Sunday, December 15, 2019

Swampers Resist Being Sent to Desert

‘Well… bye’! AP reports Beltway bureaucrats ‘quitting rather than moving to the U.S. west’ as tiny violins can be heard in the background
Years ago my Dad had the idea to move the nation's capital to Bismarck, North Dakota, just to see who was serious about wanting to work in government.

A Day at the Beach

After a couple of days of rain, some blue sky was welcome. We caught a pretty low tide before noon, and made it a long way up the beach
Not too bad for fossil hunting. A nice Snaggletooth and a small Mako/White were the best of 12 teeth.

Russiagate in Review

Been a busy week hasn't it, between the Horowitz Report and testimony, and the on going House Impeachment nonsense?

WND reports on how Tucker Carlson showed that the IG report documents how CNN repeatedly lied, along with a number of people at the FBI, DOJ, MSNBC, CBS, NPR etc, etc, while at Town Hall Katie Pavlich finds  how Trey Gowdy Details the Most Important Parts of the IG Report and Gives Advice to James Comey "Don't write any more ethics books."

Capt. Ed at Hot Air catches the WaPoo trying to gently back out of their previous coverage of the Nunes/Schiff Memeo affair while justifying it; WaPo: Say, About That Schiff Rebuttal To The Nunes Memo …
How does that stack up now? The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake rereads both memos and concludes that Nunes turned out to be closer to the truth than most credited at the time:
The Fix annotated the Nunes memo back in early 2018. We also wrote skeptically about some of the GOP arguments based on it, many of which are not backed up by Horowitz’s report.
But how much is the Nunes memo itself vindicated? A fair amount, it turns out — at least, in Horowitz’s estimation.
That’s an odd qualifier. Whose estimation matters more at this point? Horowitz conducted a full IG probe into these matters and has documentary and testimonial evidence of how the FBI conducted Operation Crossfire Hurricane. The only person who might get more information than Horowitz would be John Durham, whose criminal investigation will have more jurisdiction, scope, and depth than an IG review has, but what Horowitz has found is well documented.

And Blake makes clear that Schiff’s claims in rebuttal to Nunes get pretty much demolished by Horowitz, with perhaps one caveat. Schiff claimed that the FISA warrant applications on Page “met the rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis needed to meet probable cause requirement,” which Blake calls “the worst line of the Democrats’ rebuttal.”
At Power Line, Scott Johnson wonders about After Horowitz
Whatever the limitations of the Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuse and related issues, it should bring some closure to the Russia hoax touted by the Democrats and their media adjunct over the past three years. If there is to be a reckoning with the deceit and dishonesty that have pervaded our public discourse on matters related to the hoax, however, we are on our own. The Democrats and their media adjunct are still at it. I mean this to be the first in a series of posts that follows up on the DoJ IG report submitted by Michael Horowitz this week.
From the Stream Bombshell: Strzok and Page Changed Flynn’s Interview Answers. Not new, really, but it does raise the issue of the Fynn "sentencing" which has been held in abeyance in anticipation of the Horowitz report. Did Sidney Powell get enough out of it to get his conviction tossed? I certainly hope so.

At Hot Air, Capt. Ed ruminates Should We Dump FISA — And Put Congress In Charge Of Surveillance Oversight? No. In fact Hell No! Congress is inherently the most corrupt institution in the United States. I do have a suggestion though. The FISA process is inherently unbalanced. If the govt. lawyers attempt to convince a FISA judge that a US person is the agent of a foreign power, there is no opposition, no representation of that person's side. The system need an office of ombudsman, for lack of a better word, a group of lawyers whose job is to investigate, and defend the target of proposed FISA warrant before the judge.

A giant game of Calvin Ball, at Breitbart, Jerry Nadler: House Rules Don’t Apply Until After Impeachment
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) offered a bizarre justification Thursday for ignoring House rules requiring him to allow Republicans to call witnesses: it did not say he had to do so on a particular day.
at WUWT, Trump Impeachment – Because he Insulted Climate Brat Greta Thunberg?. Come on, let's make it the third count!  From Da Hill Douglas Mackinnon, Is a trap being set for Trump in the Senate trial?
Can 20 U.S. senators withstand the potentially irresistible temptation to reverse the results of the 2016 election and remove a president a number of them openly or privately dislike?
. . .
There appears to be a common thread that runs through all of this opposition and stated hatred: “He is not part of the club. He is not one of us. He can’t be controlled.”
Kurt Bardella at USA Today whines that Democrats brought a gavel to an impeachment gun fight. Trump's 2020 rivals must do better and the LA Time reports Scuffles break out in Glendale as Rep. Adam Schiff speaks at town hall
As Schiff began speaking, a man and two women held up signs reading,"Don’t Impeach.” When they were asked to take down the signs, they refused.

Then, about a dozen people scattered throughout the auditorium began yelling, “Liar.”

When some in the audience asked them to refrain from yelling, scuffles broke out throughout the room, and the audience members who were yelling at Schiff removed their jackets, revealing shirts supporting President Trump.
Dr. John at Flopping Aces, We are now in the midst of a coup, not just of Trump, but of America. Yep. At the National Interest, Why Boris Johnson’s Victory and Impeachment Could Augur a Trump Triumph in 2020.

Hot Air cites the NYT, Report: Anti-Impeachment Dem Jeff Van Drew Planning To Switch Parties Sundance at CTH, New Jersey Democrat Congressman, Jeff Van Drew, Will Switch Parties Over Impeachment Fraud…
Jeff Van Drew is a democrat congressman from New Jersey CD-02. According to multiple media reports he is likely to switch to the republican party next week due to the fraudulent impeachment effort. Van Drew was one of two democrats who did not support the vote for the impeachment inquiry.

According to Politico Democrat leadership are in a panic and urgently trying to get ahold of Van Drew. The optics of a democrat changing parties at the same time they are trying to sell the validity of an impeachment narrative are terrible.
But, Allah Pundit at Hot Air reports, Falling In Line: Two Freshmen Dems From Red Districts In Texas Say They’ll Support Impeachment, risking becoming one-termers. Meanwhile, as Axios reports, Scoop: House Dems attend Trump's holiday party amid impeachment. A little awkward maybe, but impeachment is no reason to pass up free booze! Althouse, "I have a problem with this whole damn place. If you can figure out an exit strategy for me I’d appreciate that. This is crazy. The whole thing is crazy. It will take some time to get over." "Ken Buck, a Republican congressman from Colorado (and member of the Judiciary Committee), quoted in "Icy silence, frayed connections: Impeachment takes a toll" (AP)."

The NYPo editors opine on Here’s the likely whistleblower — and the questions he should answer
Politico’s Jack Shafer has eloquently argued that the press should name the whistleblower. It is not against the law — whistleblower protections are to prevent retaliation in the workplace and apply to his superiors, not the media. Yet while the press eagerly tried to out Deep Throat or the anonymous author of “A Warning,” they suddenly lack curiosity.

They’ve also been hypocritical. In September, the Times reported the whistleblower was a male CIA officer who worked at the White House and was now back at the CIA. Why? Executive editor Dean Baquet said, “We wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible.” A cynic might say they were trying to argue that the whistleblower was credible.

But if that’s the argument, and if Ciaramella is the whistleblower, isn’t it also relevant that he, according to Sperry, previously worked with CIA Director John Brennan, a fierce critic of Trump, and Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s political opponent and the crux of the impeachment inquiry? That he’s a registered Democrat and that he was — again, according to Sperry — accused of leaking negative information about the Trump administration and that’s why he was transferred back to Langley?

What, if anything, did he leak? Did he work with Biden on Ukraine, apparently Ciaramella’s area of expertise? Did he know about Burisma and Hunter Biden? Who told him about the call, and why did that person not complain instead of him? How did Schiff’s staff help him tailor the complaint?

This is only the fourth time in our history that a president has faced impeachment. Shouldn’t we know the answers to these questions now, and not in two or three years when the inevitable official reports and tell-all books come out? Why must we wait for the truth?
From Paul Bedard WaEx, Hidden by impeachment: One of Trump’s 'best weeks yet'
Added to the list of accomplishments this week:

  • An agreement on a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal.
  • A new budget including more than $1.3 billion for a border wall and blocks a government shutdown.
  • House approval of the U.S. Space Force, a brand-new branch of the military.
  • Government family leave that will be a model for a proposal for the public.
  • Tentative agreement on trade with China.
  • Approval of Trump's 50th federal appeals judge.
  • Confirmation of a new Food and Drug Administration chief.
  • The signing of a pro-Israel anti-Semitism executive order.

Plus, advisers noted, Wall Street hit another record, and Pelosi conceded that on impeachment, "It’s been going on 22 months — two and a half years, actually."

And, the advisers added, with impeachment likely, the president was assured by McConnell that the Senate would move fast on a trial that will end in acquittal and might include the support of two Senate Democrats, according to Sen. Rand Paul.
 Cartoons via Power Line's, The Week in Pictures, Impeachment Edition just a few of many.

Great Moments In Climate Hypocrisy - Flying Nun Uses Jet Fuel to Cross Continent for Warming Protest

Sally Field Channels Norma Rae, Arrested In Fire Drill Fridays Protest
This week’s Fire Drill Fridays protest by entertainment elites, labor organizers, and a Protestant minister/activist in Washington, D.C. was noticeably smaller than past protests. The big-name star who came out to support her friend Jane Fonda was Sally Field. Jane ropes in a fellow well-known celebrity or two each week in hopes of attracting a crowd.

Sally Field was arrested during the protest on the U.S.Capitol steps. The arrest appeared to be quite anti-climatic compared to recent weeks. When the Capitol Police moved in to make arrests, Field did as the other celebrities have done – she paraded in front of the cameras and raised her arms to show off the wire tie cuffs around her wrists. A publicist confirmed Field’s arrest. U.S.Capitol Police say 26 adults were arrested.
Sally Field lives in Palos Verdes, a coastal town near Los Angeles, so to get to Washington D.C. to get arrested, she had to get there, and unless she walked, she burned plenty of fossil fuel to get there.

These protests have a weekly theme. This week’s theme had to do with the workers and communities who would be most affected by the transition to a green energy economy – like the Green New Deal.

Field claims her speech was unrehearsed. While I have a hard time imagining that a professional actress would just stand before a group of people and riff about what the alarmists call a climate emergency, maybe she was improvising. “The time is now. We cannot sit back in our comfort zones, on our couches, and wonder, ‘What can we do?’ We can get out. We can do something, in the rain, whatever it takes.” She even reminisced about an old movie role – that of Norma Rae, the textile factory union organizer.

She talked of starring in Norma Rae, the 1979 movie based on a true story of a North Carolina woman, Crystal Lee Sutton, who spearheads a union organizing effort at the textile factory where she works.

She noted that many companies in the textile industry, forced to pay slightly higher living wages to unionized workers ended up leaving to other countries. “They decimated Norma Rae’s, Crystal Lee Sutton’s, communities. They were decimated. And that is because they had no transition,” she said. Field added that with the move to a sustainable economy workers can transition to “a better job, a greener job, and a workplace that will support them and their families.”

You may remember that in 1979 the climate alarmists were convinced we were all doomed to die in the inevitable Ice Age, not that the planet was burning up or flooding.
It's hard to blame celebrities for their ignorance.Their education largely concerned how to pretend to be something they aren't successfully. At some point, they begin to believe their own hype.

She was a cute young thing, once.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Just Peachy Russiagate

So did anything exciting happen yesterday while I was out fishing the wind and rain? Not so much. The House Judiciary Committee voted on party lines to send the two articles of impeachment to the House, where presumably they will be voted on sometime next week. Sundance at CTH: Kangaroo Court – Chairman Nadler Stuns House Judiciary, Adjourns Hearing Without Notice – 10:00am Vote on Impeachment Friday…

WPoo, House set for historic floor vote next week after committee approves two articles of impeachment against Trump
With the party-line 23-to-17 vote, Trump became only the fourth president in U.S. history to face impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The committee took just 10 minutes to approve both articles, following a 14-hour session Thursday, teeing up a history-making floor vote next week and a Senate trial in January to determine Trump’s fate.
Sundance, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Outlines Upcoming Impeachment Trial and Process…

Shorter McConnell. You have you're rules, we have ours. Erick Erickson, The Impeachment Problem for Never Trump, Anti-Trump, Democrat, and Progressive Alike is Quite Simple
When Democrats wanted to get Obamacare over the finish line in 2010, they had to rely on retiring members of Congress who no longer had to worry about pissing off voters. It is really striking here that there are 21 retiring Republicans, half of them are not real fans of the President, and a significant portion are leaving because their districts are rejecting the GOP because of Trump. But not a single one has been persuaded by the Democrats.

The people who hate the President and want him gone have internalized the claim that the President could kill a man on Fifth Avenue and the GOP would have his back. This is not actually true. All they need to do is talk to some of these retiring congressmen. But the Democrats are so convinced of this talking point they are not even trying to make a bipartisan case for impeachment.

A few of these Republicans might change their minds by next week and give the Democrats a bipartisan vote on impeachment. Right now, however, it looks like the Democrats will lose more votes on impeachment than they will gain from Republicans.

Allah Pundit at Hot Air, Freshman Dem Who Led Impeachment Charge: Let Me Get Back To You Next Week On How I’m Going To Vote, Okay?
For cripes sake. On a day when other freshmen who are in tight electoral spots are showing their cards, Elissa Slotkin still can’t bring herself to whisper “Impeach,” as everyone knows she will eventually?
How much of Pelosi's money will it take?

Big Win For President Trump !

We'll see. . . .

From JJ Sefton's The Morning Report - 12/13/19 at Aces, SHAM-PEACHMENT FOLLIES
On "Spygate", Stacy McCain, Yes, Operation Crossfire Hurricane Was Wrong and Corrupt From the Start
The pretext the FBI used to spied on the Trump campaign was fraudulent — that’s the bottom line of the report Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz delivered this week. Among other things, the IG’s report vindicated Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, who in February 2018 issued a memo detailing the many abuses involved in the FBI’s investigation of “Russian collusion.” After the Mueller report and now the IG report, we can say with certainty that (a) “collusion” was a paranoid fantasy manufactured by Trump’s enemies, and (b) the FBI’s reliance on Fusion GPS and the so-called “Steele dossier” was, at the very least, a mistake. At worst, it was a deliberate deceit, and I’m not in a mood to give the FBI the benefit of the doubt. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air finds the Washington Post‘s Aaron Blake attempting to spin the IG’s findings as favorably as possible to the FBI, and failing . . .
Ace,  Leftwingers Matt Taibbi and Krystal Ball Assail Democrats, and Especially the Corporate-Owned Neoliberal Media, For Grotesque Errors and Lies in RUSSIA Collusion Hoax
None of this is going to be new news to any of you, but the interesting thing is that leftwingers, and I think announced socialists, can admit these things, and yet supposed Holier-Than-Thou Brave Truth-Seeking Only-Adults-in-the-Room True Conservatives like David French and Jonah Goldberg continue lying about it. Video here. It's six minutes long and if you crank up the speed to 1.5, you can be done in less than five minutes.
Also, The Media Told You For Two Years That Everything About the FISA Was Perfect and Beautiful: The Supercut

John Sexton, Hot Air, The ‘Dossier Has Been Corroborated’ Supercut (Plus The FISA Warrant Supercut). Tom Maguire at Just One Minute, We Interrupt Comey's Victory Lap...
The music stopped, the cheers died down, and former FBI chief James Comey saw his victory lap come to an end.
Withering Criticism of F.B.I. as Watchdog Presents Russia Inquiry Findings
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the Justice Department’s inspector general recounted egregious problems with wiretap files.
While Democrats emphasized that the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, had debunked President Trump’s accusations that the F.B.I. conspired to overthrow his presidency, Mr. Horowitz insisted that his report was no exoneration, citing the serious errors, omissions and misleading statements he found in court wiretap filings.
“It doesn’t vindicate anybody at the F.B.I. who touched this, including the leadership,” Mr. Horowitz told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Truer words.
Sundance, Senator Kennedy asks President Trump to Declassify FISA Application…
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is calling on President Trump to declassify the record of the FBI’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to surveil former campaign adviser Carter Page after the Justice Department’s inspector general found errors in the applications.

“The Inspector General report showed the FBI was willing to do anything in order to spy on Carter Page, including making 17 significant inaccuracies and omissions. The American public deserves to know everything the FBI did,” Kennedy said in a statement Friday.

“I’m asking President Trump to declassify the entire record so that Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Wray can release it to the American people. If the FBI wants to continue the employment of rogue, politically-motivated agents, then let the public read the entire record.” (read more)
Today is not soon enough.

Ace, Fusion Cofounders Glenn Simpson and Peter Frisch to the UK: The UK Needs Its Own Russian Collusion Conspiracy Theory and If You Pay Us Lots and Lots of Money We'll Cook You Up One That You Can Then Use To Get Warrants on Innocent Citizens.




And by the way, Christopher Steele already tried this, offering the UK an Exciting New Dossier claiming that everyone leftwingers don't like is a RUSSIAN AGENT.

I'm sure lefty outlets like the Guardian will pay for this -- and that's what this is about, right? Drumming up business?
These guys need to be stopped. The evidence of malice is overwhelming.

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

Rule 5 Saturday - Nikki Reed

Nicole Houston Reed (born May 17, 1988) is an American actress, screenwriter, singer-songwriter, and model. She is known for playing vampire Rosalie Hale in The Twilight Saga (2008–2012). She became known in 2003, after the release of the film Thirteen, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, for which she was credited with Hardwicke as a co-writer of the screenplay, and in which she played a lead role. The film earned Reed an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance, as well as several nominations
Reed was born in West Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Cheryl Houston, a beautician, and Seth Reed, a production designer. She has an older brother, Nathan August Reed, and a younger half-brother, Joey Reed. Her mother is a Christian of Cherokee and Italian descent, and her father is Jewish. Reed was raised without religion and has identified as Jewish. She grew up around some Jewish practices, as her brother had a Bar Mitzvah.

Reed has said in numerous interviews that her early home life was "complicated". Her parents divorced when Reed was two, and she was raised by her mother. In 2002, when Reed was 14 years old, she moved out of her mother's house and began living on her own, mainly in apartments in the Los Angeles area.  After Thirteen's success, Reed returned to Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, but dropped out again after a year.
Hammy High was where I should have gone to school, but didn't.
She said that "mothers who were sneaking into the school at lunchtime to confront and harass her about the film" were the reason for her departure.  She earned a high school diploma through homeschooling. She is a vegetarian.
More meat for me!

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

Friday, December 13, 2019

Russiagate, While I Fish

Just the links, ma'am:

Spygate, the Horowitz report

Theo Spark: Cartoon Round Up....

We Just Got a Rare Look at National Security Surveillance. It Was Ugly. - The New York Times

The Morning Briefing: Mixed Bag and the Media Is Still Lying to You Thursday

Even MSNBC Is Forced to Admit: FBI Made 'Pretty Egregious, Very Clear Mistakes' | News and Politics

DOJ IG Horowitz: FBI Employee Who Misled DOJ in Russia Probe Still Works There | News and Politics

Ace of Spades HQ "Case Agent 1" Was a Major Driver of Fraud and Abuse in Crossfire Hurricane, "Primarily Responsible" for "Most Significant" Abuses, and Yet, Of Course, Remains an FBI Employee

Glenn Greenwald asks Washington Post national security reporter to admit he was wrong about FISA warrant

Gowdy to Comey: Don't write any more ethics books, pal

Dan Bongino Discovers Critical New Information In Report That Directly Contradicts IG's Conclusions

Senate Republicans defend FBI director after Trump lashes out - POLITICO

AG Barr’s information dump about probe into FBI in 24 concise, numbered points | Sharyl Attkisson

Hawley: FBI ‘Effectively Meddled’ In The 2016 Election | The Daily Caller

Sen. Hawley Drops a Bomb on Horowitz: 'The Collusion Here Was Between the DNC and the FBI' | News and Politics

Horowitz: FBI Created ‘Fraudulent Evidence’ In Investigation, Implies ‘Illegal Surveillance’ | The Daily Wire

Sen. Graham: FBI Engaged in a ‘Massive Criminal Conspiracy’ | CNSNews

10 Times FBI Officials Could 'Not Remember' Key Details Of Russia Probe

Wray Doesn’t Seem to Care that the FBI Deceived the Court – American Greatness

Ace of Spades HQ - Who Is Case Agent 1?

The Truth about the Horowitz Report - American Thinker

James Comey’s War on America – American Greatness

FBI Lied To Congress About Fake 'Defensive' Briefing Of Trump Campaign In 2016 - The Federalist

Horowitz Hearing Filled with Bogus "No Bias" BS - The Rush Limbaugh Show

Instapundit » Blog Archive » THAT’S RICH: Eric Holder Says Bill Barr Is Too Political to Be Attorney General….

The FBI didn't commit 'errors and omissions.' It abused its power

In The Mailbox: 12.11.19 : The Other McCain

Ace of Spades HQ - Naming Names: It's Time to Name and Shame the Partisan Liars Who Attacked the American Democracy with Lies for Three Years

FBI Corruption: How Dirty Cops Spied on Trump Campaign | National Review

Lindsey Graham: It'd be a danger to the presidency to legitimize this impeachment by letting either side call witnesses at trial

NYT: Now we know that FISA surveillance is ugly, right?

Carter Page Discusses the IG Report and His Probable Lawsuit Against DOJ and FBI… | The Last Refuge

The Impeachment Circus

Althouse: "Apparently, the reason the quid pro quo and the bribery stuff was taken out of the articles of impeachment is that they could be used against Biden."

Republican lawmaker asks Lindsey Graham to 'rethink' Senate's impeachment strategy - POLITICODon't worry. If Trump wins we'll just impeach him again

President Trump considering adding controversial lawyer Alan Dershowitz to impeachment legal team: Sources - ABC News

Rep. Louie Gohmert drops alleged whistleblower’s name in list of witnesses who should have been called –

Impeachment needle not moving as majority of voters oppose removing Trump: polls | Fox News

Will Senate Dems convince Pelosi to delay impeachment?

Two House articles of impeachment fail to meet constitutional standards | TheHill

Pelosi: Impeachment Has Been Going on 'Two and a Half Years, Actually' | Breitbart

Report: Democrats Expect Wide Scale Defections on Impeachment Vote

KNOWLES: If Republicans Are Smart, The Impeachment Trial Will Drag On For Months | The Daily Wire

Daniel Goldman, Lead Impeachment Investigator, Claimed Steele Dossier Was True | Breitbart

Jackson Lee: 'There Is No Room for Censure at This Time' | Breitbart

Ocasio-Cortez, Progressives Take On Moderate Dems Seeking Censure Over Impeachment: 'One Of The Dumbest Ideas' | The Daily Wire

71% Have Little or No Trust in House Impeachment Inquiry, Monmouth University Poll Shows | CNSNews

Rep. Karen Bass Willing to Support Impeachment Again if Trump Wins in 2020

Don’t Snicker at Us, Argentina | The American Spectator

Impeachment Is Delusional Democrats Holding The Nation Hostage Again

Impeach Trump: The Democrat Party’s 2020 Election Concession Speech – Bill Whittle

Althouse: "The trial records should be the documents that they use for impeachment in the House: no more, no less. I'm not interested in any witnesses. This thing is a sham. I want to get it over with."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Outlines Upcoming Impeachment Trial and Process… | The Last Refuge

Fish Vid Friday

Gone Fishin', but not not quite like this:

So you wanna buy me a gift?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

To Be Fair, They Weren't Expecting Any

Report: A Cloud Drifting Over a Solar Farm Knocked Out Power for 10hrs in Alice Springs, Australia
. . . an independent report blamed operator incompetence for allowing clouds to affect the solar energy supply.
NT sacks energy chiefs after report into Alice Springs system black Giles Parkinson 9 December 2019The Northern Territory Labor government has sacked the territory’s two most senior energy chiefs following a damming report from the market regulator into a “system black” event that hit the city of Alice Springs in October.
Tim Duignan, the CEO of Territory Generation, and Michael Thompson, the head of network operator and systems control company Power and Water Corporation were both sacked after the government received a report from the Utilities Commission into the outage, which affected 12,000 customers for between 30 minutes and 10 hours.…

It seems clear that this is not a problem about technology – despite some trying to sheet the blame on the amount of rooftop solar in the local grid and the impact of passing clouds – but of corporate and energy culture. And of incompetence.
An investigating report by consultants Entura – requested by the Utilities Commission – found that staff managing the system did not anticipate the approaching cloud cover, and did not know what to do when they realised what was happening and output from the Uterne solar farm and rooftop solar panels declined.
Thermal generators failed because they had not been properly maintained, and the staff had no idea how to re-start the machinery, because procedures had not been updated since the installation of a big battery. To cap things off, there was insufficient spinning reserve and the system was unstable.…

“This whole debacle could have been avoided if the companies and the government had shown real leadership by listening to workers and acting on their concerns raised about the condition of Ron Goodin PS and the capabilities of Owen Springs to deliver reliable power to the Alice Springs community,” he ETU said in a statement.
…Read more:

The official report is available here.
They don't get many clouds in Alice Springs. Pictures from Alice Springs on our Australia vacation in 2009.

Russiagate: IG Horowitz Speaks

Yesterday, DOJ Inspector General Richard Horowitz testified to the Senate regarding his report on the investigation of the DOJ and FBI  on the origin of the Russiagate probe. You can watch the whole testimony here (video at CTH). At Town Hall, some live blogging of the more important testimony and questioning. Ace also has some live tweeting by Mollie Hemingway and others worth noting

Tyler O'Neil PJ Media, CNN, MSNBC Cut Away From Horowitz Hearing Into Obama FISA Abuses. Ace,Surprise! CNN and MSNBC, Which Have Covered Every Moment of the Fake Impeachment Hearings, Absolutely Refuse to Air the Horowitz Testimony

CNN and MSNBC stopped following the IG hearing after about 30 minutes, and both refused to cover the opening statements by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. The decision does not align with the recent live hearing coverage standard both networks have held for the last few months, giving endless air time to the impeachment hearings lead by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, and Rep. Jerry Nadler.
Although his report did not accuse anyone of bias in their actions, he was clearly very skeptical of their motives.
Staphanie Hall at Da Caller, EXCLUSIVE: Comey Claims To Be Vindicated By The IG Report—Rand Paul Has Other Thoughts Althouse notes how the Comey vindication lap was refuted: "The activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this..."
Said Michael E. Horowitz, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, reported in the NYT.

Mr. Horowitz was responding to [Senator Lindsey] Graham’s mention of an Op-Ed by the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey published in The Washington Post after Mr. Horowitz’s report became public.

While Mr. Comey acknowledged that the inspector general found “mistakes” in the administrative process associated with the wiretap applications targeting the former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page — the focus of the report — Mr. Comey wrote that Mr. Horowitz’s “most important” finding was his debunking of the insinuations by Mr. Trump and his allies that F.B.I. officials, driven by political bias, conspired to sabotage Mr. Trump.

Here's the op-ed in question: "James Comey: The truth is finally out. The FBI fulfilled its mission." (WaPo).
Capt Ed at Hot Air, Graham: Horowitz Report Shows Crossfire Hurricane Akin To Resurrecting J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI; Horowitz Rebukes Comey: What We Found Vindicates No One; Update: “Don’t Know” If Political Bias Played A Role. Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx, Lindsey Graham says FISA court existence at risk without 'fundamental reform'. As it should be. The Senators should drag the FISA court judges in behind closed doors and ask them what they think of all this. Maybe John Roberts, too. Sundance, Chairman Lindsey Graham Discusses His View of IG Horowitz Testimony…

BPR, ‘This was Beavis and Butt-Head!’ A passionate Ted Cruz livens up Senate hearings
“The men and women sitting at home need to know what’s happening: A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence, alters an email. That is in turn used as the basis for a sworn to the court that the court relies on in issuing authority to wiretap Trump campaign officials. Am I stating that accurately?” Cruz asked.

“That’s correct,” Horowitz responded. “That is what occurred.”

“And by the way, what he inserted was not just slightly wrong, it was 180 degrees opposite of what the evidence said!” Cruz added.
Town Hall, Page 341 of FISA Report Made Mark Meadows Say 'Wow'
Wow... page 341. IG says FBI used an Aug. 2016 'defensive briefing' with the Trump campaign as an "opportunity to gather potentially relevant investigative information” about Michael Flynn.

They used defensive briefings for their investigation into the Trump campaign.

Which brings us to the media's role in all this. John Sexton at Hot Air, The Nunes Memo Was Mostly Right About The FBI’s FISA Application (And Comey Was Wrong) (Update)
Earlier today Ed mentioned Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi’s takedown of the Steele dossier based on information contained in the IG report. One part of Taibbi’s piece deals with the vilification and subsequent validation of the Nunes memo.
There was gnashing of teeth when Nunes first released his memo in January, 2018. The press universally crapped on his letter, with a Washington Post piece calling it a “joke” and a “sham.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Nunes for the release of a “bogus” document, while New York Senator Chuck Schumer said the memo was intended to “sow conspiracy theories and attack the integrity of federal law enforcement.” Many called for his removal as Committee chair.
The Horowitz report says all of that caterwauling was off-base. It also undercuts many of the assertions made in a ballyhooed response letter by Nunes counterpart Adam Schiff, who described the FBI’s “reasonable basis” for deeming Steele credible. The report is especially hostile to Schiff’s claim that the FBI “provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting.”
In fact, far from confirming the Steele material, the FBI over time seems mainly to have uncovered more and more reasons to run screaming from Steele…
What’s noteworthy about the Nunes memo in retrospect is that the real story of the FISA warrant is even worse than the memo claimed. As we now know, Carter Page was working as an “operational contact” for the CIA from 2008 to 2013. The FBI asked about this and the CIA confirmed it but an FBI agent deliberately altered an email so this was not reported to the FISA court. The FISA warrant application on Carter Page was so bad that even the ACLU now calls it, “alarming from a civil liberties perspective.”

Finally, it’s worth recalling that former FBI Director James Comey was one of the people who trashed the Nunes memo when it was released . . .
Michael van der Galien (PJ Media) is making a list and checking it twice, These Reporters All Lied About the Steele Dossier, Carter Page, and FISA Warrants. Ace, Reckoning: Techno_Fog Posts Thread Quoting the Tweets of Those In the Media (Including the Fake Conservative AEI Media) Who Perpetrated Comey's and Schiff's Lies on the Public For Three Grueling Years. Technofog. At RCP, Mollie Hemingway on IG Report: There Should Be Consequences For Media That Got It Wrong Video at link. A rare, sometimes honest liberal, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone, ‘Corroboration Zero’: An Inspector General’s Report Reveals the Steele Dossier Was Always a Joke
The Guardian headline reads: “DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser.”

If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a “clearing” of the FBI, never clear me of anything. Holy God, what a clown show the Trump-Russia investigation was.
Chris White, Da Caller WaPo’s Media Critic Rails Against CNN For Issuing ‘Weak’ Editor’s Note On 2017 Piece About Paul Manafort
“Whichever CNN editor wrote this particular ‘editor’s note’ betrayed common editorial principles,” Wemple wrote.

He added: “To merely state that the original story was contradicted by the IG report is to abdicate the role of a news organization — to ferret out the truth — and drop this matter into the laps of readers.”
At Time, Never-Trumper David French writes, The Inspector General's FBI Report Should Disturb Republicans and Democrats Alike. Byron York at WaEx, Of course the FBI spied on the Trump campaign. No shit, Sherlock! Guy Benson at Town Hall, The Biggest News About the IG Report Came Minutes After It Was Released

Thank God for the adult in the room, Bill Barr Sundance has a couple of video interviews, but you really only need to see one; he is remarkably consistent in his message.Full Interview – AG Bill Barr Discusses IG Report and FBI Institutional Issues With Political Corruption… and  AG Bill Barr One-on-One With Wall Street Journal…

and sundance thanks him for making needed changes at DOJ, Message Received – Thank You Bill Barr…
AG Jeff Sessions was recused from anything to do with the ongoing DOJ activity into the 2016 election issues and the Russian-collusion/conspiracy investigation.

Therefore Robert Mueller, DAG Rod Rosenstein, DOJ liason Ed O’Callaghan and U.S. Attorney for DC Jessie Liu would have been the group of decision-makers. With Mueller and Rosenstein gone that left O’Callaghan and Liu still on staff at Main Justice. Today the last two were removed from positions of authority in the DOJ.
And a bit of real news, Horowitz Testimony: “The Only FISA We Found That Existed Was The One For Carter Page”…. Most of us had assumed Flynn, Popadop and Manafort had FISA warrants too. Apparently not. Sundance is also gratified that Horowitz lifted a bit of redaction in the report, IG Modifies FISA Report, Adds Declassification Aspect Per DOJ (Barr?)…, sort of inside baseball.

Fox News, Former DOJ official: Durham's reaction to IG report means 'he's got the goods on somebody'.  "“I think you’re going to see some indictments," Prior said on “Fox & Friends,” referring to Durham as “non-partisan" and a “serious prosecutor."" We can only hope.

At Mediaite, Josh Feldman whines that Trump Goes Off on IG Report at Rally: ‘Scum’ at the FBI ‘Destroyed the Lives of People!’, and speaking of scum, Lisa Page sues FBI and DOJ, citing 'cost of therapy' after Trump mocked her salacious text messages (Fox News), Allah Pundit (Hot Air) wonders Will Peter Strzok Sue Trump For Slander? and sundance notices that DOJ Official Bruce Ohr is Not Fired, and That’s Okay – For Now….

WaPoo is outraged that Giuliani says Trump asked him to brief Justice Dept. and GOP senators on his Ukraine findings

And more Impeachment bullshit than you can shake a stick at: Stacy McCain, Impeachment Circus Update
What I didn’t realize Monday morning, however, was that the Democrats had scheduled that hearing on short notice as a means to try to hijack the news cycle on the day that Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his devastating report on the FBI’s malfeasance in its surveillance of the Trump 2016 campaign. So this impeachment business is actually a cover-up — Adam Schiff and his cronies are using this process to smear Trump and distract Americans from evidence of wrongdoing that occurred in Obama’s administration.
The so-called “mainstream” media is tangled up in all this, as Molly Hemingway explained Tuesday on Fox News Special Report:
I’m one of the few people who has actually read the 430-page report. It outlines such tremendous amounts of spying. Electronic surveillance, the use of confidential human informants that were replaced people on the campaign.
Two years ago you had competing memos come out. You had Devin Nunes say that there were problems with the FISA process, that that was abuse. You had the response memo from Adam Schiff who is now leading the impeachment effort. Never Trump media and liberal media completely disparage the Nunes memo and completely supported the Schiff memo and they were utterly humiliated by what come out in this report yesterday. Every single thing in the Nunes memo reported to be true. If anything, it underreported the problems with the FISA process.
Meanwhile, things that were claimed by Schiff that people took seriously, the people accepted uncritically, were shown to be false. They said there were no material omissions in the FISA warrants. . . .
There were so many errors. And, again, all in the same direction. The dossier was completely disputed. Remember that Adam Schiff read the dossier into the Congressional record. He hijacked a separate hearing in order to do so. There should be consequences for this. And there should be consequences for media that got it wrong as well.
Do you see why it seems to me futile to comment on every new development here? When all is said and done, the daily events of this circus will be just so many details that no one really cares about, because the Democrats (and the news media, but I repeat myself) as so obviously in the wrong that nothing I say about it could possibly matter.

Even 61% of Democrats don’t believe Trump will be removed

Rand Paul: More Democrats to oppose impeachment, rips Schiff on phone logs

Al Green, First Democrat To Call For Trump’s Impeachment, Vows To Keep Trying Until He’s Removed

Theo Spark: Cartoon Round Up....

Key swing-district Dem who led the charge on impeachment: I'm undecided

Five Times Obama Abused His Power and Democrats Didn’t Care | News and Politics

Pelosi, Nadler and Schiff Announce Two Articles of Impeachment – Abuse of Power, and Obstruction of Congress… | The Last Refuge

It's Absurd for Schiff to Say Impeachment Transcripts Are Classified

Battenfeld: Those impeachment articles will make great stump props for Trump – Boston HeraldWhistleblower's lawyers preparing him for possible Senate trial testimony as Manchin hints he'll let Trump call witnesses

Dem who voted against inquiry confirms: I'm voting against impeachment

Democrats miss an opportunity to impeach Trump for obstruction of justice.

How Democrats lost the Impeachment War — and probably 2020 | Spectator USA

The Horowitz Horror Show - WSJ

Mark Levin: "The next president who's a Democrat must be impeached"

Another pollster finds more opposed to impeaching and removing Trump than in favorAlthouse: Inevitable?

House Judiciary Committee Debates Articles of Impeachment – 7:00pm ET Livestream… | The Last Refuge

USMCA Gains Bipartisan Support in House – Senate Leader Mitch Jinping Says Not-so-Fast, Impeachment First… | The Last Refuge

Jim Jordan Delivers Remarks During House Impeachment Mark-up: “they don’t like us, that’s what this is all about”… | The Last Refuge

Ace of Spades HQ - The Morning Rant

Buffy Slays Phoebe

Kristy Swanson Wrecks Fellow Actress Alyssa Milano After 'Bad Panic Attack'
Actress Kristy Swanson -- who became famous for her role as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" -- is one of the most vocal and popular MAGA stars out there. Every day, she takes to Twitter to defend President Trump and take on his most ardent critics -- especially those living in Hollywood.

Fellow actress Alyssa Milano is, politically, the exact opposite of Swanson: she truly hates Trump. Day after day, Milano shares tweets and videos in which she accuses Trump of the vilest possible crimes and vices. Where Swanson is beloved by the right, Milano is the left's Hollywood darling.

Aside from their political ideas, there's another major difference between Swanson and Milano. Where the former seems to be mentally healthy, the latter is... well... less so. . . .

Of course you feel sorry for any person who suffers from anxiety attacks. I'm not a psychologist, but it seems to me that her obsessive anti-Trump tweets and these attacks may be linked in one way or another. Perhaps one causes the other, or perhaps they are both symptoms of the same underlying problem. Who knows?

Well, Kristy Swanson knows. Her response to Milano is truly hilarious: "You are premenopausal with unbearably high levels of TDS. Best of luck."

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Snakeheads Influencing Fish Populations

A recent study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Maryland Department of Natural Resources has documented for the first time “major shifts in a fish community following establishment of Northern Snakehead.”

Researchers spent more than a year in the Blackwater River watershed on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, replicating a 2006-07 fish study done well before snakeheads were first discovered in these Dorchester County waters in 2012. They found that out of 21 species of fish, 17 species saw a decline. Those declines ranged from 30 to 97 percent.

Every month from June 2018 to May 2019, biologists sampled three sites within the Blackwater and Little Blackwater rivers. According to study’s authors, most sites had “significantly different fish communities when comparing pre-Snakehead and post-Snakehead surveys. The main difference in fish communities was a reduction in overall biomass of most fish.”
Darcizzle with wrong snakehead

They also caught 125 snakeheads using fyke nets. Of those fish, 110 were caught in the Little Blackwater River. Biologists looked at what the snakeheads were eating by collecting prey from their stomachs. Ranked in order of abundance, key prey items included: gizzard shad, bluegill, American eel, dragonfly larvae, and an unidentifiable fish species.

As a result of their findings, the researchers say more investigation into “ongoing fish community changes and continued vigilance in minimizing spread and population growth of Northern Snakehead is warranted.”

The study– and its findings– are unprecedented.
right snakehead

“It’s the first comprehensive study in the country to report how freshwater fish communities have changed since northern snakehead have become abundant in tidal freshwater, such as marshes and wetlands,”explains Joseph W. Love, P.h.D. from Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Fishing and Boating Services.

Maryland biologists first found a snakehead in an Anne Arundel County pond in 2002; two years later the invasive fish was discovered in the Potomac River. Expansion in the eastern Chesapeake watershed was likely fueled by illegal introductions in Delaware, where the species turned up back in 2010.

Today, snakeheads are widespread, likely inhabiting most of the tidal tributaries in the state and expanding quickly to other parts of the Bay watershed. Left unchecked, biologists caution, snakehead numbers would negatively impact native species such as white and yellow perch and bluegill, all popular recreational game fish. Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources has produced informational videos, fact sheets and an updated web page to help educate the public about the issue.

As the snakehead population has grown, commercial fisheries have developed in several rivers.

Anglers love catching snakeheads because they’re hard fighters and good to eat with no size or creel limit. Numerous tournaments have sprung up targeting snakeheads. At a point in time when rockfish are in decline, snakeheads offer recreational anglers another viable option.

Matt Marceron, general manager of Marty’s Bait & Tackle, has noticed the trend, saying, “We (at the bait shop) love that folks are targeting more snakeheads and we have even brought in more variety (of lures) to meet the new demand.”

Local lure makers and even one national manufacturer now produce snakehead-specific lures.
I don't doubt that the growth of the Snakehead populations have impacted other species, although one should be careful of the "correlation does not imply causation" rule here.  There's only so much food to go around, so at some level, the biomass has to trade off. I would be interested to find out what species are being decreased and by how much. If it's mostly gizzard shad, you won't find many anglers complaining.

Certainly, the same principal applies to non-native species. Pheasants eat the same food as native quail and other birds. And states still try to encourage pheasants.