Saturday, August 31, 2019

Great Moments in Climate Hypocrisy

From WUWT: UN flies in 5,000 people to Salt Lake to complain about fossil fuels
How does the United Nations convince people that they are super serious in their outrage about fossil fuels? How about flying 4,000 people from all over the world in fossil-fueled jet airplanes to isolated Salt Lake City to whine about it? Sounds like a good plan to the United Nations bureaucracy, which is sponsoring a sustainability and climate change conference this week in Salt Lake City.

The UN brags that up to 4,000 people are likely to attend, representing more 300 nongovernmental organizations (read, environmental activist groups) and more than 80 countries. There is no compelling agenda, no compelling actions items, and no expected meaningful outcome from the conference. It is simply an opportunity for leftist global activists to get together and express outrage about economic freedom and the existential global climate disruption that is the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced – surpassing Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, the Black Plague, smallpox, AIDS, and the threat of nuclear war combined.

Salt Lake City is an isolated, medium-sized city with little national or international media impact. Most people flying to Salt Lake City for the UN conference will have to make at least one or two connecting flights to get there, exacerbating their carbon footprint for the conference. Why didn’t the UN choose New York or Brussels for such a conference? Because, silly, UN bureaucrats get tired of New York and Brussels and want to go someplace really cool and fun for their events. Carbon footprint, shmarbon footprint.

Seriously, now, if global warming is the greatest existential threat facing humanity, as the UN and Democratic presidential hopefuls claim, why would the UN induce 4,000 people to carbon-bomb the atmosphere with 4,000 multi-leg, roundtrip flights to whine about it? Almost nobody (other than us wonks here at CFACT) really cares or will be paying attention to the conference. Couldn’t they hold the conference at UN facilities in New York or Brussels? Or better yet, couldn’t the conference can be held online for a much lower carbon footprint? . . .
Cars and less clothes!
From Pirate's Cove, Surprise: People Will Be Forced To Change Their Lifestyles For ‘Climate Change’
Funny how this so often comes down to Government forcing citizens to change their lifestyles, as demanded by people who won’t voluntarily change theirs

Climate change: Big lifestyle changes ‘needed to cut emissions’
People must use less transport, eat less red meat and buy fewer clothes if the UK is to virtually halt greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the government’s chief environment scientist has warned.
Prof Sir Ian Boyd said the public had little idea of the scale of the challenge from the so-called Net Zero emissions target.
However, he said technology would help.
The conundrum facing the UK – and elsewhere – was how we shift ourselves away from consuming, he added.
In an interview with BBC News, Sir Ian warned that persuasive political leadership was needed to carry the public through the challenge.
Red Meat!

And taxes!
Sir Ian said polluting activities should incur more tax. He believes the Treasury should reform taxation policy to reward people with low-carbon lifestyles and nudge heavy consumers into more frugal patterns of behaviour.
And, while he tries to say this is voluntary, government will force change
“We’ve got to reduce demand to a much greater extent than we have in the past, and if we don’t reduce demand we’re not going to reduce emissions.
“Emissions are a symptom of consumption and unless we reduce consumption we’ll not reduce emissions.
“It will very rarely come down to a direct message like ‘sorry, you can’t buy that but you can buy this’. But there will be stronger messages within the (tax) system that make one thing more attractive than the other.”
So, why are climate cultists not changing their behavior?
They don't want to cut their carbon footprint. They want to cut your carbon footprint.

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

Were the First Americans Japanese?

Stone tools suggest the first Americans came from Japan
Evidence from the Cooper's Ferry archaeological site in Western Idaho shows that people lived in the Columbia River Basin around 16,000 years ago. That's well before a corridor between ice sheets opened up, clearing an inland route south from the Bering land bridge. That suggests that people migrated south along the Pacific coast. Stone tools from the site suggest a possible connection between these first Americans and Northeast Asian hunter-gatherers from the same period.

A piece of charcoal unearthed in the lowest layer of sediment that contains artifacts is between 15,945 and 15,335 years old, according to radiocarbon dating. More charcoal, from the remains of an ancient hearth pit, dated to between 14,075 and 15,195 years old. A few other pieces of bone and charcoal returned radiocarbon dates in the 14,000- to 15,500-year-old range. In higher, more recent layers, archaeologists found bone and charcoal as recent as 8,000 years old, with a range of dates in between.

This makes clear that people had been using the Cooper's Ferry site for a very long time, but it's hard to say whether they stuck around or just kept coming back. "Because we did not excavate the entire site, it is difficult to know if people occupied the site continuously starting at 16,000 years ago," Oregon State University archaeologist Loren Davis told Ars. "I expect that this site was used on a seasonal basis, perhaps as a base camp for hunting, gathering, and fishing activities."
. . .
Davis and his colleagues used a statistical model to calculate how old the very oldest layers of artifacts at the site should be. "The Bayesian model makes predictions about the age of the lower portion of [the excavated layers] based on the chronological trend of known radiocarbon ages in the upper and middle third," Davis explained. According to the model, the very oldest artifacts at Nipéhe are probably between 16,560 and 15,280 years old.

That's about 2,000 to 1,500 years before the great continent-spanning ice sheets of the Pleistocene began to break up. That break-up opened an ice-free corridor southward from the Bering land bridge between the towering sides of the Cordilleran and Laurentian ice sheets. According to computer simulations, that corridor was closed and buried under several kilometers of ice until at least 14,800 years ago, and possibly even later. And that has some important implications for when, and how, people first set foot in the Americas.

If the ice-free corridor wasn't open, the only way to get south of the ice sheets would have been to skirt along the Pacific coast on foot or by boat, moving among locations where the edges of the 4km (2.5 miles) thick glaciers didn't quite reach the Pacific Ocean. Much of Ice Age coastline is now underwater, largely thanks to the melting of those huge glaciers. But there have been a few recent archaeological finds that support the idea that the first humans in the Americans moved south along the coast much earlier 

Genetic evidence, which uses predictable rates of genetic mutations to tell how long ago populations separated from each other, suggests that sometime between 17,500 and 14,600 years ago, the people living south of the ice sheets split up into two major groups, which moved generally northward and generally southward. That lines up well with the timing at Nipéhe.

At this point, there's not really much debate about whether people had arrived in the Americas before the rise of the Clovis culture, the collection of tools and weapons once thought to represent the oldest human activity in the Americas. Clovis appears starting around 13,250 years ago, so some groups were clearly present earlier. Most of the debate now is focused on the route these earlier people took to reach the thawed, habitable parts of North America.

Davis and his colleagues say Nipéhe is strong evidence for the coastal route. "This does not preclude subsequent human migrations through the [ice-free corridor] at a later time, as suggested by paleogenomics," they wrote, "but such possible population movements do not represent the initial peopling of the Americas."
Comparison of Cooper’s Ferry projectile points with late Pleistocene age Tachikawa-type stemmed points from the Kamishirataki 2 site on Hokkaido, Japan. (A) Stemmed projectile point haft fragment from LU3 (B) Illustration of Japanese Upper Paleolithic stemmed projectile point from the Kamishiritaki 2 site (C) Blade fragment of projectile point from LU3 (D) Stemmed projectile point haft fragment from LU3 (E) Illustration of Japanese Upper Paleolithic stemmed projectile point from the Kamishiritaki 2 site as one possible comparison for the reconstructed stemmed projectile point shown in (C) and (D). (F) Stemmed projectile point from PFA2 (73-627). (G) Stemmed projectile point from PFA2 (73-628). (H) Stemmed projectile point from PFA2 (73-626). (I to K) Illustrations of Japanese Upper Paleolithic stemmed projectile points from the Kamishiritaki 2 site
Buried in the Ice Age layers at Nipéhe, Davis and his colleagues found animal bones and discarded stone tools, including bifaces (two-sided handaxes; think of them as prehistoric multi-tools), blades, sharp stone flakes, and fragments of two projectile points. The tool collection didn't look a thing like the fluted projectile points that have become the archaeological calling card of the Clovis culture.

To make a Clovis-style projectile point, the flint-knapper has to chip off a flake from one or both faces at a point right at the base of the object. That creates a small groove (also called a flute), which makes it easier to fit the point onto the shaft of a spear or arrow. But at Nipéhe (and at a few other pre-Clovis sites in the Americas), people took the opposite approach: they shaped the base of the point into a stem to attach to the spear or arrow shaft. Some of the younger stone tools from Nipéhe are about the same age as the Clovis culture, but they're clearly a separate technology.

Stemmed projectile points aren't a recent technology, even by archaeological standards; people figured out that stems made points easier to haft by around 50,000 years ago in Africa, Asia, and the Levant. But there are different ways to shape a chunk of flint into a stemmed point, and the ones at Nipéhe look strikingly similar to stemmed points from Northeast Asia. Similarities are especially strong with items from the Japanese island of Hokkaido, which have turned up at sites dating between 16,000 and 13,000 years ago. (As an interesting side note, stemmed projectile points from a 13,500-year-old site in Kamchatka, in east Russia, were made with a distinctly different style.)
Ainu woman
Hokkaido is the homeland of the Ainu people, group of people in Japan with a distinctly different culture and appearance, who were considered to be "natives" of Northern Japan, Hokkaido, the Sakhalin Islands and the Kurile Islands. The Japanese conquered them, and they have, so some extent been intermingled with the Japanese culture. Could the Ainu be descendants of the common ancestor with the early American immigrants? A lot of population movement can happen in 15,000 years.
Other aspects of the stone tools at Nipéhe also resemble the ones being made and used on Hokkaido at around the same time and slightly earlier. Davis and his colleagues claim that similarity is no coincidence. They suggest that the similar stone tool technology is evidence of a cultural link between the earliest Americans—who arrived on the Pacific coast and migrated southward before moving inland south of the ice sheets—and people in Northeastern Asia.
Ainu woman

The dates line up well; many of the Hokkaido sites with stemmed points are older than Nipéhe, while others are around the same age. That suggests that it's possible for the culture to have originated in Japan and then spread to North America—although it's impossible to guess how many generations removed the people of Nipéhe may have been from their relatives in Hokkaido by the time they dug their hearth pit in Western Idaho.
Well, it's a lot more believable than the Solutrean Hypothesis, the theory that European settlers who made Clovis like points in Europe, crossed the Atlantic, probably in the arctic, to found the Clovis culture in America.

When it gets down to it, projectile points aren't proof. Anybody can learn to make one. Until you get some DNA comparisons, it's all just talk. Maybe educated talk, but still talk.

Russiagate: Get thee behind me, Jim Comey.

The day produced so much material on Jim Comey it's ridiculous, so I'll do it the ugly way. Find your own nuggets. Get thee behind me, Jim Comey.

Comey violated FBI policy in handling of memos detailing interactions with Trump, inspector general finds - The Washington Post
DOJ inspector general buries real James Comey news - The Washington Post
IG Report: James Comey Passed Private Conversation with Trump to FBI Team Investigating Russia Collusion - Breitbart
Trump Shreds Comey For Breaking Dozens Of Rules At FBI - Daily Wire
Con Man Comey - Frontpage Mag
President Trump Reacts to IG Report on James Comey Conduct as FBI Director…. - The Last Refuge
James Comey wants an apology? This is myth becoming madness - TheHill
It Seems Trump Was Right To Fire James Comey - NYSun
Rod Rosenstein shades Comey, rips MSNBC and CNN pundits after IG report released - Fox News
The PJ Media Morning Briefing: Comey Loses FBI 'Employee of the Month' Titles
Instapundit » KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Comey Loses FBI ‘Employee of the Month’ Titles. “Comey’s smugness is only e…

Instapundit » FLASHBACK: Comey ‘Friend’ Who Leaked FBI Memos Now Claims To Be His Attorney. “Daniel Richman, t…
Trump: Isn't Barr a "fair and reasonable" guy for not prosecuting Comey? Hot Air
James Comey was the Bad Guy in the 'Russia Collusion' story
Turley: Comey apology demand was "a Captain Queeg moment"
IG report on Comey shows how Trump brings out the worst in his opponents - Hot Air
Inspector general's devastating report on James Comey shows how Trump brings out the worst in his opponents
The worst is still to come for Jim Comey  -  TheHill
Instapundit » Blog Archive » I CERTAINLY HOPE SO: The worst is still to come for Jim Comey. “Rushing into victimland is a commo…
First Review of IG Report on James Comey – The Substance Within the Report Shows a Two-Tiered Justice System… | The Last Refuge
New inspector general report shows James Comey's 'highest loyalty' is to himself - WaEx
We Can End the Comey Worship Now - The Bulwark
Byron York and Rep Doug Collins Discuss IG Report on James Comey Conduct… - The Last Refuge
DOJ Inspector General: Comey Set a Dangerous Example The American Spectator
Jumpin’ Jim Flash - Power Line
Mark Levin: Comey 'shouldn't have been anywhere close' to a law enforcement career - Fox News
From In The Mailbox: 08.30.19 (Early Edition) : The Other McCain sends DOJ IG: 'Comey's Retention, Handling, and Dissemination of Certain Memos Violated' DOJ, FBI PoliciesJames Comey: The corrupt cop the media painted as their savior - Legal Insurrection

But there was real news beyond Comey, For example, Sundance at CTH, Thunderstruck – Flynn Attorney Sidney Powell Drops Atomic Sledgehammer of Truth on DC Court….
In an explosive response filing today, which includes the phrase”sunlight is the best disinfectant”, attorney Sidney Powell has outlined the soup-to-nuts construct of the malicious government action taken during their targeting her client Michael Flynn.
In the 19-pages (full pdf below), Ms. Powell walks through the history of the DOJ, FBI and intelligence apparatus weaponization against Mr. Flynn and lays out the background behind everything known to have happened in 2016, 2017 through today.

From the corrupt DOJ lawyers who were working with Fusion-GPS and Chris Steele, including Mr. Weissmann, Mr. Van Grack and Ms. Zainab Ahmad; to the 2015/2016 FISA database search abuses; to the CIA and FBI operation against Flynn including Nellie Ohr; to the schemes behind the use of DOJ official Bruce Ohr; to the corrupt construct of the special counsels office selections; to the specifics within the malicious conspiracy outlined by hiding FBI interview notes of Mike Flynn,… all of it…. Is a stunning filing that many CTH readers are well prepared to understand.
While I hope that Sydney Powell gets a full exoneration and an apology from the DOJ for their likely illegal investigation and prosecution of Flynn, I'm not betting on it. And even with Robert Barr at the head of Justice, DOJ is still playing dirty pool in the case. Government Refuses to Grant Flynn Lawyer Security Clearance – Also Refuse to Produce Original January 24th FBI Report….. Bear in mind, Powell is a former Federal prosecutor; she should easily get a security clearance.
In a filing today (full pdf below) Flynn’s defense lawyer, Sidney Powell, notes two significant issues: (1) Ms. Powell is being denied a security clearance she needs to review all of the documents in the case; and (2) the DOJ is refusing to provide the original FBI notes from their interview of Michael Flynn on January 24th, 2017.
From Chuck Ross at Da Caller,  Matthew Whitaker: DOJ Meeting Suggests Andrew McCabe Will Be Indicted ‘Imminently’. Well, good.

BPR, Lawrence O’Donnell’s apology ‘not enough’, Eric Trump goes for lawsuit
“This was a reckless attempt to slander our family and smear a great company,” Eric, who serves as the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, wrote in a tweet.

“Apologies are not enough when the true intent was solely to damage and cause harm. As a company, we will be taking legal action. This unethical behavior has to stop.”

He posted the tweet about five hours after O’Donnell issued his first apology on Twitter and about an hour and a half before the host went on to further clarify his apology on air.

In both instances, the longtime MSNBC host refused to say the words “I’m sorry.” Worse, he kept the conspiracy theorizing alive by suggesting that his original claim might still be true.

Uttered Tuesday evening on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” the claim by O’Donnell was that a loan provided to the president by Deutsche Bank had been co-signed by Russian oligarchs.
Filed under lawsuits I hope succeed.

Rule 5 Saturday - Time for Another Brazilian - Juliana Martins

 This week's Rule 5 lovely is Juliana Martins.
Juliana Martins (born 3 October 1984 in José Bonifácio, São Paulo state) is a Brazilian model. She worked for Sports Illustrated, and contested in the 1997 Elite Model Look. Juliana Martins was labeled the Brazilian Cindy Crawford by John Casablancas when she was thirteen years old.
I see the resemblance.
Instagram. Still lookin' good.
Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest. The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Labor Day With Jayne Mansfield and FMJRA 2.0: Winged Hussars up on time and within budget at The Other McCain. Linked at The Right Way in the weekly Rule 5 Saturday LinkOrama.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Leak Plugged

And EBL has the pictures, while Tyler O'Neil has the story: 'She Was a Spy From Day One:' Trump Assistant Out After Discussing President's Family with Press
Madeleine Westerhout, President Donald Trump's personal assistant, who has been described as a gatekeeper to the president, resigned on Thursday after leaking to the press earlier this month. Several White House officials had long suspected her of disloyalty to the president. A former staffer for the Republican National Committee and Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign, she had reportedly cried when it became clear Trump had won in 2016.

"She was a spy from day one who sought to use her proximity to the president to curry favor with his detractors," a former White House official told CBS News.

Westerhout's resignation came after Trump learned on Thursday that she had "indiscreetly shared details about his family and the Oval Office operations she was part of during a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters staying at hotels near Bedminster, N.J., during the president's working vacation," The New York Times reported.

Westerhout was immediately considered a "separated employee" and was not allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
I hope someone waters her potted plants until they can checked for bugs and returned.
According to CBS News, the New Jersey dinner was not the first time Trump's personal assistant had gossiped with reporters present. At a farewell event for former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, she bragged about her gatekeeper status.

In September 2018, veteran journalist Bob Woodward complained in an interview with Trump that his request to speak with the president had not been passed on by more prominent aides like Kellyanne Conway. Trump said he should have contacted Westerhout. "Madeleine is the key. She's the secret," the president said. He has also reportedly referred to her as "my beauty."

Politico reporter Tim Alberta wrote that Westerhout was "inconsolable" and seen crying on election night once it became clear that Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton.
Possibly related from Stacy McCain: Do You #BelieveWomen? The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Labor Day With Jayne Mansfield and FMJRA 2.0: Winged Hussars up on time and within budget at The Other McCain.

I Still Blame Jenny McCarthy

There’s a “reasonable chance” that the US will soon lose its status as a country that has eliminated measles. That’s according to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The World Health Organization considers a disease eliminated from a country or region if it has gone at least 12 months without continuous spread of said disease. (This is different from disease eradication, which is when a disease is completely stamped out globally. Humans have only managed to eradicate two diseases: smallpox and rinderpest, which infects cattle and other ruminants.)
Jenny McCarthy (and Robert F.  Kennedy Jr.) were early celebrity anti-vaccine activists, after her son was discovered to be autistic. Wikipedia still lists her as an anti-vaccine activist, although I think I recall she recanted later. Excellent examples of why you should never listen to models, actors or Kennedys on medicine or politics.
The US triumphantly declared measles eliminated in 2000—after spending decades tenaciously working to promote widespread vaccination. (The CDC had originally hoped to have it eliminated by 1982.) And in 2016, the WHO declared measles eliminated from the Americas altogether. WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO) celebrated the news with announcements titled, in part, “Bye, bye measles!”

But now—after a global resurgence of the highly infectious viral illness, spurred partly by misinformation and vocal anti-vaccine advocates—both of those achievements are close to being undone.
The problem with such activism is that as is often the case, the lie gets out and spread, and the refutation is muted and disbelieved by people who have put their beliefs on them.
Massive outbreaks of measles ignited late last September in New York. The disease has continued to spread in flare-ups around the country, sickening a total of 1,215 people since the start of 2019. This week, the CDC reported 12 new cases from the week before. Experts expect the weekly case counts will rise with the start of school—and they’re bracing for a stinging defeat.

"We're embarrassed. We're chagrined," infectious disease experts Dr. William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University told CNN.

Messonnier echoed the feeling, telling CNN: "It certainly is incredibly frustrating and upsetting to the public health community that we may lose measles elimination status, because we do have a safe and effective vaccine.”
I see on TV that Robert Kennedy Jr. has also been spreading similar lies about RoundupIf You Accept Science, You Accept Roundup Does Not Cause Cancer

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Labor Day With Jayne Mansfield up on time and within budget at The Other McCain.

Gov. Hogan Names and Shames Pennsylvania Over Bay Pollution

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R)
Maryland Governor calls out Pennsylvania over pollution pouring into Chesapeake Bay
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is calling for action from Pennsylvania over what he says has been a lack of progress on the part of the state to stop pollution that make its way into the Chesapeake Bay.

As part of his commitment to environmental partnership and stewardship, Gov. Hogan called for upstream states, specifically Pennsylvania, to take responsibility for pollution that is pouring into the Chesapeake Bay.

Governor Hogan did not hold back, sending a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, saying the state “falls far short” in its Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Chesapeake Bay.

“With the recent release of the final WIP to restore the Chesapeake Bay by 2025, Maryland continues to have alarming concerns regarding Pennsylvania’s progress on clean water,” Governor Hogan wrote. “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s final WIP falls far short of the federally established nitrogen goal by only achieving 73% of the required reduction. Pennsylvania’s plan also includes a troubling funding gap of over $300 million annually.”
It's true that Pennsylvania hasn't exactly stepped up to the plate on the Bay. But I do understand that unlike Maryland and Virginia, Pennsylvania has exactly zero waterfront on the Bay. Perhaps Maryland and Virginia can find some way to sweeten the pot for the states in the watershed that do not have a presence in the Bay.

They do have a level of self-interest in cleaning up the freshwaters that run from Pennsylvania to the Bay, however.

Another Beach Report, 8/30/19

About as perfect a day as you can get in August. Temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s, a slight southern breeze, nearly cloudless blue skies and a decent low tide.
People from the Morgan State lab (PEARL) out on the last day of their twice monthly crab survey. I used to occasionally do this, in the same boat), when I worked for the Academy of Natural Sciences (now a division of Drexel University). One of the longest running biological sampling projects in the Bay.
 A really nice White Shark lower tooth, 1.5 inches on the slant measurement. It easily replaced the year's best so far on the kitchen window sill.

A summary picture. The white shark, two nice Snaggletooths, and a decent but broken Crocodile tooth. Georgia found the two Snaggles.
Then shortly afterwards, I stumbled on this decent, if somewhat worn, White Shark upper tooth.

Russiagate: IG Horowitz Slams Comey, but Fails to Seal the Deal

As predicted, IG Horowitz's special report on former FBI Director Comey's personal possesion and leaking of his "memos" to his friends, and therefore the press is in, and there's something in it for everyone. While the IG recommended prosecution, the DOJ, presumably Robert Barr declined to press charges. Fox, James Comey violated FBI policies with memos on Trump discussions, IG report says
The 83-page document outlined a series of violations, including that he broke FBI policies and the bureau's employment agreement "by providing one of the unclassified memos that contained official FBI information, including sensitive investigative information, to his friend with instructions for the friend to share the contents of the memo with a reporter."

Further, the IG determined that Comey kept copies of four memos (out of the total seven he drafted) in a personal safe at home after his removal as director -- and in doing so "violated FBI policies and his FBI Employment Agreement by failing to notify the FBI that he had retained them." The IG said Comey again violated the rules "by providing copies ... of the four memos he had kept in his home to his three private attorneys without FBI authorization," and by failing to alert the FBI once he learned one of the memos contained sections later deemed classified at the confidential level."
Reuters, DOJ declines to prosecute Comey despite finding that he leaked info. The Peacock,  Ex-FBI Director Comey violated DOJ policies in handling Trump memos, inspector general says. Eager to put an anti-Trump spin on it, the WaPoo headline is New IG report rebukes Comey — and debunks Trump
But the report also discloses that the FBI has declined to prosecute Comey for these violations, and — notably — it says there is “no evidence” that he or his attorneys leaked classified information.

That last point is key, because Trump has accused Comey of exactly that, and repeatedly — at least 10 times over two years, according to a review of Trump’s comments.

“James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media,” Trump tweeted July 10, 2017, shortly after news broke of the leak. “That is so illegal!”

Donald J. Trump

“He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted,” he tweeted April on April 13, 2018.

“He leaked classified information,” Trump told Sean Hannity in March of this year. “Well, if somebody in our team leaked classified information, it would be years in jail.”
Katie Pavlich, Town Hall, DOJ Inspector General Report Rips James Comey For Leaking Memos For Personal and Political Gain. Too much good stuff to quote.  David Harsanyi, NYPo, James Comey is proof the ‘deep state’ is something to fear
For nearly three years now, those who promise to save us from the wicked clutches of President Donald Trump have bombarded America with lectures about the “rule of law.” Yet, over and over again, these self-styled champions of justice feel free to disregard the law whenever it suits them. The latest example is former FBI Director James Comey.

A new report by the Office of the Inspector General for the Justice Department found that Comey had written FBI memos, illicitly passed them on to a lawyer friend, who in turn leaked them to a friendly New York Times reporter who had been spreading the Russian conspiracy theory.

Why? Because Comey was interested in extracting revenge on the man who had fired him, Donald Trump.

Comey, the report found, had leaked “investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.”
 Another at NYPo, A cheater’s guide to James Comey’s FBI policy breaches.

And now, on the the bloggy analysis. Stacy McCain, IG Report Confirms Comey’s ‘Deep State’ Conspiracy Against Trump citing Aaron Klein at Breitbart. Yes it does.

At Althouse, "Former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies in his handling of memos documenting private conversations with President Donald Trump..." cites the AP, but the fun, as usual, is in the comment section.

Ace, IG Report Says Comey Leaked and Violated DOJ Regulations; DOJ Declines to Prosecute "I don't know how the DOJ plans to go to the public seeking convictions ofnon-Deep-State actors, telling juries that these are serious crimes and stuff, while meanwhile deeming them not so serious whenever one of their own breaks the law."

The Victory Girls, Inspector General’s Comey Report Shows Misconduct "Comey is either supremely arrogant or monumentally stupid. I leave it up to you people to decide which one." Why ignore the healing power of "and?"

The Last Tradition, James Comey benefits from two tier justice system "I'm thoroughly disgusted that former FBI Director James Comey is not paying a price for his misdeeds.  I though(t) we were a nation under law."

John Hinderacker at Power Line, DOJ Inspector General’s Report Blasts James Comey  "The overriding impression one gets from the IG’s report is that James Comey was a swamp creature who was dedicated to destroying President Trump. Comey regards it as a scandal that the president asked Comey to be loyal to him. In fact, Comey was disloyal. He was scheming against the president he was supposed to be serving. That is the real scandal."

The Lid, DOJ Inspector General Releases Scathing Comey Report (Full Report Included) "James Comey spent his career making charges based on politics simply to make himself look good. However, his final investigation has served to destroy what was left of his reputation."

EBL, Comey 🤡 roasted in DOJ Inspector General Report. "Comey should be prosecuted too, but AG Barr is opting not to do so (but that was decided previously and Comey still faces liability for FISA violations). Regardless of what happens on that front, James Comey remains a disgrace."

Sundance at CTH, Inspector General Report on James Comey Conduct and Memos…. Remarkably short for a sundance post...

As Capt. Ed notes, Comey is claiming vindication, Comey: When Are All My Critics Going To Apologize After My Vindication From Horowitz? CNN: This Looks Pretty Damning To Us.

 From Harry Litman at WaPoo, laundered through the Stamford Advocate, James Comey helped save democracy when he wrote his memos "A huge fire had broken out, and Horowitz is now castigating Comey for using a noncompliant fire extinguisher."

Sundance again, Hubris as A Strategy… "There appears to be a concerted media, and allies (think Lawfare), strategy to focus attention to the DOJ decision *not* to prosecute James Comey.  This generates outrage, which has a tendency to create useful backlash.  Mr. Comey also appears to be fueling this." Now this was the sundance post I expected. Long winding and detailed.


But Andy McCabe continues to draw fire. From Andy McCarthy: What Is Justice for McCabe?
I don’t pretend to be a McCabe fan. Nevertheless, I have sympathy for him. The 2016 election will define his career, but it does not fairly reflect his long years of service defending the rule of law and American national security. If we could consider his case in a vacuum, and I had my druthers, I would not want to charge him. He was fired for cause in disgrace and is slated to lose at least some of his pension. These are significant penalties. I’d like to be able to say, “Enough is enough, no need to pile on with an indictment.”

But there’s more to it than that. A lot more.

For one thing, McCabe is suing the government for wrongful termination, arguing that he was fired due to a political vendetta carried on by President Trump. I certainly agree that the president should not have commented on McCabe’s case or status. As I’ve repeatedly argued (see, e.g., here, here, and here), the president’s often-unhinged commentary makes investigations and prosecutions much more difficult to execute. It has already resulted in slap-on-the-wrist treatment for deserter Bowe Bergdahl, who should have received a stiff sentence.

That said, though, it is an audacious strategy on McCabe’s part to (a) ask the Justice Department to exercise clemency by declining to charge an eminently prosecutable false-statements case against him, while (b) simultaneously hauling the Justice Department into court on an accusation of bad faith in a case in which McCabe leaked and then provided explanations that weren’t true. If I were the attorney general, my inclination would be to say, “If he’s going to make us go to war, let’s go to war on offense — indict him.”

More significantly, we are now living in a law-enforcement world of McCabe’s making.

Again, in a better world, I’d prefer to take account of the considerable positive side of McCabe’s ledger and what he’s already suffered, especially if he exhibited some contrition. That is, I’d ordinarily be open to declining prosecution. But then, how about the positive side of General Flynn’s ledger? And why, if it would be overkill to charge McCabe was it not overkill to charge Papadopoulos? Why do Clinton, Mills, Abedin, and Combetta get a pass in a criminal investigation triggered by actual crimes, but Flynn, Papadopoulos, van der Zwaan, and Stone get hammered in an investigation predicated by no crime — just a fever dream of Trump-Russia cyberespionage conspiracy?

FBI and Justice Department officials keep telling us they grasp that there must be one standard of justice applicable to everyone, not a two-tiered system. So, here’s the question: If Andrew McCabe’s name were Michael Flynn, how much mercy could he expect from, say, Andrew Weissmann?
John Sexton at Hot Air, Andrew McCabe And The DOJ’s Clinton-Trump Dichotomy "Put another way, why does McCabe deserve the Hillary treatment when others with equally long records of public service received the Trump treatment for their mistakes?" Erik Wemple at WaPoo, CNN glimpses its future with Andrew McCabe. It is grim.
Four years of truth-squadding Trump, you might suppose, would vest CNN with a firm aversion to hiring people with credibility problems. Apparently not, however. We asked CNN if those who hired McCabe reviewed the inspector general’s report, among other inquiries. The network didn’t provide an on-the-record response.
They already crossed that line with Clapper.

John Solomon on Da Hill claims Trump can change history by declassifying three Obama-era documents
The first includes the national security assessments that the U.S. intelligence community conducted under President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clintonconcerning the Russia nuclear giant Rosatom’s effort to acquire uranium business in the United States.
. . .
A second body of documents crying out for declassification is Obama’s private correspondence with Iranian leaders — in particular, the Oct. 7, 2014, cable he penned to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, setting the terms for the controversial Washington-Tehran nuclear deal reached in early 2016.
. . .
The final Obama-era tranche that requires declassification concerns Hillary Clinton’s email controversy — a highly classified set of documents that FBI agents identified as important and necessary in the investigation into whether she violated the law by transmitting classified emails on her unsecured private server.
Meanwhile, Nice Deb, at AmGreat, reports that Office of the Director of National Intelligence Stonewalling DOJ on Trump-Russia Docs. “It was clear Coats was not acting on the president’s behalf and had been co-opted by the intelligence bureaucracy. . .” The cover up continues.

BPR, DiGenova: Horowitz found FISA warrants used to spy on Carter Page ‘were illegal from the get-go’.
“For the record, I can report categorically that the Inspector General has found that all four FISA warrants were illegal — they were based on false information supplied to the FISA Court,” diGenova said. “And that [IG] Michael Horowitz has concluded that all four FISA warrants were illegal from the get-go.”
Well, we'll see. I'd say Comey, who signed more than one, isn't off the hook yet.

Ace, IG Determined that a DOJ Deputy Assistant Attorney General Viewed Porn on Goverment Computers and Lied About It; Declines to Prosecute

Stacy McCain takes note of Lawrence O'Donnell's flub in The Smear Machine Fails (Again)
Will they never learn from their mistakes?
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell lives a secret double life performing as a drag queen in New Jersey gay bars, a source tells me. While there have long been rumors that O’Donnell enjoys dressing up in women’s clothing, evidence of his transvestite fetish has been difficult to obtain. Yet my source assures me that such evidence exists, and as for gossip about O’Donnell’s addiction to the rare narcotic Ibogaine … Well, has O’Donnell ever denied it?
You could justify reporting almost anything by the nonexistent “journalism ethics” of Lawrence O’Donnell. On live TV Tuesday night, the MSNBC host told his audience that Donald Trump had obtained loans from Deutsche Bank co-signed by “Russian billionaires with ties to Vladimir Putin.” The basis for this claim, according to O’Donnell, was “a single source close to Deutsche Bank.” O’Donnell then added an interesting caveat: “If true … ”
Yes, of course. It would be a big scoop, if true. And my exclusive reporting that O’Donnell spends his Saturday nights in drag cabaret shows, wearing high heels and fishnet stockings while twerking to Lady Gaga songs? A major bombshell, if true. As it is, however, I hesitate to vouch for my source’s assertion that the MSNBC host is an Ibogaine-addicted transvestite. . . .
Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.
Stephen Kruiser is not much nicer at PJ Media, The Morning Briefing: NBC Fake News Blues Edition
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that O'Donnell knew his story was garbage from the get-go. He's a hack's hack, prone to fits of rage and delusion. The "rigorous verification and standards process" at MSNBC is this:

  1. Is it something negative about President Trump?
  2. OK, then it meets our standards.

Had the president's attorneys not forced him to, O'Donnell would have stuck by the story as if he'd read it in the Bible.

And then he would have yelled at an intern until she cried.
OK, that's enough; if I don't stop now, I may never be able to.

Fish Pic Friday - Capt. Emily Riemer

For Fish Pic Friday this week, I'm featuring Capt. Emily Riemer, as featured in the Daily Mail: What a catch! The 'world's sexiest angler', 24, proves she's the reel deal as she nets 100kg fish while wearing VERY tiny bikinis and gaining a huge Instagram following
A 24-year-old angler who sails around Florida's south coast and the Caribbean reeling in huge fish has caught a massive social media following from sharing snaps of her bikini-clad adventures.

Going by Capt. Emily Riemer on Instagram, she has been dubbed the 'world's sexiest angler' and has approximately 139,000 followers. She travels the seas with Kingsmen Fishing on Hooked For Life Charters boasting catches weighing at least 100kg.

She impresses social media users all while getting to work in barely-there swimwear and says she doesn't even have to hit the gym to keep in shape as fishing is a workout in itself.

"If you gaff a fish there is going to be blood,’ she said. ‘And when you pose with a fish it should be natural and not cleaned up.

"In the heat of the moment, posing after a big catch, it doesn’t make sense to clean up.

"It ruins the authenticity of the moment.

"I know some people might think it odd that I pose like this with the fish, but that’s who I am. I am a practical girl who loves fishing and hunting. And everything I pose with, I have caught."
Her Instagram

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Labor Day With Jayne Mansfield up on time and within budget at The Other McCain.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Today's Chesapeake Bay News

Hold on tight!
A couple of interesting articles in today's Chesapeake Bay newsfeed. As expected, Queen Ann County had voted to ban balloon releases: Maryland county bans release of harmful helium balloons
A Maryland county has voted to ban the release of environmentally harmful helium balloons.

WBAL reports that on Tuesday , Queen Anne’s County commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibits the release of nonbiodegradable helium balloons into the air.

Those who deliberately violate the ordinance can be fined up to $250.

Queen Anne’s Conservation Association Director Jay Falstad told WBAL the balloons pose an environmental threat. He said they can get stuck in trees, in the Chesapeake Bay or in off-shore clusters in the Atlantic Ocean.
As I noted before, this makes more sense than the various straw bans, but it still won't save the planet.

Second: New striped bass regulations lower recreational catch in Virginia
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission approved a set of emergency measures Aug. 27 to help protect the struggling striped bass population in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast. That includes lowering the number of “keepers” for recreational anglers from two to one fish per day.

Charter boat industry leaders said the change will devastate their business for striped bass, also known as rockfish. But the move’s backers said it and the other new measures are needed to keep fishery managers from having to enact the state’s first fishing moratorium on the species since 1990.The action will reduce the amount of striped bass lost to recreational fishing in Virginia by 24%, said Alex Aspinwall, a data analyst with the state commission.

“No one wants their ox gored,” said Steven Bowman, head of the commission. But “this ox is not just gored. This ox is lying on its side in need of treatment.”
No word on how those restrictions will be enacted, but traditionally, the actual regulations aren't enacted until it's necessary to print the guide. Or even later.

Maryland officials deny permit for solar farm that Georgetown University wanted to build
Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles has denied a permit for a controversial solar farm project that Georgetown University wanted to build in rural Charles County, Md.

The project required razing about 210 acres of trees, which angered local activists. Protesters at public hearings hosted by Grumbles argued that while they applauded Georgetown’s goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, the project would actually harm the environment by endangering birds and causing runoff that would damage tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay.

Grumbles said in a statement Wednesday that “water quality-related conditions” were not met at the site, a rural area about 12 miles west of La Plata.

“While Maryland strongly supports the increased use of clean and renewable energy sources, these two proposed projects would harm the nearby high-quality stream in Charles County and threaten our continued restoration progress in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” Grumbles said. “This is an unacceptable trade-off for the environmental benefits of clean energy.”
. . .
The parcel, located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is one of the state’s “targeted ecological areas,” meaning it is a conservation priority for the Department of Natural Resources. A number of at-risk birds — including bald eagles, warblers, eastern whip-poor-wills and wood thrushes — live there in the Nanjemoy forest, according to the Audubon Society of Maryland and D.C.

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Labor Day With Jayne Mansfield up on time and within budget at The Other McCain.

Beach Report 6/29/19

Skye and I got an early start, since the low tide was about 9:30 AM, while Georgia went shopping.

I found this White-M  Hairstreak hiding in the grass near the boat yard.  It looks a lot like the more common Gray Hairstreak, but the iridescent blue in the torn wing is a give away. It's a new butterfly for my list. I've been looking for it for a long time!
It was a gorgeous day, high 70s - low 80s, sunny, breezy, and without much humidity. We walked quite a ways up.
I found this vertebra laying in the sand, mostly covered. I almost passed it by, thinking it was a piece of ironstone. It's an unusual shape, with the protuberance on the back side. I think it may be the largest

I put it out for identification by pros on the Calvert Fossils Facebook group. It's been identified as the axis vertebra (the second vertebra, that attaches to the skull) of a baleen whale.
The Axis (C2 vertebra) also known as epistropheus forms the pivot upon which the first cervical vertebra (the Atlas), which carries the head, rotates.

Otherwise, it was a slow day for fossils. A few teeth, all small. I spotted this one lying in the dry sand, bent down to pick it up and . . .

spotted another a step away.

Russiagate: Does Comey's Comeuppance Cometh?

The Comey report is separate from a larger inspector general report on the DOJ's handling of the Trump-Russia probe. That report, sometimes referred to by Republicans as an investigation into "FISA abuse," is expected to be released later.

It is not clear why the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, chose to write a separate report on Comey.

Among other things, Comey has been under investigation for his handling of several memos he wrote memorializing conversations with President Trump. The memos began in January 2017, when Trump was still president-elect, and continued until April 2017, the month before Trump summarily fired the FBI director.

Comey's memos were, at the least, confidential FBI documents, and at most, in some cases, classified. Comey told Congress that he sent some of the memos to a friend for the purpose of being leaked to the New York Times. Comey hoped media reports would set off a firestorm that would ultimately result in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump-Russia matter.
Sundance at CTH discusses it in Byron York: IG Report on James Comey Conduct Anticipated Soon…  and has the video, Joe diGenova Discusses Upcoming IG Report on James Comey…

Nice Deb at PJ Media, 'Damning' DOJ Inspector General Report on Comey Expected to Be Released as Soon as Thursday. Hey, that's today! "without a doubt Comey should be sweating a lot tonight about what might be in those reports."

Capt. Ed at Hot air, Hmmm: DoJ Inspector General To Report On Comey’s Conduct In Separate Report
Why not just include this episode in the larger review of Operation Crossfire Hurricane? The simplest explanation might be that it’s really not part of that investigation. It’s related to it, but the issues with the memos stand on their own. Horowitz might have decided not to distract from the core mission by including the Comey matter, regardless of his thoughts on it. Two investigations, Horowitz might have decided, require two separate reports. Fair enough!
Not Ace's deepest insight ever, IG Horowitz Filing a Separate Report Focusing Only On Everyone's Favorite Pine-Scented Druid Philosopher, James Comey
It could mean that he needs a special report to cook the former FBI director for weaponzing the department for political ends.

It could mean he needs a special report to explain his "there's no intent I can prove" reasoning for whitewashing Comey.

But either way, something.
Meanwhile, speculation continues to build as to Andy McCabe's fate. Daniel Chaitin, WaEx, Comey friend expects criminal charges against McCabe 'any day' now
Benjamin Wittes, editor-in-chief of Lawfare, wrote in a blog post that he was shocked by a New York Times report Monday that revealed McCabe's lawyers met with top Justice Department officials in recent weeks.

"Such meetings generally take place when indictment is imminent; they happen when the government plans to bring charges," Wittes said on Tuesday. "You should thus expect charges against McCabe to be forthcoming any day. And if such charges don’t happen, that doesn’t mean they weren’t planned but, rather, that some extrinsic event has intervened."
Instt,  HMM: Lawfare Expects McCabe Arrest – That Explains Why CNN Hired Him…. “McCabe’s pretty obviously dirty here, but maybe not obvious enough for CNN to shy away from him. I mean, this is CNN.” Rick Hayes at AmThink, CNN's McCabe Hire Says a Lot about Our Justice System and more about our media.
Even though the FBI fired former deputy director Andrew McCabe for "lack of candor," one of the single worst charges that can be made against a member of the bureau, and even though McCabe may face charges by the DOJ, CNN hired him as a commentator. To consummate such a widely publicized hiring, by a news agency with someone believed to have one foot on a banana peel and the other in the federal prison system, one of two things is going on with the folks behind the scenes at CNN. Either CNN has wholly forgotten the credibility problems and legal peril McCabe faces, or it has an insight about the upcoming investigation outcomes and lack of justice in America, as Hillary and Comey have.
Paul Sperry, RCI, U.S. Intel Gatekeeper Dragging Feet on Trump-Russia Files, Insiders Say, in case you thought it was just sundance at CTH being a crank about this. It's time for Barr to make an omelette out of some of these guys.
Sources who have seen the documents generally described their contents to RealClearInvestigations. They said the material still under wraps includes:
  • Evidence that President Obama’s CIA, FBI, and Justice Department illegally eavesdropped on the Trump campaign --- cases separate from the FBI’s disputed FISA court-approved surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
  • An August 2016 briefing CIA Director John Brennan hand-delivered in a sealed envelope to Obama, containing information from what Brennan claimed was "a critical informant close to Putin." The informant is believed to have actually been a Russian source recycled from the largely debunked dossier compiled by ex-British agent Christopher Steele for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
  • An email exchange from December 2016 between Brennan and FBI Director James Comey, in which Brennan is said to have argued for using the dossier in early drafts of the task force’s much-hyped January 2017 intelligence assessment. That spread the narrative that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the alleged Clinton campaign hacking to steal the election for Trump.
  • Copies of all FBI, CIA and State Department records related to Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor whose statements regarding Papadopoulos allegedly triggered the original Russia-collusion probe.
  • Transcripts of 53 closed-door interviews of FBI and Justice Department officials and other witnesses conducted by the House Intelligence Committee. The files were sent to the agency last November.
The transcripts “demonstrate who was lying and expose the bias that existed against Trump before and after his election,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) of the House Judiciary Committee. They also reportedly contain evidence of a Democratic National Committee attorney maintaining Russia-related contacts with the CIA during the 2016 campaign.
One other flash-in-the-pan story as  Lawrence O’Donnell Reports Russian Oligarchs Co-Signed Trump’s Deutsche Bank Loan (Mediaite). Capt. Ed,  MSNBC: Guess Who Co-Signed Trump’s Loans With Deutsche Bank? Update: Source “Has Not Seen The Bank Records”. AllahOundit, Hot Air, Trump Lawyer To O’Donnell And MSNBC: Your Claim About Russians Co-Signing His Loans Is Defamatory; Update: I Made An Error, Says O’Donnell. Ace, MSNBC's Larry O'Donnell Claims, Without Evidence, That Putin Co-Signed for Trump's Loans - Update: Larry O'Donnell Apologizes. Sundance: MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell Peddles Fake Russia Conspiracy News – Trump Lawyers Respond – O’Donnell Retracts… "Just another day in the mainstream media…."

Insty: FAKE NEWS: NBC News Can’t Confirm O’Donnell’s Bombshell Trump-Russia Report: ‘This has not been confirmed by NBC News, I have not seen any documentation… that supports this.’
“MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell issued an on-air clarification Tuesday after making shocking claims about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russian oligarchs that had not been vetted by NBC News. . . . But closing out the hour, O’Donnell awkwardly returned to the topic and clarified that the network could not confirm his reporting. . . . MSNBC booking producer Michael Del Moro tweeted the following morning that not only has O’Donnell never seen the relevant documents, neither has his source.” Can you say “reckless disregard?”

Also, come on, Lawrence. The NYT has already told us that Russian collusion is dead, and the new strategy is to call Trump a racist. What is this, 2018?

Plus: Lawrence O’Donnell is still on the air? Who knew?
  That was fast even by modern media standards.