Thursday, April 30, 2020

MDDNR Issues WuFlu Guidelines for Trophy Season

Department Offers Guidance for Striped Bass Season
Marylanders are reminded that the governor’s Stay at Home directive to reduce COVID-19 transmission remains in place, and recreational fishing and boating are currently prohibited. Fishing for sustenance is allowed, which means anglers must catch and keep any legal fish and should return home as quickly as possible after doing so.

Under those guidelines, trophy-sized striped bass may be targeted in the Chesapeake Bay from May 1 through May 15 with a limit of one fish per person, with a 35-inch minimum size limit. All conservation regulations for this season can be viewed on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

Charter boats and commercial fishermen, which are regulated as part of the food supply chain, can continue operating but must abide by social distancing guidelines and may not have more than 10 individuals (including captain and crew) on the vessel at any time. Following U.S. Coast Guard guidelines, the department recommends charter boat operators consider implementing additional safety protocols such as regular disinfecting of surfaces and using personal protective equipment.

Maryland Natural Resources Police will be on patrol to assure these rules and guidelines are being followed.
So catch your fish and go home! Regardless of whether or not you are actually violating any "social distancing" guidelines.

A throwback?

A WuFlu Funny for Today

Sh%t Southern Women Say in a Pandemic

Thanks, Bill.

We need Yankee, California, Midwest and California equivalents.

Russiagate: Flynn Case in Flux

There's really only one story today, and lots of discussion. Gen. Flynn's lawyers were allowed to release a small bit of lightly redacted documents that show a discussion among what was to become the Crossfire Hurricane team of just what they hoped to accomplish in their ambush interview of Gen. Flynn. Below is a hand written note, who Sidney Powell, Flynn's lawyer claims not to know the authorship of, but is thought to be William Priestap, then head Counter Intelligence at Comey's FBI. The original being passed around is dull and blurry, so I've increase the contrast, and sharpened the image. The money shot:

The red box highlights "what is our goal? Truth/Admission or go get him to lies so we can prosecute him or get him fired."

Remember, Comey has admitted in public to "just sending a couple of agents" to interview Flynn in the chaos of a new administration, so even if he wasn't at the meeting, he was clearly a co-conspirator. And remember, Andy McCabe, then Comey's Deputy Dawg, has a long standing grudge against Flynn over Flynn's support of an FBI agent who accused McCabe of sexual discrimination.

Desparately trying to be give the appearance of being fair, CNN, Handwritten note shows how FBI official approached key Michael Flynn interview
They also provide an unusual assist to the Flynn defense team that could serve to undermine the department's own case, one of the major accomplishments of former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

While Flynn's legal team has alleged the Justice Department and FBI wrongfully targeted Flynn, the Justice Department in court has defended the handling of the case.
. . .Greg Brower, a former US attorney and the FBI's chief congressional liaison until 2018, said that without the context around the notes, it's hard to assign any deeper meaning to them.

"To the extent this is being advertised as evidence of something nefarious, I certainly don't see it in that way," Brower said. "I don't know what this means and I don't know that it's important at all."
While WaPoo is all in on "Republicans seize", after  Lawyers for Michael Flynn release internal FBI emails, notes they write  Michael Flynn’s defense claims FBI notes show agents tried to entrap the former national security adviser

In Sidney Powell Discusses the Latest FBI Documents in The Flynn Case…, sundance at CTH cautions
A few notes of caution. Don’t fall into the outrage trap; the DOJ will certainly justify the FBI notes as a valid discussion on investigative strategy, nothing more.

Second, Bill Barr did not appoint Missouri Attorney Jensen in an effort to support General Flynn. AG Barr was ordered by the FISA court to review every case and all evidence that touched upon the fraudulent Carter Page FISA application. Be careful about projecting a motive onto Bill Barr around these revelations. Without that FISC ordered sequestration review order; the DOJ/FBI may not have moved on this.

Lastly, despite the known corruption within the existing FBI leadership {outlined here}, and we can now add the FBI hiding these documents for 3 years, AG Bill Barr continues to pour effusive praise upon the FBI. That reality doesn’t reconcile with a good intent.

And with caution over, cue the outrage:

Sundace at CTH, Flynn Defense Gets More DOJ Documents – Previously Within Mueller Files?… and FBI Notes Released – Show Plan to Frame Michael Flynn For “Logan Act” Violation and/or “Lying” About It – With Goal For Removal…

Sidney Powell đŸ‡ºđŸ‡¸⭐⭐⭐ on Twitter: "While we await Judge Sullivan's order to unseal the exhibits from Friday, the government has just provided 11 more pages even more appalling that the Friday production. We have requested the redaction process begin immediately. @GenFlynn@BarbaraRedgate" / Twitter

Fox News, FBI discussed interviewing Michael Flynn 'to get him to lie' and 'get him fired,' handwritten notes show | Fox News

Sean Davis at Da Fed, Explosive New Flynn Documents Show FBI Goal Was To 'Get Him Fired'

Ace, Revealed Notes from Flynn Trap: "Get Him to Lie, So We Can Prosecute Or Get Him Fired"

Twitchy, Unsealed FBI notes ask what the goal is of interviewing Michael Flynn: ‘… to get him to lie, so we can prosecute’?

Liz Vaughn at Red State, Stunning: Newly Released Handwritten FBI Notes Show January 2017 Flynn Interview Was a Set-Up

John Solomon at JTN, FBI notes detail effort to catch Flynn in lie to 'get him fired' as Trump adviser | Just The News and Download and read the explosive FBI Russia case notes turned over to Michael Flynn's defense | Just The News

Twitchy, Donald Trump Jr. is almost on board with Dan Bongino’s list of things that need to happen in light of those unsealed FBI notes on Michael Flynn 
Chuck Grassley Reacts to Latest Flynn Documents… | The Last Refuge

But beyond the Flynn affair, RCP, The NY Times Used to Correct Its Whoppers. But Not These Two. Here's Why.  Just think of them as an arm of the DNC and you won't go wrong. Streiff at Red State, Washington Post Runs a Debunked Conspiracy Story for the Sole Purpose of Trying to Damage President Trump. The same reporters who were pushing Russiagate lies, are pushing WuFlu lies, that President Trump was warned of the pandemic in Jan. and Feb.

And from Sophie Mann at John Solomon's JTN, Newly released FBI documents reveal communication between Roger Stone, Julian Assange
FBI documents made public Tuesday, show that Roger Stone, shortly after the Mueller Russia collusion investigation began, communicated to Julian Assange, telling the Wikileaks founder that he would step in if prosecutors came after Assange.

“I will bring down the entire house of cards,” wrote Stone to Assange in a private Twitter message.

“As a journalist it doesn’t matter where you get information only that it is accurate and authentic,” Stone told Assange in a message from the summer of 2017.

“Between CIA and DoJ they’re doing quite a lot. On the DoJ side that’s coming most strongly from those obsessed with taking down Trump trying to squeeze us into a deal,” responded Assange.

Assange, who was at the time hiding out in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, is now in prison in England, fighting an attempt to extradite him to the United States. Last year the Justice Department charged him with a variety of crimes, including violating the Espionage Act when he allegedly instructed Chelsea Manning in a massive leak of classified government information.
I don't see a crime there, but I do see a motive for the FBI thugs to take him down.

WuFlu Meets Rule 34

Rule 34 wins, every time. "If it exists, there is porn of it. If there isn't, there will be.." NYPo, Strip club in Oregon brings burlesque to coronavirus carry-out
An Oregon strip club forced into the takeout-dining business in the age of the coronavirus has returned to its burlesque roots by offering delivery and drive-through services featuring exotic dancers – a concept the owner has promoted as “Food 2 Go-Go.”

The red-toned interior of the Lucky Devil Lounge in southeast Portland has been closed since Governor Kate Brown banned large public gatherings statewide and ordered bars and eateries to end in-house service on March 16.
 I've featured the Lucky Devil before, when their delivery service, initially named "Boober Eats" was featured in early WuFlu coverage.
As in many states locking down commerce to curb the spread of COVID-19, the governor allowed carry-out and deliveries.

Determined to keep some semblance of his business intact, Lucky Devil owner Shon Boulden retooled his kitchen to offer food for delivery the very next day, though receipts plummeted absent the club’s usual main attractions of scantily clad dancers and a cash bar.
It turns out Uber doesn't have a sense of humor, and doesn't believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery: Uber Eats Has Forced Lucky Devil Lounge’s Stripper Food Delivery Service to Change Its Name " Boulden has scrubbed Boober Eats from all of its social media platforms and website and swapped in "Lucky Devil Eats"—at least for now. "We're working on retaining a similar name," he explains. "My friends are chiming in now online. A buddy has said, 'Steak and Legs,' 'Peels on Wheels,' 'Pole Mates,' 'Porn Grub.' There's every single euphemism out there for boobs and butts."
Boulden said in a weekend interview with Reuters that in desperation he suggested in a Twitter message that the club would send its dancers out to deliver food.

The tweet was a joke until it went viral.

“All of a sudden, a lightbulb went off in my head and I said, ‘I think we should do this,’” Boulden recounted.

Within weeks, the Lucky Devil was up and running with two new adult-entertainment options – a drive-through pole-dance show for carry-out orders and food deliveries by dancers – accompanied by bouncers to enforce proper social distancing.
 I have to give them props for inventiveness.

The club charges $30 extra for each option. Food prices have been kept the same.

“The response has been awesome,” Boulden said.

The club’s drive-through, promoted on social media with the hashtag “Food 2 Go-Go,” drew a steady stream of cars on Friday night. Motorized customers were directed into a large tent, where they were greeted from stages on both sides by pole-dancing women wearing sequined masks and gloves and little else but nipple pasties, G-string bikini bottoms and stiletto boots.
  But how is the food?
The performances included throbbing music furnished by a D.J., stage lights and prizes presented to customers at a safe distance by dancers using long plastic grabbers – like those used to pick up litter. Giveaways have included samples from a local cannabis dispensary and rolls of toilet paper.

One dancer, who goes by the stage name Karma Jane, performed on Friday night in a gas mask.

Patrons ranged from carloads of young men and a couple on motorcycle to a group of women who said they made a 175-mile (280-km) drive south from Seattle to see the show.

“It’s a safe way to have some fun,” said one of them, Dani Valdes, who works in Seattle-area bars and restaurants and follows some of the Lucky Devil dancers on social media.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

WuFlu Threatens to Kill Crab Study that Bad Back, Lack of Money, and Death of Starter Couldn't

Stanley Nwakamma, an intern at Morgan State University’s
 Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory,
 hoists a crab pot in 2018 while working on the facility’s
 long-running blue crab survey. (Morgan State University)
This makes me sad. Bay Journal: Long-running Chesapeake crab study threatened with shutdown
One of the longest-running scientific investigations of the Chesapeake Bay is in danger of shutting down permanently.

The Morgan State University blue crab monitoring survey has persisted for 50 years through two institutions, three financial sponsors and the evolution from paper to digital tabulation. But its funding dried up this year, and the deep financial downturn triggered by the coronavirus has cast doubt on finding an alternative source.

“Normally, we’d be getting the crab survey ready, but that’s not happening this year unfortunately,” said Tom Ihde, the fisheries ecologist at Morgan State who currently helms the study.

The coronavirus has grounded environmental research across the Chesapeake region and around the globe. Some studies are impossible to carry out without violating social-distancing protocols. Others suffered human resource shortages when university graduate students were sent home. And the future funding picture is hazy at best.

Amid this crisis within a crisis, the Morgan State crab study stands out. Its ills predate the pandemic, putting it in a tougher spot than most of the other suspended work. Meanwhile, what hangs in the balance isn’t a few months of datasets but rather a decades-long crusade that helped fishery managers resurrect the iconic species after years of decline.

Ihde said he has been trying to find other avenues to finance the work. The prospects didn’t look good before the coronavirus emerged, he said. Now, they look even worse.

“These long-term surveys are notoriously hard to keep funded, and it’s not cheap to get boats on the water or to pay for gear and staff time,” Ihde said. “We’re trying to find other ways of funding. I’ve tried quite a few, but there’s no success yet.”

The research historically has cost about $50,000 a year to conduct.

The protocol has changed little from the beginning. Once a month from June to early November, when crabs are most active, Ihde and his team bait 30 crab pots with menhaden and drop them into the Bay along the western shore in southern Maryland. The pots are divided among offshore sites near Kenwood Beach, Rocky Point and Calvert Cliffs.

The researchers return in their boat 24 hours later to record how many they caught, the size of the crustaceans and the characteristics of the water.

The study got under way in 1968. It grew out of researchers’ and environmentalists’ concerns about how a new nuclear power plant, which was then nearly a decade from opening at Calvert Cliffs, would affect crabs with its discharges of heated water.

The scientist selected to lead the study was fresh from receiving his master’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Delaware. George Abbe became the first employee of the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Estuarine Research Center on the Patuxent River.

Over the next 40 years, Abbe produced a wealth of publications — more than 150, including his oyster research and other topics. But the crab study was his obsession, colleagues say.

The crab survey would soon move beyond its initial parochial goal — the heated water turned out to be a non-factor. Along the way, the survey shaped science’s evolving understanding of the Bay’s crabs.

Sandra Shumway, a marine scientist with the University of Connecticut who knew Abbe through academic conferences and followed his work closely, called him a visionary for developing a study that stood the test of time.

“Long-term data sets are rare,” she said. “It’s only by having that long, broad picture that you really understand what the population is doing.”
Many years ago, when this was the Academy of Natural Sciences Estuarine Research Center, I would occasionally be called on to sub in for someone who couldn't make it on this study. Once, when George was out for back surgery, the Assistant Director and I were tapped as the long term substitutes. It took us four hours longer, and resulted in us being almost infinitely more dirty than George ever got. Once a big Jimmy got a hold of my finger, and nearly crushed it through the heavy glove I was wearing.

Who Wins at the Beach?

Me with the pretty (but not ginormous or really rare) Snaggletooth tooth, or Georgia with the much rarer stingray dermal scute:

A warmer day than most recently, 65 F, but cloudy and blowing pretty hard from the south.

Russiagate, Focusing on Flynn

We seem to be talking a lot about Gen. Michael Flynn these days. I hope for his sakes this is favorably resolved this week. But, of course, everything takes longer than it should. Even Althouse has noticed, "New documents suggest that Flynn ‘was set up by corrupt agents’ who threatened Flynn’s son and made a secret deal with Flynn’s attorneys.", with Andy McCarthy's NR article I posted yesterday. The fun is in the comments. Capt. Ed at Hot Air wonders Does A New Court Filing Point To Michael Flynn’s Exoneration — And Prosecutorial Misconduct By Mueller’s Office?. At Red State Liz Vaugh emphasizes Gen. Flynn’s Attorney: Plea Was Coerced by a Threat to Indict His Son. Technically not illegal, they threatened to charge his son with a violation of FARA, which normally receives a warning to register.

And new shit has surfaced, Surprise discovery in Flynn case: former lawyers find evidence they failed to produce, from John Solomon at HTN, Surprise discovery in Flynn case: former lawyers find evidence they failed to produce. Funny that Eric Holder's Law firm is involved, and seems to have withheld documents from the defense.
Just days after the FBI belatedly produced possible evidence of innocence to Flynn's new legal team led by Attorney Sidney Powell, his old law firm on Tuesday informed the judge it had located 6,800 documents that it failed to turn over as required by a court order in 2019.

Covington & Burling LLP told the court its search team failed to search all of the law firm's records and missed the documents, mostly emails. The documents were produced to Powell on Tuesday.

"Covington determined that an unintentional miscommunication involving the firm’s information technology personnel had led them, in some instances, to run search terms onsubsets of emails ... rather than on the broader sets of emails that should have been searched," Flynn's former attorney Robert Kelner told the court in a motion.

"We now have performed another search, using search terms and manual reviews, on a broader universe of material to correct the earlier error and to transfer additional documents that are part of the client file," Kelner wrote, saying his firm was willing to assist Powell on any other matters and to address any questions the judge may have about the oversight.
Yea sure, blame the IT guy. Sundance at CTH,  Former Flynn Counsel Finds 6,800 New Pages of Evidence Not Turned Over – Judge Sullivan is Not Amused…
Interesting timing all things considered…. Michael Flynn removed and replaced his prior legal defense counsel, Covington & Burling, after asserting their ineffective and legally conflicted representation. [NOTE: former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is a partner at Covington & Burling.] As a result of Sidney Powell taking over the Flynn defense, his prior counsel was supposed to turn over all client materials and evidence in the case.

After some recent jaw-dropping revelations in the case; which may include evidence highlighting how the FBI participated in framing Michael Flynn; and certainly contains evidence of an unethical prosecutorial agreement with the former defense counsel, to coerce a guilty plea by threatening to arrest Michael Flynn Jr; suddenly today Covington & Burling discover an additional 6,800 pages of evidence they conspicuously omitted.

The timing is very sketchy and Judge Sullivan does not appear amused. After receiving the supplemental notice of case material transfer (full pdf below) Judge Sullivan issues an order to the Covington law firm to re-re-review all of their case files and file a notice of compliance by Monday May 4th.
Was his former counsel merely ineffective, or actually working for the other team? Hmm. Also,
Lou Dobbs Interviews Sidney Powell: The Deep State and the Future of General Flynn…

From Chrissy Clarke at Da Fed, Grassley Demands DOJ Release All Exculpatory Information On Michael Flynn. Well, it is his legal right, after all. The fact that they've been playing games with it all along shows it's not a good faith prosecution.

Sara Carter reports Stone Says Special Counsel Recommended ‘no jail time’ If He Turned On Trump. He Refused To Lie.. I believe him. That's been their pattern all along.
“On July 24th, 2019, the Mueller prosecutors offered my lawyers a deal,” said Stone. “If Stone will fess up, if he will re-characterize thirty phone conversations between myself and candidate Trump, which they had phone records of, but no tapes of. If I would correctly remember the way they wanted me to, they would recommend no jail time for me and I refused. That’s what this whole atrocity has been about.”

Ace, Christopher Steele Had Undisclosed Meetings With Clinton and DNC Lawyers, Who Were His "Sources" For the Deranged Alfa Bank Claims
So some of his sources were also his clients paying him.

This gets better and better.

Let me guess: The original "sources" for this claim was Sydney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, right?
So, basically they told him the story to write up and paid him for it, so it wouldn't appear to be out and out lies from the opposition. The Fusion GPS business model. John Solomon at JTN again, Steele reveals he believes Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice knew about his anti-Trump research and deny it. Of course they did; Hillary is supreme micromanager, and Susan Rice is a well known public liar.

Greg Jarrett, Sen. Graham Releases Papadopoulos FBI Transcript; No Collusion, but we knew that.
What did Papadopoulos say? In the 90-page transcript released by Graham on Monday, the reader gets to listen to three men mostly talk about hot women. Papadopoulos, the confidential human source (CHS), and a third male, First Name Known Omar (FNKO) grab a bite to eat and some drinks. The men talk about cars, their girlfriends, their friends’ former girlfriends, their type of women, and all the things you would never expect to be part of an FBI investigation which was then used in an attempt to show the President of the United States colluded with the Russian government in an election. It’s just outrageously far-fetched.

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the only discussions of anything remotely political were that Papadopoulos formerly worked for Ben Carson’s campaign, then worked for Trump, and made great contacts. He did mention that he had once arranged for a meeting with President Trump and the Egyptian President el-Sisi and that he thought Edward Snowden “did a good job.” References to Russia were even fewer; he had a “friend Sergey” in Brooklyn, and he wanted to visit Russia in the summertime. Oh yeah, and they also discussed what colognes they like, which ethnicities of women they have dated, and that they’d “jump” their waitress.

It definitely sounds like some top-level national security issues. Thank goodness for the FBI’s meticulous, covert operations at the taxpayer’s expense.
Dan Chaitin at WaEx, Trump adds pressure on Adam Schiff to release Russia investigation witness transcripts
0Censor News, A.G. Barr’s Problem - Bring Charges, Tear Down This Government as We Know IT, Or Give A Pass. I've had similar thoughts.
To state it simply, what we have here is evidence that Flynn was set up, there is a wealth of information that will undo any prosecution the government has brought against him, he was set up by deep state players within the government.

What is more, we see a pervasiveness of corruption within the upper ranks of both the FBI and the Justice Department. It is so deep; if these people are brought up on charges we could see both institutions collapse, the crimes are so extensive, it is not sure Americans will allow them to survive such a scandal. This leaves A.G. Barr in a tight place if he acts, chaos, if not, you encourage this to continue.

President Trump is livid, and rightfully so, he now is talking about giving a pardon to General Flynn to undo this travesty of justice:
. . .
As this blows open, the FBI and Justice Department will not be the only institutions touched, possibly left in ruins by this investigation. We heard the fits the press was throwing over Barr asking foreign intelligence services to aid in uncovering the corruption within our own, the silence of this investigation after the initial outrage tells us it is more advanced than thought.

The problem facing A.G. Barr, along with President Trump now, is if they do go after this and quickly root out all the players, we will lose much of what makes the FBI, Justice Department, the CIA, NSA, and others, thus leaving our nation in a vulnerable position.
Sometimes you have to cut out the cancer to save the patient. Sometimes it's too late.

Another Wet Wednesday

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Virginia Slashes Bay Menhaden Quota

Chesapeake Bay’s menhaden catch cut drastically, along with Omega Protein quota
Virginia is cutting this year’s Chesapeake Bay menhaden catch by more than 80% from last year’s landings in order to end a federal moratorium.

Federal fisheries officials said they’d bar fishing for menhaden in the Bay this year — as long as the fish were headed for Omega Protein’s fish oil and fishmeal plant in Reedville — because the state had not enacted a 41.5% cut to 51,000 tons in Omega’s quota, which had been imposed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in 2017.

But the new Virginia regulation, approved by the Marine Resources Commission on Tuesday, sets an even lower quota for Omega, of 36,192 tons.

The 14,000 ton difference is equal to the difference between what Omega caught in the Bay last year and the 51,000 ton cap, said Deputy Commissioner Ellen Bolen. The commission’s chief of fisheries management, Pat Geer, said Tuesday that he expects the cap would return to the 51,000 ton level if the 2020 catch is below the 36,192 ton level.

Omega says it still plans to operate all nine boats in its fleet but that it’ll spend more time out in the ocean, where weather and rough seas make fishing more dangerous.
That's a good start.

Eat an Oyster, Save the World!

Oyster flatulence worries climate scientists
Plans to expand aquatic farming could have a serious knock-on effect on climate change, climate experts have warned after new research revealed that underwater shellfish farts produce 10% of the global-warming gases released by the Baltic Sea.

A study published in the Scientific Reports journal shows that clams, mussels and oysters produce one-tenth of methane and nitrous oxide gases in the Baltic Sea as a result of digestion. Therefore, researchers have warned that shellfish “may play an important but overlooked role in regulating greenhouse gas production”.

Methane and nitrous oxide gases have a far greater warming potential than carbon dioxide so bodies of water without or with fewer shellfish record lower methane release rates.

Increased synthetic fertiliser use and agricultural activities are known to have caused extensive nutrient enrichment in coastal waters and the study highlighted how this has been recognised as “the principal driver for the enhanced GHG flux from aquatic environments”.

Shellfish in these ecosystems process the nutrients and release the gases as part of their regular biological processes. Farming of these organisms has been touted as a solution to nutrient pollution in bodies of water.

Recent figures estimate that around 10% of nitrous oxide emissions could come from shallow aquatic systems, while anything up to 40% of methane could come from shallow sediment, although there is no clear consensus on this aspect, due to huge variability.

The study authors insisted that although these creatures have been releasing greenhouse gases for millions of years without a noticeable impact on the climate, things could change now because of the growing human population, its impact on the environment and the plans to increase aquatic food production.
There's nothing too silly enough not to scare some scientists.

Hat tip to Insty.

Russiagate, Flynn in Flux

Our man Flynn is still generating articles as a result of release of data from the DOJ which suggests that the FBI targeted him for take down late in the Obama era, and continued right on through his brief tenure as Trump's DNI. Fox, Speculation mounts over Flynn case as new DOJ documents turned over. Margot Cleveland at Da Fed, Robert Mueller’s Case Against Michael Flynn Is About To Implode. Keep Mueller in mind as this goes forward. He participated in the witch hunt (or at least his staff did, he was about a present as Joe Biden). Ace, Maria Bartiromo: Sources Tell Me Michael Flynn Will be "Completely Exonerated This Week."
"It was a total fraud. A set up."

Nunes says Flynn was "framed."

Catherine Herridge says that Barr is looking at notes from the Flynn case to determine if exculpatory evidence was illegally withheld:
Sundance at CTH, Tucker Carlson: “Five Pages of Flynn Evidence” Could Be Unsealed Tomorrow…

and Maria Bartiromo Expands on Her Flynn Exoneration Claim – James Baker Notes Highlight FBI Set Up…

and Flynn Defense Attorney Sidney Powell Documents Could Be Unsealed Tuesday or Wednesday…

At NR, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy has Explosive Revelations in the Flynn Case
This goes to the point I’ve been pressing for years. There was no good-faith basis for an investigation of General Flynn. Under federal law, a false statement made to investigators is not actionable unless it is material. That means it must be pertinent to a matter that is properly under investigation. If the FBI did not have a legitimate investigative basis to interview Flynn, then that fact should have been disclosed as exculpatory information. It would have enabled his counsel to argue that any inaccurate statements he made were immaterial.
He thinks it's not enough to have the judge dismiss the charges, but is enough to allow him to withdraw the guilty plea and get a trial. I would hope the DOJ would decline to prosecute, although the prospect of forcing McCabe, Strzok and Pientka into the witness box is delightful. He has more at Criminalizing Politics: The Investigation of General Flynn
Two things, in any event, should be observed. First, the Flynn investigation was a vindictive farce: Even if there had been a substantive discussion of sanctions, there would have been no law violation. But there was no such discussion, just the mere mention of sanctions, prompting Flynn’s proper response: Don’t escalate. Second, the Flynn–Kislyak communication became the grist for an outrageous classified leak for which, to this day, no one has ever been prosecuted.

Eventually, the FBI and the Justice Department were forced to disclose portions of the House Intelligence Committee Report that they had initially redacted. We thus learned that, for some period of time during 2016, the FBI was conducting a counterintelligence investigation of General Flynn. There are still relevant redactions, so the basis for this investigation remains unclear. It apparently took place during the campaign, but it seems unlikely that it could have been related to Moscow’s cyberespionage activity.
Nice Deb at AmGreat reports: FBI Director Wray Behind Suppression of ‘Stunning’ Exculpatory Evidence in Flynn Case, while "Adam Mill" details the evidence in FBI Director Implausibly Denies Hiding Evidence, but at ET, FBI Denies Wray, Boente Pushed to Withhold Exculpatory Evidence From Flynn. Denial not credible.

And some news regarding the Steele Dossier. From Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Dossier Author Christopher Steele Had Previously Undisclosed Meetings With Lawyers For DNC, Clinton Campaign. Too bad my shocked face is busted. And from Greg Jarrett, Judicial Watch: FBI Knew McCain Leaked Steele Dossier, Now Blames Coronavirus For Not Releasing Documents. McCain was a snake with respect to President Trump. I'll bet that WuFlu excuse comes in handy in the future, though. Chuck Ross at Da Caller Nunes Calls On Alleged Dossier Source To Come Forward and From Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx, Nunes wants to interview alleged Steele dossier source, Sergei Millian. I bet he does, but will Adam Schiff let him? I doubt it.

Speak of the Devil, via Wes Walker at Da Lid, FCC Commissioner Wants To Know About 1000’s Of Phone Record Pages Received Via Schiff’s Secret Subpoenas. Hmm. And from Nice Deb at AmGreat, Pressure Mounts for Schiff to Release Russia Investigation Witness Transcripts. We want to hear what he doesn't want us to hear.

And from Jon Solomon at Just The News (JTN) An intelligence community shakeup is returning assets to field, where they are welcomed
With little fanfare, the acting DNI and ambassador to Germany has undertaken a major shakeup of ODNI, shrinking down its size and sending many employees back to spy agencies on the front lines. He’s trying to finish the job before President Trump’s nominee, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), is confirmed.

The heads of the recipient agencies are welcoming the change, including Ellen McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, whose INR office inside the State Department is getting additional resources.

“INR is one of the smallest members of the intelligence community, but it has long had an outsized impact in terms of its contributions to the analysis that informs policymakers,” McCarthy said. “In fact, taking into account the relative size of intelligence agencies, INR contributes more per analyst to the President's Daily Brief than any other IC member, and our work provides a unique perspective for policymakers.

“But INR is under-resourced, and it desperately needs more people and budget,” she added. “ADNI Ric Grenell has recognized this, and I applaud his efforts to reform ODNI to move more personnel to frontline agencies like INR that are doing the hard work of intelligence.”

CIA is another agency set to get resources returned to it after years of chafing as ODNI duplicated some of its responsibilities and borrowed some of its officers.

“ODNI was not intended to collect and analyze intelligence, its function was to coordinate these activities among intelligence agencies,” said a senior U.S. official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the reorganization.

“You don't need thousands of people to do that,” the official said. "ODNI absolutely needs to reassess how it is working with an eye towards shifting officers back to agencies like CIA and FBI."

Daniel Hoffman, the CIA’s former top spy in Moscow, said the reorganization was long overdue after the DNI spent years borrowing assets and duplicating efforts with the very agencies it was supposed to manage.

“The DNI followed a pattern we often see in our bureaucracy, it grew in personnel and budget,” Hoffman told Just the News. “But remember the DNI’s mission is to be a strategic manager of the intelligence community, to ensure the 17 agencies in the IC operate seamlessly together, coordinate effectively, and share intelligence.
At the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin whines  Did John Bolton Outfox Himself on His Own Tell-All Book? and get stuck in a review trap? That's too bad /sarc. I don't like public officials who kiss ass and tell.

It's about WuFlu, but it could pertain to Trump's election too, from Sundance, Attorney General Bill Barr Issues DOJ Memo: “The Constitution is Not Suspended in Times of Crisis”…

A Tale of Two Cities

For nearly a century, Los Angeles’ urban form has infuriated urbanists who prefer a more concentrated model built around a single central core.

Yet, in the COVID-19 pandemic, our much-maligned dispersed urban pattern has proven a major asset. Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs have had a considerable number of cases, but overall this highly diverse, globally engaged region has managed to keep rates of infection well below that of dense, transit-dependent New York City.

As of April 24, Los Angeles County, with nearly 2 million more residents than the five boroughs, had 850 coronavirus-related deaths compared with 16,646 in New York City.

After this crisis, deeper research will explain why some regions of the country were able to fend off infection more effectively than others. But clearly, differ-ences in employment and housing patterns and transit modes appear to be very significant, if not decisive, factors.

L.A.’s sprawling, multi-polar urban form, by its nature, results in far less “exposure density” to the contagion than more densely packed urban areas, particularly those where large, crowded workplaces are common and workers are mass-transit-dependent.

Los Angeles’ urban form emerged early in the last century as civic leaders such as Dana Bartlett, a Protestant minister, envisioned Los Angeles as “a better city,” an alternative to the congestion and squalor so common in the big cities of the time. Developers and the public embraced this vision of single-family homes, as Los Angeles became among the fastest-growing big cities in the country.

In recent decades, this dispersed model has been increasingly disparaged by politicians, the media and people in academia who tend to favor the New York model of density and mass transit. Yet even before COVID-19 most Angelenos rejected their advice, preferring to live and work in dispersed patterns and traveling by car. This bit of passive civic resistance may have saved lives in this pandemic.

“Life in California is much more spread out,” as Eleazar Eskin, chair of the department of computational medicine at UCLA, recently told the New York Times. “Single-family homes compared with apartment buildings, workspaces that are less packed and even seating in restaurants that is more spacious.”

The experience of the current pandemic is not likely to prove a great advertisement for living cheek by jowl, riding on a crowded subway or getting to work on a busy commuter train. They are the very factors that some researchers, including urbanists like Richard Florida, link to New York’s extraordinary exposure to the virus.
All of which made me think of the old Doors song:

And with nothing much to do but wait for warmer air and a lower tide, lead me to wonder who the woman in the video was:
Ray Manzarek put his UCLA film studies to use when he made a video for this song that was issued on a collection of Doors material called R-Evolution in 1985. To make the video, Manzarek combined archive footage of the band with new material he shot in Venice Beach, California. The actress Krista Errickson stars as the "LA Woman"; the male lead is John Doe of the band X - Manzarek produced their first four albums and directed two of their videos.
And it turns out, Krista Errickson is a pretty interesting woman. IMDB:
Krista Errickson was an American actress from 1978-1992, and is a life time member of the Actors Studio. She appeared in films and television productions in the 1980s and 1990s. She is perhaps best known for her breakout role in the 1980 movie Little Darlings (1980), and the 1992 film, Mortal Passions (1989), for which she won numerous acting awards for, including the prestigious Deauville and Taormina Best Actress Awards. She also co-starred in TV series such as Hello, Larry (1979), Tour of Duty (1987), and Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990).

Krista Errickson's professional career as a News Journalist began with RAI's (RadioTelevisioneItaliana) Channel 1 before becoming host for the first Italian private radio station, followed by the first private Italian Television, RAI International and RAISAT, winning the Best Emerging Young Journalist (Giovane PersonalitĂ ) in 1995.

She became a Senior Producer and Journalist, reporting on current events and international politics, with a focus on Middle East relations. Some her more well-known programs were, The Yellowcake Uranium Scandal (2007), RAWA's Meena: The Story of a Revolutionary (2006), and In the Name of God (1996), about Iran's Islamic fundamentalism. She was the first female journalist to interview Sheikh Sayyid Hassan Nasrullah for her documentary, Inside the Hezbollah (2001), which later became the subject of an award winning book she helped coauthor. For CBS and Discovery, she was Co-executive Producer for controversial programs such as, The Mysterious Man of the Shroud (1997), Inside the Vatican and The Genetic Revolution (1998), a four-part series which in part, exposed secret genetic experiments conduced by Monsanto Corporation. She has won two Boccaccio Awards for Program of the Year, the Pasolini Award and the Film Advisory Board Award for Best Documentary.

Errickson was a Contributing Development Director for GRB Productions, GA & A Productions, Capmar Productions, and DocLab Productions, which produced programs for major American cable channels, and a Segment/Field Producer for Sundance Channel, The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel and the CBC.

She worked as an Intelligence Analyst at a Washington, DC think tank until 2008. In 2007, as part of a team, she went to Pakistan and Afghanistan, which ultimately resulted negotiating the release of a kidnapped Italian journalist from the Taliban. In 2008, she successfully aided a political prisoner escape a Teheran jail and certain death, which was chronicled in the New York Times. She was recognized for her work in Iran with the Filippo Mazzei Award and The Bridge Iran-It.

She works as freelance journalist as President of Free Verse Productions, which develops and produces documentaries and news programs, specializing in political, human interest and human rights issues. She is a contributing writer to Italy's La Repubblica.

Errickson holds a B.A. in Political Science, and received her master's in 2008 from the University of Wales at Lampeter in Islamic Studies. She was married to the journalist and Deputy Director of RAI International Piero Di Pasquale. She is a member of the International Press Association, Foreign Press Association, The Committee to Protect Journalists, and The Daniel Pearl Foundation.

She is also the granddaughter of famed Broadway set designer, Jo Mielziner, considered one of the most influential theatre designers of the 20th century, designing the scenery and often the lighting for more than 200 productions, many of which became American classics. Errickson is also the goddaughter to the late Elia Kazan, legendary American film and theatre director, film and theatrical producer, screenwriter, novelist and co-founder of the influential Actors Studio in New York in 1947.
Some minor NSFW from Mortal Passions.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Gov. Hogan Exerts His New Found Power

From Pirate's Cove, How Many Cops Are Needed For A Non-Lockdown Compliant Restaurant? 15
Are you enjoying your Modern Socialism test drive, people?
Port Deposit business owner facing charges for Sunday crowds
Maryland State Police from the North East barrack have sent information to the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution of Lee’s Landing Dock Bar for alleged violation of the Maryland COVID-19 regulations.
However the owner of the business, Dave Carey, said he was following Gov. Larry Hogan’s regulations for social distancing and crowd size “to the letter of the law” and is troubled that 15 uniformed officers from 4 different law enforcement agencies responded to Lee’s Landing Sunday.
Greg Shipley, spokesman for MSP, said police were at Lee’s Landing at Rowland Drive in Port Deposit Sunday around 2:30.
“Responding troopers estimated the crowd upon their arrival to be about 70 people who were on the ‘boardwalk’ portion of the business. Individuals were seen eating and drinking,” Shipley said via email.
Troopers said they were at the Port Deposit restaurant a week ago responding to reports of large numbers of patrons. Sgt. S. Spayd said Sunday that the law enforcement agency had to return this Sunday and found more than 70 motorcycles in the parking lot.
If people were following social distancing rules, what’s the problem? Carey said there were more like 10 motorcycles in the parking lot.
Pictures, please?
“The investigation indicated the restaurant was selling ‘to go’ food and drink orders, but some of that food and drink was being consumed on the premises,” Shipley said. “The crowd dispersed and those who remained were determined to be waiting for carryout orders.”
If they were staying 6 feet apart, what’s the problem? Oh, right, Fascists want to Fascist. Just a little taste of power.
Carey said Maryland State Police were joined by Cecil County Sheriff’s Deputies, Maryland Transportation Authority and Perryville police. According to Carey when police arrived they found his staff taking orders and handing those orders — in plastic bags that were tied shut –over to customers. Customers were in measured lines with proper spacing and staff wore masks and other protective gear.
It really takes four law enforcement divisions for this? And then they wonder why there are protests?
My guess is that this restaurant has become a meeting place for the local bikers, and this effort was more about discouraging the bikers than enforcing the WuFlu restrictions. 

It Was a Dark and Stormy Beach

Today. Not much trouble finding "social distance", there was only one other person on the beach for the entire walk.

Winds were 20-30 kts NW, not enough west to give us much shelter, and because of the wave action, tooth hunting was tough. George did find a "Fragalodon" though (a small fragment of a much bigger Megalodon tooth).

Russiagate: Flynn to Fly Free?

I hope this is accurate. From Da Wire, Flynn To Be ‘Completely Exonerated This Week’, AG Barr Has Directed U.S. Attorney To Review FBI Personnel ‘Communications And Notes’, Reports Say
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will reportedly be “completely exonerated” this week after being charged in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation for allegedly lying to federal agents.

Fox News host Maria Bartiromo tweeted: “Breaking News: sources tell me @GenFlynn will be completely exonerated this week. It was a total fraud. A Set up. More tomorrow”

A source with knowledge of the matter confirmed Bartiromo’s tweet to The Daily Wire.

CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge called attention to a new filing in the Flynn case that was filed on Friday, tweeting, “#FISA Drawing attention Friday filing Flynn case @CBSNews told important for days ahead. AG Barr directed Missouri US Attorney to review FBI personnel ‘communications and notes,’ in part, to determine whether key evidence withheld. Docs under seal but may change.”
If and when this happens he needs to sue the government for allowing this to happen, and the people involved, if they aren't covered by some kind of immunity.

True Pundit remembers Suddenly Media Realizes FBI Plotted to “F*ck Flynn”; True Pundit Told You That 1,145 DAYS AGO. It would be amusing if this were in the redacted documents.
You may recall True Pundit’s story on March 7, 2017 where we were the first and only to report FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe boasted to a crowded conference room “Fuck Flynn and then we fuck Trump.”

The True Pundit piece dealt with what we were told was a FBI plot to take down Mike Flynn and President Donald Trump.
Sundance has Open Letter to Attorney General Bill Barr – “We The People” Already Know…

Russiagate stuff starts about 2:00 min.

Another Messy Monday

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Misty at the Beach

The Weed du Jour, in this case a bush. I'm not entirely convinced, but I think this a Bush Honeysuckle. It smells right, and it has the flowers that start white and fade yellow as they age. Now that I know what to look for, I'll see for sure. A possible invasive? If so, I ain't sceered, it isn't all that common.
It was 55 and misty when we got to the beach, and not very windy. It was hard to find shark's teeth with the mist covering my glasses, but we did come up with 19 between us, mostly small. That's Georgia ahead of us.

There's Something Happening Here

And what it is ain't exactly clear. WuFlu continues to throw out some amazing numbers. From Axios, 96% of nearly 3,300 inmates with coronavirus were asymptomatic, survey shows
96% of 3,277 inmates in state prison systems in Arkansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia who tested positive for the coronavirus did not show symptoms, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The findings suggest that asymptomatic patients could be contributing to the spread of the virus at a far higher level than suspected, especially in prisons, which have proven to be a breeding ground for COVID-19 in the U.S.
  • This is especially noteworthy because health officials have prioritized testing and surveillance for people that show symptoms. 4,693 total tests were conducted.
  • “It adds to the understanding that we have a severe undercount of cases in the U.S.,” Leana Wen, adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, told Reuters.
The big picture: Two prisons — Marion Correctional Institute in Ohio and Chicago's Cook County jail — are among the largest known sources of coronavirus infections in the U.S.
  • At Marion, close to 95% of the 2,028 inmates who tested positive for the virus were asymptomatic, according to Reuters.
Astonishing if true. I suppose it's possible that testing caught the beginnings of raging epidemics in the four prisons. In a week or two, we'll find out since symptoms usually surface after 1-2 weeks, if they surface at all. AllahPundit has some more details at Hot Air in Study Of Infected Prison Inmates In Four States Finds … 96% Are Asymptomatic
Also mind-boggling is the number of prisoners who’ve tested positive, period. At the Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio, 88 percent of the population was infected. At prisons in Michigan and North Carolina, well over half of those tested were positive. Across prison systems in four states, per the numbers provided below, 70 percent had COVID-19. The virus is spreading through these facilities like wildfire — but without much of a human toll, thankfully. If you’re still clinging to the Oxford model’s theory that much of the world has already been infected without knowing it despite the discouraging news from NYC a few days ago, these prison numbers are the most heartening news you’ve had in weeks.
It's also the death knell for my (and Rud Istvan's) theory that a significant majority of humanity is resistant to WuFlu because of previous coronavirus infections. Oh well, it was a nice theory. Too bad it disagreed with the new data.

Also, testing in Florida shows Six Percent of the Miami-Dade Population Have Coronavirus Antibodies
Officials in Miami-Dade, one of the areas in Florida hit hardest by the virus, prompted a countywide survey to estimate the percentage of the population that has been exposed to the virus. Researchers conducted the survey over two weeks, testing roughly 1,400 individuals and estimating that six percent of the population has antibodies. Half of those who tested positive for antibodies reportedly exhibited no symptoms of the virus in the 14-17 days prior to the test.

The Miami Herald reported:
UM researchers used statistical methods to account for the limitations of the antibody test, which is known to generate some false positive results. The researchers say they are 95% certain that the true amount of infection lies between 4.4% and 7.9% of the population, with 6% representing the best estimate.
That would mean about 165,000 estimated infections in Miami-Dade, with the margin of error equating to 123,000 residents on the low end and 221,000 residents on the high end.
Not as high as NYC at 20%+, but still a very high total considering the it is 16 X the reported cases. Will we see a blossoming of reported illness in Maimi-Dade, or is this just a sign of high levels of asymptomatic cases? Stay tuned.

Finally, at Power Line, John Hinderacker reports on attempts to evaluate the cost in lives versus the costs to the economy so far: Costs of the Shutdown (Updated)
Casey Mulligan is an economist at the University of Chicago. Per his web site, he has served as Chief Economist of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and as a visiting professor teaching public economics at Harvard and Clemson. He is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, and the Population Research Center. Mulligan has set up a web page where he estimates, on a daily basis, the cumulative costs of the COVID-19 epidemic. The analysis is based on his own paper dated April 16.

This is the current chart, updated through April 24. Click to enlarge:
By Mulligan’s calculation, cumulative costs approach $1 trillion. This total doesn’t necessarily include stock market losses, which mostly reflect anticipated future damages that are not part of the calculation.

On its face, Mulligan’s analysis implies that the cure (shutdowns) has been far worse than the disease (mortality), and the margin is growing. Of course, doing this calculation requires an economist to put a value on the lives that have been lost to the disease. Mulligan uses a Value of a Statistical Life of $4.3 million. In his site’s FAQ, Mulligan explains:
Q7. What VSL do you use?

A7. $4.3 million per death from COVID-19. This is what other economists are using and reflects only an age adjustment; a lower VSL will result when I am able to quantify the other differences between COVID-19 deaths and deaths from other causes. The point of VSL is to make comparisons the same way that individuals do in their personal lives. They do not treat all mortality risks equally, and therefore a VSL approach should not treat them equally. The VSL is proportional to income or consumption, which is much lower now (April 2020) than it was just two months ago. “People <65 years old had 34- to 73-fold lower risk than those >= 65 years old in the European countries and 13- to 15-fold lower risk in New York City, Louisiana and Michigan.” (cite from here). Co-morbidities are disproportionate among those dying from or with COVID-19.
This analysis will be a fertile source of debate, but any way one looks at it, the costs of the shutdowns are horrifying.
The last time I checked EPA calculated the value of a human life at about $6 million, but according to NPR the current government approved number is more like $10 million. Inflation. This would make the amount costs of human lives being lost, but still less than the estimated cost to the economy. Oh well, close enough for government work, I suppose. But damage to the economy will continue long after the pandemic is a memory.

It's hard to argue that the current policies have been a serious over reaction, or even a serious under reaction given these estimates. Just best guess made in a hurry with inadequate information.

As one of the age group being most protected (>65, male, somewhat obese and asthmatic) I must say I appreciate the sacrifices you all are making to help keep me alive. But I'll understand if you want to go back to work, and risk having an asymptomatic case of WuFlu. I, who have not had to change my life style all that much, will continue to practice social distancing to some extent, until the pandemic winds down.

And just how is that going locally? Well, Maryland reports 18,581 confirmed cases, which could translate anywhere from 36k to more than 200,000 cases depending on what the real rate of asymptomatic cases is, out of population of 6 millionish. So, if Marion Correctional Institution is anywhere near representative, we're nowhere near a level at which herd immunity kicks in. New cases in Maryland appear to be increasing linearly as opposed to logarithmically, at at 800-100 cases per day, with the same caveat regarding asymptomatic cases.

My own county of Calvert, moderately suburban, has 134 confirmed cases (and 7 deaths) out of a population of 92,000, and a rise of 3-5 cases per day. At that rate it will take for ever to get us all. I'll guess the birthrate is higher than that. And our zip code, with about 6,500 residents, has zero reported cases. At this rate, we'll never achieve "herd immunity" levels without a vaccine. It also means our risk of catching WuFlu from one of our neighbors is small.

If the idea of social distancing it to flatten the curve, to protect the ability of the health care system to take care of those who get sick, it looks like our efforts are more than sufficient in most places (It looks like they barely succeeded in NYC). If they are to prevent the majority of us from getting WuFlu before a protective vaccine is created, well, we'll see about that; but hurry up, the country needs to move again.