Friday, December 31, 2021

RIP: Betty White

Now we just have to worry about what kind of world we're leaving to Keith Richards.

Forget It Jake, It's Baltimore

Da Sun, Explosion in Curtis Bay CSX coal silo shakes Baltimore, but so far no injuries reported, officials say

An explosion at a CSX facility in South Baltimore Thursday morning sent police and fire department officials scrambling to Curtis Bay and shook residents in neighborhoods across the city.

Firefighters were called to 1910 Benhill Ave. in Curtis Bay where an explosion occurred at the CSX Coal Plant Building, police spokeswoman Det. Chakia Fennoy said. Residents across the city reported on Twitter that the blast could be felt miles away.

No injuries were reported and no contractors were inside at the time of the explosion, fire department spokeswoman Blair Adams said.

Firefighters were on the scene monitoring for collapse, Adams said. The explosion resulted from the transport of coal, she said.


The coal was on a conveyor belt at the facility where coal dust buildup resulted in an explosion, Adams said. “There’s no impact or risk to the community,” Adams said.

Justin Helms, who lives near the Curtis Bay facility, was outside walking his dogs with his wife when the blast rocked his neighborhood.

Helms said he initially feared there had been a bombing. Puddles of water from the earlier rain shook from the force “like the T-Rex scene from Jurassic Park.”

”We just tried to brace ourselves looking around to see what happened while windows were busting out of houses,” he said. Helms said his house did not appear to be damaged, but several neighbors lost windows.

One of the more exciting times I had as a scientist was on a small boat collecting sediment in Baltimore Harbor when a paint plant nearby exploded, sending a cloud into the air, and loud instructions to evacuate the facility heard clearly over the water.

Coal dust explosions are a well known hazard of coal use on an industrial scale.

New Years Eve Election Coverage

Are Biden’s Approval Numbers Even Worse Than Reported?, AJ Kaufman at PJ Media suspects so. Julia Azari at NYT (cited at Haut Hair) worries Are Democrats bad at politics? If so, they haven't done that bad. From her mouth to God's ears, at Da Mail, Hillary Clinton suggests The Squad and progressive Democrats could SINK the party in 2022 midterms because voters want a Congress that can 'get things done'. Atop Da Hill, The party of 'Karens': The new Democratic Party alienates nonwhite voters, And Anxious is anxious as Exclusive poll: America's fears rise for 2022.

At Fox, Kamala Harris struggles through question on inflation during CBS interview. Coherence is not her strong suit. “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.” - Milton Friedman. 'Bonchie' at Red State thinks Kamala Harris Illustrates Exactly Why the White House Has Such a Problem With Her

I’d tell you to watch the clip to hear what Harris has to say, but why bother? She never really says much of anything in these settings and this was no exception. Clearly, the vice president wasn’t prepared to even talk about the most important domestic issue of the day when queried on it. Instead, Harris tripped over some badly delivered talking points about the supply chain and then mentioned the “Build Back Better” bill, a massive boondoggle that would only increase short-term inflation. Is any of that word salad supposed to make normal Americans feel confident that their government knows what it’s doing?

NYPo reports  Kamala Harris asking Wall Street CEOs, business leaders for advice, and they'll tell her exactly what they think she wants to here. They're here for longer than she is. At NewsWeek, Froma Harpop says As Presidential Nominee, Kamala Harris Is Not the One

Fox, AOC in Miami Beach for 'taste of freedom' as New York sees record number of COVID cases, "GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' office was among those responding on social media to NY Democrat's pre-holiday visit."  "Welcome to Florida, AOC!" the tweet said. "We hope you’re enjoying a taste of freedom here in the Sunshine State thanks to @RonDeSantisFL’s leadership." NR (cited at Haut Hair), AOC spotted in Miami amid NYC's huge COVID case surge. Twitchy, REALLY says it all –> #AOCLovesDeSantis trends as the Socialist Democrat STAR is caught living it up in mandate-free Florida while her constituents suffer.

MTG utters tweets what most of us are thinking,

For your information, we Republicans don’t want your blue votes ruining our red home states! We don’t want high taxes, high crime, high amounts of perverse school curriculums, loss of freedoms, & AUTHORITARIAN big government in our red states! That’s what you Dems vote for!
In A (statistical) journal of the plague year, Michael Barone at WaEx looks at the exvasion of California et al. 

At WaEx, Emily Brooks elaborates, ‘National Divorce scenario’: Marjorie Taylor Greene floats tax and voting penalties for those fleeing blue states, which prompts Rep Jamaal Bowman to wonder "Why does Marjorie Taylor Greene still have her seat?" (KT at Haut Hair).

NPR features As the Jan. 6 attack anniversary nears, one Capitol officer fears a violent repeat. Is he the one who beat an unarmed woman to death? "He's in therapy for his mental health, and as the one year anniversary of the riot approaches, he says what's on his mind is "anxiety"." Frankly, he sounds unfit. Tristan Justice at Da Fed, sees As 2021 Closes Decked In Democrat Disasters, Pelosi Clings To Jan. 6. Her mind doesn't have capacity for much else. She's desperately hoping this will keep her in power. Mike Miller at Red State thinks he know why Why Pelosi Just Can't Quit Jan. 6. Because most of the other issues aren't working well for Democrats. CNSNews wonders As Dems Prepare to Commemorate January 6, Do Americans Share Their Enthusiasm? Hey, we'll always take a day of paid vacation! You commemorate what you want, and we'll commemorate what we want. The Guardian warns ‘Patriots’ are undermining American democracy. I don't take advice on liberty from Brits.  And Da Beast whines Jan. 6 Was Just the Start of Radicalizing Trump’s Republican Party. Sorry, I didn't read it, it's paywalled.

Eva Warner of Beaverton, Oregon, who police said was also known as Joshua Warner, was charged in September 2020 with felony civil disorder.
. . .
Portland Police said Warner directed a high-powered laser into the eyes of law enforcement officers trying to disperse the crowd. Warner resisted arrest, prompting officers to use force, the DOJ said. A laser pointer was found on Warner.
That's something we never saw on Jan. 6. It would have required premeditation. 

The redoubtable Julie Kelly takes on the FBI over the Whitmer kidnapping plat at Am Great, The FBI’s Criminal Lead Informant in Whitmer ‘Kidnapping’ Caper
In June 2020, as the country attempted to recover from deadly and destructive riots after the death of George Floyd, a man from Wisconsin hosted a national conference of self-styled “militia” members in a suburban Columbus, Ohio hotel. Stephen Robeson, founder of the Wisconsin chapter of the Three Percenters, an alleged militia group on the FBI’s naughty list, pestered his contacts across the country to participate in the gathering.

People who attended the conference, including two men later charged with federal crimes related to a plot to abduct Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation cottage in 2020, observed that the hotel was crawling with federal agents.

One of the feds at the conference was none other than Stephen Robeson himself.

Without Robeson’s deep involvement as an FBI informant, the Whitmer kidnapping caper never would have made national headlines a few weeks before Election Day; in fact, the whole pre-election drama wouldn’t have materialized at all. A longtime FBI asset, Robeson was one of at least 12 confidential human sources embedded in the failed plot, which concluded when several men were arrested attempting to buy explosives from an undercover FBI agent in October 2020.

Defense attorneys are building a convincing case that the FBI entrapped their clients, who stand accused of perpetrating an act of domestic terror; a motion to dismiss the federal kidnapping count was filed on Christmas Day. “[The] evidence here demonstrates egregious overreaching by the government’s agents, and by the informants those agents handled,” five defense attorneys wrote to a Michigan judge on December 25. FBI agents and informants, according to the filing, “concocted, hatched, and pushed this ‘kidnapping plan’ from the beginning, doing so against defendants who explicitly repudiated the plan.”

Stephen Robeson played as instrumental a role as any other FBI informant or agent. In addition to organizing the June militia conference, Robeson arranged a military-style training exercise in Wisconsin in July; another gathering in Ohio a week later; a meeting in Delaware in late summer; and a night time surveillance mission outside Whitmer’s vacation home in September. “He also urged people to plan violent actions against elected officials and to acquire weapons and bomb-making materials,” anonymous attendees told BuzzFeed News reporters in July. “Some of those contacts say he called them nearly every day.”

But Robeson had another secret he withheld from the group of would-be kidnappers whom he coaxed into an FBI trap; Robeson is a convicted felon several times over with “a rap sheet stretching back to the early 1980s that includes fraud, assault, and sex with a minor,” BuzzFeed News confirmed.

And Robeson didn’t suspend his criminal ways while working on behalf of the federal government. At the same time Robeson was producing all the optics later used as evidence against the Whitmer “kidnappers,” he committed at least two other crimes.

At this point, the FBI is a criminal conspiracy, and if Judge Andy is right, the CIA is worse,  The Deep State and Its Tentacles

Over the Christmas holiday, CIA officials leaked to friendly reporters at CNN their determination to overhaul their network of spies, cease paramilitary actions — which presumably include torture — and return to the "quiet statecraft" of spying on "adversaries" like China and Russia. Then the CIA learned that it has failed to recruit enough Mandarin- and Russian-speaking agents to do so. Criminal and inept.

We also learned shortly before the Christmas holiday from testimony at Guantanamo Bay that nine FBI agents were formally transferred to the CIA so that they'd be free to engage in torture themselves without damaging the reputation of the FBI. CIA agents apparently don't care about their employer's reputation the way their bosses do.

During the Christmas holiday, former FBI agents revealed that they and others had secretly gone undercover and pretended to be part of the mobs that engaged in the riots in 2020 in Portland, Oregon. There, 200 folks were arrested in a six-month period and charged with various crimes, which ranged from unlawful assembly to obstruction of justice to using violence to destroy government property.

When FBI agents go undercover, their task is to blend in with the folks they are secretly monitoring. That often means committing the same crimes as these folks. Thus, 100 of the 200 cases were dropped because the FBI agents who were sent to join the mob and who pretended to be part of it failed adequately to chronicle what they saw.

Or so their now-retired former colleagues say. We will, of course, never know the true reasons why these cases were dropped. Nor will we know which of these crimes where actually provoked or committed by FBI agents.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest.

Fish Pic Friday - Maggie N

That's quite a pair!

Maggienofficial: •Child of God✝️ •Lady Angler🎣 •PRO2A🔫 •Published model💃🏼 •All things outdoors🌳

With a diverse selection of (mostly) freshwater fish.

Linked at Proof Positive in the weekly Best of the Web* and at The Right Way in the weekly Rule 5 Saturday LinkOrama. The Wombat is back from the hospital and cleaning up old business with Rule 5 Sunday: Clearing Out The Bodacious Babe Backlog.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Maryland, My Maryland

From Robert Spencer at PJ Media, Yet Another Hate Crime Hoax, This Time in Maryland

This latest hoax started on Nov. 16 on The Commons at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where, according to UMBC Police Chief Paul Dillon, “a student reported to a Commons staff member that an unknown male attempted to remove her hijab. UMBC Police are investigating, and the Division of Student Affairs is reaching out to students most directly impacted as well as shared governance leaders in our community.”

Dillon asked the UMBC community to come forward if they had any information about this crime, and reminded the racist, redneck yahoos roaming around Baltimore that “UMBC students, faculty, staff members or visitors who choose to violate relevant policies and laws are solely responsible for their actions.” This apparently needed to be said in order to try to quell any riots that might break out over the “hate crime.” Dillon assured UMBC that justice would be done, regardless of the perception of “systemic racism” that had been reinforced by the hate crime itself: “University authorities will make every effort to sanction individuals who violate those policies and laws.”

The intrepid guardian of justice also felt it necessary to make sure everyone understood that UMBC was against hate crimes: “Such incidents are inconsistent with UMBC values, including our community’s respect for diversity and inclusion.” In fact, UMBC was institutionally against such crimes: “Students in need of support can contact i3b – Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging.” This campus office, also located in The Commons, declares proudly that “UMBC is one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, and we value the richness that such diversity brings to campus life. The Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging creates opportunities for students to build their awareness and knowledge of diverse people, cultures, and belief systems. Through facilitated discussions, informal gatherings, educational engagements, presentations, and campus-wide events, individual students, student organizations, and classes learn the skills to create inclusive, just and mutually respectful communities at UMBC and beyond.”
. . .
But as is so often the case, there wasn’t anything for Leftists or members of the Left’s favorite religion to fear at all, and yet again no sign of anyone being “constantly under oppression.” The College Fix reported on the Tuesday before Christmas that UMBC has ended its investigation of the incident, as video footage of the place where the assault was claimed to have taken place showed no sign of any such incident. Campus police officer Bruce Perry wrote in the police report that he and a detective “reviewed the camera footage of the area where this incident was reported to have happened. We watched from 5 pm up until the point it was reported to the Commons information desk. We did not [see] [redacted] on the footage during that time.”

Perry contacted the woman who had made the initial complaint and “asked her if [she] wanted to come in [and] give a statement about what happened. She indicated that she would come in and provide a statement if there is video of the incident.” However, she didn’t do so, and so lacking any further leads, UMBC ended its investigation.

Hate crimes are in such demand that people have to manufacture them, like antiques.  

Oregon, My, Uh, Greater Idaho?

 John Sexton at Haut Hair, Will disgust with Portland lead to the creation of Greater Idaho?

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve written about things happening in Portland. It was the headquarters of the most aggressive Antifa mob in the country. It held hundreds of “mostly peaceful” protests, dozens of which were designated riots. It came surprisingly close to electing a communist Antifa supporter as mayor. It stupidly defunded the police and then saw a massive spike in shootings and homicides along with much longer wait times for 911 callers. The current police chief has said it will take years to recover from that decision. It has also done a pretty poor job dealing with the homelessness that is rampant in the city. Naturally all of this has been terrible for businesses.

All of this chaos and self-inflicted misery is repulsive to many Oregonians who live in the eastern portion of the state. So much so that they are ready to secede. As Jazz mentioned back in May, the plan is to move the border of Idaho so that the majority of the land that currently makes up Oregon becomes part of that more rural, more conservative state. It’s called the Greater Idaho plan. Here’s a current map of Idaho:

And here’s what Greater Idaho would look like:

Last week the Atlantic published a piece noting that this idea is actually the most successful secession movement in the country. Eight counties in Oregon have already voted to support it.
. . . 
The chances of this actually happening are pretty slim. Legislators in both states would have to agree to it and then it would be sent to congress for approval. Getting that kind of change to happen would take years and probably a lot of luck in timing. For now, the greater Idaho movement is a sign of many rural Oregonians’ disgust with the vision of their state that regularly makes the news.

While my Alma Mater in Corvallis is snugly (or should that be smugly) in the Blue zone, our old haunts near Roseburg would be in Greater Idaho. I'll bet large chunks of eastern Washington and eastern Northern California would clamor to join as well. 

Linked at Pirate's Cove in If All You See….

Beach Report 12/30/21

Despite our WuFlu cases (yes, we're pretty sure Georgia has it too), we felt good enough to head off for a walk. It's cool, foggy, and we had a high tide, consequently. Very few teeth, only 4. 
As we were getting off the beach we met a distraught woman who was looking for her son. From Facebook:
Anyone that has a (boat) Or can help look shorelines & is able to help us with search and rescue. Ernie went out on his vessel yesterday & never made it home . Last made contact 3 PM call home to talk to his girlfriend  & was never heard from since his boat was found doing circles near Dare‘s beach later that evening with no one on board .  LAST SEEN - WEARING BLACK KNIT HAT, BLACK HEATED UNDER ARMOUR JACKET, JEANS AND GREEN boots .  will be heading out first thing in the morning . U can contact me on messenger if you need to get a hold of me. Any support would much be appreciated  Red areas would be hotspots to look

This truly sucks. The water temperature this time of year is less than 50 F.  The expected survival time without special survival gear is 1-3 hours, with exhaustion in 30-60 minutes.

Be careful out there.

Do I Really Want to Do An Election Post? I'm Positive!

I was kind of stuffy last night, and in view of the daughter-in-law's positive test I decided I should probably test myself this morning too.

As expected, positive. The waiting part is over, at least. Other than the stuffy nose, and a slight headache not relieved by a couple cups of coffee, I feel OK. Hopefully it will stay that way. Given that all of us, except for the two-year old, Gabi, are fully vaccinated and boosted, we can be fairly sure its Omicron, which is running rampant in the state. Let's go, Brandon!

Jazz Shaw at Haut Hair reports Biden retreats, will shield some Trump January 6 documents

Eliminating most vestiges of executive privilege just to “own the cons” or create trouble for the Bad Orange Man might sound like fun right now, but it would also set a precedent that Biden could soon come to regret. Biden’s people can read the polls just as well as anyone else and they are no doubt aware that the GOP could very well take back the majority in one or both chambers of Congress next November. And if that happens, with executive privilege being largely a thing of the past, just imagine what sort of committees might be formed in January of 2023 and what they might choose to investigate.

Larry O'Connor at Town Hall calls The Biden Presidency: A Horrible Accident of History and a UMass poll reports Just 6% of Republicans say Biden's victory was "definitely legitimate". Insty, ANALYSIS: TRUE.

Damon Linker at Da Week whines about 'Let's go, Brandon' and the politics of degradation, "When did vulgarly insulting people become a form of politics?" Fuck off, Damon, it's a long American tradition, and you didn't mind when it was done to Trump, Bush, Reagan etc. At the Neon Nettle, MSNBC: Man Saying 'Let's Go Brandon' to Biden Is the 'Slow-Motion Insurrection', "The asymmetry of saying F you to a sitting president on a call." Meanwhile, Dan Chaitin at WaEx reports Oregon man who told Biden 'Let's go Brandon' on Santa tracker call open to running for office. They could do worse, and have. 

Anders Hagstrom at Da Caller says Harris Allies Weaponize Race And Gender As Media Sours On Her Performance. It's pretty much been her sole platform. From Spiked, The left doesn’t own minority voters, "Unless left-wing parties drop their woke dogmas, they’ll struggle in the increasingly diverse West." At the College Fix, U. North Carolina-Greensboro lecturer defends CRT, says ‘whiteness is a disease’ Keep digging that hole, please.

Slay hears Newt Gingrich: Hillary Clinton ‘Is Going to Run’ Instead of Biden in 2024. She won't stop unless she gets the wooden stake and her mouth stuffed with garlic. At Fox, Lindsey Graham says Donald Trump has the Republican nomination for president if he wants it: "Graham says Trump would have to run 'a disciplined campaign'" Like that'll happen! Kevin Downey at PJ Media wonders Was 2021 Trump's Best Year Ever?

From Da Caller, Michigan Approves New US House Map, Leading To An Incumbent V. Incumbent Primary, "While the new map gives Biden a 7-6 edge, Wasserman noted that it could swing as much as 9-4 for Republicans in 2022." At Breitbart, Sen. Van Hooligan (D-MD) plans new shenanigans to pass the voter law that would federalize elections, Van Hollen: ‘We Are Looking at Different Ways to Reform the Filibuster’

Red State's Nick Arama thinks Lauren Boebert Tricked the Left Into Exposing Biden With a Savage Troll. "It’s almost the end of 2021 and I’ve yet to see Biden mobilize truinternatialdepressure like he promised. What’s the hold up?" They don't get the joke. 

via Ace's
Breitbart, House Democrats Flock to the Exits Leading into Election Year — Potentially More on the Way. Are they going to retire to nice, safe Red States, like their constituents? TNP, Bolt From The Blue: Nearly a MILLION Americans Leave Dem States to the Safer, Less COVID-Panicked South. Insty CHANGE: New U.S. Census Data: Major Migration From Blue States To Red States.

By the way, if you’re looking to make a year-end charitable deduction, consider supporting the Fresh Start States “Welcome Wagon” Project. It’s scheduled to be reaching out to new arrivals in 2022, explaining why they shouldn’t vote for the policies that ruined the states they came from.

Am Mil News, Pentagon banning ‘extremist’ tattoos, clothes, bumper stickers in new policy. At this point, will they consider an American flag an extremist tattoo? Stay tuned.

TNP, Far-Left Jan 6 Commission Demands Bank Records of Trump Staff in Bizarre Intimidation Attempt. Anxious is anxious that Trump accuses Jan. 6 panel of "seeking evidence of criminal activity"

What they're saying: The select committee is acting as “an inquisitorial tribunal seeking evidence of criminal activity,” Trump lawyer Jesse R. Binnall wrote in the brief, adding that such action is “outside of any of Congress’s legislative powers.”

“The Washington Post has confirmed what was already apparent — the Committee is indeed seeking any excuse to refer a political rival for criminal charges, and they are using this investigation to do so," Binnall added.

At Da Blaze, Mark Levin say Jan 6 Committee's 'evidence' of Trump's 'criminal conduct' ends up proving just the opposite

Noting that the texts nearly all showed beyond question that the people in President Trump's inner-circle were shocked and alarmed by the protest-turned-riot, Mark argued that the texts actually prove that neither the president nor his chief of staff had prior knowledge of or participated in planning the Jan. 6 riot.

"Now let me ask you a question: What does that demonstrate?" Mark asked of what the texts reveal. "It proves the case against their own narrative. If Donald Trump were leading an insurrection, don't you think Don Jr. would be in on it? If Donald Trump were leading an insurrection, don't you think some of his friends in the media would know about it rather than telling him ... to do something about this? It wouldn't be the other way around."

"That's the point. If you had somebody with a 4 IQ there, they'd have said, 'Wait a minute, if Don Jr is pleading with his dad to say something (in response to the riot), then obviously Don Jr. didn't know about it in advance, or these Fox hosts didn't know about it in advance, nor did the president, nor did his chief of staff.' Right? Because they would have talked to their friends and their compatriots," Mark said.

And in the real insurrection? Buzzfeed reports  An Informant In The Michigan Kidnapping Case Has Been Charged With Fraud, "Even while he was assisting the FBI, Stephen Robeson allegedly used a fake charity to defraud a Wisconsin couple out of an SUV." Won't that make for interesting testimony? PM reports More than half of the rioters arrested in Buffalo during George Floyd riots had their cases dismissed "When it comes to how the city of Buffalo has handled arresting and charging rioters, it turns out very few made their full way to trial." Compare and contrast to Jan. 6 defendants. At Fox,  Hillary Clinton voter gets 35-to-life for killing bandmate’s wife in argument over 2016 election. "The case was already underway before liberal Los Angeles County DA George Gascon issued a mandate against enhanced gun charges, a report said."

A California man who supported Hillary Clinton for president received a maximum sentence of 35 years to life in prison this week after being convicted of killing his bandmate’s wife in an argument over the 2016 election, according to a report.

The slain woman was holding the couple’s 2-year-old child at the time of the Jan. 10, 2017, incident, the Press-Enterprise of Southern California reported.

After revealing he had supported Clinton, defendant John Kevin McVoy Jr., 40, was told by the bandmate, "Get the f--- out of my house," according to prosecutors.

McVoy then fired a shot at the bandmate, identified as Victor Garcia, striking him in the head, the Press-Enterprise reported. Garcia spent months in a coma afterward and required two brain surgeries plus physical therapy to relearn basic life skills, the report said.

A second shot struck Garcia’s wife, Susan Garcia, killing her, while one of the other bandmates was trying to disarm McVoy, the report said. The child was not hurt.

Thursday Tune - Ima da te nema


What? You don't speak Slovene? Neither do I, but it's probably better that way:

Nina Vodušek (born 9 October 1997), known professionally as Nina Donelli, is a Slovenian singer. 

The Wombat is back from the hospital and cleaning up old business with Rule 5 Sunday: Clearing Out The Bodacious Babe Backlog.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

WuFlu is in the House

 As I said, ready or not, here it comes.

Today, our resident daughter-in-law tested positive for Covid. She works in a service job, and one of her co-workers went out sick a few days ago, and had a PCR test done. The test results came back positive for Covid today, she was informed. Given that she had some minor symptoms (scratchy throat, runny nose) she got concerned, and we managed to borrow some rapid tests from a neighbor (we have some coming today from Amazon, in theory).

Yep, you guessed it. Positive. Even though she's double vaccinated and boosted (Pfizer). 

At this point, it almost seems like a relief. With the Omicron explosion, it seems inevitable anyway. Assuming the tests we ordered really arrive today, I'll probably take the test, too, and I wouldn't be at all shocked to test positive. Both Georgia and I are double vaccinated and boosted with Moderna, so we may well catch it, but it would be unlikely that we will have serious symptoms. Stay tuned. 

Election: One Winter's Morning, On a Train Bound for Nowhere

According to Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media, The Biden Train Wreck Is All the Way Off the Rails Now. Capt. Ed, Hmmm: Biden approval crashes to 37% ... in progressive tracking poll. Ace responds
Daily Kos' Left-Leaning Polling Firm Puts Biden's Approval At...37% 

"Meltdown. The good news for Brandon? It's not a very well-respected poll. The band news for Brandon? It's not very well-respected because it skews too far to the left."
. . .
So who knows, maybe a poll that oversamples the left-of-the-left to scare Brandon and put him on notice not to take the Far Left for granted is just what the doctor ordered.

On the other hand: Maybe everyone just hates Brandon.

At AMAC, Daniel Roman thinks  2021 is the The Year the “Great Realignment” Became a Death Spiral for Democrats. They're just refining their message for a smaller crowd, like Spinal Tap. Also from Stephen Kruiser, Dems Will Take an Even Harder Run at Destroying America in 2022. Lincoln Mitchell opines from  How Democrats can avert disaster in 2022 - CNN "How Democrats can keep Republicans out of power". Lying and cheating is traditional. Ed Kilgor at the Intelligencer (cited at Haut Hair), Why Biden wants you to think he's running in 2024. It's necessary to pretend he's in charge now. Capt. Ed at Haut Hair has a question from David Axelrod: Can't anyone in this party do math? The answer is no, except for division, which they're pretty good at. 

Buck Throckmorton at Ace's, THE MORNING RANT: Since “Slur” Is The Media’s Favorite New Word, Can We Start Calling “Latinx” a Racial Slur? "The media has a favorite new word, “slur.” Anyone who says anything critical or mocking of a leftist has now committed the cancellable sin of having spoken a slur." TTAG, Polls Show More Hispanics Turning Their Backs on Gun Control, Civilian Disarmament Advocates

Nate Silver@NateSilver538

I didn't even remember this but wow. I doubt the same letter would have been sent had 2020 not been an election year or had a Democrat been in office.
Garett Jones@GarettJones · Dec 21
Letter from "public health experts" encouraging Pfizer to delay the vaccine until.... ...late November. 

 Althouse, "No, this was not a conspiracy in the strictest, most intentional sense (it didn’t need to be!), but it did kill thousands of people and manipulate our politics. . . . C’mon, people, let’s not be afraid to admit this one." Said Tyler Cowen, quoted at Instapundit.

Karen T. at Haut Hair, Meacham: If Trump runs in 2024 it will create a constitutional crisis. It's always a "constitution crisis" when Democrats don't get their way.

Miscellaneous. From Da Mail, Trump endorses Alaska Gov. Dunleavy for reelection - on the condition he does NOT back Sen. Murkowski, who voted to impeach former president after Jan. 6 riot. Strike at the King . . . Paul Bedard at WaEx, 'Badass' Marjorie Taylor Greene cruising to reelection, DC critics ‘delusional’. Olivia Nuzzi at the Intelligencer (again cited at Haut Hair), Do Pennsylvania Republicans want Dr. Oz? Remember Ronald Reagan's Rule, vote for the most conservative person with a chance of winning. Is that Oz? I doubt it.

AP reports White House, Jan. 6 committee agree to shield some documents. Madeleine Hubbard at JTN, Jan. 6 committee backs down on some Trump document requests after Biden administration objects. My guess is that they're trying to get ahead of the Supreme Court ruling that Trump can shield documents. Sundance at CTH read the WaPoo article I cited yesterday, and came to the same conclusion, As Expected, Timeline of January 6th Commission Highlights Mid-Term Election Intent

At Da Beast, Trump Adviser Peter Navarro Lays Out How He and Bannon Planned to Overturn Biden’s Electoral Win. By completely legal maneuvering.  The Bulwark Girlz insist Swing Voters Don’t Like the January 6 Committee Critics, "And they don't like the performative MAGA members of Congress, either."

The Wednesday Wetness

The Wombat is back from the hospital and cleaning up old business with Rule 5 Sunday: Clearing Out The Bodacious Babe Backlog.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

New York City Killing The Forest to Save the Trees

East River Park
WUWT, New York City chain saws down 1,000 trees to raise park 8-10 feet to address panic over 3mm sea level rise – Protesters ‘watched in horror’

After years of planning by city officials, New Yorkers got a close-up glimpse of the trade-offs inherent in the fight against climate change when crews this month began cutting down the first of a thousand trees targeted for removal in John V. Lindsay East River Park.

Since the chain saws arrived two weeks ago, workers have moved quickly to get rid of more than 70 species of mature trees at the popular 46-acre park on the Lower East Side, including 419 oaks, 284 London planes, 89 honeylocusts and 81 cherry trees — along with eventually demolishing a running track, ballfields, lawns, picnic areas, an amphitheater and a composting center.

Sounds a lot like our own forest community here, which grows almost down to sea level. I'm not a fan of the locusts and cherries, though 

“What’s the point of paying a parks department that cuts down trees?” asked Karen Kapnick, one of a small group of protesters who watched in horror, peeking through a chain link fence next to Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive as workers denuded the first dozen trees. “I’m just here because I care about the trees and the environment.”

City officials say the tree removal is just a necessary first step to creating a bigger and better park. More importantly, they say, the remade East River Park will be better able to withstand storm surge even as the waters surrounding lower Manhattan rise in the coming years. Once all the work is finished — projected in about five years — the new park will be raised 8 to 10 feet higher, with new recreational facilities and 1,800 replacement trees representing more than 50 species more suited to survive occasional saltwater floods.

The park overhaul, spurred by the destruction of Superstorm Sandy in lower Manhattan nearly a decade ago, is all part of a $1.45 billion flood protection project that backers say befits the nation’s largest city, a massive project that will include the construction of a 2.4-mile system of walls and gates along the East River.

“We’re the parks department, so we obviously are very fond of trees and plants,” said Sarah Neilson, chief of policy and long-range planning for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. “We also recognize that after Sandy we had to take out 250 trees that died just from that one intense saltwater inundation. They’re not species that were designed for a coastal environment.”

It's their park, but moving it up ten ft is moving up over a thousand years worth of rise at 2.77 mm per year. I just hope they're not getting any of our federal money for doing this.

Beach Report 12/28/21

Skye an I were on our own again today. It was a pretty nice day, struggling to get to 50, but mostly calm and partly cloudy. I overdressed a little and worked up a sweat. I forgot to take any beach pictures except this one, showing an interesting collection of fossils; a lovely parasymphyseal Snaggletooth tooth, a shark vertebrae from a shark that could well be a Snaggletooth, and a small "cookie". The tooth and the cookie were within 3 feet of each other.

Election Post: Slow Joe Slip Sliding Away

For some reason, the Oregon man who pranked the Bidens into agreeing with "Let's go, Brandon" is still in the top spot. From Fox, Mainstream media fume over dad saying 'Let's go, Brandon' to Biden: 'Vulgar,' 'right-wing slur', "Media refers to phrase as 'vulgar insult' and 'right-wing slur'"  A bit like saying "Oh fudge!" "Shoot!" or "Darn it!", you know, stuff even your mother let you get away with. Ace woke up and noticed the Bloodthirsty Media Doxes Man Who Said "Let's Go Brandon" To Biden

Because of course they did. You're not allowed to insult leftwingers.

What could possibly justify this? Well, the media has decided that insulting Brandon is a "slur" -- you know, like a racial slur.

Is "slur" used in any other context any longer?

Once he was doxed, there was no need to stay hidden, so of course, he was interviewed by Steve Bannon. PM, Father who pranked Biden with 'Let's Go Brandon' call slams cancel culture, leftist mob in Steve Bannon interview. Nick Arama at Red State highlights that the   Dad Who Pranked Joe Biden Says It's Important to 'Voice Disapproval'   AllahPundit at Haut Hair doesn't appear to agree, Dad who told Biden "Let's go, Brandon": Trump is my president and the election was 100% stolen

Fox, 2021: The year Biden's approval ratings sank slowly underwater, "Biden started his presidency with positive poll numbers but ends 2021 in negative territory" or as Breitbart puts it, Poll: Joe Biden’s Job Approval Crashes to 36 Percent. Fox again, Joe Biden was the most powerful man in the world as it fell apart around him in 2021.  "Biden's first year in office marred by disastrous Afghanistan exit, record inflation, COVID-19 surge." About that later one, after saying Trump should not be kept in office after 200,000 WuFlu casualties, then accruing 400,000 Joe had a belated realization that the Federal Government is not responsible. Bonchie at Red State, Joe Biden Publicly Admits Defeat on COVID-19 -- and Somehow Manages to Even Screw That Up  and Joe Biden's Surrender on COVID Gets More Embarrassing After the Receipts Emerge. Ever the Biden apologist, AllahPundit makes excuses in Now he tells us: There's no federal solution to COVID, says Biden

All he’s doing, as I understand him, is acknowledging that state and local health-care systems ultimately have the burden of caring for COVID patients. The feds don’t, by and large. (The VA is a notable exception.) He was making a rhetorical concession in response to Hutchinson’s plea: Of course we’ll keep state priorities in mind, Biden’s saying, since the states are the ones with the awesome responsibility of actually treating the sick. It’s less “the buck stops there” than “all levels of government need to coordinate with each other to optimize outcomes for Americans.” In context, his “get out of the way” message to red-state governors this past summer doesn’t contradict that. It was a complaint that figures like DeSantis weren’t coordinating with the feds’ tactics to slow the spread.

Althouse catches Kamala's verbal tic Kamala, actually. From the transcript of Kamala Harris on "Face the Nation" yesterday, using the word 12 times.

It's quite obvious that the word as she's using it has the opposite effect of its literal meaning. She must want to stress the reality and practicality of what she's saying, but it undercuts her credibility. It's the equivalent of asserting "I'm telling the truth," over and over. Who does that? Someone who's insecure about her believability. A good liar would know better. A secure truth-teller wouldn't run into the problem in the first place.

Outkick hears Joe Rogan Predict Michelle Obama Would Beat Donald Trump Easily in the 2024 Election. Maybe, but I think she would rather be royalty without the work. Da Beast explains Why 2022 Could Be ‘The Year of the Political Comeback’. Wishful thinking from the Peacock, Trump's 2020 fixation is putting him at odds with some of his biggest fans, "Anger over the election animated local GOP chapters in tangible ways this year. Now, some see issues like inflation and education as being of greater interest." John Solomon at JTN, After Trump gains with Hispanics, GOP fortunes accelerating with America's biggest minority, "Republican are now even with Democrats for the first time in polling among Latino voters." I think dumping Trump would hurt that trend. 

Da  Hill lists what it thinks are The 10 races that will decide the Senate majority. They couldn't narrow it to fewer than this? Wa Free Bee, Americans Fled Blue States for Red States in Massive Numbers in 2021, Census Finds "California, Illinois, and New York on the decline. Florida, Idaho, and Texas on the rise." A mixed blessing, as the immigrants often continue to vote for the same policies that resulted in disasters in their original states. Trust me, I was a Californian who moved to Oregon, and saw it in real time. Capt. Ed at Haut Hair sees NYT's belated discovery that In Virginia, Winsome Sears is the GOP's messenger -- and message

Perhaps the concerns over the Democrats’ demographic problems have gotten serious enough to warrant semaphores from their media allies. The New York Times’ belated but balanced profile of Virginia’s new lieutenant governor Winsome Sears is as surprising as its timing. “I look like the strategy,” Sears tells the NYT about the GOP’s new plans to reach out to Democrats’ most loyal demographic bloc, and it’s coming at a time when Joe Biden has risked that loyalty with a series of overreaches and fumbles . . .

At Da Mail,  Trump’s claim of over 5,000 ballots cast by dead people in Georgia is debunked by state's AG office after investigation found only FOUR - including woman who voted for Trump on behalf of dead husband. Now do Philadelphia, Baltimore and Chicago.

Matt Margolis at PJ Media, Prominent Dem Lawyer Predicts Lawsuits To Remove GOP Members From House Seats Next Year. Marc Elias, a prominent player in the Russiagate hoax. Insty responds, THERE WAS NEVER AN INSURRECTION.  As predicted, from Salon, House Democrat calls for novel Jan. 6 commemoration: Expel GOP members who helped incite the attack "Rep. Cori Bush: Congress Should Mark Jan 6. by Expelling Members Who Helped Incite Attack" using a novel version of word "incite", where doubting the cleanliness of the election is considered incitement. 

At WaPoo, Committee investigating Jan. 6 attack plans to begin a more public phase of its work in the new year. It's all battleground preparation for the 2022 election. From across the pond at the Guardian, Capitol panel to investigate Trump call to Willard hotel in hours before attack. Trump made a phone call? It must be illegal. They're not going to enjoy it when the shoe is on the other foot. 

The redoubtable Julie Kelly at Am Great, Is the Whitmer ‘Kidnapping’ Case About to be Tossed? "At this point, perhaps the Justice Department should pray that the judge rules in favor of the defense and dismisses the case before the FBI is further embarrassed—and exposed." It's looking more and more like the plot to kidnap Whitmer was conceive, funded, and at least partially carried out by the FBI, under the same guy who was put in charge of the FBI in DC at on Jan 6. CNN hosts New Jan. 6 tape shows 3-hour battle in Capitol tunnel, but doesn't highlight the part where the Kap Kop repeatedly beats an unarmed woman on the head with his baton.

Don Surber wants to know Why isn't Michael Byrd on trial?

I ask an uncomfortable question. Why isn't Michael Byrd on trial? He shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during a mostly peaceful protest inside the Capitol on January 6.

Three trials this year beg this question.

The most recent trial ended last week when a jury convicted Kim Potter, who while a police officer shot and killed a driver who was trying to leave the scene after he was pulled over by the cops. Potter said she mistook her gun for a taser. While that may be true, nevertheless the jury found her guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter.

The first of the three trials was of Derek Chauvin who was convicted of killing George Floyd. A drug user with a record of crimes, Floyd was higher than a kite. Chauvin, then a police officer, held him down awaiting putting him in jail. He blocked medical treatment. Floyd died later in custody. A jury convicted Chauvin of murder.

The third was the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse who shot and killed two rioters who attacked him, and wounded a rioter who pulled a gun on him. The jury found him innocent of all charges.

As a casual observer, I think jurors got all three verdicts right.

Which brings me to Byrd. Why should he not face a jury of his peers to determine whether his killing of Babbitt was murder?
. . .
We all know why Byrd won't stand trial. It's the same reason Hillary didn't and Hunter won't. They are part of the protected class. They are above the law. A Washington that blew millions on an investigation into a conspiracy theory about Russia that everyone knew was a lie won't spend 10 cents on real justice in these three cases.

I am not saying convict Byrd. I am saying try him, if only for the peace of mind of a nation that no longer can trust its federal government.

PM, The Daily Beast fabricated claim that armed rioter pretended to be BLM supporter, "24-year-old Ivan Harrison Hunter, of Boerne, Texas, admitted to firing 13 rounds from an "AK-47 style rifle" at the Third Precinct police building in Minneapolis during a BLM riot in May 2020." It appears he really was a BLM supporter. PM and Former Washington state Democrat campaigner sentenced for terrorist attack on railroad

A Washington state woman has been sentenced to a year in prison for sabotaging railroad tracks near the US-Canada border in Washington state in an attempt to derail a train carrying crude oil.

Ellen Brennan Reiche of Bellingham was sentenced Dec. 17 in US District Court in Seattle to 12 months and one day in prison for committing an act of violence against a railroad carrier. Reiche is also required to complete 100 hours of community service while on federal supervision.
. . .
Reiche, who identifies as "non-binary" and uses "they/them" pronouns, was the deputy field organizer for Washington State Democrats, according to their now-deleted LinkedIn profile.

Tuesday Tanlines

For your titillation.

The Wombat is back from the hospital and cleaning up old business with Rule 5 Sunday: Clearing Out The Bodacious Babe Backlog.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Forget it Jake, It's Baltimore

Balmer Sun, Baltimore County declares state of emergency, reinstates indoor mask mandate amid rising COVID cases

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. on Monday declared a COVID-related state of emergency and is requiring face coverings at indoor public spaces beginning Wednesday morning.

The mandate will go into effect at 9 a.m. on Dec. 29 and applies to all individuals 5 and older patronizing restaurants and food businesses, retail stores, houses of worship or any establishment that serves the public. The County Council will have to approve extending the order until Jan. 31; they’re scheduled to take up a vote at their Jan. 3 meeting, according to a news release.

The order comes as cases across Maryland surge and the omicron variant spreads. The state health department recorded more than 25,000 new COVID-19 cases between Thursday and Sunday and the state’s seven-day average positivity rate bounded past 15%.

Frankly, our county doesn't look a whole lot better. Ready or not, Omicron is coming. And this helpful tip via Capt. Ed at Haut Hair, CNN expert: Cloth masks are useless "face decorations" at this point

This has made the social-media rounds since yesterday, but it’s been true for the past year or more anyway. “There’s no place for them in light of Omicron,” Dr. Leana Wen told CNN’s Victor Blackwell, but there wasn’t any place for them in light of Delta, Beta, or any other variant either. Cloth masks only provide minimal mitigation against viral transmission of any kind, and their only virtue is their existence in an environment where no other options exist.

That was the mitigation context in April 2020. It hasn’t been the case for well over a year (via Townhall):
I would say that if you choose to go, make sure that you’re vaccinated and boosted, make sure that you’re wearing a mask, even though it’s outdoors, if there are lots of people packed around you, wearing a three-ply surgical mask. Don’t wear a cloth mask. Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. There’s no place for them in light of Omicron. And so wear a high-quality mask, at least a three-ply surgical mask. And if you’re going to be visiting elderly relatives or immunocompromised people after, wait three days, get tested, and then see those vulnerable.

The cloth-mask phenomenon has served no other significant practical purpose than virtue signaling. When we had a massive shortage of PPE, it may have served as the only option for mitigation, but cloth masks were only slightly better than nothing — and only then when handled properly, ie, constant disinfecting, washing, etc. We haven’t had “nothing” for personal PPE since late spring of 2020, however, and that’s when cloth masking should have been discarded.


Surgical masks such as those recommended by Wen offer more significant mitigation, but they don’t entirely prevent viral transmission either for a variety of reasons. For one thing, they don’t fit airtight around the mouth and nose, and moisture eventually eliminates the electrostatic functions between the layers. (Plus, touching the outside provides a route for viral transfer.) The best option for masking are N95 masks, manufactured to a standard that does prevent viral transmission, but those are difficult to tolerate for long periods of time because they work so well.

Even those are probably not “full protection” against Omicron, either, but that’s missing the point a bit. It’s about levels of mitigation, not guaranteed prevention. Wen’s advice is rational, although mask-wearing outdoors is almost entirely pointless. Until someone demonstrates any evidence of outdoor transmission of COVID-19 outside of sustained physical contact — we have no reliable evidence of such — there’s no need to mitigate against it. In fact, it’s a waste of surgical masks. Cloth masks outside are even more pointless than they are indoors.

So why does the White House continue to model their use? That’s a question worth asking. It appears to only function as a way for Joe Biden to wear the presidential seal as a brand.
Or, as looks likely, we could all get Omicron.

Oh Deer!

MedicalXpress, COVID-19 infection detected in deer in six Ohio locations

Scientists have detected infection by at least three variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 in free-ranging white-tailed deer in six northeast Ohio locations, the research team has reported.

Previous research led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture had shown evidence of antibodies in wild deer. This study, published today (Dec. 23, 2021) in Nature, details the first report of active COVID-19 infection in white-tailed deer supported by the growth of viral isolates in the lab, indicating researchers had recovered viable samples of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and not only its genetic traces.

Based on genomic sequencing of the samples collected between January and March 2021, researchers determined that variants infecting wild deer matched strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that had been prevalent in Ohio COVID-19 patients at the time. Sample collection occurred before the Delta variant was widespread, and that variant was not detected in these deer. The team is testing more samples to check for new variants as well as older variants, whose continued presence would suggest the virus can set up shop and survive in this species.


The fact that wild deer can become infected "leads toward the idea that we might actually have established a new maintenance host outside humans," said Andrew Bowman, associate professor of veterinary preventive medicine at The Ohio State University and senior author of the paper.

"Based on evidence from other studies, we knew they were being exposed in the wild and that in the lab we could infect them and the virus could transmit from deer to deer. Here, we're saying that in the wild, they are infected," Bowman said. "And if they can maintain it, we have a new potential source of SARS-CoV-2 coming in to humans. That would mean that beyond tracking what's in people, we'll need to know what's in the deer, too.

"It could complicate future mitigation and control plans for COVID-19."

I see a few possible solutions. Draft a federal law that all deer must stay masked at all times, or present themselves to federal center for inoculation, or hunt deer out of existence.  

The Wombat is back from the hospital and cleaning up old business with Rule 5 Sunday: Clearing Out The Bodacious Babe Backlog.