Friday, January 31, 2020

It's Hard to Study in the Cold and Dark

Professor Andrew Parker of St John’s College at Oxford University is my new favorite person. The Times of London reports that a group of students wrote to Professor Parker to discuss demands being made by student protesters about fossil fuel divestment. His response wasn’t what they were expecting:
Two students at St John’s College wrote to Andrew Parker, the principal bursar, this week requesting a meeting to discuss the protesters’ demands, which are that the college “declares a climate emergency and immediately divests from fossil fuels”. They say that the college, the richest in Oxford, has £8 million of its £551 million endowment fund invested in BP and Shell.
Professor Parker responded with a provocative offer. “I am not able to arrange any divestment at short notice,” he wrote. “But I can arrange for the gas central heating in college to be switched off with immediate effect. Please let me know if you support this proposal.”
One of the students wrote back and said he would present the proposal but he didn’t think Parker was being appropriately serious. Professor Parker responded to that note saying, “You are right that I am being provocative but I am provoking some clear thinking, I hope. It is all too easy to request others to do things that carry no personal cost to yourself. The question is whether you and others are prepared to make personal sacrifices to achieve the goals of environmental improvement (which I support as a goal).” The best part of the story is the response from the organizer of the protest:
Fergus Green, the organiser of the wider protest, who is studying for a master’s degree in physics and philosophy at Balliol College, said: “This is an inappropriate and flippant response by the bursar to what we were hoping would be a mature discussion. It’s January and it would be borderline dangerous to switch off the central heating.”
Yes, it would be rash and “borderline dangerous” to do something like that.

Now step back and take notice how closely this small debate at one college is a microcosm of the larger debate taking place around the globe. The teenage face of the anti-fossil fuel movement, Greta Thunberg, recently demanded “real zero” emissions starting right now. Following her advice would be the equivalent of cutting off the gas that heats the campus in the middle of winter. It wouldn’t just be “borderline dangerous” it would almost certainly be catastrophic for millions of people. Despite this, I bet protest organizer Fergus Green thinks she’s part of a “mature discussion.” In any case, a lot of people like him seem to think so.
He should have offered to turn out the lights, too.

Legislators Override Hogan Oyster Veto

Maryland Lawmakers Override Governor's Veto on Oyster Management Bill
Maryland's oyster management process will be changed. Maryland lawmakers voted Thursday to override Governor Larry Hogan's veto of a bill that would manage the state's oyster management plan.

The process outlined in the legislation will bring together environmental advocates, scientists, watermen, and seafood sellers to work with an independent mediator to recommend policies aimed at increasing the overall oyster population in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will then be required to work with an advisory commission and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science to develop a package of consensus recommendations for improving the state's management plan for oysters.

The state’s adult oyster population dropped by about 50 percent from 1999 to 2018, according to the stock assessment released in December 2018.

Environmentalists are applauding the override, arguing the legislation requires the new oyster management plan to increase oyster abundance and end overfishing in areas where the stock assessment determines it is occurring.

"This important new law aims to stop the long-term decline of oysters in Maryland," Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Maryland Executive Director Alison Prost said in a statement. "More oysters mean cleaner water, more fish and crabs, and a healthier Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. It’s time to work together toward the common goal of increasing Maryland’s oyster population to improve the state’s environment and the fishery’s long-term outlook. Thanks to the members of the General Assembly for recognizing the importance of this needed legislation that will chart a new path for Maryland’s oysters.”

But not everyone believes the vote will bring a sustainable oyster fishery.

"Regardless of this misguided vote, we will continue to implement our Oyster Management Plan and remain focused on our goal of a sustainable harvest and population in eight to 10 years," Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said in statement. "The real consequences of this vote are delaying our ability to enhance our state-managed oyster sanctuaries and further straining the relationship between the very stakeholders the legislature wants to come to consensus. Both of these things will delay us from reaching our goals on oyster restoration."
I would be very surprised if "environmental advocates, scientists, watermen, and seafood sellers" can reach a consensus. I have little confidence in the "consensus management", but then, the management by DNR in the past has proven to be a failure. I guess need to just hope for the best.

The Wombat has Rule 5 Monday: A Fine Pair up on time and under budget.

Stream Restoration: But Beavers are Free!

A shaved Beaver coat
Besides, you can eat them, and get nice furs for fur coats, and top hats if you want. WaPoo, Polluted, damaged streams in Chesapeake region at center of debate over cleanup
. . .Since 2010, when the Obama administration enacted federal water quality requirements for the bay, 142 miles of streams have been repaired in its watershed, with about half of that work occurring in the District, Virginia and Maryland, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

A billion-dollar industry has emerged as local governments work to stay below EPA limits for urban runoff that allow them to qualify for storm water permits and that help determine federal funding to states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

But environmental scientists say it is unclear whether the high-cost projects are worth the investment. The work typically uses heavy machinery to clear old trees and plant new ones around re-engineered streams that contain boulders, wood and vegetation meant to absorb harmful pollutants.

In some cases, such projects may be hurting surrounding wildlife unnecessarily, some experts say.

“You modify the system so much that you risk transforming a stream ecosystem into something else. And the question becomes: Is that good?” said Solange Filoso, an aquatic biologist at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science who advocates for smarter stream restoration designs and a greater focus on the sources of urban runoff.

“These restorations are not so reliable that they justify changing a stream ecosystem so dramatically for a result that is not 100 percent guaranteed,” Filoso said. “I think that we may be losing a lot more than we’re gaining.”

Most stream restorations are geared toward state and federal mandates for reducing the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediments — byproducts of urban runoff — draining into the bay every year.

Filoso said there has been a tendency for projects to be done near the bottom of watersheds, based on the assumption that they will filter out greater quantities of pollutants, allowing local agencies to claim they are closer to meeting those mandates.

Some of the “wetland complexes” created by the restorations appear to be successful at absorbing nitrogen, she said, but are not as effective at keeping phosphorus and small particulates of solid waste from entering the bay.

“They’re trying to create little filters at the end that can solve all the problems in the watershed,” Filoso said. “It’s not happening.”

Thomas Jordan, a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, said a fair amount of guesswork is involved in the effort. He cited a $1 million project on his center’s property in Anne Arundel County that initially caused the water to turn a rusty color — because of iron leaching out of rehydrated soil — and, later, appeared to be no more effective at removing pollutants than a beaver dam farther downstream.

“And the beavers do that free,” he said.

Jordan said growing urgency about the bay has allowed projects to go forward without conclusive evidence as to the best approach.

“They’re going to try some stuff, where it looks like it might work,” he said. “The rationale is: ‘We need to do something now.’ ”

For what it's worth, Tom is a former coworker, and still a friend (he plays harmonica in the band at my old work). I heard he got pretty significant push back on this article.

Indeed, beavers do a pretty good job on stream restoration, and the native state of streams in most of the country before colonization and the beaver felt top hat craze was a series of beaver ponds, but they make lousy neighbors. They really don't care if the pond they make floods your street or yard. And once a group gets started in an area, they progressively cut down and eat all the edible (and they have a generous idea of edible) woody vegetation starting near their den, and eventually reaching out about as far as they feel comfortable walking, about a 1/4 mile in all directions, before they move to an area with closer food.

The Wombat has Rule 5 Monday: A Fine Pair up on time and under budget.

Shampeachment, The Beginning of the End

Proving Ace wrong, with the announcement that GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, a key impeachment swing vote, says he will vote against witnesses (the Peacock), it seems like it's all over but the shouting. Which will go on forever, anyway.  They'll vote for no witness, McConnell or somebody will move to vote on the articles, and the impeachment will go down in an almost party line vote (there may be a dissenter or two on either side). Paula Bolyard, PJ Media, Key GOP Senator Announces Impeachment Witness Vote. Game Over? Stacy McCain, Collins Announces ‘Yes,’ Alexander ‘No’ on Calling Impeachment Witnesses: TIE?, and a tie is the same as no, unless Justice Roberts decides to flex his muscle; and I doubt he will.  Althouse, "Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said late Thursday that although he believed that Democrats had proved their case that President Trump acted 'inappropriately' in his dealings with Ukraine..."

"... he did not think the president’s actions were impeachable and would vote against considering new evidence in the impeachment trial. Mr. Alexander’s statement was a strong indication that Republicans had lined up the votes to block a call for more witnesses and documents on Friday and press toward a quick acquittal in the third presidential impeachment trial in history.... 'The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did,' Mr. Alexander said... 'I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday.'...
NYPo, Sohrab Ahmari, Two losses for trans-Atlantic twits: Brexit finally happens, impeachment collapses

And with that, I'll skip back to Russiagate et al. By the time I get back, it may be done. Another take on Flynn attempting to reverse his guilty plea (it's not done until the judge allows it) from Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Michael Flynn: ‘I Regret Pleading Guilty’ and from Victoria Taft at PJ Media, Feds Back Off Jailing Michael Flynn After Stunning New Evidence That Gov't 'Lied' and 'Framed' Him.

Filed under lawsuits I hope will succeed, Ex-Trump aide Carter Page files suit against DNC over dossier: ‘This is only the first salvo’
“In connection with an effort to counter the Trump campaign, Defendants undertook to develop opposition research regarding Trump and his campaign, including persons associated with that campaign,” the new lawsuit states. “As part of this effort, Defendants developed a dossier replete with falsehoods about numerous individuals associated with the Trump campaign—especially Dr. Page. Defendants then sought to tarnish the Trump campaign and its affiliates (including Dr. Page) by publicizing this false information.”


The suit goes on to allege the parties named “misrepresented Dr. Page’s connections to and interactions with certain foreign nationals in order to create the false impression that Dr. Page —a law-abiding American citizen who served his country honorably in the United States Navy and in the private sector—was in fact an agent of a foreign power, Russia.”

The suit states: “Defendants leveraged these fabrications within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (‘FBI’) and the United States Department of Justice (‘DOJ’), leading these agencies to present false applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (‘FISC’).”
Matt Margolis at PJ Media, BOOM: Carter Page Sues DNC Over Bogus Steele Dossier: 'This Is Only the First Salvo',  Capt Ed. at Hot Air, Third Time’s The Charm? Carter Page Sues DNC, Perkins Coie Over Steele Dossier And FISA Surveillance. But the first two were before Horowitz and the DOJ busted the 3rd and 4th FISA warrants.

Bonchie at Red State, House Impeachment Manager Is Asked About the Steele Dossier and His Response Is Unbelievable
Asked whether, under the Dems' impeachment standard, the Clinton campaign's solicitation of the Steele dossier would be considered foreign interference, illegal, or impeachable, @RepJeffries says no -- because the Steele dossier "was purchased."
Rand Paul did it again, with same result,Capt Ed, Video: Roberts Shoots Down Paul’s Whistleblower Question … Again,  Politico, John Roberts blocks mentions of alleged whistleblower's name, sundance at CTH, Justice Roberts Blocks Senator Paul “Impeachment Plot” Questions – Senator Paul Shares His Questions… and Kylee Zempel at Da Fed Read The Question About Eric Ciaramella That Chief Justice John Roberts Just Refused To Read

Stacy McCain, Eric Ciaramella’s Name Is Not a Secret, and #TeamTrump Only Hires Winners
This is the “Streisand Effect” in action — by pretending that we have to treat Eric Ciaramella’s name like it’s top-secret classified information, Tapper and other Democrat operatives in the media have inadvertently made everyone curious to know the identity of the “whistleblower.”
But CJ Roberts did read a closely related question, that got to the heart of the issue, and didn't mention Eric Ciaramella by name. Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 01.30.20, Legal Insurrection: Roberts Rejects Rand Paul’s Question Again Because It supposedly Names The “Whistleblower”, American Greatness: Chief Justice Roberts Blocks Question From Sen. Paul About Ciaramella, Allows Question About Schiff Staffer. Nick Arama, Red State, Chief Justice Roberts Reads Ciaramella/Misko Question About Threat to ‘Take Out the President,’ Schiff’s Response Says Everything
Which prompted an angry response from Schiff. Tyler O'Neil at PJ Media, Schiff Throws Tantrum Over His Staff Getting 'Smeared' by Reports on the 'Whistleblower'. Well, he didn't exactly kick his feet or bang his head, but his eyes bulged more, which I didn't think was possible. Capt. Ed Hot Air VIP, Question Time Drama: Will The Senate Force Roberts Out Of The Process Over The Whistleblower?, Not unless he inserts himself into the witness question, while the AP wonders Gavel time: Will chief justice expand his impeachment role? John Sexton at Hot Air, Warren: Does This Trial Contribute To Loss Of Faith In The Chief Justice And The Constitution?. He did a good job of playing cool, but Althouse detected signs of frustration in An elegant vignette — the classic humility of the judge.
Watching the Chief Justice a second time, I was able to see a subtle expression of feeling. If an actor could do this I'd be impressed. There's a pause at the point where he sees the disrespect in the question (as he's saying "witnesses"). There's a determination to simply move through it. When he's done, he puts the paper down with a slight throwing motion. He continues to look down and his lips are tight and almost frowning
From sundance at CTH, Senator Paul Compares Strzok and Page FBI Plot to Misko and Ciaramella NSC Plot – Video of Press Conference…

also, Senator Rand Paul Discusses Importance Impeachment Origination – Was This Planned Months/Years in Advance?… The outline of the plot was planned, the actual triggering event, the phone call, was opportunistic. Capt Ed. again, Trump Attorney: Did Whistleblower Have His Own Connection To Biden Quid Pro Quo? If it's Eric Ciaramella, why, yes he did.

“If the whistleblower, as is alleged in some public reports, actually did work for then-Vice President Biden on Ukraine issues, exactly what was his role? What was his involvement when issues were raised — we know from testimony that questions were raised — about the potential conflict of interest that the vice president then had when his son was sitting on the board of Burisma,” Philbin asked. “Was the alleged whistleblower involved in any of that and in making decisions to not do anything related to that?” …

“Did he have some reason to want to put the deep-six on any question raising any issue about what went on with the Bidens and Burisma and firing Shokin and withholding a billion dollars in loan guarantees and enforcing a very explicit quid pro quo — you won’t get this billion dollars until you fire him?” Philbin asked, pointedly.

“We don’t know, and because Manager Schiff was guiding this whole process — because he was chairman in charge of directing the inquiry and directing it away from any of those questions — that creates a real due process defect in the record,” the president’s lawyer declared.
Tyler O'Neil, Impeachment 'Whistleblower' May Be Implicated in Biden-Burisma Caper, Trump Lawyer Says. BPR, Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Shokin reportedly files federal complaint, demands investigation of Joe Biden. Heh. Episode 5 - Quid Pro Joe - is streaming now 

The Boys at the Bulwark have given up the pretense of conservatism, Who’s Afraid of Joe Biden? "Why is a Republican senator from Florida running attack ads against Biden in Iowa?" Why not?

A bit on Bolton, in case he is still relevant. Politico sadly reports ‘I’ve had it take years’: Bolton’s book could be tied up past November. Yeah, we waited years for Fast and Furious information. Capt Ed, Bolton Lawyer To NSC: Finish Your Review Of Book Immediately So Bolton Can Testify. WaPoo, Bolton’s lawyer contends his book does not contain classified material and asks White House for expedited review so he can testify if called, Yeah, sure. Also from Capt. Ed, Stop Claiming Bolton Video Proves Him A Liar, Says … Fox & Friends?
Now, back to Shampeachment. Since it's all going to be moot today or tomorrow, I'll just dump this here:

Dershowitz: A quid pro quo is in the public interest if the president believes it's in the public interest for him to win reelection

5 Times Obama Broke The Law But Democrats Didn’t Impeach Him | News and Politics

Schiff Lies Again, Misquotes Trump’s Phone Call With Ukrainian President (Video) - The Lid

Martha McSally: “I have heard enough. It is time to vote.” – HotAir

Biden plans a counterattack on Trump as impeachment tensions rise – HotAir

Dem Senator Is Making a Move That Will Put Chief Justice Roberts in the Hot Seat

Americans have impeached impeachment | Spectator USA

Ace of Spades HQ RCP: Trump's Job Approval Now At Its Highest Level Since the Second Month of His Presidency Plus: Impeachment Update, and the Left Reasserts Its Pagan-Gods-Granted Right to Control What the Proletariat May Safely Say

Senators Mount Final Bid to Sway Vote on Witnesses - WSJ

Alan Dershowitz quits Donald Trump's impeachment trial | Daily Mail Online

Beware the Revenge Impeachment

Razor on Twitter: "Schiff could’ve charged Trump with collusion, bribery, corruption, and treason, but instead chose two things that aren’t crimes because they’re more serious." / Twitter
Pelosi Says Trump Can't Be Acquitted in Impeachment Trial

Top 8 Reasons Trump Already Won Impeachment

How Trump's impeachment created two Democratic superstars - POLITICO

How impeachment could flip the Senate – HotAir

Small government groups find exciting new cause: Dumping on Romney for wanting to call witnesses at Trump's trial

Schiff floats "compromise": How about we have just a single week of witness depositions?

“He will not be acquitted”: Trump can't be vindicated unless witnesses are called, say Pelosi and Schiff

Two GOP sources confirm: Yes, McConnell now thinks he has the votes to defeat calling witnesses

John Brennan: Cancel the State of the Union, blames impeachment

'Vile piece of garbage': Susan Collins receives threatening messages ahead of impeachment witness vote

Rand Paul rips foreign aid recipients: Most ‘are crooks and have stolen it’

Ace of Spades HQ The Morning Report - 1/30/20

Fish Pic Friday - Hail to the Kingfish

Luiza Barros
The fish of the week is the King Mackerel:
The king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) or kingfish, is a migratory species of mackerel of the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. It is an important species to both the commercial and recreational fishing industries.

The king mackerel is a medium-sized fish, typically encountered from 5 to 14 kg (30 lb), but is known to exceed 40 kg (90 lb). The entire body is covered with very small, hardly visible, loosely attached scales. The first (spiny) dorsal fin is entirely colorless and is normally folded back into a body groove, as are the pelvic fins. The lateral line starts high on the shoulder, dips abruptly at mid-body and then continues as a wavy horizontal line to the tail. Coloration is olive on the back, fading to silver with a rosy iridescence on the sides, fading to white on the belly. Fish under 5 kg (10 lb) show yellowish-brown spots on the flanks, somewhat smaller than the spots of the Atlantic Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus maculatus. Its cutting-edged teeth are large, uniform, closely spaced and flattened from side to side.

The king mackerel is a subtropical species of the Atlantic Coast of the Americas. Common in the coastal zone from North Carolina to Brazil, it occurs as far south as Rio de Janeiro, and occasionally as far north as the Gulf of Maine and also found in Eastern coast (Chennai) and Western coast of India. Nonetheless, a preference for water temperatures in the range of 20 to 29 °C (68 to 84 °F) may limit distribution.

King mackerel commonly occur in depths of 12–45 m (40–150 ft), where the principal fisheries occur. Larger kings (heavier than 9 kg or 20 lb) often occur inshore, in the mouths of inlets and harbors, and occasionally even at the 180 m (590 ft) depths at the edge of the Gulf Stream.
Former fishing Barbie, Brooke Thomas

King mackerel are among the most sought-after gamefish throughout their range from North Carolina to Texas. Known throughout the sportfishing world for their blistering runs, the king mackerel matches its distant relative, the wahoo, in speed. They are taken mostly by trolling, using various live and dead baitfish, spoons, jigs and other artificial lures. Commercial gear consists of run-around gill nets. They are also taken commercially by trolling with large planers, heavy tackle and lures similar to those used by sport fishers. Typically when using live bait, two hooks are tied to a strong metal leader. The first may be a treble or single and is hooked through the live bait's nose and/or mouth. The second hook (treble hook) is placed through the top of the fish's back or allowed to swing free. This must be done because king mackerel commonly bite the tail section of a bait fish. When trolling for kings using this method, it is important to make sure the baitfish are swimming properly. Typical tackle includes a conventional or spinning reel capable of holding 340 m (370 yd) of 13 kg (29 lb) test monofilament and a 2 m (6 ft 7 in), 13 kg (29 lb) class rod.
It's on my bucket list.

Darcizzle shows how to catch, clean and cook Kingfish:

The Wombat has Rule 5 Monday: A Fine Pair up on time and under budget.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

EPA Upset at Maryland over Pennsylvania Suit Threat

EPA letter criticizes Maryland over Chesapeake lawsuit threat
In a letter to members of Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday maintained its support for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts while criticizing Maryland, which has threatened to take the agency to court.

The letter was the latest salvo in an escalating battle over whether the federal agency is doing enough to prod Pennsylvania, which is far behind its Bay commitments, to take greater action.

It’s a dispute that appears increasingly likely to head to court. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation on Monday announced its intent to sue the EPA for failing to use its Clean Water Act authority against Pennsylvania.

That followed a Jan. 9 call from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan calling for his state attorney general to initiate legal actions against Pennsylvania, citing the “obvious inadequacy” of its Bay cleanup plan, and against the EPA, which he said has “no intention” of forcing his northern neighbor to do more.  Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has also said his state may take legal action.

The EPA’s letter said it “will continue to work diligently and professionally with all the jurisdictions and stakeholders engaged in supporting restoration of the Bay.”

But it also took aim at Maryland for threatening to sue the agency and Pennsylvania. “Diverting our collective resources to litigation will undoubtedly distract from efforts to restore the Bay and harm the existing partnership among the parties that has been the hallmark of the effort,” said the letter from EPA Region III Administrator Cosmo Servidio.
I guess the days of "Sue and Settle" are truly gone. 

Russiagate: Bolton "I'd Lie for National Security"

A few raisins of Russiagate amidst the thin oatmeal of Shampeachment. A big raisin, Gen Michael Flynn has formally withdrawn his guilty plea, and instead of demanding a longer  sentence  for non-cooperation, DOJ has decided to not ask for time at all, but rather probation. They really don't want to try that case, do they? You can read about it at  Flynn: ‘In Truth, I Never Lied’, by John Sexton at Hot Air (VIP) who wants money, or you can get more from sundance at CTH for free in Flynn Case Update – Flynn Files Motion to Dismiss, Declaration of Plea Reversal – DOJ Files Revised Sentence Recommendation for Probation Only…. Flynns' personal story to the court is filed there, and if true (and I'm pretty sure it is) it makes the Dreyfus affair seem rather tame. Undercover Huber also carries the news.

Also from sundance, Ron and Chuck Go Fishing – Johnson and Grassley Want AG Bill Barr To Declassify IG Footnotes… has a deep dive into the Senators search for the answers to why the FBI was so anxious to keep the Steel Dossier in play. Tristan Justice at Da Fed, Grassley, Johnson Demand Declassification Of Four Key Footnotes In IG Report On FISA Abuses
According to Sens. Grassley and Johnson, the reveal of the four footnotes in the report might further debunk the report’s own primary conclusion that there was no political bias motivating the FBI’s deep-state surveillance operation.

“The American people have a right to know what is contained within these four footnotes and, without that knowledge, they will not have a full picture as to what happened during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation,” the senators wrote.
Also at Da Fed, Margot Cleveland writes IG Report Proves Obama Administration Spied On Trump Campaign Big Time
The IG report also did more than confirm the Crossfire Hurricane team accessed some Trump campaign communications: It established that accessing Page’s communications with the Trump campaign was the goal of the FISA order.

For instance, a case agent working the Crossfire Hurricane investigation explained to the IG’s team that because Page had just “returned from his trip to Russia” before the Republicans’ national convention, the FBI’s “belief was that Page was involved in the platform change [concerning Ukraine] and the team was hoping to find evidence of that in their review of the FISA collections of Page’s email accounts.”
Sharyl Attkisson at AmThink, The Department of Justice Coverup of its Spying on Me Continues
In a just or fair system, the DOJ would not have searched for legal excuses to dismiss the lawsuit I filed to bring the abuses to light… in fact, there would be no need for me to pursue a civil court case because the DOJ would have already prosecuted the guilty parties.

Yet here we are.

On le'ffaire  Bolton, Ace, John Bolton in 2010 Interview: Why Yes, I'd Gladly Lie If I Believed It Would Further My Ideas About National Security. And he disagrees with much of Trumps pro-peace agenda. Do we need to ask more?
[Bolton] approvingly quoted Winston Churchill’s assertion that "truth is so important it should be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies."

"Do you really believe that?" Napolitano responded. "You would lie in order to preserve the truth?"

"Absolutely," Bolton said. "If I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security, I would do it."
Althouse writes "For a guy who couldn’t get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn’t get approved for anything since, 'begged' me for a non Senate approved job..."
"... which I gave him despite many saying 'Don’t do it, sir,' takes the job, mistakenly says 'Libyan Model' on T.V., and many more mistakes of judgement, gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?" Tweets President Trump a little while ago (1, 2).

I like his mild tone there. It's refreshing. To me, it's more convincing than the harsher name-calling. I appreciate that you didn't call him, say, Bolton the Snake... but... by the way... You knew he was a snake.
Sundance, John Bolton Denied Publication Approval by White House Three Days Before Selected Manuscript Leak… Most outlets seem to be trying to imply it happened as a result of the leak, and not the normal process of review for secret material. Example, Jake Tapper at CNN, White House has issued formal threat to Bolton to keep him from publishing book, even though the article admits the date. Capt. Ed, Hot Air VIP, White House Has Served Notice On Bolton, Publisher; Update: Top Secret Information, Not Privilege? Not from the White House, but rather the NSC.

Matt Margolis, PJ Media, This Bombshell Interview with John Bolton Will Crush the Democrats
Daniel McCarthy at SpecUS, Why John Bolton won’t win his war on Trump "Far from damning Trump, his intervention suggests the president was acting in a reasonable manner" Through Hot Air, NYT whines For John Bolton, An “Upside-Down World” After Trump Revelation, although they'd gladly turn it upside-down in following their own agenda. Also, AllahPundit at Hot Air, House Dem Eliot Engel: Bolton Told Me In September To Look Into Yovanovitch’s Removal As Ambassador. Was Yovanovitch Bolton's mole? And AP grins that the GOP squirms as Bolton prepares to dish on Trump White House

Meanwhile, Adam Schiff on John Bolton, via Stacy McCain

Slate on Why We Can Probably Believe John Bolton.  Joseph Klein at Front Page, on Why Bolton’s Testimony on 'Quid Pro Quo' is a Waste of Time, Dershowitz delivers the staggering case. More importantly, as AllahPundit reports Lindsey Graham: Nothing John Bolton Might Say Could Possibly Make This An Impeachable Offense So Let’s Not Call Him. I follow the logic. If it can't be used to impeach him, why bring it in? Because Democrats want to dirty him for 2020.

And speaking of witnesses, Capt. Ed writes, Manchin: Why Yes, “I Really Do” Think Hunter Biden Is A Relevant Witness. Ooof! And, Giuliani: I’m Ready To Testify In The Senate Trial Right Now. I suspect he knows he's better as a witness than Democrats do.
Insty, WELL, THE ADMISSION BY BIDEN IS ON VIDEO: “Ukrainian ex-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin has demanded that the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) open criminal proceedings against former U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden for illegal influence on him as the prosecutor general of Ukraine.” At Da Week, Walther Matthew has a rather sympathetic view of The tragedy of Joe Biden

Which leaves nothing but Shampeachment. The good news is that it may be over by Friday or Saturday. Stacy McCain, Report: Impeachment Could End Friday  "The long, sad circus is coming to its inevitable conclusion" Sundance,Senator Graham Predicts Deliberative Conclusion on Friday… . AllahPundit bemoans, Schumer: It Looks Unlikely That We’ll Have Enough Republican Votes To Call Witnesses, Reuters, Republicans hopeful Senate will acquit Trump in impeachment trial as early as Friday and Trump could be acquitted in impeachment trial as early as Friday-U.S. Senator.   But at NYPo, Trump’s defense team expects cliffhanger in Senate witness vote. At Da Wire, Ted Cruz: ‘Additional Witnesses’ In Senate Still ‘Not Necessary’. Capt Ed, Momentum: Gardner Declares Himself A No On Further Witnesses. Sundance, Senator Hawley: The House Managers “Just Don’t Have a Case”…
Victory Taft, PJ Media, Holy Crap. Lindsey Graham Just Threatened Democrats With His 'Predicted' Impeachment Witness List. "I'll make a prediction. They'll be [sic] 51 Republican votes to call Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, the 'whistleblower,' uh, and the DNC staffer at a very minimum." Ace, Schumer: Our Kavanaugh Strategy of Carefully Sequenced Disclosures and Demands for More Witnesses and Investigations Will Probably End Tomorrow Breitbart. On Da Hill, Nadler floats John Kelly as potential impeachment witness. At Da Wire, Senator Hawley Releases Trial Questions He Plans To Ask About Bidens, Whistleblower, Schiff  Susan Collins: ‘Very Likely’ I Will Vote for Witnesses at Impeachment Trial, but she was already counted there. At AmThink, That Trio of RINO Rebels. Politicians gonna gonna commit politics. Fred Lucas at Da Signal, ‘Danger, Danger, Danger’: 4 Highlights From Final Day of Defense Arguments in Impeachment Trial

Axios, What senators will ask during impeachment trial's question time. AllahPundit, Question From Collins And Murkowski: Did Trump Ever Mention Biden Corruption Towards Ukraine Before Biden Entered The Presidential Race?. Why, yes, he did. Town Hall, Patrick Philbin Nails Adam Schiff on Whistleblower Contact and for Hiding Evidence, which doesn't matter because Adam Schiff has no shame. The Atlantic, Stop the Impeachment-Polling Madness "A decision to remove the president from office should not turn on public opinion." It must be turning against them. Politico, Poll: Nearly 6 in 10 oppose Trump’s use of executive privilege to muzzle witnesses. AllahPundit, hits a strawman, sets it on fire, Dershowitz: A Quid Pro Quo Is In The Public Interest If The President Believes It’s In The Public Interest For Him To Win Reelection. What he really said had something to due with mixed motives.

Well, an acquittal on Friday would make most of the rest of this moot: LI, Trump’s Defense Team Wrap Up Opening Arguments. Ace's Morning Rant and Tyler O'Neil at PJ Media, Trump Defense Team Concludes With 1998 Dems Warning Against Partisan Impeachment. It was a classic moment.
Ace, Chief Justice Roberts Is Censoring Questions from Republican Senators, and Other Impeachment Stuff Rand Paul named he who must not be named, Eric Ciaramella. Paul Bedard at WaEx notes, Adam Schiff talked 454% more than lead Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow. Which is probably good for Trump, because Schiff exudes slime.

News Busters, Evening News Spin: 100% Negative on Trump Defense, 95% Positive Dems. They've dropped all pretense at objectivity. Trust them at your own risk. Breitbart, Fact Check: CNN Falsely Claims ‘GOP Concedes Trump May Have Withheld Aid But Says It’s Not Impeachable’ At least with Breitbart we know where they stand. Megan Fox at PJ Media, Wikileaks Proved Maggie Haberman Is a Dem Operative and Her NYT 'Expose' Should Go in the Garbage.

Da Wire, Dianne Feinstein Backpedals: I Was ‘Misunderstood’ Over Trump Acquittal Comments as Democrat Just Accidentally Admitted House Impeachment Case Is Evidence-Free.

Michael Goodwin NYPO Parties must move on from Trump impeachment — or end in mutual destruction. Trade destruction of the Democrats for destruction of the Republicans. As Jack Benny said, I'm thinking it over. From the Red Pill Jew,  Impeachment - really TWO TRIALS
The Democrats, master propagandists that they are, are not trying to convince Senators – they’re playing to public opinion. Trying to increase Trump’s negatives and drive down his approval numbers. Their target audience, with the enemedia’s complicity, is the public... and secondarily the squishy-middle RINOs and NeverTrumpers.

Trump's defenders, honorable people, are trying a legal trial, presenting facts, reason, logic, precedent, etc., with a target audience of the Senators.

And this is how we lose. Time and again. We keep fighting by Marquis of Queensbury Rules, assuming an honorable opposition who is interested in a rational debate.


Consider, as something I read briefly this morning, their calls for “a fair trial”. It’s the defendant who is to get a fair trial, not the prosecution. And after their sham hearings in the house, under rules that would have a banana republic Jones with envy, they talk about fairness??? Start bringing these to your next townhall with your representative and play with it, openly, as they talk. Be nakedly contemptuous as you hop the kangaroo around your lap, or table, right in front of them. (E.g., "Excuse me, that's distracting me from speaking" "Oh, I'm just giving you the same courtesy as you gave President Trump in your kangaroo court shampeachment".)
At Red State, If Nadler Is Right and Trump Is a Dictator, Why Hasn’t De Niro ‘Disappeared’?, and from Katie Pavlich at Town Hall, Democrat's Latest Star Just Got Ejected From the Senate and You'll Never Guess Why. Lev Parnas; who knew you weren't allowed to wear ankle bracelets in Congress?

I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

Tattoo Thursday - Flowers That Are Forever

The Wombat has Rule 5 Monday: A Fine Pair up on time and under budget.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Republicans Pounce!

Or are we seizing this week; it seems like I'm always behind. Stacy McCain: Republicans ‘Punch Back Twice as Hard’ With Ad Targeting CNN Elitists
In 2009, when the Obama administration was trying to ram its agenda through Congress, White House chief of staff Jim Messina told nervous Democrats not to worry about criticism: “If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard.” That line has since become a regular meme at Instapundit — Democrats can’t stand it when we “punch back” — and apparently the folks at GOP headquarters are paying attention:
The Republican National Committee (RNC) launched a new digital campaign ad and a fundraiser on Tuesday in response to CNN’s Don Lemon mocking Trump supporters during a segment on his show that went viral on Monday night. . . .
The segment featured Lemon, far-left op-ed writer Wajahat Ali, and anti-Trump establishment Republican Rick Wilson who mocked Trump supporters as being uneducated rednecks who could not read, spell, or use maps.
“CNN anchor Don Lemon, The New York Times’ Wajahat Ali and winless carnival barker and scam PAC artist Rick Wilson let everyday Americans know what the establishment thinks about them: President Trump’s supporters are just a bunch of illiterate idiots deserving of the elites’ smug derision,” RNC Spokesman Steve Guest told The Daily Wire in a statement. “In a matter of seconds, CNN summed up the elite left’s disdain for half of America.”
Guest added, “Reminder for voters: As Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders campaign across the South for your vote, Lemon, Ali, and Wilson just summarized what these candidates really think of you as they shake your hand and pose for selfies.”

(Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.) Meanwhile, the “let’s mock 62.9 million Republican voters as retards” gang took to Twitter to pose as victims — climb up on that cross, Rick! — and their pathetic crybaby routine even got retweeted by anti-American Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Never forget, they hate you and the horse you rode in on, you hicks.

Probably Not

Gerald Weigrad: Does the Maryland General Assembly have the courage to save the oyster and rockfish? History would suggest this is very unlikely.
Oyster populations are at less than 1% of historic levels despite the expenditure of more than $100 million in public funds for planting spat-on-shell and establishing sanctuaries. The Oyster Recovery Partnership has failed to restore oyster populations. A 2018 stock assessment found a 50% decline in Maryland oysters from 1999-2018.

In 2019, the Department of Natural Resources developed a new fishery management plan for oysters knowing of this collapse but failed to do much to restrict harvest despite findings of collapse and that more than 50% of harvest areas are overfished and might be depleted of oysters without action.

Instead of pursuing closure or restrictions on the oyster harvest, especially from overfished areas, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and state Sen. Sarah Elfreth are leading the charge to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that does nothing to restore oysters and likely blocks meaningful restrictions for at least two years. SB 830 establishes a 25-member commission, with 60% of members from the oyster industry, to develop another oyster management plan that requires a 75% majority vote for any actions.

A 2011 study by the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and other biologists called for a moratorium, concluding that if oyster harvest had stopped from 1980-2011, adult oyster abundance would be 15.8 times greater than in 2011. Instead, it declined by 92%.

On rockfish, the coastal management board — Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission — has forced states to act because of alarming rockfish declines. They found female biomass to be only 40% of the target goal and fishing mortality to be a whopping 55% greater than the target

The 2019 DNR survey of young rockfish found numbers significantly below the 66-year average, the third-lowest in 11 years. This means very poor prospects for adult rockfish in the future. Maryland waters are the cradle of rockfish reproduction.

DNR failed to act last year while Virginia eliminated its 2019 spring trophy season and significantly curtailed its fall fishery by capping sizes and limiting daily fish landings. DNR now appears to be taking the path of least resistance whereby they propose simply delaying the spring trophy season from April 18 to May and allowing recreational fishermen to keep two rockfish at a minimum of 19 inches. Nothing is proposed to curb the major commercial fishery.
. . .
DNR should act now to close the trophy season, reduce the commercial quota significantly, and follow the ASMFC proposals for a one fish creel limit and an 18-inch minimum size for recreational fisheries. The DNR requirement for hook changes has not stanched high mortality from recreational discards of rockfish. These rockfish litter the beaches where I live near Annapolis just below CBF headquarters. CBF has not proposed specific significant reductions on rockfish harvest.

Does the legislature have the courage to do what is necessary? If they vote to override the veto of SB 830, one thing you can be sure of: politicians and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and their followers will declare victory and tout their great success in helping restore the oyster to the bay.
The Wombat has Rule 5 Monday: A Fine Pair up on time and under budget.

Shampeachment: Senators Bolting over Bolton

Some lingering Russiagate as Lloyd Billingsley at Front Page compares Spygate to Ruby Ridge in Clues to the Coup Clan
That’s the lesson of Ruby Ridge.

FBI big shots emerged unscathed and the FBI went on to deploy massive military force at Waco, Texas, which claimed 75 lives including 25 children. If Comey and McCabe don’t serve serious time, the Deep State is sure to deploy against a future president and his supporters.
I think it's time to end the FBI and roll its crime fighters into the Marshal's Service. Move the counterintelligence to DOD maybe. And speaking of federal crime, CNN's presidential contender and former attorney to Stormy Daniels, on trial for extorting Nike, Michael Avenatti Googled ‘insider trading’ before Nike meeting. I guess cyber security wasn't his forte.

Le Affair Bolton. Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media, The Morning Briefing: Bolton's Book Leak Will Be the Latest 'BOMBSHELL!' Dud for the Dems and Rich Lowry, NYPo, Why John Bolton’s ‘bombshell’ really isn’t. Statistically, it's a good bet. It sounds like old news repackaged. I hope whatever the Democrats have lined up for next week is better. Paul Goldberg's NewsThud, George W. Bush Called John Bolton ‘Not Credible’ In 2008: “I Don’t Consider Bolton Credible”. Michael Goodwin, NYPo, Even with Bolton, case against Trump too small for impeachment. And the Dersh agrees,Da Caller,  Alan Dershowitz Addresses Times Report On Bolton Manuscript In Senate Arguments and  Dershowitz: Even If Bolton’s Correct, It’s Not Impeachable Conduct, from Capt. Ed at Hot Air.

Robert Spencer at Front Page, John Bolton Sells Out and America pays the price and for just plain lunacy, Capt. Ed, White House, GOP On Bolton: “John The Backstabber” A Disgruntled Profiteer, Or Something.  Mary Chastain at LI reports Lawrence O’Donnell claims Trump may have killed Soleimani “to influence Bolton not to testify to the Senate”

AllahPundit at HotAir, GOP Sen. James Lankford: The White House Should Give Us A Copy Of Bolton’s Manuscript; Update: No SCIF, Says Schumer. In case you forgot, you're not the boss here anymore, Chuck. Also, Ron Johnson To Bolton: How About You Open That Yapper Of Yours And Give Us Some Clarity On This Ukraine Thing. That seems the simpler solution. HerTrib, Former Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly tells Sarasota crowd ‘I believe John Bolton’

Tom Maguire at JOM has Andrew McCarthy On Bolton And Surprises
Andrew McCarthy has been skeptical of this impeachment process (as have I) but he is highly critical of the Trump defense "strategy" - Bolton has been a joker in the deck for a while (his proposed book manuscript has been circulating in the White House since late December). Why risk surprises, or especially non-surprises?
For months, I’ve been arguing that the president’s team should stop claiming there was no quid pro quo conditioning the defense aid Congress had authorized for Ukraine on Kyiv’s conducting of investigations the president wanted. Trials and impeachment itself are unpredictable. You don’t know what previously undisclosed facts might emerge during the trial that could turn the momentum against you. So you want to mount your best defense, the one that can withstand any damaging new revelations.
Here, the president’s best defense has always been that Ukraine got its security aid, and President Volodymyr Zelensky got his coveted high-profile audience with the president of the United States (albeit at the U.N., rather than at the White House). Kyiv barely knew defense aid was being withheld, the very temporary delay had no impact whatsoever on Ukraine’s capacity to counter Russian aggression, and Zelensky was required neither to order nor to announce any investigation of the Bidens.
Axios triumphantly trumpets Trump's defense team shifts from complacency to urgency and at Da Fed, After Urging Bolton Testimony, Pierre Romney Delicto Refuses To Say If He Supports Calling Biden, Schiff, Whistleblower As Witnesses and Politico, Mitt makes his move.

Which brings us to the newly revived question of witness. Sundance at CTH, Mitch McConnell Prepares for Next Steps in Senate Trial – Questions, Then Possible Witnesses… Via Hot Air, NYT thinks Report: Trump Sees Witnesses As Increasingly Likely. Axios, Republicans brace for domino effect on witnesses,  AllahPundit  Reports: Trump, McConnell Each Increasingly Resigned To Senate Calling Witnesses  Streif at Red State, Lindsey Graham Says There Are at Least 51 Votes for More Witnesses and the Democrats Aren’t Going to Like Them. I like the new Lindsey. Then in quick succession from Hot Air, Breaking: McConnell Tells GOP He Doesn’t Have Votes To Block Witnesses and McConnell Doesn’t Have The Votes To Block Witnesses Yet — But It Sounds Like He Will By Friday
The headlines going around this evening, all to the effect that “McConnell doesn’t have the votes!”, are misleading when you read down into the stories themselves. Republicans sound much calmer and more resolute about ramming through an acquittal verdict without witnesses than they did 24 hours ago, in the first flush of the NYT’s story on Sunday night about Bolton’s book. McConnell doesn’t have the votes yet but as of Tuesday night Collins and Romney remain the only two Republicans willing to say it’s highly likely they’ll vote to call witnesses. Murkowski is interested in hearing from Bolton but won’t go any further than that now. And no one thinks Lamar Alexander’s going to blow up his buddy Mitch’s plans for a quick ending to the trial.
Herr Professor at LI, With several Republicans apparently succumbing on impeachment witnesses, Mitch McConnell may need to go ‘nuclear’
So McConnell’s way out it to force Democrats to reject a witness deal. That way, Democrats are the ones responsible for no new witnesses. It provides cover to people like Susan Collins who may be concerned how voting against witnesses my impact their reelection chances.

McConnell needs to go nuclear. Mutually Assured Destruction nuclear on witnesses — the Bidens or bust.
But are witnesses just a Democratic stall on the way to acquittal? Probably. Ace, Diane Feinstein: I Don't Know If There's Enough Evidence for Impeachment to Support Anything But an Acquittal Interesting . . . Twitchy, Did Dianne Feinstein just suggest that she might vote to acquit Donald Trump? The LA Times seems to think so; UPDATE: Feinstein responds. Evidence? What doe evidence have to do with it? AllahPundit, No, Dianne Feinstein Isn’t Leaning Towards Acquitting Trump. But It Sort Of Sounded That Way At First. But, John Sexton at Hot Air Three Democratic Senators Are Considering Acquitting Trump
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama are undecided on whether to vote to remove the president from office and agonizing over where to land. It’s a decision that could have major ramifications for each senator’s legacy and political prospects — as well shape the broader political dynamic surrounding impeachment heading into the 2020 election.

All three senators remain undecided after hearing arguments from the impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team. But they could end up with a creative solution.

One or more senators may end up splitting their votes, borrowing a move from Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), who voted for the abuse of power charge but against the one on obstruction of Congress.
Bipartisan acquittal? I like the sound of that.

Michael Walsh at ET, With Impeachment, Democrats Fall for Russian Gambit as Putin pulls the Democrat strings. But fortunately from Rassmussen, Most Say Impeachment No Problem for Trump in Upcoming Election because, as Daniel Greenfield notes in Impeachment Is Killing Trump Derangement Syndrome, "You can only hit the rage button so many times." Mollie at Da Fed, Trump Is Right. Adam Schiff Has Not Paid For Damaging The Country With Years Of Lies

And we have some reviews for the Trump defense team. At Da Caller, Ken Starr Accuses House Democrats Of Delivering Impeachment Articles ‘Dripping With Process Violations’, Paul Goldberg's NewsThud has Trump Lawyer Jane Raskin Wins Day With Adam Schiff Takedown: “Score is Giuliani Four, Schiff Zero” and Eric Herschmann Hits For Obama Abusing Power For Political Benefit Shaming Dems: ‘Sound Familiar House Managers’. Althouse dodges the question of "Ann, I need your assessment. I thought Dershowitz was excellent but I’m not a lawyer nor a law professor. You are. Give him a grade, Professor."
I didn't give Dershowitz a question. To think in my lawprofessorly way about grades, I would have to infer a question that I might have asked.

I think that question should be: Restate the constitutional phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" into a workable standard that the House and the Senate can and should use today and in the future in all cases of presidential impeachment. Explain your choice using all of the methodologies of constitutional interpretation that you deem appropriate (and explain why you are deciding this approach to interpretation is appropriate).
Do you think he did that? Read the transcript.
From Tyler O'Neil at PJ Media, Trump Defense Lawyer Pam Bondi Rakes Hunter Biden Over the Coals, Exposing Burisma Corruption, Breitbart, Pam Bondi Lays Out Case Against Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Burisma and EBL #QuidProJoe and Hunter Biden: Pam Bondi in the Senate 🔥

Stacy McCain brings us Hunter Biden Settles Child-Support Arrangement With Arkansas Stripper.
Here is one tiny snippet of the story:
Biden, who is a lawyer, originally denied having sex with Roberts.
But a DNA showed that the child was almost certainly his, and he stopped contesting paternity in the case.
So . . . Biden lied. He did not merely lie, but he lied to a court, and what happens to lawyers who lie in court? Isn’t disbarment appropriate? Perhaps there is some loophole for lying about sex, but whatever the case may be in terms of legal ethics, it is now established as a fact that you can never trust a Biden to tell the truth. Dishonesty is a hereditary trait, and yet every “mainstream” (i.e., liberal) news organization thinks we should just accept Joe Biden’s word that Hunter didn’t do anything wrong in accepting an $83,000-a-month “job” with Burisma
. . .
But there’s no corruption worth investigating when Democrats do it. Just the cocaine-addicted son of the former vice president, impregnating strippers while on the payroll of Ukrainian kleptocrats — you’re promoting a “right-wing conspiracy theory” if you want to investigate.

From Adam Freedman at City Journal, Abuse of Procedure, "The House Democrats make an underwhelming case for impeachment—one without a constitutional basis."

Sundance thinks Elise Stefanik Swings Big Timber…
We might not align on all issues, but whooo doggies…. Rep. Elise Stefanik swings big timber and fights when needed during this impeachment fiasco. If I had a $10 budget for lunch, I’d send it to her reelection campaign and wait to eat til dinner…. she’s worth it.

The reporter here is just an awful hack. Patricia McCarthy at AmGreat, After two days of defense, Schiff's impeachment ploy is becoming clear
The irrationally obsessed Schiff had a plan, as surely as the Crossfire Hurricane cabal had a plan, to take Trump down by hook or by crook. The Mueller Report failed to deliver, so he sought a new and fabricated reason to impeach.

Now that we see and hear Schiff's case be completely devastated by Trump's defense team, one has to wonder how the House managers had the gall to stand up and spew the lies each of them put forth over twenty-three hours. It is probably safe to assume that they did none of their own research, nor did they write their own presentations. Most likely, Schiff directed his own staff to prepare their carefully constructed speeches, which they came to the podium to read.

Had questions been asked of them about their arguments in favor of impeachment, it is doubtful they could have answered even one. Bottom line? These "managers" know far less about all that has taken place than the average American who has been paying attention. They live in an insulated bubble of Trump-hatred and are constitutional illiterates.
At Fox, Deroy Murdoch reminds us that the Democrat impeachment managers voted AGAINST military aid to Ukraine. Hypocrisy in Congress? Whoda thunk?

Lots more links at the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 01.27.20 and In The Mailbox: 01.28.20