Saturday, February 29, 2020

At Least They Weren't in the Nude

How did the old guy stay so clean?
Because I don't think a nude protest would help their case. Watermen take to the streets to protest
About 100 members of the Talbot Waterman’s Association lined up in front of the Easton Shore Land Conservancy to protest in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Feb. 26.

The group is taking issue with the conservancy’s and Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s lack of effort to work with the watermen in a way that allows them to make a living, they said.

The evening before the protest, a group of about 200 watermen gathered in Annapolis to address Senate Bill 948, sponsored by state Sen. Paul G. Pnsky, D-22-Prince George's, that would reduce unlimited tidal fishery license holders’ ability to harvest oysters.

“I think it was a great turnout by the watermen,” President of Talbot Waterman’s Association Jeff Harrison said. “I think we did impress some of the senators and did a good job of trying to kill SB 948.
This appears to be about the same issue that I posted about a few days ago, a law that would force watermen to pay a fee to keep their oyster licenses working, even if they were not harvesting oysters in a given year.
“There is a chance they would work with them, but every time we face up with them and try to help them out, they just do what they want,” Harrison said. “We don’t want war with them and we just want people to know that we aren’t the problem here.”

A.J. Metcalf of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said the organization is not deaf to what the watermen have to say.

Metcalf said that with the consensus-based oyster fishery management plan law put into place this year — after the legislature overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto — watermen will play a major role in that process as their representatives and those of seafood sellers make up 60 percent of the new commission’s membership.
A "consensus plan" for oyster fishing sounds like two lions sitting around with a lamb to decide what's for dinner.
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has been around long enough that they have convinced people that the only way to save the bay is to get rid of the watermen,” Harrison said. “We don’t know why they are trying to change the identity of the state.”

Harrison said that if this pattern keeps up, in 10 years local seafood will be gone and it will be imported from overseas.
If watermen had their way completely, it would all be long gone.

Reasons #6428 and 6429 that Trump was Elected

A twice-deported illegal immigrant accused of murdering three people is on the run in California.
Three bodies were found in a Perris, California, cemetery, and the Riverside County sheriff said 33-year-old Mexican national Jose Luis Torres Garcia is the primary suspect in what appears to have been an execution-style killing. He is on the run and considered armed and dangerous.

"At this time, we believe this person acted alone in the homicide. He should be considered armed and extremely dangerous," Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco told the public. "Do not make contact with him. Notify law enforcement immediately."

Garcia already had an active warrant for his arrest for drunk driving and a warrant for drug crimes, according to KESQ News. He has been deported from the United States twice but returned to California, a state known for its sanctuary city policies.

Authorities believe Garcia knew the deceased victims, 28-year-old Rodrigo Aguilar-Esepejel, 38-year-old Jose Maria Aguilar-Espejel, and 50-year-old Jaime Covarrubias Espindola.

"The suspect and victims knew each other," Bianco said. "The normal resident of Perris has nothing to fear from him. This was not a random killing. There was a reason for the four of them to be together."

Bianco added that it was possible the suspect had fled to Mexico and said local authorities were "working with our counterparts across the border” to bring Garcia into custody.
Well, at least he won't be collecting welfare, Supreme Court OK's Public Charge
he January 27, 5:4 decision is a big win for President Donald Trump and his populist advisers, partly because the court also slammed lower-court judges who impose nationwide rules in lawsuits that involve a few local plaintiffs, as reported by Breitbart News.

The decision allows the public charge rule to be applied while lower court judges hear arguments from advocates and critics. Eventually, the rule may be blocked by the judges, but it will operate for some time to exclude people — such as unskilled chain-migrants, or the elderly parents of migrants — who will likely use welfare or government-run healthcare programs.

The rule is also a win for Americans employees, whose wages are being suppressed, and housing costs are rising amid the business-backed inflow of roughly 1 million immigrant workers, consumers, and renters each year.

Democratic legislators denounced the win.
Because, shut up!

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest and by The Red Pill Jew in LINKFEST March 5, 2020

Russiagate: Ratcliffe Renominated

A moderate set. First, from Adam Mills at AmGreat pushes George Papadopuolos in New Book: The FBI Considered Joseph Mifsud an Asset. I know he believes it and it's probably true, but I didn't seen any new evidence. Meanwhile, from Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx, Christopher Steele and crowd are still flogging the dead horse, 'Trump-Russia dossier was valid': Christopher Steele defends controversial 2016 report, and Da Caller's Chuck Ross,  Christopher Steele’s Firm Touts Ex-FBI Official’s Dossier Assessment, Fails To Disclose He Was Paid $4 Million
The latest dossier defense, offered up by Arthur Snell, a managing director at Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, suggests that former FBI cybersecurity official Anthony Ferrante has validated the dossier.

But what Snell failed to disclose is that BuzzFeed News reportedly paid Ferrante $4.1 million to investigate only a narrow part of the dossier as part of a lawsuit that the website faced for publishing Steele’s report.

Ferrante was unable to corroborate Steele’s allegations, despite the hefty payday. But that didn’t stop Orbis from citing the former FBI official in its latest dossier defense.
Also from Chuck, Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against FBI Informant Used In Trump Probe. A Clinton appointee. That's too bad. Maybe an appeal is in order.
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a Russian-British historian’s lawsuit against several U.S. newspapers and Stefan Halper, a former Cambridge professor who served as a confidential human source for the FBI during the Trump-Russia probe.

Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that the statute of limitations had expired for many of the allegations in the defamation lawsuit, which Svetlana Lokhova filed on May 23, 2019. Brinkema also ruled that news articles that Lokhova cited in her lawsuit were not defamatory.
More recently, of course, Democratic officials may have pushed bogus intelligence alleging the Russians want to reelect Trump from Becket Adams at WaEx.  They're down to the bottom of their bag of tricks.

In more news rehash, Just the News reports Michael Flynn seeks total exoneration, not pardon, says his attorney, and I believe he deserves it. Call McCabe and Comey to testify. From Dan Chaitin at WaEx, Devin Nunes: 'Deep state' is 'much worse than even I thought it ever was

WaPoo, Former White House counsel Don McGahn does not have to testify to House, appeals court finds and   Sundance at CTH (whi cites Politico) , White House Wins DC Appeals Court Ruling Blocking Don McGahn Testimony…
This ruling also undermines the ridiculous “obstruction” article of impeachment because it shows the White House had a justifiable and constitutional argument to make against the House in the judicial branch.  The issue at stake was  whether the legislative branch can penetrate the constitutional firewall which exists within the separation of powers.
AP, Dems launch Justice probe, seek Stone-related interviews and from WaPooJudiciary Committee chairman asks Barr to permit testimony from four career prosecutors who quit the Roger Stone case Just say no!
In a letter to Barr, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) wrote that recent events at the Justice Department — including leadership’s unusual intervention to reduce career prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for Stone — have been “deeply troubling” and requested that Barr turn over communications between the White House and the Justice Department on several politically sensitive cases.

Nadler also asked that Barr make available for testimony or interviews 15 different current and former officials involved in the matters, including the four career prosecutors who until recently handled the Stone case and all the U.S. attorneys across the country that the Justice Department has recently tapped for special assignments of interest to Trump.
Leftist Bullies Attack AG Barr by Janice Shaw Crouse at AmThink. Well, duh! In an opinion piece at WaPoo, George Terwilliger writes I was Barr’s deputy attorney general. He did his job in the Roger Stone case.
Attorney General William P. Barr is under assault for what his critics decry as improper interference in the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone. But the claim that decisions by career prosecutors should in essence be unreviewable by those appointed to leadership positions in the Justice Department is not just wrong; it is also irresponsible. Barr wasn’t intervening inappropriately. He was doing his job.

An editorial in The Post said the attorney general should “leave it to the professionals.” What a dangerous notion that is. I served in the Justice Department for 15 years, half of that time as a career prosecutor. From time to time, I was overruled on decisions involving my cases. My judgment was better for the benefit of oversight and supervision, including from the politically appointed U.S. attorney. Whether direction came from even higher authority is unknown to me, but if it did, I would see it no differently. That is how a chain of command must work.
From Mark Tapscott, ET, ‘Clean’ FISA Renewal Moving Ahead as Key Spygate Reforms Are Pushed Down the Road
Senate and House Republicans appear to be at loggerheads on whether to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) before or after the controversial law at the heart of the Spygate scandal is reauthorized.

Amid frenzied budget negotiations, an obscure provision in the Nov. 18, 2019, measure keeping the government open extended FISA’s expiration at the end of the year to March 15, 2020.
Taylor Millard, Hot Air, FISA Reform Advocates Unhappy With Vote Delay and Sara Carter, Republicans Battle To Rein In FISA Court: ‘We can’t settle for clean reauthorization’. Kill it. Cut of it's head, fill it's mouth with garlic, stake the heart and burn the body.

In a bit of new news from Fox, Trump nominates John Ratcliffe for top intelligence post, and WaPoo editorializes, Trump returns to failed pick for intelligence chief. As noted Ratcliffe was nominated once and withdrew, but that was before the shampeachment. Ace, Trump Nominates Representative John Ratcliffe, Deep State Scourge, as Director of National Intelligence "Trump will actually have allies in high positions of government in his second term. It's gonna get lit."  AllahPundit at Hot Air thinks he knows what's happening. Here We Go Again: Trump Nominates John Ratcliffe To Be New Director Of National Intelligence
Here’s where the cunning comes in. Trump knows that this is an election year. He knows that his approval rating, both within his own party and across the population, is about as high right now as it’s ever been. (Coronavirus may change that soon, but never mind.) He knows that Republican voters just circled the wagons around him on impeachment and are ready to circle those same wagons tighter as we proceed towards the general election. All of that being so, Senate Republicans may be materially less likely to cross him on Ratcliffe’s nomination now than they were eight months ago. Does Romney want to cast another “traitorous” vote against Trump so soon after the Senate trial? Does Susan Collins want to piss him off with his voters in Maine watching her closely? Does Burr want to cause a rift with the president in North Carolina, one of the most important swing states this fall?

The odds of the Senate meekly confirming Ratcliffe have improved and Trump knows it. So he’s calling their bluff. I dare you to reject him.

But here’s where it gets even more cunning. Trump may be viewing this, correctly, as a “heads I win, tails I win” situation thanks to a loophole in federal law on executive branch vacancies. The law was written in the belief that presidents would always prefer permanent appointees as a matter of basic stability and sound constitutional practice. You want someone at DNI or DHS or HHS or wherever? Just send the nomination over to the Senate and they’ll vote up or down. And until Trump, presidents did approach the matter that way. Trump doesn’t care about stability, though; if anything, he appears to enjoy volatility in government. He seems to prefer acting directors since they can be shuffled around according to his whims. They may even be more prone to behaving like yes men than permanent appointees are because there’s a chance that the president will formally nominate them to the permanent position if they’re especially obsequious.
If so, I'm OK with it. Sundance, President Trump Nominates John Ratcliffe for Director of National Intelligence – Ramifications… "Quite a bit to unpack here, and most of it is very good news." He also finds Devin Nunes Reacting to the Ratcliffe DNI Nomination – And New Ukraine Investigation…

Things that continue to make you go hmmm from Da Blaze, Police say initial reports calling Obama-era whistleblower's death a 'suicide' were 'misinformation Mis or Dis?

Leap Day Rule Five Saturday - Kristin Kreuk

This week's Rule 5 special is Kristin Kreuk
Kristin Laura Kreuk  born December 30, 1982) is a Canadian actress. Debuting on Canadian teen drama Edgemont, she became most known for her roles as Lana Lang in the superhero television series Smallville (2001–2008), and as Catherine Chandler in The CW sci-fi series Beauty & the Beast (2012–2016).

She has also starred in movies such as Snow White: The Fairest of Them All (2001), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), and Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy (2011).
Chun Li!

Kreuk was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Peter Kreuk and Deanna Che, two landscape architects. Her father is of Dutch descent, her mother is of Chinese descent, born in Indonesia, and her maternal grandmother was Chinese Jamaican.

Kreuk trained in karate  and gymnastics at the national level until high school, but quit in grade 11 due to scoliosis.  Kreuk was planning to study forensic science or psychology at Simon Fraser University, and was surprised when a casting director for the CBC television series Edgemont contacted her at her high school. 
Another fine example of hybrid vigor.
In November 2017, Kreuk and her Smallville co-star Allison Mack were linked to a multi-level marketing organization known as NXIVM, which was founded by Keith Raniere. In March 2018, following Raniere's arrest, Kreuk disclosed on her Twitter account that she had joined NXIVM believing it was a "self-help" group but left in 2013, and was in minimal contact with any members of the group, nor had she witnessed any illegal or nefarious activities during her time in the group. She stated that her involvement with the group was limited to taking courses. Kreuk's version of events was backed by actress Sarah Edmondson, who had participated in exposing NXIVM's activities.
Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest. Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Mapy Cortes  and
FMJRA 2.0 Chicanery up at The Other McCain. Linked by EBL in Women of the IditoradNational Cereal DayAna de ArmasBiden Babes: Bad Touch Biden Can't Help Himself, Jamestown, Susannah McCorkle: Waters of March, Carter Family: March Winds Gonna Blow My Blues Away, Janet Leigh and Julie London: Melancholy March.

Friday, February 28, 2020

What's Up With Virginia?

Karen Townsend at Hot Air: Transgender Book Readings Scheduled In Virginia Elementary Schools
The normalization of the transgender agenda hits public schools in Virginia and other states this week. Activists in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the National Education Association (NEA) team up to encourage a day set aside to celebrate transgenderism. Volunteers will read three books chosen to help young children understand a very adult topic.

The event is called Jazz & Friends National Day of School & Community readings. The three books chosen for this year’s indoctrination are: “Julian is a Mermaid”, “I am Jazz”, and “They She He Me: Free to Be!” Family Research Council (FRC) is encouraging parents to keep their children home from school. There is a post on FRC’s website that suggests it may be a good day to take children to a museum or some such activity instead of attending school.
"Jazz" Jennings

Do you want your child to be psychologically manipulated at school on Thursday? Might be a good day for a Mommy Date at the museum!
The anti-Christian Human Rights Campaign and their pals at the powerful National Education Association are pushing public schools to recognize this Thursday as “Jazz and Friends National Day of School & Community Readings.”
One of the books they are promoting is I Am Jazz, a transgender propaganda book designed for children. It is based on the real-life story of “Jazz,” a child who was convinced that he was born in the wrong body. As a child he was injected with hormones to block his normal sexual development, and recently he had radical surgery to complete his “transition” to another sex. Which, of course, is impossible.
Activists groups are trying to make the reading of this book an annual event.
The day will be used to promote gender deviance and LGBT politics to vulnerable children. Not all schools are doing it. Yet. But some are.
In one Arlington, Va. school, “mystery readers” are scheduled to come and read to the children. The school has not revealed to parents who they are and what they will read. Wow.
There is an opt-out option, using a National Opt-Out Letter, provided by the Arlington Parent Coalition. The organization released a statement, part of which reads as follows:
The Arlington Parent Coalition recommends that if parents are not comfortable with children being taught that biology has no bearing on one’s sex, and that “anyone can be anything,” and that “God makes mistakes sometimes,” and that “you may not be the gender your parents said you are,” parents might want to have their children take a sick day on Thursday, February 27, 2020.
If you have not yet submitted a Universal Opt-Out Letter to prevent your child from receiving lessons around this kind of dangerous nonsense, we recommend that you do so immediately. If you have submitted an opt-out, your child should not be exposed to this cause célèbre on February 27 or any other day.
However, in our experience Arlington Public Schools remains consistently unconcerned with either parental permission or children’s protections. So please plan accordingly on Thursday.
Jazz Jennings shows off transgender
confirmation surgery scars. 

The event this year includes the story of Jazz Jennings, a reality television star. “I am Jazz” is her story. She was born a boy and by the age of three, she told her parents she was a girl living in a boy’s body. Since then, her parents and family embraced life with a transgender child. She is a celebrity in the LGBTQ community. I know her story because I have covered the family’s reality show on TLC for NewsBusters the last several years. (Jennings is not their real name.) Last season was all about her big surgery. A celebration of the surgery included a “Farewell to Penis” party. That surgery, by the way, has led to complications that have required additional surgeries. Human biology is real, no matter the feelings around it.

Make no mistake about the transgender agenda – it is political. The push to indoctrinate children, even elementary school-aged children, is real. Jazz’s book is written in the voice of a four-year-old child. The gender-is-fluid crowd is relentless in promoting their agenda and people who think that the subject falls within the mental health area are mocked and canceled.
Try having a gun rights reading at the local schools. They voted poorly.

Killer Tits

It's an old article that came up in Facebook. Thanks Mike!

Predatory Songbirds: the case of the murderous tits
A few months ago, I saw a photo of a European songbird, the great tit (Parus major), proudly standing over a dead vole, surrounded by snow on twitter. I was astonished to learn that it had killed this vole — I had thought that Great Tits typically eat seeds and small invertebrates. The observer described how the bird had only eaten the vole’s brain and left the rest for other scavengers. Apparently, this type of behavior is not so surprising, or even unusual, for this species.

Though great tits do have a ‘typical’ songbird diet for most of the year, harsh winters bring out their vicious side of when food resources are scarce. Tits are documented carrion scavengers and there are historical anecdotes of these birds eating the tissues of recently hanged people in Europe.

These seemingly innocuous birds have been documented systematically searching out and preying upon hibernating bats in Hungarian caves; there are videos of these tits attacking defenseless bats by ruthlessly pecking their skulls specifically to eat their brains. Great tits will prey on other similarly-sized songbirds too — there’s a shocking video of a tit assaulting a European Chaffinch and pecking it to death under a bird feeder. The murderous tendencies of this species and its preference for brains was noted by 20th century ornithologists, and more recently, a wildlife photographer documented a grisly scene of almost a dozen songbirds killed by a couple of great tits in Finland. This predatory behavior is out of necessity though: in experiments related to the hibernating bats, tit predation decreased substantially when sunflower seeds and bacon was provided near the cave entrance.
. . .
As an ornithologist, these observations and studies captivate me. Birds have been studied for thousands of years: inferences of their breeding biology are evident on Egyptian frescoes and were mentioned in one of the oldest books in the world, the ancient Chinese text “Book of Changes”. However, we are still learning basic facts about what they eat.
I can't say I'm shocked, when it comes right down to eating or starving, a lot nominal vegetarians will eat animal meat and organs, especially if it's not too much work or too dangerous. It's rich source of protein, needed fats and calories. We used to feed cows cow scraps, until we figured out it was a way to spread mad cow disease.

Great tits are an English songbird, related to our own Chickadees. You know where else in England there are great tits? Rose Jones, Lucy Pindar and Stacy Poole

RIP: Freeman Dyson

Physicist And Iconoclastic Thinker Freeman Dyson Dies At 96
Acclaimed physicist Freeman Dyson, who pondered the origins of life, interstellar travel and many other topics, died Friday at the age of 96.

His daughter Mia Dyson told NPR that her father died after a short illness.

Freeman Dyson was known for groundbreaking work in physics and mathematics but his curiosity ranged far beyond those fields.

"He never got a Ph.D.," says Robbert Dijkgraaf, director for the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., where Dyson worked. "He felt he was an eternal graduate student, and so he had a license to be interested in everything."
Dyson was born in Crowthorne, England, in 1923. He studied physics and mathematics at Trinity College in Cambridge, where he worked with physicists including Paul Dirac and Arthur Eddington. During World War II, he was a civilian scientist with the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command.

After the war, he came to the U.S. to study physics. Together with physicist Richard Feynman, he was able to reconcile two competing theories of quantum electrodynamics, the study of how sub-atomic particles and light interact. "He was able to show that all these different points of view were one and the same thing," Dijkgraaf says. "He was a great unifier of physics."

The work is still considered fundamental to modern physics. "The current model of elementary particle physics is written in the language that Dyson helped develop," he says.

Dyson permanently joined the Institute for Advanced Study in 1953. From his perch there, he pursued many other topics of interest. He helped to design an inherently safe nuclear reactor that could be operated "even in the hands of an idiot." In 1958, he joined Project Orion, a plan to power a spacecraft with controlled nuclear explosions.

The spaceship was never built, but Dyson later described it as "the most exciting and in many ways happiest of my scientific life." Dijkgraaf says Dyson was probably one of the few people on Earth that felt let down by the 1969 moon landings: "This all looked very disappointing in Freeman's eyes," he says. Dyson wanted to go to Saturn with nuclear-fueled rockets. "[He] was kind of envisioning jet planes, and in the end we took a bicycle."
The greatest generation is failing fast. 

Can Maryland Pay Pennsylvania to Clean the Bay?

One of the problems that I see with getting Pennsylvania to live up to it's EPA appointed share of cleaning up Bay is incentive. Having no shoreline along the Bay, Pennsylvania's incentive amounts to what it takes to clean the Susquehanna River to a tolerable state, which still passes plenty of nutrients on to the Bay. While not nothing, it is insufficient for them to be particularly motivated to take actions that cost a lot of loot, or, more particularly, cost their farmers a lot of profit and/or yield. Having Maryland and Virginia chip in to help Pennsylvania makes a lot of sense, since they reap most of the benefit, but the question of the mechanism has eluded me. However, this article in WaPoo has a suggestion: A new way to pay for the Chesapeake Bay by Michael Curley
Lately there have been bad feelings between Pennsylvania and Maryland over Pennsylvania’s failure to fully address its pollution problems in the Susquehanna River, one of the main feeders of the bay. Pennsylvania’s problems stem from its agricultural sector, where nutrient runoff from the many farms along the Susquehanna winds up downstream in the bay. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has demanded that the state’s attorney general sue Pennsylvania and sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force Pennsylvania to do its job.

As noted above, Maryland’s CWSRF cannot make loans to farmers in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the problem with loans is that they have to be repaid. The usual recipients of CWSRF loans are wastewater treatment facilities called publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). Making loans to POTWs is usually no problem. POTWs have thousands of customers to absorb the loan payments. A $500,000 loan to a POTW requires about a $25,000 annual payment. If the POTW has more than 25,000 customers, that’s less than $1 per year per customer. But if the CWSRF made the same loan to a farmer for an agricultural nutrient reduction project, the farmer — alone — would have to repay the $25,000 — every year! That’s probably a good reason the politicians in Pennsylvania are dragging their feet.

What can be done? Is there a new way to pay for the bay?

Yes. There are two things that need to be done to get money to the farms in Pennsylvania to fix their runoff into the bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Commission is an agency created by Maryland and Virginia in 1980. Pennsylvania joined in 1985. The commission was formed by an interstate compact under Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which requires the consent of Congress. Unfortunately, the commission does not have the fiscal powers to make loans in the participating states. But it could.

The three states could ask Congress to amend the Chesapeake Bay Commission compact, or they could ask Congress to create a new agency that would have lending powers.

So, an interstate agency with fiscal powers is one way to get money from Maryland to Pennsylvania to support the bay. But why? Why would anyone in Maryland pay to help Pennsylvania meet its legal obligations?

Iowa’s CWSRF pioneered a process that could be adopted in Maryland to make interstate payments truly painless. For lack of a better term, the process could be called “adoption.” In Iowa, a POTW was facing a major tightening of the terms and conditions of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. The equipment upgrades necessary to remove the additional nutrients would have cost the POTW and its customers millions of dollars. Instead, the POTW identified an upstream farmer who could undertake a runoff-reduction project on his farm that would remove more nutrients at a fraction of the cost. After much negotiation, the concept worked. The state agreed to give the POTW credit for the nutrient reductions from the upstream farm project in return for the POTW’s paying for the project. So, the happy ending is that the nutrients got removed from the river, and it didn’t cost the farmer a penny.

This could be done right here for the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland POTWs could be given credit for the nutrient reductions caused by projects upstream on farms in Pennsylvania. This would require a lot of cooperation among Maryland POTWs, Maryland regulators and the farm community in Pennsylvania. But there’s no reason it couldn’t work. After all, painless cooperation is better than lawsuits. And the waters in Pennsylvania flow into the same bay that the POTWs serve.
Is this the answer? I don't know; I'm not a financial guy, but at least someone else is thinking about it.

Russiagate in the Time of the Plague

Russiagate appears to have succumbed to a case of coronavirus, there isn't very much, and it's kind of sickly. From Liz Vaughn at Red State, Stunning: Dan Bongino Reveals FBI 302 from May 2017; FBI Team Tells Rod Rosenstein the President is NOT a Suspect
It’s been clear for a long time that the FBI and Robert Mueller knew early on that President Trump had done nothing wrong.

For example, we know that after the FBI’s January 2017 interview with dossier author Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source, they had a pretty good idea it was all a lie. The FBI interviewed the sub-source two additional times, in March and in May 2017 and by then, they were sure of it.

We also learned from the testimony of former FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, that in May 2017, when the FBI turned their counterintelligence investigation over to Robert Mueller, they still had no evidence that Trump had colluded with the Russians to win the election. The FBI had been investigating Trump for ten months at that point.

Until now, we’ve never seen any of those involved actually admit it.

In the following excerpts from an FBI 302 report (summary written by an FBI agent following an interview), it is made clear three times that the FBI did not believe President Trump was a suspect. (Source of information: The Dan Bongino Show, Episode 1191, February 27, 2020)
1. FBI agents confirmed to [acting Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein on May 10, 2017 that the President was not a suspect.
2. This was also Rosenstein’s impression from his initial April 28 briefing he received from then Director Comey.
3. Rosenstein elaborated that based on his May 10 briefing, “there appeared to be no evidence the President was involved personally.”
FD-302 (excerpt): FBI Interview of Rod Rosenstein: May 23, 2017 (emphasis mine) . . .
Cued up to the start of the discussion:

He also takes on the Stone juror issue subsequently

From Breitbart, Scalise: FISA Abusers Need to Be Held Accountable, but they probably won't be. The DOJ is too chicken to take on it's own. Prove me wrong.

From Taylor Millard, Hot Air, FISA Reform Delayed Over Alleged Poison Pills
The House Judiciary Committee was supposed to vote today on a bill making changes to the Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, portions of which are set to expire next month. It looks like things are on hold, however, following a disagreement involving Congressmen Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler, and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. Via POLITICO:
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) is preparing Wednesday to offer five amendments that would reform the Watergate-era law, known as FISA, that senior House Democrats see as “poison pills” that would doom the bill in the House. Her push is already rankling top Democrats, who say her proposals would upend months of delicate negotiations that resulted in a bill backed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
. . .
The White House is interested in reform but their push appears different from the bill currently in Congress. Attorney General Bill Barr discussed the issue with Senate Republicans yesterday; a meeting POLITICO reported showed a divide between the party on what reforms are necessary.
Attorney General William Barr told Senate Republicans on Tuesday that the Trump administration could support a clean extension of contentious surveillance laws set to expire next month. And Barr said he could make changes on his own to satisfy President Donald Trump and his allies who have railed against the use of the law to monitor his 2016 campaign, according to senators at a party briefing…
But Barr also sparred with skeptics, primarily libertarian-leaning Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, according to two people familiar with the meeting. Barr told Lee his criticisms of surveillance law are dangerous, while Paul said Americans shouldn’t be subject to secret FISA courts, one of the people said.
The internal change suggestion by Barr bothers me because it gives more power to the executive branch. I realize people will argue he’s the attorney general and should be able to define Justice Department policy, however, it could allow any future modifications to stay in the dark without ever becoming public. It’s not worth putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats, regardless of who’s in office.
Sundance at CTH, Rand Paul: President Trump Does Not Support Clean FISA renewal – McConnell Meets With President Trump to Discuss… Toss it all, and start over. Some work cannot be saved.
“FISA warrants should not be issued against Americans,” Paul said on Thursday afternoon. “Americans shouldn’t be spied on by a secret court. I think he agrees completely with that and that’s the amendment that I’m going to insist on. I’m not letting anything go easy without a vote on my amendment.”

Paul’s conversation with Trump could blow up plans by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to extend those expiring authorities, which McConnell said was his preference on Tuesday. (read more)
Chuck Ross at Da Caller, British University Deserves More Scrutiny Over Stefan Halper Ties, Says Researcher Who Knows FBI Informant
“The University of Cambridge was a pivotal place for Spygate,” said Svetlana Lokhova, an academic who studied Soviet-era espionage under one of Halper’s closest associates, Christopher Andrew.

Cambridge has been unwilling to talk about Halper ever since the Daily Caller News Foundation reported in March 2018 that he had a series of contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign with three Trump campaign aides, Carter Page, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos.

After confirming that Halper was an FBI informant, that Cambridge staff had been instructed not to discuss Halper, The Washington Post reported in June 2018.

Lokhova, who is writing a forthcoming book about Halper, said she filed several unanswered complaints with her former school seeking an investigation of Halper.

She said she believes Halper to be behind rumors that ended up in the press in 2017 that she had improper contacts with Michael Flynn in February 2014, at an event hosted by the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, which Halper co-convenes with Christopher Andrew and Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6.
 Rick Moran at PJ Media, Top Election Security Official Will Keep Her Job After Overstating Russian Interference to Congress
The top intelligence election security official in the U.S. will keep her job after overstating Russian interference in the 2020 election to Congress.

Shelby Pierson, the Intelligence Community Election Threats Executive, briefed Congress earlier this month and said that Russia was interfering in the 2020 election and was showing a preference for Donald Trump. But other officials said that was a "mischaracterization" and an "overstatement" of Russia's intentions.
. . .
But new ODNI Director Richard Grenell apparently thought it prudent to protect Pierson, despite her committing an error that should have cost the woman her job.
News that Pierson is staying put comes amid a shake-up atop the Office of the Director of National Intelligence leadership structure, as acting Director Joseph Maguire was replaced by US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who then quickly forced out the No. 2 intelligence official in the US government, Andrew Hallman.
Maguire formally resigned last week after Trump made it clear he would not be nominated for the full-time intelligence chief job, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN. The briefing Pierson gave to lawmakers was a key component behind his ouster, with a White House official telling CNN that the President became irate with Maguire over it.
Trump used Pierson's gaffe as an excuse to can Maguire but why didn't Pierson get the boot too?
Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer?

And things that still make you go hmmm? From the Independent, Philip Haney: FBI to investigate death of DHS whistleblower, initially thought to be suicide "Official who spoke out against Homeland Security practices during Obama administration was found shot dead"

Fish Pic Friday - Brittany Tareco

For this week's Fish Pic Friday, I'm introducing Brittany Tareco: 
Originally from Tennessee, Fishing Babe Brittany Tareco has hooked the hearts of thousands of men. This Tattooed Brunette knockout has been tearing up the Fishing Scene for years. On her Instagram, over 78,000 people follow her fishing adventures and it’s no surprise. Brittany’s skills and looks have landed her some of the biggest sponsors in fishing.

Currently, she owns and operates ‘Hook’D Charters’ out of Destin, Florida – which according to the Hook’D website is known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” I’m not sure how they came up with that title, but I’ll take their word for it.

Hook’d Charters’ mission is; “to get you offshore faster, so you can fish longer!” A noble goal. Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico should be on every Angler’s list, and going with Brit has to be a dream come true.

You can head out with her as the first mate on their 36 ft Yellowfin for roughly $195 per hour, where you may catch one or more of the twenty plus species of game fish that live in the gulf. She’ll even fillet them for you.
Hmm, lemme check that fishing budget. 

Now about those tattoos:
I was 18 when I got my first tattoo and I didn’t think it through at all. I had actually set out that day to get my nose pierced, but the tattoo artist in the shop I went to told me they were having a 50% off sale, so I was tempted. I loved frogs at the time, saw some frog flash art on the wall, and decided to get it on my right shoulder in color.

It was a spur of the moment decision. My family wasn’t fond of it, in fact they were pretty upset about it. It got made fun of quite a lot, so I eventually had to cover it up. Now I tell anyone who’s considering getting their first tattoo to really put a lot of thought into what they want ahead of time.

Now the majority of the tattoos on my body are of animals and flowers. And I learned that I actually love Black and Grey, not color. It’s really classy and allows you to see more of the details and fine lines put in by the artist. Color fades over time, so I also love the longevity of Black and Grey, especially because I’m in the sun a lot on the water, so they really last.
Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Mapy Cortes up at The Other McCain.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Today's Must Read

As a recent article in the Washington Times notes, residents of more rural parts of many states want to secede, because those states are dominated by the residents of large urban centers, who know little and care less about the lives of people out in the country. “You’ve got Oregonians seeking to cascade into Idaho, Virginians who identify as West Virginians, Illinoians fighting to escape Chicago, Californians dreaming of starting a 51st state, and New Yorkers who think three states are better than one.”
And this leaves out eastern Washington, which, like eastern Oregon, has been talking about breaking off from the liberal-dominated coastal regions. For that matter, California has produced multiple secession plans aimed at breaking the Golden State up into two, or as many as six, separate states.
. . .
This phenomenon isn’t new — I wrote an article about it for the Notre Dame Law Review over a year ago — but it seems to be gathering steam. The reason it’s gathering steam is the same reason why most secession movements, including the American break with Great Britain in 1776, gain steam: the belief that the people who want to leave are being treated badly and callously by rulers over whom they have little or no influence. It’s not just “taxation without representation,” but also, “regulation without representation.” And a general sense of being held in contempt.

As demographer Joel Kotkin writes, “The worst thing in the world to be is the red part of a blue state.” You wind up regulated to suit the whims of people whose interests are not yours.

In Virginia, it’s primarily gun control laws supported by inhabitants of the population-heavy Washington, D.C. suburbs, laws resented by inhabitants of the many less-populous counties where values remain more traditionally Virginian. There's talk about Virginia counties seceding and joining West Virginia.

In other states, it’s more about restrictions on logging, or high gas taxes that disproportionately impact rural inhabitants, or taxes. But it’s always something that makes rural people feel discriminated against.

Under the Constitution, a state can’t be split unless both its legislature and Congress agree. States are unlikely to agree to their own fission unless pressured by, say, a budget deal to rescue them from bankruptcy (something not impossible in California or Illinois). Congress, however, is unlikely to go along unless either the split won’t disturb the existing partisan balance of the Senate, or the party that would benefit from the split enjoys a very strong majority.

But there’s a bigger point. Secession movements start because people feel oppressed and unappreciated. And short of secession, there are other things that can be done to fix the problem. It would be nice, of course, if the urban majorities in these states showed more consideration for their rural countrymen, but that seems unlikely — indeed, recent events in Virginia look to me as if the majority takes actual pleasure out of kicking around the minority.

But at a national level, Congress could act. It’s a tradition in America for a national majority, as evidenced in Congress, to protect local minorities from oppression by local majorities. That’s how, for example, we got the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Congress could act by pre-empting state regulation in hot-button areas like guns or environmental regulations affecting farmers, etc. Right now, federal law sets a floor, with states being free to regulate more stringently. Congress could instead make federal law a ceiling, preventing states from punishing their rural inhabitants. That wouldn’t eliminate all the friction, but it would help.
But that's not likely either if Congress stays partly (or worse, wholly) in the hands of the anti-rural Democrat party. Unless the rural parts of the nation can start denying the cities the things they do provide; water, food, energy and materials. 

Forget It Jake, It's Baltimore

Sundance reads the pay walled Baltimore Sun so you don't have to: Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Sentenced to Three Years in Federal Prison for Corruption and Fraud…
Political leaders, specifically mayors in Baltimore Maryland, are predisposed toward corrupt behavior. Remember Sheila Dixon in ’08, or Stephanie Rawlings Blake in ’15… It’s a perpetual cycle. I digress…

Into the corrupt landscape comes Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who was arrested in 2019 for taking bribes and payoffs through a pay-to-play bribery scandal for books she “authored” called “Healthy Holly”. Want a city contract?…. buy her books, easy peasy.
 But, but, it's for the children!
BALTIMORE – Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who held elected offices in Baltimore for two decades and was elevated by voters to lead the city following the upheaval of 2015, was sentenced to three years in federal prison Thursday for a fraud scheme involving a children’s book series.
Pugh, 69, asked U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow for mercy and apologized in court “to anyone I have offended or hurt through my actions.”
[…] In handing down the prison sentence, which was to be followed by three years of probation, Chasanow called Pugh’s crime “astounding.”
“I have yet frankly to hear any explanation that makes sense,” the judge said. “This was not a tiny mistake, lapse of judgment. This became a very large fraud. The nature and circumstances of this offense clearly I think are extremely, extremely serious.”

The last Republican Mayor of Baltimore was Theodore McKeldin, who served from 1963 to 1967. Wikipedia doesn't have a listing for the last honest mayor of Baltimore.

MDDNR Wants Congress's Help With Blue Catfish

DNR Urges Congress to Address Rules Hindering Market for Invasive Blue Catfish
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is supporting a joint resolution proposed by the Maryland General Assembly that will move the state closer to controlling the invasive blue catfish population by commercial harvest.

A native of the Mississippi River basin, blue catfish were introduced to the mid-Atlantic in the 1970s. Since then it has exploded in population and range, and can now be found throughout Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River watersheds. Blue catfish are a significant threat to the ecosystem because of their rapidly increasing populations and capacity to consume significant amounts of native species, like crabs and striped bass.

House Joint Resolution 3 and Senate Joint Resolution 3 – Natural Resources – Fishing – Wild-Caught Blue Catfish urges the United States Congress to oppose certain inspection rules promulgated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has drastically impeded the harvest and sale of blue catfish. Because of this, Maryland has been unable to adequately use the commercial harvest as a form of control over the invasive blue catfish.

Previously under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration, Congress directed USDA to take over regulation of all species of catfish in 2017. The regulations have required the presence of a USDA inspector on premises during blue catfish processing. These inspectors are a significant cost to the dealer and inspectors’ schedules don’t often match up with the working hours of the dealers. Additionally, the processing rooms have to be cleared of all other products, causing disruptions to the rest of the business. All other seafood processing continues to be conducted under the FDA.
perfect focus

“Congressional action is simply common sense. Current inspection rules deter catfish dealers and watermen from targeting this invasive species, due to a low return on investment and their restricted ability to get the product to market,” said DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway Riccio. “Maryland was on the path to controlling this invasive species and these strict regulations cripple our ability to execute this solution.”
Congress stepped in to regulate catfish in particular because of perceived hygiene problems with farmed and imported catfish. The regulations make it much more difficult to process catfish, and given a fairly low market price, compared to something like Stripped Bass, it's not really worth it for fish processors to take them. Blue Catfish are every bet as good eating as stripers, at least when they come from clean waters like Chesapeake Bay tributaries, IMHO.

Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Mapy Cortes up at The Other McCain.

Russiagate Redux

Much like yesterday, a smattering of subjects, with an emphasis on none.

Starting with Brian Cates at the unfortunately now paywalled Epoch Times with the distinction between "Russiagate" and "Spygate" The ‘Wrong Scandal’ Keeps Winning
There’s no longer any real competition between the two major political scandals that emerged following the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Proponents of the first scandal, commonly referred to as “Russiagate,” claim that the man who had just won the election was an undercover agent who took orders straight from Moscow.

The other one that emerged held that Russiagate was always a false construct of the rival Hillary Clinton campaign and its politicized allies within the federal government’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies. This second scandal came to be called “Spygate.”

One of these scandals was indeed fake and the other was very real.
From Just The News Ex-FBI unit chief blows whistle on Comey, McCabe over warrantless spying
he FBI agent who ran the bureau’s warrantless spying program said Wednesday he warned ex-Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe that the program was a useless waste of taxpayer money that needlessly infringed Americans’ civil liberties but his bosses refused to take action.

Retired Special Agent Bassem Youssef ran the FBI’s Communications Analysis Unit from late 2004 until his retirement in late 2014. He told Just the News he fears the deeply flawed program, which was started in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, was allowed to keep going to give Americans a false sense of security in the war on terror and possibly to enable inappropriate spying, such as that which targeted President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“I have no doubt, or very little doubt, that it was used for political spying or political espionage,” Youssef said during a lengthy interview for the John Solomon Reports podcast.
also, some old news,  GOP Rep. Nunes believes FBI probe into Trump campaign began in late 2015, not 2016, And he's probably right. Ace notes that House Republicans Preparing Criminal Referrals Against Mueller Prosecutors Who Misled Them?
Well, I guess it's something.
. . .
He specifically cites the Mueller team claiming, in reports and court filings, that George Papadopolous had tried to frustrate attempts to locate Joseph Mifsud, when the actual 302s show him being helpful.

Meanwhile -- and I have absolutely no idea which California liberal Democrat Representative he could mean here -- Trey Gowdy says that classified briefings must exclude any known "epidemic leaker."
Via Wombat's In The Mailbox: 02.26.20, the must read article of the day, from Angelo Codevilla at AmGreat, Intelligence and the Democrats’ Internal Affairs
The agencies’ chief interest in domestic partisan skullduggery has never been a secret to those of us who are acquainted with them, as well as to those who have closely read the biographies and autobiographies of the CIA’s and FBI’s leaders. Nor could anyone have missed Senator Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) premise, when he threatened Trump with the agencies’ power to hurt him “six ways from Sunday.” The Democratic Party’s de facto head can make such threats because these agencies—along with the mainstream media—are part and parcel of the larger enterprise he leads.
Sundance at CTH as always is, as usual, unhappy with Lindsey Graham, Senate Judiciary Calendar Empty as FISA Reauthorization Deadline Approaches…
Previously Chairman Lindsey Graham promised to hold public hearings on reforms needed to the FISA process prior to any reauthorization vote. However, with two weeks remaining until current FISA authorization expires the Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to hold a single hearing, and the senate calendar is empty.
Lindsey talks a good game, though.

At Da Caller, President Donald Trump Accuses Adam Schiff Of Trying To Block Bernie Sanders Nomination By Leaking Russia Report. Fact Check, probably true. Even PBS admits FBI official says Russia wants to see U.S. ‘tear ourselves apart’, Charlie Wortzel at NYT cited by Hot Air, Russia Wants To Meddle In Our Election. We’re Helping. And NYT has been an important contributor to the effort. Security Studies Brad Patty tells us Don’t Do Russia’s Work!

From the Guardian, Julian Assange asks to sit with lawyers for extradition case. Poor guy, he was a hero to the left until he leaked against them.

From Fox, Roger Stone jury forewoman questioned in court over accusations of anti-Trump bias
The request for a new trial is connected to forewoman Tomeka Hart, who it emerged had a history of Democratic Party activism and anti-Trump, left-wing social media posts.

But Hart was questioned in a Washington federal courtroom by Jackson for just under an hour Tuesday and then by one of Stone's attorney, Seth Ginsberg, who honed in on several of Hart's social media posts in the months leading up to Stone's trial.

Stone's defense team asserts that the forewoman mislead the court on her jury questionnaire when she said she couldn't remember if she had made any public statements about Stone. Hart did not check yes or no to that question but rather gave a handwritten explanation that she "couldn't remember" that she may have made posted an article on Facebook but wasn't sure.

Ginsberg pressed her repeatedly on numerous posts she made that were critical of the president, including one specific post she made on Jan 25, 2019, the day of Stone's arrest, of an NPR article about multiple Trump associates who had been indicted. The jury forewoman posted that article on Facebook with the caption, "Brought to you by the lock her up peanut gallery."

Jackson, however, pushed Ginsberg to stay on topic and reminded him that the question was specifically about Stone, not about the president or those close to him.

Ginsberg tried to make the argument that all of these posts were about Trump and that the jury forewoman knew Stone was a close confidant of the president.

"Having an opinion about the president and some or even all of his policies does not mean she could not fairly and impartially judge the evidence against Roger Stone," Jackson said.
From Da Hill,  Stone judge criticizes Trump for tweets about juror, but not the juror about her tweets about Trump. From WaEx, the never-Trumper Judge Andrew Napolitano slams Barr over 'secret' Roger Stone hearing: 'Stalinistic':
Fox News analyst Judge Napolitano vented his frustration about Monday's "secret" hearing in the Roger Stone trial, claiming the presiding judge is biased against President Trump's associate.

Napolitano blasted Attorney General William Barr for allowing D.C. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson to place a gag rule on Stone and hold a brief with regard to allegations that a juror and the judge herself were biased against Stone from the outset of the trial.

"No one should be happy about secrecy whether you like Stone or dislike him — whether you like the president or you dislike him," said Napolitano on Varney and Co. Tuesday morning. "This is a hearing to determine whether there was jury impropriety in the trial — whether a juror failed to disclose her preconceived prejudice against President Trump and against Roger Stone. Why is it secret? We're not being given a reason."

He added, "This is absolutely Stalinistic."
Funny, I never knew the AG had any ability to order judges around.

And at last from the WaFreeBee, Hunter Biden Seeks to Delay Paternity Deposition Until After Key Primary Votes. So does Hunter want his dad to wash out so attention will be turned away from him, or does he want Dad to go on forever, so he can continue to bury things with the media's help? Tough choice.

Thursday Tanlines

Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Mapy Cortes up at The Other McCain.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Patuxent River Gets an Unusual Visitor

Unique Striped Mullet Found By Workers In Chesapeake Watershed
Maryland Department of Natural Resources workers found unique fish in the Chesapeake watershed.

A DNR team was electrofishing for blue catfish in Hunting Creek, a tributary of the Patuxent River near Benedict Bridge in Anne Arundel County when they came across a striped mullet.

Although its a coastal fish, it’s not commonly found in the Chesapeake watershed. It’s normally found down South.

I remember mullet runs from my year and a half sojourn to Florida, before I came to Maryland. I learned to cast net for them (though, not very well), use them for live bait for blues, mackerel and jacks, as well as fillet them, smoke them and eat them. Here, let Darcizzle show you:

It would be such a shame if global warming brought this delightful fishery our way.

Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Sunday: Mapy Cortes up at The Other McCain.

Eastern Shore Watermen Resist New Oyster Proposal

Shore watermen fight bill threatening oyster licenses
More than 200 watermen signed up Tuesday, Feb. 25, to testify against a bill seeking to reduce unlimited tidal fishery license holders’ ability to harvest oysters.

The bill’s opponents argued the bill threatens to override the Oyster Advisory Commission, devalues their TFL and could cause overfishing of other species if oysters are off limits.

Senate bill 984 proposes the removal of oyster harvesting from the list of activities allowed under TFL regulations if a licensee hasn’t indicated — by paying a surcharge — that their oyster harvesting permit isn’t dormant.
The dreaded oyster tax! They need to go dump some in the Bay, just like the Tea Party!
If tensions weren’t high enough in a room full of offended watermen awaiting their turn to speak Tuesday, the hearing kicked off three hours later than its expected 1 p.m. start time, as lawmakers in the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee debated a host of unrelated bills ahead of its discussion on SB984.

Many watermen who were waiting for the hearing to begin said they thought the long delay was intentional — with Captain Rob Newberry of Delmarva Fisheries Association murmuring at one point, “They do this s— on purpose.”

Once the hearing began, though, Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-22-Prince George’s, who introduced the bill, said that the legislation’s intention was not to inconvenience anyone or to “put anybody out.”

Pinsky said the purpose of the bill was to provide a “better and clearer” understanding of how many of the roughly 2,000 license holders actually were going to use their license during a given year.

“If we’re only using 235 (licenses), I’d like to limit it to that, so we don’t have people fishing for the same oysters, and also so we don’t have overfishing,” he said. “The pressure on the people who are doing this for a living has grown as other people come in and come out (to harvest oysters.) This was to put a cap on it ... and to put a value on those that are used.”

Pinsky said the idea for the bill came from watermen who complained that people shouldn’t be allowed to hold the license and use it indefinitely because then “you’ll never know how many people will be oystering that season.”

The senator’s comment that a waterman proposed the TFL changes prompted laugher from the crowd of watermen, who shouted, “Nah” and “bulls—.”

Sen. Jack Bailey, R-29-Calvert and St. Mary’s, who is on the Committee, said to Pinsky that if the watermen who were in favor of the bill “truly existed” they would’ve brought up that oystering is “very labor intensive.”

Bailey said if someone puts their oystering license on the shelf for a year or two, there’s likely a good reason. He suggested that maybe the licensee was injured, or they didn’t have the money to pay the surcharge or to buy the needed equipment.
Somehow, there has to be a better way of finding out how many of the the licenses are being used to fish oysters than to tax them. How about putting tags on bushels that are recorded by the state? It works for rockfish (although I'm sure there's a certain level of cheating.

All of which is just whistling past the graveyard. Oyster populations are so low that commercial fishing on "wild" oysters needs to be stopped entirely while we determine if the native oysters can even thrive in the new environment that is the modern Bay.