Sunday, January 31, 2021

Snowmaggedon 2021 - Day 1

You may or may not have heard, but much of the East Coast has been under the threat from a complex snowstorm, expected to last a couple of days, and resulting in 3-6 inches of snow here, and much more elsewhere. When we got up around 7 AM, we were greeted by a light dusting

Which grew over a couple of hours. 
Skye didn't mind. Here she is taking her morning nap, getting her strength up for the big walk.
Gabi got her first snowball.

"Aren't you ready for that walk yet"
Eventually, we relented, and bundled up and took Skye out and around the neighborhood. She found a few kids out playing in the snow to give her pets, so that made her day. When we got back home, Gabi and Corwin were out on the front deck, and Gabi seemed to enjoy her first snow day.
It seemed to let off later in the afternoon, but so far, we seem to have about 2 inches. We'll see what happens overnight and tomorrow. 

Election 2020: Impeachment, an Emotional Affair

At least that's what the Democrats are trying to sell you. WaPoo, House Democrats building elaborate, emotionally charged case against Trump. "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell". So this makes it pretty clear, as if we needed any more evidence, that the "impeachment 2.0" is not designed to change Senators minds. Senators are lizard people, they have no emotions. Rather it's aimed to sully Donald Trump and  Republicans in the public, particularly women who are more susceptible to the emotional. A strategey so obvious that even Andy McCarthy at NR can see it, Democrats Are Laying a Trap with Trump’s Impeachment Trial "Democrats' Impeachment Strategy to Hurt Republicans". Based on this all Republicans ought to simply refuse to participate, and vote no when the Dems get tired of hearing themselves. But of course, there's always a few who fall for the trick. Insty has the quote: ADMIRAL ACKBAR, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Democrats Are Laying a Trap with Trump’s Impeachment Trial.

Democrats do not want to disqualify Trump. They want to keep him radioactive. They want to remind the country in lurid detail of the former president’s role in the lethal January 6 rioting — the demagogic speech, the failure to take action while the seat of government was under siege. And then they want to force a vote — conviction or acquittal — that will be framed as every GOP senator’s choice to stand with Trump or against him.

How do Democrats want Republicans to vote? No matter . . . it’s a win-win.
Read the whole thing.

I would, but I ran out of free views (even though I'm still sponging off the nearly lifetime subscription to paper NR that my Mom accidentally paid for years ago).

CNN, Trump's impeachment defense team leaves less than two weeks before trial

Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, who were expected to be two of the lead attorneys, are no longer on the team. A source familiar with the changes said it was a mutual decision for both to leave the legal team. As the lead attorney, Bowers assembled the team.

Josh Howard, a North Carolina attorney who was recently added to the team, has also left, according to another source familiar with the changes. Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, from South Carolina, are no longer involved with the case, either.

A person familiar with the departures told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he's left office. Trump was not receptive to the discussions about how they should proceed in that regard.

Do lawyers really matter in this trial? The conclusion is foregone; why waste the money?  Althouse faces the prospect with equanimity, Is Trump pathetically lawyerless or is he planning the power move of all time — representing himself on the Senate floor?

The conventional wisdom is, of course, that you never want to represent yourself — but that's in reference to the conventional setting, where you are in court and it's a law-based affair. Trump faces a trial in the midst of 100 Senators, with no Chief Justice presiding — no separate decision-makers of law and fact — and a complete tangle of law and politics, with politics taking precedence over law.

Think about the stakes: What does Trump risk if he loses? Disqualification from running for office again? The real stakes are history — who writes it and whether Trump, in this next chapter, is a has-been holed up in Florida or the biggest, ballsiest man in American history, fighting 100 pompous politicos on the floor of the Senate. What a wildly entertaining movie! You say he's a narcissist? A reality-show star who somehow burst into the highest level of politics, where he boldly, recklessly proceeds on instinct and optimism?

Also Althouse, "Let’s get one thing straight: there’s nothing 'respectable' about representing Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. Trump doesn’t have any legal right..."

"... to be represented by a lawyer in this context: it’s not a criminal trial, and if no real lawyer is willing to represent him, well that’s just too bad. The notion that someone like Trump has a 'right' to have lawyers help him out in this context is a particularly perverse abuse of the concept of the right to counsel. If you represent Trump in this context it’s either because you think what Trump did on January 6th was affirmatively good, or you like money — or more realistically the promise of money — enough to overcome your distaste for murderous sedition."
Writes lawprof Paul Campos, (at Lawyer, Guns & Money). He finds it "funny" that Trump's "entire legal team quits. He's laughing at Trump's loss of legal representation and condemning any lawyer who would step up to provide representation. He says it's perverse and abusive even to think that there is a right to counsel at this thing called a trial that is to take place in the Senate. Everyone already knows in advance that Trump is guilty of "murderous sedition."

It's very creepy, this aggressive enthusiasm for seeing one's enemy deprived of a defense.

It's a show trial, after all, no need for a defense. Jonathon Turley, Why Hasn’t The House Held Hearings To Establish “Incitement To Insurrection”? Because they know the facts aren't on their side. Neither is the law, so they want to yell and pound the table. 

Carrie Sheffield at JTN writes Growing evidence Capitol assault was planned weakens incitement case against Trump, experts say "

If Trump "didn't know about it, they had planned it without him, then you're missing the causal relationship," said Alan Dershowitz. "It would have happened without his speech as well. So that would be relevant on the issue of causation."

WSH whines,  Jan. 6 Rally Funded by Top Trump Donor, Helped by Alex Jones, Organizers Say. Trump donors helped Trump, journolists offended. Sundance recounts how Justice Department Charges Proud Boys With Conspiracy To Obstruct Law Enforcement. The DOJ/FBI have gone all in on the right-wing extremist threats. Where were they when BLM burned the cities this summer? Proud Boys = Immanuel Goldstein.

WaPoo whines Woman charged in Capitol riot said she wanted to shoot Pelosi ‘in the friggin’ brain,' FBI says. People say a lot of shit they don't mean. Let me know when Kathy Griffin gets done with her sentence for inciting violence against Trump. Fresh via Insty, Colleges investigate community members for attending pro-Trump protest "THE CRUSHING OF DISSENT WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES."

At Da Fed, Kristi Noem writes The Republican Party Has Failed America, And Here’s How It Needs To Change Now

In 2020, despite the virus, if you wanted to riot, loot, and burn buildings down, the government either stood idly by while you did that, or worse, tacitly encouraged the destruction.

Government didn’t punish the violent criminals. But it did everything it could to punish those Americans who simply tried to defend themselves, their families, their livelihoods, and their property.

What we lived in 2020 is the left’s vision for America.

So now we know what the other side stands for. What is it that Republicans stand for?

We stand for the rule of law, not selective prosecution based on what your political views are. We stand for the right to defend yourself, your family, and your property. For your right to worship, to actually practice and live your faith according to your conscience.

We stand for your right to earn a living and to do business.

I could vote for her. And to switch subjects again, from WaEx, 'Expert witness list' released in Antrim County lawsuit involving Dominion voting machines

An "expert witness list" was filed in court after a Michigan judge ruled that the names of the so-called “forensic investigators” who filed a report about Dominion Voting Systems machines in Antrim County could be released.

The court document was filed by the plaintiff’s attorney in the lawsuit, Matthew DePerno, and includes five names along with a description about what each person is expected to testify. Included are Russell Ramsland, James Wadron, and Doug Logan. Also on the list are Greg Feemyer and Paul Maggio of Atlanta-based data security company Sullivan Strickler.

Other witnesses include attorney Katherine Friess, C. James Hayes, and Todd Sanders, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle, which cited a document from the Michigan attorney general’s office. Despite the release, it is not clear what role each of the witnesses might have played in the “forensic” investigation of the voting machines, which yielded a report that Dominion CEO John Poulos blasted as “technically incomprehensible.”

“What role each one played in the preparation of the report, my understanding is we won’t know until these individuals are deposed,” said Haider Kazim, the attorney representing Antrim County.

It's good to see progress toward untangling the mess, how ever incremental.  

Sunday Sunrise

 or sunset, who knows?

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest. The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Hedley Lamarr Presents The Teutonic Titwillow, Lili von Shtupp! ready and willing.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Russiagate: Mueller Probe Lawyer Clinesmith Gets Wrist Slap for Falsifying FISA Warrant

Time to clean up again, and this is the precipitating story. Fox:  Ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith given probation after guilty plea in John Durham probe

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service Friday after pleading guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

Clinesmith in August pleaded guilty to "one count of making a false statement within both the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the U.S. government, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000."

U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia James Boasberg on Friday during Clinesmith's sentencing hearing said Clinesmith had suffered by losing his job and standing in the eye of a media hurricane.

Boasberg gave him 12 months probation, 400 hours of community service, and no fine.

Government prosecutors had been asking for Clinesmith to spend several months in jail, but Clinesmith's defense had been advocating for probation only.

Curiously, Boasberg is also head of the FISA court, the august body that Clinesmith defrauded. One would think he would be more concerned with government lawyers making up the opposite of the truth (can you call that a mere lie?) in order to maintain surveillance on an innocent US citizen. WaPoo, of course is pro-Clinesmith, Ex-FBI lawyer avoids prison after admitting he doctored email in investigation of Trump’s 2016 campaign

But Boasberg also said he agreed with a prior finding by the Justice Department Inspector General that Clinesmith and other FBI officials’ actions were not motivated by political bias, and he believed Clinesmith’s contention that he thought, genuinely but wrongly, the information he was inserting into the email was accurate. On top of his probation sentence, Boasberg ordered Clinesmith to perform 400 hours of community service.

That's just bullshit.  

The case against Clinesmith is the first and only criminal allegation to arise from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the FBI’s Russia case, and it has become a political lightning rod.

Clinesmith’s lawyers have argued altering the email was a mistake meant to save Clinesmith time and personal embarrassment. But former president Donald Trump and his political allies have highlighted the case as part of their allegations that the bureau was biased and seeking to undermine Trump with the investigation that explored possible ties between Russia and his campaign. The case was ultimately taken over by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
. . .
Prosecutor Anthony Scarpelli said in court that Clinesmith’s conduct was “more egregious” than that of George Papadopoulos, whose offhand remark in a London bar in May 2016 helped trigger the Russia investigation and who later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. He was sentenced to 14 days in prison.

Sundance at CTH, FBI Lawyer Who Doctored False Information to FISA Court Gets 12 Months Probation, 400 Hrs Community Service and No Fine

We suspected that Kevin Clinesmith was going to get the James Wolfe leniency treatment, not only because the DOJ (Main Justice) wanted to avoid highlighting the severity of his criminal conduct, but rather -more specifically- because that criminal conduct took place under the direction of the Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissman special counsel (June 29, 2017)…. And that is what has happened. It is all corrupt as hell…. all of it.

Bryan Preston, PJ Media, Government Agent Whose Altered Email Enabled the Russia Hoax Won't Spend a Day in Jail or Pay Any Fine. Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Ex-FBI Lawyer Receives Probation For Altering Email About Carter Page, from John Sexton at Hot Air VIP, FBI Attorney Who Altered Email About Carter Page’s Work With The CIA Will Get Probation, although why you would go through a paywall to get it instead of getting it from Ace for free is beyond me, in red bold italic type (with a flaming skull, Kevin Clinesmith, the Corrupt FBI Lawyer Who Forged Documents to Frame an Innocent Man, Gets... NO JAIL TIME, HAS TO PAY A HUNDRED DOLLAR FINE

And Paul Sperry at RCP, DC Fails To Disbar Anti-Trump FBI Lawyer Despite Guilty Plea. He's only a felon after all, good enough for DC. Also, New Evidence Implicates FBI Higher-Ups in Dishonesty of Anti-Trump Lawyer, I would be shocked, shocked, if Andy McCabe, Lisa Page or Peter Strzok had anything to do with this. I would point out this would totally destroy his "I didn't know what I was doing" defense the the judge apparently bought. Ace, Paul Sperry: New Evidence Suggests That Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page Might Have Been Complicit In Kevin Clinesmith's Criminal Forgery of Documents to Frame Carter Page Of course, none of this means anything any longer now that Biden is President. 

Generally, I'm in favor of leniency in first offenses, but I take issue with this one, because it was a government actor, acting against a helpless citizen who had no recourse at the time. I hope Carter Page sues the crap out of him in a friendly jurisdiction (Washington DC won't work).

Sundance attempts to convey his Understanding the Institutional Protection Racket Via Congress, Main Justice DOJ, FBI and FISA Court

And a ton of miscellaneous links of varying significance:

FBI Used ‘Ghosts’ To Track Trump Advisor Carter Page In 2016 | The Daily Caller

Declassified memos detail effort to get McCabe to step aside in Russia probe over conflict | Just The News

Obstruction boomerang: FBI knew DOJ was preparing to fire Comey long before Trump ordered it | Just The News

Christopher Steele Defended ‘Good Friend’ Ivanka Trump, FBI Notes Show | The Daily Caller

Star Impeachment Witness Lied About Her Contacts With Christopher Steele

Grassley wants answers on DOJ closing Flynn call leak investigation

Trump Declassified Memos Prove FBI Gave Clinton Campaign Pass on Foreign Donors | Gregg Jarrett

Michael Flynn Shot Down ‘Ridiculous’ Allegations Of Improper Contact With Russian Academic That Were Floated By Intelligence Operatives | The Daily Caller

"Retired" Enquirer chief still protecting Trump – HotAir

Gap in Trump's pardon could allow DOJ to prosecute Bannon anyway – HotAir

Eric Swalwell Again Dodges Questions About Contacts With Chinese Spy | The Daily Caller

Declassified! The Russia informant transcript the FBI didn't want Americans to see | Just The News

Giuliani in Ukraine: Kyiv's leaders, long silent, find some tales to share - The Washington Post

House Republicans seek Penn records for foreign financial ties to Biden Center | The College Fix

Beach and Bay Report 1/30/21


Last night was the  coldest night of the winter here so far, 24 F, and when Skye and I reached the harbor, there was moderately thick skim ice in the back, where it's fresher, and less well wind mixed.

Not enough to freeze much of anything on the bay, although there was an icy edge now and then
And some big icicles hanging off the cliffs.
For the last two days it had been overcast and windy, with gusts to 30 or more mph, enough the we avoided the beach and walked the street. Today the wind was down to a mere 10 or so NW, which was pretty tolerable. Fossil hunting was bed despite a low tide, 4 teeth, of which Georgia found 3. 
A big freighter from the Evergreen line, with the logo warped by the mirage.
You can see the ice on the beach from frozen bay water, and ice on the jetty from frozen spray/
And a seagull.
As we were leaving the beach, Pete drove up and asked if I'd like to go with him a little later to check out the fishing at the power plant.

We met as his boat about 1 PM, had to break some ice with his boat to clear the harbor, and headed off.
Not a fish to be found. Well, Pete thought he snagged one for a few seconds, but we never got to see it, so it doesn't count.

Not enough action to book trips on. 

Election 2020: The Coming Show Trial

 As Rick Green at ET calls it, The Coming Show Trial

According to Wikipedia, “A show trial is a public trial in which the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt, and/or innocence, of the defendant. The actual trial has as its only goal the presentation of both the accusation and the verdict to the public so they will serve as both an impressive example and a warning to other would-be dissidents or transgressors.”

Sound familiar?

Daniel Greenberg at Front Page, Unite and Heal With Show Trials and Fascist Purges "Enjoy unity at gunpoint in the Bidenist banana republic." WaPoo suggests dragging it out for greater dramatic effect;  As Senate prepares for a speedy impeachment trial, some are urging a slower, more deliberative approach. "Some" usually means whatever a reporter or editor thinks. For HuffPo, cited at Yahoo, and echoed by Hot Air, “This Is Their Best Chance To Put A Stake Through Donald Trump’s Political Future”, which is not a proper use of the political process, but at least they're being open about it. Never-Trumper, and once semi-respected Jonah Goldberg dispatches Impeachment Shows How Partisan Politics Have Swamped the Constitution "If Nancy Pelosi were serious about garnering bipartisan support for impeachment, there were steps she could have taken. . . . It’ll play great in Democratic attack ads but not in the history books." They intend to rewrite the history books too.  

From the Bulwark Boyz Girlz,  Where’s the Chief? "John Roberts should be presiding over the Senate’s second Trump impeachment trial.". Nope, he wisely declined. Althouse: "There is no authority granted to Congress to impeach and convict persons who are not 'civil officers of the United States.' It’s as simple as that."

"But simplicity doesn’t mean unimportance. Limiting Congress to its specified powers is a crucial element in the central idea of the U.S. Constitution: putting the state under law.... The interpretation that persons are subject to impeachment and conviction even if they are not civil officers would greatly expand the Senate’s ability to prevent future office-holding.... [If] removal is irrelevant, any person who was once a civil officer might be impeached and convicted and by this means disqualified from any future office. Is it really compatible with the system of democratic representation...?... [P]runing the disqualification penalty away from its basis in removal creates a bill of attainder, a punishment levied by a legislative body without a criminal trial. An impeachable offense, it is well established, does not have to be a statutory crime. Thus disqualification standing alone and not as appurtenant to removal is precisely the sort of attainder envisaged by the Framers. Is it consistent with the American system of laws, to say nothing of the prohibition on attainders in Article I, Section 9, to allow Congress to impose such draconian penalties without a jury trial—in the absence of the removal of the officer by the Senate...?"

Writes lawprof Philip Bobbitt in "Why the Senate Shouldn’t Hold a Late Impeachment Trial" (Lawfare).

CNN pleased that  Chief federal judge in DC scorches Capitol riot suspects and keeps man who was in Pelosi's office in jail. Now do #BLM. Also, Capitol riot: Pipe bombs found on January 6 were placed the night before, FBI says. Insty, AND YET, SOMEHOW TRUMP’S SPEECH WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE “INCITED” THIS: Capitol riot: Pipe bombs found… Didn't you know Trump was a renegade Time Lord?

Cortney O'Brien at Town Hall, Nancy Mace Reacts After AOC Claims the GOP Turns Blind Eye to Violence

I stood up to my party on Jan. 6th. Where were you when Bernie supporters were shooting GOP members? When VP Harris was crowdfunding bail for looters and rioters? You only have moral authority if you stand up for what’s right ALL the time, regardless of party.
Ace, Republican Congressmen Urge Censure for AOC, Over Her Ridiculous, Violence-Inciting Claim That Ted Cruz Tried to "Murder" Her;

Congressional Staffer Snowflakes Bleat About the "Trauma" They Experienced, Watching the Capitol Hill Riot on TV

It was just a few years ago that a deranged leftist, incited by hot chatter from Rachel Maddow, attempted to execute seven Republicans at a baseball field.

Deranged mentally-retarded tart Alexandria Donkey-Chompers is now essentially painting a Steve Scalise type target on Ted Cruz's back, implicitly asking her own deranged followers to avenge her attempted murder.

Twitter must be bad for people's memories; why else would they fall for this:  PM, Democrats condemn Maxine Waters' words when they're alleged to be against Cuomo—but she said them about Trump in 2018

Twitter account CuomoWatch repurposed the quotes to be about the Cuomo administration in New York—though Waters used them against Trump in 2018. Attorney General Letitia James' released a report on Thursday that found the Cuomo administration had underreported the deaths in nursing homes in that state during the pandemic by as much as 50 percent.

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul intoned the recent Capitol Hill riot of Jan. 6 to condemn Waters' apparent statements, saying that "This is encouraging violence against public officials - plain & simple. Absolutely disgusting. No tolerance for this. Haven't we learned the lessons from Washington D.C. just weeks ago?"

Democrats didn't like these vile words when they appeared to be spoken against Emmy-award winning Cuomo. Lis Smith, formerly an advisor to Pete Buttigieg, wrote that it was "way over the line. Especially in light of what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6."

Mediaite whines that Matt Gaetz Demands Kevin McCarthy Hold Vote on Liz Cheney: ‘If He Doesn’t, the Republican Conference Is a Total Joke’ Ace, Poll: Majority of GOP Voters Want Trump to Start a New Party, Saying It Would Be Better Than the GOP

The amazing thing is: None of this will do a blessed thing to suggest to the crusty grifters who control this party that maybe they're doing something wrong and need a rethink.

The Tea Party wasn't able to spark a rethink, Trump wasn't able to spark a rethink, and not even starting a new party, and then taking all of the GOP's voters, will ever spark a rethink by the old, greedy men with their hands on the tiller.

The GOP will remain Corporations and Wall Street forever. They will continue attempting to drive American wages as close to zero as possible, to benefit a group of hardcore leftwing billionaires who are killing them politically -- but paying them off nicely.

I still hope for change from within, but sometimes political parties have to die for their principles to live.

From ET, Maricopa County Officials Approve Forensic Audit of Election Systems. But has the evidence been wiped? Meanwhile, Democrats plot to steal all future elections, Dem lawmakers introduce bill that would send all registered voters ballots before Election Day "The legislation also would mandate automatic voter registration of every U.S. citizen who supplies identifying information to a state's motor vehicle authority" Including lots of empty and duplicates that can be harvested at will. (Alex Nitzberg at JTN)

A few more links at the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 01.29.21 (STONKS EDITION).

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

Rule 5 Saturday - Kelli Garner

This week's Rule 5 post features Kelli Garner

an American actress who has appeared in a variety of independent and mainstream films, television, and theater.

A native of Southern California, Garner made her feature film debut at age seventeen in Larry Clark's thriller Bully (2001), followed by a supporting role as Faith Domergue in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator (2004). In 2005, she made her New York stage debut in an Off-Broadway production titled Dog Sees God.  Over the following several years, Garner had lead roles in the independent film Thumbsucker (2005), the studio comedy Man of the House (2005), and the comedy-drama Lars and the Real Girl (2007). She returned to theater in 2008, appearing in an Off-Broadway production of The Seagull opposite Dianne Wiest.
Garner was born in Bakersfield, California, and spent her early childhood in Newbury Park before her family settled in Thousand Oaks.  Although she described herself as a "shy" young girl, Garner caught the attention of a talent agent while attending a friend's bar mitzvah, and was subsequently cast in an Eggo commercial. While a student at Thousand Oaks High School, Garner was cast in director Mike Mills's short film Architecture of Assurance in 2000. Garner was a talented soccer player in high school, and had planned on pursuing it as a career before she began working as an actress. 
In 2015, Garner portrayed Marilyn Monroe in the television film The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, opposite Susan Sarandon.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest. The Wombat has Rule Five Sunday: Jane Russell and FMJRA 2.0: Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? up and at 'em at The Other McCain. Linked at Proof Positive in the weekly Best of the Web and at The Right Way in the weekly Rule 5 Saturday LinkOrama.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Annals of the Biden Crime Family - The Weekend Update

China Joe has been in office a little more than a week, so let's see what's happening. They say personnel is policy, so let's see who he is staffing his administration with. Labor Pick Paid Biden-Linked Firm Tens of Thousands Prior to Nomination "Boston's Marty Walsh has paid Anita Dunn's firm $90k since September"(Wa Free Bee), a mere pittance by political standards, also, Biden Energy Pick Set to Make Millions from Prominent Energy Company "Jennifer Granholm's ties to energy industry will likely lead to conflicts of interest" and according to Da Caller, Biden’s Energy Nominee Divvied Millions In Taxpayer Funds To Alternative Energy Startups That Went Bankrupt. So we can foresee more Solyndras in the future. PM, New Biden hire allowed Washington state to be defrauded out of millions by Nigerian scammers. Now, that's the way to spend taxpayer's money!

It was announced Friday that Suzie LeVine, Commissioner of Washington State's Employment Security Department (ESD), will be leaving her post at the end of January to take a position in the Biden Administration.

LeVine was directly responsible for the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars from Washington state unemployment funds after the agency was defrauded by Nigerian scammers.

An audit of the agency found that through the end of June 2020, the ESD had lost $600 million dollars to Nigerian fraudsters. They recovered only about $250 million of the missing funds. ESD said that more had been recovered since June for a total at the time of $357 million. Original estimates placed the loss at closer to $1 billion, though a large amount of the difference was recovered when the fraud was detected.

The audit found that LeVine and ESD had deliberately bypassed the waiting period for benefits in order to send out unemployment checks faster. That action was taken by LeVine at the urging of Democrat Governor Jay Inslee. LeVine was a political appointee of Inslee’s who had been a donor to his campaign.

From Tristan Justice at Da Fed, The Biden Administration Just Made Peter Strzok’s Wife A Top SEC Official, well, she'll have more time for the job, once Peter gets sent to jail for insurrection! (A case where the word might actually fit). Maybe she can hire Lisa Page as her aide-de-camp. 

A little over a week and Biden's brother touts proximity to new president in ad for Florida law firm (JTN) while Karen Townsend at Hot Air reports that Frank Biden Uses His Brother Joe’s Name In Inauguration Day Ad For Law Firm. They're not even trying to hide it.

And from Jordan Davidson at Da Fed, Violating Norms On Day One, Biden Axes Respected Labor Attorney. I only point out they hypocrisy of how they would have whined if Trump had fired a Democrat appointee. The unsinkable Mollie Hemingway at Da Fed, Breaking Norms And Precedent, Biden Attempts To Purge Career Intelligence Official

In a stunning violation of precedent, Biden’s National Security Agency (NSA) placed General Counsel Michael J. Ellis on administrative leave pending a Defense Inspector General investigation of his recent appointment, as well as an unspecified claim of mishandling of classified information. Ellis has maintained a top security clearance, without any blemish, for more than a decade. He is a trained classification official both as a military officer and civilian.

While Ellis has prominent defenders from his many years of service in the intelligence community, his detractors include high profile participants in the Russia collusion hoax, proponents of former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s attempt to publish classified information in a book, and some of the individuals who orchestrated the Ukraine impeachment effort.

Meanwhile, even as China makes provocative moves over Taiwan and the South China Sea, Biden Rescinds Trump Order Banning Chinese Communist Involvement In US Power Grid (Natalie Winters at TNP), and Biden Immediately Removes ‘China Challenge’ As ‘Policy Issue’ On State Dept Website,  from PM, Biden removes Trump order protecting US power grid from China and from Vodka Pundit at PJ Media, Insanity Wrap #131: 'CCP Joe' Welcomes Communist Firms Back into U.S. Energy Grid. China Economic Review, Biden administration delays Chinese military investment ban

At Da Lid, Joe Biden, The Job-Killing President: 70,000 Jobs Killed On Day One, More Since by killing the border wall and Keystone Pipeline. Global News, Premiers tell Trudeau they ‘want to go to war’ with U.S. over Keystone XL: sources. But Joe was going to normalize our relationships with our allies, right? Western Journal, Unions That Endorsed Biden Lash Out After He Stabs Them in the Back on Day 1

Da Wire, Biden Stops Trump Order To Slash Price Of Insulin, EpiPen, But don't worry, we'll raise your taxes to help! This might explain it, though, Biden Says ‘I Don’t Know What I’m Signing,’ Signs Executive Order Anyway

John Solomon at JTN, 'Lawyer up, and get out': FBI first spurned Hunter Biden laptop, says Delaware tech repairman "FBI "didn't show an interest in any of the money" after seizing Hunter Biden's laptop, according to John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer shop owner who reported it to authorities." I can't imagine that will get any better. 

#HerToo! Biden accuser Tara Reade says it was 'unspeakably hard to watch the man who assaulted me' take the oath of office "'I will not be slienced'" (sic) at Da Blaze. Oh yes you will, once the media decide to spike your story, and social media censors it.

The Fed staff has Here’s The Full List Of Every Lie Joe Biden Has Told As President, as of 2 days of being President. He needs to step up his game. 

And, since CNN, WaPoo and the NYT won't, The Wa Free Bee has the handy dandy BIDEN COVID DEATH TRACKER

Can the Bay Be Turned into Bricks and Mortar?

Chesapeake Bay Mag, Port Of Baltimore Could Recycle Sediments into Bricks and Concrete

The Port of Baltimore has already repurposed tons of dredged materials from its shipping channels to restore Poplar and Hart-Miller islands in the Chesapeake Bay.

Now, two companies will study the possibility of reusing dredged sediment to create concrete road barriers. Governor Larry Hogan and Maryland’s Board of Public Works approved the contracts Wednesday. Three other contracts have already been approved to test the use of dredged materials to make bricks and pavers, shoreline protection barriers, and even soil for growing sod.

“These innovative uses could turn sediment that builds up in the Chesapeake Bay into a valuable resource for making bricks, concrete and even structural support for shorelines,” says Gov. Hogan.

The shipping channels that lead to the Port of Baltimore must be routinely dredged to keep lanes open for the deep-water ships that call on Baltimore, so there is no shortage of mud, sand and sediment from the bottom. The port says an average of 4.7 million cubic yards of material must be dredged every year, from the 150 nautical miles of channels in the Bay, Patapsco River, and Baltimore Harbor.

The Hart-Miller (Baltimore County) and Poplar (Talbot County) island restoration projects have made good use of the dredged material, and James and Barren islands in Dorchester County are next to be rebuilt. But the new sediment-recycling study contracts could allow for more innovative use of dredged materials.

New productive solutions for dredged materials will allow the port to continue dredging without fear of where to put the surplus muck.

“This allows us to continue removing dredged sediment from our channels to maintain the 50-foot depth needed to accommodate the supersized vessels that bring cargo and jobs to the Port of Baltimore while recycling that sediment to use again in other ways—a real win-win,” says Maryland Port Administration Director William P. Doyle.

In each of the newest studies, contractors will use sediment from the port administration’s Cox Creek Dredged Material Containment Facility outside Baltimore. Harford Industrial Minerals Inc. will study use of dredged sediment in structural concrete and fill. And Susquehanna Concrete Products Inc. will study use of the sediment for general-use concrete products like retainer walls and blocks.

I don't really see that there's that much to study. People have been making mud and sand into bricks and mortar for millennia; it ain't exactly rocket science. What I question is whether there's enough demand for bricks and concrete made with river mud to come anywhere closed to solving the problem of where to dispose of all the sediments that accumulate in the harbor.

On the other hand, we have a proven solution; using the sediments to restore eroded islands. News on that front, Poplar Island Ecosystem Restoration Expansion Complete, Open to accept Dredge Material

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, completed construction of the Poplar Island Ecosystem Restoration Project lateral expansion Jan. 20, 2021, providing 575 additional acres, including four new wetland cells and one large upland cell. The project is now able to accept dredged material associated with the approach channels to the Port of Baltimore until around 2032.
And once Poplar Island is finished, they already have plans to move on and restore Barren Island and James Island. If they can used the sediment to make bricks and concrete, great, but I don't see pressing need.

Election 2020: Running a Little Late Are We?

Running a little late today, fortunately the number of items is small, and largely inconsequential.

From the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 01.28.01, Volokh questions Impeaching Officials While They're in Office, but Trying Them After They Leave. Of course they can do it, the Senate can pretty much do what it wants at this point. The question is whether it means anything, and whether it makes things better or worse. To that point, Paul Bedard at WaEx points out Most say don’t convict Trump, fear further division by 3-1. But then think of the amusement value  as The All-Organic QAnon Wonder Shaman Wants To Come Back To Congress — As An Impeachment Witness (Former Republican Capt. Ed at Hot Air).

At Da Wire, Cruz On AOC’s False Claim That He Was ‘Trying To Get’ Her Killed: ‘Not Conducive To Healing Or Unity’. Healing and unity is not her goal. And the AP whines Gov. Noem refuses to say whether Biden victory was free and fair. The witch must confess!

Also from the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 01.28.01, at LI, Capitol Hill Riot: DOJ Arrest Reports Focus On Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Barely Mention Parler. So all that nonsense about shutting down Parler because it led to violence is just a lying excuse for censorship, as we suggested. Shut down the socials! Disgraced ex-Sec Def  Gen Mattis: Trump 'fomented' Jan. 6 Capitol assault (YaHoo!). And how does that differ from incited?

Ace, Matt Gaetz Trashes Liz Cheney at the Wyoming Capital Building, Calls for Primary Challenger for "RINO" and "Neocon" Cheney "Do me a favor and spare me the "Muh Civic Norms" and "Muh Nice Tweets" bleating if you're going around calling your opponents queers, huh?" AllahPundit at Hot Air, Video: Gaetz Defies McCarthy, Rips Liz Cheney In Speech At Wyoming Capitol

Watch some of this if you have time, just so that you fully understand that it’s *not* really an attack on Cheney for voting to impeach Trump. That’s part of it, of course — Trump Jr even calls in at 19:30 of the clip — but it’s actually a full-spectrum assault on Cheneyism, especially her interventionist foreign policy which was undertaken for “personal profit” according to Gaetz and which has left her with “blood on her hands.”

This isn’t a niche pro-Trump/anti-Trump flashpoint, in other words. This is the sort of speech you’d hear from a campaign opponent, yet delivered by a member of Cheney’s own party who represents a district on the other side of the country. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it outside of a primary. Frankly, it’s harsh even by primary standards.

Video at either link. Twitchy,  Chris Stirewalt explains what he learned from calling Arizona for Biden so early on election night. Ace, Chris Stirewalt: I Was Right to Call Razor-Thin-Margin Arizona Nine Days Before Everyone Else Did, The News Panders Too Much to Nasty Partisans Such as People Who Don't Think I'm a Cute and Snarky Slice of Awesome-Pie

I guess he remains, as he said on election night, "serene and pristine" about his erroneous call.

And it was erroneous. He says he's right, but only because a coin flip came up his way. If a state with millions and millions of votes has only an 11,000 vote separation between candidates, you don't call it. That is statistically TIED, and "sampling" and guesstimating will not avail you. You have to wait until votes are actually COUNTED -- something all the leftwing networks did, except for Fox.

Mediaite, Dominion Spox Confirms to MSNBC That Voting Company Has Drafted Letter for Trump Over Election Fraud Defamation. Bring it on. Discovery will be fun.

And an update on our favorite House election from John Sexton at Hot Air, Claudia Tenney Picked Up A 93 Vote Advantage In NY-22’S Ongoing Vote Counting

To fully appreciate what is going on here, we need to take a step back. Earlier this month it appeared that Tenney was ahead in the unofficial vote tally by 29 votes. However, Democrat Anthony Brindisi had assembled a team of six attorneys and there were 1,028 affidavit ballots yet to be dealt with in Oneida County. Brindisi’s camp was eager to have the judge count 69 of those votes.

But last week Judge DelConte surprised both sides and ruled that Oneida county should canvas all of those disputed ballots. The judge noted in his ruling that it was an outcome neither candidate had asked for:
“Both candidates press this Court to disregard either some, or all, of the potentially valid ballots because it is strategically advantageous for them in this election,” he wrote. “…Both of these arguments ignore the fact that this problem only exists because…the Oneida County Board of Elections failed to comply with (election law) and review its records.”
Judge DelConte was right about neither camp wanting this. The Brindisi camp asked an appellate judge to temporarily halt the counting of those ballots. But after a 10 minute hearing Monday morning, the appellate judge said no.
An appellate judge today allowed a review to continue of more than 1,000 affidavit ballots cast in the 22nd Congressional District race, despite an appeal by Democrat Anthony Brindisi to stop it.

The hearing took about 10 minutes today before appellate division Justice Patrick NeMoyer and attorneys for candidates Brindisi and Republican Claudia Tenney…

Brindisi’s attorneys are asking DelConte to count just 69 ballots from those voters, most of which are from Democrats. They argued in the appeal that DelConte does not have the jurisdiction to order Oneida County to fix its mistake and that a review of these ballots would take too much time and resources nearly three months after Election Day.

Tenney’s attorneys don’t think the judge should count the 69 ballots challenged by Brindisi, because they argued those voters are not registered and that the judge doesn’t have the ability to retroactively register them. Tenney currently leads by 29 votes.
So both sides are playing to win but what’s interesting is that up until this week, the Democrats have been loudly arguing that it’s important that every vote be counted. They have mostly been behind in this race so counting more votes appealed to them. But when Judge DelConte announces you know what, we should count these 1,028 votes from people who weren’t registered only because the DMV failed to register them suddenly the Democrats are singing a different tune. Now counting the votes takes too long and is too much of a hassle. Their commitment to counting every vote seems a bit situational.

More at the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 01.28.01 and at JJ Sefton's The Morning Report - 1/29/21 at Ace's. 

Fish Pic Friday - Erika Almond

 A few days ago this came through my Facebook feed

Erika Almond has spent thousands of hours fishing the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in her 34-foot SeaVee named "Offshore Therapy." She's caught all sorts of near record-sized fish and even swam with a whale shark -- but her most recent expedition might have topped them


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 has Rule Five Sunday: Jane Russell up and at 'em at The Other McCain. 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Oregon, My Oregon May Institute Racial Bias in WuFly Vaccine Distribution.

Reason, Oregon Weighs Race-Based Vaccine Preferences "Instead of allowing people with chronic medical conditions to get a higher place in line, a pivotal Oregon committee leans into racial justice considerations."

States have many factors to consider when allocating their scarce vaccine doses: the age of recipients, medical conditions that put people at risk, and jobs that put workers in contact with the public, to name a few. A committee in Oregon is considering an unusual recommendation to allocate vaccines by race. The proposal is intended to address inequities but would invite legal challenges to a vaccination program that has already been off to a rocky start.

The state's COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee is a group of 27 individuals tasked with devising "a vaccine sequencing plan focused on health equity to ensure the needs of systemically affected populations, including communities of color, tribal communities and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, are met." The committee's members include representatives from health providers as well as community groups such as the Oregon Pacific Islander Coalition and the Somali American Council of Oregon. Although decision making responsibility ultimately lies with the Oregon Health Authority and Governor Kate Brown, the state has pledged to follow the committee's recommendations.

The committee concluded its first meeting in early January unable to agree even on endorsing the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines. (Both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are remarkably effective.) At the most recent meeting on January 21, the committee deliberated who should be next in line for vaccinations after healthcare workers, senior care residents, teachers, and several other groups.

The committee appears poised to prioritize allocation based on race, perhaps even ahead of those with chronic medical conditions. The Oregonian reports that when some members suggested prioritizing residents with relevant health conditions, a committee member representing a Native American group alleged that the committee was "dealing with our own conditioning of white supremacy as it is showing up in our decision making." Black, indigenous, and other people of color (often abbreviated "BIPOC") made the committee's tentative list, with their priority vis-a-vis Oregonians at risk from chronic medical conditions to be determined later.

The committee's next meeting is on Thursday and if it commits to this plan, the Oregon Health Authority will have to consider whether it can be implemented legally. Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, has argued that explicitly prioritizing race in vaccination decisions would run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause. "This runs into the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which says citizens of all races are entitled to the equal protection of the laws," he writes in a recent article. "The Supreme Court has long interpreted this to mean that the government may ordinarily not dole out valuable benefits, or impose harms, based on a citizen's race."
Being Oregon, it won't matter much.

Eastern Shore to Get Natural Gas Pipeline

MD Matters, Eastern Shore Pipeline Receives Final Approval From Bd. of Public Works, unless Joe Biden decides they don't deserve one.

The Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday unanimously approved the last key step for the extension of a controversial natural gas pipeline into Somerset County.

The pipeline already exists in Delaware and Wicomico County in Maryland, and the first part of the project was OK’d last month, after three hours of public testimony, to extend the pipeline by seven miles from Wicomico into Somerset County.

Now the recently approved wetlands license would allow Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a natural gas company based in Delaware, to further extend the pipeline by 11 miles, reaching the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the Eastern Correctional Institute, as well as residents and businesses along the line. The utility would drill beneath the Manokin River, Taylor Branch and Kings Creek.

Wednesday’s BPW hearing renewed the debates over moving towards a renewable future and achieving economic justice for Somerset County, although comments were technically limited to the project’s wetlands permit.

Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) recognized environmentalists who have raised environmental justice concerns over the project and have argued that this pipeline runs counter to the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. While fracking has been banned in Maryland, green groups have suggested that the state should not be agreeing to purchase potentially fracked gas for an extended period of time.

When people mention "environmental" justice, I check my wallet.  

“I just want to salute the environmental advocates who disagree with us on this particular project because I think they’re right, that natural gas and fossil fuels are on their way out,” Franchot said. “And we’re going to get to a renewable future with net-zero carbon emissions.”

Last month, board members said they saw natural gas as a “bridge” fuel to cleaner renewable energy sources in the future.

But Josh Tulkin, director of Maryland’s Sierra Club, asserted that “we cannot simply make baby steps in the fight against climate change.”

“We do not have 40 to 50 years for bridge fuels,” he continued.

But Franchot said he also recognized that this pipeline was more about economic justice for Somerset County, which is one of the three counties in the state that does not have access to natural gas. The county, which is 41% Black and the poorest county in the state, has reportedly missed out on many economic opportunities because of it and deserves the same benefit from the electric grid that most other Marylanders get, Franchot said.

“I think we have to realize that that this is an incremental process we’re going through here,” Franchot continued. “I think the overall goal everyone shares, which is a renewable future, but this particular issue is economic justice and parity with the rest of the state.”

Craig N. Mathies Sr. (D), president of the Somerset County Board of Commissioners, echoed the sentiment.

“We know that it’s going to be a significant savings to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and also to [Eastern Correctional Institute] in their fuel costs — it’s going to reduce it dramatically. And then there’s such an opportunity for… the potential of economic growth.”

Currently, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore uses fuel-oil and propane, while the Eastern Correctional Institute burns wood chips — all of which are dirtier sources of energy than natural gas.

Surely, If Two are Better, Four is Best

I don't think that helps
 Victory Girls, Fauci Says Two Masks, CNBC Says Why Not More?

Remember how President Trump was the worst president ever whenever he contra
dicted Dr. Fauci
, and then when Team Biden put out their amazingly huge whopper that they were “starting from scratch” on vaccine distribution and Fauci corrected them, the press scolded the Biden administration for not agreeing with the holy Fauci? Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Well, now Fauci is out with yet another brilliant solution to defeat COVID-19. The man who once saiddon’t wear masks” because he was lying in order to make sure there were enough masks for front-line workers, is now saying that wearing TWO masks might be the most bestest idea EVAR.

Oh. Really.

And then CNBC took the inevitable next step. If TWO masks are better than one, then why not THREE?
The Wombat has Rule Five Sunday: Jane Russell up and at 'em at The Other McCain. 

More examples of mask abuse: