygen tank and left him on the floor of his home to die on the night of May 15.
Vandals Graffiti Vietnam War Memorial...
Vandals defaced a memorial to Vietnam war veterans in Venice – an awful sight on this Memorial Day weekend.

Stewart Oscars welled up as he looked at the vandalized mural located on Pacific Avenue near Sunset Court. It was covered in graffiti from end to end.

“This knocked me out. So sickening. Just sadness…think of all these people. They’re gone,” Oscars said. “I remember the Vietnam war and how friends went to war, and bodies came back. Somehow, it has to be taught that this is not a good idea. This is actually stupid.
'Freedom Rock' Defaced...
The rock includes images of the Five Sullivan Brothers killed in World War II, Medal of Honor winner Robert Hibbs of Cedar Falls, a U.S. Army second lieutenant killed in Vietnam in 1966, and Taylor Morris, a U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal expert who survived a bomb blast in Afghanistan despite losing portions of all four limbs. It also bears an image of veterans and people of various generations saluting the flag.
"It has really upset the entire community," said Jennifer Richmond, a spokeswoman for the Henderson city police department. "This is something you don't do. This is a form of desecration. These people served their country and then someone disrespected their memory in this way, and it's just totally unacceptable."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Beach Report 5/29/16

We had another gorgeous morning at the beach today.  There was a strong breeze from the south, warm and  humid, the harbinger of the rain to come from the remains of Tropical Storm Bonnie, but for a while the sun was out in a partly cloudy sky.
 "Can I pet her? Can I?"
Once you got down the beach past the Long Beach people, it was almost like a beach on a deserted Caribbean isle. Even the water was crystal clear.
Calvert Beach was well populated too.
 Paddling into the wind.

"OK, I guess we can go home now, if we have to."

The rain from Bonnie arrived 3 hours later. It's not very hard, at least so far, and not windy.

Hurricane, Tropical Storm Activity Expect to Increase

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season likely will be "near normal" with up to four major storms, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday.

The season starts Wednesday and runs through Nov. 30.

The center predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 16 named storms of winds 39 mph or higher. Four to eight could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher. That includes one to four major hurricanes of Category 3, 4 or 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher.

The center says a near-normal season is most likely, with a 45 percent chance. There is also a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season. The forcasts include a storm that already formed over the far eastern Atlantic in January: Alex. Bonnie, which was upgraded to a tropical storm Saturday from a tropical depression, is the season's second named storm.

It is forecast to make landfall in South Carolina on Saturday.

"This is a more challenging hurricane season outlook than most because it's difficult to determine whether there will be reinforcing or competing climate influences on tropical storm development," said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "However, a near-normal prediction for this season suggests we could see more hurricane activity than we've seen in the last three years, which were below normal."
Others, however, have a different take: Former NOAA Meteorologist Warns:

2016 And 2017 Hurricane Seasons To Be “Most Dangerous And Costly In Over 10 Years”

Former NOAA meteorologist David Dilley of Global Weather Oscillations (GWO) says the 2016 and 2017 Atlantic hurricane seasons will be the strongest in over 4 years, and have the most United States hurricane landfalls since 11 were experienced during the destructive seasons of 2004 and 2005.

GWO has issued the most accurate predictions of any organization over the past 7 years, and says that unlike the past three hurricane seasons, which were dominated by hostile atmospheric conditions that subdued hurricane activity, the next few years will be in a “Climate Pulse Hurricane Enhancement Cycle” that will provide very favorable conditions for development of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Mr. Dilley predicts the upcoming 2016 and 2017 seasons will be much stronger than the past three seasons, and it will likely be the most dangerous and costly period in over 10 years. The 2016 season will have 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. Three of the GWO United States prediction zones are at high risk for hurricane conditions in 2016. One of the zones has a high risk for a major impact hurricane. The 2017 season will be more dangerous and costly than 2016, with 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes, and several of the GWO prediction zones will be at high risk for major impact hurricanes. Over the two year period, GWO expects 5 to 8 United States Hurricane Hot Spots.
I guess we'll see who gets it right.

When I tried to update previous reports of the relative accuracy of such predictions, I found no new data, leaving me to believe NOAA is not especially proud of their outcomes in past years.

Following the IG Mess at Clinton.com

The Hill feels for Hillary: Clinton email headache is about to get worse
In the next few weeks — just as the likely Democratic presidential nominee hopes to pivot towards a general election — it will face its toughest scrutiny yet.

“All of that feeds into this overarching problem of public distrust of her,” said Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University.

“To put it in slang terms, she’s got a pretty deeply held street rep at this point. This fits the street rep,” he added.
. . .
At some point in the next month, the House Select Committee on Benghazi is also set to release its long-awaited report about the 2012 terror attack, which has been linked to Clinton.

The committee has pursued Clinton’s emails to the extent that they relate to the violence in Libya, and the report is likely to stoke new ire about the matter. However, its two-year investigation has been marred by partisan bickering, and the report will likely be shrugged off by Democrats.
. . .
Republicans appear primed to cry foul if the FBI closes its investigation without handing down indictments or offering a public explanation. Senior lawmakers have already excoriated the Justice Department for failing to appoint a special prosecutor.

“It’s clear that the attorney general, who serves at the pleasure of President Obama, is going to have very little incentive or intention to pursue the appropriate investigation,” Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said on the chamber floor this week.
 WaPo, LA Times, The Hill: Hillary’s denials aren’t working, but …
In the end, Hillary can afford to double down, and she can still count on her media apologists to embrace her continuing denials. Her dishonesty and opacity have long been priced into the Hillary ticket, and Democrats will continue to ignore her machinations as long as they aren’t prosecuted. If they are, then those calculations will change — but until then, the IG report will simply cause Hillary supporters to circle the wagons and start offering conspiracy theories about how an IG appointed by Barack Obama is part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.
And, as if on cue, Ruth Marcus: Hillary Clinton’s self-inflicted damage
 But the accretions, the scar tissue built up over years of politically motivated attacks and endless investigations, reinforced Clinton’s instinct for the protective crouch.
and Dana Milbank: Why the new report on Hillary Clinton’s email is so damning
Fifteen months ago, when the email scandal broke, I viewed her use of a private server as an extension of the “same flaws that have caused Clinton trouble in the past — terminal caution and its cousin, obsessive secrecy. In trying so hard to avoid mistakes — in this case, trying to make sure an embarrassing e-mail or two didn’t become public — Clinton made a whopper of an error.”

Yesterday, we saw that the State Dept. was resisting Judicial Watch's attempts to put Hillary in the witness box; now Justice steps in, too. DOJ seeks to prevent Judicial Watch from deposing Hillary Clinton. So far the judge has not been her friend.

A few via Larwyn's Linx: A President Clinton Could Pardon Herself and Congress Might Be Powerless to Act, Does the AP style book say ‘lying’ is spelled ‘misstated key facts’ when the story is about Hillary?, and Hillary and Staff May Have Blown Counterterrorism Ops With ‘Sloppy’ Communications:
A retired senior State Department military adviser claims that Hillary Clinton’s “sloppy communications with her senior staff” when she was secretary of state may have compromised at least two counterterrorism operations.

Bill Johnson, who was the State Department’s political adviser to the special operations section of the U.S. Pacific Command, or PACOM, in 2010 and 2011, says secret plans to eliminate the leader of a Filipino Islamist separatist group and intercept Chinese-made weapons components being smuggled into Iraq were repeatedly foiled.

Johnson says he and his team eliminated the possibility of other security leaks before settling on the unprotected telephone calls of the secretary of state and her aides as the likely source—though he quickly adds they have “no proof.”
That's the Hillary standard: "No proof"!

Jonah Goldberg mulls over the question Why Both Clintons Are Such Unapologetic Liars. Because it has been a (sort of) successful strategy in the past.
The amazing thing about Hillary and Bill Clinton is that they are united by no central idea, no governing philosophy that doesn’t — upon close inspection — boil down to the idea that they should be in charge.
. . .
Strip away all of the political posturing and positioning, and their “philosophy” that government run by experts can do wonderful things should really be translated as “government run by us.”
Why Hillary won't release Goldman Sachs transcripts: Hillary Clinton: I Am Goldman Sachs’ ‘Partner in Government’
Then-Senator Clinton, who is under fire from Bernie Sanders for her close ties to the investment firm, identified herself as Goldman Sachs’ “partner in government” at the 2005 groundbreaking of the firm’s new 740-foot-tall headquarters in Lower Manhattan. Goldman Sachs won federal government Liberty Bonds to build it.

“Following the tragic events of September 11th, I was proud to have worked with my colleagues in Congress to secure $20 billion in federal aid for New York,” Clinton said. “Major employers like Goldman Sachs needed to know they had a partner in government to ensure that Lower Manhattan could continue to sustain their businesses in the area, I am pleased to be an ongoing partner in supporting economic development in Lower Manhattan and thank Goldman Sachs for their commitment to the future of Lower Manhattan and New York City.”
If she said that in public, just imagine what she said in private.

Ann Althouse catches NPR quoting Hispanic lawmakers saying Hillary Clinton needs to pick a VP with "sizzle." With "sizzle" apparently meaning Hispanic. I mean, she carries hot sauce in her purse. Isn't that enough sizzle?
I found that embarrassing. I know I'm perceiving and expressing that from my identity as a member of a non-sizzling ethnic group, but why is that kind of talk not considered unacceptable ethnic stereotyping?
From Roiling Stone: Green Party's Jill Stein on the Feminist Case Against Hillary Clinton. To be fair, it's obvious, but Clinton supporters just don't care about other women that much.

And the horse race between Hillary and Bernie continues to slog on: Hillary Clinton’s California Lead Vanishes. How predictable was that? And before he gives up Sanders demands: Remove Clinton backers from convention committees Anti gay? Sanders moves to boot Barney Frank from DNC committee You know how bigoted those old geezers are.

And Hillary is succeeding, at least, in bringing the Republicans together: Never mind Trump, GOP uniting under banner: 'Never Hillary' as little Marco Rubio signs on. Yep, it may be "Alien" vs "Predator" but at least he's our predator. Trump promises: ‘I Would Like To’ Avoid Bringing Up Clintons’ Marital Problems but I don't think it's going to happen. As soon as the democrats start going after Melania. . . And last of all, Donald vs. Hillary is “the Real Housewives election,” and that’s why Trump will win

Prepare for Sharknado 2016!

Once dismissed, shark attacks may hit new record in 2016
As the summer beach season opens in the United States, at least one expert is predicting an increase in shark attacks around the world this year that will surpass last year's record number.

"We should have more bites this year than last," George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida, said in an interview shortly before the Memorial Day holiday weekend that signals the unofficial start of America's summer vacation - and beach - season.

In 2015, there were 98 shark attacks, including six fatalities, according to Burgess.

Why the increased bloodshed? Shark populations are slowly recovering from historic lows in the 1990s, the world's human population has grown and rising temperatures are leading more people to go swimming, Burgess said.

More people in the water, and more sharks? Simple math would suggest more encounters between sharks and people, so yeah, it's likely.

Now all we need is a super tornado and a chain saw.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: D is for Debbie"  up at The Other McCain.

A Reporter Really Dives into Her Work

Nailed it!

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: D is for Debbie"  up at The Other McCain.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Opening of Beach Season 2016

The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend is the unacknowledged start of the beach season. We had a glorious day for it, sunny and warm, but not humid, a bit breezy. We decided it was a better day for a beach walk than to go to the dog park.
Skye got lots of pets from kids and others, and even got to, sort of, play around with a few dogs, sniff logs, and all those other doggy things, while we looked for shark's teeth, and other things. We didn't find many teeth, though.
Looks like somebody's planning a beach wedding for later.

Still Digesting the IG Report on Clinton.com

No, we still haven't got the State Department IG report damning Hillary's email use full digested:

Did the Clinton Email Server Have an Internet-Based Printer? Apparently so. An wireless internet printer broadcasts requires that everything sent to it be broadcast by radio where it can be intercepted by anyone clever enough to set up the antenna. Was Hillary's encrypted? Given her technical sophistication, I doubt it.

AP factcheck: Yes, Hillary lied about her e-mail server Ya think? Morning Joe on Clinton’s response to IG report: ‘That was mind-boggling’ If you're boggled when Ms. Clinton lies, cheats and steals, you'll be constantly boggled.

The Observer Observes: So Many Warnings, So Many Lies: Clear Patterns Emerge in State Dept Doc
The system Clinton cheated exists because world is a dangerous place
Jonah compares Hillary unfavorably to Trump: All of Hillary Clinton’s Lies Are Premeditated
Unlike Donald Trump’s lies, which he usually vomits up spontaneously like a vesuvian geyser, Clinton’s were carefully prepared, typed up, and repeated for all the world to hear over and over again.
More on the comparison between Hillary Clinton's crimes and the fate of Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier whi inadvertently put secrets at risk by taking photos inside a nuclear sub with a cell phone:
Unlike Clinton’s private server, which we know was targeting for hacking on multiple occasions, there is no evidence anyone was aware of Petty Officer Saucier’s cell phone pics or ever tried to get access to them. Saucier’s former co-worker tells Politico his friend is getting very different treatment than the likely Democratic nominee. . .
The Navy says the photos are classified “confidential,” which is the lowest tier of protection for classified information and is designated for information that could cause some damage to national security but not “serious” or “exceptionally grave” damage.
Intelligence agencies claim that Clinton’s account contained 65 messages with information considered “Secret” and 22 classified at the “Top Secret” level. Some messages contained data under an even more restrictive “special access program” designation.
Nevertheless, the State Department is resisting attempt by Judicial Watch to have Hillary testify under oath at a deposition. Given the family's penchant for lying under oath, I can see where they might not want to see that happen here. It makes the State Dept. look bad worse.

Ace has an Obligatory If-Hillary-Is-Indicted-Yadda-Yadda-Yadda Post, which links to: If Clinton Implodes, Democrats May Turn to Biden and Warren. Eeeew, just eeeew. An idiot and a fake Redskin. Die-Hard Bernie Sanders Backers See F.B.I. as Answer to Their Prayers heh!

Althouse notes "The populist uprisings on her left and her right seem almost designed to draw from Clinton a defense of the country itself..." The only thing Hillary will ever defend is herself, and maybe Chelsea. All else can be jettisoned at need.

Some Clinton supporters feel intimidated by all the Bernie Bros: Why Some Clinton Supporters Are Not 'Really Ready To Go Public' Now they should imagine being conservative.

Hillary Clinton Won’t Say How Much Goldman Sachs CEO Invested With Her Son-in-Law Remember those bad Greek hedge funds that Chelsea's husband managed? Follow the money.
The decision for Blankfein to invest in Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law’s company is just one of many ways Goldman Sachs has used its wealth to forge a tight bond with the Clinton family. The company paid Hillary Clinton $675,000 in personal speaking fees, paid Bill Clinton $1,550,000 in personal speaking fees, and donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. At a time when Goldman Sachs directly lobbied Hillary Clinton’s State Department, the company routinely partnered with the Clinton Foundation for events, even convening a donor meeting for the foundation at the Goldman Sachs headquarters in Manhattan.
Intapundit endorses "Crooked Hillary" label:
I saw CNN tonight, where Wolf Blitzer was forced to read Trump’s statement that he would debate the Democratic nominee, who would probably be “Crooked Hillary.”
Nobody uses the media like the Donald.

Where have we heard that name before? Jonathan Gruber’s latest research undercuts Hillary Clinton’s policy agenda:
MIT economist Jonathan Gruber (yes, that Jonathan Gruber) is the co-author of a paper which finds there were long-term negative effects for some children after the introduction of a universal child care program in Quebec. The Christian Post reports:
In a paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Gruber et al. studied increased childcare access in Quebec and found it to be detrimental to child development.
“We first confirm earlier findings showing reduced contemporaneous non-cognitive development following the program introduction in Quebec, with little impact on cognitive test scores,” reads the abstract for the study.“We then show these non-cognitive deficits persisted to school ages, and also that cohorts with increased child care access subsequently had worse health, lower life satisfaction, and higher crime rates later in life. The impacts on criminal activity are concentrated in boys.”
But the point of universal child care is not to help the children, it's to help the politicians. (Gruber is the MIT economist caught saying that people had to be tricked into accepting Obamacare, and was one of it's chief designers).

Intapundit on the on again off again debate between Bernie and the Donald:

Not to mention, a great practice bout for October’s debates with Hillary.
Dan Riehl has a different take: Trump Keeping the wind in Bernies sails
“think chess not checkers. It’s a thing of beauty, he’s now saying he won’t debate Bernie but he sure elevated him.” It should certainly put a little wind in Bernie’s sails for the last phase of the far left’s internecine version of 2008’s “Operation Chaos.”
Robots for Trump (and Clinton)
No matter what happens in November, one big winner has already emerged from the ruins of America’s 2016 election: the robot. Both major candidates have embraced policies that will ensure the accelerating replacement of low-wage workers with no-wage workers.

Under President Donald Trump, illegal immigrants and possibly even legal migrants will have a harder time finding work, meaning the businesses that now rely on their labor will turn to machines. Under President Hillary Clinton, a big increase in the minimum wage is certainly in the cards, in which case get used to ordering your Big Mac on a touch screen.
Politico on How Hillary Loses:
Donald Trump can actually win if Clinton makes these four mistakes. Spoiler alert: She’s already making all of them. . . 

Rule 5 Saturday - The TSA Milks Rose Byrne

This Rule 5 Post brought to you by PJ media's Editor's Choice for posting this mostly amusing, but slightly infuriating article: TSA Wants a Closer Look at Actress Rose Byrne's Breast Milk
Actress Rose Byrne, who gave birth to her son Rocco three months ago, has been traveling a lot to promote her new films, "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" and "X-Men: Apocalypse." She told Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" that when she recently took more than 3.4 ounces of breast milk (which is permitted) through security, she was stopped immediately.

"They wave this weird thing over the top of it and there's a whole production going on," said Byrne as Colbert held up a photo from the incident. "They take it very seriously that it could be something."

"I just stand there and smile and tell them that it's really breast milk and that it's nothing," Byrne continued.

Colbert wondered why the comedic actress didn't show her baby as proof that the bottle did, in fact, contain breast milk. In response, the comedic actress joked, referring to her breasts: "You want me to get 'em out? What do you think?'" Byrne said, giggling, before doubling back. "I'm not going to do that. No, no, no!" . . .
TSA delenda est!

This week GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (243rd Issue) shows How Anastasiya Kvitko, and udder Instagram chicks defies social media experts with boobery. This chick is unbelievable, literally. Wombat-socho brings us "Rule 5 Sunday: O Girls!" and  "FMJRA 2.0: Live From Baltimore" from Balmer.

King Canute Had Nothing on This Guy

Friday, May 27, 2016


I had been ignoring the increasingly tiresome entreaties from Microsoft to update my computer (a pretty old no-name desktop) from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for a long time now, maybe a year or more. While I never said yes, I never said no either. I thought something was up over the past couple of days, when it seemed to be downloading a bunch, but not updating.

I looked over in the middle of a TV show last night, and it was in the middle of updating to Windows 10. I wasn't too worried about it; it had declared my machine suitable, if not ideal (no touch screen), and my brother, who is actually knowledgeable on these matters gave it a passing review last August:
It seemed to boot fast and seemed to have all my programs and settings. Well except for my Printer Driver and Video Card. Too bad it looks like a version of Windows designed for 8 year olds. In fact I’ve had more then one person tell me that screen looked like an XBox with the large clunky icons.

Once I got the right video driver installed it actually seemed like a pretty responsive OS and in fact, someday I might (or might not) go back to it.
This morning it insisted I check the "accept these terms" box before it would do the final steps. I wonder what would have happened had I declined? Would it have restored Windows 7?

Yes, it seems a little snappier, but then operating systems often seem quicker when they're young, and haven't yet seen the debilitating effects of multiple updates. My files are all still intact, although it took a few minutes to prove that because, the changed the way the file system presents itself (which I had barely gotten used to after the last Windows driven change about 10 years ago - old dog syndrome.

It took me a few minutes to find the snipping tool, and since I don't have a microphone hooked up, Cortana and I are off to a slow start.

Lumbering Through the Email Crisis at Clinton.com

Well, the world is still reverberating from the effects of the State Department Inspector General's report on Mrs. Clintons emails. Some reactions:

The Observer observes, Game Over: EmailGate Just Crippled the Clinton Express. Oh, would that it were so simple. Levin: Hillary didn’t break email rules, she broke federal law
“You’ve heard by now, Hillary Clinton violated email rules. What? There’s email rules? Thats how Politico headlined their breaking story. ‘State Dept watchdog: Clinton violated email rules.’ No. She didn’t violate email rules, she violated federal law. ‘The State Department Inspector General concluded that hc didn’t comply with the agency’s policy on records.’ Guilty. GUILTY! She’s guilty of violating a federal law. It’s not just the State Department that comes up with these policies. These policies are put in place to undergird the federal records act.”
Tom McGuire at Just One Minute is not so sure:
 IANAL and someone can doublecheck but when I looked recently my conclusion was that these [the record-keeping stuff, not the handling classified info stuff] are administrative, not criminal violations. Utter disdain for the FOIA, for example, earns a dressing-down from one's supervisor or a federal judge, not fines or imprisonment. Back to the WaPo. . . .
. . .
I guess a contempt of court finding could result in jail time but it is still not a felony, as best I know. Still, what a weird Hillary defense - she broke the law but the penalties are minor, so what's the big deal? Uhh, she broke the law? And now wants to be Chief Executive?

TO BE CLEAR: I am focusing on the record-keeping violations, not the potential mishandling of classified information.
Cue the FBI.

Even the usually compliant liberal media was getting a bit uppity: ‘Looks as If She’s Got Something to Hide’: Blitzer Grills Hillary Spox on Email Report, Chuck Todd to Hillary: This IG report contradicts your previous statements, doesn’t it?, and Even Andrea Mitchell Calls Bullshit on Hillary Surrogate's Lies on the IG Report on Her Illegal Emails. Izvestia, excuse me, the LA Times editorialized Hillary Clinton still has an email problem — and denial won't make it go away. But she'll give it the good Clinton try.

As found at Wombat-socho's "In the Mailbox: "05.26.16", Twitchy finds her a Pretty [lousy] little liar: Hillary offers up bogus new excuse for violating email use rules, that the rules were "clarified" after she left office and the Lonely Conservative notes Hillary’s Email Problem Has Gone From Bad To Worse.

A naive State aide thought Clinton email was for ‘family and friends’ Like Russia and China.

Most competent woman available? Welp… Hillary doesn’t know how to use a computer. Old dogs and new tricks, eh?
So what to make of this revelation, via Daily Caller?
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton never used a password to protect her computer emails, and she was clueless about how regular emails work on a conventional computer, according to a deposition of a foreign service officer at the State Department.
Wait… what?
Obama snaps at reporter asking about Hillary Clinton’s emails Well, it doesn't advance his agenda.

Guccifer going to the pokey: Hacker who claims he breached Clinton server pleads guilty, strikes deal with feds 7 years and $500k in fines:
But the plea deal comes as the FBI is moving to conclude its investigation into Clinton’s exclusive use of a private server for government business while secretary of state. Lazar, who was facing more than 20 years in prison and cut what amounted to a very favorable deal, is currently being held in a Virginia jail – which means he will be available to the FBI and U.S. attorney.

As outlined in the plea agreement which Fox News has reviewed, Lazar has agreed to extensive cooperation with the U.S. government. According to the court filing, Lazar has agreed to be "reasonably available for debriefing and pre-trial conferences as the U.S. may require." The document states: “The defendant agrees to testify truthfully and completely at any grand juries, trials or other proceedings.”

Additionally, Lazar has agreed to provide all documents, writings, and recordings within his custody to the U.S. government that may be relevant to investigations or inquiries.
Sub sailor's photo case draws comparisons to Clinton emails
A Navy sailor entered a guilty plea Friday in a classified information mishandling case that critics charge illustrates a double standard between the treatment of low-ranking government employees and top officials like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus.

Prosecutors allege that Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier used a cellphone camera to take photos in the classified engine room of the nuclear submarine where he worked as a mechanic, the USS Alexandria, then destroyed a laptop, camera and memory card after learning he was under investigation.

Last July, Saucier was indicted on one felony count of unlawful retention of national defense information and another felony count of obstruction of justice. He pleaded guilty Friday to the classified information charge, which is part of the Espionage Act, a prosecution spokesman confirmed. No charge of espionage was filed and no public suggestion has been made that he ever planned to disclose the photos to anyone outside the Navy.

The sailor now faces a maximum possible sentence of up to ten years in prison, but faced up to 30 years if found guilty on both charges. Federal guidelines discussed in court Friday appear to call for a sentence of about five to six-and-a-half years, although the defense has signaled it will seek a lighter sentence.
But note, his last name is not Clinton, and I doubt his name can be found in the donor files at the Clinton Foundation.

Democratic strategist Joe Trippi begs Hillary, let your superdelegates go! while Roger L Simon asks if After IG Report, Will Bernie Have the Guts to Take Hillary Down?

The Washington Post sees that The long lines at airports are a problem for Hillary Clinton. She is the candidate of big and expanding government, and nothing says big and expanding government quite as well as the TSA.

The Wall Street Journal notes His and Her Clintonomics - Hillary says she’ll use Bill on the economy, but her policies are to the left of Obama’s.

Whiny lefties in the media Networks Complain About Trump's Anti-Hillary Ad, but I'll bet they spend his money. Speaking of smears, PoliticiFact finds bogus Hillary Clinton claim about Donald Trump paying no federal taxes ignores the years when he did. Did she learn that trick from the disreputable Harry Reid, or did she show it to him? And more via Insty - Well, when your only tool is a smear machine. . . Kirsten Powers: Hillary Smearing Voters She’ll Need Later.

Finally, Hillary hillariously covets the lumbersexual vote with:


What? Enemy action? Even better!

Archaeologists Find Chinese Invented Mass Market Beer

Archaeologists uncovered ancient "beer-making tool kits" in underground rooms built between 3400 and 2900 B.C. Discovered at a dig site in the Central Plain of China, the kits included funnels, pots and specialized jugs. The shapes of the objects suggest they could be used for brewing, filtration and storage.

It's the oldest beer-making facility ever discovered in China — and the evidence indicates that these early brewers were already using specialized tools and advanced beer-making techniques.
And if you have mass market beer, you must have mass market beer advertising.
For instance, the scientists found a pottery stove, which the ancient brewers would have heated to break down carbohydrates to sugar. And the brewery's underground location was important for both storing beer and controlling temperature — too much heat can destroy the enzymes responsible for that carb-to-sugar conversion, explains Patrick McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, who was not involved in the current research.

Down through history, most people managed to make something like beer, a beverage made from some carbohydrate laden liquid allowed to ferment and produce alcohol. It preserves calories and makes water safe that might be undrinkable.
"All indications are that ancient peoples, [including those at this Chinese dig site], applied the same principles and techniques as brewers do today," says McGovern, who is known as the "Indiana Jones" of ancient fermented beverages.

The research group inspected the pots and jugs and found ancient grains that had lingered inside. The grains showed evidence that they had been damaged by malting and mashing, two key steps in beer-making. Residue from inside the uncovered pots and funnels was tested with ion chromatography to find out what the ancient beer was made of. The 5,000-year-old beer "recipe" was published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

I tried my hand at beer making once upon a time. You can buy the ingredients for a reasonable price (you don't have to malt your own grains), and the result wasn't too awful, but in the long run I decided it was a better use of my time to work, and spend money on beer instead.
The recipe included a mix of fermented grains: broomcorn millet, barley and Job's tears, a chewy Asian grain also known as Chinese pearl barley. The recipe also called for tubers, the starchy and sugary parts of plants, which were added to sweeten and flavor the beer, the researchers write.

So what did this ancient beer taste like? The researcher leading the study, Jiajing Wang, an archaeologist from Stanford University, guessed "it would taste a bit sour and a bit sweet."
That's not a bad description of a lot of beer in general, although I tend toward ales and IPAs that usually favor bitter hops more than sweetness.
Finding evidence of barley in the beer was surprising to the scientists. Scientists had never seen barley in China this early before. Although barley is now common throughout China, no one completely understands when and why it first made its way there.

Maybe it was about beer. . .
Wombat-socho brings us "Rule 5 Sunday: O Girls!" from Balmer.