Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween!

The Wombat has Rule Five Sunday: O, Canada up on time and under budget at The Other McCain.

Beach Report - Halloween Day 2023

A very winter like day, cloudy, just barely 50 F, with a 10 kt north wind. I had to break out my jean jacket for the first time since spring. 
The tide was half up and rising swiftly, and we had to wade to pass a couple spots to get by. 
Georgia waded past the rocks going from Calvert Beach to Matoaka before me, and found this 1 1/4 inch White Shark tooth sitting right out on the sand. Sorry the phone decided to focus on Skye rather than to tooth. 
I found this consolation prize Snaggletooth parasymphyseal tooth on the way back. Only 11 teeth total between us. 
This Great Blue Heron took off as a I approached, but only hopped one rock further out, judging, correctly, that I would have to be insane to chase him.

Flotsam and Jetsam - Is Jill Biden Sauron?

John Solomon at JTN reports Archives locates 82,000 pages of Joe Biden pseudonym emails, possibly dwarfing Clinton scandal "Disclosure made in little-notice status briefing as FOIA litigation advances" 

Under legal pressure, the National Archives has located 82,000 pages of emails that President Joe Biden sent or received during his vice presidential tenure on three private pseudonym accounts, a total that potentially dwarfs the amount that landed Hillary Clinton in hot water a decade ago, according to a federal court filing released Monday.

That's a lot of paper, more than I give Joe credit for actually having written, or read. I wonder how much is taken up by bulky attachments. At NYPo, the divine Ms. Devine investigates the  Anatomy of a Biden family ‘cover-up’ executed by our own FBI and DOJ. At a revamped PJM Matt Margolis hears Speaker Johnson say Joe Biden Impeachment Is Back on, Baby and Stephen Kruiser says Welcome to Our New Site, and Maybe Jill Biden Is Sauron

Also at PJM Milt Harris thinks Biden’s Cheat Sheets Attain Comic Book Status, But It's Not Funny. From Twitchy, Kamala Harris Assures America 'Biden is Very Much Alive' During Awkward 60 Minutes Interview, a very low bar, indeed. Mark Judge at  The Stream explains  Why Baseball Superstar and Devout Christian Jackie Robinson Would Not Vote for Kamala Harris.

Susan Shelley at Da Fed the thinks IRS Leaker Who Stole Trump’s Tax Returns Gets ‘Slap On The Wrist’ From Biden DOJ. Paul Kengor at Am Spec, RFK Jr., Threatened Again, Sues the Biden Administration. "Kennedy has been denied Secret Service protection even as his father's assassination made it the norm in presidential races." Regardless of polls, they clearly think he's a threat to Biden's reelection. 

Stacey McCain, While Hamas Supporters Terrorize Jews, Can You Guess What Noah Berlatsky Considers a More Important Menace? Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. Kylee Griswold at Da Fed notes the Media Squawk About Mike Johnson’s ‘Sexual Anarchy’ Predictions As They All Come True. At TNP, ‘No Right to Sodomy in the Constitution’ – Speaker Johnson Stands by 15-Year-Old Remarks.

PJM's VodkaPundit claims Dems Are Freaking Out Over This Little-Known Minnesota Congresscritter,
"Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) launched a longshot bid on Friday to unseat Presidentish Joe Biden in the upcoming Democratic primaries that functionally don’t matter, yet somehow Phillips has Democrats freaking out."

Leslie McAdoo Gordan thinks the Georgia DA Offers ‘Nothingburger’ Plea Deals To Build Parade Of Witnesses For Later Show Trials. Breitbart, Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal think it Likely Trump Will Be Jailed for Violating Gag Order. I'm sure they're hoping so.

From the Free Bacon, Biden State Department Won't Fire Notorious Anti-Semitic Foreign Service Officer "Fritz Berggren first caught the attention of State Department officials in February 2021 after reports surfaced that he ran a blog that included posts claiming that "Jesus Christ came to save the whole world from the Jews … they who are the seed of the Serpent that brood [sic] of vipers." At the time, Berggren worked as a foreign service officer for a State Department division that oversaw special immigrant visas for Afghans." Giving Fritzes a bad name. 

Ace woke up and discovered The DOJ Spied on Congressional Investigators Doing Oversight on the DOJ. "The real Russiagate is in the DOJ."

At Libery Unyielding Biden administration sued under FOIA about rules cracking down on charter schools; withholds 570 of 574 pages in release

Matt Taibbi at Racket explains how the Newsguard Case Highlights the Pentagon's Censorship End-Around. "The Consortium News lawsuit against a private news rating system lays out how the government can suppress speech by proxy."

On September 7, 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense gave an award of $749,387 to Newsguard Technologies, a private service that scores media outlets on “reliability” and “trust.” According to the suit, roughly 40,000 subscribers buy Newsguard subscriptions, getting in return a system of “Nutrition Labels” supposedly emphasizing “safe” content. Importantly, Newsguard’s customers include universities and libraries, whose users are presented with labels warning you that CBS is great and Tucker Carlson is dangerous.

From Breitbart, Cornell University: Police on Scene After Jewish Students Violently Threatened. Althouse "Threats against Cornell’s Jewish students reported to FBI, school says." "WaPo reports." I wonder how many undercovers they had in the crowd.  Mike La Chance at LI reports that Over 100 Colleges and Universities (But No Ivy League Schools) Form Coalition to Stand With Israel Against Hamas. "Noteworthy that no Ivy League schools are included. It seems like the vast majority are smaller and religious schools. “Murdering innocent civilians including babies and children, raping women and taking the elderly as hostages are not the actions of political disagreement but the actions of hate and terrorism.”" At Da Caller the Dersh has A Short History Of How The National Lawyers Guild Came To Support Hamas. At Twitchy, WATCH: Mayim Bialik on Antisemitism, Israel. At Campus Reform, Temple U. board chair: Tenured prof Marc Lamont Hill would be 'fired immediately' at private company "Temple University's board chair expressed outrage over Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill's recent Israel comments." From the Chicago Boys Consequences 

So, it emerges that has been considerable blow-back to the poisonous Jew-hate on display after the October 7th Pogrom – students and individual bigots being doxed, fired, or having offers of post-graduate employment rescinded, counter-protests in front of their houses, anonymous death threats (so alleged), and the threat of an internet mob harassing them. My heart bleeds for them… well, no, it doesn’t. Not a bit of it – all this has been established as the accepted treatment for conservatives, or the unwary innocent caught by the progressive cancel culture mob. Let it all unfold in the manner established by the progressive mob.

Hat Hair's Dave Strom sees Suddenly 'Cancel Culture' Is Terrible. I am old enough to remember when conservatives decried “cancel culture” and the Left scoffed. It wasn’t “cancel culture.” It was about holding people accountable. . . . People who fly into a rage over the use of a pronoun and who demand the offender be exiled from society are now horrified to discover that embracing actual terrorism can lead to losing a job offer."

From the College Fix, Harvard activists protest Riley Gaines appearance by throwing a ‘Big Trans Party’. Great, whack you willie or whatever. SA McCarthy at Am Spec, Notre Dame President Defends Drag Shows on ‘Catholic’ Campus "The hypocrisy evinced by Notre Dame leadership is appalling." Let 'em. If you don't like drag shows, don't go. Ignore them and they'll move on to something else to offend you with. From Front Page, Trans Refugee Bills Sweeping Dem Cities "Making it legal to mutilate children." Lawsuits from detransitioners will fix that in time, but there will be lot of pain and suffering until then. Jack Hellner at Am Think thinks It is a miracle: Hawaiian court has determined that boys and girls are different

The Wombat has Rule Five Sunday: O, Canada up on time and under budget at The Other McCain.

Tattoo Tuesday

Anitta is one of the many stars who have fronted Savage X Fenty by Rihanna campaigns for the inclusive lingerie brand. The 30-year-old musician's latest photo series showcases the Midnight Sweat collection, which comes in flashy blue metallic colorways and features appliqué details with high-shine florals. While the full range also includes athletic wear, such as sports bras and leggings, and even some athleisure pieces cut from liquid-effect cloth and replete with cutouts and ruching, it's the lingerie that feels most masterful.

Posing on a porch with a tropical setting as her backdrop, Anitta leans over the banister to reveal must-see details, from the strappy triangle insert on her mesh thong to the numerous gold body chains she clasped around her waist to highlight her curves and butt tattoo. Her red hair is parted at the sides and curled at the ends, making for a very glamorous moment.

The Wombat has Rule Five Sunday: O, Canada up on time and under budget at The Other McCain.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Farmers Question Bay Models

At the Bay Journal, Farmers question whether Chesapeake Bay model reflects reality, as they should. 

Actually, a pretty good, but long article on the use of models in the Chesapeake Bay diet. They are enormously complex, which raises the specter that modelers have modeled their own prejudices in to the mix.
Efforts to understand the Chesapeake ecosystem through models date to the late 1970s, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began designing and building an 8-acre, three-dimensional model of the Bay.

Carved from concrete and filled with water pouring in from simulated rivers, it helped provide an understanding of complex water movements within an estuary where rivers and ocean water mix.

Since then, modeling has become an indispensable part of the Bay cleanup effort. The 8-acre model has long since been replaced by sophisticated computer simulations that drive decisions about how billions of dollars are spent.

The Bay Program relies on four models:An airshed model, which estimates the amount of nitrogen (a nutrient) deposited directly on the Bay and its watershed from air pollution
  • A land use model, which predicts the nutrient impact of development, human population and changes in agricultural land use, such as shifts from pasture to crops
  • A watershed model, which estimates the amount of nutrients that reach the Bay from all of the activities in its 64,000-square-mile drainage basin
  • An estuarine model, which estimates the impact that changes in nutrient inputs will have on Bay water quality
. . .
When the EPA established its Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily load, or “pollution diet,” in 2010, it relied on models to estimate the amount of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) that must be reduced to clear the water and eliminate dead zones.

The modeled answer: The amount of nitrogen reaching the Bay needs to be slashed from 270.8 million pounds a year, measured from a 2009 baseline, to 199.3 million pounds. Phosphorus needs to be cut from 17.17 million pounds to 12.86 million pounds.

The models were then used to divide the needed nutrient reductions among the states and major rivers.

States used the models to write cleanup plans outlining the number of wastewater treatment plants that needed to be upgraded and the amount of nutrient-reducing best management practices, or BMPs, that were needed to meet the goals. In agriculture, BMPs include things like nutrient-absorbing cover crops, stream buffers and no-till farming.

Each year, states report on their actions, and the models use that data to estimate cleanup progress, which is then publicly reported. It is hard, therefore, to overstate the region’s reliance on models to drive cleanup efforts and evaluate results.

“You absolutely need a model to be able to do those things,” said Zach Easton, a Virginia Tech computer modeler who has participated in several reviews of Bay Program models. “But we have put all our eggs in the watershed model basket, and we don’t at this point have a way around that.”

There's an old saying the "all models are wrong, but some are useful." I suspect the jury is still out on whether this one is useful. 

Flotsam and Jetsam - Mike Johnson, the Newest Boogeyman

Stephen Kruiser at PJM thinks Speaker Johnson is Hitting All the Right Notes, Annoying All the Right People. Atop Da Hill, Democrats make Speaker Mike Johnson their new 2024 boogeyman. How many do they need? 'Duke' at RedState hears Speaker Johnson: 'There Is a Difference' in Biden's Cognitive Acumen From a Couple of Years Ago, and no, he hasn't gotten sharper.

At Fox, After Pence ends 2024 bid, GOP insiders predict more to follow: 'Consolidation is inevitable'. Who's next? Hat Hair's KT hears Pence Bows Out of the Race as Trump Seeks His Endorsement. From WaEx, Donald Trump says Mike Pence should endorse him after he bowed out of 2024 race. If you want loyalty get at dog, a Labrador, not a Siberian. 

Becca Lower at RedState reports RFK Jr. Was Denied Secret Service Protection by Biden DHS After SS Assessment Showed High 'Risk' Level. Are they hoping something will happen to him? They don't seem to believe he hurts Trump more than Biden.

Natalia Mittelstadt at JTN, NJ election fraud: New charges brought against two Democrats over mail-in ballots, registrations "The mail-in ballot election fraud case against Paterson City Council President Alex Mendez has been ongoing for more than three years. . . . According to Platkin’s office, Mendez’s campaign allegedly collected ballots that were not sealed by voters and examined them at the campaign headquarters to see if they were cast for Mendez. Ballots that were not cast for Mendez were allegedly destroyed and replaced with a ballot for him. The replacement ballots were allegedly stolen from voters’ mailboxes. " But there is not voter fraud. 

Steve Hayward at Power Line, Biden’s Freefall Continues. "According to the latest Gallup Poll Biden’s approval rating has fallen four points from 41 percent last month to 37 percent now—an all time low in Gallup’s series." Althouse, "President Joe Biden’s job approval rating among Democrats has tumbled 11 percentage points in the past month..." "... to 75%, the worst reading of his presidency from his own party. This drop has pushed his overall approval rating down four points to 37%, matching his personal low." From WaEx's Paul Bedard's Weekly Report Card: Biden ‘Just not connecting’. Breitbart claims Democrat Leaders Pressure Strategist to Shut Up About Joe Biden’s Low Polling Numbers. I can't imagine that would make Carville shut up. From Fox, Andrew Cuomo tells Maher there should be a Dem primary against Biden: 'I doubt' he's the strongest candidate "The ex-NY governor said he'd 'probably' run against Biden if he was still in office." Run, Andy, run! Bob Hoge at RedState, says WATCH: 'SNL' Actually Makes Fun of a Frail and Befuddled Joe Biden. The vultures are circling. 

At Da Fed, Margot Cleveland has a list of 7 Ways DOJ Obstructed The U.S. Attorney Investigating Biden Family Corruption. Steve Richards at JTN, When it came to Biden family criminal probes, DOJ’s policy often was 'just say no' ""Slow-Walking" and outright blocking: New documents from Congress shed light on further obstructions by the DOJ and FBI in the Biden investigations." Fox, Speaker Johnson: Biden engaging in ‘cover-up’ of role in Hunter business dealings, impeachment probe continues

ET, Federal Reserve’s Preferred Inflation Gauge Unchanged in September at 3.4 Percent. From Da Caller, Pricey Treats: Halloween Candy Inflation Hits Double Digits For The Second Year In A Row.

Also at Da Caller, Ivanka Trump Must Testify At Donald Trump Civil Fraud Trial, Judge Rules. TNP sees Michael Cohen’s Testimony Against Trump Wasn’t The Slam Dunk The Media Thinks It Was.  "Trump attorney Clifford Roberts directly asked Cohen, “Trump didn’t ask you to inflate the numbers on his personal statement, correct?” To which Cohen responded, “Correct.” Trump’s lawyers moved for an immediate and direct verdict, however far-left Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron denied the motion."

ET reports Former Fox News Reporter Refuses to Reveal Source, Faces Contempt Charge. "Contempt carries a possible jail sentence."  

The case stems from three reports published by Fox News starting in 2017 that disclosed that the FBI had investigated Ms. Chen, a naturalized U.S. citizen who founded and owned a university attended by multiple U.S. military personnel. Ms. Chen was informed in 2016 that she wasn't being charged.

The Department of Defense moved in 2018 to stop helping to pay the tuition of military members to attend Ms. Chen’s university. Ms. Chen sued the FBI, alleging that it or other government entities had leaked the previously private information to Ms. Herridge.

Judge Cooper has said that Ms. Chen's "need for the requested evidence overcomes Herridge’s qualified First Amendment privilege."

At Fox, IRS policy allowing surprise visits on taxpayers limited after Judiciary Republicans' probing, report says. WaT, IRS agents use fake names to ‘harass and intimidate’ taxpayers, report reveals. One of the victims was Matt Taibbi at Racket, A House Investigation Reveals Disturbing IRS Home Visit Practices "The IRS promised to curtail home visits, but a deep dive by the House Weaponization of Government Committee revealed more about past abuses. Has this happened to you?"

John Tierney at CJ takes on Harvard’s Double Standard on Free Speech. "At the university, you’re free to excuse Hamas’s atrocities, but don’t dare say anything that offends leftists." Forward, As Harvard president, I am committed to tackling the pernicious antisemitism on our campus; “For years this university has done too little to confront its continuing presence” Herr Professor Jacobson at LI sees Another low for academia: Anti-Israel “Homonationalism and Pinkwashing” Conference at CUNY. At the Volokh reportsGene Volokh  is aghast by a Cornell Lockdown Due to Threats and Josh Blackmun t cites Chemerinsky: "Nothing has prepared me for the antisemitism I see on college campuses now."  Annie Vail @AnnieSun16 "Currently on a @Cornell discussion forum, the kosher dining hall (104 west) is now on lockdown and Jewish students are scared to leave their rooms. @GovKathyHochul @HenMazzig. @HenMazzig At Campus Reform, PROF GIORDANO: K-12 conditions students to hate Jews in college. "Illiteracy regarding basic history is not limited to the Holocaust. Only 13% of students demonstrate proficiency in U.S. History, including our involvement in World War II." Honestly, that's better than I would expect. NYPo's Karol Markowicz says Campus antisemites are vile but administrators who protect them are just as complicit. Worse actually, they should know better. 

PM, BREAKING: ADL removes Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik from ‘Glossary of Extremism’ after threat of legal action. "This comes after the ADL pushed for Raichik to be kicked off the internet." NME, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider responds to Israeli forces playing ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ "When you cross that line, you’re burning people, you’re slaughtering people, you’re raping people, you’re just killing people after what happened at that festival, you don’t get to say, ‘Okay, your revenge can be this much.’ No. Payback’s a mothereffer."

Althouse blogs "The decolonization narrative has dehumanized Israelis to the extent that otherwise rational people excuse, deny, or support barbarity." "Writes Simon Sebag Montefiore in "The Decolonization Narrative Is Dangerous and False/It does not accurately describe either the foundation of Israel or the tragedy of the Palestinians" (The Atlantic)." A fight in the comments ensues, of course. From Fox, Newly appointed NYC racial equity chair has history of antisemitic posts: 'FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA'. "'FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA! PALESTINE WILL BE FREE,' Linda Tigani wrote in a July 2020 post to X." Rick Moran at PJM reports Protesters Take Over Brooklyn Bridge, Call for the Elimination of Israel. Hat Hair's Jazz Shaw notes More Than 300 Pro-Hamas Morons Arrested at Grand Central. At Da Wire, Mobs In Russia Yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ Hunt Down Jews, Storm Airport After Flight From Israel Arrives. From Da Caller Josh Hammer claims There Are Monsters In Our Midst. TownHall's Kevin McCollough thinks Something Awful Is Brewing. "First, the chickens of once-fringe leftist ivory tower piffle, such as critical theory and intersectionality, have come home to roost in a very menacing way. The avant-garde leftism of a half-century ago has led many to now justify, or outright cheer on, genocide perpetrated against the most genocide-d people in world history." PJM's Kevin Downey, asks Guess Where Some Hamas Big-Wigs Were Found Living. London. 

The Monday Morning Stimulus

A Massive New Study of 12,000 People Just Gave You a Really Good Reason to Drink More Coffee
Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, researchers at the National University of Singapore said they studied the coffee habits of 12,583 participants in a longitudinal study over 20 years, as they went from a median of 53 years old to 73.

The fascinating and encouraging results they found: participants who drank copious amounts of coffee, which they defined as four or more cups per day, were twice as likely to avoid becoming physically frail as they aged into their 70s.

While the study specifically called out coffee, the researchers said people who drank caffeine-laden tea also saw benefits, and were also less likely to wind up with "diminished strength, endurance, and reduced physiologic function that increases an individual's vulnerability for developing increased dependency," as they aged, or dying early.

Of course, we have to keep in mind our old friend, "correlation vs. causation."

For example, it's possible that it's just a coincidence that big-time coffee drinkers had a better chance at a more robust later stage of life, or else that there's some other unidentified factor that leads to one or both of these factors.
Nice to know I've got that going for me.

The Wombat has Rule Five Sunday: O, Canada up on time and under budget at The Other McCain.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Pennsylvania Pursues PFAS

 At the Bay Journal, Pennsylvania to crack down on 'forever chemicals' in streams and rivers

After a statewide survey showed that 76% of 161 tested rivers and streams were contaminated to some extent with PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said it will set safety thresholds for the chemicals in surface waters.

PFAS is the shorthand term for per– and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a group of about 9,000 chemicals widely used in consumer products, from nonstick cookware and stain-resistance products to water-repellent clothing and even food packaging.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that exposure to some PFAS pose health risks. Some studies on animals and humans have linked varying levels of exposure with harm to the immune system, disruptions in reproductive and fetal development, hormone disruption and increased risk of cancer.

Ten states, including Pennsylvania, have set safety limits for levels of PFAS in drinking water.

But until now, only Michigan, Minnesota and Florida have adopted thresholds for the chemicals in surface water. A study by a Vermont state agency warned that setting mandatory limits on PFAS in surface water is “logistically difficult, would take a long time and be very expensive.”

Pennsylvania’s DEP said it would ramp up monitoring of waters where the chemicals were found and would require some wastewater treatment plants to monitor for PFAS. The agency said the standards for PFAS in streams and rivers would mandate limits on known discharges through industrial discharge permits.

A fish consumption advisory was issued for one stream, Neshaminy Creek in the Delaware River watershed, as a result of the study.

The water samples, collected by DEP in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, were tested for 33 different chemicals.

Researchers said results pointed to several likely sources of contamination.

Electronics manufacturing, wastewater treatment plants and developed areas with stormwater runoff appeared to be top sources in urban areas.

“This is the first statewide study that associates electronics manufacturing as a source of PFAS in streams, which is likely an underrecognized but significant source of PFAS contamination,” said Sara Breitmeyer, a USGS chemist and lead author of the study. “Our study contributes new information on PFAS sources to surface water in Pennsylvania, which will help regulatory agencies address the growing concerns of PFAS’s ecological and human health impacts across the state.”

In some rural areas, DEP said, the chemicals may have come from natural gas fracking operations. The fluids and foams used for drilling and hydraulic fracturing of gas wells can contain PFAS, the study points out. In towns with combined sewage systems, heavy rain can cause stormwater and wastewater to mingle. If the stormwater runoff contains PFAS, it could then enter the wastewater stream, too, and become part of the discharge from treatment plants into local waters.

“To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first description of PFAS associations with the local catchment sewer infrastructure in rural oil and gas development regions,” the study concludes.

Runoff from farmland may also be contributing, it says.

“This study has expanded our understanding and will assist in determining what steps need to be taken in addressing issues associated with this emerging contaminant,” said DEP Secretary Rich Negrin. “Our findings have already helped and will continue to guide DEP’s actions regarding where to focus resources on identifying, tracking and addressing potential sources of PFAS contamination.”

Better Than Eating Bugs I Guess

Preparing the peasants for our glorious green future.
What to wear for a climate crisis

Published: October 27, 2023 2.47pm AEDT Rachael Wallis
Research Assistant, Youth Community Futures, University of Southern Queensland

The fashion industry contributes up to 10% of global emissions – more than international aviation and shipping combined. It also contributes to biodiversity loss, pollution, landfill issues, unsafe work practices and more.

If we are concerned about these issues, responding thoughtfully means we will live our lives according to our values. And that’s an important factor in living well, flourishing and being happy.

Lessons from wartime

It’s not the first time people have adapted their clothing in response to the demands of a crisis.

During the second world war, clothing styles changed in the United Kingdom and Australia. To conserve precious resources, shorter skirts, minimal detailing and a focus on utility became the norm.

This wartime response reflected the priorities and values of society as a whole as well as most people in that society. In other words, buying less (rationing meant this was not just a choice), mending and making do with what was already there was part of a value system that contributed to the Allied victory.

If we begin to shift away from our slavish devotion to newness and novelty – following the dictates of fashion – to a mindset of value-led sufficiency, we can appreciate more fully the feel of lived-in, mended or altered clothes. There is a feeling of comfort in pulling on an old garment that is soft with age and repeated washing. There is joy in extending a garment’s life through creative mending, especially when that aligns with our values.


…Read more: https://theconversation.com/what-to-wear-for-a-climate-crisis-214478

There is also the feeling of fresh air when putting on a worn out garment, when the fabric tears.

What can I say? If I wanted to live like a bum I’d find myself a cardboard box. I have no problem with other people feeling “virtuous” by wearing worn out rags, if that is their thing, but don’t try to inflict your absurd wearing rags virtue signalling on the rest of us.
Personally, I  wear my clothes until Georgia can't stand them anymore and throws them out. But it shouldn't be a matter of public policy.

The Wombat has Rule Five Sunday: O, Canada up on time and under budget at The Other McCain.

Forget It Jake, It's Baltimore

 Da Balmer Sun, Marilyn Mosby’s perjury trial in federal court comes at a turning point for polarizing former Baltimore prosecutor

At issue in court is whether she lied on two forms to get early access to funds in her city 457(b) retirement account to buy two Florida homes: an eight-bedroom vacation rental near Disney World and a two-bedroom condominium on the Gulf Coast. The perjury charges each carry a likely sentence of about 18 months if Mosby is convicted; she maintains her innocence.

People normally cannot access 457(b) accounts before retiring unless they stop working for the government or experience an “unforeseeable emergency.” But under the CARES Act, a pandemic relief bill, Congress loosened those rules temporarily. Government workers could draw those funds if they suffered adverse financial consequences as a result of the pandemic or if a business they owned closed or took a loss.

On May 26, 2020, Mosby checked a box on an online form, affirming that one of those conditions applied to her. She received a deposit in her bank account three days later. Mosby repeated the process in December 2020, getting another payout.

What’s clear is that Mosby did not lose any income because of the pandemic — her salary increased in 2020 compared to 2019 — meaning the trial will come down to the CARES Act’s provision for business losses.

Mosby’s attorneys, including Federal Public Defender Jim Wyda and Howard University law professor Lucius Outlaw, plan to argue Mosby qualified for the payments because she sunk money into a company she founded, Mahogany Elite Travel, and the pandemic prohibited it from getting off the ground. Wyda declined to comment for this article.

Prosecutors argue the business existed in name only and point to a series of statements Mosby made, either through spokespeople or personal attorneys, that suggest she never planned to operate any business while in office. Her second four-year term was to run through 2023 and there are no term limits on the office of state’s attorney.


The deciding factor may well be Mosby’s version of events as told under oath. It is likely the former state’s attorney will testify that she did plan to run the business earlier or, at least could have if the pandemic had not halted leisure travel.

Mosby’s initial legal defense was all offense: go public with allegations of an unfair prosecution and push for a trial as soon as possible, a way of signaling to political supporters she was innocent ahead of an expected reelection bid.

Eventually that push subsided, with her lawyers arguing for a continuance in April 2022 while also angling to get the case thrown out. They alleged in court papers that lead prosecutor Leo Wise was racist and had it out for Mosby. The judge rejected that idea, citing the absence of any evidence. Wise is white.

Wise was head of the U.S. attorney’s public corruption and fraud unit. It was he who once compared Mosby in court to Trump, saying her claims of vindictive prosecution and attacks on his credibility were a political ploy similar to those of the former Republican president.

“It’s all a plan to delegitimize anyone who has the temerity to question her behavior,” Wise said in court. “It’s just like what Trump did.”

He was demoted in March of this year after disagreements with Barron over the Mosby case and employee evaluations and will not prosecute Mosby’s case.

I can't imagine that she will be convicted by a PG County jury. 

Flotsam and Jetsam - A Thin Sunday Collection

A really light crop today, which may say more about my diligence in collecting than lack of appropriate material.

Jazz Shaw at Hat Hair reports The New Speaker Will Separate Ukraine and Israel Funding, My goodness, you can do that? You don't have to throw all the possible spending into one or two giant pots and vote them up or down? What a novel idea!

Matt Vespa at Town Hall finds Amazon's Alexa agrees The 2020 Election Was Stolen. Who am I to disagree? I'm just a lowly human. 

Jonathan Turley is shocked, shocked that Bowman Video Contradicts His Account to Congress, the Court, and the Public "Bowman has insisted in Congress and court that he was confused and thought that the door (closed for any purpose other than an emergency) would open if he pulled the fire alarm. The video, however, shows Bowman not only taking the emergency sign off the door but never stopping or looking back as he pulled the alarm. There was not even a glance back to see if the door opened. Instead, he quickly walks away with the sign." 

John Lucas at Brave Blue concludes The Biden Administration Reaches New Heights of Reprehensibility. Could you be more specific? 

Apparently multiple White House aides have been involved in this abomination because Politico is quite specific: “The White House has been quietly urging lawmakers in both parties to sell the war efforts abroad as a potential economic boom at home.

“Aides have been distributing talking points to Democrats and Republicans who have been supportive of continued efforts to fund Ukraine’s resistance to make the case that doing so is good for American jobs, according to five White House aides and lawmakers familiar with the effort and granted anonymity to speak freely.”

The Biden administration is fearful that it cannot sell the additional aid package on the merits and on national security grounds, because “The talking points are an implicit recognition that the administration has work to do in selling its $106 billion foreign aid supplemental request — and that talking about it squarely under the umbrella of national security interests hasn’t done the trick.
I guess I used that Country Joe and the Fish video too soon. 

From Da Wire, NewsGuard Runs Cover For Terrorists In ‘Fact-Check’ Of Ben Shapiro "Media monitoring group claims “we still don’t know” who’s to blame for Gaza hospital blast caused by Palestinian terrorists." Dave Zweig at Lunch tries to track down the original source of the claim that 500 Palestinians were killed in the hospital, concludes the American media misread an Hamas tweet in an Al Jezeera report, and ran with it, Did the Entire Media Industry Misquote a Hamas Spokesperson? "I asked a dozen reporters and news outlets for the source of a statement they attributed to Hamas. None of them answered. This is a case study of the failure of journalistic standards." Victims became killed. 

At Da Wire, ‘This Is F***ing The USA’: New Yorkers Rip Into Man For Tearing Down Flyers Of Missing Israelis. New Neo wonders Why leftists are Hating the Israelis and Jews even more after the October 7 attacks? "Anti-Semitism is a protean and flexible instrument, as well as an incredibly virulent and long-lived one. This has been clear for a long time, but it’s now even more clear." Jon Gabriel at AZ Central opines Here we go again, shrugging off the warning signs of antisemitism and what comes next
 "To those who condone violence against Jews, people of good conscience must say with conviction, 'Never again.'"

Althouse blogs "Right now, I’m in trouble because the Jewish community is upset. But I cannot express this enough: No matter what you read..." ""... about that show in Boston, you will never see quotation marks around anything I said. They don’t know what I said. It’s all hearsay.... The other night, I said something about Palestine in Boston and got misquoted all over the world... And I will not repeat what I said." Said Dave Chappelle, at a show in Raleigh, N.C., quoted in "Dave Chappelle Laments ‘Nightmare’ Facing Israelis and Palestinians/The comedian, whose remarks about the Israel-Hamas war last week made headlines, returned to the subject at a show in North Carolina" (NYT)." Don't know, don't care. Great comedian, but maybe not the best role model.

At Campus Reform, California professors worry calling Hamas terrorists will reflect badly on them: report, "The University of California's Ethnic Studies Faculty Council objects to the institutions' use of the word 'terrorism' in institutions' statements on the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in southern Israel." What other term do you prefer for murdering babies? Late term involuntary abortions? Paul Caron at the Tax Prof blog reports Mitchell Hamline Adjunct Law Professor Resigns, Claiming School Supports Antisemitism

On TwitterX, Hat Hair finds an Important Note For "Queers For Palestine" Visegrád 24@visegrad24, "A Palestinian scholar from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem sends a message to the “Queers for Palestine-crowd” in the West: “The people of Palestine will not allow a single homosexual in our land," such perversion brings the wrath of Allah”"

From the College Fix, Conservative Harvard professor describes ‘condemnation’ for views on marriage, abortion. "Harvard School of Public Health Professor Tyler VanderWeele detailed the saga in a nine-page article titled “Moral Controversies and academic public health; notes on navigating and surviving academic freedom challenges.”" But so far, he's still there. 

Palm Sunday

 And you shouldn't be surprised to see more Tawny Jordan:

The Family Handyman answering the important question, Is It Safe to Hang Christmas Lights On Palm Trees? Of course it is, if you're not an idiot about it.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Patriotic Pinup and linkfest. The Wombat has Rule Five Sunday: O, Canada up on time and under budget at The Other McCain.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Nurdle Spill Bedevils Anacostia

A sample of nurdles spilled from derailed
 train cars in Hyattsville, MD,
Chesapeake Bay Mag, Train Derailment Sends Tiny Plastic Pellets Into Anacostia River, Fueling New Pollution Concern

A train that derailed in the Anacostia River watershed on Sept. 23 introduced local officials to a source of pollution no one was quite prepared to handle: nurdles.

These tiny plastic pellets, each about the size of a lentil, are transported around the world as the raw materials of plastic production. At 1 a.m. on Sept. 23, during a tropical storm, a CSX train derailed, spilling an unknown quantity of the pellets from some of its 16 railcars.

The spill occurred in the stretch of tracks that crosses alternate U.S. Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue) on the south side of Hyattsville, Maryland, just outside the District of Columbia and less than a half-mile from the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River. The nurdles were made of recycled plastic and were on their way to be turned into new products. A CSX spokesperson did not answer a question about where the shipment was headed or how frequently nurdles are transported through the area.

“This is the first time in the recent memory of our staff for dealing with a train derailment,” said Cindy Zork, communications manager for Hyattsville.

There were no reported injuries and, other than a small amount of diesel fuel, “no hazardous materials” released in the spill. The city closed the busy thoroughfare to traffic for two weeks, frustrating local drivers.

But, Zork said, residents were equally concerned about the tiny white nurdles that covered the ground nearby.

Most state and local governments do not yet have rules in place for monitoring, preventing or cleaning up nurdle spills, according to The Great Nurdle Hunt, a project of the Finland-based nonprofit Fidra that aims to end nurdle pollution worldwide.

“A spill is often an occasion of great confusion as local and state environmental agencies try to figure out who might be responsible for managing it,” the Nurdle Hunt website says.

California is the only state in the U.S. with a strong law regulating nurdles and marine plastics as a specific source of pollution, the website states. Other states have varied approaches to handling this emerging source of pollution. Many are developed on the fly after a spill occurs.

The Clean Water Act does provide some means for the federal government, under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to address nurdle pollution in waterways. But a legal overview published after the Hyattsville spill pointed out that nurdles aren’t federally classified as pollutants or hazardous materials, so no federal agency is expressly responsible for preventing or cleaning up the spills. Legislation that would require the EPA to prohibit the discharge of plastic pellets into waterways or during transport was introduced as recently as July but has not yet passed.

Most nurdle pollution is found on beaches, where the pellets wash in on the tide from faraway plastic production plants or ships that have spilled them.

I don't see a problem that can't be solved with some shovels and containers, and maybe a large vacuum cleaner couldn't fix. In the grand scale of Anacostia problems, this one is pretty minor. 

Flotsam and Jetsam - Mike Johnson STILL Speaker

Going on three days now? Sarah Arnold at TownHall sees the  Newly Minted House Speaker Roast Dem Eric Swalwell With One Tweet

Ben Whedon at JTN finds Vance frets over Speaker Johnson's 'concerning' Ukraine remarks, "Johnson, in a Thursday interview on Fox News, stated that "we can’t allow Vladimir Putin to prevail in Ukraine, because I don’t believe it would stop there."" Capt. Ed comments "As I predicted, Johnson’s reasonable response will create another silly point of rhetorical convention. Why not wait to see what transpires in the House — and in the Senate, where Vance can have his say?"  Sundance at CTH, Speaker Mike Johnson Sits Down with Sean Hannity for Extensive Interview. "Speaker Mike Johnson, who is a significant upgrade from Speaker Kevin McCarthy, sits down for an extensive discussion on current political events where Sean Hannity can tell Johnson his role and responsibility as Speaker." At the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.26.23 (Evening Edition) EBL: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, American Greatness: Gaetz Claims McCarthy Tried to Sabotage Vote For New House Speaker Mike Johnson, BattleSwarm: Our Short National Non-Nightmare Is Finally Over: Rep. Mike Johnson Elected Speaker, Da Tech Guy, Five Speaker Mike Johnson Thoughts Under the Fedora, The Federalist, Neocons Fear Speaker Mike Johnson Could Bring An End To Ukraine War Cash. And from the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.27.23 The Federalist, Media Squawk About Mike Johnson’s ‘Sexual Anarchy’ Predictions As They All Come True.

Sundance, notes the RNC Selects Lester Holt, Kristen Welker and Hugh Hewitt as Moderators for NBC’s First-Loser Debate in Miami. "I mean, if you are hosting a Republican debate, one might think the RNC would want Republicans as moderators.  Then again, in the era of the professional Uniparty, there’s not much difference.  Condescending pontificating pustule of pomposity, Hugh Hewitt, will rest atop his familiar high horse.  You couldn’t pay me to watch this one." At Fox, Republican presidential candidate suspends campaign, endorses Donald Trump "'We must unite behind Donald Trump to beat Joe Biden,' Elder said Thursday evening." You ain't going nowhere. 

Matt Margolis at PJM claims a BOMBSHELL: Biden Bribery Allegations Credible, Former Prosecutor Confirms. The Peacock whines GOP-led House panel requests Biden loan documents predating his presidency. "Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is seeking documents tied to a loan Joe Biden made to his brother more than 2½ years before he was elected president." From the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.27.23,The Lid has Biden Crime Family: 5 News Stories He Hopes You Won’t Notice In A VERY Hectic News Week

As Eric Lendrum notes even the ACLU Declares Trump Gag Order to be Unconstitutional. Greg Piper at JTN,  has Emails that show how feds coalesced around Russia, QAnon to dismiss Hunter Biden laptop, "FOIA revelations and new litigation give ammunition to GOP lawmakers' efforts to rein in Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency." At the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.26.23 (Evening Edition),  Da Fed's Evita Duffy-Alfonso has 5 Examples Of The Illegal Government Censorship SCOTUS Just Allowed To Resume.

Spiked wonders Why has the New York Times hired a Hitler sympathiser? Hat Hair's John Sexton sees the Mask Off: Bernie Sanders Remembered the Tree of Life Shooting and Some Progressives Are Angry and Beege Welborn is happy that Harvard Jew-Haters Finding Out the New #Rulez Suck.  At the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.26.23 (Evening Edition), Twitchy: Turns Out Gas Guzzlers May Be More Economical After All, The “Doxxing Truck” Makes Home Visits To Expose Student Leaders Who Signed Anti-Israel Letter, and Palestinian Vlogger Makes Amazing Recovery After Being In Critical Condition,  Louder With Crowder: Heavy metal legend gives Israel his full support for using his 80s anthem as a rallying cry and “I’m dying to f*cking put you in a hospital. ”Legal Insurrection, ‘Pro-Palestinian’ Protesters Attack Jewish Students at Tulane, The Geller Report: Jewish Students Forced to Barricade Themselves In Library as Muslim and Leftist Jew-Hating Mob Try to Break Down the Door New York’s Cooper Union College, Power Line, Journalists For Mass Murder and Gang Rape, “We must cut the crap”, The Federalist, Major Jewish Group Calls On MLB, NBA, NFL To Abandon Support For Black Lives Matter. From the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.27.23, Twitchy: Man Connected To The “Doxxing Truck” Gets SWATted, “This Isn’t An Airport” – Twitter Says Goodbye To David French , and “Just Like Nazi Germany!” Wait, What? The Left Loses Its Mind Over Arrests Of Left-Wing Jewish Protestors, Don Surber: Of course Harvard supports terrorism, Legal Insurrection, “What’s harsh, is dropping in on a music festival and slaughtering a bunch of young people just trying to enjoy an afternoon”, Outkick, Riley Gaines Seems Less Welcome At Harvard Than Anti-Israel Contingent, This Ain’t Hell: Aren’t they good little Nazis? Valor Friday, America will not be spared if war in Gaza continues, Volokh Conspiracy: Advocacy in Support of Hamas vs. Illegal Material Support of Hamas and The Federalist, Leftist Streamer Hasan Piker Justifies Hamas Baby Beheadings As Both Legal And Moral.

Beege Welborn is  Waiting for Gadot and Woke Snow. At CJ, Seizing the Moment "The public backlash to radical leftism opens opportunities for reform."

At the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.26.23 (Evening Edition), Louder With Crowder: 50-year-old “Melody Wiseheart” enters swimming contest for 13-year-old girls, yet still can’t dominate them and Iceland’s Prime Minister Goes On Strike Over Something Called “Gender Equality”, Behind The Black: Boeing losses total almost a billion dollars this quarter, Red China launches new three-man crew to its Tiangong-3 space station, Rocket Lab expects to resume Electron launches before end of year, The icy terrain near one of Starship’s prime candidate landing spots on Mars, Has the tide actually turned? and Pushback: Fired director of college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department accuses movement of promoting bigotry, First Street Journal: Regardless of what the #woke want to believe, the numbers don’t lie, The Federalist, Major Jewish Group Calls On MLB, NBA, NFL To Abandon Support For Black Lives Matter. From the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 10.27.23, Louder With Crowder, “Pickle” The Drag Queen Kicked Out Of Story Time After Even Los Angeles Parents Have Had Enough.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Patriotic Pinup and linkfest. The Wombat has  FMJRA 2.0: Miracle on East Capitol Street up on time and under budget at The Other McCain.