Monday, April 30, 2018

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Since its completion in 1928, Conowingo Dam has been intercepting sediments and other pollutants which would otherwise have washed into Chesapeake Bay. In recent years, the pool behind it has become nearly full of sediment, and in periods of high flow it is no long able to retain the pollutants, thus, bring the situation back to what it was before the dam was built. Now, the company that bought this energy asset is on the edge of being assessed a huge fine: Maryland orders Exelon to shoulder Conowingo pollution reductions:
After years of study and haggling over how to deal with the impact of Conowingo Dam on the Chesapeake Bay, the Hogan administration has ordered the hydropower facility’s operator to reduce nutrient pollution passing through the dam on its way down the Susquehanna River — or pay up to $172 million a year for someone else to do it.

Maryland has ordered Exelon to offset impacts of nutrient and sediment pollution, water releases on lower Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay.

The Maryland Department of the Environment announced Friday that it had issued a condition-laden water quality certification needed by the utility before it could receive a new federal license to continue operating the hydroelectric dam. The 59-page document directs the facility’s owner, Exelon Corp., take a series of steps to help spawning fish over the 94-foot high dam, to produce a more natural river flow and to improve fish habitat and water quality.
I have no problem with that. There is a real problem with anadromous fish not being able to get past Conowingo in sufficient numbers.
MDE directed Exelon, which is seeking a new 50-year license for Conowingo, to make annual reductions of 6 million pounds of nitrogen and 260,000 pounds of phosphorus in the lower Susquehanna below the dam. Those are the amount of nutrient reductions studies have indicated are needed to offset the impact of the dam on Upper Bay water quality. If the company does not make those reductions itself, then the MDE directed it to pay “in-lieu fees” if nothing else is done to reduce the nutrient flows.

“From the beginning of our administration, we have sounded the warning on the problems caused by the Conowingo Dam,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. He said the conditions in the state’s certification provide “a strong framework for working with the upstream states and private partners such as Exelon to take real actions to address the sediment and nutrient pollution problems caused by the dam so we can preserve the Bay for future generations.”

The state’s action drew praise from environmental groups. Alison Prost, acting vice president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, thanked Hogan and MDE for wanting to hold Exelon accountable, saying that “the very presence of this dam alters the form and timing of river water and pollution reaching the Chesapeake Bay.”

Exelon spokeswoman Deena O’Brien said the company was reviewing the state’s conditions, while reiterating its longstanding position that the dam itself is not adding nutrient pollution to the river or the Bay.

Exelon had previously agreed to a number of the conditions laid out by the MDE, including an ambitious plan to increase the numbers of American shad, river herring and eels getting upriver past Conowingo and three other dams. But talks between the company and Maryland apparently broke down over additional conditions the MDE wanted to impose regarding water quality.

“We were very far apart,” Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said, both about what Exelon would have to do about the nutrients and sediment flowing past the dam and about the way in which the hydro facility’s operation alters the natural flow of the river.
If there were any justice, the farmers of Pennsylvania and New York, as well as the various municipalities in the Susquehanna drainage, whose eroding farms and polluted storm water flows actually sent the sediment and other pollutants down the river would be paying these fees instead of the company whose asset was actually responsible for sequestering these pollutants, would pay the fees.

If there were any justice.

4/30/18 Beach Report

Skye and I set off to the beach right after lunch. Along the way we met a couple of Skye's friends, who sometimes visit her along the fence in the back yard. You probably need to click on and zoom the picture to make them out. It's a nice day, blue sky, low 60s with 15 kt NW winds.
Georgia met us at the beach, and we all walked up to the trees. Shark's tooth hunting was pretty good, although we didn't get anything remarkable. I did get a tiny Angel Shark tooth, which is pretty different from the run-of-the-mill tooth

Russiagate Lovebird Update

A few days ago we heard that a fresh batch of text messages between DOJ attorney Lisa Page and superduper FBI agent Peter Strzok has been, rather unwillingly, released to Congress, heavily redacted. The Conservative Treehouse has been examining them and has come to the novel conclusion that the Page/Strzok affair story was merely a cover for their testimony against the anti-Trump conspiracy:  An Updated Review of Details Within Lisa Page and Peter Strzok Text Messaging…
There is zero evidence of a romantic relationship between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page; and no, a complete chronological review doesn’t indicate the romantic stuff was withheld.  By looking at the messaging chronologically, studying the date and times, there’s nothing to indicate segments of romantic stuff was removed.  What does appear obvious in many redactions, and likely some removals of messages, is an intentional effort to remove content that would be of an embarrassing professional nature to Ms.Lisa Page.

It is more than likely the “affair narrative” was likely created by investigators as part of an agreement on content control to explain withholding some information and message redactions.  Investigators would not want those being investigated to know the scale of the evidence trail.  Regardless, except for the useful story, the romantic angle is irrelevant.

It is clear that when Lisa Page gave FBI INSD (Inspection Division) authorization to access *all* her communication and messaging *accounts* and devices (July 15 – 20th, 2017) the FBI INSD and Office of Inspector General (OIG) agreed to redact snarky interoffice material that would be embarrassing to Ms. Page.
. . .
Page and Strzok carefully maneuvered to shape the internal activity by their immediate supervisors, Andrew McCabe and Bill Priestap respectively. There’s a particular creepiness in how much the duo guide each other to tell other people specific points and shape opinion, and ultimately action or lack thereof. They’re like two spies inside an allied organization shaping the outcome in the direction of a goal they have agreed to privately.

Their approach also means they must be involved in every important detail of the ongoing effort. And there are a few times where FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap pokes Peter Strzok. [May 9th, 2017] Strzok “angry” because his boss “Bill” is starting to question why Strzok needs to have his fingers in everything. “implication is I’m a busy body” etc.

However, there is also a transparent aspect to McCabe and more specifically James Comey being kept away from “small group” details so they can retain plausible deniability on the overall scheme. The Sept/October ’16 Weiner email problem is one such example. Comey’s lack of knowledge, and/or inaccuracy of knowledge, is a public defense; but FBI General Counsel James Baker’s knowledge of what Comey does know is a legal risk.
Thread by @Nick_Falco: "1) Last night, more Strzok-Page Texts were released. There are some suspicious texts sent prior to the @GenFlynn interview. Were they talkin […]" #ClearFlynnNow
January 23, 2017, the day before the Flynn interview, Lisa Page says "I can feel my heart beating harder, I'm so stressed about all the ways THIS has the potential to go fully off the rails." Weird!
Thread by @prayingmedic: "23) An anon posted an article about the latest texts which prove that agent Strzok was buddies with Rudy Contreras, the original judge in th […]" #Qanon #FakeNews
The call to Kislyak, the FBI interview, the falsified 302, the kangaroo court, the guilty plea... it was all a smokescreen.
Play acting for the cameras.
Flynn took the [rubber] bullet to appear fatally injured.
Behind the scenes, he was hunting black hats.
Clapper: A leak is an unauthorized disclosure of classified or sensitive information that is improper under ANY circumstance

Gen. Mike Flynn’s Family Aids in His Defense Against FBI and DOJ Frame Up

Jonathon Turley: Clapper’s actions sure do look like political manipulations and ‘Jake Tapper may want to lawyer-up’: House report exposes CNN reporter as potential participant in ‘political espionage’
since Tapper contributed to Clapper’s espionage by accepting his classified information and then sharing it with the masses, he’s equally guilty, according to Barnes.

“[J]ournalists are not exempt from criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act,” Barnes tweeted Friday. “Indeed, it appears what @jaketapper did is worse than what his CIA allies said Assange should go to prison for.”
But it's different when it hurts Democrats.

A database of James Comey: The Biggest Scandals and Controversies in His Career Andrew McCarthy: Comey Confirms: In Clinton Emails Caper, the Fix Was InFBI Never Investigated Abedin/Clinton Laptop Emails In October 2016…

In DC the FBI (Comey and McCabe) created the appearance of a re-opening of the Clinton investigation to keep control and ensure the investigative outcomes remained out of the hands of the Eastern District (EDNY) and New York FBI field office. They had no choice.

However, once the FBI opened the investigation October 28th, they did exactly the same thing they had done from September 28th to October 28th… they did nothing.

A few days later they declared the second investigation closed, and that was that.

They never expected her to lose.
Levin: The Trump-Russia conspiracy is a ‘coup attempt,’ ‘goes all the way to the top!’ Yep. Obama. Judicial Watch: Deep State Update: An Unparalleled Scandal

Chairman Devin Nunes Discusses Final Report on Russian Active Measures….

UNRELIABLE SOURCES: CNN's Brian Stelter Gets Called Out For Failing To Cover Two Major Stories
The biggest story that Stelter hid from readers was the revelation that Obama's Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, leaked information about the infamous anti-Trump dossier to CNN's Jake Tapper and then was rewarded with a contract at CNN.

The development was significant as it further backed up The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway's assertion that CNN helped orchestrate a setup of Donald Trump that was the catalyst that eventually led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Once again, Stelter was called out, and he refused to answer . . .
It's all about what stories to hide to protect the Democrats. Facebook Blocks Daily Caller Story On FBI Texts — Blames ‘Spam’ Algorithm.
TheDCNF’s reporters attempted several times to post the story on Facebook after readers began complaining that Facebook wouldn’t allow them to share the story. Each time, Facebook rejected the post with a caution message.

“Our security systems have detected that a lot of people are posting the same content, which could mean that it’s spam,” Facebook told users who tried to share the story. “Please try a different post.”
Uh huh. They only have 20,000 liberals deciding what stories are suitable for Facebook.

It's all about what stories to hide to protect the Democrats.

America is Ready for Sexbots

A new study asked 2,000 Americans their thoughts around the concept of “sexbots,” robots that you can, well, have sex with, and found that curiosity would get the better of one in four Americans who said they’d have sex with a robot at least once just to try it.

However, a captivated 16 percent of Americans polled are already all the way on board with the idea of sexbots, saying they would have sex with a robot “frequently” were they readily available.
Liars. It's way higher than that.
These fascinating results emerged from a new survey conducted by sex toy shop, which also revealed that men were 21 percent more likely to say they would have sex with a robot.
I'm sure "" is perfectly unbiased. /sarc
The survey went on to ask people how much they’d pay for their ideal sex robot and found that the average American would pay an astonishing $1,666 for their perfect idea of a sexbot, with men willing to shell out an extra $560 more than women.
Men are generally more gadget friendly than women anyway. But I would think a really good sexbot would cost as much as car; but not as much as a wife.
So, what is that ideal sexbot exactly? The study went on to explore that idea, finding that 41 percent of Americans would prefer their sexbot to be capable of talking, creating memories and having sentience.
Really? I would think having the ability to make them forget would be highly desirable. I think I even saw that on an epidsode of Humans.
And while it was near overwhelmingly agreed upon that a realistically human-looking sexbot is preferred, there was still a curious 4 percent of respondents who said they would rather have sex with a robot that looked more like a traditional robot.
Gemma Chan made an excellent sexbot.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Crash Test Girl" up and running at The Other McCain.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Soulless Ginger Attempts Humor, Fails

EBL has the White House Correspondents Dinner Summary: Smug and Sanctimonious: Michelle Wolf at White House Correspondents Dinner

I missed most of it initially because Michelle Wolf's routine was so boring I stopped watching. I went back to watch after people complained (which only confirmed my instinct not to watch in the first place was the correct one). I love a good roast, but this was not funny (Michelle, you are not Don Rickles).
Well, I didn't see any of it, except for this bit which I found on the internet. I hope to encourage networks not to cover it.

National Review: Loathsome and Unfunny

Legal Insurrection: Unfunny personal attacks stun at WHCD

Don Surber: Trump Effect hits White House Press Corp and A Journalist Disses The White House Correspondents Dinner

RedState: Trump boycotting the WHCD is not an attack of the First Amendment (the whole thing is a self congratulatory circle jerk)

Instapundit: She shouldn't dress like that, Dispatches from the Nerd Prom: Media hands Trump a big, embarrassing win, The garbage fire of last nights WHCD summed up in one tweet, If it weren't for declining standards, there would be no standards at all
To which I would like to add Ann Althouse's: Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents' Dinner: "You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you use to date him? Because you pretend like you hate him but I think you love him." and They use women...

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Crash Test Girl" up and running at The Other McCain.

Wind Farms Foul Weather Forecasts

A new document from the National Weather Service expands on potential interference with the weather radar in Montague, used by personnel at Fort Drum.

In addition to the Buffalo and Burlington, Vt. weather stations which cover Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, the document lists impacts to the Albany and Binghamton National Weather Service stations, which also use the Montague KTYX radar.

Among the possible concerns listed in the document for the Binghamton station is that beam blockage from wind turbines could hamper tracking of thunderstorms in Oneida and Madison counties, delaying tornado warnings. It could also make it difficult to track lake effect snow and rainfall, which in turn could delay travel advice and flash flood warnings.

For the Albany station, the document said that clutter from turbines could create false storm identification and tracking over Lewis and northern Herkimer counties, as well as possibly masking lake effect snow.
Wind farm blocking storm radar
girl blocking view of wind farm
Who cares about lake effect snow anyway. If you live in Buffalo, you deserve it.

The document was sent out by Jessica A. Schultz with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and lists the possible impact of wind turbines for the four NWS weather stations that use the weather radar. According to documents published online by NOAA, Ms. Schultz works at the NOAA NWS Radar Operations Center in Oklahoma. Although the document itself is unsigned, the document’s properties list the author as being a JSchultz.

Read more here

Here is the document from the NWS, which according to the document properties was created by JSchultz – also reproduced below.
So in addition to killing birds and bats, and only providing power when the wind blows the right amount and requiring massive subsidies, wind power also messes with weather forecasts, and make it more difficult for weatherpeople to predict when bad weather will strike. Such a deal!

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Crash Test Girl" up and running at The Other McCain.

Is There Any Justice in "Social Justice"?

Stacy McCain explores The Rhetoric of ‘Social Justice’
When did “oppression” become a synonym for failure or unhappiness? How did “privilege” become a synonym for success? And why do so many people now conflate criticism or disagreement with “hate”?

During the past five years — since President Obama was re-elected in 2012, basically — the rhetoric of progressive “social justice” ideology has made its way from elite universities into the cultural mainstream:
The term “social justice warrior” (SJW) was coined nearly 10 years ago by Will Shetterly. The son of civil-rights activists who were threatened by the Klan during his childhood, Shetterly became an award-winning science-fiction writer. It was in the context of his writing career that he encountered the indignant Internet mobs of virtue-signallers and identity-politics activists who inspired the epithet. By the time the #GamerGate controversy arose in August 2014, “SJW” was a popular label for this increasingly familiar type, and Shetterly’s coinage was made famous by Vox Day in the title of a 2015 book, SJWs Always Lie.

That the SJW mentality — a fixated obsession with victimhood — emerged from academia can be demonstrated by examining, e.g., Gender Studies curricula and the identity-politics rhetoric of student activism. “Intersectionality” (a jargon term coined by a law professor and proponent of “critical race theory”) became a mantra among campus feminists at elite universities who were taught that their “oppression” was part of an interlocking system of social injustice. No matter how rich her parents may be, or whatever social and economic advantages she may obtain, “intersectionality” means that the feminist student always considers herself as a victim of an unjust society, and thus obligated to destroy the system that oppresses her. . . .
"Social" takes the "justice" out of "social justice". Justice, at least in America, is seen as equal treatment under the law towards each individual. "Social justice" modifies that by dividing the people into groups, and deciding that equal treatment to some individuals is not warranted due to history.

Justice: a : the quality of being just, impartial, or fair questioned the justice of the their decision
b (1) : the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action (2) : conformity to this principle or ideal : righteousness the justice of their cause c : the quality of conforming to law

Social justice: justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. "individuality gives way to the struggle for social justice"
Pretty much any time "social" is used to modify a subject it debases it, either weakening or even contradicting it. Try it. Justice or "social justice", studies or "social studies", security or "social security", responsibility or "social responsibility", media or "social media". OK, the last one doesn't hurt it too bad. There wasn't very far to fall with media.

A Mere Trickle of Russiagate

Sunday morning, a slow time for Russiagate. The government is asleep, so no new revelations can escape, but the old news is still being chewed like cud, trying to squeeze out the last bit of goodness.

The Weekly Standard: House Report Claims DNI Clapper Engineered Dossier Release rehashes the Clapper findings pretty well, but contains this interesting bit:
When not redacting names that need no redacting, the sloppy censors fail to redact names they are trying to excise. Also on page 113, we are told that “[REDACTED] received from Clinton associate [REDACTED] information collected by an individual named [REDACTED] Shearer…” From Winer’s own Post op-ed, we know that the recipient of the information was Winer; we also know from the op-ed that the Clinton associate was the notorious Sidney Blumenthal. And as for the collector of the information, the op-ed tells us that was long-time Clinton hanger-on Cody Shearer. But we don’t need the op-ed to know that, because the official intelligence agency censor, having blacked out “Cody” (which comes at the end of a line in the document) fails to black out “Shearer” at the start of the next line of text.

Either the censors know their job is a joke, or they are simply negligent in executing their job. Neither speaks well of the intelligence community, especially when the controversy of the moment has come to turn so much on the credibility and transparency of federal intelligence agencies.
Embrace the healing power of "and."  Tucker Carlson: Steele Dossier "Was A Setup From The Beginning" By The Deep State

Tucker Carlson Demands CNN, MSNBC Apologize 'For the Entire Last Year' on Trump-Russia Collusion. Georgia won't let me watch Tucker on the tube; she finds him too irritating.

Politico: Why Mueller’s Trump interview may not matter
“I don’t think they’d get much out of a Trump interview,” said Julian Epstein, a former chief counsel for House Judiciary Committee Democrats during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. “Trump has a faulty memory. He’s evasive. You’re not going to get a lot of information that’s useful.”
Worse than Hillary Clinton? That's a damn high bar.

So here's a good one from Mark Tapscott. I actually saw new material here, especially with respect to the IG Horowitz investigation: Here Are Three Scary FBI Scandal Factors You Must Know
First, there’s Horowitz’ Revenge. Virtually everybody in the nation’s capital is waiting either in fear or eager anticipation for the upcoming investigative report of Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. . . . 
An interesting back story.
Second, there’s Obama’s Perogative. As more facts are uncovered about the lengths to which former FBI Director James Comey, his then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and a half dozen other pro-Hillary Clinton bureau insiders went to protect the Democratic nominee in her email scandal, the least discussed element is Obama’s role in the affair . . .
Andy McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor has been beating this drum for a while.
Third, there’s the Spooks’ Sting. These two scandals are loaded with spymasters. The most powerful ones weren’t even at the FBI. Think former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan. And don’t forget former National Security Adviser Susan Rice or former UN Ambassador Samantha Power.

All of these people enjoyed years of unfettered or nearly so access to the incredible digital and electronic listening power developed by the U.S. intelligence community in the wake of 9/11, including the ability to “unmask” any lawmaker, congressional staffer, corporate executive, philanthropic executive or donor, judge, foreign official, presidential appointee, diplomat or military officer overheard in any of the hundreds of millions conversations intercepted by the listening agencies.
The civil servants are no longer servants, they're masters.

And this one is just weird news: MMA fighter with links to Trump, Cohen is questioned by FBI
A Russian mixed martial arts fighter who has connections with President Donald Trump, the president's personal attorney Michael Cohen and Russian President Vladimir Putin was questioned this week by the FBI, his manager confirmed Saturday.

Fedor Emelianenko was questioned by agents who met him in his hotel room on Tuesday, manager Jerry Millen said before Emelianenko's Bellator MMA heavyweight fight against Frank Mir. Millen declined to detail his client's conversations with the agents.

"The FBI came to the hotel looking to talk to Fedor and they were very nice, came in to speak with Fedor for a few minutes, spoke to me, very cool guys, and that's all I can really say about it. Again, the FBI did come to the hotel, they found us, knocked on the door," Millen said.

"Hundred percent, kind of surprised," Millen added. "They were very nice, very professional."
. . .
Putin has attended Emelianenko's fights, and the 41-year-old fighter has been photographed with the Russian president. His connection with Trump dates back to 2008, when he was signed by Affliction Entertainment, a fight league in which Trump had an ownership stake. Trump announced a joint venture involving MMA and Emelianenko at a news conference on June 5, 2008.

Affliction ended up folding for financial reasons after two events, both headlined by Emelianenko.

I'm Not Sure This is Sound Science, But Why Take Chances?

The average life expectancy for a man is 79, where women are expected to live to 82.

The reason for women outliving men is genetics, according to Medical Daily. Women have two X chromosomes, which provides them with a backup if a mutation occurs. However, men do not have that luxury — they only have one X chromosome to express all their genes.

Lifestyle factors can also impact how long a person will live.

Here are six ways a man can boost his life expectancy.

1. Stare at boobs

It may seem like an inconvenience or an invasion of privacy to many women, but staring at boobs creates a positive mindset in men.

The same effect occurs when they look at cute animals.

A 2012 study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at the effects positive thinking had on men’s health. . .
Help us, girls. Consider it your contribution to health care!
2. Have lots of sex

What every man wants to hear, but there is a good reason for it.

A study in the BMJ found that sex could decrease a man’s mortality rate by as much as 50 percent.

It is all down to sex promoting physical well-being, as well as being a stress reliever — which can help reduce the likeliness of illness.
But how can you be sure you've had enough? Always time for more, right?

After that, they get a little more serious and go all Jordan Peterson on us:
3. Get married . . .

4. Have kids . . .

5. Be responsible . . .
So 3 out of 5 ain't too bad . . .

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Crash Test Girl" up and running at The Other McCain.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Reason 5922 That Trump Was Elected

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared “a new era of peace” and vowed to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons Friday after a historic summit.

But the leaders fell short of agreeing to specific steps toward denuclearization, setting the stage for more difficult negotiations and raising the stakes for the first-ever U.S.-North Korean summit, which is expected to be held in coming weeks.

President Donald Trump enthusiastically welcomed the results in a pair of tweets.

“Good things are happening, but only time will tell!” he said. “KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!”
Or, as Don Surber (conveyed by Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 04.27.18") put it: Photo made possible by electing Donald Trump president

Of course, this doesn't mean it's a done deal, but it's better than waiting until Kim lobs a nuclear missile on San Francisco to pay attention.

Wait a minute, let me think about that.

Thanks to Andy for the first link.


Thanks, Bill! Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links.

Have some Refreshing Russiagate?

Well, the results of the House investigation into Russiagate is official, and it's pretty much what we expected. The AP reports GOP-led House panel clears Trump campaign in Russia probe, and points out that the Democratic side is not happy, and wanted to call scads more witness, and drag out the whole affair through the midterms, if not Trump's whole term in office.
“While the committee found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government, the investigation did find poor judgment and ill-considered actions by the Trump and Clinton campaigns,” the House intelligence committee wrote.
. . .
“Committee Republicans chose not to seriously investigate — or even see, when in plain sight — evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, said in a statement. Schiff cited several “secret meetings and communication” between people linked to Russia and Trump campaign officials, including Trump Jr. and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Althouse:  "Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee found no evidence during a monthslong investigation that the Trump campaign aided Russia’s election meddling..."
Whoa! That's not "strikingly divergent"! That's strikingly on the same page: No evidence of collusion. Yes, there is a difference of attitude, but it's so predictable, and so solidly based on our deeply rooted 2-party system that it sings a song of eternal American harmony.
As you would expect.  Trump Claims Vindication On House Intel Report: “A Total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!” John Brennan Issues Warning to POTUS About Mueller’s Investigation “Stay Tuned, Mr. Trump…”

About the only thing interesting to fall out of the report was this nugget: James Clapper Discussed Dossier With CNN, According To House Intel Report
The report, published by the GOP side of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, shows that Clapper acknowledged speaking with Tapper about the dossier while he was still serving as director of national intelligence.

That is in direct conflict with Clapper’s claim to CNN’s Don Lemon in March that he did not interact with the media prior to leaving the Obama administration on Jan. 20, 2017.

“I didn’t have any contact with media until after I left the government on the 20th of January, so I don’t quite understand, at least what I’ve read, that somehow I leaked about the dossier,” Clapper told Lemon in the interview.

“So you didn’t leak anything about the dossier to any media?” Lemon asked.

“No, not — I mean, I talked about it after I left the government, but not during that period, and certainly not between the 6th of January and the 10th when the president-elect himself talked about it.”
Declassified Congressional Report: James Clapper Lied About Dossier Leaks To CNN
Buried within a newly declassified congressional report on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections is a shocking revelation: former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper not only leaked information about the infamous Steele dossier and high-level government briefings about it to CNN, he also may have lied to Congress about the matter.
How soon does the clock tick down on the statute of limitations for lying to Congress this time?

He was then rewarded with a job from CNN. Hot Air: Clapper Leaked The Dossier To CNN After Ordering Comey To Brief Trump (Update: Clapper Hired By CNN)
So to put this back in chronological order:
  • News outlets including CNN have the dossier and are looking for an excuse to run it.
  • Clapper tells Comey to brief Trump on the dossier just in case CNN or someone runs with it.
  • Comey briefs Trump on just the salacious details.
  • Clapper leaks back to CNN that Trump and Obama have been briefed on the dossier.
  • CNN uses this as the news hook and publishes a story on the dossier.
  • Buzzfeed dumps the entire dossier.
  • Clapper denies the leak.
  • Clapper admits the leak.
  • Clapper hired by CNN.
It’s hard to look at that sequence of events and not conclude the briefing itself was a setup. If Clapper had ordered the briefing, knowing CNN was hot to publish a story, and then never leaked anything about it, that would be one thing. But the record shows he leaked the information to Jake Tapper (whose name is on the CNN story) within days after the briefing he had ordered supposedly to protect the president from CNN (and others).
Ace: So, Will Jake Tapper's Top Stories Be About Veterans Today?
I think he'll have all kinds of topics to cover besides the revelation that CNN employee James Clapper leaked a highly classified briefing to CNN, and then CNN published a #FakeNews story dutifully relaying Clapper's dishonest denial of having done so
I've noted that before, too: CNN knew damn well that Clapper was leaking to them, yet CNN ran Clapper's false claim he wasn't leaking to anyone and ran it as if the fact were true -- or, at least, they did not contradict it.
Also found in the Congressional report: Former Feinstein Staffer Raised $50 Million, Hired Fusion GPS And Christopher Steele After 2016 Election. Cabal Of Wealthy Donors Financing $50 Million Trump-Russia Investigation. So the propaganda war continues. Fusion GPS, the best name in manufactured news.

More on James Comey's disastrous interview with Bret Baier: Analysis: Three Big Takeaways from Bret Baier's Thorough Grilling of James ComeyJames Comey Still Not Sure Who Funded The Steele Dossier,
Comey is acting as if something everyone has known about for the last six months is still confusing to him, possibly, so he can say it didn’t matter. His ignorance on this point seems a bit too studied given that everyone else has known who funded the dossier for six months. Is it a coincidence that this gets to the core of the complaints many Republicans have about the FISA memo, i.e. that it failed to clearly identify Trump’s opponent as the funder but merely indicated in a footnote that it might be oppo-research? It seems to me Comey is trying a bit too hard to say this didn’t matter.
Comey Double Down: I Didn’t Leak — I Just Instructed My Friend To Talk To The NYT A sort of Clintonesque interpretation of what a leak is.
Let’s just ask this question. If it was okay for Comey to have that material released to the media, why didn’t he do it himself? Comey likes to opine on ethics and integrity, but that cuts to the heart of the conceit. Having someone else give information to the media that you acquired through your position as a government official is a leak, and that makes Comey a leaker even if he doesn’t get prosecuted or sanctioned for it. It’s such a basic point that it beggars belief that Comey thinks it can be rationalized at all.
Mark Penn: Comey, Mueller and the poisonous tree
The more we learn about how these massive investigations were started, the more they look so corrupted that this entire investigation now could now qualify as the fruits of a poisonous tree, a doctrine first adopted by Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter as the only way to prevent government agents from abusing the rights of citizens and benefitting from those actions. The government can’t violate people’s rights with impunity and then just say “oops.”

Mary Katherine Hamm wants Trump to spike the ball and pardon Martha Stewart: Mary Katherine Ham: Trump Should Pardon Martha Stewart to Further Troll James Comey (As a federal prosecutor, James Comey convicted Martha Stewart of lying to the FBI):
Pardon Martha Stewart to troll Comey -- and also, because it's the right thing to do.

But mostly for the trolling.

Here's MKH's top two reasons for a pardon (though she lists more):

  1. The Whole Thing Was Nonsense . . .
  2. To Take A Swipe At Comey . . .
 Via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 04.26.18" American Thinker: Sean Hannity Owns $90 Million In Real Estate. So What?. Yep. Rich people own thing, and it's not a federal crime.

Also: Trump lawyer loaned to taxi mogul in weed biz. Rich people also invest in other things, and it may not be a federal crime either. Funny leak though, right? Federal Judge Issues 90-Day Stay In Stormy Daniels Suit Against Michael Cohen. I don't think 90 days is enough to clean up her image. Judge Tosses Manafort Civil Suit Challenging Special Counsel. Well, it was worth a try.

From Ace's  Morning Report 4/27/18DoJ Gives Congress Missing Strzok-Page Text Messages , prepare for more love bird revelations, Lawless GOP-Led Judiciary Committee Passes Blatantly Unconstitutional Bill to Protect Mueller, Despite Objections of Rank and FileComey-Dumpster Claims GOP Funded the Steele Dossier,  Comey-Dumpster Tries to Plug "Leak" Talk (promote or stop?), With PDT "Conspiracy" Lawsuit, Dems Sicced the Equivalent of a Special Counsel on Themselves

Regarding that last one: Jeffrey Toobin thinks The D.N.C.’s Lawsuit Against Russia and the Trump Campaign Isn’t a Bad Idea "This is a season for total partisan warfare, and the courts are a battlefield, too, and that’s where the Democrats are now taking their place."

Natalia Veselnitskaya admits the obvious: Russian from Trump Tower meeting: 'I am a lawyer, and I am an informant', so just why did the Obama administration go to such lengths to get her admitted to the US?

Rule 5 Saturday - Mad Spy - Jessica Paré

This week for Rule 5 Sunday I'm featuring Jessica Paré:
Jessica Paré (born December 5, 1980) is a Canadian actress and singer. She is best known for her co-starring role as Megan Draper on the AMC series Mad Men. She has also appeared in the films Stardom (2000), Lost and Delirious (2001), Wicker Park (2004), Suck (2009), Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), and Brooklyn (2015).
Not having watched Mad Men, I first noticed her in Seal Team, the current CBS drama in which she plays the CIA officer Amanda "Mandy" Ellis, associated the Navy Seal team headed by  Master Chief Special Warfare OperatorA Jason Hayes, played by Angel Booth David Boreanaz.

Random factoids:
Paré was born in Montréal, Québec, the daughter of Anthony Paré, former chair of the Education department at McGill University, and Louise Mercier, a conference interpreter. She grew up in the Montréal neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce with three brothers. She speaks both English and French.

Through her great-great-uncle Noah Timmins, Paré is the third cousin, once removed, of Peter, Michael and Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies, and of their sister, actress Cali Timmins. Celebrated 18th-century Irish dramatist, fiction writer, essayist and actress, Elizabeth Griffith, through her son, politician Richard Griffith, was Paré's great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.
She paid the usual dues along the way (NSFW links).

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Bikini Barrel Racing?" and "FMJRA 2.0: Exactly What You Wanted" up and running at The Other McCain.

Friday, April 27, 2018

#HimToo: Linda Vester Throws a Late Hit on Tom Brokaw

Former NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw Accused of Sexual Harassment
Linda Vester was a 28-year-old NBC News correspondent — the youngest at the network — when she said she was first targeted for sexual harassment by the man who was NBC’s prime-time anchor for decades:
In a series of interviews with Variety conducted over several months, Vester alleged that Brokaw physically tried to force her to kiss him on two separate occasions, groped her in a NBC conference room and showed up at her hotel room uninvited. Two friends who Vester told at the time corroborated her story with Variety, and she shared her journal entries from the time period. Brokaw, who has been married to Meredith Auld since 1962, has never before been publicly accused of sexual harassment.
In a statement from him supplied by a NBC News spokesman, Brokaw said of the allegations, “I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC. The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other.” . . .
Tom Brokaw

You can read the whole thing. When the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse began in October 2017, I remarked:
A witch-hunt has no statute of limitations, nor any standard of due process and, as for evidence, who needs evidence? If a woman says her ex-boyfriend did awful things to her in 2007 or 1997, feminists will applaud her for her “courage” in “breaking the silence,” and nothing that the targeted scapegoat says in his own defense will save him.
In the case of Vester’s accusations against Brokaw, we are talking about alleged incidents that happened more than 20 years ago. Vester left NBC News in 1999. Tom Brokaw is now 78 years old and has been married to the same woman since 1962. While no one can condone the behavior that Vester alleges, what is accomplished by dragging Brokaw’s name through the mud now? After NBC’s Matt Lauer was destroyed by sexual harassment allegations, I remarked that “the reason this is happening is because Hillary lost and Trump won”:
The zero-tolerance no-mercy attitude toward male misconduct is a product of feminist rage over Trump’s victory; they cannot destroy him, so they’ll destroy any man within range. The only way to save yourself? Avoid feminists.
Linda Vester

This is about revenge, and NBC’s effort to enact policies to prevent future harassment scandals are being met with skepticism because who can reason with an angry lynch-mob? Far be it from me to complain when liberal media types like Brokaw and Lauer are being hoisted by their own petards, but we cannot cast aside our concern for justice simply because a specific injustice may advance our political interests.
I enjoy seeing the leftist torpedoes circling back around and hitting their own flagships as much as anyone, but this hit does seem rather late.

UPDATE: An amusing comment at Althouse:

Ken B said...

Brokaw broken hearted at being Brokawed. I have no idea if he's guilty, I hate these decades later charges, but damn it’s nice to see him learn what the media is really like.

Greg Still Looking for His Crabs with Mittens

An ex-colleague, Greg Ruiz, head of the Invasive Species group at SERC: unWanted: Mitten Crabs
An army of invading crabs has disappeared. But scientists are skeptical about whether they’re gone for good or simply hiding. Now the search is back on: As warmer temperatures lure people onto the water, Smithsonian scientists are asking watermen and other boaters to report any sightings of the elusive Chinese mitten crab.

Mitten crabs first created a stir in the Chesapeake in 2006. That summer, while working aboard his crab boat Bodacious, a waterman named John Delp caught a Chinese mitten crab near the mouth of the Patapsco River. Shortly after scientists confirmed its identity, an earlier sighting from 2005 also came to light, from waterman Jim Foltz. Farther north, reports began streaming in from the Hudson River and Raritan Bay, where boaters eventually spotted more than 100 crabs, some of them breeding. Scientists began bracing for an invasion.

At the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, biologists set up a mitten crab hotline and website to collect reports of the hairy-clawed crustaceans. They compiled dozens of sightings from 2005 through 2009. But then reports began to slow. Eventually they stopped altogether. The last confirmed sighting in Maryland was in 2009 and in the Hudson in 2014.
Greg Ruiz

“Are they still there? This is the question,” said biologist Greg Ruiz, who leads the center’s Marine Invasions Lab. “I don’t know the answer.”

“You’d think with all of that water, someone should be seeing something,” said Darrick Sparks, a biological technician who helps run the Mitten Crab Watch website with Ruiz.

At first glance, this could be a victory for the home team. Known by their brown shells and signature furry claws, Chinese mitten crabs rank among the world’s worst invasive species. In San Francisco Bay and Europe, they’ve clogged water systems, disrupted fishing and threatened to collapse river banks with their burrows. If they’re truly gone, Chesapeake Bay could have dodged a very expensive bullet.

But there’s another more troubling possibility: The mitten crabs could be slipping under the radar. According to Sparks, there haven’t been many focused searches for mitten crabs anywhere in the U.S. Most reports have come from boaters or anglers who caught the crabs accidentally.

This year, Smithsonian biologists are looking to double their efforts. In a last-ditch attempt to root out any hidden crabs, they’re reaching out to boaters, anglers, scientists and government agencies throughout the country, asking them to report sightings of Chinese mitten crabs. In addition to Chesapeake Bay and the Hudson, they’re also targeting citizens of San Francisco Bay. And they’ve resurrected the Mitten Crab Watch site.
It's hard to believe that a crab as tough as this one got started and died out, but maybe it was founded by too few individuals, and just failed to adapt to a new environment because of a genetic bottleneck. Or maybe something predatory developed a taste for Mitten Crabs.

But if you do catch a crab that has mittens, freeze it, and call SERC. 443 482-2206.

Russiagate Ramblin' On

A bad week for Comey in the media, but probably a good week for book sales: Anderson Cooper Grills Comey: Let’s Face It, You’re A Leaker. Comey defines leaking a something someone else does. Of course, the big interview: Bret Baier confronts Comey:

But if you can't sit still through that, Bret Baier boils it down:

Joe DiGenova via Ace: "Breathtaking Duplicity:" Comey's Claims vs. Reality, NewsBusters:
Tour De Force: FNC’s Baier Grills Comey Over Dossier, E-Mail, Leaks in Epic Interview, Daily Wire: Comey Makes Surprising New Claims In Disastrous Fox News Interview, Byron York: Is Comey telling the truth about his memos? The truth seems very pliable in James Comey's world.

A lot of people are asking this question lately: American Thinker: Why Hasn't Mueller Questioned Natalia Veselnitskaya? Don't turn on the lights 'cause I don't want to see!
Interestingly, it was Manafort's home, hotel, and office that were raided at the behest of Mueller, whose team admitted in a court filing that the Veselnitskaya meeting was a motive for the Manafort raid . . .
Records Sought on Obama’s Role in Setting Up Ambassador Event Was Session's recusal the result of a set-up to catch him in a "Russian trap?"
One of the curious aspects of the “meeting” between Sessions and Kislyak — beyond the fact that chatting in a crowded room after a speech hardly qualifies as a meeting — is that President Barack Obama’s administration helped organize the event.
Sessions defends Trump’s power to pardon without consulting Justice Dept. Of course it's his power, it existed before the DOJ. Bipartisan: Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Legislation To Protect Mueller From Trump. And just who do they expect to sign it? Fox News Poll: Mueller likely to find Trump offenses, Trump likely to fire him. A businessman cannot avoid committing crimes given the number of offenses on the books, and a determined prosecutor can basically create a crime out of daily actions, so, it's possible. As for firing? I doubt it. Giuliani Meets With Mueller, Tries to Determine If He Has an ‘Open Mind’ Again, I doubt it. Neo-Neocon addresses Andy McCarthy's piece on Trump: guilty till proven innocent…
Byron York’s Washington Examiner column takes up the question of whether, where Donald Trump is concerned, the “generally accepted standard of justice has been turned on its head.” The matter at issue is the so-called Steele dossier, the Clinton-campaign-sponsored compilation of opposition-research memos that the author, former British spy Christopher Steele, masqueraded as intelligence reports. Byron collects commentary from left-leaning political, academic, and media doyens, all arguing that the dossier’s sensational allegations carry a degree of credibility because, though unverified, they have not been proven untrue.
It is a depressing fact that most people who hate and fear Donald Trump would see nothing wrong with that sort of argument. After all, they want to “cut down every law” to “get after the Devil.” And Trump is the Devil.
IBD: FBI Scandal: Deep State Corruption Of FBI, Justice Was There From Very Start Of Hillary Email Probe, Michael Walsh:  Donald Trump and the Star Chamber of Horrors
From Hillary Clinton to James Comey to Robert Mueller to Stormy Daniels, to various minor federal judges, to CNN and MSNBC, the list of Trump’s enemies continues to grow.

Their tactics are breathtakingly simple—and amazingly brazen. As the past year-plus of Robert Mueller’s tedious investigation has proven, there is no very great crime behind Trump’s very great fortune of having been elected the 45th president of the United States. The entire notion of Russian “collusion” (not in itself actionable in the first place) was cooked up in the witches’ cauldron that was Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The resulting brew was liberally dispensed to the cadres of media operatives pretending to be dispassionate reporters in order to assuage the failed candidate’s rage over losing what she thought—what she was assured by her friends at the CIA and the FBI—was a fixed fight.

And so the Big Lie—that Trump had collaborated with Vladimir Putin to change the course of an American election—was born.
 And there are a bunch of Cohen complications: Trump got on Fox and Friends and ran his mouth. Uh Oh: Actually, Michael Cohen Did Represent Me On The Stormy Daniels Deal, Says Trump, Oh oh really? Was there ever any doubt? Fixers fix. Trump begins distancing himself from Cohen after FBI raid. Fixers are supposed to provide distance. Ask Sydney Blumenthal. Michael Cohen’s Fate Hinges on This 32-Year-Old Corruption Fighter Young and ambitious and with an ax to grind? Just what you'd expect.  Prosecutors use Trump's comments to claim Cohen docs 'unlikely to contain' much privileged info but are we going to take their word for it? No, Federal judge appoints special master to review material seized from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen
A federal judge on Thursday appointed a special master to review material seized from the office and residences of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, acceding to his request that an independent party review the material before federal prosecutors can access it.

The decision, a win for Cohen, came after prosecutors quickly pounced on comments Trump made Thursday morning that the lawyer performed little legal work for him, to undercut Cohen’s argument that much of the material was protected by attorney-client privilege.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood appointed retired federal judge Barbara S. Jones to serve in the special-master role to assess whether the documents include any confidential communications between Cohen and his legal clients, including Trump.
Feds seized more than a dozen of Michael Cohen’s phones. Why didn't he hammer them like Hillary; I'm sure Mueller and the Southern District of New York would find him without intent /sarc.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Bikini Barrel Racing?" up and running at The Other McCain.