Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Late Night Halloween Music

This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.

Maryland Government for Hire

By way of Watts Up With That: Law enforcement climate schemers get exposed by TV ads
Climate Litigation Watch, a project of the public interest law firm Government Accountability & Oversight, P.C., has released new television ads running in five states, informing Marylanders, New Mexicans, Oregonians, Pennsylvanians and Virginians of recently unearthed details of their states’ attorneys general involvement in a national scheme to place privately funded special prosecutors in state AG offices to pursue issues of concern to the donor.

Each ad shows specific records obtained from each state, and cites to troubling aspects of the unprecedented arrangement, from New Mexico’s promise to use the privately funded prosecutors “to identify ‘pressure points’ on which litigation can be used to most effectively influence policy” on matters of concern to the donor — while the parties agreed to not draw media attention to their deal — to the apparent violations of state law in Oregon and Virginia.

By statute, these “Special Assistant Attorneys General” have the same authority as the AG; by agreement, they are expressly to pursue an ideological agenda, using the state’s top law enforcement office in a mercenary fashion, as a tool to investigate individuals, businesses and organizations who oppose that agenda.

The ads are based on a recent report, “Law Enforcement for Hire”, which cites to hundreds of source documents, many revealed for the first time and all obtained after more than two years of investigation, document requests and, in numerous cases, litigation. Citing to key records from each AG’s office, the exposés lay out the tie-ups between a “Center” funded by New York billionaire activist Michael Bloomberg, and various state AGs across the country. Each AG specifically requested the outside group provide attorney salaries and benefits, as well as other “services that may be available to your offices on individual matters”, including still more attorneys, and public relations advocacy, to “advance progressive…legal positions” on specific issues.

These arrangements cry out for legislative oversight of how law enforcement came to be used in this way, and how AGs could claim they had no relevant statutory professional responsibility limitations.

The ads can be seen on YouTube or
. . .

You know who else has a lot of spare money? The Kochs and Donald Trump.

Reason2 #6961 and 6962 That Trump Was Elected

Companies continued to hire at a brisk pace in October, with private payrolls rising by a better-than-expected 227,000, according to a report Wednesday from ADP and Moody's Analytics.

Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had expected growth of 189,000 after September's 218,000, which was revised lower from an initial count of 230,000.

Gains came primarily from the services sector, which added 189,000 positions. Construction and manufacturing added 17,000 each. At an industry level, trade, transportation and utilities was the biggest contributor with 61,000 new positions.
Leisure and hospitality contributed 40,000, while professional and business services added 36,000 and education and health services grew by 31,000.

In terms of company size, big businesses that employ 500 or more workers led the way with 102,000. Small businesses, which have paced much of the recovery, lagged with just 29,000 new hires, another sign of a tightening job market where qualified workers are getting harder to find.
And when business men can't find qualified workers for the price they're offering, they often raise their offers, hence:

Wages and salaries jump by 3.1%, highest level in a decade
Employment costs rose more than expected in the third quarter in a sign that more inflation could be brewing in the U.S. economy. The Labor Department's employment cost index rose 0.8 percent for the period, ahead of the estimate of 0.7 percent from economists surveyed by Refinitiv. Wages and salaries rose 0.9 percent, well ahead of expectations for 0.5 percent. Benefit costs were up 0.4 percent. On a yearly basis, wages and salaries jumped 3.1 percent, the biggest increase in 10 years.

Wage increases have been the missing link in the economy since the recovery began in mid-2008. Average hourly earnings have been rising steadily but have stayed below the 3 percent level as slack has remained in the labor market.

However the unemployment rate is now at 3.7 percent, the lowest since 1969, and wage pressures have begun to build. The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in an effort to stave off future inflationary pressures, though the central bank's preferred gauge of inflation rose just 2.5 percent in the third quarter, including a 1.9 percent increase for health benefits.

"The employment cost index data adds to the broader evidence that wage growth has continued to trend gradually higher over recent quarters," Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said in a note. "And with labor market conditions still tightening, we expect wage growth will accelerate further from here."
The Democrats really need to get into power to head off this trend. Imagine people getting off welfare and imagining that they didn't really need to Democrats to give it to them.

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

Happy Pumpkin Night!

This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.

Russiagate Trick or Treat

Someone seems to running a #MeToo trick against Robert Mueller. Twitchy: Is this scoop on Robert Mueller the ‘scandalous story’ we were promised?
Earlier today, reports that a big scoop on Robert Mueller would be dropping today had tongues wagging and eyebrows raised.

Jacob Wohl got the ball rolling yesterday:

Da Atlantic: Mueller Wants the FBI to Look at a Scheme to Discredit Him , The special counsel says a woman was offered money to fabricate sexual-harassment claims.
A company that appears to be run by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist offered to pay women to make false claims against Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the days leading up to the midterm elections—and the special counsel’s office has asked the FBI to weigh in. “When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” the Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told me in an email on Tuesday.
You mean like anti-Kavannagh forces paying women to testify against him? Althouse:  "A company that appears to be run by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist offered to pay women to make false claims against Special Counsel Robert Mueller..."
"... in the days leading up to the midterm elections—and the special counsel's office has asked the FBI to weigh in.... Mueller spokesman Peter Carr... confirmed that the allegations were brought to the office’s attention by several journalists, who were contacted by a woman who identified herself as Lorraine Parsons.... The woman identifying herself as Parsons told journalists in an email... that she had been offered roughly $20,000 by a man claiming to work for a firm called Surefire Intelligence—which had been hired by a GOP activist named Jack Burkman—'to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller.'"
Dirty pool, but is paying someone to lie to a paper a crime? It ain't under oath. Instapundit: I PREDICT THERE WILL BE NO #BELIEVEALLWOMEN SPIN ON THIS ONE: Is this scoop on Robert Mueller the ‘scandalous story’ we were promised? HuffPo: The Bizarre And Failed Attempt To Smear Robert Mueller
It’s hoaxes all the way down in what appears to be an effort to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller with fabricated claims of sexual misconduct.

Several media outlets, including HuffPost, received emails earlier this month from a woman claiming she was offered money to spread fake accusations about Mueller. In her email, the woman said she worked as a paralegal at a law firm called Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in the early 1970s. Mueller worked at the firm after he finished law school.

The Atlantic was the first outlet to write about the email on Tuesday afternoon, reporting that the special counsel’s office had referred the allegations to the FBI.

“When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” said Peter Carr, a Justice Department spokesman who has been detailed to the special counsel team since its inception last year.

But the problem is, there’s no evidence the woman worked at the law firm with Mueller, or that she even exists. A spokesman for the law firm, which now goes by Pillsbury, told HuffPost that there was “no record of this individual working at our firm at any time.”
HuffPost conducted a public records search to locate the woman, but could not definitively tie her to a known person. The New York Times and other outlets were also unable to confirm the woman’s identity or her story.

But another woman, Vermont Law School professor Jennifer Taub, said that she also received an offer to be paid to tell stories about Mueller. Taub, who has previously commentated on the Mueller probe, told The Atlantic and MSNBC that she was also contacted by someone interested in stories about her “encounters” with Mueller, whom she has never met.
They only have to find one that's telling the truth, right. Or only one whose story can't be disproved, if you use the Democrat's standard. Christina Blasey Ford is well on the way to million dollars in her GoFundMe campaign.

Instapundit again.
HMM: Woman telling journalists she was paid to smear Robert Mueller may not exist. So that suggests she’s not part of a scheme to smear Mueller, but what’s going on then?

Plus: “Even in the MeToo era, when sexual misconduct allegations come down seemingly daily against powerful men, those accusations typically involve a real, verifiable woman and some kind of corroborating evidence. In this case, there’s neither.”
Trick or Treat, Mr. Mueller!

Mueller had one Halloween treat already as former co-conspirator Whitey Bulger was killed in prison yesterday

Mueller seems to have settled on bagging Roger Stone as his last best hope to find something like collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and is even re-interviewing Steve Bannon to try to squeeze out something that can be construed as incriminating. WaPo: Mueller probes Roger Stone’s interactions with Trump campaign and timing of WikiLeaks release of Podesta emails
The special counsel investigation is pressing witnesses about longtime Trump ally Roger Stone’s private interactions with senior campaign officials and whether he had knowledge of politically explosive Democratic emails that were released in October 2016, according to people familiar with the probe.

As part of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III appears to be focused on the question of whether WikiLeaks coordinated its activities with Stone and the campaign, including the group’s timing, the people said. Stone and WikiLeaks have adamantly denied being in contact.
On Friday, Mueller’s team questioned Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, about claims Stone is said to have made privately about WikiLeaks before the group released emails that prosecutors say were hacked by Russian operatives, according to people familiar with the session.

In recent weeks, Mueller’s team has also interviewed several Stone associates, including New York comedian Randy Credico and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Both testified before the grand jury.

Investigators have questioned witnesses about events surrounding Oct. 7, 2016, the day The Washington Post published a recording of Trump bragging about his ability to grab women by their genitals, the people said.

Less than an hour after The Post published its story about Trump’s crude comments during a taping of “Access Hollywood,” WikiLeaks delivered a competing blow to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by releasing a trove of emails hacked from the account of her campaign chairman John Podesta.

Roger Stone calls Randy Credico his 'principal source' regarding WikiLeaks

The group trickled out new batches of Podesta’s private messages nearly daily through the campaign’s final weeks, ensuring the stolen documents would vex Clinton’s campaign until Election Day.

Investigators have been scrutinizing phone and email records from the fall of 2016, looking for evidence of what triggered WikiLeaks to drop the Podesta emails right after the “Access Hollywood” tape story broke, according to people with knowledge of the probe.

In an interview this week, Stone vehemently denied any prior knowledge of the Podesta emails. He said he did not play any role in determining the timing of their release by WikiLeaks or suggest they be used to blunt the impact of the “Access Hollywood” tape.

It is unclear whether the special prosecutor has evidence connecting Stone to WikiLeaks’s activities. Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, could have concluded on his own that releasing the emails on that day would benefit Trump.
Even if true, is it a crime? Hillary clearly colluded with Russians via the Perkins Coie, FusionGPS link, and there's no one accusing her of a crime. ABC: As special counsel closes in, Roger Stone suits up for legal battle
Sources tell ABC News that Stone, a longtime friend of President Donald Trump, quietly expanded his legal team in recent months, hiring prestigious Florida attorney Bruce Rogow, who will be Stone’s lead attorney on all matters related to the office of the special counsel and all constitutional matters, such as first amendment issues that may arise.

In the past, Rogow has represented President Donald Trump's golf club interests in a handful of civil matters out of Florida over the past 20 years. His over 50-year career in litigation includes eleven cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Mr. Robert Buschel and I welcome the presence of someone with Mr. Rogow’s stature and gravitas," another Stone lawyer, Grant Smith, told ABC News of Rogow joining he and Buschel on the Stone legal team.

Rogow told ABC News on Tuesday that the veteran GOP political operative has still not been contacted by the Office of Special Counsel.

Stone’s legal team tells ABC News that last month their client voluntarily took two polygraph tests, which they claim will show Stone passing with flying colors on a spectrum of key issues covering areas of interest in the Mueller probe related o Stone.
The two polygraph tests, paid for by Stone's legal team, were administered by Slattery Associates Inc. in Florida. Stone's legal team shared the results from the tests exclusively with ABC News for review.
. . .
The questions included whether Stone communicated with Julian Assange during the 2016 presidential election and whether he ever discussed at any time the stolen information from Wikileaks and with Donald Trump during that time, all to which Stone replied, “no.”

"I suggested a polygraph in order to pin down the veracity of Roger's positions on the investigation by the special counsel with regard to Julian Assange and Wikileaks," Rogow told ABC News on Tuesday. "I have great confidence in the polygraph examiner, to whom I sent Mr. Stone."
If the intent of his probe has been to harass and cost friends of Trump lots of money, Mueller has been wildly successful.

Democrats Prefer Pain and Suffering

Republicans fantasize about infidelity
Republicans and Democrats Are Also Divided on Sexual Fantasies
They say politics make strange bedfellows, but apparently politics also play a role in what and who we fantasize about in bed.

Justin Lehmiller, a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, wrote a piece for Politico citing data from “the largest and most comprehensive survey of sexual fantasies ever conducted in the United States” that shows that Republicans and Democrats are turned on by different fantasies.

While both parties reported they fantasize at the same rate — several times a week — the themes of those fantasies were divided along party lines. Republicans tended to prefer fantasizing about sex outside of marriage: “things like infidelity, orgies and partner swapping, from 70s-style ‘key parties’ to modern-day forms of swinging,” Lehmiller wrote. Republicans also reported more voyeuristic fantasies like going to a strip club or watching one’s partner have sex with another person.
Democrats fantasize BDSM

Democrats, on the other hand, were more likely to favor fantasies that included domination and power dynamics, including BDSM. According to Lehmiller, “The largest Democrat-Republican divide on the BDSM spectrum was in masochism, which involves deriving pleasure from the experience of pain.”

To explain why the political parties differ so vastly in their sexual tastes, Lehmiller looked to each party’s values. He wrote that we fantasize about forbidden fruit, that which we cannot have. So Democrats value equality, and domination and submission seem antithetical to those values, making them forbidden and therefore ripe grounds for fantasy. Since Republicans value sex within the bonds of marriage and single partner sex, the idea of multiple partners and infidelity turns them on.

“Nothing makes us want to try something like being told you can’t do it. This is why taboos, no matter what they are, often become turn-ons,” Lehmiller wrote.

The survey also asked participants to name politicians they had fantasized about, and the results revealed that we are sometimes bipartisan in our fantasies. Of the one in ten who admitted to fantasizing about a politician, nearly one in three Democrats said they had fantasized about a Republican, while only 17 percent of Republicans said they fantasized about a Democrat.
Because Republican chicks are hotter than Democrats'?

This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Ray of Sunshine at the Beach

A cool, bright but breezy late October day at the beach. Skye and I walked down, while Georgia drove down and met us.
 The tide was dead low, and even lower than the astronomical prediction due to the north winds.
Today's beach finds (not the quarter, although I found a $5 bill in the surf a while back). The big chunk is a piece of stingray mouth plate that Georgia found. We usually find individual segments, but rarely we find them hooked together forming the pavement that rays actually use to crush and grind their food. This is the biggest we have ever found.

Apologies for the lousy cell phone pic.

A Little Dab of Russiagate

Stormy Daniels with lawyer Michael Avennati
It'll have to do ya. First off, Creepy Porn Lawyer Michael Avenatti's nascent presidential campaign took another hit as Trump asks Court to SLAPP Stormy Daniels with $341,559.50 in legal fees plus sanctions
Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, sued Donald Trump for defamation over Trump’s assertion that Daniels’ lied about supposed threats against her. She is represented in the case by Democrat presidential hopeful Michael Avenatti.

Those alleged threats were covered by us on April 17, 2018, Internet Works Feverishly to Identify Sketch of Stormy Daniel’s Alleged Threatener After Her Attorney Posts Reward Offer:

cuStormy Daniels the (former?) porn star who claims Trump paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about their affair now claims she was threatened in 2011.

Daniels claims the “well dressed” man approached her in a parking lot and told her to “Leave Mr. Trump alone.” Trump called the claim a “total con job”:

The tweet to which Trump was responded pointed out that the sketch of the alleged perp looked like Daniels ex husband:

Some people (like us, jokingly) speculated it looked like Avenatti:

The Court threw out the lawsuit, finding Trump’s commentary was protected by the First Amendment. It’s important that Trump moved to dismiss, and the court granted dismissal, under the Texas Anti-SLAPP [Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation] Statute because that is where Daniels resided, even though the case was in California and Trump is a New Yorker. The court reasoned:
Under New York’s choice-of-law principles, the law of the situs of the injury generally applies to a tort lawsuit involving diverse parties. See Stoyanovskiy v. Amerada Hess Corp., 286 A.D.2d 727, 728 (2001). However, in this day and age, with the publication of statements in online fora, the tort of defamation often involves a plaintiff injured in several jurisdictions. For multistate defamation actions, where the situs of the injury may be in multiple jurisdictions, “New York applies the law of the state with the most significant interest in litigation,” which generally is the state where a plaintiff is domiciled. See Lee v. Bankers Trust Co., 166 F.3d 540, 545 (2d. Cir. 1999). Plaintiff alleges in the Complaint that Ms. Clifford is a “resident of the State of Texas,” (Compl. ¶ 1), and conceded during argument on September 24, 2018 that Ms. Clifford is domiciled in Texas. (See Transcript of Proceedings at 11: 7.) Therefore, this Court applies Texas law to Plaintiff’s allegations of defamation and Defendant’s Special Motion To Dismiss/Strike. [footnote omitted]

So when the court threw out the lawsuit, it did so under the Anti-SLAPP statute, which grants the successful defendant attorney’s fees, subject to a submission of proof:
Having granted the Special Motion and denied Plaintiff leave to amend, the Court finally holds that Defendant is entitled to attorney’s fees. Texas law is unambiguous that “the TCPA requires anaward of ‘reasonable attorney’s fees’ to the successful movant.” Sullivan v. Abraham, 488 S.W.3d 294, 299 (Tex. 2016). “A ‘reasonable’ attorney’s fee ‘is one that is not excessive or extreme, but rather moderate or fair.'” Id. (quoting Garcia v. Gomez, 319 S.W.3d 638, 642 (Tex.2010)).
Trump just submitted his motion for attorney’s fees. (h/t Brad Heath Twitter)

He’s seeking $341,559.50 in legal fees plus sanctions. The full motion (pdf.) is embedded at the bottom of this post.
That should cool off some of the steam in his presidential run. It might even take a couple of days for weak minded liberals to raise the money.

A petty piece by Shannon Pettypiece at Bloomberg:  Trump May Answer Mueller Questions Post-Election, Giuliani Says. Or not.
President Donald Trump’s legal team has prepared written responses to several dozen questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller but say they won’t submit them until after next week’s elections and only if they reach a broader agreement with Mueller on terms for the questioning.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, said in an interview Monday that the answers relate only to whether Trump colluded with Russia during his presidential campaign. He said the legal team is still unwilling to answer any questions concerning obstruction of justice by the president.

Giuliani also said that a face-to-face interview with Mueller is “off the table” for now but isn’t being ruled out completely.
One of those names that keeps coming up:  ImperatorRex_: "1. Nuland is a key player in and an important actor in the Obama/Clinton scheme. Remember, the Fusion/Steele fake Intel would never […]" #SpyGate #MAGA

This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.

Reason #6960 That Trump Was Elected

President Trump plans to sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil, he said yesterday in an exclusive interview for "Axios on HBO," a new four-part documentary news series debuting on HBO this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Why it matters: This would be the most dramatic move yet in Trump's hardline immigration campaign, this time targeting "anchor babies" and "chain migration." And it will set off another stand-off with the courts, as Trump’s power to do this through executive action is debatable to say the least.
Axios also gives a pretty good run down of the legal issues:
The legal challenges would force the courts to decide on a constitutional debate over the 14th Amendment, which says:
  • "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
Be smart: Few immigration and constitutional scholars believe it is within the president's power to change birthright citizenship, former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services chief counsel Lynden Melmed tells Axios.
  • But some conservatives have argued that the 14th Amendment was only intended to provide citizenship to children born in the U.S. to lawful permanent residents — not to unauthorized immigrants or those on temporary visas.
  • John Eastman, a constitutional scholar and director of Chapman University's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, told "Axios on HBO" that the Constitution has been misapplied over the past 40 or so years. He says the line "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" originally referred to people with full, political allegiance to the U.S. — green card holders and citizens.
Michael Anton, a former national security official in the Trump administration, recently took up this argument in the Washington Post.
  • Anton said that Trump could, via executive order, "specify to federal agencies that the children of noncitizens are not citizens" simply because they were born on U.S. soil. (It’s not yet clear whether Trump will take this maximalist argument, though his previous rhetoric suggests there’s a good chance.)
  • But others — such as Judge James C. Ho, who was appointed by Trump to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans — say the line in the amendment refers to the legal obligation to follow U.S. laws, which applies to all foreign visitors (except diplomats) and immigrants. He has written that changing how the 14th Amendment is applied would be "unconstitutional."
Between the lines: Until the 1960s, the 14th Amendment was never applied to undocumented or temporary immigrants, Eastman said.
  • Between 1980 and 2006, the number of births to unauthorized immigrants — which opponents of birthright citizenship call "anchor babies" — skyrocketed to a peak of 370,000, according to a 2016 study by Pew Research. It then declined slightly during and following the Great Recession.
  • The Supreme Court has already ruled that children born to immigrants who are legal permanent residents have citizenship. But those who claim the 14th Amendment should not apply to everyone point to the fact that there has been no ruling on a case specifically involving undocumented immigrants or those with temporary legal status.
The bottom line: If Trump follows through on the executive order, "the courts would have to weigh in in a way they haven't," Eastman said.
Amendment XIV - Section 1
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
So, I suppose, the issue comes down to the interpretation of "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." Are illegal aliens subject to the jurisdiction of the United States? Sure, in the sense that we can deport them (removing them from our jurisdiction), arrest them, try them and punish them if they commit crimes, feed them if they're hungry, and put their kids to school.

But, dammit, we didn't chose them! They chose to violate our laws to come here and bear their children, which then become our collective responsibility.

Just wait until we try to execute one for murder, and we'll see if their home country bows to our jurisdiction.

Trump may lose this fight in the courts, but it's a fight worth having. Stopping birthright citizenship and anchor babies would be a big step toward forward in the fight against illegal immigration. I don't know how Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will vote, but I'm glad Trump is appointing Supreme Court justices and not Hillary.

Update: This fine video courtesy of Hot Air (and C-Span)

Idiot Has Belly Buttonectomy to Spite Parents

A 23-year-old woman removed her belly button and gave it to her ex-boyfriend as a present.

Body modification fanatic Paulina Casillas Landeros, from Jalisco, Mexico, underwent numerous surgeries such as a 'back corset' - which involves piercings on either side of the spine - and a split tongue.

She later decided to remove her belly button as it is "what makes us human" before giving it as a present to her then boyfriend Daniel Ramirez, in 2015.
Funny, I thought it was our brain, but maybe that's just me. Although, to be fair, dogs don't have much of a belly button.
But following the removal three years ago, she says she ultimately regrets her decision describing it as "reckless" and "impulsive".

The HR intern and tourism student said: "I have always had problems with my family, I was not very close to them at the time.
Oh, she's in HR. She doesn't need that much brains to be judging whether people deserve jobs.
"Body modifications fascinated me, there is something very transcending about them.

"I was very angry, I wanted to cut all unions from everything and everyone.

"I wanted to dehumanise myself in a symbolic way, I wanted to do something controversial.

"I underwent an 'operation' done by a professional but he gave me very bad advice on how to take care of the trauma so it got infected.

"I was suffering, I spent days in bed as if I were quarantined, I couldn’t stretch, push, stand up or laugh.

"It gradually healed itself but not 100 per cent - it will never close entirely."
The price of stupidity is pain. Don't date feminists, or interns in HR.

She's not the only woman in the world sans belly button, however. Supermodel Karolina Kurkova had her's removed as a child in the course of an operation for an umbilical hernia, and I still think of her as fully human, maybe even superhuman. Interestingly, in her photographs, sometimes they Photoshop in a belly button, and sometimes not:

Jimi Hendrix Belly Button Window from moonchild on Vimeo.

This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Chesapeake Bay Propaganda Tool Designed to Scare

New online tool shows climate change in Chesapeake region, county by county
A new online tool developed by researchers at Cornell University in New York offers a year-by-year, county-by-county snapshot of those changes.

The interactive analysis focuses on the Northeast, so it incorporates much of the Chesapeake Bay’s watershed — Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia — but ignores Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Still, the website’s centerpiece — a clickable map that enables users to find climate data ranging from 1950-2013 in each county — underscores that the vast majority of the watershed is getting hotter and rainier.

Just about all of the watershed’s counties included on the map have experienced warmer annual average temperatures since 1980, according to the data Cornell used to develop its tool.

Some examples:

  • In Franklin County in south-central Pennsylvania, the average annual temperature has risen at a rate of 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1950. But that rate jumps to 0.7 degrees when measured since 1980, suggesting things are getter hotter faster.
  • In Maryland’s Prince George’s County, the typical low temperature has warmed up a full 1 degree per decade since 1980.
  • In New York’s Chemung County, average annual precipitation increased at a rate of 2.3 inches per decade from 1980-2013.
  • In Sussex County in Delaware, the typical daily high temperature ranged from 64 degrees in 1958 to 69.5 degrees in 2012. But the overall trend suggests it is increasing at a rate of 0.2 degrees per decade.
What lovely cherry picking! 0.3 degrees per decade! Can you feel a difference of 0.3 degrees? Prince Georges County MD is a growing urban center, and we can expect the Urban Heat Island effect to increase the temperature. 0.23 extra inches of rain per year in Chemung County, where the annual rainfall is 33 inches. 0.2 degrees per decade. 2 degrees per century! Be  afraid! Be Very Afraid!

Wombat Goes Hors de Combat

Bad news from Stacy McCain this morning. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Wombat Hospitalized, Could Use Your Help
As a valuable member of the blog team, Wombat has been so effective that I tend to take his work for granted — it just predictably happens, day after day, like the sun rising in the East. So when there was no “In the Mailbox” feature on Friday, I didn’t panic, but I did notice. Then when there was no FMJRA or Rule 5 Sunday post, I was like, “What happened to Wombat? Did he get kidnapped by a gang of Thai hookers?” The man lives in Las Vegas, a place notorious for weirdness, and who knows?

After going out to eat at Taco Bell with my two youngest kids Sunday afternoon, I lay down for what I expected to be a short nap and woke up at midnight and noticed there was still no Wombat on the blog. That’s when I checked Facebook and discovered that he’d been hospitalized Friday with an infection and other health problems. He’s still got Internet access via his phone — you can wish him well on Twitter — but evidently the doctors won’t allow him to actually blog from his hospital room.

Readers must help restore Wombat’s health before the moonbats discover he’s been sidelined and trolls run amok in the comments.

The man is a military hero, you know — author of What Did You Do in the Cold War, Dad? If it hadn’t been for the service of troops like Wombat (a Russian-language specialist in the Army Security Agency) the Red Army would have rampaged through the Fulda Gap or the Commies could have subverted our government and then who knows? We might be living under a totalitarian regime nearly as frightening as North Korea.

Or maybe even California.

Wombat helped win the Cold War, and kept the Bolshevik menace from conquering the world (except California, and they did that to themselves.)

In September, Wombat started a GoFundMe page to help with his moving expenses, and I urge readers to go contribute there.
I did, even though it prolly cost me all the money I've made on the blog in the last two years (not that much, trust me). That's fair anyway, because without the Rule 5 Sunday and FMJRA post I wouldn't have near the traffic.

Get well soon!

Linked by EBL in Wombat Alert: Wombat Socho Needs Our Help.

More Recurring Russiagate

From Politico: How a Democratic majority could undermine the Mueller probe
If Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections, they’re prepared to use their newfound subpoena power to aggressively open probes into President Donald Trump’s finances and connections to Russia. But doing so — just as Mueller appears to be entering the final laps of his own probe — would create tensions between the special counsel and a newly crowned majority party replenished by scores of freshman lawmakers who rode into Capitol Hill on an anti-Trump wave.

House Democratic aides have been meeting informally in recent months to discuss ways to do their jobs while avoiding stepping on Mueller’s toes in 2019, even toying with the idea of calling the special counsel in for a private bipartisan briefing.

“The House may want to start their oversight by bringing in special counsel Mueller to hear from him,” said former California Rep. Henry Waxman, who chaired the House Oversight Committee during the final two years of the George W. Bush administration and has been meeting informally with House Democrats to discuss investigation strategies.

Potential conflicts could come on many fronts. For starters, Democrats will be eager to see Mueller’s findings and hard-pressed to give him space if he’s not finished yet. If Mueller’s Justice Department supervisors resist making the special counsel’s work public, a clash could emerge.

Perhaps most potentially disruptive: Democrats could cause Mueller problems if they start granting immunity to witnesses whom the special counsel still wants to question or prosecute.
 At Da Spectator, The Stench Still Lingers: Why Rod Rosenstein continues to have President Trump over a barrel.
In a court filing last week in the James Madison Project’s FOIA lawsuit against DoJ asking for those documents, DoJ made an extraordinary assertion. It said that it had “… determined that disclosure of redacted information in the Carter Page FISA documents could reasonably be expected to interfere with the pending investigation into Russian election interference.”

That assertion could only have been made at the behest of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team.

A year ago, it would not have been unusual for the Department of Justice to make such an assertion in behalf of Mueller’s ongoing investigation into supposed Russian interference in the 2016 election.

But it’s 2018, not 2017. The Mueller investigation has been going on since May 2017. After a year and a half, it evidently hasn’t come up with any conduct on the basis of which it could get a grand jury to indict anyone for conspiracy with any Russian entity — far less the Russian government — to interfere in the election.

What the DoJ’s position in the James Madison Project case means is that Rod Rosenstein told the president that if he stood by his order to declassify the Carter Page and other FISA documents, he would be obstructing justice. And that caused the president to withdraw his order. (Real Clear Investigations has the story.)

Now, you can quibble. If you look at the laws describing obstruction of justice — and there are nearly two dozen — you can say that a president declassifying papers relevant to a criminal investigation (if they even are) doesn’t fit neatly into those statutes’ definitions of the crime.

But remember, as my pal Andy McCarthy often reminds us, the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that the Constitution provides are grounds of impeachment needn’t be criminal offenses. They are, instead, political offenses. You needn’t break the law in order to be impeached under the Constitution.
More discussion of the obstruction threat by Sundance at CTH: Lee Smith Investigates: Rosenstein DOJ Threatens “Obstruction” Over Declassification Directive…
With the DOJ release, and the overlay of the sourcing from Lee Smith, we now have a better understanding of Rosenstein’s DOJ leverage. A threat, veiled or overt – it matters not, against the President under the auspices that any declassification would be considered obstruction of justice by Special Counsel Robert Mueller:
…“disclosure of redacted information in the Carter Page FISA documents could reasonably be expected to interfere with the pending investigation into Russian election interference”…
[…] “The obstruction trap was built into the special counsel,” a congressional investigator told RCI, speaking, like the two other sources in this article, only on condition of anonymity.  “If Trump fires Mueller, or Rosenstein, or declassifies documents [embarrassing to the FBI] it’s likely to bring an obstruction charge.”
And that would mean double jeopardy for Trump. “Obstruction is the instrument the Democrats are likely to use to impeach Trump if they win the House,” said the congressional source.
The upshot is that the president will likely hold off on declassification,  at least until after the midterms in November, and  congressional investigators are likely to be stymied, at least for now, in their quest to expose what they call Obama-era surveillance abuses. (read more)
For all intents and purposes Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller are joined in fate over the Russia probe. DAG Rosenstein hired former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel in part due to the recommendation of FBI Legal Counsel Jim Baker and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The Mueller probe was a shield and a sword.
Did Attorney General Lynch give James Comey his marching orders on how to let Clinton off the hook? That's what's being alleged in Thread by @almostjingo: "Who was telling Comey what to say? Rybicki sends a document titled midyear thoughts and wants to talk to Comey. Comey forwards that to someo […]". Seems like a good bet.

Sundance at CTH on George Papadopoulos Considering Withdrawal From Mueller Plea Deal…
There’s an interesting dynamic around George Papadopoulos. For some reason it appears he has only recently understood the scope, scale and totality of Operation “Spygate”; the corrupt enterprise within DOJ/FBI operation “Crossfire Hurricane”.

As he realizes the intentional and manufactured set-ups by John Brennan (CIA); Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Bill Priestap (FBI Co-Intel); along with Sally Yates, John Carlin, Mary McCord (DOJ-NSD); and the Robert Mueller crew, writ large; George Papadopoulos is now considering a withdrawal from his plea deal with Robert Mueller.
From the Perfessor at Legal Insurrection: Will the Feds flip Julie Swetnick against Michael Avenatti?
Here’s a thought experiment.

If you were a federal prosecutor, and given the choice, would you prioritize prosecuting:

(a) a clearly disturbed woman with a long history of flimflam, but who in herself has no important societal role but for her outlandish and possibly perjurious sworn statements against a Supreme Court nominee, or

(b) the high-profile lawyer who helped her and a second woman submit possibly perjurious sworn statements, who is a fixture on cable TV, and who has presidential ambitions.

If you say, ‘get the lawyer’ — come on down.

Morning Chvrch Music - "Miracle"

Lauren Mayberry

This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Disney Princess Approves Appropriation of Her Culture

Auli’i Cravalho with the
character she voiced 
From Hot Air: Disney Princess Says Hey, It’s Ok To Dress Up As Me For Halloween!
Auli’i Cravalho is the Hawaiian-born actress who gives voice to the animated Moana. She’s not falling for the latest demands that children stop dressing up as Disney princesses and she’s encouraging them to go ahead and dress as Moana. She includes their moms in that, too. As a matter of fact, she says she searched for a costume in her size but has been unable to locate one. That seems a shame, especially given her Disney connections, but, whatever.
“I think it’s absolutely appropriate,” Cravalho, 17, tells PEOPLE. “It’s done in the spirit of love and for Disney and for the little ones who just want to dress up as their favorite heroine, I’m all for it.”

That’s exactly the right attitude. Little girls LOVE the Disney princesses. It’s a multi-billion dollar business, what with all the movie sales, costumes, games, and accessories being marketed to the kiddos. That stuff’s everywhere. I say, lighten up, liberal scolds. My son dressed up as Spiderman, Wolverine, and Batman on various years during his trick-or-treating days and I never worried that he’d grow up under the impression that those characters were alive and well in real life. Good heavens, encouraging an imagination in a young kid’s life is really important. Let them dream and play make-believe.

Back in 2016, when the movie was shown, Disney pulled a Moana costume from shelves over claims it was racist.
Whoda thunk a teenage girl would have more common sense than the whole world of SJWs?

This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.

Russiagate Limping Along

Not much happening on a Sunday morning after a mass shooting. Brian Cates at the Epoch Times on how the  Trump–Russia Collusion Narrative Continues to Collapse, featuring the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud:
I suspect that FISA warrant on Page does contain something in addition to the Steele dossier information and news stories that also came from Steele. My hunch is the heavily redacted sections of the warrant contain claims that “Russian agents” were found to be reaching out to Page and Papadopoulos, offering to help fix or influence the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Trump.

But those “Russian agents” weren’t really Russian agents—they were the FBI’s own intelligence assets being sent by their handlers to Page and Papadopoulos to entrap them by lying to them.

Joseph Mifsud, Stefan Halper, and Alexander Downer were approaching their targets and attempting to entrap them by July of 2016, long before the plotters approached the FISC in October for the warrant they wanted.

The DOJ/FBI agents running the Crossfire Hurricane probe not only tried to fool Page and Papadopoulos into believing they were being contacted by Russian agents, but I also suspect they presented at least one of their own confidential FBI informants to the FISC that way, as well.

My hunch is that Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and others who were involved deliberately omitted telling the court that Mifsud was their own guy. In other words, they lied to the FISC and told the judge their own intelligence asset was a real honest-to-God Russian spy so they could get the warrant they wanted.

That’s why Mifsud has been in hiding for almost a year. He’s likely the guy that was passed off to Papadopoulos and the FISC as being the real, live Russian spy in this affair.

Recall that when Mifsud introduced himself to Papadopoulos, the Maltese academic then introduced the former Trump campaign adviser to Olga Vinogradova, telling Papadopoulos that the woman was “Putin’s niece,” which was a lie. Politico posted a story about this last year, titled “Mysterious Putin ‘Niece’ Has A Name.”

Mifsud and the-woman-who-really-wasn’t-Putin’s-niece then attempted to persuade Papadopoulos they could get him access to key Russian government officials—including Putin himself.

This was followed by Halper making his own contact with Papadopoulos and attempting to get him to own up to the Trump campaign, having been approached by Russians who offered their help with the election.

This is the classic “push/pull” intelligence sting, where you send one person to the target to “push” or plant information with them, then send another person to “pull” the planted information from the target so you can “prove” it. Radio personality Dan Bongino, who has a new book out entitled “SpyGate,” has been advancing this theory for some time; I now think he’s right.

Halper, Mifsud, and Downer were working with the CIA/FBI as intel assets sent to entrap the Trump campaign by *pretending* to offer Russian information to low-level Trump campaign staff such as Page. And, right now, it looks as if to make that operation work, the FBI might very well have presented one of its own agents to the court as being a Russian spy.
Papadop needs to renege on his guilty plea and challenge Mueller to put Mifsud up in the witness box.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Grassley To DoJ: Avenatti Committed “Outright Fraud”
Yesterday, I wrote to you referring Mr. Michael Avenatti and Ms. Julie Swetnick for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1001, and 1505, for materially false statements they made to the Senate Judiciary Committee during the course of the Committee’s investigation into allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. I write today because of important additional information regarding Mr. Avenatti that has since come to the Committee’s attention. In light of this new information, I am now referring Mr. Avenatti for investigation of additional potential violations of those same laws, stemming from a second declaration he submitted to the Committee that also appears to contain materially false statements. As explained below, according to NBC News, the purported declarant of that sworn statement has disavowed its key allegations and claimed that Mr. Avenatti “twisted [her] words.” …

Simply put, the sworn statement Mr. Avenatti provided the Committee on October 2 appears to be an outright fraud. According to NBC News, the purported declarant denied – both before and after the sworn statement was released – the key allegations Mr. Avenatti attributed to her. She stated she was clear and consistent “from day one” with Mr. Avenatti that those claims were not true. And she said Mr. Avenatti “twisted [her] words.” When reporters pressed him on these discrepancies, Mr. Avenatti attempted to deceive them in an apparent effort to thwart the truth coming out.

Accordingly, in light of the seriousness of these facts, and the threat these types of actions pose to the Committee’s ability to perform its constitutional duties, I hope you will give this referral, as well as my prior one related to Mr. Avenatti, the utmost consideration.
As did NBC. AllahPundit: Why Did NBC And Time Magazine Sit On Their Avenatti Scoops For So Long? Easy Peasy!
They didn’t want to take the risk of derailing the Democrats’ last best chance to stop Kavanaugh at a decisive moment. Isn’t it as simple as that?

And if it is, an ominous question must be asked: If the Dems had managed to flip Collins and Flake and bork him, would this NBC report have ever been published? Imagine the outrage on the right if Trump’s nominee had been defeated with help from Avenatti, only to discover that a huge media organization had evidence of chicanery all along.

If it did end up being published, I’m going to guess that it wouldn’t have been published the midterms were safely behind us.

Excellent Audience Selection

This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Baltimore Body Snatchers

Sort of from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, via the Ace of Spades: A Better Man Never Lifted A Spade
. . . In the decades that followed, there were plenty of bodies available and ready for the taking for the University of Maryland located in Baltimore. A thriving port city, Baltimore was in a period of rapid growth and the city’s meager infrastructure could not keep up. An antiquated sewage system in the city quickly led to a public health nightmare. Outbreaks of cholera, yellow fever, and dysentery led to an abundance of fresh bodies. Cemeteries of poor whites and free blacks were targeted most frequently. Their inability to afford medical care led to regular burials in the city’s graveyards. The impoverished were often placed in pine coffins, a cheap soft wood that was easy to break open. Baltimore, a city with a long history of mob violence protests, suffered its first riot as a result of body snatching in 1807. Protests became so common that the University of Maryland had secret passageways under the building to allow students and faculty to escape their angry neighbors.

In the 1820s, the school had no problems keeping up with their own demand for corpses once they hired a man named Frank. Officially he was listed as their building’s janitor, but he supplied the corpses for a growing medical school. Frank’s last name is lost to history; the university remained cautious and only referred to him by his first name. Frank excelled at his job and the faculty quickly found itself with an overabundance of specimens. With the surplus supply, professors found an opportunity to increase the school’s bottom line. They began shipping surplus bodies to colleges and universities that lacked a prodigious body snatcher such as Frank. In a letter to a colleague in Maine, a professor in Baltimore boasted of Frank’s success, assuring his counterpart that “a better man never lifted a spade.” He described the pricing for three bodies stored in whiskey: a reasonable $50. The barrels themselves cost $1. The university charged an additional 35 cents per gallon of whiskey. And, the value of a dead loved one plucked from their eternal rest in a Baltimore graveyard? Just $10 each.

But, one might ask, what happened to the left-over whiskey? There are rumors. Stories that bring a shudder. Surviving accounts claim the poor students imbibed it, eager to get their liquor no matter how questionable the source. Others claim that faculty in medical institutions may have decided to recoup some of their losses and sold the liquor to their communities’ more questionable establishments, and creating the term “rot-gut whiskey.” . . .
In Baltimore? I'm sure of it.

The Death of Apu

The'll just ghost him. ‘The Simpsons’ Is Eliminating Apu, But Producer Adi Shankar Found the Perfect Script to Solve the Apu Problem
In April producer Adi Shankar launched a spec script contest for “The Simpsons” to solve what has become known as the show’s “Apu Problem.” The long-running character, a convenience store owner voiced by Hank Azaria, has become a controversial figure because many believe him to be an inaccurate and hurtful portrayal of Indian-Americans.

It was Shankar’s intention to crowdsource a script that “in a clever way subverts him, pivots him, writes him out, or evolves him in a way that takes a creation that was the byproduct of a predominately Harvard-educated white male writers’ room and transforms it into a fresh, funny and realistic portrayal of Indians in America.”

Shankar’s primary hope was that Fox would produce the script as an episode of “The Simpsons,” but now that he has found what he calls the “perfect script” and announces the winner of his contest, he told IndieWire that he has heard from people who work for the show that “The Simpsons” is eliminating the character.

“I got some disheartening news back, that I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether,” said Shankar in an interview with IndieWire. “They aren’t going to make a big deal out of it, or anything like that, but they’ll drop him altogether just to avoid the controversy.”

A Day Without Russiagate

Really. But I'll drop this one here as related. From the Victory Girls, Buyers Remorse? NBC And CNN Suddenly BackPedal On Michael Avenatti
Buyers Remorse might be setting in. Just hours ago, Michael Avenatti was the potential anointed one for the Democrat party. That is, according to the NY Times. And then the Senate Judiciary Committee, thanks Senator Chuck Grassley!, lowered the boom. Which led CNN to plaintively ask:
Can we slow our roll on Michael Avenatti?

Why is this so funny? Well, it’s the media for one thing. But the other part that makes this so delicious is that the writer of the above headline is Chris Cilliza, who most definitely is NOT a Trump fan. Hell, he’s never met a Republican he likes! But I digress.
Avenatti casts himself as the sort of guy Democrats need to nominate in 2020 against Trump — someone willing to say and do whatever it takes to beat Trump. “I think the party has yearned for a fighter — a fighter for good, if you will — for a significant period of time,” he said during a visit to Iowa recently. “And for many, I’m probably seen as that individual.”
The Point: Avenatti could be a political unicorn, like Trump. And even if he’s not, he has lots of time to make up for a tough few weeks. But let’s not crown Avenatti king — or even prince — of anything just yet.
Remember folks, Chris actually WROTE this.

Rule 5 Saturday - Time for Another Brazilian - Nathalie Edenburg

This week's Rule 5 special is dedicated to Nathalie Edenburg, a Brazilian model. Wait a minute, Edenburg isn't a Brazilian name, right? Well, neither is Bundchen. There's very little on Nathalie Edenburg on the internet, at least in English, but lots of pretty pictures. 
Nathalie Edenburg , Age 26, Date of Birth, 13 April, 1992, Birthplace Juiz de Fora, Mineas Gerais, Brazil, Height 5' 9¼" (176 cm), Build Slim, Eye Color Green, Hair Color Brown - Light, Sexuality - Straight, Religion- Roman Catholic . . .

Nathalie Edenburg - Model Profile - Photos & latest news -, Listal, Instagram, Blogspot, Facebook.

She really is Brazilian, so a few NSFW pics.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and links. Listed at the Right Way in this week's Rule 5 Saturday LinkOrama. This week the Wombat has returned, along with "Late NIght With Rule 5 Sunday: Nurse! Nurse!" (gic) and FMJRA 2.0: Back In The Saddle.