Thursday, May 31, 2018

Virgina Joins the #TheResistance

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission warned Virginia in May that the state could soon face action for failing to adopt new menhaden harvest limits established late last year — a process that could lead to a complete closing of its menhaden fishery.

Unlike other species that are managed by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, menhaden regulations are established by the state’s General Assembly.

Specifically, Virginia has not established a 51,000 metric ton harvest cap for menhaden caught within the Chesapeake Bay by the Omega Protein reduction fishery based in Reedville, VA.

Last fall, the ASMFC increased the allowable coastwide catch of menhaden by 8 percent, but changed how it was distributed among the coast, which slightly decreased the limit for Virginia. The state is able to make up for the reduced catch through a system that allows it to acquire unused allocations from other states. But as part of its action, the commission also lowered the cap on how much of the state’s total harvest could come out of the Bay.

The Bay cap only affects Omega’s reduction fishery, which catches large amounts of menhaden and “reduces” the fish into other products, such as fish oil supplements and animal feed. The Bay cap does not affect operations that catch menhaden for bait in other fisheries.

Unlike other species that are managed by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, menhaden regulations are established by the state’s General Assembly. A bill introduced this year to implement the new limit was supported by Gov. Ralph Northam, but the General Assembly never acted on it.

The bill was also supported by many conservation groups that believe too many menhaden are harvested, leaving too little food for predators in the Bay, such as striped bass.

Omega opposed the bill, citing a series of studies over the years that have failed to show that menhaden harvests are hurting other species.

But the failure to act leaves the old Bay quota of 87,216 metric tons in place and puts the state out of compliance with legally binding limits established by the ASMFC, a panel of state fishery managers that sets fishing limits for species that migrate along the East Coast.

Virginia officials say it’s unlikely a regulation will be in place before the ASFMC meets again in August, but they plan to send a letter to the commission signaling their intent to work with the industry to keep Bay harvests within the prescribed level this year and allow the General Assembly to take up the measure in January
. . .
If the ASMFC finds Virginia out of compliance, the commission would notify the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, who would have 30 days to review the issue and could take further action, including imposing a moratorium on menhaden harvests in Virginia state waters.

Reason #1 George Washington was Elected

Tommy Robinson arrested
Because he freed us from the British.

Stacy McCain on the lack of First Amendment freedom in the UK Why Freedom of Speech Matters (And Why ‘Hate Speech’ Is Protected, Too)
When news of Tommy Robinson’s arrest in England made headlines, Americans were shocked. A judge had sentenced Robinson to 13 months in prison for attempting to publicize the trial of men accused of operation a criminal sex ring that trafficked underage girls in Leeds.

The case involved one of several so-called “grooming” gangs that have been exposed in England in recent years, the most notorious of which was The Rotherham Horror. Basically, lower-class white English girls are seduced (“groomed”) by young Muslim men, mostly the sons of Pakitani immigrants, and then gang-raped and/or pimped out as prostitutes. The racial aspect of this phenomenon obviously has the potential to inflame public opinion, especially since investigations have shown officials failed to act promptly in many cases because of political correctness.

Why was Robinson arrested?
The Contempt of Court Act 1981 lays down strict limitations on what can be reported in the press regarding active criminal proceedings. This is to prevent outside influences from affecting jurors, ensuring that the defendant has a fair trial based only on the evidence put before the court.
Robinson was already serving a suspended sentence for contempt of court concerning a 2017 case in Canterbury when he was arrested by police while live-streaming on Facebook outside a grooming trial in Leeds on Friday morning.
In the broadcast, played to the court, Robinson “got into a shouting match with several men who appeared to be defendants in the case”, Buzzfeed reports. He also read out the names and charges against the men, some of them inaccurate.
“No-one could possibly conclude that it would be anything other than highly prejudicial to the defendants in the trial,” said Judge Geoffrey Marson QC, presiding. . . .
A temporary order had been imposed by the court banning media coverage of Robinson’s trial and conviction while the Leeds grooming trial was ongoing over fears it could further publicise Robinson’s prejudicial broadcast.
“If the jurors in my present trial get to know of this video I will no doubt be faced with an application to discharge the jury,” Marson told Robinson on Friday, the Hull Daily Mail reports.
“If I have to do that it will mean a re-trial, costing hundreds and hundreds and thousands of pounds.”
Apparently, either (a) English courts do not have the authority to sequester the jury in high-profile trials, or (b) the courts are deliberately attempting to suppress public knowledge of the Leeds case. As an American unfamiliar with British law, I can’t say which is true, but I do know that there is a smoldering resentment among many Britons about the role of the “respectable” media in cases like these.

One sees Robinson described in headlines as a “far-right” figure, or an “anti-Muslim” activist, but who is to blame for this situation? When you examine the facts surrounding The Rotherham Horror and other such cases, it is apparent that the media was largely complicit — along with the police and other public officials — in permitting the problem of the so-called “grooming” gangs to flourish. Class prejudice was clearly a factor in this. Most British journalists are from the college-educated upper classes, while the girls being raped and pimped out by these Muslim gangs were mostly from a class that Americans would call “white trash.”

It’s not as if the “grooming” gangs were a big secret, after all. Young Pakistani men were parking their cars in front of schools to pick up their 14- and 15-year-old “girlfriends” and, because these girls were generally from the welfare-dependent lower classes, nobody seemed to care. Police, educators and social-service agencies ignored what was going on, and as for the media, well, they wouldn’t want to be accused of “racism” or “Islamophobia” for reporting on this phenomenon. . . 
A primary function of the First Amendment in America is to protect political speech from politicians, which is why it was number one in the list of things that the Founding Fathers were afraid had not been made sufficiently explicit in the constitution itself. The UK has nothing like it. They claim to have a "negative right" to free speech under common law, but with broad exceptions, broad enough, apparently to sentence a subject (note, not a "citizen", a subject) to over a year for exposing the actions of public courts.

More here at National Review: Tommy Robinson Drew Attention to ‘Grooming Gangs.’ Britain Has Persecuted Him.

Reason #5937 That Trump Was Elected

President Donald Trump’s administration repealed a rule forcing states to comply with a policy monitoring greenhouse gas levels from tailpipes of American automobiles.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) signed a final rule May 22 that eliminates a mandate requiring state agencies to establish emission targets, calculate their progress toward those targets, and determine a plan of action if they failed to make progress during a performance period.

The rule repealed the performance management measure assessing the percent change in tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) measure. It also measured total annual tons of carbon emissions from all on-road mobile sources.

States and other locals across the country can still pursue similar actions locally. The repeal of the GHG measure does not affect implementation of the other national performance management measures states are responsible for administering.

This is one of several regulations Trump’s administration has sought to rollback.

Trump announced in April preparations to scrap an Obama-era rule that would have dramatically ratcheted up fuel efficiency guidelines over the course of a decade. The plan would also target California’s ability to set its own vehicle efficiency standards.
It's one thing to require childless hipsters living the city in a rental to have a minicar that gets 50+ mpg, and quite another to require the suburban parents who have multiple kids and a house to maintain and long distances to move them all to do so. But guess who voted for Obama.

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

Rascally Russiagate

Starting off with an odd one, that I've only seen at Aces (and his source at the paywalled NYT obviously): McCabe Suspected Rosenstein Was Part of RUSSIA Plot to Fire Comey; Wrote His Own Memo About It, Which He (Of Course) Gave to Meuller

In the document, whose contents have not been previously reported, Mr. McCabe described a conversation at the Justice Department with the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, in the chaotic days last May after Mr. Comey’s abrupt firing. Mr. Rosenstein played a key role in the dismissal, writing a memo that rebuked Mr. Comey over his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.

But in the meeting at the Justice Department, Mr. Rosenstein added a new detail: He said the president had originally asked him to reference Russia in his memo, the people familiar with the conversation said. Mr. Rosenstein did not elaborate on what Mr. Trump had wanted him to say.

To Mr. McCabe, that seemed like possible evidence that Mr. Comey’s firing was actually related to the F.B.I.’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and that Mr. Rosenstein helped provide a cover story by writing about the Clinton investigation.
Well you might not have to be a paranoid fanatacist to be in the upper levels of the FBI, but it's certainly no bar. The big stir today is caused by Trey Gowdy:  Republicans distance themselves from Trump’s ‘Spygate’ conspiracy theory,  Come On, The FBI Didn’t “Spy” On Trump
“When the FBI comes into contact with information about what a foreign government may be doing in our election cycle, I think they have an obligation to run it out,” said Gowdy on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday.

He added, “Based on what I have seen, I don’t know what the FBI could have done or should have done other than run out a lead that someone loosely connected with the campaign was making assertions about Russia, I would think you would want the FBI to find out whether there was any validity to what those people were saying.” …

“I think the FBI, if they were at the table this morning, they would tell you that Russia was the target and Russia’s intentions toward our country were the target. The fact that two people who were loosely connected to the Trump campaign may have been involved doesn’t diminish the fact that Russia was the target and not the campaign,” said Gowdy.
I just hear a prosecutor talking. Ace: This F***ing Guy "Let's see if Mark Levin agrees with Gowdy."

Umm, no. To me, it all comes down to whether Professors Misfud, and Halper were acting as neutral information gatherers or as agent provocateurs for MI6 and Brennans FBI. I think it could easily go either way. Misfud was in the news yesterday. Via Ace: Lee Smith: Who Is Joseph Misfud? Is He a Russian Agent -- or a CIA Agent? Real Clear Investigations: The Maltese Phantom of Russiagate:
In an official report, Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence asserted that “in their approach to Papadopoulos, the Russians used common tradecraft and employed a cut-out,” a “Kremlin-linked…Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud.”

No one in the American intelligence community has publicly challenged this description.

But there is one major problem with this story: No evidence has been presented to support the claim. Although Mifsud has traveled many times to Russia and has contacts with Russian academics, his closest public ties are to Western governments, politicians, and institutions, including the CIA, FBI and British intelligence services. One of Mifsud’s jobs has been to train diplomats, police officers, and intelligence officers at schools in London and Rome, where he lived and worked over the last dozen years.
. . .
In interviews with RealClearInvestigations, Roh and Pastor said Mifsud is anything but a Russian spy. Rather, he is more likely a Western intelligence asset.
Gateway Pundit: REVEALED: Joseph Mifsud – The Man Who Set Up Papadopoulos – Is Member of Soros-Funded European Council on Foreign Relations So yeah, he could be an agent provocateur. Salient facts: The tangled web around Joseph Mifsud, Dr. John at Flopping Aces: The Russia investigation was opened on a lie. It is all a lie.
I find the fact that Downer sought out Papadopoulos extremely interesting. That dovetails with what I have been saying all along. It was a set-up.

Papadopoulos named Trump advisor. Within two weeks, Josef Mifsud finds him. Mifsud tells Papadopoulos that the Russians have hillary’s emails.

Downer seeks out Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos doesn’t drink heavily or speak of dirt or emails.

Via Sam Clovis, Stefan Halper contacts Papadopoulos and lures him to England, where he presses Papadopoulos for information on the Clinton emails (fed to him by Josef Mifsud) and has a young woman flirt with Papadopoulos. That woman contact was instrumental in fabricating charges against Papadopoulos. Halper is said to have been irritated by Papadopoulos’ lack of knowledge about the emails.

The FBI scares Papadopoulos into lying about not doing anything illegal. They nail him and squeeze him for dirt on Trump that was fed to Papadopoulos by Mifsud and which Stefan Halper tried to extract from Papadopoulos.

It’s almost as if the Mueller framed Papadopoulos out of spite.

The basis for opening the investigation was a fraud. The FISA warrant was based on a lie. It was all a lie. What we really need to hear testimony from Rob Goldstone, Josef Mifsud and Stefan Halper.
Ace's AM rant from yesterday:

Apprently, the  Special Prosecutor Counsel is planning on special prosecuting counseling the President for thinking about something he didn't do: WaPo: Robert Mueller’s obstruction of justice probe is bigger than we realized. Yeah, the mandate apparently covers thought crime:  Report: Sessions Is Key Witness in Mueller Inquiry into Trump Obstruction
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reportedly a key witness in Robert Mueller’s inquiry into whether President Donald J. Trump obstructed the Russia investigation.

During a March 2017 meeting at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump asked Sessions to unrecuse himself from the collusion probe — a request the Attorney General declined.

“The confrontation, which has not been previously reported, is being investigated by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as are the president’s public and private attacks on Mr. Sessions and efforts to get him to resign. Mr. Trump dwelled on the recusal for months, according to confidants and current and former administration officials who described his behavior toward the attorney general,” reports the New York Times.

Special counsel lawyers have grilled White House aides about the President’s relationship with Sessions in an effort to learn whether the Attorney General acted in any way to influence the investigation. Eight questions that the special counsel would like President Trump to answer focus on his relationship with Sessions.
 From Axios: Trump: I wish I didn't pick Jeff Sessions as attorney general
Rep. Trey Gowdy, “I don’t think so, I think what the President is doing is expressing frustration that Attorney General Sessions should have shared these reasons for recusal before he took the job, not afterward. If I were the President and I picked someone to be the country’s chief law enforcement officer, and they told me later, ‘oh by the way I’m not going to be able to participate in the most important case in the office, I would be frustrated too...and that’s how I read that - Senator Sessions, why didn’t you tell me before I picked you. There are lots of really good lawyers in the country, he could have picked somebody else!” And I wish I did! — President Trump's three Wednesday morning tweets
 Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: Trump: Man, I Wish I’d Picked A Different AG!
How exactly does this constitute obstruction of justice? Sessions reports directly to Trump, who has the authority to make such demands, even if they are bad ideas. Bad ideas do not in and of themselves constitute obstruction of justice. Even if this took place as the NYT describes, the fact that Sessions refused the demand and remained in the job is a pretty clear indicator that the intent was not to obstruct the probe. Trump could have fired him at any time, which might have been more problematic, but didn’t.
Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux at FiveThirtyEight: What Would Happen If Trump Fires Rosenstein? She doesn't know either but she got some column inches out of it anyway.

Chris Pandolfo at the Conservative Review: Up-Chuck Schumer orders media to cover up ‘Spygate’ They don't take orders, but they do follow suggestions.
As National Review’s Andy McCarthy points out in his column from the weekend, the spy name game is a distraction from the real question: On what grounds did the Obama administration begin a counterintelligence investigation using “police state tactics” against the Trump campaign?

“In the end, it is not about who the spies are. It is about why they were spying,” McCarthy writes.
Rushbo: Comey and Clapper Are Out Covering Up Spygate. Both would look good better in orange, don't you think? Francis Menton at the Manhattan Contrarian: "Russia": Bona Fide Basis For Investigation Or Preposterous Cover Story? Reminder: FBI Redacted Cost of McCabe's Office Conference Table: $70,000. How much more embarrassing but non-vital crap are they hiding?

Prosecutors in Michael Cohen case piecing together shredded documents from raid Remind me to shred a few random telephone books and miscellaneous garbage before the FBI raid me.

Shot: Avenatti Must End 'Publicity Tour' to Take Part in Michael Cohen's Federal Case, Judge Says
The attorney representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels against President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen has to end his “publicity tour” to be allowed to participate in the federal case Cohen is currently facing, the judge overseeing the matter said during a Wednesday hearing.
U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood heard arguments from Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, as well as representatives for Cohen and Trump, over whether Avenatti would be allowed to participate in the case. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has also filed a suit against Cohen, claiming a nondisclosure agreement she struck with Trump is null and void.
Avenatti would have to stop claiming publicly that Cohen is guilty so as not to taint a potential jury, Wood said. "I say 'publicity tour' not in a derogatory sense,” she said. "You're entitled to publicity, I can’t stop you. Unless you’re participating in a matter before me."
Chaser: Avenatti Withdraws Motion To Represent Stormy Daniels In Cohen Case In NY. So I guess he decided publicity was more important than his client.

Another Wet T-Shirt Thursday

For lack of anything else relevant, and of course, and wet T-shirts are always relevant:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Beach Reports 5/29 and 5/30/18

After a 4 month checkup for my vitrectomy this morning, Skye insisted I take her to the beach before my eyes had fully recovered from being dilated. It didn't prevent me from finding this lovely Mako Shark upper tooth, the best of 13 teeth.
From yesterday, something you don't see everyday around here, an air boat which came down the bay. It sure was loud!

It's been threatening rain, coming up from the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto, and has been cloudy, muggy and warm. It may even get here this evening.

Lesbian Wife Beater Free After Testosterone Defense

Louanne Budgen (pictured right) who subjected her
bride Hayley (left) to a vicious beating
But it's in the UK, so it will be a few years before Judge Ginsburg allows it in the US: Lesbian mum who viciously beat bride walks free after telling court she has high levels of "male hormones"
A lesbian mother who subjected her bride to a vicious beating has walked free after telling a court she has a medical condition which leaves sufferers with high levels of "male hormones."

Louanne Budgen, 33, had a petulant meltdown at wife of 18 months Hayley for leaving a Christmas family gathering early at 9pm so she could put their three children to bed.

Three hours after Hayley left her at the bash, Budgen turned up drunk at the couple's marital home in Radclife, Greater Manchester, asked for money to pay a taxi then dragged the victim from their bed by her hair.

She then punched Hayley in the head 'at least five times' before storming out of their bedroom.

Hayley who is in her 30s suffered pain and minor bruising and called in police following the attack in the moments before Christmas Day last year.

At Manchester magistrates court, Budgen wept as she admitted assault but walked free after she blamed her behaviour on domestic abuse she had witnessed as a child.

She said she also suffers with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which affects the way her ovaries work.

Despite Hayley's initial statement to police, the couple have since reconciled.
. . .
Budgen was ordered to complete a 12 month community order and pay £170 in costs.

District judge Samuel Goozee, told her: "You have clearly had some trauma in your own upbringing and have been exposed to abuse, but you need to understand what you did to Hayley.
I guess only men are strong enough to be expected to be resistant to the effects of testosterone.

Kindly linked at Wombat-socho's "Rule 5 Sunday: Overall Beauty".

More Crab Pickers for Maryland

Department of Homeland Security has announced it will issue an additional 15,000 guest worker, or H-2B, visas this year above previous allocations, allowing more immigrant workers to come to the United States to fill job vacancies.

U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, who said in May that the additional issuance was imminent, called the 15,000 "a start," though he added there's still more work to do since they won't accommodate the full demand this year.

"These additional visas are significant progress while Congress seeks a long-term solution to reform the H-2B program," Harris said in a statement. "Congress failed to raise the program's visa limit this year, and we must reform the program to accommodate demand and keep America's small seasonal businesses open."

Harris added that the drop in unemployment has increased the demand for temporary seasonal workers, causing Maryland's seafood processing industry and other seasonal industries to suffer.

Federal labor officials said there was "unprecedented" demand for H-2B visas in January. They received applications for 81,000 foreign workers when only 33,000 visas nationwide were available for work from April through September.

Eastern Shore seafood processing plants are without 40 percent of their typical workforce, which picks the crabs and produces the meat used in restaurants and sold in supermarkets. They failed to get visas for their mostly Mexican workforce, including many women who have been coming north to Maryland for crab season for as long as two decades. The Trump administration for the first time awarded them this year in a lottery, instead of on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bill Sieling, executive vice president of the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association, said the announcement was good news.
Maryland's Eastern Shore once had a long tradition of black women taking seasonal work in the crab houses. Migrant labor suppressing wages and welfare supporting idleness has succeeded in making it not an economically viable option. I don't see an easy way back other than doing away with the migrant labor, and massively raising the cost of picking crabs.

Or robots. Pretty soon robots will be picking crabs as well as peoples (it's not that hard, the average Marylander does it pretty well).

Reaching for Russiagate

We'll be starting off our "Spygate" selections today with the estimable Andrew McCarthy: The Obama Administration’s Hypocritical Pretext for Spying on the Trump Campaign
So far, apologists for the Trump-Russia investigation have posited only reasonable suspicions of Russia sympathies, harbored by a handful of Trump campaign figures and implied by some of Trump’s campaign rhetoric. Reasonable suspicions are not trifles, but neither are they in the same ballpark as egregious misconduct.
Read the whole thing, of course. By way of Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 05.29.18", First Street Journal reminds us of the implausibility of James Clappers claim that no one in the White House knew what was happening in  Watergate 2.0 – Implausible DeniabilityJames Clapper: I ‘absolutely’ did not know about FBI’s confidential source on Trump campaign, but if there was the White house knew nussing, nussing. Paul Sperry at the New York Post, Carter Page: The FBI ruined my life
Page believes the FBI’s mole, professor Stefan Halper, was secretly spying on him as part of a “politically motivated” investigation of Team Trump, using fake sympathy to gain his trust — all while fishing for dirt on Page’s ties to Russia, where he’d worked as an energy consultant.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be a trap,” Page said.
Larwin's Linx covers The Ongoing Scandal Jed Babbin at the Spectator:  Obama’s Guilty Contentment, He and his administration remain an ongoing scandal, no matter how much he brags about being Mr. Clean.  Byron York at the Washington Examiner: Trump campaign vet: Informant used me to get to Papadopoulos. More evidence that George Papadopoulos was set up for the fall. Jeff Carlson at marketswatch, Devin Nunes – A Look of Shock. Check out the timelines and the one at Christopher Steele Timeline:  Sundance at CTH Jonathan Turley Discusses Spygate and Sally Yates:

Chuck Ross at Da Caller: Grassley: Fusion GPS Founder Gave ‘Extremely Misleading’ Testimony About Trump Work,
“So you didn’t do any work on the Trump matter after the election date; that was the end of your work?” Simpson was asked during the interview.
Simpson responded, saying: “I had no client after the election.”

Grassley said Simpson’s denial was false.

“As we now know, that was extremely misleading, if not an outright lie,” the Republican wrote to his fellow Judiciary Committee member, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons.

“Contrary to Mr. Simpson’s denial in the staff interview, according to the FBI and others, Fusion actually did continue Trump dossier work for a new client after the election,” Grassley said.

Grassley pointed to statements a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer, Daniel Jones, gave to the FBI in March 2017 about his work alongside Fusion GPS to investigate Trump’s possible Russia links.

A group of seven to 10 wealthy donors from California and New York paid $50 million to fund the project, Jones told the FBI.

Jones’ consulting firm, the Penn Quarter Group, “had secured the services Steele, his associate [redacted], and Fusion GPS to continue exposing Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election,” he told the FBI.
Ace: Senator Grassley: Fusion GPS Head Glenn Simpson Was Either Outright Lying or "Extremely Misleading" in Claiming He Didn't Have a New Client Paying Him to "Research" RussiaGate After the Election
When will the DOJ or FBI be prosecuting their asset Glenn Simpson for lying to Congress?

Oh, right. They won't be.
But according to NYT: With “Spygate,” Trump Shows How He Uses Conspiracy Theories To Erode Trust and Watergate Reporter Says Trump is Trying to Keep the American People in the Dark on Russia. The Atlantic: The Chilling Effect of Trump’s War on the FBI Just think of them as Democrats with press passes.

Nelson Cunningham at Politico: Bob Mueller’s White Hot Summer predicts a long chain of events resulting in Rosenstein's firing and a constitutional crisis. You can't push a rope. AP: Trump: Mueller's team is 'meddling' in midterm elections.
Kara Scannell at CNN 'Taxi King' gets better plea deal after raid on Trump's lawyer
Evgeny "Gene" Freidman, known as New York's "Taxi King," pleaded guilty last week to criminal tax fraud for failing to pay $5 million in taxes in a deal that would allow him to avoid prison time.

The no-prison deal was a significant enhancement from an offer Freidman rejected on April 4 -- just a few days before the FBI raid on Cohen -- that would have included a minimum of two years and as much as six years in prison and a $1 million fine, according to transcripts of the March court proceeding. The offer included a sliding scale; if Freidman paid less than $1 million he would face more jail time. Friedman had faced as much as 25 years in prison when he was charged last year.
That sounds like legal extortion. It also sounds like they didn't get what they wanted in the raid. But they have plenty to sort through: Bob Van Voris at Bloomberg Cohen Prosecutors to Get About 1 Million Items From Phones. A whole lot of inconsequential and irrelevant material. What do you think they'll leak?

Morning Music - "I Wanna Get Me A Gun"

Kindly linked at Wombat-socho's "Rule 5 Sunday: Overall Beauty".

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Exelon Resists Conowingo Dam Extortion

The owner of Conowingo Dam on Friday challenged conditions Maryland placed on the hydroelectric facility’s continued operation, saying the pollution cleanup ordered by the state imposes an “unfair burden” that would cost “orders of magnitude” more than the dam is worth.

Exelon Corp. filed an appeal asking the Maryland Department of the Environment to reconsider its decision in late April requiring the company to pay up to $172 million annually to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution flowing past the dam and to make other changes in the dam’s operation to improve fish habitat and water quality in the lower Susquehanna River and Upper Chesapeake Bay.

The Chicago-based energy company simultaneously filed suit challenging the MDE decision in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the Maryland Circuit Court of Baltimore City. Exelon said it went to court at the same time it asked the MDE to reconsider its decision because of the “seriousness of the issues at hand.”

“The dam itself does not produce any pollution,” Exelon said in a statement issued Friday. “Rather, the science clearly shows that the pollutants that travel down the Susquehanna River, from New York and Pennsylvania, are the source of the nutrients and sediments that flow into the Bay.”
Good for Exelon.

If they did anything, Exelon bought an asset which had protected the Chesapeake Bay from some of the pollution coming down the Susquehanna River from Pennsylvania and New York for 80 years, but is no longer able to do so. The Bay community had ample warning of this happening; at my first scientific meeting in the Bay area back in 1985 or so, the head of the EPA Bay program warned that the greatest threat facing the Bay was the filling of the pool behind Conowingo Dam with sediment, which would end it's ability to retain pollution. Well, thirty years later, here we are.

Well, It Is a Free Country, After All

Bradley Manning where he belongs;
in handcuffs. 
Despite his/her best efforts: Mentally Ill Maryland Democrat Senate Candidate Makes Suicide Threat
Earlier this month, the Associated Press did a feature interview with the notorious traitor formerly known as Bradley Manning:
Chelsea Manning is no longer living as a transgender woman in a male military prison, serving the lengthiest sentence ever for revealing U.S. government secrets. She’s free to grow out her hair, travel the world, and spend time with whomever she likes.
But a year since former President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence, America’s most famous convicted leaker isn’t taking an extended vacation. Far from it: The Oklahoma native has decided to make an unlikely bid for the U.S. Senate in her adopted state of Maryland.
Manning, 30, filed to run in January and has been registered to vote in Maryland since August. She lives in North Bethesda, not far from where she stayed with an aunt while awaiting trial. Her aim is to unseat Sen. Ben Cardin, a 74-year-old Maryland Democratwho is seeking his third Senate term and previously served 10 terms in the U.S. House. . . .
“The rise of authoritarianism is encroaching in every aspect of life, whether it’s government or corporate or technological,” Manning told The Associated Press during an interview at her home in an upscale apartment tower. . . .
She says she doesn’t, in fact, even consider herself a Democrat, but is motivated by a desire to shake up establishment Democrats who are “caving in” to President Donald Trump’s administration.
Bradley Manning pretending to be an ugly girl
Yeah "the resistance" is all about "caving in to Donald Trump.
Manning dramatically made news again on Sunday:
Far-left political commentator, convicted intelligence leaker, and senate candidate Chelsea Manning threatened to commit suicide on Sunday, posting a suicide note and a picture of a rooftop ledge, before being reported to be safe.
“Im sorry – i tried – im sorry i let you all down – im not really cut out for this world – i tried adapting to this world out here but i failed you,” declared Manning in one Twitter post. “I couldn’t do this anymore – i can take people i dont know hating me but not my own friends – i tried and im sorry about my failure.”
Manning then posted a picture of a rooftop ledge, along with the caption, “im sorry.” . . .
Twitter users immediately commented on the threat, attempting to stop Manning from taking further action. . . .
Following the concerned replies, the tweets were deleted, and another post was made on Manning’s account, reading, “chelsea is safe. she is on the phone with friends, thanks everyone for your concern and please give her some space.”
Having failed to serve honorably in the military, and also having failed at masculinity, now add failing to commit suicide to Manning’s shameful record. All in all, a perfect candidate for Democrats.
As a resident of Maryland, I was going to resent that, but then I remembered Steny Hoyer. But Maryland isn't as weird as California, so she may want to check out the left coast.

Transexuals, gender "corrected" or not, have high rates of attempted suicide. I haven't seen any statistics, but I suspect that people convicted of treason do too (but the population of such is sufficiently small that statistics would be unreliable), giving him/her a double bonus.

Ghost Pot Menace Revised Downward

But not before creating a controversy: Scientists Disagree on Lost Gear, Crab Data in Chesapeake Bay
Last year, a scientific report put some astounding numbers to crab pots lost by watermen and the subsequent economic loss when they become death traps for crabs that wander in and can't escape.

Now, a committee of federal and state crab scientists say those numbers were overestimated.

Behind your pile of steaming Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are teams of scientists working hard to make sure there's enough out there to harvest. Back in 2016, a group of scientists from William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science said the Chesapeake Bay regional industry was losing millions of dollars worth of crabs to derelict crab pots, also called ghost pots.
. . .
"From the spatial model that was used, to the data inputs, to the assumptions that were made is that at every step of the way it created an overestimate in both the number of pots and the number of crabs that were caught within those pots," Davis admits.
Crab pots pulled from Manklin Creek by Maryland Coastal Bays
 and Assateague Conservation Corps volunteers
Using the worst case scenario for every possible variable is pretty common in first runs at environmental concerns. Unfortunately, the exaggerated dangers that get produced are the ones that tend to get put forward to the press,to "heighten awareness" of the problem, and then spur legislative action (see global warming as a prime example).
Kirk Havens, Director of the Coastal Watersheds Program for VIMS, is one of the scientists who conducted the study and co-authored the derelict crab pot report.  "There has been some discussion amongst the managers on how big an impact the annual loss of 3 million crabs due to the derelict pots could have on the overall population of crabs in the bay," Havens said. “It's probably relatively small compared to the overall population of crabs which is in the hundreds of millions, but it is a known loss of market-sized crabs that can be managed."

But once the data is out, it's hard to take it back. In this case, the VIMS data has been used to market a solution to derelict crab pots-- biodegradable panels that would dissolve and leave an escape hole. Havens and his team are the inventors. A Richmond-based entrepreneur bought the license from William & Mary and began producing the panels, using the VIMS data to market them. State Senator Monty Mason sponsored a bill to mandate biodegradable panels earlier this year and also used the data to gain support.

That caught the attention of Daniel Knott, the waterman we interviewed for our previous story who was trying out the panels. "You can see how brittle they become," Knott said as he snapped pieces of the panel. "They all failed, failed at different levels and at a pretty good cost of time and energy to fix the pots once these panels started failing."
Of course, they're designed to fail; that's the point, that after long enough in the water, these panels are supposed to fall apart, and allow crabs and other critters to leave the pots, and not continue to catch and kill them.
Cost was also a factor. These particular biodegrable panels cost upwards of $1.50 per pot compared to the ten cent plastic cull rings they were using. Mason's bill required two per pot. Knott wrote several senators with his concerns. The bill was defeated. But Senator Mason says he'll keep working on the problem, even if the VIMS data is off. "When is the problem going to be significant enough for us to address it," Mason wondered? "It's still a problem. It's not as big as we thought, but over year, after year, after year it adds up, so we need to focus on addressing it and that will come. "It's just a matter of when.”
Three bucks a pot doesn't seem too high to me; a couple of crabs can make that up and catch effort could be adjusted upward to account for the crabs saved, but the panels should be designed to last at least one season, to save the watermen from having expensive failures in the field, and the problem of replacing them in the field as they fail.

A Ragout of Russiagate

In the wake of the Memorial day weekend, not too much and kind of a meaty stew of subsubjects.

From Kerry Picket at Da Caller: FBI Agents Afraid To Testify, Say Congress Likely Won’t Protect Them. The omerta is strong in the "Deep State" and Congresses record is not that good. George Neumayr at the Spectator has a special report on The Three Stooges of Spygate: Brennan, Comey, and Clapper have been caught in a big fat wringer.
The three stooges have yet to utter the name of Stefan Halper, the spy at the center of the Obama administration’s farcical plot. Rubbing his bald pate as usual, Clapper claimed total ignorance of Halper. He apparently was at the children’s table at Brennan’s interagency gatherings. “I didn’t know about this informant,” Clapper said.

Of course, his I-know-nothing routine didn’t stop him from serving as an authority on the knowledge levels of others: “No one in the White House knew. Certainly the president didn’t know.” But amidst all this defensiveness, Clapper worked up a sweat defending the spying as a “good thing,” which raises the obvious question: If it was all so normal and praiseworthy, why not tell Obama?

Just as Clapper’s denial of FISA warrants on the Trump campaign disintegrated, so too will that one. Sooner or later it will come out that Obama knew damn well that the Trump campaign was under surveillance and signed off on it. How could he not have? After all, we’ve been told repeatedly that spying on the Trump campaign was a national security matter of unspeakable gravity. How could such a matter be withheld from the person most responsible for national security?

So what did Obama know and when did he know it? Brennan could give the precise date; he was personally briefing Obama on “Russian interference,” Brennan’s euphemism for his paranoid hunch that Putin’s agents had recruited Trump campaign officials. All the hush-hush dynamics around Brennan’s “taskforce” make no sense if he and White House officials were just sitting around discussing Facebook ads. No, what made it an “exceptionally, exceptionally sensitive issue,” in Brennan’s words, was that they were spying on an opposing party’s presidential campaign.
Michael Barone at the New York Post:  Obama’s spying scandal is starting to look a lot like Watergate.
Until 2016, just about everyone agreed that it was a bad thing for government intelligence or law enforcement agencies to spy — er, use informants — on a political campaign, especially one of the opposition party. Liberals were especially suspicious of the FBI and the CIA. Nowadays they say that anyone questioning their good faith is unpatriotic.

The crime at the root of Watergate was an attempt at surveillance of the DNC after George McGovern seemed about to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, just as the government misconduct in Russiagate was an attempt at surveillance of the Republican Party’s national campaign after Trump clinched its nomination.

In both cases, the incumbent administration regarded the opposition’s unorthodox nominee as undermining the nation’s long-standing foreign policy and therefore dangerous to the country. McGovern renounced the Democrats’ traditional Cold War policy. Trump expressed skepticism about George W. Bush and Obama administration policies on NATO, Mexico, Iran and (forgetting Barack Obama’s ridicule of Mitt Romney on the subject) Russia.
Wrong. Nixon wasn't told about the spying until well after it occurred; Obama was in the loop from the beginning. Hence Susan Rice's note to file.

Edward Snowden Skeptical of Russia Collusion: Trump Can’t Even Finish a Sentence. Come home and he'll help you start one. But you'll have to finish it alone.

Byron York continues on his "bank shot" theme of the Mueller investigation:

James Poulos at the Week lists those who benefit from a Trump take down: If Trump goes down, everyone wins

Mandy Mayfield at the Examiner reports how a  fight broke out when a Fox News contributor claimed Hillary Clinton 'gave' Russians money during 2016 campaign
Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich claimed Monday that Hillary Clinton "gave" money to Russians during the 2016 presidential election. “We have seen the result of all of this boomerang on the other side, on the Clinton campaign, which was more directly connected to the Russians than we’ve seen any evidence of with the Trump campaign," Pavlich said Monday.

The Fox contributor and longtime Trump defender was commenting on the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, who she says worked with the Russians to compile the documents filled "with salacious information about President Trump.”

The remarks caused former Clinton communications director Adrienne Elrod, who was also a guest during the segment, to burst out laughing.

“They gave them money,” Pavlich exclaimed.

“I don’t even know where to start here,” Elrod said. “The Clinton campaign did not have any collusion with Russia, let’s just put that forward.”

“They paid someone working with Russians money for opposition research on Donald Trump,” Pavlich cut in.

"It was a dossier, it was opposition research, it was a very standard part of the campaign," Elrod responded.
So when the Trump campaign buys some oppo research from some shady Russians through a couple layers of law firms and retired foreign spies, you're not going to call it collusion, right? It's funny how every crime with the Clintons comes down to a matter of language. Speaking of Clinton crimes, Charles Ortel at PoliZette asks Is Today the Clintons’ Last Pre-Indictment Memorial Day? - 
Latest treasure trove of 'pay-to-play' Hillary State Department emails is full of bad memories for America's best-known crime family
Bad as these latest developments are, however, they pale in comparison to looming negative consequences now that the State Department has begun dribbling out more than 30,000 missing Clinton emails, together with supporting attachments.

These long-awaited and, until now, hidden documents are all but certain to make an ironclad case that the Bill, Hillary & Clinton Foundation went into high gear as a “pay-for-play corruption” and personal enrichment scheme through its various “initiatives” — while Hillary served as secretary of state and, later, as she sought the U.S. presidency for the second time.

Why the new batch of missing State Department emails matters. Bernie Sanders may not have cared about “those damn emails,” but Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), does care.

After years of dogged pursuit, Sekulow has finally forced the State Department to disclose initial portions of a “treasure trove” of long-suppressed documents. If the initial 339 pages are any clue, the complete batch of 30,000 emails should ultimately convince even the most ardent Clinton supporters that the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, and other Clinton-controlled entities were actually influence-peddling vehicles — and certainly not charities.
Read the whole dirty thing. It's been obvious to intelligent observers for a long time that the Clinton "charities" are mostly covers for personal benefit for the Clinton family, while maintaining the Clinton government in exile, all funded by influence peddling. If I were a prosecutor assigned this case, I would take a page out of Mueller's methods with General Flynn, and a go after Chelsea Clinton first, as a way of squeezing Hillary's nuts.

Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels, and their gay publicist
Bummer Dude. Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti complicates Cohen probe
In public, Michael Avenatti, Clifford’s current attorney, has been among the most vocal critics of Michael Cohen, the lawyer who paid her $130,000 in October 2016 to sign a nondisclosure agreement about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.

But behind the scenes, Avenatti has slowed prosecutors’ efforts to discuss the nondisclosure agreement with Ms. Clifford’s former lawyer, these people say. Avenatti also demanded to review documents investigators subpoenaed from Clifford’s former manager, they said.
I'm sure he bills by the hour. Hopefully he's reducing George Soros or Tom Steyer's fortunes significantly.

Avenatti hasn’t yet acted on multiple requests from federal prosecutors in Manhattan for Clifford to waive the attorney-client privilege that prevents her former lawyer from discussing their communications about the nondisclosure deal, the people familiar with the matter said. In April, Avenatti, acting in his capacity as Clifford’s current lawyer, sent a cease-and-desist letter to her former lawyer, Keith Davidson, ordering him not to disclose any communications related to her, one of those people said.

Avenatti made similar demands of Clifford’s former manager, Gina Rodriguez, who helped engineer the hush-money deal. Avenatti tried to block Rodriguez from providing her communications with Clifford to federal prosecutors until he had reviewed them, other people familiar with the matter said.

Avenatti has told federal prosecutors he is trying to get Clifford to agree to waive her attorney-client privilege, but prosecutors have come to believe he is stringing them along, the people familiar with the matter said. The delays in responding to their requests to waive privilege aren’t seen as highly damaging to the probe but have frustrated investigators, they said.
Possibly a plan to keep the issue alive into the 2020 election cycle? Dude, nobody cares.

Kindly linked at Wombat-socho's "Rule 5 Sunday: Overall Beauty".

Post-Memorial Day Swimsuit Post

Some highly impractical ideas for beach wear here.

Kindly linked at Wombat-socho's "Rule 5 Sunday: Overall Beauty".

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day Russiagate

Wow, I thought this was going to be an easy day; boy was I wrong. Cillian Zeal at the Conservatic Tribune,  Newt: Obama and Valerie Jarrett Behind Spying, Trying To Frame Trump, and the same idea being picked up by Daniel John Sobieski at the American Thinker: Jarrett and Obama are Behind Spygate. The suspicion is that anything this egregious would have to go to the highest levels. However, the documentary evidence at this point, like Obama's grades, is sorely lacking. But Obama Admin Officials Coordinated Set Up Of Trump, New Evidence Suggests
The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs released new emails on Monday night that allegedly show that Obama administration officials coordinated with each other to help CNN run a damaging story on President-elect Donald Trump based on salacious and unverified information contained in a politically-motivated dossier financed by Trump's political enemies.

The emails, obtained by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), show that the Obama-era officials used coded language to refer to the Steele dossier.

I find this story amusing and possible, but not compelling. Lee Smith at the Federalist: How The Code Name ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ Undermines The FBI’s Russia Story
Investigation names, say senior U.S. law enforcement officials, are designed to refer to facts, ideas, or people related to the investigation. Sometimes they’re explicit, and other times playful or even allusive. So what did the Russia investigation have to do with World War II, psychedelic drugs, or Keith’s childhood?

The answer may be found in the 1986 Penny Marshall film named after the song, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” In the Cold War-era comedy, a quirky bank officer played by Whoopi Goldberg comes to the aid of Jonathan Pryce, who plays a British spy being chased by the KGB.

The code name “Crossfire Hurricane” is therefore most likely a reference to the former British spy whose allegedly Russian-sourced reports on the Trump team’s alleged ties to Russia were used as evidence to secure a Foreign Intelligence Service Act secret warrant on Trump adviser Carter Page in October 2016: ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele.
Little Marco: 'No evidence' FBI spied on Trump campaign, Republican says, contrary to president's claims, employing a fairly restrictive definition of "spying."
"As far as what I have seen to date, it appears that there was an investigation not of the campaign, but of certain individuals who have a history that we should be suspicious of, that predate the presidential campaign of 2015, 2016," Rubio said on "This Week." "And when individuals like that are in the orbit of a major political campaign in America, the FBI, who is in charge of counterintelligence investigations, should look at people like that."
Anybody remember Anna Chapman?
In 2012, FBI counter-intelligence chief Frank Figliuzzi said that Chapman almost caught a senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet in a honey trap operation. This was reported as a primary motive behind the government's action to round up the ten-person spy ring in which she was a member. The plan reportedly would have involved Chapman seducing her target before extracting information from him. . .Officials from the US Department of Justice claimed that the FBI's concern was that another of the alleged spies, Cynthia Murphy, "had been in contact with a fundraiser and 'personal friend' of Hillary Clinton".
Clarice Feldman at the American Thinker: The Great Unmasking
Four things to understand about SPYGATE:
1) There was no spy in the Trump campaign.
2) The spying that did NOT happen was totally justified.
3) It would be bad for national security to identify the spy who doesn't exist.
4) His name is Stefan.
And an homage to "the retiring NSA director, Admiral Mike Rogers, for courageously standing up against the Obama Administration and the intelligence apparatus, risking all to blow the whistle on the illegal sharing of FISA information on the part of those working to aid Hillary and defeat Trump.  A full timeline of his actions is detailed here: "
The author, Jeff Carlson, is quite obviously correct in his conclusions: "we will never understand what Rogers did for our country," and we would never have known of the spying and FISA violations without him as the intelligence community was caught unaware by the upset presidential race and was working hard to cover up its illegal conduct. 
Julie Kelly at American Greatness: The Open Secret of the FBI’s Investigation of Trump’s Campaign pretty well dispels the myth that James Comey helped Trump by not revealing the investigation of Russian collusion before the election. Kathryn Blackhurst at PoliZette: When Do Americans Say It Isn’t Right to ‘Spy on a Campaign’? Usually when it's their ox being gored. Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller, via Director Blue: THE KEY #SPYGATE QUESTION: Who Tasked Agent Halper With Infiltrating the Trump Campaign? The key question for me was whether he was actually trying to gain knowledge, or whether he was planting some as an agent provocateur. You can make a pretty good circumstantial case for the latter. I want him to testify. Gil Gutknecht at Townhall predicts Heads Will Roll, metaphorically, of course. Jeff Carlson, at themarketswork want to know Why  George Papadopoulos is Missing From the Steele Dossier. Fictional plot twists? They couldn't keep their own story straight? Larry O'Connor, the Washington Times: Not so fast Obama, your biggest scandal is unfolding before our eyes. Sundance at the Conservative Tree House: “SpyGate”, The Inspector General, and the Expanded FISA Investigation… notes the incomplete cleaning of the toxic waste in DOJ. "More stuff that Sessions/Horowitz/Huber have known for almost a year can now be made public by letting this guy testify to Congress, The second FBI agent at the center of the Flynn interview which resulted in his charge of lying to Congress.

Byron York Calls the Trump-Russia probe, the bank shot investigation
Going after the taxi king in hopes of proving collusion in the 2016 presidential race is a bank shot, to say the least.

But other parts of Mueller's investigation — and certainly of the reporting on Mueller's investigation -- are bank shots, too.
. . .
Yohai's case also topped some national newscasts. "Breaking news," CNN reported on May 17. "Paul Manafort's former son-in-law reaching a plea deal. What does this mean for Manafort and the Russia investigation?"

The idea was that, as part of his cooperation, Yohai would dish on Manafort, which would increase pressure on Manafort to plead guilty and dish on Trump, and the end result would be … well, that was unspecified, but it clearly involved expectations of some sort of yet-to-be-exposed wrongdoing on the president's part.

Another bank shot.

Even the case of Manafort himself, the highest-ranking Trump campaign official to be charged in the Russia investigation, is a bank shot. Manafort faces a long, multi-count indictment focusing on financial crimes he allegedly committed years before and apart from his work on the Trump campaign. The idea is to put so much pressure on Manafort with unrelated charges that he will eventually give up, plead guilty to lesser offenses, and dish on Trump.

That is what Rick Gates, Manafort's partner and the Trump campaign's deputy manager, has already done: pleaded guilty to crimes committed years before and apart from his work on the Trump campaign. Gates is now cooperating with Mueller, although it is not known what information, if any, he has provided about Trump.

The two other campaign figures who have pleaded guilty, Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, both admitted lying about Trump campaign-related matters, but not to any crime involving collusion, or conspiracy, or coordination, between the Trump campaign and Russia to fix the 2016 election.

Put it all together, and the impression left by the public parts of the Mueller probe is that Mueller has spent more than a year circling around the basic question of his investigation — Was there collusion? — but not answering it. He has liberally employed the prosecutor's technique of using unrelated charges to pressure targets in hopes of getting damning information on the real issue.
Brendan Kirby at PoliZette:  Law Professor Insists Mueller ‘Has No Clothes’: Federalist Society co-founder Steven Calabresi argues that everything the special counsel has done is 'null and void'.
“All actions taken by Mueller since his appointment on May 17, 2017, are, therefore, null and void,” he said.

That would include all the indictments Mueller has brought, the plea bargains he has negotiated, the controversial searches his team has conducted, and the referral he made of records seized from the home and offices of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Calabresi predicted the courts would throw out any evidence given to the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan as the “fruit of a poisonous tree.”
Come to think of it, I don't remember Robert Mueller being confirmed by the Senate either. I suspect this is too easy though, and would leave too many democrats screaming. It's bad enough now.

Playing the long game. Allahpundit at Hot Air. Rudy: To A Large Extent Trump’s Attacks On Russiagate Are About Shaping Public Opinion In Case Of Impeachment Because he knows Mueller is going nowhere on collusion.
This is of a piece with Trump allegedly telling Lesley Stahl that he attacks the media relentlessly so that people will be less likely to believe them when they break bad news about him. It’s not that he’s always wrong in complaining “fake news,” just like he’s not wrong to worry about partisan motives potentially at work in a years-long DOJ investigation of a sitting president. But in both cases the complaints are strategic: They’re designed to preemptively discredit and delegitimize a dangerous enemy who might turn up legitimate evidence of wrongdoing that won’t be nearly as easy to discredit. With the media, it’s about building a case that they’re a fundamentally unreliable narrator. With Mueller, it’s about laying the predicate to move for a mistrial in the court of public opinion if he ends up accusing Trump of a crime.
Paul Rozenzweig at The Atlantic: What Would Actually Happen if Trump Refused a Subpoena?
"If the president does not want to testify in Robert Mueller’s investigation, there simply is no realistic way for the courts to physically force him to do so."

And a delicious irony alert from Breitbart: Mayor Who Honored Stormy Daniels Settled $500,000 Sexual Harassment Claim in 2016 Caught casting stones while living in a glass house.
The Los Angeles Times reported at the time:
A former aide to West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran who sued the city and his boss alleging sexual harassment and wrongful punishment is set to receive $500,000 after settling with both parties earlier this month, according to the agreement obtained by The Times.
Under the terms of the settlement with former City Council deputy Ian Owens, Duran and the city admitted no wrongdoing.

Swimming into Monday Morning

Kindly linked at Wombat-socho's "Rule 5 Sunday: Overall Beauty".

Sunday, May 27, 2018

I'm Back from Fishing!

I had an Eastern Shore Islands fishing trip with Pete to celebrate the retirement of a fishing buddy. Six of us went, myself, Tom, his brother Jim, his daughter Laura, Andy and his dad Bob.

We saw these American Oystercatchers on one of the small islands, Spring Island I think, although it's hard to tell (Pete knows though, and that's all that's necessary).

A few birds were using the island, this Great Black-Backed Gull. The biggest seagull, this one is good news when they're diving on bait fish.  They didn't show us the way to anything today. though.
And a small colony of Brown Pelicans, only a hundred or so, who seem to have left their former digs on Bloodsworth Island.
Fishing was tough, but we did hit one slug of pretty good fish, where we got 3 fish over 28 inches, and one under. Large topwater lures over seagrass beds in shallow water were the ticket.