Friday, August 31, 2018

Scientists Conclude Their Oyster Strategy Paid Off

Costly Maryland oyster project pays off in pollution reductions, study finds - "$28 million spent rebuilding reefs in Harris Creek said to be removing 100,000 pounds of nitrogen annually"

So that's $280 a pound? That doesn't sound like much of a bargain to me
Using a computer model to calculate the project’s water-quality impacts, researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science estimate that Harris Creek’s restored reefs are soaking up about 100,000 pounds of nitrogen annually that otherwise would be adding to the Bay’s pollution woes.
Of course, it's a computer model, where they get to pick the input parameters that feed the model.
“We’re taking a lot of pollution out of the Bay through these oysters,” said Mark Bryer, Chesapeake Bay program director for The Nature Conservancy, which funded the report along with the Oyster Recovery Partnership. “And, presuming these oysters continue to do well over time, they’ll continue to provide that benefit.”

Despite the big nitrogen number, the reefs are producing only a modest improvement in water quality in the creek, a tidal tributary of the Choptank River on the Eastern Shore. That’s because pollution is washing into the creek from the Bay almost as fast as the reefs can filter it. But this report shows the value of doing more such large-scale reef projects, Bryer said.

Over the past seven years, federal and state agencies have planted nearly 2.5 billion hatchery-spawned spat, or baby oysters, on 350 acres of restored reefs in the creek. Advocates say such large-scale undertakings are the best hope for reviving the Chesapeake’s depleted oyster population, which has dwindled to 1 or 2 percent of historic levels through decades of overharvesting, disease and pollution.
So lets compare that to what the Bay program has called the 6 most effective methods of reducing nitrogen:

Wow, from $1.50 to $8.50/ lb. Such a deal, although you might get extra for reducing phosphorus too.

I'm not saying we shouldn't save the oysters, but I'm not convinced, based on this study, that the oysters will turn out to be what saves the bay from pollution.

Reason #6661 That Trump Was Elected

LOL: Anti-Free-Trade Trump's Hardball Positioning Forces Europe to Offer to Cut Its Automoblie Tariffs From 10% to Zero Percent (If the US Reciprocates)

The US only imposes 2.5% tariffs on most vehicles. Thought it imposes a much stiffer 25% tariff on light trucks. I don't know if the EU makes many of those, though.

It's almost as if refusing to play the sap for someone treating you unfairly sometimes forces them to start treating you more fairly.
Not yet tired of winning.

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

Even More DIY Russiagate

Just can't do it the hard way this morning. Besides, there's not much that's really new here:

Mollie Hemingway: We Now Know FBI Used Clinton-Funded Research Document "To Secure A Wiretap" | Video | RealClearPolitics

What the Heck Was She Thinking?

 I saw this on Drudge, but Stacy McCain says it better then I can, probably because he's a journalist by profession and not by avocation: Paging Captain Obvious. Pornstar astonished to find industry full of pricks.
“I didn’t expect to be treated like a piece of meat.”

So says ex-camgirl Jenny Blighe complaining about her first experience shooting a commercial porn video, asserting that there should be a #MeToo movement for women in the porn business.

Excuse me, but maybe if you don’t want “to be treated like a piece of meat,” you should avoid that line of work?

Because really, isn’t that what it’s all about? Like, it’s not as if there should be any kind of illusion here. You sign a contract to be degraded on video in return for a specified sum of money, and everything that happens to you after you sign that contract is part of the bargain. If you wish to be treated with respect, you should stay away from the, uh, “adult entertainment industry” as it is euphemistically called.

Also, what kind of woman becomes a “camgirl”? Not the good kind. And what kind of man produces porn videos? Not the good kind.

Bad men abusing bad women — throw ’em all in prison, as far as I’m concerned, but don’t act like they are entitled to my sympathy.
Maybe she should try commercial fishing. Then she could treat the fish like meat.

Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Tuesday: Happy Birthday, Mitzi! and FMJRA 2.0: Synthwave & The End of Summer up and awaiting your approval.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

It Was a Waste, But This is Just Nuts

Maine DOT denies request from PETA to put up memorial for lobsters killed in crash
The Maine Department of Transportation has denied a request from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to build a 5-foot tombstone memorial where lobsters may have died after a crash on Route 1 in Brunswick last week.

Brunswick Police say a Cozy Harbor Seafood truck, carrying nearly 70 crates of lobster, rolled over and crushed several of them. 
Several lobsters or several crates?
It is because of the lobsters that were pinned under the truck that PETA wrote a letter to the Maine DOT on Wednesday asking for permission to put up a memorial.
At least PETA managed to also work some of their "naked ladies for veganism" into the fray (in a previous protest against Maine Lobsters).

“Countless sensitive crustaceans experienced an agonizing death when this truck rolled over and their bodies came crashing down onto the highway," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said. "PETA hopes to pay tribute to these individuals who didn't want to die with a memorial urging people to help prevent future suffering by keeping lobsters and all other animals off their plates."

The Maine DOT says they denied the request Thursday because Route 1 in Brunswick is a “controlled-access highway,” which means they prohibit signs, and in this case a tombstone, because of safety concerns.
Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Tuesday: Happy Birthday, Mitzi! up and awaiting your approval.

EPA Relaxes Coal Ash Pond Standards

A giant coal ash pile at Gavin coal fired power plant
And the usual suspects go ballistic. From the house organ of EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, the Bay Journal: Groups fighting for coal ash regulation balk at new rules
Power companies could soon have more flexibility in how they handle the ash that remains from a legacy of burning coal for power, but not if environmental groups have any say in the matter. Several facilities located near Chesapeake Bay rivers are in the process of closing pits where coal ash and water have comingled for decades amid changing regulations at the federal and state level.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in July finalized its first batch of significant changes to standards imposed in 2015 by the Obama administration that required companies to begin closing certain inactive coal ash storage facilities. The rollback of those rules will take effect at the end of August, though they are likely to face legal challenges.

This summer’s revisions incorporate “alternative performance standards” that the EPA or a state could use to approve a coal ash permit, such as those required to release ash-tainted water into nearby waterways.

The agency also raised allowable levels of contaminants in groundwater. Boron, an element that is considered a leading indicator of the presence of other contaminants, was removed from the list.
Coal ash settling pond at Gavin
You don't need an "indicator" if your measuring everything of concern, and in the era of the ICP-MS, there's very little excuse for doing less.
“With this rule, EPA continues its pattern of rolling back environmental protections,” said Lisa Feldt, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s vice president for environmental protection and restoration, in a statement. “There are many documented cases where groundwater has been contaminated by coal ash storage facilities, damaging waterways and potentially, drinking water.”

Coal ash storage has been the subject of heated debate in Virginia, both at public meetings about environmental permits and in the General Assembly. Legislators passed a bill this year that requires companies with coal ash pits in the Chesapeake watershed to take another step toward recycling their contents rather than allowing the ash to be permanently stored in place.

Though the bill stops short of requiring recycling, it does force companies such as Dominion Energy, which maintains nearly a dozen coal ash pits in the state, to seek proposals from recycling contractors who integrate the ash into concrete and construction materials. The companies must compile the proposed costs in a report for lawmakers to consider by the end of the year.

The measure also extended until July 1, 2019, a prohibition on new state permits that would allow facilities to close coal ash pits by permanently storing their contents in place. Pits where the removal process is under way or completed, however, may finish the closure process.

Dominion officials say they support the measure and will work with legislators to further investigate the possibility of recycling long-stored coal ash from the sites. The company’s own report at the end of 2017 concluded that recycling would be too expensive at most of the sites in the Bay watershed. It favored an option, opposed by environmentalists, to store millions of tons of coal ash in mostly unlined pits, many of them located next to the Potomac and James rivers.
I'd love to see coal fired power plants ended of ever, in due time. They're dirty, even though most of the impact can be contained to a relatively large site. Better to replace them with natural gas, and best to replace them with nuclear power.  In the meantime do a good, but economical job of keeping the ones we need running.

Relishing More Russiagate

More on Ohr. Fox News Adam Shaw: DOJ official Bruce Ohr grilled over Trump dossier, Steele ties
While lawmakers told reporters that Ohr was being cooperative, Rep. Darrel Issa, R-Calif., said that Ohr "has a poor memory. . . . He seems to not remember a lot of details and, you know, poor memories are often claimed by people who want to stick to what they can say and not be caught in perjury," he told Fox News.
 At Da Hill, House Republicans say Ohr interview escalates surveillance concerns
“Thus far, [Ohr] has done nothing but exacerbate my concerns that the FISA process has been abused,” Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a House Judiciary Committee member, told The Hill.
Sara Carter: Bruce Ohr told Congress the  FBI Knew About Bias Before Getting a FISA On Carter Page, but they all agreed with him, so 'sal good, man.' Sundance at CTH: Bruce Ohr Testifies To Closed-Door Joint Session of Congress (Oversight and Judiciary)… provides this useful graphic on the right. Reminder, the DOJ and FBI don't ride white horsed and wear white hats. Sara Carter (again): Day After Ohr’s Testimony, Congress Seeks to Question His Wife, as well they should. Funny thing, Mueller never interviewed Bruce Ohr.

Brook Singman, Fox News: GOP rep touches off firestorm with claim FBI leaked info, used stories to get FISA warrants
A source with knowledge of the testimony initially told Fox News that Moffa said FBI personnel would use media reports based on information they leaked to justify applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, echoing Meadows. The source said Moffa, who worked with controversial former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, acknowledged this “had been a practice in the past.”
But through Caitlin Yilek at WaEx the FBI strongly denies reports on agent telling lawmakers the bureau leaked stories to obtain FISA warrants. Except of course, in the Carter Page FISA warrants, in which they used stories leaked by Steele as validation for the Steel Dossier. I guess their out here is that Steele leaked them, not the FBI.

Just in case there was any doubt White House confirms Brennan's security clearance has been revoked. Good.

IBD Editorial: Did The FBI Cover Up Evidence That China Hacked Clinton's State Dept. Emails? Yes: Peter Strzok email about Clinton emails.  Stunning Report Confirms China Had Hillary’s Emails in Real Time

Next Question. Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Implicated In $84 Million Campaign Finance Scandal. But Michael Cohen paid off Stormy Daniels.

Liberal fantasy of the week: Robert Reich: If Mueller Finds Evidence Of Collusion, Trump Not Only Must Impeached — He Must Be Annulled. By way of Wombat-socho's In The Mailbox: 08.29.18,
Gene Schwimmer at the American Thinker thinks There Should Be a Trump Impeachment Vote – and Republicans Should Schedule It to make them put up or shut up. Mueller wants to continue his campaign against the lawyer client privilege: Mueller wants to review emails between Manafort, former lawyer and continues to want to beat the dead horse: Mueller’s Revenge? Special Counsel Won’t Rule Out Going After Manafort in Third Trial.

So he has some sense of shame after all? Lanny Davis says he regrets 'major mistake' about Cohen and Trump Tower meeting, or does he just regret making things worse for Cohen? Why is CNN avoiding the truth about Lanny Davis’ lies? Why does a dog lick its ball? Because it feels good!
CNN is standing by the story because it says it has at least one other source for it, and because it suspects Davis changed his story only because Cohen could face perjury charges, since he testified under oath to a Senate committee that he had no advance knowledge of the Trump Tower sitdown.
Heavens to Betsy, how can you attack one of the heroes of Watergate, just because he's publishing lies about you? Trump heightens attacks against CNN, Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein over Trump Tower story

David Harsanyi: If You Want To Know Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Media, Watch CNN
“We stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it,” the network responded. Brian Stelter, CNN’s sometimes censorious media reporter, argued that “pro-Trump web sites are claiming that the CNN story was a ‘lie,’ and that it’s been ‘debunked.’ They might want it to be ‘debunked,’ but it’s not. The critics don’t know who CNN’s sources were.”

We don’t. Does Stelter? My guess is that the second source is Davis’ assistant. Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps Davis, not only the source of the story but also Cohen’s lawyer, is lying about his initial lie. But there are other sound reasons not to trust CNN’s position.

Let’s remember this is the network that maintained it had multiple sources on the record purporting to prove that Donald Trump Jr. was involved in an email correspondence with a random person about WikiLeaks and the DNC hacking before it was released to the public. That was back in December 2017. The article turned out to be bogus. Both independent anonymous sources somehow got the same exact date wrong on the exact same email. Not once has CNN explained how this miraculous event transpired.

Let’s also remember that it was CNN that cited multiple sources confirming that former FBI director James Comey was going to tell a congressional committee under oath that Trump had lied when the president claimed that the former FBI director had told him three times that he hadn’t been under investigation. That was in June 2017. The opposite turned out to be true.

Burn the source? No way. CNN hasn’t even really corrected the piece.

Around the same time, three CNN journalists were forced to resign after mistakenly reporting that Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.” The problem was that the reporters had relied on a single anonymous source. What if these other stories, including the Cohen scoop, also only depended on a single source? If CNN employed consistent standards, they would run out of reporters before the year was out.

There are dozens of examples of these innocent mistakes popping up on mainstream political media outlets over the past couple of years. And they always—always—skew in the same direction.
Stacy McCain in Russia! Russia! Russia!
As I’ve been saying for months, the Mueller “investigation” isn’t really an investigation, it’s a cover-up, intended to conceal or distract attention from the illegal means by which corrupt Obama administration operatives sought to sabotage the Trump campaign. As the latest revelations show, however, the so-called “mainstream” media were an integral part of this anti-Trump operation, and so you cannot expect Democrat-controlled organizations like CNN and the Washington Post to tell the public the truth about all this. If all you know is the “news” you get from CNN, you have no idea what actually went on in the manufacturing of the phony “Russian collusion” story.

The Atlantic: Avenatti 2020 Was Probably Inevitable "Donald Trump lowered the White House’s bar to entry. Stormy Daniels’s lawyer is stepping right over it." Who's coordinating the sudden loony leftist lionization of Stormy Daniels? By Monica Showalter at the American Thinker. It's the same way ants do it.

Tennis Pro Penalized for on Court Strip Tease

Alizé Cornet was penalized at the U.S. Open for quickly removing her shirt and putting it back on, a move from the Open that critics are calling sexist.

The chair umpire Christian Rask hit French player Cornet, who is ranked No. 31 in the world, with the code violation, effectively a warning in the sport, during her opening round match against Johanna Larsson on Tuesday.

Cornet’s code violation came during a scorcher in Flushing Meadows, Queens, on Tuesday. It was so sweltering at the U.S. that the heat rule was in effect, permitting players to take 10-minutes breaks to try to cool off and drink water after their second sets. Cornet was just returning from her 10-minute break when she appeared to realize her shirt was on backwards. And so Cornet, who was wearing a sports bra underneath, took it off to put back on correctly.

Thanking her 100,000 Instragam followers

Cornet was in disbelief and can be heard saying “Violation for what? Really?” in a video of the moment when the umpire stated the violation.

According to the official Women’s Tennis Association rulebook, a player is only allowed to change their clothes somewhere off of the court or during the end of a set, or during timeouts related to medical issues. Cornet changed her shirt between the second and third sets. She quickly returned to play the game after receiving the violation.

The penalty doesn’t affect the score, and Cornet ultimately lost to Larsson 6-4, 3-6, 2-6.

Critics online were quick to call out the punitive action, pointing out that male tennis players frequently take their shirts off to cope with the oppressive heat with no consequences. For instance, Novak Djovovic took his ice bath shirtless to try to cool down during their opening match on Tuesday.
I'm cool with allowing women tennis players to take off their shirts.

I just love the faces that tennis players get caught in:

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and links. Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Tuesday: Happy Birthday, Mitzi! up and awaiting your approval.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The High Cost of Law Enforcement

Deep-pocketed global warming activists have been pouring big bucks into attorneys general’s offices to pay for lawyers to advance their agenda and use the powers of the law to take actions they never could achieve alone, according to a new report.

Released Wednesday by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the 56-page document dubbed “Law Enforcement for Rent” paints a damning view of the cozy relationship between environmental activists and Democratic attorneys general in several states that have pulled off an end run around the democratic process — grabbing resources they have not been able to get from lawmakers.

“This is political. We have a policymaking process. They tried it and failed,” said Christopher Horner, a fellow at the think tank who wrote the report. “So their stance is, ‘It’s not working, so we’re going to use law enforcement.’”

Horner said the tactic has given environmental activists a new avenue to increase restrictions on carbon emissions after Congress rebuffed them, the Supreme Court blocked a regulatory plan then-President Barack Obama offered, and other supportive politicians lost races at the state and national levels.
. . .
The report traces the campaign to a 2012 conference in La Jolla, California, organized by a coalition of groups supported by The Rockefeller Foundation. That conference produced a document that described how to make global warming the new tobacco:
“State attorneys general can also subpoena documents, raising the possibility that a single sympathetic state attorney general might have substantial success in bringing key internal documents.”
Several attorneys general signed on.
Read the whole thing. Not Unrelated:  Judge tosses NYC lawsuit blaming oil companies for climate change
A federal judge on Thursday threw out New York City’s lawsuit against five of the world’s largest oil companies, dealing another setback to liberal jurisdictions seeking to hold the petroleum industry financially responsible for global warming.

U.S. District Court Judge John Keenan in New York dismissed the complaint against ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips seeking billions to shore up infrastructure from rising sea tides and other calamities attributed by city officials to climate change.

The judge ruled that the courtroom was not the appropriate venue for the claim.

“Climate change is a fact of life, as is not contested by defendants,” Judge Keenanwrote in a 23-page opinion. “But the serious problems caused thereby are not for the judiciary to ameliorate. Global warming and solutions thereto must be addressed by the two other branches of government.”

His comments echoed those of U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup, who threw out last month similar public-nuisance claims filed by San Francisco and Oakland, concluding that the issue was best addressed by the executive and legislative branches as well as the diplomatic community.

“Those dangers are worldwide. Their causes are worldwide. The benefits of fossil fuels are worldwide,” Judge Alsup said in his ruling. “The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case.”
And it's not only climate:  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo halted an investigation into the Manhattan DA’s handling of the Harvey Weinstein case just as the law firm representing the Hollywood producer gave Cuomo’s campaign $25,000. H/T Instapundit.

The best law enforcement money can buy.

Mussels Bringing Clarity to Maryland Rivers

Residents along the Severn River are used to muddy, murky water with little visibility below the surface. “You don't have to go out very far before you can't see the very bottom,” said Severna Park resident Nancy Somers.
“Typically this time of the summer, boat traffic keeps it stirred up and very murky looking,” added her neighbor Mel Merritt. “And I've noticed how much clearer it is and how much easier it is to see the bottom of shallow areas.”

What's causing this new, clearer view? Scientists point to Dark False Mussels. They are filter feeders that have blossomed in underwater colonies, covering rocks, docks, pilings and the underside of boats.
False Dark Mussels coat an oyster cage in the Severn River
False Dark Mussels are an invasive species, originally native to the Gulf Coast, and related to the dreaded Zebra Mussel. Should we fear them as well?

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Senior Naturalist John Page Williams said, “They're here when conditions are right for them. I mean they're still here all the time but the population drops way down.” Williams said this shellfish population can be found exploding in the Severn and Magothy Rivers because of our very wet spring. “It's been outrageously wet,” he said.

Dark False Mussels are very small; they’re only about the size of a fingernail. But all together, by the millions, they can make a big impact.
. . .
The clarity the mussels create helps underwater grasses grow which in turn helps fish and the entire ecosystem thrive. But unlike oysters, which are larger, important players in the bay's recovery, Dark False Mussels are much less reliable. They explode in population every several years. For now, locals are loving the view, even if it's not quite the Bahamas.

“It's not a clear blue or Caribbean color but it's much closer to the river I remember from when I was growing up,” Merritt said.
I've seen similar "blooms" of filter feeding organisms that provide, for a while anyway, much clearer water, several times during my time of life in the Bay region. In particular, ten years ago or more, I recall a bloom of the sea grape, Mogula Manhattanensis, that had the visibility in our area as great as 10 ft (1 ft or less is more typical). Such respites are welcome, but don't really represent a long term improvements. The blooms inevitably fail again, and the organisms either die, or are eaten by predators, and the nutrients they have sequestered in their tissues recycled back to the water. For long term improvement we really need large areas covered with relatively stable populations of something long lived, something, like say, oysters.

Russiagate - cc: China

Two big stories for today. First, Hillary wasn't just sending her emails back and forth through an unsecured server in her bathroom and other odd places, she was unknowingly sending them all to China, thanks to a little piece of code implanted in her server. Da Caller: China Hacked Clinton’s Private Email Server:
A Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington, D.C., area hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails, two sources briefed on the matter told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Chinese firm obtained Clinton’s emails in real time as she sent and received communications and documents through her personal server, according to the sources, who said the hacking was conducted as part of an intelligence operation.

The Chinese wrote code that was embedded in the server, which was kept in Clinton’s residence in upstate New York. The code generated an instant “courtesy copy” for nearly all of her emails and forwarded them to the Chinese company, according to the sources.
. . .
“When [the ICIG] did a very deep dive, they found in the actual metadata — the data which is at the header and footer of all the emails — that a copy, a ‘courtesy copy,’ was being sent to a third party and that third party was a known Chinese public company that was involved in collecting intelligence for China,” the former intelligence officer told TheDCNF.
Ace reacts:  A Chinese-Owned Company Hacked Hillary Clinton's Homebrew Server Throughout Her Tenure as Secretary of State, Stealing Almost All of Her Emails; FBI Ignored. Guilty as hell, free as a bird.  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: Did China Get The Complete Set Of Hillary E-Mails After All?
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given the amateurish nature of the Clinton home network. It seems likely that China wasn’t the only entity that would have attempted to penetrate her communications, nor the only entity that succeeded. There have already been reports that Russia attempted to hack her system, which means that the knowledge of it was more widespread abroad than it was in Washington, at least until the House Select Committee on Benghazi finally exposed Hillary’s use of a secret system to avoid oversight on her operations at the State Department.
 Story #2 is Bruce Ohr testifying to the house committee. Ace: Congressmen Gaetz and Issa on Bruce Ohr's Testimony: Either He's Lying, or Glenn Simpson and Lisa Page Are Lying
They didn't say what the discrepancies were about. I know one discrepancy, which has already been widely noted by outlets not called "The Weekly Standard," is Glenn Simpson's claim he never spoke to Bruce Ohr until after the election, while records indicate them speaking at least as early as August 2016.

But as to the other discrepancies and the discrepancy with Lisa Page's claims, I don't know.
Put them all in the Congressional holding cells until you can sort it out. On Bret Baier's show last night, Congressman Meadows said there were "memory gaps" in Ohr's testimony.

Earlier in the week, an FBI Agent Told Congress That the Bureau Leaked Stories to the Press, and Would Then Use Press Write-Ups as "Independent" Sources to Justify FISA Warrants, which seems to be more ore less precisely what happened with the Steel Dossier.
An FBI special agent told Congress earlier in August that the bureau has used leaked news stories as justifications to obtain surveillance warrants against American citizens, a source familiar with the testimony tells The Daily Caller News Foundation.
During a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees on Friday, Special Agent Jonathan Moffa told congressional investigators that the FBI and Justice Department have leaked stories to the press and then used them to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
"He more or less admitted that the FBI/DOJ have previously leaked info to the press and then used stories from the press as justifications for FISA warrants," a source who took part in Moffa's interview told TheDCNF.
More or less admitted. Keep that in mind, because there's a correction/clarification to the original reporting that pushes heavily on that "more or less" admitted claim.
"Tyler Durnden" Meadows: "We've Learned NEW Information" Suggesting FBI/DOJ Leaked To Press, Used Articles To Obtain FISA Warrants but The FBI pushed back:
But an FBI official disputed the claims about Moffa’s testimony, and TheDCNF’s source is acknowledging that he did not explicitly say that the FBI has leaked information to the press that is later used to obtain FISAs.

The initial claims about Moffa’s testimony are “just not true,” the FBI official told TheDCNF.

Meadows clarified his comments in a statement to TheDCNF.“Jonathan Moffa made it clear to the committee the FBI routinely uses media reports to corroborate analytic work product,” he said. “We have emails and texts plainly showing the FBI leaks to the media, raising major red flags. If FBI executives want the American people to believe they haven’t used leaks to their advantage, they are not being honest.”
The thing is, while it may be a crime for a citizen to lie to the FBI, it is not a crime for the FBI to lie to citizens. It's just a tactic.  Sara Carter: Whistleblower Exposes Key Player in FBI Russia Probe: “It was all a Set-up”. It's all there, Carter Page, Halper, Papado, and the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud. Jeff Carlson: Case of Adam Lovinger: How Security Clearances of Trump Officials Are Politicized. Allahpundit: John Brennan: Quite Frankly, I’m Not Sure That My Security Clearance Has Been Revoked. So I guess you didn't need it that badly anyway.

And speaking of perjury traps, the Dersh thinks Robert Mueller's team may try to subpoena Trump to appear before the grand jury. Not exactly a novel thought perfesssor.

Having lost "big league" with the no defense strategy, Paul Manafort's defense team is taking the novel approach of putting one on next time, which means they need another week to prepare. Law and Crime: Manafort’s Defense Hints at Major Strategy Change for Second Trial. And things that make you go hmmm: One-Time Paul Manafort Banker Robbed of iPad, Briefcase in Mysterious Overnight Break-in at His NYC Penthouse and Paul Manafort reportedly sought a plea deal with Mueller to prevent his second trial from going forward but apparently he hasn't got enough goods on Trump to get a deal.

Tom Maguire at Just One Minute on Lanny Davis
Just don't call CNN 'Fake News'. Lanny Davis - Mr. Incredible - "unintentionally misspoke" when he claimed Trump fixer Michael Cohen was a witness to Trump Sr. getting advance word of the notorious Trump Tower meeting.
Dammit, I'm fresh out of bridges to sell. Town Hall:  Check Your Sources: CNN's Cohen-Russia-Trump Tower Meeting Story Just Blew Up In Their Faces Glenn Greenwald: CNN, Credibly Accused of Lying to its Audience About a Key Claim in its Blockbuster Cohen Story, Refuses to Comment
Only one of two things can be true here, and either is extremely significant: (1) CNN deliberately lied to its audience about Davis refusing to comment on the story when, in fact, Davis was one of the anonymous sources on which the CNN report depended, and CNN claimed Davis refused to comment in order to hide Davis’ identity as one of their anonymous sources; or (2) Davis is lying now to BuzzFeed when he confessed to having been one of CNN’s sources for the story.
And CNN wonders why Trump holds them up for ridicule? Via Wombat-socho's: In The Mailbox: 08.28.18, Da Tech Guy reminds us It Ain't Watergate:
Watergate centered on the illegal activities of Nixon and his aides while they were working for the government.

The Mueller investigation has focused on activities BEFORE Trump took office.

The Watergate activities included bugging the offices of political opponents and people Nixon or his cronies thought were suspicious. Nixon and his close aides also ordered investigations of activist groups and political figures, using the FBI, the CIA, and the IRS as political weapons.

The White House recording system also gave investigators evidence of a conspiracy in the conspirators’ own voices.

The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty, many of whom were top Nixon officials. These included top aides John Ehrlichman and Bob Haldeman, former Attorneys General John Mitchell and Robert Kleindienst, White House Counsel John Dean, and myriad other government officials.

So far, the Mueller investigation has indicted four former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer.

That includes one, repeat, one Trump administration official: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

So far, the only possible link to President Trump is whether he paid hush money to two hookers. Remember another president who actually had sex in the Oval Office?
Stormy doing well by doing good
John Sexton:  Trump Seeks Dismissal Of Stormy Daniels’ Lawsuit Citing Free Speech
You’re probably aware that Stormy Daniels filed a defamation lawsuit against President Trump back in April. Yesterday, attorneys representing President Trump sought to have that lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that the president was exercising his right to free speech. Reuters reports:
In Monday’s motion, Trump’s lawyers said the lawsuit was “designed to chill the president’s free speech rights on matters of public concern.” They cited a law in Daniels’ home state of Texas requiring that such a lawsuit be dismissed unless Daniels could provide “clear and specific evidence” for her claims, which they said she had failed to do.
They also said that Daniels had not been harmed, and had instead “capitalized” on the dispute with a nationwide tour of strip clubs “for which she admittedly is being paid at least four times her normal appearance fee.”
Whew, I thought I'd never get through all that.

#HerToo vs. #HerToo

Rose McGowan has been one of the most ferocious critics of those accused of sexual assault. But with her friend and fellow Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento now one of the accused, McGowan has asked people to be kinder and she's being criticized for it.

Argento was among the first women to accuse now disgraced movie mogul Weinstein of sexual misconduct -- and like McGowan -- has been a leading figure in the #MeToo movement.

"I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago," McGowan wrote. "Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere."
Asia Argento
IIRC, Asia wasn't really so much assaulted by Weinstein as that she participated in a police sting against him, and got her boobs honked for her trouble.
But as Monday moved along, angry social media followers began to take aim at Argento.

McGowan would later appear to ask those following her to show compassion for Argento.  "None of us know the truth of the situation and I'm sure more will be revealed," she tweeted. "Be gentle." Given her powerful and frequent comments condemning alleged sexual abusers, many have slammed McGowan for her support of Argento.

"Oh look, Rose McGowan is a hypocrite too *pretends to be shocked* Just imagine if it was a guy in place of Asia," one person tweeted. "Imagine how he'd be crucified by the #MeToo movement; but because it's a woman, we need to wait and "be gentle.""

"Be gentle, why? Because she's a woman and your friend? Your comments are a major slap in the face to everything the #MeToo movement represents," wrote actor Harry Cook in a tweet. "Double standards beyond belief."

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke says 'there is no model survivor' after Asia Argento report
And so she yielded to the crowd:  Rose McGowan To Asia Argento: You Need To Come Clean About What You Did To That Kid Or Else You’re Following In Weinstein’s Footsteps
She’s straightened out now. Turns out that her partner, a model named Rain Dove, is the person with whom Argento was texting about Bennett last week. Forced to choose between #MeToo and her pal Asia, McGowan chooses #MeToo — based in part on things that were allegedly said in that text conversation that haven’t been released yet. You can read her full statement by clicking the image panels in this tweet but here’s the key bit:

In the meantime, even the Italians are getting tired of Asia's schtick: Asia Argento reportedly fired as a judge on 'X Factor Italy'
Asia Argento has reportedly been let go from her job as a judge on “X Factor Italy” following allegations that she sexually abused a teen actor who appeared in a movie with her.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Argento will specifically not appear on the upcoming live portion of the competition, which will begin with a new host on Oct. 25. She will, however, appear in the first seven episodes of the season, which were filmed prior to allegations about her alleged encounter with actor Jimmy Bennett when he was 17 and she was 37. Those episodes will begin airing on Sept. 6.

The outlet notes that Sky Italia, which produces the show, does not want to penalize the 40,000 people who auditioned for Argento for the final 12 spots by redoing that process. Instead, she’ll be replaced for the later episodes that air live. In an ironic twist, Varietyreports that Argento’s ex-husband, Italian pop singer Morgan, is her likely replacement.
Me? I'm just enjoying the blue on blue action.

Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Tuesday: Happy Birthday, Mitzi! up and awaiting your approval.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Politician Confronted With Burning Man Past

Politician says she’s being ‘slut shamed’ for Burning Man photos
A California councilwoman says someone is trying to “slut shame” her into dropping her re-election bid — by creating a website filled with scantily clad photos of her at Burning Man.

Rachel Hundley, a councilwoman in Sonoma, said she received a threatening email earlier this month, accusing her of “immoral and unethical” behavior and telling her to drop out of the city council race or her candidacy would be “one of full disclosures.”

“I was threatened by an anonymous coward,” Hundley, 35, said in a YouTube video last week, calling the ominous email, “nothing short of extortion.”

The email included a link to a now-disabled website called “Rachel Hundley Exposed,” which she said showed “scandalous” videos and photos mined from her social media accounts, showing her wearing only a bra and underwear at Burning Man, the free-spirited arts and music festival.

The site was seemingly created by an organization called “Sonoma Citizens for Peace and Cooperation,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

In Hundley’s video, which had over 20,000 views as of Tuesday, she owned up to managing a wine bar at a “consent-focused sex-positive theme camp” that is part of Burning Man.

“What was especially disturbing in this era of Me Too was the attempt to slut shame me for celebrating my body and for my attendance at Burning Man,” she said.

“This website relies solely on unfounded accusations and slut-shaming. Its purpose is to make me afraid, to silence another strong female voice by scaring me out of this election.”
According to her own posting from Burning Man, this occurred back in 2012. Her response:
It's California, so expect their politicians to be wacky. I don't see a problem with her attending Burning Man in her underwear, it's hot out there, but it's another valuable lesson that the internet never forgets. And politics ain't bean bag. I don't see the attack as unfair either.

Incidentally, Burning Man 2018 is underway.

Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Tuesday: Happy Birthday, Mitzi! up and awaiting your approval.

Jeff Corwin to Do Chesapeake Bay Special

Jeff Corwin (left)
Jeff Corwin's Bay Documentary on Big Screen in 2019
Emmy-winning conservationist Jeff Corwin and Harrisburg’s Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts have teamed up to bring audiences a feature film dedicated to exploring the many faces and places belonging to the Bay and encouraging citizens to take part in her restoration.

According to its website, the film “will be a powerful educational tool for the next generation of environmental stewards and will inspire people to learn how they can restore the health of the watershed and the estuary where they live.”

Corwin and crew were recently spotted filming aboard the schooner Alliance in Yorktown. The city's tourism presence on Twitter posted an image of Corwin on the vessel's bow, below.
. . .
The film is slated to hit theaters in March of 2019. To learn more, visit Expedition Chesapeake.
I look forward to it! 

Reason #6660 That Trump Was Elected

S&P 500, Nasdaq jump to record highs as US and Mexico strike trade deal
Stocks jumped on Monday as the United States and Mexico closed a new trade deal, potentially removing a source of uncertainty that had been plaguing investors for months.

The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to close at 2,896.74 — a record high — with materials and financials as the best-performing sectors. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.9 percent to an all-time high, breaking above 8,000 points for the first time, as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet rose. Tech's gains led the Nasdaq to close at 8,017.90.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 259.29 points to 26,049.64 as Caterpillar outperformed. Monday also marked the first time since Feb. 1 that the Dow closed above 26,000.
It turns out other countries are willing to strike fairer trade deals with the US if the President is willing to push for them.
President Donald Trump said the deal would be called The United States-Mexico Trade agreement, leaving behind the 24-year-old NAFTA name. "The name NAFTA has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA," he said. Trump added that the deal with Mexico is also very helpful for farmers and manufacturers. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the deal must be approved by Congress before being implemented.

The comment comes after Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Sunday both countries were close to resolving key differences on trade. This would pave the way for a new deal between the two longtime trade partners. "We've continued making progress," Guajardo said.
And Canada?  Canada is likely to agree to a NAFTA deal with the US this week, business council says
Canada will restart official talks with the United States on Tuesday in the hope that an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be signed off in the coming days.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Washington to continue negotiations, following the news that Mexico and the U.S. have already reached an agreement that rewrites the trilateral trade pact, first ratified in 1994.

That agreement has been hailed by President Donald Trump as "a big day for trade," sending U.S. stocks to fresh all-time highs Monday, with Asian equities also propelling higher Tuesday.

Maryscott Greenwood, CEO of the Canadian American Business Council (CABC), told CNBC on Tuesday that she thought Canada would join the arrangement and could even finalize a new NAFTA deal this week.

"There is only a handful of tough issues left. Mexico is already there. I think we can get there this week, I really do," she said, before cautioning that this week's trilateral talks would be "harsh" and "intensive."

Some Reassuring Russiagate

Someday, Bruce Ohr is going to have to testify before Congress, and today is that day. But before his grilling, the New York Times writes a defense brief: Byron York: New York Times profile of Bruce Ohr looks a lot like a well timed defense brief
As Twitchy reported, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr is scheduled to appear before Congress Tuesday.

Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for opposition firm Fusion GPS, the folks who hired Christopher Steele to come up with his infamous Trump dossier, so legislators would like to know just how cozy that relationship was.

The New York Times published a profile of Ohr Monday, and The Washington Examiner’s Byron York noticed that it looked a lot like a defense brief. Crazy, huh?

As the session is closed-door, I look forward to the inevitable leaks. Jeff Carlson at themarkestwork notes The Missing Papadopoulos Meetings. I still want to know more about what the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud was up to:
There are two legal versions of events relating to Papadopoulos. One from the July 28, 2017, affidavit signed by FBI Agent Robert M. Gibbs, and one from theOct. 5, 2017, Statement of the Offense “signed” by Robert Mueller–and undersigned by Jeannie S. Rhee, Andrew D. Goldstein, and Aaron S.J. Zelinsky.

To the casual eye, these documents provide a relatively similar version of events, although there are some differences:
The Mueller version has a tendency to emphasize Papadopoulos’s Russian contacts and the Gibbs version presents events in a slightly differing timeline format, but the overall presentation of events remains reasonably similar through June 1, 2016.

However, after June 1, 2016, the Mueller version suddenly becomes vague, in relation to direct foreign contacts by Papadopoulos.
. . .
The Wall Street Journal has reported on Millian as being both Source D and E in the Steele dossier. There are all kinds of questions surrounding Millian. The fact that he was meeting with Papadopoulos in July 2016 is material. So why did the Mueller team specifically ignore this entire sequence of events in their Oct. 5, 2017 unsealed Statement of Offense. The Gibbs version provides a bit more detail but also fails to note the Millian meeting.
I believe Mr. Mifsud was an agent provocateur for the FBI, probably handled through British intelligence sent to ensnare Papadop with apparent Russian collusion. Maybe Millian, too.

John Sexton at Hot Air: Roger Stone: Robert Mueller And Ronan Farrow Are Both Coming For Me. We'll see, won't we? True Pundit: Giuliani: When Mueller’s report shows Trump’s innocence we will admit he was ‘fair’ A great position to start bargaining from. Ned Ryun, American Greatness: America’s Crisis Is Three-Tiered Justice
Last week brought to the fore a serious problem now threatening to undermine the very foundations of America’s constitutional republic: we no longer have equal application of justice under the law. The rule of law has become trifurcated, with a different application of the law depending upon one’s position in the political hierarchy.

First, there’s one application of the law for members of the powerful elite who have the right political connections. Here, the law is more a series of suggestions that might or might not be followed with almost no legal consequences for non-compliance.

Example A, of course, is Hillary Clinton. Many people have gone to jail for doing what she did, including members of our armed forces. Yet she paid no consequences for violating laws on the use of classified information on her unsecured and illegal private server.
. . .
Then there’s the application of the law for high-powered government bureaucrats. They can abuse their power, lie under oath, spy on Congress, pass around fake dossiers, leak to the press while turning the bureaucracy into personal weapons against political opponents, but face no consequences save getting a fat contract as an on-air contributor from a news outlet.

And finally, there is the application of the law for the rest of us, the normal everyday Americans who bear the full brunt of the law for a single violation of mishandling classified information or any other breach of national security law. If you have the wrong political connections or aligned yourself against the establishment in any way, you get pre-dawn raids from an FBI that look more like the KGB’s modus operandi than that of a constitutional republic.

So if you try to tell me that we have equal application of justice under the law in America, you’re living in an alternate reality because what’s taking place around us points to arbitrary law.
Ann Althouse not impressed with the Axios list: "Congressional Republicans are getting ready for hell. Axios has obtained a spreadsheet that's circulated through Republican circles on and off Capitol Hill..."
"... including at least one leadership office — that meticulously previews the investigations Democrats will likely launch if they flip the House."

It sounds worse as a generality than if you read the itemization:
Twitchy: OH NOEZ! Dem lawmaker admits evidence is lacking to impeach Trump and the Resistance totally loses its SH*T. To be fair, they lose their shit fairly easily. Breitbart: Scott Adams: If Donald Trump Goes Down, Hillary Clinton Goes to Prison. Almost a fair trade. Jeff Crouere, Town Hall: The Impeachment Insanity

Sundance at CTH: Retreat We Much: Attorney for Michael Cohen Now Reverses Claims on Trump Knowledge of any Russian Event… Aaron Blake, The Washington Post (link goes to newstimes) Michael Cohen's lawyer has done real damage to the case against Trump. He's making his client look (more) like an unreliable witness. And of course, the inevitable: Brian Stelter Ignores CNN’s Bungled Trump Tower Story, Da Caller. All the news that fits the agenda.

Mary Tyler March at the Hill: Lewandowski: I warned everybody that Cohen was going to become a problem
"Michael was very good at certain things and one of the things he was very good at, and we have now seen it, is intimidating people," Lewandowski responded.

"I didn't like to work with Michael, I didn't like to interact with Michael, and that's why he had no role in the campaign, even when he wanted one," he continued. "I was very clear when I was in charge of the campaign, Michael was not somebody who we wanted at the campaign. He would go out and make statements that we had to walk back afterwards because he would say things which were factually untrue. I warned everybody at the organization that Michael was going to become a problem."
A miracle for the planned media canonization of John McCain from the Atlantic:  John McCain’s Epiphany About Paul Manafort "Manafort saw managing the 2008 Republican convention as almost a birthright. But McCain denied him the job. He couldn’t abide Manafort’s pro-Russian clients—and told him so."

From the New York Times via WRAL:  Could Trump’s Missing Signature Force Him to Be Deposed? More Stormy/Cohen/Avenatti wrangling that may or may not happen.

Allahpundit: Poll: Strong Majority Thinks Brennan, Comey Should Have Their Clearances Revoked
For all the heat POTUS has taken from natsec people and the media over this, the public’s firmly on his side.
The survey showed 59 percent of registered voters felt Brennan should have lost his security clearance, while 64 percent said Comey and others at the FBI who were fired or demoted over their actions should lose their clearance.
Overall, 60 percent of registered voters said they believed that former national security officials who become consultants and TV news contributors should give up their national security clearances…
“There would definitely be support for a wholesale policy revoking their clearances,” [pollster Mark Penn] added.
If Comey still had a clearance, which he doesn’t, this probably would have cinched its revocation . . .