Sunday, September 22, 2019

Don't Mess With Texas!

Man catches bass in floodwaters while eating Whataburger, is officially Texas hero
In a very Texas moment broadcast on live television, a Houston man caught a 4-pound bass while waiting on the floodwaters to recede, and he did it all while eating Whataburger.

As ABC13 News cameras rolled on Thursday, the man caught the fish while he was stranded in the flood water created by tropical storm Imelda. Unfortunately, footage of the you-gotta-see-this moment has not been released (yet), but one viewer did manage to get a couple screenshots of the broadcast that'll we'll cherish forever.

"This dude caught a 4 pound bass on the feeder road near I-45 and Cross Timbers in front of Whataburger while he was stranded waiting for the flood waters to recede," Andrew Mattheis captioned the photos in a Facebook post. "If this isn't Texas, and especially Houston, I don't know what is."

In the photos, the man can be seen with a large bass in one hand and a Whataburger hamburger in the other. The post was liked 21,000 times and shared more than 46,000 times in 18 hours.

I guess it could be more Texas if he'd arrested a looter using his concealed carry piece at the same time.

Sunday Beach Post.

 A lovely late Sept. day at the beach. All but clear blue sky, high 70s, a bit breezy from the south.
 Skye was happy with it.
A lot of people looking for a few fossils at Matoaka Cottages. Consequently, very few were found, at least by us.
Crab season is in full swing. The best crabbing of the year is often in October, after the summer demand has passed.
And some Ospreys are still here. I didn't see any eagles, but I heard some up in the trees. Maybe they take lunch time off so the Ospreys can get a bite in.

Russia, Uh, Ukrainegate Today

It's all Ukraine all the time. First, from  Instapundit BIG “BOMBSHELL” IS JUST LAME HEARSAY;" Whistleblower ‘didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications’ between Trump and Ukraine.
The whistleblower who filed a complaint with the intelligence community inspector general did not have direct knowledge of the communications between President Trump and the foreign leader in question.

The conversation was reportedly a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It is alleged that Trump urged Zelensky multiple times to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to investigate Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and his ties to an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch. Giuliani has previously urged a top official in Ukraine to look into the ties.

An official who has been briefed on the matter, however, told CNN that the whistleblower “didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications.” The official said that the concerns and subsequent complaint came in part from the whistleblower “learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work.”

Matt Vespa at Town Hall, Did This CNN Contributor Just Expose This Whole Trump Whistleblower Story As Another Nothing Burger?
So what? The president can talk to whomever he wants and he or she can say whatever he wants to them. Period. It’s also not the intelligence community’s job to snitch on the president. Phil Mudd, who worked for the CIA and FBI, in his capacity as a CNN contributor, absolutely torched this whistleblower for going way beyond his mandate. Mudd said that he wanted to “blow a gasket” over this development. He called this whole episode incredibly unusual and he was someone who did what this whistleblower has done: listen in on presidential communications. When he did this, he was focused on ensuring the security of the nation was solid, not reporting to some anti-Trump Democrats what Trump was saying to the leader of another country (via Washington Examiner) . . .

Roger Kimball at AmGreat, Another Week,Another Pseudo-Scandal

Althouse becomes aware of the John Solomon piece yestersday in "The coverage suggests Giuliani reached out to new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s team this summer solely because he wanted to get dirt...", which strongly suggests that
 Giuliani’s contact with Zelensky adviser and attorney Andrei Yermak this summer was encouraged and facilitated by the U.S. State Department. Giuliani didn’t initiate it.... So, rather than just a political opposition research operation, Giuliani’s contacts were part of a diplomatic effort by the State Department to grow trust with the new Ukrainian president, Zelensky, a former television comic making his first foray into politics and diplomacy.
from Yancey Ward, in the comments
Look, story here is actually very simple- the Ukranian government is trying to curry favor from whoever is the president. This explains everything in Althouse's posts this morning- in 2015-2016, they were trying to curry favor with the soon to be president elect, Hillary! Clinton, but when Clinton lost against all expectations, the Ukranian government turned on a dime and tried to curry favor with the Trump Administration. This is why they have been trying to give over the details of the previous efforts to torpedo the Trump Campaign as it relates to Biden and Obama.

One reason to believe Solomon's story in The Hill is this- this isn't new news concocted to defend Trump over the Zelenskiy conversation- this has been reported for months now. Giuliani has not been shy about telling people about the Ukranian government trying to make amends- he has been telling this story since the end of last year, but the mainstream media ignored it completely because it damages Biden. I strongly suspect that the main motivation for this "Whistleblower" campaign is to get rid of Biden- it causing discomfort for Trump is just dessert in their view.

I am guessing we will get the transcript of the conversation when Trump decides the media have gone out on the limb far enough to saw it off. The WaPo story from late yesterday afternoon was that paper preparing their retreat- they were warned by the leaker that the previous descriptions about the conversation might not have been entirely accurate.
At NR Andrew McCarthy as a pretty good but long article, Breaking Down the Whistleblower Frenzy from the legal point of view as a former federal prosecutor. Read it.

Peter Schweizer at Fox, Peter Schweizer: Trump right to question Biden dealings with Ukraine, despite Dem criticism, and from Jeff Dunetz at The Lid, There’s Enough Evidence Proving Ukraine SHOULD Investigate Hunter Biden. ENM News, For Biden, Whistle-Blower Complaint Could Cut 2 Ways. While Biden says he did not speak to Hunter about the deal, Hunter says he spoke with Dad about it. Let's put them both under oath! Da Perfesser at Legal Insurrection, Joe Biden and Ukraine is “Hillary’s Emails” all over again

Angelo Codevilla at AmGreat, Shamelessness and Ignorance Unlimited "The CIA whistleblower “scandal” is nothing of the sort. It’s about the constitutional power of the president to make foreign policy—and obligation of the intelligence community to submit to the president’s authority. No more, no less."
The Washington Post, after a thousand words in a story that speculates on Trump’s dangerous, possibly unconstitutional behavior, includes the following half-sentence: “ [legal experts] also noted that the president has broad authority to decide unilaterally when to classify or declassify information. Not quite. The president’s authority over national security information is more than broad. It is total. All who exercise such authority do so on his behalf and by his leave. That is because any and all foreign intelligence activities—which are subordinate to foreign and military policy in general—are pursuant to the president’s judgment.

The deep state and the media worked together to limit Ronald Reagan and to scare George W. Bush. But their assault on Donald Trump is little short of a coup d’état.

In short, “Whistleblower-gate” (if you will forgive the term) is arguably the most naked, most shameless attempt yet by the deep state to strike a blow at Trump by going to the press with an interpretation of classified information that neither the press nor the public has seen, will not see, and that concerns an activity that, in itself, is perfectly proper and indeed constitutes the president doing his job.
Althouse, again. Trump goes big on the offense in the Ukraine story.

And now for the pro-Biden side, Hot Air, with Behind The Whistleblower Case, A Long-Held Trump Grudge Toward Ukraine (cribbed from NYT), There’s An Obvious Problem With Giuliani’s Spin On Ukraine (David French is unhappy with it), and We’re Now In The Hot Zone For Impeachment,

And of course, there's the usual harvest from the tainted vineyards of the Washington Post. Ukraine call points to a president convinced of his own invincibility‘A diplomatic disaster’: Ukrainian leaders feel trapped between warring Washington factionsThe U.S. has no rules for when the president is a national security threat, Giuliani said I exposed Manafort’s Ukraine deals to help Democrats. That’s a lie, Yes, there is something the House can do to punish Trump right now, What did Trump tell Ukraine’s president?Max Boot: If Trump extorted a foreign leader for political gain, it’s impeachment timeThe Post’s View: Trump tries to force Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election,
Jennifer Rubin: What might finally ensnare TrumpHarry Litman: A whistleblower filed a complaint to the intelligence IG. Why is it being withheld from Congress?The Post’s View: The Trump administration cannot withhold a whistleblower complaint from Congress
As a Premium Subscriber to The Washington Post, I'm able to share with you a free 30-day digital subscription pass. The pass requires no obligation from you, so please simply enjoy the free 30-day digital subscription with my best wishes. --Nona

Just Another Palm Sunday

It was well received last week.

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

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Whence "Fake News"?

Do you know the origin of the term "fake news"? Sharyl Attkisson does.

You might be surprised.

I've queued it up to after her introduction, to get right to the quiz. But it's a good video to go all the way throught.

But Trust Us, This Time We're Right!

41 time environmental doom was predicted and failed to materialize. But this time, for sure! Climate ‘Experts’ Are 0-41 with Their Doomsday Predictions
Here is the source for numbers 1-27. As you will see, the individual sources are not crackpots, but scientific studies and media reports on “expert” predictions. The sources for numbers 28-41 are linked individually.
  1. 1967: Dire Famine Forecast By 1975
  2. 1969: Everyone Will Disappear In a Cloud Of Blue Steam By 1989 (1969)
  3. 1970: Ice Age By 2000
  4. 1970: America Subject to Water Rationing By 1974 and Food Rationing By 1980
  5. 1971: New Ice Age Coming By 2020 or 2030
  6. 1972: New Ice Age By 2070
  7. 1974: Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast
  8. 1974: Another Ice Age?
  9. 1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life
  10. 1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent
  11. 1980: Acid Rain Kills Life In Lakes
  12. 1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend
  13. 1988: Regional Droughts (that never happened) in 1990s
  14. 1988: Temperatures in DC Will Hit Record Highs
  15. 1988: Maldive Islands will Be Underwater by 2018 (they’re not)
  16. 1989: Rising Sea Levels will Obliterate Nations if Nothing Done by 2000
  17. 1989: New York City’s West Side Highway Underwater by 2019 (it’s not)
  18. 2000: Children Won’t Know what Snow Is
  19. 2002: Famine In 10 Years If We Don’t Give Up Eating Fish, Meat, and Dairy
  20. 2004: Britain will Be Siberia by 2024
  21. 2008: Arctic will Be Ice Free by 2018
  22. 2008: Climate Genius Al Gore Predicts Ice-Free Arctic by 2013
  23. 2009: Climate Genius Prince Charles Says we Have 96 Months to Save World
  24. 2009: UK Prime Minister Says 50 Days to ‘Save The Planet From Catastrophe’
  25. 2009: Climate Genius Al Gore Moves 2013 Prediction of Ice-Free Arctic to 2014
  26. 2013: Arctic Ice-Free by 2015
  27. 2014: Only 500 Days Before ‘Climate Chaos’
  28. 1968: Overpopulation Will Spread Worldwide
  29. 1970: World Will Use Up All its Natural Resources
  30. 1966: Oil Gone in Ten Years
  31. 1972: Oil Depleted in 20 Years
  32. 1977: Department of Energy Says Oil will Peak in 90s
  33. 1980: Peak Oil In 2000
  34. 1996: Peak Oil in 2020
  35. 2002: Peak Oil in 2010
  36. 2006: Super Hurricanes!
  37. 2005 : Manhattan Underwater by 2015
  38. 1970: Urban Citizens Will Require Gas Masks by 1985
  39. 1970: Nitrogen buildup Will Make All Land Unusable
  40. 1970: Decaying Pollution Will Kill all the Fish
  41. 1970s: Killer Bees!
Sorry, Experts… Sorry, Scientific Consensus… Only a fool comes running for the 42nd cry of wolf.

Don’t litter, be kind to animals, recycling’s for suckers (it’s all going to end up in the ground eventually), so stop feeling guilty… Go out there and embrace all the bounty that comes with being a 21st century American — you know, like Obama, who says he believes in Global Warming with his mouth but proves he doesn’t with the $15 million he just spent on oceanfront that we’re told is doomed to flooding.

The sad thing is that the news is so negative, it's giving kids PTSD.

Russiagate Evolving into Ukrainegate

Before we dive into the fresh Ukrainian matter, one piece of "spygate" to deal with. CNN contributor, and accused leaker and liar from the FBI, Andrew McCabe Suggests DOJ Inspector General Should Be Replaced (Chuck Ross at Da Caller). I wonder why? /sarc

And onto Ukraine! AP, Trump, in call, urged Ukraine to investigate Biden’s son
President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump.
The Washington Post today is full of the Ukrainian story, all of it heavily slanted against Trump, of course. How Trump, Giuliani pressured Ukraine to investigate president’s rivalsTrump’s freeze on Ukraine aid draws fresh attentionThe Debrief: How Trump tries to quell controversies by saying the quiet part out loud, Trump has done plenty to warrant impeachment. But this is over the top, Trump and his lawyer can do better on Ukraine. I’m here for them.Trump brushes off political controversy to wine and dine Australia at state dinner, but eventually does get around to suggesting that it might not look so good for Joe Biden, either, Scrutiny over Trump’s Ukraine scandal may also complicate Biden’s campaign.
As a Premium Subscriber to The Washington Post, I'm able to share with you a free 30-day digital subscription pass. The pass requires no obligation from you, so please simply enjoy the free 30-day digital subscription with my best wishes. --Nona
AllahPundit at HotAir, WSJ Exclusive: Trump Told Ukrainian President “About Eight Times” In Phone Call To Reopen Biden Investigation; Update: Release The Transcript, Says Biden

At Althouse, "A potentially explosive complaint by a whistle-blower in the intelligence community said to involve President Trump emerged... While the allegation remains shrouded in mystery..."
I'm trying to read this very confusing shrouded-in-mystery report in the New York Times, "Whistle-Blower Complaint Sets Off a Battle Involving Trump/The complaint, from a member of the intelligence community, remained opaque but involved at least one of the president’s communications with a foreign leader."

Is there some idea that this is the issue that will be used in the future against Biden and that it ought to come out now?
Ace's title says it all, Joe Biden Bragged That, With Barack Obama's Permission, He Threatened To Withhold Billions in Aid to Ukraine Unless They Fired a Prosecutor Investigating His Son's Company. And Now, The Deep State Refashions This as a Trump Scandal. Althouse has the goods: "In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees..."
"... sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. 'I said, "You’re not getting the billion." I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: "I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,"' Biden recalled telling Poroshenko. 'Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,' Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat."

From "Joe Biden's 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived," an article in The Hill from last April.
The Washington Sentinel, Biden Used U.S. Aid as Weapon to Force Ukraine to Fire Prosecutor Looking Into His Son’s Business. Just a lucky coincidence, I'm sure.

Allah, again, Trump: I Don’t Know Who The Whistleblower Is In The Ukraine Matter But I Hear They’re Partisan. I saw Matthew Whitaker on Fox say he was pretty sure it was a deep state operation. Sundance at CTH, Whistleblower Complaint Now Looks Like Democrat Effort to Protect Joe Biden from Investigation…
The mysterious “whistleblower” case now looks like a coordinated Democrat effort to block any investigation of presidential candidate Joe Biden for corrupt pressure on Ukraine to drop the investigation of Burisma, an energy company operating in the country, on which his son Hunter Biden was a board member.
and President Trump Responds to “Deep State” Intelligence Leak – Another Pre-Planned Legislative/Lawfare Effort… and a prediction regarding the "whistblower"
Remember, this stuff comes in pre-planned waves. These efforts are well coordinated, planned and then rolled out by legislative democrats. They are assisted by their corrupt and ideological allies in the Lawfare group who operate as middle-men between the politicians, left-wing allied teams and the media narrative engineers.
. . .
If I had to hazard a guess based on timing, prior events, prior political advocacy, prior political demands and protestations, and prior alignment by the democrats toward an intelligence official; the connections would indicate Lawfare alignment with former ODNI Principal Deputy Director Sue Gordon. However, that’s just a supposition – and if we wait a while (usually six days) we’ll see if that suspicion is accurate.
Others think that the damage to Biden may be more than just a happy coincidence. By way of the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 09.20.19 (Late Night Edition), Tom Maguire at Just One Minute gives us Taking Down Trump AND Biden!
Good plot twist by the showrunners - there are a lot of Democrats and media members who will love this whistle-blowing scandal even more if it also ensnares Sleep (But Corrupt!) Joe Biden.

On the other hand, Establishment Republicans may be thinking that keeping Joe propped up doesn't look so bad relative to a President Warren. That said, they have to realize he is this election cycle's version of Jeb Bush, running on name recognition and fumes.
"Bonchie" at Red State, As Predicted, That Trump-Ukraine “Whistle-Blower” Story Just Blew Up In Epic Fashion
Per The Wall Street Journal.

President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe, according to people familiar with the matter.
“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” whether allegations were true or not, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on an investigation…
And there it is. There was no quid-pro-quo. He did not threaten to withhold military aid. He simply asked several times on a single phone call for them to look into it. He never even called back to press the issue further. None of the nonsensical gnashing of teeth we heard all day about this supposedly being an impeachment bombshell is true. A President asked an ally to investigate corruption that Biden himself admitted to on tape.

Some still can’t let this go though. We have certain conservatives of the anti-Trump bent asserting that the President didn’t actually have to say the words to be asking for a quid-pro-quo. Actually, yes, yes he does have to say the words. Especially when we know the military aid went through anyway despite no investigation being opened by Ukraine. The idea that we are now going to go after Trump based on suppositions of what Ukraine should have deemed from a perfectly legal request is asinine.
. . .
Biden’s involvement on the other hand? That story will only grow.
A blast from the past at Politico, from 01/11/2017:  Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country.

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.
. . .
The Ukrainian antipathy for Trump’s team — and alignment with Clinton’s — can be traced back to late 2013. That’s when the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Manafort had been advising, abruptly backed out of a European Union pact linked to anti-corruption reforms. Instead, Yanukovych entered into a multibillion-dollar bailout agreement with Russia, sparking protests across Ukraine and prompting Yanukovych to flee the country to Russia under Putin’s protection.
But, but, I thought foreigners interfering in our elections was bad! Sundance again, Despite Warnings Media Steps on a Rake With “Whistleblower” Story – Ukraine Government Initiated Contact – Giuliani Engagement Was Requested by State Dept. Officials…
With more reporting by John Solomon, cited and attributed to on-the-record officials in the State Department and Ukraine, a much more clear picture emerges. In reality, and unfortunately as expected, the fulsome picture is 180° divergent from the media narrative.

The government of Ukraine under both Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and now President Volodymyr Zelensky, had been trying to deliver information about Obama officials and Democrat party officials (DNC on behalf of Hillary Clinton) requesting the government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election.

Both Poroshenko and Zelensky administrations had tried, unsuccessfully, to get information to current U.S. officials. U.S. State Department officials in Ukraine were refusing to give visa’s to Ukrainian emissaries because they did not want the damaging information sent to the President Trump administration.

Failing to get help from the U.S. State Department, the Ukranians tried a workaround, and hired a respected U.S. lawyer to hand deliver the documentary evidence directly to the U.S. Department of Justice. The contracted American lawyer hand-delivered the information to the U.S. Department of Justice in New York.

However, after delivering the information and not hearing back from the U.S. government, the Ukrainian government, now led by President Zelensky, interpreted the silence as the Trump administration and U.S. government (writ large) being upset about the Ukraine involvement overall. Out of concern for a serious diplomatic breakdown, the Zelensky administration made a personal request to the U.S. State Department for assistance.

The U.S. State Department then reached out to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani; and asked him if he would meet with Zelensky’s top lawyer, Andrei Yermak.

Rudy Giuliani agreed to act as a diplomatic intermediary and met with Yermak in Spain. After the meeting, Mr. Giuliani then contacted the State Department Officials in charge of Ukraine and Europe and debriefed them on the totality of the subject matter as relayed by Andrei Yermak.
Go read the entire John Solomon piece cited above, Missing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani

Linked by EBL in Kate Phillips 🇬🇧.

Rule 5 Saturday - Naomi Campbell

I'm going back to the old days for this week's Rule 5 extravaganza with Naomi Campbell:
Naomi Elaine Campbell (born 22 May 1970) is an English model, actress, and businesswoman. Recruited at the age of 15, she established herself amongst the most recognizable and in-demand models of the late 1980s and the 1990s  and was one of six models of her generation declared supermodels by the fashion industry and the international press.

In addition to her modelling career, Campbell has embarked on other ventures, which include an R&B-pop studio album and several acting appearances in film and television, such as the modelling competition reality show The Face and its international offshoots. Campbell is also involved in charity work for various causes.

Campbell was born in Streatham, South London, the daughter of Jamaican-born dancer Valerie Morris. In accordance with her mother's wishes, Campbell has never met her father, who abandoned her mother when she was four months pregnant and was unnamed on her birth certificate. She took on the surname "Campbell" from her mother's second marriage. Her half-brother, Pierre, was born in 1985. Campbell is of Jamaican descent, as well as of Chinese-Jamaican ancestry through her paternal grandmother, who carried the family name "Ming".

During her early years, Campbell lived in Rome, where her mother worked as a modern dancer. Following their return to London, she was left in the care of relatives while her mother traveled across Europe with the dance troupe Fantastica.  From the age of three, Campbell attended the Barbara Speake Stage School  and at 10 years old, she was accepted into the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, where she studied ballet.

Campbell has been convicted of assault on four occasions, after she was accused 11 times of committing acts of violence against employees, associates and other individuals between 1998 and 2009. During the first such case, heard in February 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to assaulting her personal assistant with a mobile phone in September 1998. Campbell paid her former employee an undisclosed sum and agreed to attend anger management classes; her record was cleared in exchange for her expressing remorse.  By 2006, eight other employees and associates had come forward with claims of abuse. During this time, Campbell was photographed wearing a Chip and Pepper T-shirt that read "Naomi Hit Me...and I Loved It".
No lack of NSFW pictures as she doesn't seem to have been exactly shy.

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

Friday, September 20, 2019

A Day at the Beach

We left for the beach around 11. It's gorgeous weather here, low to mid 70's, dry, clear, and not windy.

Here a couple of Variegated Fritillarys try to insure survival of the species.
 An Osprey on a dead branch overhanging the marina. They're quite active now. We're probably seeing this year's young in addition to the parents. They all look about the same.

 Don't step on the jellyfish! You'll slip. We both did a couple of times. This one is the Chesapeake Bay Sea Nettle. There were large numbers of them washed up, along with . . .
Mnemiopsis leidyi, the "Sea Walnut". A comb jelly, and not strictly a jellyfish.  Sea Nettles eat these. Comb jellys do not sting, but they do biolumensce. Native to the Chesapeake Bay, they are a damaging invasive in the Black Sea. We'd be happy to sell the Sea Nettles. . .
 Osprey with fish
 The eagles were out an about, too, but my camera finger was too slow to get a decent shot.
And what trip is complete without the Great Blue Heron?

How Resilient is Washington D.C.?

A kind of interesting article in the American University's radio station WAMU's website D.C. Wants To Be Resilient To Climate Change. Critics Argue Efforts Could Worsen Inequalities.
The idea of resilience — being able to bounce back from disruptive events — hasn’t always been applied to cities. In the 1970s, ecologists started talking about resilience in the natural world — in contrast to earlier ideas about a natural equilibrium in ecosystems. Since the early 2000s, resilience has been applied more and more broadly. After 9/11, the term gained traction in fields of psychology and national security, as the country grappled with the threat of terrorism. Lately, resilience has become a popular way to talk about adapting to a hotter world. But the resilience lens is not without its critics.

Malini Ranganathan, a professor at American University’s School of International Service, argues that resilience thinking often ignores the root causes that make some communities more vulnerable. Ranganathan and co-author Eve Bratman published a paper in June, looking at D.C. neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, examining how a long history of marginalization and pollution has made residents there more at risk to climate change.

The authors argue that resilience planning often overlooks “everyday threats, such as gentrification or food insecurity.” To assess those underlying threats, they conducted a neighborhood survey, talking to close to 200 residents of Ward 7 neighborhoods Kenilworth, Eastland Gardens, Paradise and Parkside.
I'll let you guess what kind of neighborhoods those are. I used to get to sample in them. "Gentrification" is when rich white kids improve a neighborhood so much that poor minorities no longer feel comfortable or can't afford the rents. However, the article does offer this alternative view of "resiliency":
Resilience has gained popularity in part due to philanthropic support — D.C.’s resilience office was initially funded by a Rockefeller Foundation program called 100 Resilient Cities (Rockefeller cancelled the program earlier this year, but D.C. opted to continue to fund the office locally.)

Within the disaster response world, some critics see resilience as a trendy word without a lot of substance. “Resilience has supplanted the terms formerly used to describe the disaster risk management cycle — mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery — although it is unclear why such a highly abstract term is preferable to more concrete ones that are universally accepted and well institutionalized,” wrote Kathleen Tierney, the former director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, in a 2015 critique of resilience.

The term “resilience,” has nearly lost its meaning, argues Tierney, due to its “fadlike adoption.”

Others have a more philosophical critique of resilience. Finnish political science professor Julian Reid calls resilience a “neoliberal deceit.”  “The human is here conceived as resilient in so far as it adapts to, rather than resists, the conditions of its suffering in the world,” wrote Reid in a 2013 paper. “To be resilient is to forego the very power of resistance and accept one’s vulnerability to that which threatens.”
Resilience is one the those words, like "social" when attached to justice, that makes me bristle. It tends to brought out to buttress what ever leftist agenda item is under discussion, precisely because it has an infinitely flexible meaning.

Blowing the Whistle on Russiagate

If there's no evidence for a crime that Empress Hillary needs to exist, just invent the evidence.
Sater reportedly "began working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme." It was Andrew Weissmann who, as supervising assistant U.S. attorney, signed the agreement that brought Sater on as a government informant. Federal prosecutors wrote a letter to Sater's sentencing judge on August 27, 2009, in an effort to get him a lighter sentence: "Sater's cooperation was of a depth and breadth rarely seen."
Sater also was reportedly a CIA informant in the mid-2000s for the CIA during his undercover work with Russian military and intelligence officers.
The Mueller report mentions Sater more than 100 times but fails to mention that he was an active undercover informant for the FBI/CIA for more than two decades.
Beginning in late 2015, Sater repeatedly tried to arrange for [Trump attorney Michael] Cohen and candidate Trump, as representatives of the Trump Organization, to travel to Russia to meet with Russian government officials and possible financing partners.
Though his proposal appears to have been rejected by the Trump campaign, Sater persisted. "Into the spring of 2016," the Mueller Report notes, "Sater and Cohen continued to discuss a trip to Moscow." Sater emails Cohen that he is trying to arrange a meeting between "the 2 big guys," Putin and Trump.
Sater’s re-emergence "suggests the possibility of a more sinister counter-narrative: that someone may have been trying to lure Trump into a trap--a politically damaging entanglement with Moscow money," Morrison wrote.
Let that one sink in a minute. An active FBI/CIA asset working with Andrew Weissman long before the Special Counsel and the Russiagate scandel began, was apparently trying to push Trump into business deals with Russia and Putin in an attempt to "dirty him up."

From WaEx, Justice Dept. IG referred James Comey for criminal prosecution
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said Wednesday that he referred former FBI Director James B. Comey for criminal prosecution this year after concluding he leaked sensitive materials to a friend. And the Justice Department watchdog told Congress he would “assess” Republican allegations of inconsistent statements in Mr. Comey’s testimony before the Senate.

Mr. Horowitz’s disclosure that he made the criminal referral marks his first public statement about the criticism lodged against Mr. Comey in a report released last summer. He told lawmakers it is standard practice to make a criminal referral when wrongdoing is suspected.

“We are required by the [Inspector General] Act to send information that we’ve identified that could plausibly be criminal to the Department of Justice,” Mr. Horowitz said.

The Justice Department ultimately decided not to prosecute Mr. Comey despite the conclusion by Mr. Horowitz’s team that he improperly leaked information to the news media. The documents leaked by Mr. Comey were sensitive but not classified.
Ace, Mark Meadows: Comey Told Conflicting Stories to Congress and the AG. We Need a Criminal Referral to Find Out Who He Lied To. But, lawyers gonna lawyer. Patterico goes apeshit over  Mark Meadows: James Comey Was Totally Trying to Hide This Thing He Testified to Under Oath!!!!11!1!
In context, Comey is being asked whether, as the Director of the FBI, he initiated an obstruction of justice investigation based on the President’s comments to the effect that he hoped that Comey would drop the investigation of his former campaign advisor and national security advisor.

And Mark Meadows is trying to say that Comey lied, because as a private citizen he leaked a memo with the hope that it would spur the appointment of a special counsel to investigate obstruction of justice. Which Comey acknowledged in testimony in December 2018.

Meadows’s accusation is reckless, it’s uninformed, and it’s also a word we don’t use in polite company that people used to use to refer to the intellectually disabled. (Some people still do, and some presidential candidates think it’s pretty darned funny.)
As a private citizen, Comey was using documents stolen from the FBI to "spur the appointment of a special counsel to investigate obstruction of justice." The ongoing investigation initiated by McCabe, under Comey as FBI director, sought to find anything and everything on Trump, and weren't above planting spies to initiate things.

And speaking of McCabe, from Capt. Ed at Hot Air, McCabe Defense: Barr Would Have To Apply Double Standard To Prosecute Me While Letting Trump Off The Hook. Basically admitting guilt, and using the "all the other kids do it too" defense.
Clever. Not entirely bulletproof legally, but politically this argument from Andrew McCabe’s legal team is brilliant. If Donald Trump didn’t get prosecuted over obstruction detailed in the Mueller report because there was no underlying crime, as Josh Gerstein reports on their coming argument, how can William Barr’s Department of Justice go after him?
Not even nerf ball proof. McCabe is accused of lying to FBI. While I agree that should not be a lie to the FBI and DOJ, it is, as Michael Flynn can attest.

Chuck Ross at Da Caller,  DOJ Inspector General Says Democrats Haven’t Reached Out About FISA Abuse Hearing. Don't turn on the lights 'cause they don't want to see.

OK, just a couple more Lewandowski articles, one from Jeff Lord at AmSpec, Corey Lewandowski’s Home Run - Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee Democrats humiliated and one from AllahPundit at Hot Air, House Dems Weighing Contempt Charge Against Corey Lewandowski Over Tuesday’s Hearing.

VDH at PJ Media, Trump's Total Culture War
In 2016 and early 2017, Barack Obama appointees in the FBI, CIA and Department of Justice tried to subvert the Trump campaign, interfere with his transition and, ultimately, abort his presidency. Now, congressional Democrats promise impeachment before the 2020 election.

The usual reason for such hatred is said to be Trump's unorthodox and combative take-no-prisoners style. Critics detest his crude and unfettered assertions, his lack of prior military or political experience, his attacks on the so-called bipartisan administrative state, and his intent to roll back the entire Obama-era effort of "fundamentally transforming" the country leftward.

Certainly, Trump's agenda of closing the border, using tariffs to overturn a half-century of Chinese mercantilism, and pulling back from optional overseas military interventions variously offends both Democrats and establishment Republicans.

Trump periodically and mercurially fires his top officials. He apparently does not care whether the departed write damning memoirs or join his opposition. He will soon appoint his fourth national security adviser within just three years.

To make things worse for his critics, Trump's economy is booming as never before in the new 21st century: near-record-low unemployment, a record number of Americans working, increases in workers' wages and family incomes, low interest rates, low inflation, steady GDP growth and a strong stock market.

Yet the real source of Trump derangement syndrome is his desire to wage a multifront pushback -- politically, socially, economically and culturally -- against what might be called the elite postmodern progressive world.
And I was preparing to dive into the scandel du jour, but Stacy McCain did it for me in The ‘Whitleblower’ Is the Deep State Interfering in Trump’s Ukraine Policy
When the Washington Post started reporting about a “whistleblower” complaint about President Trump’s conversation with an unspecified “foreign leader,” speculation ran wild as to what it meant. But as Allahpundit at Hot Air figured out, it’s about Trump’s effort to get Ukraine to investigate corruption involving Joe Biden’s son. As part of that effort, apparently, Trump played hardball, conveying that U.S. military aid to Ukraine would be dependent on their cooperation.

And the correct response is, “So?” Is it the position of Democrats and their media allies that the apparently corrupt dealings of Joe Biden’s son in Ukraine should not be investigated? And as has been noted, Russia wasn’t the only foreign government “meddling” in the 2016 election — Ukraine did it, too. So if the Biden-Ukraine scandal is connected to that “meddling,” isn’t it logical that Trump would want Ukraine to investigate it? He’s the President of the United States, after all, and this investigation involves American interests, which he is sworn to protect.

This is not a scandal:
Both The Washington Post and The New York Times report that an intelligence official who worked in the White House filed the complaint Aug. 12 after growing alarmed about the details of a phone call that President Donald Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Trump and Zelensky, who took office in May, spoke by phone July 25. The Ukrainian government released a read-out of the phone call that said the two leaders spoke about corruption investigations “that have hampered interaction between Ukraine and the USA.” . . .
Details of the complaint have spilled into public view following a tense battle between House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence.
Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG), sent Schiff letters this month making it clear that he disagreed with Maguire’s decision not to turn the whistleblower complaint over to Congress. Atkinson said he found the complaint credible and “urgent,” a threshold that requires the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to sent an intelligence community whistleblower complaint to Congress.
But Maguire, with guidance from the Justice Department, declined to turn over the complaint, saying it involved privileged communications.
Rudy Giuliani has admitted that he acted as Trump’s representative in discussions with Ukrainian officials. Again, the question is, “So?”
Only in the minds of Democrats, for whom everything Trump does is scandalous, is this considered a scandal. And it is apparent that this “whistleblower” is a Democrat operative embedded in our intelligence bureaucracy, a perfect example of the “Deep State” problem that Trump’s supporters have been talking about for three years. The bureaucrats seem to believe that they should have more influence on U.S. policy than the President himself, if the President doesn’t share their worldview.
Related links:

Acting DNI Joseph Maguire Refuses Adam Schiff's Subpoena - PJ Media

Trump’s communications with foreign leader are part of whistleblower complaint that spurred standoff between spy chief and Congress, former officials say - The Washington Post

Whistleblower complaint about President Trump involves Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter- MSN

Whistleblower complaint about President Trump involves Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter - The Washington Post

Fish Pic Friday - Brandie Metts

For Fish Pic Friday this week we have Brandie Metts,  Brandie, Bass, and Bonefish
Brandie Metts (@brandiemetts on Instagram) has been fishing the waters of her native Florida since she was a little girl. She grew up on Anna Maria Island on the state’s Gulf Coast, but her family had a lake place near Inverness.

The chain of lakes outside Inverness are prime bass fishing territory, and largemouth are what Brandie reeled for during most of her youth. Like most of us, she started digging her own worms, putting them on her hook, and tossing them in the water.

Turns out, she was good at it — and loved it. After her family got a boat, she moved up to artificials but would still toss out the occasional shiner to lure in the bucketmouths. In spite of her proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Brandie was almost exclusively a freshwater reeler until a few years ago.

Eventually, Brandie made her way down to Big Pine Key and struck up a relationship with a guide who worked the Keys’ inshore waters and renowned flats. Under his guidance, Brandie figured out how to fish the flats.

“I’m just addicted to fishing, wherever I am,” she says. “It’s something I’ve always loved.”

Brandie learned to sight cast the flats, looking for the big three — permit, tarpon, and bonefish — and would get out on the water as often as she could.

“It took me a long time to be able to see bonefish,” Brandie says. “They can disguise themselves really well in skinny water.”
Me too.
These days, Brandie lives in Boca Raton, where she works and is attending school at Boca Beauty Academy. But she still makes time for fishing.

Instead of bonefish and bass, though, she heads a few miles offshore, where a combination of deep water and the Gulf Stream bring pelagics like sailfish and other billfish, as well as species, like tuna and kingfish relatively close to the Florida coast.
Her Facebook page.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Can Goats Save the Bay?

Probably not, but they can be used to eat some of the invasive plants, No kidding about it: Goats fight invasive species at Towson University
The goats, from Harmony Church Farm in Darlington, have been visiting campus yearly since 2014. They’re herded to The Glen Arboretum (commonly just called the Glen), a 10-acre patch of forest in the middle of Towson University’s campus, and left to eat. The goats are fans of invasive plant species like English ivy, Asian bittersweet and garlic mustard.

“The goats will clear this out, and then we have student volunteers who come out and pull the root stems,” said James Hull, a retired Towson University professor and director of the Glen.

Hull said about 200 student volunteers will turn out to the Glen and either pull out the roots of invasive plants or work to plant new trees in the forest. Ultimately, Hull wants the Glen to become a “living museum” that houses all 120 or so tree species that are native to Maryland. At last count, the forest is home to 108 species, Hull said.

Harmony Church Farm specializes in forest-clearing work, said Roni Cassilly, a former schoolteacher and owner of the farm. She has a total of 22 goats that she takes around to private landowners and the town of Bel Air to ingest invasive plants. Invasive species are often targeted for clearing because they can prevent native plants from growing and thriving.

“Invasive plants are taking over all of Maryland’s forest,” she said. “Lucky for us goats like the invasives.”

Towson University paid Harmony Church Farm for two days of goat grazing with grants from BGE and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. University officials could not immediately provide a dollar amount.

The goats, all of which Cassilly can identify by sight and name, typically eat off leaves, so human workers can go in behind and snip vines and pull roots. She first got goats to manage the forest that’s on her Harford County property.
If they still have to remove the roots and vines by hand, wouldn't it be easier to find the vines with the leaves still on them? This sounds like a bit of a boondoggle.

On some islands, the importation of goats has proven to be an ecological nightmare. Without predators to control them, wild goats will literally strip the vegetation to nothing. At least these goats are under control.

Russiagate - Featuring Extended Lewandowski Coverage

Before we skim into the extended coverage of Corey Lewandowski's congressional testimony, there are some new developments. First, John Sexton at Hot Air reports that Rep. Meadows complains that Comey’s Congressional Testimony At Odds With What He Told IG Horowitz, New Referral Needed
“We’ve taken, now, your report and we’ve put it side by side [with] congressional testimony that James Comey made before the joint oversight and judiciary hearing and I’m finding just a number of irregularities,” Meadows said. He continued, “So would it be appropriate if ranking member Jordan and I were to refer those inconsistencies to the IG and if we did that would the IG look at those inconsistencies?”

“It’s certainly appropriate for us to get a referral about a then-employee of the department, which is I think the hearing you’re probably referencing, and then we would assess it,” Horowitz replied.
Lying to Congress is a crime? Who knew? Well, besides Michael Cohen, of course. At Town Hall, Jim Jordan Says Comey, Mueller, And Lewandowski Have Something In Common
"@CLewandowski_ worked with the Trump campaign for nearly 2 years. He testified they did not collude or coordinate with Russia. Sounds familiar. James Comey, sitting at the same table as Lewandowski: same answer. Bob Mueller: same table, same answer. Time to move on," Rep. Jordan tweeted.
Chuck Ross at Da Caller (via Doug Ross), YOU’LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE, COPPER! Andrew McCabe Says He Won’t Take a Plea Deal. I'm pretty sure he's counting on DC jury nullification. Maybe we can bankrupt him they way he and Mueller bankrupted Flynn.

From sundance at CTH, Louie Gohmert isn't exactly enamored of IG Horowitz either in Louie and The Cold Fish…

At AmThink, Thomas Lifson wonders Did FBI and CIA have an agent provocateur who tried to entrap the Trump Organization in a Russia deal? Felix Sater.
Judicial Watch is hot on the trail of a potentially explosive revelation: that an agent who had previously worked for the FBI and CIA  as an informant --  recruited by Andrew Weissmann in 1998! -- actively tried to set up a business deal between the Trump Organization and Russian interests, in order to implicate Trump with “collusion.”  In a press release, JW lays out the background of its new FOIA lawsuit seeking:
And so onto the coverage of the Lewandowski testimony, all sound and fury, and signifying nothing. We start with the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 09.18.19, who provides American Greatness's Lewandowski’s Contempt For A Contemptible Congress and Legal Insurrection: Corey Lewandowski Trolls Befuddled Democrats On Judiciary Committee.

Doing the rest the easy way; find something you like!

Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows Discuss Fallout from Lewandowski Testimony…  - The Last Refuge

Inspector General Michael Horowitz Testifies on Matters of High Interest – FISA, Comey, McCabe, SpyGate… - The Last Refuge

The LOOK on his face! Rep. Doug Collins just RIPS into Jerry Nadler and Dems during today’s oversight hearing and DAMN son (watch) –

CNN Guest: Lewandowski Owned The Dems Today - Town Hall

I've Said Some Very Unkind Things About Corey Lewandowski and I Take Them All Back - Red State

Impeachment Hearing Quickly Devolves Into Chaos As Lewandowski Refuses To Answer Questions - The Daily Caller

Lewandowski Announces Senate Run During Impeachment Hearing- PJ Media

Lewandowski Slams Hillary During Impeachment Hearing: I Didn’t Delete My Emails - The Daily Caller

What were Dems thinking when they invited Corey Lewandowski to testify? - Hot Air

Democrats, stuck in Watergate mode, bungle Lewandowski testimony - Byron York, WaEx

Corey Lewandowski Just Made the Democrats Look Utterly Bloodless - GEN

Pelosi says she would have held Lewandowski in contempt ‘right then and there’ - The Washington Post

Corey Lewandowski is the perfect model for a sustained Trumpian legacy - The Washington Post

Corey Lewandowski gets honest about lying to the news media - The Washington Post

Doug Ross @ Journal: Larwyn's Linx: Michael Flynn Graymails the Government several links!

Democrats’ Impeachment Obsession Is a Danger to Democracy – American Greatness

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

Midnite Music - Nilüfer Yanya Likes Straws

Nilüfer Yanya: Tiny Desk Concert

Has she no compassion for the turtles?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Virginia To Catch Em All, Let God Sort 'Em Out

Menhaden Industry Leader Says it Will Exceed Bay Catch Limit
The East Coast’s biggest menhaden harvester says it won’t follow the catch limit managers have set for the Chesapeake Bay. The small fish is used commercially to make fish oil and food for pets and livestock. But it’s also a key piece of the Bay’s food chain.

Over the weekend, Omega Protein, a Canadian-owned commercial fishing operation based in Reedville, announced its intention to exceed the Chesapeake Bay catch limit for menhaden established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).

In 2017, the commission set the annual Bay catch limit at 51,000 metric tons (mt), the five-year average of Omega’s annual catch in the Bay. (Maryland prohibits the industrial harvest of menhaden in its portion of the Bay). Omega filled the rest of its 216,000 mt total annual menhaden quota for those years by fishing on the Atlantic’s continental shelf between North Carolina and New Jersey.

The 2017 cap passed with an overwhelming vote by the Commission’s thirteen states and three agencies, with only Virginia and New Jersey dissenting.

Recent numbers show the coastwide menhaden stock is not being overfished, but the commissioners saw the new Bay cap as a precautionary move, because menhaden play key ecological roles in the Atlantic coastal ecosystem, and the Chesapeake serves as a nursery for about 30 percent of the stock.

The concern is that heavy fishing in the Bay will deplete the menhaden stock, posing problems for striped bass, osprey, dolphins, and other species that depend on them for food.

In Virginia, which accounts for 75 percent of the annual catch of these oily little fish, menhaden are managed by state lawmakers. The 2018 General Assembly, led by legislators from the Northern Neck where Omega is headquartered, refused to enact the new Bay cap. That meant that, by state law, the cap remained at the 87,216 mt limit– much higher than ASMFC’s 51,000-mt limit.

ASMFC chose not to pursue punishment against Omega since the company hadn’t substantially exceeded the lower harvest in the previous five years. In 2018, Omega’s Bay harvest remained below 51,000 mt, as the company’s big purse seine boats fished primarily in the Atlantic.

But this year, Omega did exceed the cap. The company points to bad weather offshore and higher concentrations of menhaden in the lower Chesapeake as the reasons. Its Bay catch puts Virginia is out of compliance with ASMFC.

Back to the Beach

Actually, Skye and I went down late yesterday afternoon after we bailed her out of Lorry's dog spa, but the weather was gray and dreary, and I didn't record it. However, I did see a perfect steal of a fish from an Osprey by a Bald Eagle.
Today was bright and sunny, cool and breezy. Fossil hunting was awful, a single small tooth. But I did get to watch an adult eagle try, unsuccessfully, to steal a fish from a juvenile.

The Ospreys are out in great numbers, trying to fatten up for their soon-to-be journey south, while avoiding, if possible, being robbed by the eagles.
 A crab pot dragged ashore.
A Cloudless Sulphur in Goldenrod by the dunes. I also saw a relatively uncommon Mourning Cloak up in the Kudzu, but it was gone by the time I got my phone up.