Monday, August 10, 2020

Forget it Jake, It's Washington D.C.

Gunfire breaks out at a mostly peaceful street party, 19 wounded, one dead. Stacy McCain, Probably Not Trump Voters: 20 Shot When Gunfight Breaks Out at D.C. Party
Dubois Place is a block-long street in an area of southeastern Washington, D.C., that is overwhelmingly black and, by “overwhelmingly black” I mean like Mogadishu, it’s so black. Despite the draconian COVID-19 policies imposed by the city’s mayor, some residents of the community decided to hold a massive block party Saturday night, which they advertised on social media, attracting hundreds of revelers. The risk of infection was exceeded by the risk of dying in a hail of bullets:
A 17-year-old was killed and an off-duty D.C. police officer suffered life-threatening injuries after authorities said at least 20 people were shot when a dispute broke out early Sunday at a cookout attended by hundreds of people in Southeast Washington.
D.C. police said at least three shooters opened fire from different locations about 12:30 a.m. on Dubois Place in the Greenway neighborhood, sending panicked partygoers racing for cover and others screaming for friends and relatives.
The dead teenager was identified as Christopher Brown.
“I really don’t understand how my child’s life is just gone,” said the victim’s mother, Artecka Brown, 33. She said she last spoke to her son two days ago when she hugged him and told him “I love you.”
The unidentified off-duty police officer, who apparently was at the party, was critically injured and was “fighting for her life,” D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said. Officials said the officer, who is 22 years old and has been on the force about one year, was struck in the neck.
Authorities said there was a dispute before shots were fired, and police said they think there were exchanges of gunfire. At least 11 of the victims were women. Police initially said 21 people had been shot but later determined one of the injured victims had not been struck by a bullet.
Videos posted on social media show revelers partying shoulder-to-shoulder near Dubois Place at 34th Street SE. After the shots, some victims fell while others scattered; the crime scene sprawled for blocks, with police marking 170 pieces of evidence. Police said nearly 100 bullets were fired.
The party and the tragedy that ensued revived questions about large gatherings that flout Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s order that prohibits groups larger than 50 people and requires those older than 2 to wear a mask when they leave home and are likely to come into contact with others. The mask requirement, one of the strictest in the nation, was toughened recently after cases began to spike.
Police are searching for the suspects, who were not wearing red MAGA hats. The mayor doesn’t allow public gatherings in her city, unless they’re rioters tearing down statues, or block partiers who start shooting each other after midnight. Like I said, it’s Mogadishu.
I spent a fair amount of time in southeast D.C. back when I was doing a lot of sampling on the Anacostia River. It wasn't Mogadishu then, and I doubt if it's Mogadishu now. It's not Rodeo Drive, though. I always felt safe enough, although some of my field assistants may have felt otherwise. Maybe the locals think it's bad juju to shoot a crazy white scientist wearing waders.

Russiagate: A New Player on the Board

I'm sure his name has come up before; who hasn't, but he was certainly never important enough to make a tag for. Matt Taibibi has the report from Steven Schrage, a politico who studied under, and worked for Stephan Halper, aka "the Walrus" at Cambridge, and was deeply involved in the Russiagate shenanigans around Michael Flynn, Carter Page and George Papadop. The Spies Who Hijacked America
Global scandals now labeled Russiagate, Spygate, and what President Trump calls “Obamagate” shook the political world, but hit me closer to home. I’m the reason the so-called FBI “spy” at the center of Spygate, Stefan Halper, met Carter Page, the alleged “Russian Asset” in Russiagate’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

On May 19, 2018, this realization blindsided me in London as I was about to fly out for my wedding. The New York Times, NBC News and other sources had outed my PhD supervisor, Stefan Halper, as a spy known to the UK’s MI6 intelligence service as “The Walrus.”

It didn’t seem real. Could a former professor I once trusted as a mentor have betrayed his word, profession, and country to start these disasters? I had moved to England to pursue an academic career and leave DC’s politics behind, only to have my PhD supervisor throw me back into the most outrageous political firestorms I could imagine. Just my luck. Then an even worse question began nagging at me. Did I unintentionally light the match that started it all?

As I started to piece together what happened over the next few months, I realized something. The stories that The New York Times, Washington Post, and others were pushing didn’t add up. Many seemed planted to cover up or advance the agendas of several individuals whose tentacles secretly ran through these scandals, and who each had longstanding ties to intelligence services like the FBI, CIA, and MI6. I call these individuals the Cambridge Four.

Strangely, all four were linked through that sleepy British academic town thousands of miles from the alleged “ground zeroes” of Russiagate’s conspiracies, Moscow and DC. In addition to the central “Spygate” figure Halper, they include the central source of “Russiagate’s” fake conspiracy theories, Christopher Steele; former MI6 Director Sir Richard Dearlove; and Halper’s and Dearlove’s partner in a Cambridge Intelligence Seminar linked to titillating — but false — tales of a “Russian spy” seducing Trump’s top national security advisor. My years of work with Halper provided an inside view of how their four networks interconnected.

The more I dug up new pieces of this puzzle, the more I saw how these individuals’ seemingly separate acts might fit together in an absurd picture of how these scandals really started.

Armed with first-hand knowledge and evidence, I quietly sought to help federal investigators uncover these scandals’ mysteries. It wasn’t my first rodeo. After witnessing the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11, I led G8 and State Department international crime and terrorism efforts with Department of Justice (DOJ), FBI, and intelligence officials and had worked for decades in White House, Congressional, and presidential campaign roles.

This helped me keep a stiff upper lip when I was falsely accused in 2019 by the House Intelligence Committee’s Ranking Republican and others on television as being part of a secret anti-Trump cabal. As much as I wanted to defend myself, I knew our best shot of exposing the real forces behind these scandals was for me to remain publicly silent and not let those under investigation know what I knew or was willing to say.

Yet a few weeks ago, I asked to speak to the DOJ lead investigator John Durham to give his team a heads up. I would continue to offer help, but my time for waiting for government to act was over. Recently, I had discovered and flagged for Durham disturbing recordings. One involved one of the Cambridge Four, Halper, and raised serious questions about the origins of what has been called the “kill shot” against Trump’s first national security advisor, General Michael Flynn.
OK it goes on (and on) from there. Remember, this is not a friend; this is someone desperately trying to get away from the bus that's about to hit him, named Durham. He didn't write this under oath, so take statements of fact with a grain of salt, but he clearly has some good info. He knows for a fact that Flynn was targeted by the FBI before the leak of the Kislyak phone call: Chuck Ross at Da Caller has a pretty good summary of the article, and the AUDIO: FBI Informant Stefan Halper Said Michael Flynn Was Not ‘Going To Be Around Long’. Schrage also did an interview with Maria Bartiromo:

Like myself, Sundance is mistrustful of his motives and honesty: Sunday Talks: Steven Schrage Appears to Discuss His Role in “Spygate”…
First, in an article to accompany his media effort, Schrage waxes philosophical and woefully about how his years-long good friend and phd supervisor, Stephan Halper, the one-legged character in the metaphor, turned out to be a politically motivated snake and spy. Oh, but all the years previous this wasn’t noticed? Not buying it.

Second, Schrage sat and watched Michael Flynn and Svetlana Lokhova get raked over the coals for three+ years only now, right now, to find his conscience bothered by his participation in assisting the lies pushed by his friend against them? Isn’t that convenient timing?… Yeah, sure. I might have been born at night, but I wasn’t born last night.

Third, Schrage notes he was interviewed by John Durham. Horsepucky. Durham doesn’t interview anyone; someone else does, someone very specific; and the fact that Schrage has no clue who that person is implies an aspect to the side-show he now presents as total nonsense. In short, this is a distraction story…. Look over there…. shiny things.
 Also, an interesting twitter thread from Brian Cates,
Ah, Lindsey 2.1? 'Shipwrecked Crew' at Red State, New FBI Document Released by Senate Judiciary Comm Shows FBI — AND Mueller — Deliberately Misled Senate About Steele Memos (UPDATED). Long after Danchenko pretty much dismissed the evidence he gave Steele for the dossier as drunken nonsense to the FBI, the FBI and Mueller went to the Senate and told them how reliable it all was.
But the most outrageous parts of the memo comes at the end when the FBI offers its assessment of Danchenko and the impact of his interview on the allegations of the memos — which by this time have been used 4 times to secure FISA warrants on Carter Page.
How have discussions with Danchenko affected the FBl’s understanding of or confidence in the Steele dossier? At MINIMUM, our discussions with Danchenko confirm that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele. Our discussions with Danchenko confirmed that he operates within high level academic and government circles, maintains trusted relationships with individuals who are capable of reporting on the material he collected for Steele, and that Steele and utilized reasonably sound intelligence tradecraft.
Coming a year after Danchenko had been interviewed, and after none of the most meaningfully claims made in the Steele memos based on Danchenko’s reporting had been verified or independently corroborated, to tell the Senate that the FBI had confidence in Danchenko’s information, that his sources had access to the type of information he was attributing to them, and that his work constituted reasonably sound tradecraft is duplicitous and dishonest beyond comprehension.
Again, a better boiled down version by Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Lindsey Graham: Memo Shows FBI Lied To Senate About Dossier Source
According to Graham, the newly declassified FBI memo shows that the bureau did not disclose any of the dossier’s red flags in the Senate Intelligence briefing document.

“Somebody needs to go to jail for this,” Graham said Sunday.

“They lied to the FISA court. They got rebuked, the FBI did in 2019, by the FISA court putting in doubt all FISA applications, the FISA court just ripped a new one for the FBI, a year before they’re lying to the Senate Intel committee. It’s just amazing, the compounding of the lies.”
Sundance acknowledges Lindsey in  Senator Lindsay Graham Releases FBI Talking Points for SSCI Briefing February 14, 2018 – Graham Positioned to Defend SSCI…  blames Andy McCabe, FBI False Dossier Talking Points Feb 14, 2018, to SSCI – Same Day As Andrew McCabe SSCI Testimony…, but continues to criticize Lindsey, Sunday Talks: Senator Graham Defends The Senate Role in Trying to Remove President Trump…

Methinks Graham doth protest too much. The more he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons.
At ET, Roger L. Simon wonders Why Do Our Intelligence Agencies Keep Lying to Us? Because we keep letting them get away with it.

NPR whines that Democrats Worry Attorney General Has An 'October Surprise' In The Making. We can only hope.
When Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., asked Barr whether he would commit to not releasing any report by Durham before the November election, Barr said bluntly, "No."
Insty, VIDEO: AG Barr: Democrats were ‘afraid to let me speak’, politics is their ‘secular religion’. I watched the Mark Levin interview with AG Barr last night, and the more I see Barr the more I like him. Unfortunately, he's too old and smart to want to run for President.

From Da Hill, Ukrainian president warns citizens against election interference. But Democrats still swear that Ukrainians didn't interfere against Trump. Meanwhile, David Krayden at Human Events reports that Alexander Vindman Is Still Whining.
Of course, most of us are waiting with bated breath for Vindman to get his payoff from the Democratic Party, or perhaps even a reinstatement and promotion if Joe Biden takes office. “Thanks for ignoring all this nonsense about my boy Hunter and that job he had with Burisma,” Biden could well tell Vindman. “That’s what makes you a real American hero.”
Sophia Mann at JTN, State Department pings cell phones in Russia and Iran, hoping to root out election meddling
The U.S. government on Thursday sent text messages to cellphones across Russia and Iran, alerting users about a new State Department rewards program of up to $10 million for information about foreign entities attempting to interfere with the U.S. election.

The effort is the latest in Trump administration's attempt to root out 2020 election meddling and show that it takes the threat of foreign interference seriously. Investigations have shown Russia attempted to disrupt the 2016 elections.

Some Russians and Iranians joked that for $10 million they would be willing to tell the United States government anything it wanted to hear, or stage a hack and provide information about it to collect on the government's offer.
Do we have enough money?

It Was An Itsy Bitsy, Teeny Weeny . . .

Thong bikini that got Acrobat Sam Panda busted after ‘Karen’ reports her for wearing thong on Myrtle Beach
Her string of bad luck continues – no ifs or butts about it.

Sam Panda, an acrobat who went viral a few years ago when she broke her neck during a performance in Bali when her rig malfunctioned, made waves this time when she wore a thong on a South Carolina beach — where it is illegal.
You can go see the video of her accident here; it's pretty awful, and I'm happy to report that she seems to fully healed, and back to the same work.
The well-known aerialist, who is originally from Pittsburgh, complained that “some Karen” called the cops on her because she wore the skimpy bikini in Myrtle Beach.

Police said they were initially called for a report of two women who were wearing thongs and a see-through top — and were “dancing and soliciting videos on the beach,” WTNH reported. The cops spoke with the women to advise them of the ordinance.

“One of the women attempted to walk away from officers and was detained,” police said, according to the outlet.

After being shown the ordinance, Panda complied and was allowed to leave the beach without further incident. But she vented on Facebook about the incident.

“If you are a woman, and you decide to call the police on other women for their bodies ON A BEACH, IN FRONT OF YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER…,” she wrote.

Both Horry County and Myrtle Beach governments ban the use of thongs under an ordinance about indecent exposure, WTNH reported. Offenders are typically given a warning for the first offense.

“You have allowed a 105 pound woman to get rushed, aggressively grabbed, manhandled, and cuffed. You allowed two women to be slut shamed publicly on a beach for their bathing suits,” Panda wrote.
H/T to the Misanthropic Humanitarian at Ace's Saturday Overnight Open Thread (8/8/20).

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Et Tu, WuFlu?

Another occasional link dump, before the links get too stale:

On going back to school:

TaxProf Blog NY Times: The U.S. Is Pursuing The Worst Possible COVID-19 Education Policy, Forcing Young Children Online While Risking On-Ground Classes For College Students

Maryland's Larry Hogan & Montgomery Schools -- Governor Reverses Order Shutting All Private Schools | National Review

As Maryland public schools go online this fall, private and parochial schools are ready to welcome students on campus - Baltimore Sun

BORIS JOHNSON: Keeping our schools closed longer than is necessary is intolerable | Daily Mail Online

Hydroxycholorquine, Remdesivir, and a vaccine:

Why Is the Right So Obsessed With Hydroxychloroquine?

This Indian slum contained a possible COVID-19 disaster with hydroxychloroquine | Opinion | LifeSite

COVID-19 Treatment - Analysis of 66 global studies showing high effectiveness for early treatment

Hydroxychloroquine Helps Poor Nations Overcome COVID-19 | The Stream

Italian Study: Hydroxychloroquine Cut Death Risk 66 Percent |

Hydroxychloroquine is an Effective Treatment for COVID-19

Studies of convalescent plasma were delayed so doctors could focus on hydroxychloroquine – HotAir

Study: Antiviral drug remdesivir helps white, Black and Latino patients equally

Novavax's New Covid-19 Vaccine Studies Praised By Scientists - The New York Times

Dr's Fauci, Birx, and others:

6 Questions a Reporter Should Ask Dr. Fauci on COVID-19

Jim Jordan Confronts Dr. Anthony Fauci on Disparate COVID Concerns…. | The Last Refuge

Ex-whistleblower: It's time for 'new blood' at agency Fauci has led for decades | Just The News

Dr. Deborah Birx: 'We are in a new phase' of coronavirus pandemic with more widespread cases - CNNPolitics

Pelosi randomly trashes Dr. Birx in private meeting

Sit down, Nancy: Pelosi doubles down while Birx forcefully pushes back

General politics of the virus:

Ten More Lies About President Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus

What Trump Should Have Said During his Axios Interview

The Coronavirus Is Never Going Away - The Atlantic

Why the Coronavirus is More Likely to ‘Superspread’ Than the Flu - The New York Times

After plummeting, the virus soars back in the midwest – HotAir

Italy and Sweden Are Taming The Coronavirus's Potential Second Wave - Bloomberg

The land with no face masks: Holland's top scientists say there's no solid evidence coverings work | Daily Mail Online

KDHE doctored a COVID case chart to justify mask mandates - The Sentinel


The coronavirus has shown people that big government can't solve all their problems

James Hasson on Twitter: "It’s truly incredible how we went from “we need a brief pause to build hospital capacity” in March to “we must indefinitely suspend any activities that could allow the virus to spread” in August." / Twitter

Instapundit » Blog Archive » WE ALL KNOW THE ANSWER. RULES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE. And, sure enough: “Washington, D.C…

Who deserves a funeral? – HotAir

Lawmakers returning from John Lewis funeral exempt from D.C. quarantine order | Just The News

Russiagate on a Fine Sunday Morning

At NR Andy McCarthy is seriously reconsidering his position on whether Judge Sullivan should be removed from the Michael Flynn case (his previous position was no, work it out), Should Judge Sullivan Be Disqualified from Flynn Case? An Appeals Court Is Asking
More to the point, by seeking full-court reconsideration of the mandamus matter when both the Justice Department and Flynn are seeking dismissal of the case, Sullivan is both causing prejudice to the defendant and stoking suspicion about the executive branch’s motives. How, then, could Sullivan continue to be considered a fair and impartial judge, fit to rule on the Justice Department’s dismissal motion?

That question may signal something about the wisdom of the D.C. Circuit judges that I previously failed to appreciate. The Justice Department’s contention that Sullivan lacks standing seemed compelling to me. I was surprised when the Circuit appeared to ignore it in granting Sullivan’s request for full-court review; I thought they’d deny it and let the panel’s ruling stand. But is it possible that the Circuit saw this as a graceful off-ramp? When none of the Circuit’s judges asked for full-court reconsideration, that signaled to Sullivan that if he wanted it, he would have to ask for it himself. The Circuit judges probably calculated that if the irascible Sullivan made a formal application for rehearing en banc, it would be manifest that he had transformed himself into a party in the Flynn case. Then the Circuit could use the disqualification rule to nudge him aside for the sake of maintaining the judiciary’s reputation for objectivity. That would avoid all the downsides of issuing a mandamus writ while gently reminding lower court judges that they are supposed to remain umpires in these contests, not become one of the players.

To sum up, whatever one may have thought about the gravity of Sullivan’s irregular behavior back in May, he has now clearly crossed the Rubicon. It is incumbent on him to recuse himself. If he can’t bring himself to do that — a failure that would further demonstrate a lack of judicial detachment — the D.C. Circuit should disqualify him. Either way, the case should be reassigned to a new judge, who should promptly grant the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss.
As you might remember from yesterday events are suggesting that John Brennan is not a target of prosecutors in John Durham investigation: (Dan Chaitin, WaEx). Capt Ed at Hot Air has some thoughts.
Bear in mind that this is a term of art, something we learned again during the special-counsel probe, and not a fixed label. In any investigation, a person can start off as a witness, turn into a subject, and then become a target. The process can work in the opposite direction, too; this site gives a pretty good overview of the official Department of Justice definitions, while warning at the same time that they’re essentially meaningless. At one time, Donald Trump was told he wasn’t a target in Operation Crossfire Hurricane, but he was at least a subject, and eventually became a target whether the FBI admitted it or not.

At this late date, however, Brennan’s status as a non-target is presumably more static, assuming this report is accurate, of course. Brennan could always leap onto a table and yell, “OF COURSE IT WAS ME ALL ALONG, YOU FOOLS!!”, which could tend to change one’s status in a federal investigation. Short of that, and again assuming NPR’s source is correct, Durham’s not going after Brennan. Attorney General William Barr has already said publicly that Durham’s not going after Barack Obama or Joe Biden, and NBC reported at the link above that James Clapper has been told that Durham’s not interested in interviewing him as part of this investigation.

Who does that leave, if this is true? Probably no one outside the FBI, but perhaps the top man in charge at that time might have reason to sweat. Sally Yates accused James Comey of “going rogue” in his pursuit of Michael Flynn, although she defended the decision to investigate Flynn. She also went after lower-echelon FBI figures for submitting false information on the Carter Page FISA warrants
. . .
If so, that will disappoint many who suspected this went all the way to the Oval Office. Even a Comey indictment wouldn’t be enough to prove a wide-ranging political conspiracy against Trump in the Obama administration, and that seems like a long shot in the Durham probe anyway. However, if Durham feels compelled to write a report laying out a larger narrative, that may indeed have more impact — but Barr has all but committed to sticking to indictments as the only public statements from the Durham probe. Will he stick to that?
Margot Cleveland at Da Fed details how Sally Yates’ Testimony Showed She’s Either Ignorant Or Lying About Russiagate. Why limit yourself when "both" is the better than "either". I'll bet all she reads is the NYT and WaPoo; of course she's ignorant. And an appearance by the still missing Mysterious Mr. Mifsud.
The FBI learned, Yates testified, “that someone affiliated with the Russians had actually approached a foreign policy advisor of the Trump campaign and had told them that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousand of emails, that could be released anonymously and wanted to know if the campaign was interested in this.”

Later, Sen. Lindsey Graham pushed Yates on this testimony to see if she understood that the individual who had approached Papadopoulos, Joseph Mifsud, was not acting on behalf of Putin. Was that individual “a Russian agent?” Graham queried. “He was connected with Russian intelligence,” Yates responded.

Graham’s guffaw said it all. While Joseph Mifsud’s role in SpyGate may not yet be clear, Yates’ belief that Mifsud was “connected with Russian intelligence” shows she hasn’t a clue about even the most fundamental facts underlying the investigation into the Trump campaign.

There were many other facts Yates did not seem to know, or if she did know them, there is a more troubling implication: the former acting attorney general attempted to mislead the Judiciary Committee and the public. For instance, in discussing the intel the FBI had received concerning Mifsud’s conversation with Papadopoulos about the “thousands of emails,” Yates claimed the FBI received this information in May and then “it actually happened—the emails were then dumped in July.”

But the emails “dumped” in July were those hacked from the Democratic National Committee and released by WikiLeaks, which was an entirely different set of emails than the “thousands of emails” Papadopoulos said Mifsud had claimed the Russians had: According to the special counsel’s office, Papadopoulos “admit” that Mifsud told him “the Russians had emails of Clinton.”

Whether Yates understood this distinction is unclear. It is also unclear which is worse—that she was ignorant on this basic fact or understood the fact but sought to conflate the two distinct categories of emails to justify the investigation.
Althouse on the case of Susan Rice, presumptive VP candidate Susan Rice talks about doing Sunday show appearances after the Benghazi attack — She was "a team player." From an interview in The Atlantic with Edward-Isaac Dovere Demonstrates how she'll lie to the people at the behest of the party.

Jerry Dunleavy, WaEx, Appeals court rules Democrats can sue to enforce Don McGahn subpoena. He already testified to the Mueller team for days, what more do they expect to find, except opportunities to try and smear Trump? I expect it will be appealed. Ask for the en banc, like Sullivan did. Then the Supreme Court if necessary.

At Newsweek, Congresscritters Jim Jordan and Doug Collins are Looking Back at the Democrats' Failed Partisan Impeachment. I think you can figure they weren't fans.

Sundance looks at the big picture in The Truth Doesn’t Care About Your Feelings – The Big Ugly…
What some have called “Spygate” is not a frozen moment in time or a set of dates on a calendar with a beginning and an end. Spygate was the originating process to ensure the DC system did not experience the disruption carried by Donald John Trump; but it was only the originating process….

….The process of opposition against Donald Trump is a continuum.

Those who use DC for influence and affluence control the mechanisms within the self-actuating system. This includes both Democrats and Republicans as they both feed from the same trough. In the effort to remove Donald Trump, both wings of the uniparty bird were aligned with an identical purpose; Democrats carrying out their effort openly, and the republican elements operating covertly as to retain the DC premise.

Specifically, one of the common flaws that many make is thinking the Mueller special counsel was an outcome of an action by President Trump when he fired former FBI Director James Comey. This is false. The special counsel process was a continuum in the effort to remove the threat that Donald Trump represented back in the early primary days of 2016. The system, writ large, was aligned with this purpose. . . .
WaFreeBee, For Biden Family, a History of Tax Problems  Da Wire reports Hunter Biden Hit With $450K Tax Lien, Is Resolved Despite ‘No Discernible Income,’ Biden Campaign Silent: Report
“Harvey Bezozi, a tax expert who specializes in large-scale tax debt negotiations, said the only way to get a lien released is to pay the settlement in full—often through a payment plan, penalty abatement, or other compromise with the government—or to prove the lien was filed in error,” the report added. “He said liens can take months or years to resolve.”

Bezozi said that for the issue to be resolved in just six days indicates that there “had to be some kind of expeditious kind of process for this.” Bezozi also told the Free Beacon that the government rarely files a lien in error.

“The Biden campaign did not respond to questions about how Hunter Biden settled the debt in less than a week and whether he has found gainful employment,” the report added. “The Biden family has been hit with several tax liens over the past few decades.”
Now, in your mind, replace Hunter with Donald Trump Jr, and imagine the spectacle.

MMA Superhero Takes On SJW Twitter Mob

Or as Ace puts it: BLM NPCs to MMA Fighter Turned Actress Gina Carano: We Demand You Say "BLM" and "ACAB" Or We Will Continue to Smear and Slander You , Gina Carano: LOLGF "Wow, there are a lot of initials in that headline. I didn't plan that." I call BS.
Gina Carano is a former MMA fighter. Since hanging up her fingerless gloves, she has appeared in "The Mandalorian" and played the big, super-strength femme fatale in Deadpool, the one who does the Superhero Landing.

A few days ago, she posted a famous meme of a single man refusing to give the Nazi seig heil salute while all of the zombies around him obey mob rules.

Now, if there was any question of what she intended to express, she explained herself:

But -- Why did she post this meme? Why now? In reference to what?

We don't know why she posted it. But a lot of people are guessing that she did so to express support (although in a coded way) for Jonathan Isaacs, the Orlando Magic player who stood for the National Anthem, while the stupid weakling sheep around him kneeled:
Linked above the line at Pirate's cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinups and links.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

8/8/20 Beach Report

 Overcast and 78. Pretty good for August.
 The beaches weren't crowded, but Skye managed to wrangle a couple of pets.
For some reason, a tough day for fossils, only about 9 teeth between us, but the best things we found were this small shark vertebra (me), and the giant Tilly Bone (Georgia).

A Russiagate Buffet

Lots of articles, but not much to connect them all (except Donald Trump, of course). Pick what you like:

Chuck Ross at Da Caller on Sally Yates testimony: Sally Yates Says Comey Went ‘Rogue’ By Setting Up Michael Flynn Interview. So, like Bill Barr says, she admits the FBI had no proper predicate for interviewing Flynn to set up their perjury trap.

Newsmax interviews Ric Grenell, on Biden's likely VP choice and other things, Ric Grenell to Newsmax TV: Susan Rice Was 'Lying and Spying'

He puts the Russian election interference charge into perspective. Remember, if you hate Ric Grenell, your're homophobic.

Speaking of false stories planted in the press, John Solomon claims that Democrats planted false stories in effort to derail Biden investigations, 
“In the last few weeks, Democrats have falsely accused me and Senator Johnson of receiving packets of information, including tapes, from a Ukrainian,” Grassley said. “That’s false reporting based on leaks from a letter written by Senator Schumer, Senator Warner, Speaker Pelosi, and Representative Schiff, which is itself based on cherry picked innuendo from classified documents.”

In his forceful remarks, Grassley accused Democrats of acting in bad faith.

"This nonsense of orchestrated leaks to plant stories falsely accusing me of dealing in disinformation based on actual disinformation that I wasn’t even privy to serves only the interest of our shared adversaries," he said. "This is the behavior of cowards. And it has to stop."

Elsewhere, he countered the Democrats’ claims.

“Let me be clear, my investigation with Senator Johnson is based on how the Obama administration formulated its Ukraine policy, which then Vice President Biden oversaw while his son was on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian natural gas company that was under investigation,” Grassley said.
Dan Chaitin at WaEx reports that Top Mueller prosecutor urges DOJ officials to resist Barr investigations. Good old Andy Weissman. Put him in jail; I don't really care how.
Chuck Ross again, Steele Source Had Meeting In Russia At Crucial Point In Dossier Saga. Always remember that the DNC and Hillary campaign purchased Russian disinformation for the election. Mark Hemingway at NYPo, Bogus Russia scandal sourced to man with history of public drunkenness, working for a woman with a history of public drunkenness.

Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 08.06.20 (Evening Edition), the First Street Journal thinks It’d be a shame if someone hacked the DNC’s server again, and published all of those confidential e-mails about Joe Biden’s dementia. Wouldn't it?

Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx reports John Durham set to interview John Brennan
Brennan has acknowledged that he is in the "crosshairs" of the criminal inquiry into the Russia investigation led by Durham. He recently claimed, and the White House acknowledged, that he asked the CIA for his official records, including his personal notes and any classified CIA documents that he had signed to help him write his upcoming memoir, but the agency denied his request.

Last year, the New York Times reported that Durham asked for Brennan’s electronic communications, phone records, and other documents from the CIA, something NBC News confirmed on Wednesday.

Durham is looking into whether Brennan took politicized actions to pressure the rest of the intelligence community to match his conclusions about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal. These sources said Durham has been interviewing CIA officials this year, focusing on the National Intelligence Council, a center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversaw the collaboration between the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency in putting together the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian meddling. Barr confirmed Durham is scrutinizing the assessment.

“There was definitely Russian, uh, interference,” Barr said in June. “I think Durham is looking at the intelligence community’s ICA — the report that they did in December [2016]. And he’s sort of examining all the information that was based on, the basis for their conclusions. So to that extent, I still have an open mind, depending on what he finds.”
Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 08.07.20, Don Surber: Durham’s Investigation Drags On. Surber thinks it's being slow-walked.

This is probably worth watching, if not in real time. Fox News,  AG William Barr to sit down with Fox News host Mark Levin on ‘Life, Liberty & Levin’

Linked at Pirate's cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinups and links.

Rule 5 Saturday - Thirty Five Years of Ava Fabian

This week's cutie is Ava Fabian, on of the Playboy girls who managed to bandy the roll into an acting career, if you can call it that. It was 35 years ago that she headlined Playboy.
Ava Fabian (born April 4, 1962, in Brewster, New York) is an American model and actress. She was chosen as Playboy's Playmate of the Month in August 1986 and has appeared in numerous Playboy videos. . . .Fabian is also a former Playboy Bunny.

Fabian played Roxy Carmichael in the movie Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, starring Winona Ryder. She has appeared in The Drew Carey Show and Married... with Children. Fabian had a recurring role in the 1996 Cinemax television series Erotic Confessions as a character named Jacqueline Stone.
Not to mention the unforgettable Ski School (1990).
In November 2011, she filed a lawsuit against former companion Neal Schon of Journey, claiming he owes her more than $25,000 for their "express oral nonmarital relationship agreement" when they lived together in San Anselmo.  A previous hearing had been set for early October 2012, but was called off when the parties notified the court of an "unconditional settlement" in the case and was scheduled to be dismissed in November. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court filings.

Ava Fabian opened up a restaurant ("Ava") in Los Angeles in 1992. 
Only $25k?

In 2002, sixteen years after her centerfold, Fabian was one of only five Playmates selected to become a Playboy Doll, a limited edition set of anatomically correct proportions and soft plastic skin.
Hey, this is 2020; you should be able to buy a full scale model equipped with AI.

Some NSFW from Playboy and Ski School.

Linked at Pirate's cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinups and links. Linked by EBL  in Arkansas: A Review πŸ“ΊπŸŽ₯Manon Lescaut 🎭, and Wanda Jackson: Fujiama Mama 🀯🎸. Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Anna Kendrick and FMJRA 2.0: Who’s Gonna Drown In Your Blue Sea? up and ready for your digital delight.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Isaias Killed Thousands

Dead menhaden at Lake Ogleton August 5
of fish: Tropical Storm Isaias spreads dead zones in Severn River, killing thousands of fish
Strong winds from Tropical Storm Isaias caused oxygen-depleted water at the bottom of the Severn River to mix with the rest of the water column, killing at least 10,000 fish Tuesday, the Maryland Department of Environment said in a statement.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Maryland Fisheries Scientist Allison Colden said to think of oxygen-depleted bottom water like vinegar, and oxygen-laden surface water like oil. The warmer water is, the faster molecules move and the less dense it becomes. Salt makes water more dense –– it adds molecules.

Cold, salty bottom water is dense and won’t mix with warm, fresh surface water heated by the air temperature, so when oxygen at the bottom is depleted, it doesn’t have a chance to mix with re-oxygenated surface water, Colden said.

Until things get shaken up. That’s what happened Tuesday during high winds brought by Tropical Storm Isaias.

Maryland Department of Environment spokesman Jay Apperson said wind from Tropical Storm Isaias caused a “seiche,” or a wave oscillating in a body of water. The National Ocean Service compares the phenomena to water sloshing back and forth in a swimming pool.

“Strong winds can cause this type of inversion, in which the oxygen-depleted water rises and becomes closer to the surface and causes conditions in which the fish cannot survive,” Apperson said in an email.

Unfortunately, when the dead zone in the river sloshes around, death follows. On Tuesday, the department investigated between 2,000 and 3,000 dead fish, mainly menhaden, found at Sullivan Cove.
I think we've been on the edge of having a "hypoxic" event. I see lots of crabs and a few fish in shallow water and that usually means there's not enough oxygen for them deeper in the water. What ever mixing Isaias did here, it wasn't enough to substantially alter the state of the water.

Virginia to Manage Menhaden as Fish Food

The adoption Wednesday of an “ecological reference point” for menhaden by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Advisory Board represents what board Chairman Spud Woodward has called “a paradigm shift in management,” one that looks beyond the abundance and death rate of a single species to take into account the role it plays within the broader marine ecosystem.

“Instead of looking at managing menhaden as a single species, we are managing menhaden based on its importance to the surrounding ecosystem,” said Chris Moore, a senior scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
. . .

Fisheries traditionally have been managed based on key metrics like mortality, abundance and rate of reproduction.

But that “single species” approach “generally neglects predator needs,” said Andre Buchheister, a fisheries biologist at Humboldt State University in California who has led research funded by the Lenfest Ocean Program to develop an ecosystem model involving menhaden.

“The use of an ecosystem model …. that directly informs fisheries management in a tactical and tangible way represents a breakthrough in how we can manage a fish species while accounting for the ecological tradeoffs in the system,” he wrote in an email.

That’s important for menhaden, which serve as a significant food source for other fish. The sportfishing industry and many environmental groups have pointed in particular to the critical role menhaden play in supporting striped bass, which have long been below sustainable population levels identified by fisheries managers. The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, for example, pointed to a study co-authored by Buchheister that showed the menhaden fishery contributing to major declines in striped bass.

“A healthy Atlantic menhaden stock, and quotas that account for the needs of predators, is the science-based management we look for to help support a healthy ecosystem and the sportfishing opportunities it provides,” said Mike Leonard, vice president of government affairs for the American Sportfishing Association, in a statement.

The new approach passed by the board Wednesday brings that predator-prey relationship into decision-making by tying the ERP to maintenance of the striped bass population, which is uniquely sensitive to menhaden fluctuations.
It's about time.

Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Anna Kendrick up and ready for your digital delight.

Dakota Access Pipeline On, Again

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air, Appellate Court Puts Dakota Access Pipeline Back In Business
Just when you thought the entire brouhaha over the Dakota Access Pipeline was finished, last month we learned that a court had ordered the project to be shut down yet again. The stated purpose was yet another environmental review, though the pipeline has already received a clean bill of health in multiple such studies in the past. That put the nation’s oil producers into what analysts described as “a holding pattern” where production from the Bakken shale region was slashed by half a million barrels per day and oil prices sank below the break-even point.

That situation appears to have been resolved this week. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the plaintiffs in the case had not shown sufficient cause to grant the request. The three-judge appeals panel did, however, allow the new environmental review to move forward. The process is expected to take at least a year. (Associated Press)
A federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed a judge’s order that shut down the Dakota Access pipeline pending a full environmental review.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with pipeline owner Energy Transfer to keep the oil flowing, saying a lower-court judge “did not make the findings necessary for injunctive relief.”
But the appellate court declined to grant Energy Transfer’s motion to block the review, saying the company had “failed to make a strong showing of likely success.”
The appeals court said it expects the parties to “clarify their positions” in the lower court.
You can tell that all of this maneuvering has far more to do with politics than environmental concerns by the way the plaintiffs reacted to the ruling. The attorney for EarthJustice, the group representing several Native American tribes bringing the suit, described the court’s decision as containing “more to like than dislike.” He noted that the environmental review would move forward and there would be “a new permit during the next administration.”

The implication here is clear. The plaintiffs are anticipating a Biden victory in November and the departure of Donald Trump (a strong advocate for the pipeline) from the Oval Office. The Dakota Access pipeline was tied up in legal red tape for years under the Obama administration, with Joe Biden vigorously supporting his boss in blocking progress on the project. So they are no doubt anticipating a potential Biden administration taking up the battle once again and getting the EPA to shut down production. And they’re probably correct in that prediction.

But to be perfectly honest, they've almost given up pretending this about water or pollution, other than CO2. It's pretty much all about bringing down the economy.

Russiagate: Lay Down Sally

No need to leave so soon.  Still talking about Sally Yates testimony. Breitbart, Sally Yates Testifies that Joe Biden Was at Oval Office Meeting on Michael Flynn, but she doesn't remember him saying much; maybe he was just sniffing her hair.
She confirmed that Biden was there, but could not confirm whether he had brought up the Logan Act. “I don’t remember the Vice President saying much of anything,” she said. She said no formal decision had been made about investigating Flynn for violating the rarely-enforced Logan Act, though she said that she had been skeptical about the idea at the time.

Other important points in Yates’s testimony included:
– Yates testified that she would not sign the warrant application to the FISA court on Carter Page, knowing what she knows today. She acknowledged that the warrant, and the application for its renewal (both of which she had signed), had misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, given that the FBI relied on the “Steele dossier.” However, she said she had trusted the FBI’s analysis — even though she knew something of the dossier’s political origins.
– Yates misstated several facts about the Michael Flynn case and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Yates claimed falsely that Flynn had lied to FBI agents — a conclusion very much in doubt, given new evidence. She also claimed falsely that he pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI; in fact, he only pleaded guilty once. And she claimed, falsely, that Flynn tried to “neuter” Obama administration sanctions on Russia; in fact, he asked Russia not to escalate. In addition, she testified George Papadopoulos had been a Russian intelligence asset — a false claim she had to walk back.
– Yates could not explain why she believed there was a “legitimate” reason for investigating Flynn even after FBI agents recommended dropping the case on January 4, 2017. Yates testified that she believed the FBI agents who made that recommendation had not yet seen the transcripts of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, but there is no evidence to substantiate that claim. (The reason the agents actually gave at the time: FBI leadership wanted the case to continue.) . . .
Prosecute her for lying to Congress; fair is fair after all. News Thud, Senator Hawley ain’t buying what Sally Yates is selling… Sundance has the whole interrogation at Senator Hawley Comes Closest….
In the questioning of former DAG Sally Yates, only Senator Josh Hawley came close to identifying the edges of the issues with Yates responses. What we see from the overall questioning is what I shared with y’all last week . . .

Also, Richard Grenell Discusses Yates Testimony: “She got away with questioning yesterday”…

Remember, if you hate Ric Grenell, you're homophobic.

Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Grassley Says Senate Democrats Acting Like ‘Cowards,’ Ignoring Evidence Of Russian Disinformation In Dossier
Sen. Chuck Grassley accused Senate Democrats in a fiery speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday of behaving like “cowards” by accusing him of falling victim to a Russian disinformation campaign regarding Joe Biden, while ignoring allegations that Russian intelligence operatives planted false information in the Democrat-funded Steele dossier.

“Truth be told, the Democrats should know a thing or two about Russian disinformation,” Grassley said in his speech.

“The Steele Dossier is the very definition of election interference, yet we hear no objections from Democrats,” he continued, adding that “Democrats got duped into falsely accusing their political rivals of doing the very thing they were actually complicit in.”
Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 08.06.20 (Afternoon Edition) The Geller Report features Obama Spying “Beyond What Anyone Thought Possible” and  Josh Hammer catches more projection at NYPo ‘Spying’ charges against Trump couldn’t be more absurd.

Tristan Justice at DaFed has 3 Things To Know About The Steele Dossier’s Primary Sub-Source
1. There’s No Steele Dossier Without The Sub-Source' . . .
2. Steele Exaggerated Sub-Source Claims . . .
3. Early FBI Sub-Source Interviews Were Clear Grounds To End Crossfire Hurricane . . .
Andrea Widburg at AmThink, It looks as if this Fall's hit show will be called ‘Obamagate’, Good, decent TV is getting a little thin. Paul Sperry at RCI, Ex-Colleagues See Durham Dropping Bombshells Before Labor Day
"Under oath, do you commit to not releasing any report by Mr. Durham before the November election?” Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) asked Barr, citing longstanding Justice Department policy not to announce new developments in politically sensitive cases before an election.

“No,” the attorney general curtly replied.
. . .
During last week’s House hearing, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., asked Barr if he would be able to "right this wrong” against Trump before the election.

“I really can’t predict that,” the attorney general answered. "John Durham is looking at all these matters. COVID did delay that action for a while. But he's working very diligently.”

Added Barr: "Justice is not something you can order up on a schedule like you're ordering a pizza.”

McClintock warned Barr that if he is succeeded by a Biden appointee, Durham’s investigation will simply go away.

"I understand your concern,” Barr sighed.
Sundance is  Considering the Durham Timeline…
Hopefully Mr XXXXX and Durham will deliver on behalf of AG Barr and the American people. However, if they don’t address the dual justice system -mid August- then things will be even bigger and even uglier.
Stephan Kruiser, PJ Media,  The Morning Briefing: Mainstream Media Hacks Are the Root of Most American Woes. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but it's true that
American media hacks spent years as the chief propagandists for the Russian collusion myth simply because they were in an extreme fit of pique over the fact that they couldn’t get Hillary Clinton elected president. It was the first time their power had been rejected on a large scale.

Despite that defeat, they still remain a powerful influence in narrative-shaping. Their power may be diminishing, but they can still do damage to freedom, democracy, and the overall American way of life.
A Trump impeachment witness cashes the check; NYPo, Trump impeachment witness Fiona Hill gets book deal and at Da Caller, Trump Impeachment Witness’ Book About ‘Polarized’ America To Be Released In 2021, Publisher Says.

From the Western Journal, Michael Flynn issues a call to arms: Exclusive from Gen. Flynn: This Is My Letter to America
We are witnessing a vicious assault by enemies of all that is good, and our president is having to act in ways unprecedented in decades, maybe centuries.

The biblical nature of good versus evil cannot be discounted as we examine what is happening on the streets of America.

It’s Marxism in the form of antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement versus our very capable and very underappreciated law enforcement professionals, the vast majority of whom are fighting to provide us safe and secure homes, streets and communities.

When the destiny of the United States is at stake, and it is, the very future of the entire world is threatened. . .
Despite his personal woes, inflicted on him by vicious Obama partisans, he keeps his eye on the big picture.

Fish Pic Friday - Sarah Melia

This week's edition features Sarah Melia:
Fishing with Sarah Melia Awesome fishing pics and video catching Mahi mahi, Red snapper, Grouper, Yellowfin Tuna, and more. No Matter what she and her fishing friends are catching they always look like they are having a great time and love fishing. Sarah has over 50,000 followers on IG and you can tell from the great fishing photos below why so if your not already on of her followers make sure to click follow. She is a Pelagic Girl and mostly fishes in her backyard in the Florida Keys.
She works for Remix Miami Sportfishing out of Miami:
Come fish aboard the Remix Miami Sportfishing charter boat along with Pelagic Pro Team members Capt JC Cleare (@invincibleproteam305_remix) and Sarah Melia (@sarahmelia305_fishing) for one of the best Miami charter fishing experiences. Miami and South Florida has some of the best fishing around and fishing aboard the Remix Sportfishing charter boat provides you with one of south Florida’s most well known captain and crews available. Our crew has over 20 years of offshore experience and an extensive tournament winning history. Remix Sportfishing guarantees an you an unforgettable fishing adventure. Whether chasing sailfish, dolphin, wahoo, or tuna we provide the best Miami sportfishing charters around.
Bikini Baits.


 Linked at Proof Positive in the weekly Best of the Web* and at The Right Way in the weekly Rule 5 Saturday LinkOrama.

Linked at Pirate's cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinups and links. Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Anna Kendrick  up and ready for your digital delight.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

In Baltimore $#!* Don't Flow Uphill

More than a dozen sanitary sewer overflows were reported in Baltimore Tuesday as Tropical Storm Isaias brought heavy rain to the city.

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works’ sanitary sewer overflow map shows 17 separate incidents on Tuesday, the largest of which led to 410,000 gallons ending up in the Jones Falls.

So far, just under 530,000 gallons have been confirmed to have overflowed, though of the 17 incidents reported, ten didn’t specify the size of the overflow.
. . .
The city recommends people avoid the affected waterways. Waterways throughout Baltimore are considered impaired and the city advises people shouldn’t swim in any city water source or waterway.
This is my shocked face. But they're not alone, close to home: Public Notification of Sewage Overflow in Prince Frederick
On the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, due to the excessive rainfall brought about by Tropical Storm Isaias, erosion beneath the Main Street roadway in Prince Frederick damaged a sewer line and caused a sewage force main to rupture. As a result, sewage was discharged 200 yards north of the headwaters of Parkers Creek.

A substantial quantity of effluent was controlled through shutting down pump stations and removal with pump trucks. At no time was there impact to service for water and sewer customers. The Department of Public Works is working to repair the line and roadway.

Because of the temporary sewage discharge, all residents and visitors are strongly cautioned to avoid contact with the waters of Parkers Creek or where the creek meets the Chesapeake Bay until Friday, Aug. 7, at the earliest.
Prince Frederick, and Parker's Creek in Google Maps. You can see the triangular sewage pond near the center of the clip:

Beach Report 8/6/20

 Another pretty good day, temperatures in the upper 70s-lower 80s, with reasonable humidity, and a bit of an east breezer
 This an the picture above taken while standing on the delta the tropical storm washed down out of the stream between Calvert and Long Beach. Georgia and Skye upstream, taking a dip.
Using the max zoom, the "crowd" at the top of the beach nearest the parking lot.
 An Echphora eroding out of a clay boulder.

Georgia found the big Snaggletooth, while I found a slightly pathological Carcharhinus, in addition to about 19 more sharks teeth and a Porgy tooth (well, maybe).