Tuesday, October 31, 2017

They Weren't Thick But They Were There

 After a false start or two, Trevor and I headed out around 4 PM to do some fishing. It was better than recent times, but not hot. Trevor got this 21 inch fish . . .
while I got this 27 inch, and another 21 inch.
We stayed a little past sunset.

Happy Halloween!

Some treats. Now go "Trick or Treating."

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Whatever Happened To" up and running.

Reason #5762That Trump Was Elected

Time: Trump's Cabinet 'Wrecking Crew' Is 'Dismantling Government As We Know It'. And they say that like it's a bad thing.
The most recent cover of Time Magazine — or I should say what's left of it, given its parent company's recent decision "reducing ... circulation and frequency" of the formerly iconic publication — calls President Donald Trump's cabinet "The Wrecking Crew" on a mission of "dismantling government as we know it."
Refining their appeal to a more selective audience or something.
Separate reports singled out EPA Director Scott Pruitt, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and HUD Secretary Ben Carson for scrutiny.

The cover's word selection is obviously out of line, as none of the three is proposing to "dismantle" — meaning to "take (something) apart" (and not put it back together) — the agencies under their charge. The headlined addition of "as we know it" doesn't change that. But it does feed leftist paranoia, which is apparently the point.

Of course, none of Time's four articles pointed out that "government as we know it" has gone from spending just over $2 trillion per year to just shy of $4 trillion in the past 20 years. After taking inflation into account, that's a 41 percent increase in real terms. Today's "government as we know it" doesn't accomplish 41 percent more than it did 20 years ago — unless getting in the way of progress is considered an accomplishment. . . 

A Little Hair of the Dog

Woman who breastfed a puppy and ‘fertilised’ one of her eggs with a dog cell wins art prize
A woman who breastfed a puppy and even fertilised one of her eggs with a dog cell has won a prestigious art prize. Maja Smrekar conducted her bizarre projects while living in seclusion with her dogs as part of her ‘K-9_topology’ art experiment.

The Slovenian artist underwent systematic breast pumping in order to trick her body into producing breast milk before breastfeeding a puppy during the piece.

She also took a fat cell from another dog and used it to ‘fertilise’ one of her eggs using a method similar to IVF.

She used a fat cell form the dog, so no dog sperm was used and there was absolutely no way the egg could have become an embryo, which would have been impossible even if a sexual cell from a dog was used.
 That's just not the way any of this works.

Despite the slightly unnerving nature of her art, the critics love it, and have awarded her with the ‘Golden Nica’ at Prix Ars Electronica in Austria.

The jury released a statement saying: ‘The artwork K-9_topology at first sight may engender feelings of shock and possibly even dismissal – the complexity and explicitness of this project is difficult to explain without dangerous simplifications.

‘When considering the awarded artwork, the jury understood that it is important to follow the entire process, as this is an extensive artistic investigation developed through three years in four consecutive projects.’

Smrekar created a video which shows her breastfeeding dogs, sleeping naked next to them and performing the fertilization (it’s a bit NSFW).
The link also doesn't work, so there's that. Anyway, I refuse to be shocked by this.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Whatever Happened To" up and running.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Conflicting Signs on the Bay

Two articles from the Bay news feed, with different messages. 

The good news first: Group Says Efforts to Clean up Chesapeake Bay Are Working
A nonprofit advocacy group says efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay are paying off.
The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday that fewer water samples are showing the presence of so-called "dead zones" in the bay that can't support aquatic life.

Scientists recently reported that 13 percent of the bay's waters on average showed dangerously low levels of oxygen. In 1985, the average was nearly 19 percent.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation credits the decline in dead zones to federal regulations that limit the amount of pollution that can flow into the bay.

Beth McGee, the foundation's director of science and agricultural policy, cautioned in a statement that "more needs to be done to achieve a bay that is healthy for all living creatures."
We've seen conflicting news on the "dead zone" this year. First it was predicted to be up, then it was down, then it was up again, and now it's down. Make up your mind!

But from a concrete point of view: Oyster season catch dropped in 2015 and ’16
The public oyster harvest season began Monday, Oct. 2 with Chesapeake Bay watermen no doubt hoping for a better haul this fall and winter than last. For Maryland watermen, though, there isn’t a lot of room for optimism.

Despite mild weather last winter, Maryland’s 2016-2017 harvest from public oyster bars was off nearly 42 percent from the year before, a steep drop from the modest decline seen the previous two years. Last season, 1,086 licensed watermen harvested 224,609 bushels of bivalves, down from a 384,000-bushel catch in 20152016, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Chris Judy, DNR’s shellfish division manager, attributed the harvest decline last season to lower “spat sets” of juvenile oysters since 2012, the last year in which there was good recruitment or reproduction. Spat sets since then have been poor to middling.

Disease made a dent as well last season, at least in some areas. Intensity of Dermo, one of two parasitic diseases afflicting oysters, rose last year above the long-term average for the first time in 9 years and was the highest since the last major outbreak during a drought in 2002. The survey found elevated intensities from Pocomoke Sound north to the Wye and Miles rivers. Dermo-related mortalities also increased in some areas.

MSX, the other parasitic oyster disease, increased in prevalence on bars where it had been found previously, reaching a level 20-fold higher than what it was three years ago.
I think I'd rather have a 19% "dead zone" and a healthy oyster population.

The Bay Journal Wants It's Money Back

As a news organization, it’s always uncomfortable to be in the news, as opposed to just reporting it. But political appointees in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have put us in the headlines.

As you have read in related articles, the EPA told us without warning in late August that it plans to revoke a six-year award to partially fund the Bay Journal, beginning in 2018.

Providing a political appointee with the power to revoke grants is uncommon and, as near as we can determine, unprecedented. Typically, if a grant is revoked, it is because of poor performance. The EPA specifically told us that was not the reason, but rather because of a “shift in priorities,” without saying what that shift was.

The decision’s potential impact goes well beyond the Bay Journal, as there is no point in the EPA, or any agency, asking people to go through the cumbersome process of applying for multi-year funding awards if a political appointee can reverse them on a whim. We will be appealing this decision.

As this process begins, it has been gratifying to see the outpouring of support for our work. We’ve seen an important uptick in donations, protest letters to lawmakers and EPA officials and other helpful offers of assistance — things I’ll be talking more about in the future.

The grant cancellation has also raised questions about the future of the 27-year-old Bay Journal. First, let me say that we believe the EPA’s action has no merit. But the case may well take months to play out, creating a prolonged period of financial uncertainty for us. Though EPA funding provides only 40 percent of the Bay Journal’s funding, it is the largest single chunk of our budget. If the cut is upheld, filling that gap will be a challenge.
As for a grant being revoked for "shifting priorities" being illegal, I was once in a NOAA grant that had it's money cut (but not eliminated) because they wanted to spend more money on satellites. We were pissed, but we didn't think it was illegal.

As much as I quote the Bay Journal, it's always bugged me the EPA and NOAA (who both fund) the Bay Journal, have funded what is basically a nominally private propaganda arm which can be relied on to take their side in public controversies. 

Reason #5761 That Trump Was Elected

GOP Tax Framework Could Raise GDP By 5%, Wages By 7%
President Donald Trump's tax reform framework could raise GDP by as much as 5 percent and wages by as much as 7 percent, according to a new study from Boston University economists.

"We find that, depending on the year considered, the new Republican tax plan raises GDP by between 3 and 5 percent and real wages by between 4 and 7 percent," the economists explain. "This translates into roughly $3,500 annually more annual real take-home pay for the average American household."

Economists believe this growth can happen due to the plan's aim to reduce the marginal effective corporate tax rate from 34.6 percent to 18.6 percent, which they believe will grow the capital stock by 12 to 20 percent.
A lower tax rate on higher wages and more business. I like that idea.

Yes Virginia, There is a Rape Culture

And it's in Hollywood: Annabella Sciorra "was still living in fear of [Harvey Weinstein], and slept with a baseball bat by her bed. Weinstein, she told me, had violently raped her..."
"... in the early nineteen-nineties, and, over the next several years, sexually harassed her repeatedly," writes Ronan Farrow, in a new New Yorker article, "Weighing the Costs of Speaking Out About Harvey Weinstein/Annabella Sciorra, Daryl Hannah, and other women explain their struggles with going public."

Farrow had attempted to get Sciorra to speak to him for the first article, and here we see her description of how she reacted to Farrow's earlier encouragement to tell her story:

“I was so scared. I was looking out the window of my living room, and I faced the water of the East River,” she said, recalling our initial conversation. “I really wanted to tell you. I was like, ‘This is the moment you’ve been waiting for your whole life. . . .’ ” she said. “I really, really panicked,” she added. “I was shaking. And I just wanted to get off the phone.... Even now, as I tell you, and have had all these women around saying it’s O.K.,” Sciorra told me, “I'm petrified again.”
Farrow says there are still "many others" too afraid to talk to him.

Daryl Hannah, also interviewed in this article, explains the reluctance to speak:

Hannah said that she had decided to speak publicly about her experiences for the first time, more than a decade after they occurred, because “I feel a moral obligation to support the women who have suffered much more egregious transgressions.” She, like many women who have come forward, still had doubts about the trade-offs she would have to make for speaking openly. “It’s one of those things your body has to adjust to. You get dragged into the gutter of nastiness and pettiness and shame and all of these things, and it sometimes seems healthier and wiser to just move on with your life and not allow yourself to be re-victimized.”
This is the #MeToo that inherently can't be talked about: I decided to do nothing because I didn't want to be dragged into the gutter of nastiness and pettiness, and it seemed healthier and wiser to just move on.
Alaskan crab fishermen have to watch out for ice, huge waves and dangerous equipment. Hollywood starlets need to be wary of the likes of Harvey Weinstein and James Toback. I let you decide which is more dangerous.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Whatever Happened To"  up and running.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Reason #5760 That Trump Was Elected

Cowbell: First Read of 3rd Quarter GDP at 3.0%, Beating 2.5% Expectation
Unexpectedly, in other words, but on the upside.

And bear in mind: The economy was hit by multiple storms. I don't mean metaphorical storms like the #SalonHot25's daily Twitter Conniptions. I mean the three big hurricanes.
The U.S. economy unexpectedly maintained a brisk pace of growth in the third quarter.
An increase in inventory investment and a smaller trade deficit offset a hurricane-related slowdown in consumer spending and a decline in construction.
Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the July-September period after expanding at a 3.1 percent pace in the second quarter
You wanted cowbell? I give you cowbell.
The American public will forgive a lot of Congressional inaction if the economy is doing good. Nobody wants to read about those assholes anyway.

How to Piss Off a Liberal

If you really must. Post a picture of yourself holding a gun on Instagram: NCIS Star Maria Bello Getting Backlash Over Instagram Gun Pic
There’s another Hollywood controversy brewing, and it has nothing to do with Harvey Weinstein. No, this time, the focus is on an actress. Maria Bello, who stars in the television show NCIS, is facing a backlash over what some perceive to be naughty photos on her Instagram account.

Of course, by “naughty” I don’t mean racy or anything like that. No, these pics are enough to incite a liberal to a head explosion in .34 seconds.
On the far right, as they say.

Bello faced some negative comments almost immediately, however.

While a number of fans responded with excitement for what Jack Sloane might be up to, other Instagram users criticized the actress for smiling while holding a gun in the wake of this month’s Las Vegas shooting.
 She's supposed to suspend her hobbies?
“That’s a shameful pic,” one individual wrote. “Always been a fan, but glamorizing assault weapons after Vegas is clumsy at best, callous at worst. One less fan. Good luck with ‘NCIS.’”

“There is nothing sexy about anyone holding a gun,” wrote another fan.

Yet another commenter chimed in with, “Weird timing for posting this.”

Yes, weird timing indeed. Heaven forbid anyone continues to live their lives more than three weeks after a tragedy, especially if you’re talking about firearms. Especially when the picture in question has absolutely nothing to do with Las Vegas.
 Yeah, there are never any firearms on NCIS.
Yet that’s what the anti-gun zealots routinely do. They continually tone police the pro-gun crowd, claiming we’re being callous by continuing to do the things we enjoy and to talk about them, but they have no compunction about standing on the bodies of the dead to use them as an ersatz soapbox. Now, you tell me something. Which is worse?

Maria Bello is an actor. She’s shooting at a range, and demonstrating good finger discipline, I might add. She’s doing nothing wrong. She indicates she’s training for her role, which is something all fans of the show should get behind. Apparently, she wants to do it right. I only wish more actors tried to get it right when performing their parts.
Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Whatever Happened To" up and running.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Reason #5759 That Trump Was Elected

The IRS Scandal, which Trump just ended. Let's go to the Tax Prof, who has provided consistent coverage of this abuse of power by the Obama administration:   The IRS Scandal, Day 1632: Department Of Justice Settles Tea Party Targeting Cases For Millions And An Apology
The Trump administration on Thursday said it has agreed to pay between $1 million and $10 million to settle lawsuits against the Internal Revenue Service for targeting tea-party groups in the Obama era, saying in court documents that the IRS “admits that its treatment...was wrong.”

The Justice Department entered into proposed settlements with groups that alleged in 2013 they had been subject to discriminatory treatment in applying for tax-exempt status. The move largely puts an end to a saga that had engulfed the IRS for years.

In a settlement filed in federal court in Washington, which still must be approved by a judge, the Justice Department said the IRS “expresses its sincere apology” and was “fully committed” to not subjecting groups for additional review “solely on the name or policy positions of such entity.”
Of course, Lois Lerner remains guilty as hell but free as a bird, with a $100,000+ "payout" for "good work" from the Obama administration for suppressing conservative get out the vote efforts in 2012. In a perfect world, she would have been sentenced to thousands of hours of "community service", stuffing envelopes, or some other grunt work for the many conservative  entities she maligned and discriminated against.

Probably not coincidentally, President Trump names replacement for IRS boss Koskinen
The White House has named a Treasury official to succeed John Koskinen at the helm of the IRS next month, while allowing the controversial commissioner to finish out his five-year term.

David Kautter will serve as acting IRS commissioner beginning Nov. 13, the last day of Koskinen’s term, the White House said.

“Assistant Secretary Kautter has had an illustrious 40-year career in tax policy, and I am confident that the IRS and the American people will benefit from his experience and insight,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, noting the Senate would still have to confirm a permanent commissioner.

The announcement came as the Trump Justice Department settled lawsuits with Tea Party and other conservative groups targeted for extra scrutiny by officials in the Obama IRS.
Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup."

Rule 5 Saturday - Caroline Kelly

This post-GOODSTUFF Rule 5 post dedicated to Allen Reinertsen,, aka GOODSTUFF. The subject is Caroline Kelly:
Sports Illustrated swimsuit model who's also worked with brands like Calvin Klein, Victoria's Secret, and Sephora. She's also been featured in Town & Country magazine.

She started modeling when she was 16, around the same time she started posting to Instagram.

She has more than 60,000 followers on her Instagram account and has been represented by Elite Model Management.

She grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Her Twitter.
Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup." Some NSFW material. Linked by Wombat-socho in "Rule 5 Sunday: No, Not That Asia" and "FMJRA 2.0: Deep Dark Depression, Excessive Misery."

Friday, October 27, 2017

Reason #5758 That Trump Was Elected

From Joe For America via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 10.26.17": Trump Opens Up 76,000,000 Acres to Off-Shore Drilling, Largest in History!
On Tuesday morning, the Trump administration took another historic step toward ensuring America’s energy independence for the future by opening up over 76 million acres of federal water to potential drilling, The Washington Times reported.

By opening up these waters to be leased out for drilling, the Trump administration broke a record. This is the largest lease sale in American history, and is sure to make oil companies positively giddy.

“In today’s low-price energy environment, providing the offshore industry access to the maximum amount of opportunities possible is part of our strategy to spur local and regional economic dynamism and job creation and a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy dominant,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke explained.

The territory that is being opened for drilling is roughly the size of New Mexico, and includes areas in the Gulf Coast, near Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

“(T)he economic terms proposed for this sale include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers,” Zinke added.

The Washington Examiner reported that some estimates claim that up to 48 billion barrels of oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are in the Gulf of Mexico, just waiting to be tapped.

If we can access those resources, it would ensure that we would no longer need to be reliant on the Middle East for oil, and we could secure America’s energy dominance for decades.

The Hill
noted that back in April, Trump set the stage for this by signing an executive order that rolled back President Barack Obama’s limits on offshore drilling.
And Stephen Green at Instaundit:  LOOKS LIKE AMERICAN FRACKERS (and offshore drillers) JUST GOT ANOTHER MARKET-SHARE BOOST: Oil Rises as Saudi Prince Backs Longer OPEC Production Cuts.

Sexual Harassment In the News

‘Unwanted Sexual Advances’: Harassment Bonfire Torches NBC’s Mark Halperin
The number of his alleged victims is at least seven now:
The morning after five women accused veteran journalist Mark Halperin of sexual harassment while he was in a powerful position at ABC News, two more women came forward with their own allegations.
Those initial five accusers recounted sexual misconduct ranging in nature “from propositioning employees for sex to kissing and grabbing one’s breasts against her will,” CNN reported. “Three of the women who spoke to CNN described Halperin as, without consent, pressing an erection against their bodies while he was clothed.”
Halperin denied some of the allegations listed in Wednesday evening’s story, but added, “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain.”
And then another set of accusers emerged the following day.
“#MeToo,” conservative author and reporter Emily Miller wrote Wednesday night on Twitter, directly responding to the CNN report. . . .
Without specifically describing her encounter with the pundit, Miller elaborated: “I did not report Halperin to ABC because I thought I was the only one, and I blamed myself, and I was embarrassed and I was scared of him.” . . .
Another journalist, who currently appears as a commentator across multiple networks, joined the chorus on Thursday, telling The Daily Beast that the accusations against Halperin rang familiar to her own experience. She said he made unwanted advances at her while they worked together at ABC News more than a decade ago. . . .
According to numerous sources at NBC, MSNBC, ABC, and Bloomberg—who previously spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely—the private allegations of Halperin’s sexual misconduct were an open secret, particularly in New York City and D.C. political media, for many years.
But you wouldn't expect hypocrisy from a media giant would you?

/sarc off

Feminist Prof Finds Coeds Insufficiently Angry

 Prof frets that female students don't feel oppressed enough. And she has a plan to fix that:
A University of Connecticut professor is calling for a “more expansive inclusion of feminism” by colleges to help female students recognize the oppression they face.

Cristina Mogro-Wilson, who teaches social work at UConn, surveyed 118 students pursuing a Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree and found that the overwhelming majority of respondents—94 percent of whom were women—do not believe that “discrimination and subordination” are “salient issues in women’s lives.”

While the respondents were less likely to believe that discrimination was a major issue in their lives than were MSW students surveyed for a 2013 national sample, many of them still agreed with other feminist topics of concern, such as the need for “liberal gender roles” and “equality, equal opportunities, and respect.”

The findings are problematic, Mogro-Wilson contends, because without a sense of their own oppression, students may be disinclined to “embrace the notion of change through unification,” such as in the form of protesting.

Worrying about the potential of a “post-feminist standpoint among younger women…who no longer see discrimination against women as being a salient issue,” Mogro-Wilson calls for incorporating more intersectionality into the social work curriculum.
Intersectionality, for those who aren't familiar with the lingo, is newspeak for looking at all the things that might piss you off in order to get more pissed off.
“Intersectionality provides a useful framework to examine gender-based oppression,” she says, adding that discrimination “cannot be fully understood without also considering other coexisting social identities, like race, culture, sexuality, and class.”

She also deems it “essential that students learn to nuance their understandings around oppression, so that when considering foundational social work issues, like poverty, mental health status, and oppression, that to the extent possible all areas of social identity are explored in combination.”
. . .
To that end, she contends that social work programs must make a concerted effort to help female students realize not only how they face oppression personally, but how other women face oppression as well.
And in the immortal words of Billy Mays: "But wait! There's more!"

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Testing a New Phone/Camera

My old semi-smart cellphone was starting to die, and it was old enough to replace it, so I bought a cheap smart phone to replace it. I took it down to the beach to try out the camera today. These photos are unedited, as taken off the camera.

Georgia outscored me on teeth 4-2 today, despite holding the rope.

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the photos. Certainly good enough for fishing, although I would miss the big zoom on my Lumix.

Reason #5756 - #5757 That Trump Was Elected

Regulations imposed by the Obama administration are the most expensive in American history, according to a new report by the Heritage Foundation. These countless rules and provisions—requirements that aren’t passed by elected officials but instead implemented by bureaucrats as they enforce Congressional laws—increased private sector regulatory costs by $122 billion annually, and they continue to cost the U.S. economy severely under the Trump administration. (In contrast, the George W. Bush administration increased the private sector’s regulatory burden by $68 billion, or roughly half of the increase seen in the Obama era.)

The $122 billion figure may shatter records, but it’s part of a growing trend that took off in the 1960s. During the end of the Eisenhower administration (1952-1960), the combined budget for all regulatory agencies totaled only $533 million ($3.4 billion in today’s dollars), and little more than 57,000 people were employed by the agencies. Today, the combined annual budget of regulatory agencies’ is a staggering $70 billion, and the federal government employs over a quarter million people full-time.

This means that over the past 58 years, after adjusting for inflation, government spending on regulations has increased 20-fold.
Donald Trump: King of Deregulation?
“Since January of this year, we have slashed job-killing red tape all across our economy,” the president said. “We have stopped or eliminated more regulations in the last eight months than any president has done during an entire term. It’s not even close.”

It seemed a characteristic bit of Trumpian magniloquence—he’s not only a boffo deregulator, he’s the best ever! Still, it was a remarkable claim. Trump has overseen more deregulation than George W. Bush or Ronald “government is the problem” Reagan?

But, measured by at least one significant standard, Trump’s claim is true. Patrick McLaughlin of the Mercatus Center, a free-market-oriented think tank at George Mason University, applies innovative research techniques to the study of regulation and the economy. He recently analyzed the output of regulatory restrictions promulgated in the last several presidencies, going back to Jimmy Carter.

McLaughlin found that there have been periods in some presidencies when regulatory output slowed or declined—in several years of the Reagan presidency, for instance, and in 1996, when “reinventing government” was part of Bill Clinton’s election pitch. But over the full terms of each recent president, including Reagan, regulation increased, according to McLaughlin. So far the increase in regulatory restrictions under Trump has been near to zero.

“So in that sense, the president may be right,” the economist reports. “There may not be a net increase in regulations so far under him, and since there was a net increase in every four-year term for every preceding president, going back to the ’70s, then I think that could be a safe statement.”
And you can be sure the "Deep State" is fighting tooth and nail against him.


Word has filtered back through the blogosphere that Allen Reinertsen, aka GOODSTUFF, has passed away. Blackmailers Don't Shoot said it well:
If some men march to the beat of their own drums, Goodstuff had a full percussion section.
An American ex-pat living in Thailand, GOODSTUFF and I were mutual followers.  Prayers and condolences to his family.

#MeToo Hits Bottom

I don't see his left hand!
Ann Althouse on the mysterious case of HW Bush's reported ass-grab of actress Heather Lind (3 years ago): Ex-Prez HW Bush accused of ass-grabbing: #MeToo overload or the beginning of the end of Old Man Privilege?
I'm reading The Daily Mail: "Former US president George HW Bush apologises after actress claims he 'sexually assaulted' her from his WHEELCHAIR in this photograph - with his wife Barbara standing by his side/Actress Heather Lind made allegations Tuesday claiming when she met former President George H.W. Bush, 93, he 'sexually assaulted' her from his wheelchair/She claimed the 'assault' happened during a photo-op with wife Barbara Bush standing by his side, and claims his wife saw the incident unfold/The now 34-year-old actress also claimed that afterwards Bush's security detail told her she shouldn't have stood next to the former president for the photo-op/Lind says this happened four years ago while she was promoting a movie/In a statement to DailyMail.com the former president has apologized for the incident saying it was an 'attempt at humor' and not meant to offend Lind."
I think she stuck just her ass in his face while jockeying for the front line of the photo-op and he pushed her away.
Now, I said "#MeToo overload" when a woman accused Elie Wiesel of taking the same advantage in a photo op and getting his hand onto the ass of the woman who stood next to him. People do line up and crowd together tightly in photographs, and one often accepts/endures the waist-grabbing that seems excusable in the interest of getting us all into the picture frame. How far down from the waist can a person go before the other person knows he's taking advantage? For the photo subject who's enjoying the contact, just the touching of the sides of the arms may be a thrill. For the one who does not want contact, even that may be repugnant.*
The whole Bush family (and GHW Bush in particular) are well noted for their propensity to apologize.
I think most contact-seekers in that situation stick to a hand at waist-level pulling the other person closer, and even that can be offensive to the one who doesn't want contact, but the would-be contact-avoider will probably put up with it, and the contact-seeker has deniability. Then what about the hand on the top of the hip? That can seem deniable too. And the fingers on the outside of the middle of the hip? Can that work? Once the contact-seeker has his fingers at the right latitude, the heel of his hand can reach the desired longitude on the globe that is the ass.

But an older man may think he has Old Man Privilege and that it's cool for him to show he's still got some life in him and everyone will think it's just fine if he forthrightly gropes the ass. HW Bush's apology calls it an "attempt at humor."
I remember something Jeb Bush said back in July 2015, when his father was in the hospital: "[My] dad gets in the hospital kind of pretty regularly at 91, he's a little frail. But when he starts telling semi-dirty jokes to the nurse, we know he's on the rebound." I quoted that in a post titled "Jeb Bush has a tin ear for sexism"and said:
A little NSFW work from Boardwalk Empire.
Apparently, Jeb thinks the old sexy nurse trope works today. The audience warmly chuckles, and Jeb thinks he's cute, because his dad is so old and sweet. But that doesn't play with me or, I suspect, with many modern women. Old men in the hospital leering at the nurses. Ugh!
I want to stress the importance — as we're fired up about sexual harassment — of not wrongly lumping things together. I wouldn't rake the dead Elie Wiesel over the coals for a 3-decade-old ass-grope (even if that happened). And I wish ancient HW well. But there is something I'm going to call Old Man Privilege that needs to be seen and rejected. It's not cute. It should not be endured as routine. A mentally incompetent old person should be treated with empathy, but women should not be expected to smile and indulge groping. HW should know better, and Jeb should certainly know better.
Figures that if there's an Old Man Privilege to one free grope, it will be cancelled just as I get there.

An interesting thought from the comments at Althouse. GHW Bush has Parkinson's Disease and is on L-Dopa. One reported side effect of L-Dopa is a reduction of inhibitions.

Linked by Wombat-socho in "Rule 5 Sunday: No, Not That Asia".

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Never Ending Obamacare Schadenfreude

End To ObamaCare Subsidies Leaves Congress In A Tight Spot. Trump Gives Congress A Kick In The Rear To Finally Act On Health Care.  But is one enough? While liberals complain that "Trump Executive Order On Obamacare Is “Pen And Phone” Legislation", David French (no Trump fan) Trump Was Right to End Unconstitutional Obamacare Subsidies
t’s a sad sign of our times that the constitutionality of any given government action is now seen as a wholly secondary consideration, subordinate to politics and arguments about politics. And so it is with Donald Trump’s necessary decision to halt federal payments of cost-sharing subsidies to insurance companies.

For example, here’s how the Washington Post led off its coverage of Trump’s decision: “President Trump is throwing a bomb into the insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act, choosing to end critical payments to health insurers that help millions of lower-income Americans afford coverage.” . . .
The Constitution doesn't matter to Dems when it's contrary to their wishes.

18 States Sue Over Trump-Halted ObamaCare Payments. You'll never guess who controls those states. Trump Opposes Bipartisan Obamacare Rescue Plan, where "bipartisan" equals 1 Republican and 47 Democrats.

Trump reverses course on emerging Senate health care deal
A bipartisan Senate deal to curb the growth of health insurance premiums is reeling after President Donald Trump reversed course and opposed the agreement, and top congressional Republicans and conservatives gave it a frosty reception.

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced their accord Tuesday after weeks of negotiations and five days after Trump said he was halting federal subsidies to insurers. Under the lawmakers’ agreement, the payments would continue for two years while states were given more leeway to let insurers sidestep some coverage requirements imposed by President Barack Obama’s health law.

In remarks Tuesday in the Rose Garden, Trump called the deal “a very good solution” that would calm insurance markets, giving him time to pursue his goal of scrapping the Affordable Care Act, the target of Republican derision since it was signed into law in 2010.
Although top Democrats and some Republicans praised the Alexander-Murray agreement, Trump backed off after a day of criticism from many in the GOP.

In an evening speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation, he said that “while I commend” the work by the two senators, “I continue to believe Congress must find a solution to the Obamacare mess instead of providing bailouts to insurance companies.”
Sorry Everybody, But Trump Hasn't Instigated The Obamacare Apocalypse
The Trump White House has issued two Obamacare-related policy announcements this week: announcements that some characterize as “gutting” or “sabotaging” the health care law. But a sober, factual analysis reveals that the Trump decisions will be fairly modest—and largely positive—in their effect.
. . .
Trump’s executive order simply reverts back to the pre-2016 rules. When some pundits hysterically describe this change as the “sabotage” and “gutting” of Obamacare, they’re talking about rules that were in place for 7.5 of Obama’s 8 years in office.
Iowa abandons bold attempt to jettison ACA rules
Iowa is abandoning its quest to shed major elements of the Affordable Care Act, after federal health officials failed to approve the plan in time for the insurance-buying season that begins in just over a week.

The state’s withdrawal comes two months after President Trump telephoned a top federal health official with instructions to reject Iowa’s proposal.

In announcing the withdrawal of what the state has called a crucial “stopgap” plan to prevent its marketplace from collapsing, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) on Monday did not mention the president’s intervention, instead thanking Trump for trying to repeal the ACA and blaming the law itself for what she called its inflexibility.
Much to the Washington Post's disappointment.  The Health 202: Obamacare may lose 1.1 million people because of advertising cuts. Do they really think advertising is that effective?

Warren: fighting for a single-payer healthcare system is a “winning issue” for Democrats nationally in the 2018 midterm elections.
“Healthcare is a basic human right and that means we’re going to get Medicare for all, it means we are going to make the kind of changes we need to make in this country so everyone gets access to healthcare and nobody goes broke doing it,” she said. “I think this is about our values. It’s about what we are willing to get out there and fight for.”
What single-payer meansBritain's National Health Service provokes fury with indefinite surgery ban for smokers and obese. Who among us has no bad habits? Besides Georgia, I mean.

Reason #5755 That Trump Was Elected

A double today to make up for the day I missed while travelling: By way of Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 10.24.17" the Weasel Zippers point out that the Number Of Americans On Food Stamps Plummets By 1.5 Million After Trump Takes Office:
Barack Obama inconsolable upon hearing the news.
Nearly 1.5 million Americans dropped off the food stamp rolls since President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics on food stamp enrollment..
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation dropped to 41,203,721 as of July 2017, the most recent data available from the USDA, from 42,691,363 in January 2017 when Trump took office.
According to the latest data, SNAP enrollment decreased by 3.48 percent, or 1,487,642, since Donald Trump began his presidency.
From May to July alone, nearly 400,000 Americans got off of food stamps, and the trend shows that enrollment has been consistently falling every month of Trump’s presidency.
Keep reading…
What's gonna happen if they learn to feed themselves without handouts?

Reason #5754 That Trump Was Elected

Venezuela’s biggest market for crude sales -- the U.S. -- is becoming a harder and harder place for the socialist nation’s oil producer to do business as sanctions and diminishing quality controls discourage would-be buyers.

Oil sales to U.S. buyers have fallen for two straight months and now are 56 percent lower than their 2016 average, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. Ever since President Donald Trump slammed the regime of Nicolas Maduro with sanctions in August, American refiners have found banks reluctant to provide letters of credit for purchases of oil from state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela SA.
Socialism, the dream that keeps on killing.

Great Tits Evolve in Response to Pressure from Man

In a study published Thursday in Science, researchers report that great tits in the United Kingdom evolved to have lengthier bills in a matter of decades. The longer the beak, the easier the access to food in the hanging backyard buffets popular in Britain — and, the data show, the healthier the offspring: Longer-beaked birds produced more chicks that fledged.

The researchers came upon this example of rapid, possibly human-driven natural selection by starting not with the birds’ beaks, but with their DNA. Both Britain and the Netherlands are home to great tit populations that have been studied for many years, and the team suspected that the birds’ genes might hold clues into whether they’ve evolved differently.
So what the heck did you think I meant? Although that might well be true, too.
But after sifting through the genomes of nearly 3,000 birds, the researchers spotted some distinctive sequences. The related genes in humans, they discovered, control face shape. What’s more, the areas where differences popped up were associated with beak shape in Darwin’s famed finches.

“So we’re thinking, ‘Well, this looks like a beak thing here,'” Spurgin said. “What that told us was that the same bits of DNA that control beak length are actually under natural selection.”

Further evidence followed. Measurements dating to the 1970s showed that the U.K. great tits’ beaks had increased in length by about .2 millimeters, Spurgin said — a small but “observable” difference. The birds with the longer-beaked gene variants successfully raised about one more chick every five years than those with the short-billed variants.
0.2 millimeters longer? That's a width known to us weekend carpenters as a "cunthair."

Are we going to tolerate this gross violation of the "Prime Directive?" Don't we need federal bird feeder inspectors to make sure that bird seed is equally available to all birds, regardless of bill length, paid for by nearly prohibitively expensive bird feeding licenses?

Oh, all right, some more Great Tits:

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Twice Today at the Bay

Skye was not nice at all, demanding that we take her on a walk before lunch. Georgia beat me down to the beach, and by the time I caught up to her, she already had two teeth.
The beach really changed since yesterday We had a storm with 40 mph winds overnight, and sand moved all over, piling up in some places and stripping away in others.

After 3 PM, I decided to take advantage of the West winds, and went fishing.
Fishing was slow. I caught exactly one fish, but at least it was a 24 inch Striped Bass, so we'll get a couple of meals off it. Clouds in the Southeast lit up in the sunset.

Reason #5753 That Trump Was Elected

"Hanoi" Jane Fonda: Jane Fonda on Whether She’s ‘Proud’ of America: ‘No, but I’m Proud of the Resistance’ Against Trump
Actress Jane Fonda said Monday that she is not proud of America today but is proud of those who continue to protest Donald Trump's presidency.

BBC's Stephen Sackur asked Fonda, a political activist, on "HARDtalk" about her lifelong activism, starting with her trip to North Vietnam in 1972.

Asked if she regrets going to Hanoi during the Vietnam War, Fonda said she does not regret going but does regret a picture showing her with North Vietnamese troops on an antiaircraft gun.

"The thing that I regret is that on my last day there, I made the mistake of going to a ceremony at an anti-aircraft gun," she said. "It wasn't being used. There were no airplanes or anything like that. There was a ceremony. I was asked to sing and people were laughing and so forth and I was led, and I sat down."

"And then I got up and as I walked away, I realized, ‘Oh my gosh. It's going to look like I am against my own country's soldiers and siding with the enemy, which is the last thing in the world that was true," she continued.

A photograph of Fonda with North Vietnamese troops on an antiaircraft gun that would have been used to shoot down American planes particularly angers veterans, and helped earn her the nickname "Hanoi Jane" when she returned to the U.S.

Sackur followed up by asking if it is effective for celebrities to protest Trump at award ceremonies and whether she is "proud of the American today."

"I don't know, all I know is, and I say this as a dyed in wool Democrat, the Democratic Party has failed us," Fonda said. "Clinton failed us, and in a way the Obama administration have all neglected the very people who voted for Trump, who used to be the base of the Democratic Party."

"Let me ask you a simple question: are you proud of America today?" Sackur asked.

"No, but, I'm proud of the resistance," she said. "I'm proud of the people who are turning out in unprecedented numbers and continue over and over and over again to protest what Trump is doing. I’m very proud of them, that core."
One could do worse than always vote against Jane's preferred candidates.

Linked by Wombat-socho in "Rule 5 Sunday: No, Not That Asia."