Saturday, November 30, 2019

Some More Random Russiagate

In the absence of new news Sundance at CTH takes us on another trip down memory lane with the case of The Mysteriously Redacted Paragraph – 700 Days Since Lindsey Graham Outlined Susan Rice CYA Memo, and DC Doesn’t Want Answers?… No, they really don't. He also revisits the case of Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne and convicted Russian agent Maria Butina. Did U.S. Attorney John Durham Interview Patrick Byrne? – If So, How Does DOJ/FBI Reconcile Running Russian Operative Into Trump Campaign in 2015?…. They don't have to reconcile it, they just need to keep it off the front pages of NYT, WaPoo and off the alphabet networks.

Just as Judicial Watch Forces the  FBI to Fork Over New Clinton Emails, more historical digging From Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx Ex-spy Christopher Steele accused Comey of 'treasonous' intervention in 2016 election
Former British spy Christopher Steele described FBI Director James Comey’s October 2016 letter to Congress about Hillary Clinton's emails as "unconscionable. Treasonous, really,” according to a new book.
and from the Conservative Institute, Fusion GPS founder says memos from Steele dossier were sent directly to Obama: Report. Of course they were. From one of Green Glewalts sock puppets:

This EXCLUSIVE: ICIG Michael Atkinson Altered Whistleblower Forms to Allow for CIA Leaker – His Wife Just Happens to be Connected to Russian Collusion Hoaxer – Fusion GPS. Much like, old Egypt, Washington is a very small and incestuous place near the top of pyramid.
MOA, New Study: "Russian Trolls" Did Not "Sow Discord" - They Influenced No One. A click farm, like Buzzfeed.
The Mueller investigation indicted 13 Russian persons and three Russian legal entities over the alleged influence campaign. But, as we wrote at that time, there was more to it than the media reported:
The published indictment gives support to our long held believe that there was no "Russian influence" campaign during the U.S. election. What is described and denounced as such was instead a commercial marketing scheme which ran click-bait websites to generate advertisement revenue and created online crowds around virtual persona to promote whatever its commercial customers wanted to promote. The size of the operation was tiny when compared to the hundreds of millions in campaign expenditures. It had no influence on the election outcome.
The IRA hired people in Leningrad for little money and asked them to open accounts on U.S. social media. The virtual persona they created and ran were to attract as many persons to those accounts as possible. They did that by posting funny dog pictures or by taking strong political positions. They were 'influencers' who sold their customers' products to the people they attracted.

The sole purpose was the same as in any commercial media. Create content to attract 'eyeballs', then sell those eyeballs to advertisers.

As Point 95 of the Mueller indictment said:
Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the [financial] accounts to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages. Defendants and their co-conspirators typically charged certain U.S. merchants and U.S. social media sites between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content on their popular false U.S. persona accounts, including Being Patriotic, Defend the 2nd, and Blacktivist.
The was no Russian government campaign to influence the 2016 election. There was only a Russian commercial media enterprise that used sock-puppet accounts with quirky content to attract viewers and sold advertisement space to U.S. companies.

The IRA also bought advertisement to attract more people to its accounts. But the amount it spent was tiny. The final price tag for the 2016 election was $6.5 billion for the presidential and congressional elections combined. The IRA spend a total of $100,000 to promote its own accounts. But only some $45,000 of that was spend before the election. It was 0.000007 cent for every election dollar that was spend during that time. It is statistically impossible that the mostly apolitical IRA spending had any effect on the election.
 At Doug Ross, Top 10 Tweets from BadBlue Tonight, 11.29.19: Mainlining Typtophan Edition

And on the Ukraine front,


— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) November 30, 2019
Suzy Simpson of "Just Security" claims Here’s the Proof that Trump’s “No Quid Pro Quo” Call Never Happened, while WaPoo is working on indicting Rudy for being a lawyer The complicated web of Ukraine-focused relationships that has Giuliani at its center, and the Peacock whines Trump says he didn't direct Giuliani's Ukraine efforts. Witnesses say otherwise.

Has Hunter Biden hit bottom yet? Strippers allegedly used sex toy on Hunter Biden at NYC’s Hustler Club. Well, what else ya gonna do with $50k a month of protection money from a Ukrainian gas company, and if ya can't trust a stripper to keep a secret, who can you trust?
“He was a pretty nice guy,” one source said.
“He was pretty friendly and a pretty good tipper.”
Merry Christmas from Sundance as Chairman Nadler Sends White House and Republicans More Deadlines for Fast-track December Impeachment Effort…
Candidate Trump was framed for stealing a horse; President Trump was subsequently accused of trying too hard to avoid hanging for it. Prosecutor Mueller eventually conceded that Trump didn’t steal the horse; however, by then the focus was on Trump’s efforts to avoid the hanging. Eventually Mueller testified; it surfaced there was never a horse to begin with… Impeachment was stalled. Prosecutor Jerry Nadler is attempting to resurrect a legal theory that President Trump can still be hung for attempting to avoid the hanging, even if there was no horse theft. Yup, that’s were we’re at.
From Twitchy, Time to PANIC! Byron York lays out why Schiff, Pelosi, and Democrats are REALLY rushing to impeach and it ain’t good (for them)

News Busters, CNN's Chris Cillizza Blames Thanksgiving, Christmas For Bad Impeachment Polls. Normal people leading normal lives don't care about Ukraine.

Twitchy, ‘Sale not made’: Byron York spells out how the impeachment circus is backfiring on ringleader Schiff & the Dems in a BIG way
Theory: Before hearings, public heard Democratic/media impeachment narrative. Trump abused power, engaged in quid pro quo/extortion/bribery, endangered national security. Support for impeachment grew. 1/3

Then hearings showed what impeachment was actually *about.* Significant part of public went: Huh? Support for impeachment began to trail off. 2/3

In other words, impeachment hearings had exactly opposite effect from Democratic hopes. They wanted compelling TV show to dramatize Trump wrongdoing. Instead, got insanely complicated bureaucratic tale, mostly about Ukraine. Sale not made. 3/3 End.
Althouse notices ABC noticing "Trump impeachment drive has similarities to Wisconsin recall."
ABC News is just noticing. A previous attempt at a coupe by lawfare.

Evan Thomas at WaPoo whines, When his party rebelled, Nixon went quietly. Trump probably won’t. And just what makes them think his party will rebel? Newsweek, 53% OF REPUBLICANS THINK TRUMP IS BETTER PRESIDENT THAN LINCOLN

Rule 5 Saturday - Hecho en Mexico - Ana de la Reguera

My introduction to Miss Reguera came by way of the Amazon Prime Video series Goliath, in which she plays the charismatic and corrupt Los Angeles Hispanic politician Maris de Silva in  and also, briefly, the love interest of the gin soaked barrister protagonist, Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton.

I had been preparing to do a Rule 5 post on the Girls of Goliath, but in doing my "research" I quickly discovered that Ana was worthy of her own post.
Anabell Gardoqui "Ana" de la Reguera (Spanish pronunciation: born April 8, 1977) is a Mexicanactress who has starred in telenovelas, films, the HBO television series Eastbound & Down and Capadocia, and the Amazon television series Goliath.

Reguera was born in Veracruz, Mexico. Her mother, Nena de la Reguera, was a Miss Veracruz who became a journalist and television personality.  Reguera began taking classes in classic ballet and later began performance arts studies at Instituto Veracruzano de la Cultura. She left Veracruz to study at Televisa's CEA, and later studied with Juan Carlos Corazza in Spain and then in Los Angeles with Aaron Spicer, Lisa Robertson and Joan Scheckel.

On September 2010, Ana De La Reguera founded VeraCruzANA, a civil association. VeraCruzANA supports the underprivileged community in Veracruz, Mexico. It seeks to generate employment by promoting projects and programs that contribute to the development of community.

On 2017, Ana De La Reguera took the roll of President CEO of ONE Children's Foundation a 501 C3 non-profit organization that was founded by Claudia Pinto in the city of Los Angeles which gave birth to Los Angeles en Mexico which is a movement created by her self, Karla Souza, Kate del Castillo and Olga Segura, after the earthquake that hit Mexico on September 19, 2017. 
Some NSFW work from her past.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and links. The Wombat has Rule 5 Tuesday: D.C. Fontana and FMJRA 2.0: Neuronengesang up at the Other McCain.

Friday, November 29, 2019

London Not Attacked by Belgian Militants

UPDATE: Sources Say Suspect in London Knife Attack Is NOT From Belgium UPDATE II: Male Violence in Netherlands
All day long, Fox News was reporting the knife attack on London Bridge in which a man reportedly stabbed five people, two of them fatally. And yet authorities in England will say nothing about the identity of the suspect or the motive behind what is plainly an act of terrorism.

Probably another Belgian extremist, I’d guess . . .

UPDATE: What? You’re telling me the suspect is not Belgian?
The knife attacker shot dead on London Bridge was known to police and had connections to terror groups, a security source said.
The attacker had links to Islamist terror groups, the security source added.
The knife-wielding terrorist, who was wearing a fake suicide vest and has not been named, was killed on London Bridge on Friday afternoon in full view of horrified onlookers.
The attacker was a convicted terrorist who had served time in prison and was wearing an electronic tag, according to The Times newspaper. The paper added he was attending a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation being held at Fishmongers’ Hall and ‘threatened to blow up’ the building. . . .
[The Times quoted] unnamed Whitehall sources as saying the attacker had been released from prison around a year ago after serving time for a ‘terrorism-related offence’, and had agreed to wear an electronic tag.
My apologies to our Belgian readers for the earlier mistake.

A Skunk By Any Other Name

Still stinks as Anthropogenic Climate Change activists consider yet another name change. Breitbart, Alarmists Propose Rebranding ‘Climate Change’ for Greater Shock Value
Climate change alarmists are pushing for a change in vocabulary to scare people into taking global warming more seriously, starting with terms like “global meltdown” and “climate collapse.”

Writing for AdAge this week, Aaron Hall argues that in order to get people to “take action” against climate change, “rebranding” is crucial, since people have gotten too used to the idea that climate is changing and need to be shocked into the notion that the world as we know it is ending.

“Is there a better way to convey the urgency of the situation, while also encouraging folks to take action? Could the tools of branding and brand naming create a more resonant, powerful name?” Mr. Hall asks.

What he and his marketing team came up with was a series of much more frightening labels to stick on climate change in the hope of jolting people into meaningful engagement.

The terms “Global Meltdown” or “Global Melting,” for instance, deliver a more negative image than mere “Global Warming,” he contends. “The names signal that ice caps are melting, but also create a more visceral image in the mind — that real feeling of ‘melting’ when it’s too hot outside. A meltdown is a disastrous event that draws from the ultimate terror of a nuclear meltdown, an apt metaphor for global destruction.”

“Climate Collapse” and “Climate Chaos,” on the other hand, “instill a clear message or even a direct call to action,” Hall notes, adding that “there’s nothing neutral about collapse or chaos.”

To up the rhetoric even more, Hall proposes the weaponized term “Scorched Earth.”

“Sometimes a brand name needs to be hyperbolic to truly capture hearts and minds. If we don’t take massive action now, Earth will be uninhabitable — an irreversible barren wasteland,” he insists. “‘Scorched Earth’ paints the direst picture of what’s to come and what we must avoid and is likely the edgiest brand name from our exploration.”

“Whatever we call it, impending climate doom is upon us if we don’t act quickly,” Hall concludes. “Perhaps a new name will shift the needle, even if just a little.”

Mr. Hall’s contention that it does not matter if what is said is true as long as it elicits the necessary response is reminiscent of similar assertions by leaders of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement.
You might also read  Moral grandstanding is making an argument just to boost your status. It’s everywhere at Vox.

Thanksgiving Beach Walk

Cool and breezy here, with "blow out" tides caused by strong north east winds. This picture was from our beach walk yesterday, but today was almost identical, without the puffy clouds, a little cooler and a little less wind


Fossil hunting was poor despite the low tide, but Skye didn't care, as there were a few people to give her some attention.

Post Turkey Coma Russiagate

While most of us wallowed under the influence of turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, and pie, a few die hard labored in the click mines to bring us fresh, or at least rewarmed Russiagate. Sundance at CTH struggled to remember that it's been 200 Days – Where Are Rosenstein’s Scope Memos to Robert Mueller? – Or is One Impeachment a Small Price to Pay to Preserve the Institutions?……. It's a good question. Obviously Bill Barr is not in a hurry.
Today former DAG Rod Rosenstein sends an openly coded-message to AG Bill Barr, requesting that Barr stick with him and not highlight the extent of the DOJ and FBI corruption for the sake of their institutions.
This should be amusing, or infuriating, or both; according to Chuck Ross at Da Caller, DOJ Report Will Describe ‘Spygate’ Professor Stefan Halper’s Contacts With Trump Campaign Advisers: Report
Halper paid Papadopoulos $3,000 under the auspices of writing a research paper about energy issues in the Mediterranean Sea. Papadopoulos said he grew suspicious of Halper and Turk during their London meetings because they asked random questions about Russia’s cyber activities during the campaign.
But don't you dare call it spying. From Breitbart, Jason Chaffetz says of the  NYT Pre-Spinning of Inspector General Report ‘True to Script’ for Democrats
“By its very definition, a FISA application is a warrant to spy on somebody,” Chaffetz said. “This person, Carter Page, happened to be on the Trump campaign. So, the mere fact that they’re trying to discredit that says a lot about the weakness of their case and their allegations.”

“But, the reality is this happened and the Inspector General— this will be his fifth report that he’s come out with regarding the FBI at the highest echelons. And, let’s also remember: they didn’t spend 18 months working on this to say, ‘Hey, everything went swimmingly at the Department of Justice,'” Chaffetz added.
George NeuMayr at AmSpec,  The Media Sanitizes Spygate Again "Spying isn’t spying if liberals do it, we’re told."
The unstated premise of such hair-splitting coverage is that spying isn’t spying if “well-intentioned” liberals do it. But could you imagine the furor the media would have expressed if the Bush administration had tried to entrap Obama aides using such low means? Republicans would have never heard the end of it.

The Inspector General’s report, no matter how feckless, will support Trump’s major contentions. Trump said that Obama spied on his campaign; he did. Trump said that Trump Tower was wiretapped; it was. (The FBI took out FISA warrants on four members of the campaign, which gave the FBI the power to reach into Trump Tower and intercept communications.) Trump said that bias colored the investigation; it did. (The IG report, as even the Times acknowledges, will say that a Trump-hating lawyer in the FBI, Kevin Clinesmith, altered a document during the FISA application process and will detail many other screw-ups.)

True, the Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, is an overly cautious creature of official Washington and will no doubt pull his punches. But just because he is afraid to reach certain conclusions about Spygate doesn’t mean they are untrue. It is also important to remember that Horowitz’s investigative powers were limited.
Angelo Codevilla at AmGreat, FBI Diagnosed With CIA Disease, "An inspector general’s report underscores how the FBI departed from its tradition of professionalism and honesty in pursuit of domestic political influence. " The FBI's tradition is to be a political tool, sadly. But read it anyway.

And at AmThink, Media Hypes Fusion GPS Founders as Victims. The Fusion GPS boys and girls are just media types who decided it was more honest to do their partisan dirty work on a per piece basis rather than a newspaperman's declining salaries. Of course the media covers for them.

At Da Wire, Ashe Schow calls The Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Gordon Sondland  Extremely Dubious
Sondland had previously undergone a public confirmation hearing to become an ambassador, yet none of these allegations surfaced at that time. It is only now, when Sondland is involved in the impeachment hearings, that these women have come forward – and each have an ulterior motive for doing so.

Further, the media outlets that worked together to report the women’s allegations – ProPublica and Portland Monthly – acted irresponsibly and unethically during the reporting process, and are expected to face a defamation lawsuit from Sondland. In a letter from Sondland’s attorney, Jim McDermott, the ambassador denied the allegations and explained that each woman had a motive to malign Sondland. “Notably, what each of these three women share in common is that they pursued Ambassador Sondland for financial and personal gain — an investment, a job, and insurance brokerage work — and he declined their proposals,” McDermott wrote.
Paul Bedford at AmGreat goes on about Fiona Hill’s Un-American Idea of America. Why unelected bureaucrats are not put in charge of foreign policy.
Most of the “damning” testimony at the hearings focused on how awful it was that Trump delayed funding to Ukraine and how he criticized Yovanovitch. It was lost on these witnesses that they are supposed to serve our elected representatives and not serve themselves. Their foreign policy agenda was rejected when Americans elected Donald Trump.
And it may have escaped your notice while the turkey cooked, but the McGahn House Subpoena Suddenly On Hold… Again, from Jazz Shaw at Hot Air.
Keep in mind what the Judiciary Committee actually wanted to talk to McGahn about. This fight is a holdover from the Russia, Russia, Russia investigation. Democrats on the committee want to question the former counsel to determine if he knows any secrets that could implicate the President in an attempt to obstruct the investigation.

Wait… weren’t we supposed to be done with all of the Russia stuff now, having moved on to the high crime or misdemeanor of Trump placing a phone call to the Ukranian president? Well, perhaps the Democrats are looking for a two-for-one deal.
Josh Hammer at DaWire has an ongoing piece on Impeachment Wire: The Latest On The Effort To Impeach President Trump
One alluring alternative line of impeachment defense argumentation, that I presented this week at both The Daily Wire and the New York Post, is to argue that Trump’s conduct on the phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart amounts to constitutionally protected free speech. Let the Democrats fall on the sword of impeaching over the president’s deployment of constitutionally protected speech to achieve his desired foreign policy ends. As I wrote: “How on earth can the president of the United States be impeached for engaging in constitutionally protected speech? How on earth can the president’s deployment of constitutionally protected speech, in the context of foreign policy, amount to [a deed] that merits impeachment less than one year away from a presidential election? Has everyone in our politics who has engaged in a quid pro quo committed an offense that requires removal from office? If so, can we even have a functioning political system in the first instance?”
Perfesser Jacobsen at LI, Impeachment: “Democrats are like the dog chasing the car and they found it and they don’t know what to do with it”



Fletch Daniels at AmThink, Democrats Ponder Impeachment Pivot. They keep spinning, hoping to throw off something that will work. But their best shots have been misses.
I knew that Democrats were in deep trouble when my teenage daughter asked me to explain the current impeachment effort at the dinner table. She ended the conversation with this: "This is so dumb."
People see it for what it is; a transparent attempt to get the President with any available tool. At AmGreat, Andy Fillat, Impeachment Makes the Best Case to Unseat Dems "The debacle in the House has laid bare the shortcomings and self-interest of the Democratic Left. The 2020 election offers an opportunity to begin a repudiation of their behavior." That would be great, but don't get your hopes too high; there are an awful lot of low information voters out there.

Also at AmGreat, Ken Masugi discusses Who Will Terminate the Would-Be Terminators? "In both the impeachment inquiry and the investigation of President Trump’s tax records, House Democrats are using unconstitutional means toward anti-democratic ends. SCOTUS announced yesterday that it was reviewing the Trump tax return case. Ken Masugi discusses."
I quote from Judge Neomi Rao’s sharp, historical distinction between the House’s legislative powers and its impeachment powers from her October 11 dissent: “Investigations of impeachable offenses simply are not, and never have been, within Congress’s legislative power . . . . Allowing the Committee to issue this subpoena [of Trump’s tax returns] for legislative purposes would turn Congress into a roving inquisition over a co-equal branch of government.”
What would really decide it would be if the Senate decided to demand RBG's tax records, just because it could.

Jazz Shaw claims Hunter Biden’s “Stripper Baby Mama” Isn’t A Political Story. Burisma Is. But would the media overlook a similar scandal involving the Trump kids? I rest my case.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and links and at The Daley Gator in Links to go with your Thanksgiving Leftovers.

Fish Pic Friday

Basic edition. Random girls with random fish


The Wombat has Rule 5 Tuesday: D.C. Fontana up at the Other McCain.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

And Punkin Pie!


The Wombat has Rule 5 Tuesday: D.C. Fontana up at the Other McCain.

The Turkey's Done!


The Wombat has Rule 5 Tuesday: D.C. Fontanaup at the Other McCain.

Time to Put the Turkey In!

Says Darcizzle - "This is gross!"
The Wombat has Rule 5 Tuesday: D.C. Fontana up at the Other McCain.

A Serving of Russiagate

A rather meaty set before the Thanksgiving feast. First up, continued noise about the New York Times continuing effort to downplay and dismiss the upcoming report on the DOJ IG Horowitz' report into the origins of the Russia probe. Per AllahPundit, at Hot Air, NYT: Draft IG Report On Russiagate Finds That FBI Didn’t Spy On Trump’s Campaign
The F.B.I. was cognizant of being seen as interfering with a presidential campaign, and former law enforcement officials are adamant that they did not investigate the Trump campaign organization itself or target it for infiltration. But agents had to investigate the four advisers’ ties with Russia, and the people they did scrutinize all played roles in the Trump campaign…
Mr. Horowitz found no evidence that Mr. Halper tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign itself, the people familiar with the draft report said, such as by seeking inside campaign information or a role in the organization. The F.B.I. also never directed him to do so, former officials said. Instead, Mr. Halper focused on eliciting information from Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos about their ties to Russia.
Mr. Barr has suggested that the F.B.I. assigned other informants as well to figure out whether any Trump associates were working with the Russians. The F.B.I. gave Mr. Horowitz’s team extraordinary access to its informant database, and his investigators examined other F.B.I. informants with possible ties to the Trump campaign.
In each case, they found that the F.B.I. had not deployed those people to gather information on the Trump campaign itself, the people said.
If I’m understanding that correctly, the informants merely attempted to find out what Papadopoulos and Page were doing with the Russians individually, with no probing or prodding about whether they were part of a coordinated campaign effort to seek election assistance from Russia.

Which is hard to believe. The FBI suspected that multiple advisors to a particular candidate had been approached by the Kremlin — quite a coinkydink — but it steadfastly refused to pursue the possibility that the campaign itself, i.e. Trump and his top personnel, was directing them?
Matt Vespa at Town Hall calls The Latest NYT Spin of DOJ IG Report on Alleged Obama-Era FISA Abuses Is Downright Pathetic
Right, the liberal New York Times has declared there was no bias and no spying concerning the upcoming inspector general report into alleged FISA abuses under the Obama administration. If you think this is true, then words have lost all meaning. We’re debating distinctions without differences here—and even the Times’ own reporting on this saga seems to suggest that, yes, the FBI tried to spy on the Trump campaign. You can’t polish a turd and the liberal media has been so appallingly bad covering this White House, you simply should just their pages to wipe your backside. It has more utility in that regard. We don’t believe you, folks. I sure as hell don’t, even though I admit that this paper has, at times, written some great stuff. Hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut, but this spin is trash. The FBI didn’t spy. They just sent informants to covertly glean information from those who were with the Trump campaign and relaying said information back to the FBI. Sounds like a distinction without a difference, huh?
Sundance at CTH is holding out hope as he deconstructs the Time's language in More IG Report Leaks – New York Times Reports FBI “Spies” Placed In/Around Trump Campaign Were Not Spying “On” Trump Campaign…
One note before content review: The highly structured obfuscation within how these leaks are being released, in combination with the lawyers representing the principals, explains why there was such a lengthy delay after the principal review phase.

Each principal can provide feedback for inclusion in the report; however, all feedback added to the report generates an IG rebuttal. Keep this in mind because these leaks are the “feedback” and the leakers have no idea what the IG “rebuttal” will be. The more the principals’ obfuscate and justify conduct to the IG in their feedback, the stronger the rebuttal to that feedback will be in the final report.

The New York Times latest narrative effort is intentionally obtuse with the word “spy”:
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia’s election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general’s report said.
[…] The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I. officials spied on the Trump campaign but also at one point that former President Barack Obama had ordered Mr. Trump’s phones tapped.
[…] [FBI] agents had an informant, an academic named Stefan A. Halper, meet with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos while they were affiliated with the campaign.
[…] The F.B.I. did have an undercover agent who posed as Mr. Halper’s assistant during a London meeting with Mr. Papadopoulos in August 2016.
But that’s not spying? OK gotcha.
[…] Mr. Horowitz will also undercut another claim by Trump allies — that the Russian intermediary who promised dirt to Mr. Papadopoulos, a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud, was an F.B.I. informant.
This obfuscation is really silly. No-one has ever claimed Mifsud was an FBI informant. The concern has always been Mifsud was a western intelligence asset, perhaps CIA.
[…] The report is also expected to debunk another theory of Trump allies: that the F.B.I. relied on information to open the investigation from a British former spy, Christopher Steele, himself a onetime bureau informant who compiled a dossier of damaging, unverified information on Mr. Trump.
Another paragraph of nonsense. No-one has alleged the Steele Dossier was used to open the FBI investigation in July 2016. The technical origination of the FBI investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane came from the joint FBI/CIA operation into Papadopoulos on July 31st, 2016. The questions have always been about what predicate the pre-July ’16 originating investigations into Papadopoulos, Page, Flynn and Manafort were based on.

What was the evidence of Russia’s interference in the election, known to the FBI, before July 2016? And what was the evidence that connected the Trump campaign to that predicate claim?
[…] The inspector general will fault the F.B.I. for failing to tell the judges who approved the wiretap applications about potential problems with the dossier, the people familiar with the draft report said. F.B.I. agents have interviewed some of Mr. Steele’s sources and found that their information differed somewhat from his dossier.
Mr. Horowitz plans to say that the wiretap application, which referenced Mr. Papadopoulos, should have also included a statement he made to the undercover agent in London that could be seen as exculpatory or self-serving, the people familiar with the draft report said. (read full article)
A ‘wired’ FBI “undercover agent” recorded an exculpatory statement from Papadopoulos, but no – they weren’t spying? OK gotcha…. Oh, and the FBI just avoided the transcript of the ‘wired’ statement because it just didn’t fit their purposes. But not political? Uh-huh.

If this is the type of feedback the principals gave the IG to justify their endeavors, the rebuttal evidence will be even more interesting.
But Paul Sperry at RCI warns against trusting Horowitz to do a thorough and complete investigation in 'Straight Shooter' Justice Dept. Watchdog Has Held His Fire on Powerful People
While acknowledging that Horowitz is widely respected, these critics say his work has long been hampered by biases, conflicts and a tendency to play favorites, as in past probes of former FBI Director James Comey, whom Horowitz worked under in New York.

Their main complaint is that he pulls his punches.
Among other things, it turns out that he and his wife were Obama donors. Oh well, there's always the Durham prosecutions, Emmett Tyrell at AmSpec, Washington Awaits John Durham "Unlike Inspector General Michael Horowitz, he’s a prosecutor."
“Now what you’re going to see, I predict, will be perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of our country,” said the president of the coming revelations from John Durham. Let us hope he is right. Spygate dwarfs Watergate in seriousness. After all, the Obama administration was caught not in a third-rate burglary but in a high-level scheme to weaponize both domestic and foreign intelligence instruments against a political opponent. For over two years I have been predicting the Justice Department would find evidence of FBI and CIA agents working together to spy on Trump operatives. The Durham investigation will bear this out. The media, of course, will try to pit Horowitz against Durham. Do not fall for it.
Sara Carter "Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree" - FISA Alterations Could Pose Significant Trouble For FBI
Key Points
  • FBI officials concerned that FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith’s tampered and altered documents to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Warrant will put into question all the evidence gathered to obtain the warrant.
  • Horowitz referred Clinesmith to DOJ Prosecutor John Durham appointed by Attorney General William Barr for further investigation.
  • Other FBI officials will be wrapped up into Clinesmith’s warrant tampering. Who approved the warrants?
  • Criminal Defense Attorney David Schoen says FBI failed to make immediate correction of any materially false statement or any material omission. “Clearly no such correcting submission was made here.”
  • FBI Lawyer Kevin Clinesmith led the interview on George Papadopolous in February, 2017.
  • Clinesmith was anti-Trump and removed from the Russia investigation.
EPoch Times, Court Filing: Obama Holdover Heading Office Under Investigation for ‘Illegally Leaked’ Classified Document. James Baker, former director of the Office of Net Assessment at the Department of Defense, is thought to have leaked the Flynn transcripts to his buddy, David Ignatius at WaPoo. That's a felony. Oh, he also retaliated against a whistleblower. Larry Elder, Where Was the Love for Whistleblowers During the Obama Administration?

As requested by both the defense and the offense, Judge once again delays Trump ex-national security advisor Michael Flynn’s sentencing until further notice (the Peacock). Margot Cleveland at Da Fed explores Why Federal Prosecutors Now Want To Delay Michael Flynn’s Sentencing
Powell thought the government had no other option, though, telling The Federalist, “This is the government’s only option—short of dismissing the case on its own or producing all the evidence we requested.” Flynn’s attorney also looks forward to the extra time they need to process the IG report and the facts it likely will contain to assist the defense, assuming Judge Sullivan grants the motion.

“We expect it to include evidence of additional Brady violations,” Powell said. “We shall see.”
John Solomon keeps plugging along, Steele distributed other dossier reports, including one to an oligarch’s lawyer. Steele was a UK government bureaucrat/spy past his expiration date, who kept churning out nonsense to sell.

And Molly Hemmingway is on the Nunes matter, Media’s Latest Anti-Nunes Smear Is Michael-Cohen-In-Prague All Over Again
Incidentally, if there is one thing we have learned from the media in the last couple of months, “get dirt” is their code for Republicans doing investigations. “Investigate” is their code for Democrats trying to get dirt on political opponents. It appears the same term could be used regardless of the political views of those doing the investigations.

In any case, the Resistance theory goes that because of this unverified story, they should get dirt on Nunes should be investigated and removed from his role in impeachment proceedings. It is just coincidence, surely, that Nunes has so effectively neutered the Democrats’ impeachment push by pointing out the flaws with Rep. Adam Schiff’s leadership of the proceedings. It is also coincidence that Nunes is chiefly responsible for blowing up the previous impeachment push through his oversight of the agencies that pushed the Russia collusion theory against President Trump.

It should be noted that the story about Nunes is not just objectively stupid but also extremely likely to be false. For one thing, Nunes denied the claims. “These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by The Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth,” he said.

Shokin has also denied it repeatedly, even claiming through an associate to not even know who Nunes is. The denials are hidden in news stories, such as this one, which puts in a throwaway line deep in the piece. Ukrainian American Lev Parnas, the only source used by CNN and other Resistance Media outlets to make their claims, is extremely compromised.
. . .
Media figures should stop being so utterly deranged and stupid about Nunes. They should follow basic journalistic standards, stop repeating false claims, and stop regurgitating dubious information from compromised sources.
Breitbart, OMB Official: Ukraine Aid Held Up Because Other Countries Weren’t Giving. WaEx, Report: Trump knew about whistleblower complaint before releasing aid to Ukraine. This is being touted as evidence for a guilty mind.
A Tuesday report from the New York Times calls into question whether Trump released the aid to Ukraine because he was worried about the complaint or because his administration was reasonably assured by that point that Ukraine’s government would not waste the U.S. aid.
John Sexton Hot Air, All of a sudden, Three Women Accuse Gordon Sondland Of Inappropriate Behavior. Breitbart, Three Women Accuse Gordon Sondland of Sexual Misconduct. I question the timing, as does Ann Althouse, in "These untrue claims of unwanted touching and kissing are concocted and, I believe, coordinated for political purposes. They have no basis in fact, and I categorically deny them."
Why are these stories coming out now rather than earlier, when Sondland first appeared on the scene and seemed to be offering important anti-Trump testimony? If this is not a "concocted" or at least "coordinated" attack done for "political purposes," then why were these complaints withheld until after it appeared that Sondland helped Trump?

Trying to tear Sondland down this way — at this time — has the effect of bolstering the pro-Trump aspects of his testimony. It makes one think that Sondland's testimony was very damaging to the case for impeachment (that's why there's scrambling to discredit him and to warn others away from helping Trump). Moreover, it might — for some observers — reinforce the belief that the impeachment drive has been unfair — procedurally irregular and aggressive, a witch hunt.

I have no opinion on whether what the women are saying is true. I'm just talking about the timing and the politicalization of accusations of sexual misconduct.
At Da Wire, Mark Levin Goes Off Over Key Witness Not Called To Testify In Impeachment Hearings It's gonna have to wait for the Senate trial, if there is one.

The Stamford Advocate, Giuliani was in talks to be paid by Ukraine's top prosecutor as they together sought damaging information on Democrats. Maybe. So what? Defense lawyers are going to try to gather data to help their client. Getting paid to do so is a bonus.

Hunter does Dallas. Hunter Biden, the gift that keeps giving Hunter Biden’s Alleged Baby Mama Worked At DC Strip Club Under Stage Name ‘Dallas’: Report

Josh Hammer, NYPo, Why Trump’s Ukraine demands weren’t remotely illegal
The “no quid pro quo” clash amounts to a semantic debate over a phone call transcript. And it is largely unpersuasive, on its own terms, and especially to the president’s haters.

Instead, there is a more intellectually compelling and politically potent line of argument that Trump and his defenders ought to adopt — free speech.
. . .
To treat such cajoling as a high crime — and impeachable if the US president does it — would render governing impossible.

How can the duly elected president of the United States be removed from office for engaging in constitutionally protected speech aimed at getting a foreign leader to investigate corruption and past election meddling?
At PJ Media, Victor Davis Hanson asks Are Thought Crimes Impeachable? Only for Republicans.

Sundance, HJC Chairman Nadler Attempts to Reframe “Impeachment Inquiry” With “Groundwork Hearing” – Before Receiving Impeachment Inquiry Report – Violating Their Own Resolution Process…. Rules? We don't need no stinking rules. If we don't find the ones we have convenient, we make up new ones. Allah Pundit weeps at Report: Trump’s Lawyers Might Decline Nadler’s Invite To Examine Witnesses At Impeachment Hearing. "Bonchie" at Red State, Democrat Senators Find Something New to Go After Trump Over. What, the long tie? Nope, it's the military pardons. "Long story short, Trump can pardon whoever he wants for whatever reason he wants. Period." At Breitbart, Rep. Cohen: We Can Impeach Trump Again. It's probably better for the country than whatever legislation you might try to pass instead.

WaEx, Support for impeachment drops after second week of hearings, but Politico thinks Dems see one last chance to boost public support for impeachment "with a slate of hearings in the House Judiciary Committee beginning next week."

W. Joseph Campbell at Media Myth Alert notices how Impeachment hearings prompt media references to heroic-journalist myth of Watergate. They're always quick to toot their own horn.

Finally Amanda Marcotte at Salon whines Final, final Republican defense strategy for Trump: Don the tinfoil, join the conspiracy "How can we expect Republicans to judge Donald Trump fairly? At this point, nearly all of them are in on the crime." Bwahahahahahaha!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Linked at Pirate's Cove in a Thanksgiving special If All You See… The Wombat has Rule 5 Tuesday: D.C. Fontana up at the Other McCain.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Extra Wet Year Affects Bay

Bay health impacted by record flows - Largest amount of fresh water to enter the Chesapeake Bay since 1937

In 2019, more fresh water flowed into the Chesapeake Bay than it has in any of the past 82 years. The average freshwater streamflow into the Bay over the past year was 130,750 cubic feet per second—the highest since data collection began in 1937. To put this into perspective, 130,750 cubic feet is about 978,077 gallons. In comparison, an average Olympic-sized swimming pool holds approximately 660,253 gallons of water. That’s more than one pool entering the Bay every second!

These historic flows, which followed the record-breaking rainfall seen in 2018, caused Bay-wide changes in salinity. The extreme rainfall also washed nutrient and sediment pollution into the Bay, which depleted dissolved oxygen that aquatic species depend on for survival, and dramatically impacted the Bay’s underwater grass habitat and other living resources.

Hmm. That's interesting, since 2009 until now, 20 year, we've had 5 years below normal and 5 years above. Sound's like things are going on about normal.
However, the extreme amounts of rain that led to these heavy flows of freshwater between 2018 and 2019 dramatically impacted salinity levels throughout the entire Bay. Beginning in May 2018, salinity levels in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay were below-average, a situation which persisted for 17 consecutive months. A record-low level of salinity was observed in February 2019 in this area, and the months that followed continued to hover near record-low levels.

As of October 2019, waters in the lower Bay have returned to their normal salinity levels. However, the months of high flows has dramatically impacted plant and animal life in these regions. This has impacted the habitat for spawning fish, the distribution of underwater grasses and oysters, and increased the presence of Dermo and MSX, which are oyster-killing parasites.
Some effects:
After a promising year, underwater grasses have taken a step back . . .

Oysters restoration heavily impaired in upper Bay . . .

Blue crab populations are improving . . .

Invasive species are taking advantage of increased freshwater flows . . .

Dead zones continue to grow . . .
Which, other than crabs improving, are all sort of what you'd expect from an exceptionally wet year.  One of these years soon, we'll have a drought, and then they'll be complaining about all the bad things droughts cause, too

Stick That Where the Sun Don't (Usually) Shine!

Sunbathe Your Asshole, for Wellness. Umm, no thanks
Last night, while engaging in my favorite evening activity—procrastinating and feeling morally superior on Twitter—I stumbled upon a viral tweet that read, “People out here butt-chugging sunlight,” and included a screenshot of the above Instagram image. In it, a woman who goes by the name Metaphysical Meagan and possesses a little less than 6,000 followers (she’s 4,000 shy of the microinfluencer title), is seen posing nude. Her legs are extended far above her torso, as if she were about to strap them into the most painful lithotomy stirrups at an OB-GYN appointment in hell. She is doing this, according to her caption, as a part of some process called “perineum sunning.” She’s quite literally sunbathing her asshole, for wellness. You know, the vibes, man.

In the post, she explains that “30 seconds of sunlight on your butthole is the equivalent of a full day of sunlight with your clothes on,” and that it is “an ancient Taoist practice that’s been around for a while!” (Yes, because that is what “ancient” means.) A few weeks after her initial post, presumably because more and more people went to her page to comment after finding various jokes about it online, Metaphysical Meagan posted the photo on Instagram for a second time, now with an outrageously long caption meant to correct any misinformation. She explains that suntanning your asshole is meant to promote the “health & longevity of the physical body,” increase “creativity and creative output” and aid “in a healthy libido & balanced sexual energy.” It is definitely “NOT TO TAN YOUR BUTTHOLE‼️‼️” Also, “sunscreen is not required.”

I think I would very much enjoy taking shrooms with this woman at Joshua Tree.
OK, so it's not the silliest thing the new agers have ever come up with, but it's got be in the top ten.

UPDATE: 'Perineum sunning' leaves Josh Brolin 'crazy burned' as doctors warn against viral wellness trend. What an ass!

The Wombat has Rule 5 Tuesday: D.C. Fontana up at the Other McCain.

Russiagate Rondo

Coming up with a unique title for this things is often the toughest part. . . .
Rondo and its French part-equivalent, rondeau, are words that have been used in music in a number of ways, most often in reference to a musical form but also to a character type that is distinct from the form.

Despite the common etymological root, rondo and rondeau are essentially different as musical forms. Rondeau is a vocal musical form that was typically developed as of the 13th century (as monophonic music) and as of the 14th century (as polyphonic music), although both of them nearly disappeared from the repertoire by the beginning of the 16th century onward. Rondo, on the other hand, is an instrumental musical form developed typically as of the 17th century. 
Sundance at CTH reports another delay in the Flynn case, requested by both the defense and the offense, pending the publication of IG Horowitz' report: Interesting Development – DOJ Requests Delay in Flynn Case Until After Publication of IG Report… Hmm, somebody knows something ...
A curiously interesting development in the DOJ case against Michael Flynn. Judge Emmet Sullivan is weighing the merits of the Flynn defense Motion to Compel (MTC), which requests a significant amount of information on DOJ/FBI conduct in the lead-up to Flynn’s prosecution. A decision and court briefing was anticipated soon.

However, today the DOJ files a joint motion with the defense asking Judge Sullivan to suspend scheduled briefing dates and sentencing deadlines until after the DOJ inspector general report is published on December 9th. The implication is that some of the “Brady” material at issue; or tangential issues that touch upon the material; may be outlined in the upcoming IG report.
Also at WaPoo. From the Gateway Pundit,  BREAKING: FBI Lawyer Who Altered FISA Docs and His Lover Worked for Current ICIG Who Edited IC WhistleBlower Form to Legitimize Schiff Sham. Funny how connections between same small group keeps showing up. It's almost like a conspiracy, or something. David Goldman, aka Spengler, reviews Andy McCarthy's book. A National Nightmare: Andrew McCarthy Exposes the Plot Against the President, available here, with a little gratuity to me.

Margot Cleveland at Da Fed listens to Glenn Simpson so you don't have to, New Fusion GPS Info Confirms The Special Counsel Probe Was A Hit Job
Given that “one of the most knowledgeable experts on Russia in the world today” got these facts (and others) wrong, the question remains: Why? Was Steele pushing a disinformation campaign on behalf of Hillary Clinton in his dossier? Or was Steele “played” by the Russians, as Hill thought?

It’s hard to know. But you know who should have found out? Robert Mueller!

Yet, as I wrote shortly after the release of the special council’s report: “Even though Mueller was authorized, as he put it in the special counsel report, to investigate ‘the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,’ the report is silent of efforts to investigate Russia’s role in feeding Steele misinformation.”
However, investigating that would have led back to several members of the Mueller team (Weissman, Strzok, Clinesmith) and they couldn't have that. Althouse catches the New Yorker also pushing Steele Dossier truth theory despite all evidence that it was a manufactured political hit job in "Simpson and Fritsch acknowledge that several of Steele’s most sensational allegations remain unproven and that others were almost surely wrong... [but] 'a spy whose sources get it 70 percent right is considered to be one of the best'...". As usual the best is in the comments.

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air reports on SCOTUS Blocks House Subpoena Of Trump Financial Records. Should be an easy call since now, per Roberts, they're allowed to consider motives. Sundance, Supreme Court Maintains Stay Blocking House Democrats From Trump Taxes – Pending Writ of Certiorari… 
There was more testimony in the House, this time from Mark Sandy, an OMB official, who according to WaPoo, reported Two OMB officials resigned in part over concerns about Ukraine aid hold, official testifies. Two down, ten thousand or so to go. All CNN got out of it was Trump administration officially put hold on Ukraine aid same day as Trump call. Apparently the transcript was held a while, Da Caller, Democrats Release More Transcripts Just As Thanksgiving Holiday Begins  Rep. Zeldin: Here’s Why ‘Adam in Wonderland’ Won’t Release Mark Sandy Transcript (Elizabeth Vaughn at Red State). At Da Wire, Impeachment Witness Deposition Reveals Why They Were Told To Hold Ukraine Aid Beth Bauman at Town Hall explains why Mark Sandy's Testimony Was Just Released and Shows Why Ukrainian Aid Was Held
Q: Okay. At any point in time, from the moment that you walked into the SCIF to anytime in history, has Mr. Duffey even provided to you a reason why the President wanted to place a hold on security assistance?

A: I recall in early September an email that attributed the hold to the President's concern about other countries not contributing more to Ukraine.
The Bidens don't get a free pass says Jeff Landry at WaEx. A pretty good Breitbart podcast on the corruption of the Biden family. It's long, but worth it.


Dan Bobinski at Uncover DC, Impeachment Motivations Part 1 – the Schiff-Ukraine Connection
In my digging for Schiff and Pelosi connections to Ukraine, I came across some interesting circumstantial evidence, which I’ll get to in a minute. All this searching is an attempt to answer the nagging question, “What kind of kickbacks or favors are Pelosi and Schiff (and others) getting from Ukrainian connections?” The evidence started to pile up so much that I need to present it in two parts. Here in Part 1 I’ll cover some of the circumstantial evidence surrounding Adam Schiff’s Ukrainian ties. In Part 2, I’ll look at some of Pelosi’s connections, and also some strong evidence of Democratic malfeasance regarding what’s been going on in Ukraine.
It's a small world after all, Second Adam Schiff Staffer Linked to Burisma-Backed Think Tank, ‘Close Friends’ with Alleged ‘Whistleblower (Breitbart).

Liz Vaughn at Red State, Boomerang! Liberal Watchdog Group Publishes FOIA Documents to Target Giuliani, Fails to Realize Documents Detail Biden/Ukraine Corruption
On Friday, liberal watchdog group American Overreach received 100 pages of State Department documents they had requested through a FOIA request. The documents show that President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had “multiple contacts” with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Rep. Devin Nunes, and others during his investigation of Ukrainian corruption, none of which is illegal. (Every American president has had their own version of Rudy Giuliani.)
Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said the documents reveal “a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador.” The records indicate that “Pompeo talked with Giuliani on March 26 and March 29.
What the group fails to realize is that the documents include Giuliani’s interview notes which provide detailed accusations of corruption against the Bidens.” Giuliani had interviewed Victor Shokin, the Prosecutor General who was investigating Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings in March 2016. Shokin was about to question Hunter Biden when former Vice President Joe Biden ordered then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin or he would hold back $1 billion in U.S. aid. Giuliani had also interviewed Yuriy Lutsenko, who had succeeded Shokin as Prosecutor General. The notes indicate that Lutsenko “believes Mr. Viktor Shokin the former Prosecutor General is honest.”
Good old Hunter, Page 6, Hunter Biden suspected of smoking crack in DC strip club’s VIP room. At least we know where the money goes. Drugs and strippers!
CNS News, Ukraine’s Ex-President Says He Never Spoke to Giuliani About Hunter Biden, Burisma, but we only believe Ukrainians who tell us something useful to the Democrat agenda, which goes along pretty well with this report from Yahoo! Trump Denies Sending Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine for Biden Probe, which is then interpreted by AllahPundit at Hot Air as Under The Bus: I Didn’t Direct Rudy’s Work In Ukraine, Trump Claims

But the latest hit on Nunes is much more than the mere peddling of fake news: It is the repeat of a pattern run by the left for the last three years. And it was the Giuliani tweet that revealed the play.

In his tweet, the former prosecutor spoke of corruption under the Obama administration and a “massive pay-for-play scheme” he had discovered. Giuliani then stressed he wasn’t about to be intimidated.

That closer resonated because the press and Democrats have been trying to intimidate Giuliani by casting him as a co-conspirator with Trump (and Nunes) in a plot to improperly obtain dirt on the Bidens. But if the most recent accusations against Nunes prove bogus—as the first set of ethics charges did—why should we credit a similar attack against Giuliani?

The answer is we shouldn’t. Rather, we should see the pattern underlying the attacks pushed by the media to Democrats’ benefit. That pattern is simple: taint Republicans investigating matters that threaten the left, either forcing them out of their leadership positions or using the manufactured scandal to breed public distrust in their conclusions.
And too much impeachment garbage to go through, although I did try to impose some order on it:

Schiff Plans To Send Impeachment Report To House Judiciary After Thanksgiving | The Daily Caller

Nadler Sets First House Judiciary Impeachment Hearing For December 4 | The Daily Caller

Nadler sets expert hearing on impeachable crimes for December 4, invites Trump's lawyers to cross-examine witnesses

Schiff Doesn’t Rule Out More Hearings, But He Won’t ‘Wait Months and Months’ | CNSNews

Nunes Says He Hopes the Democrats Hold More Impeachment Hearings | CNSNews

Karl Rove: Democrats "Overplayed Their Hand" With Impeachment Push | Video | RealClearPolitics

Why the rush toward impeachment?

A Shameful Abuse of Congressional Power – American Greatness

Democrat Rep. Says No to Removing Trump, Wants 'Censure' -- Then Reverses Position | CNSNews

Levin: Senate Should Make Effort to Dismiss Impeachment Trial

Democrats Haven’t Learned Anything From Past Impeachment Probes

There’s a Simple Term for What Trump Did and Democrats Should Stick With It - POLITICO

As Trump cases arrive, Supreme Court’s desire to be seen as neutral arbiter will be tested

Democrats’ ‘bribery’ charge against Trump is a complete bust

Is John Roberts Up To a Senate Impeachment Trial? | The American Spectator

My fellow Republicans, please follow the facts – HotAir

Bring Me The Head Of Donald Trump And The Killer Elite | The Camp Of The Saints

Another Wet Shirt Wednesday

Celebrity edition, depending on your definition of celebrity:

Anais Zanotti

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

MD Legislator Proposes Balloon Release Ban

Potential MD criminal!
Releasing balloons could cost you a $250 fine in Maryland
While many cities and towns across the United States are banning plastic products such as straws and bags, a new law proposed in Maryland will regulate the intentional release of balloons.

Under a bill sponsored by Sen. Clarence Lam, D-Howard and Baltimore counties, this new bill would draw a fine of $250; legislation that is similar to a Queen Anne's County law.

The bill, which will be considered during Maryland's next legislative session, will ban the intentional release or the organizing of intentional release of balloons into the atmosphere.
Another scoflaw!
Be sure to hold on!


Lam said he hopes that the bills will do two things: reduce the amount of waste ending up in the environment and will raise the awareness of the need to properly dispose of balloons.

The bill, according to Lam, will, however, have exemptions for both research and meteorological purposes. Additionally, the bill also has an exemption for the negligent or unintentional release of a balloon; which will prevent and protect children who let go of their balloon accidentally from being fined.
At least she's indoors.


"Because released balloons can travel many miles, it is important that the efforts of local jurisdictions to ban balloon releases are supported by a statewide ban," Lam said. "The goal of this ban is to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the environment, protect rural farmers and their livestock, and to raise awareness of the need to properly dispose of balloons."

Lam said this is a bipartisan issue and has support from two Republican state senators representing the Eastern Shore.
. . .
 The bill will be considered during the next legislative session, which begins on Jan. 8, 2020. If the bill becomes a law, it will go into effect on Oct.1, 2020.
OK, loose balloons do occasionally cause problems with livestock and marine animals, far more than that other bugaboo, plastic straws. But what I want to know is who will be the "balloon" police?

The Wombat has Rule 5 Tuesday: D.C. Fontana up at the Other McCain.