Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Trickle of Russiagate

Pretty small compared to the gushers of the last few days. Is the shine starting to wear off this toy?

Even WaPo notices that Jim Comey's book signings are attended more by the media and corruptocrats than the public: James Comey threw a book party for all his friends — in the media
Half the country hated him for how he handled the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton, and the other half cannot stand him for his cutting commentary on President Trump. So, who is left to show up when Jim Comey hosts a book party in Washington, D.C.?

Members of the media, of course!

“Here comes the bar mitzvah boy,” the New York Times’s Mark Leibovich exclaimed when Comey arrived at the Newseum’s seventh floor to celebrate his best-selling memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”

Former director of national intelligence James Clapper was at the party, too, telling anyone who would listen that his tie — checked with little martini glasses — made a cameo on page 201 of Comey’s book.

“I’m a friend and admiring colleague of Jim’s, and I wanted to be here for him,” Clapper said.

He continued: “The real reason I came is because my book comes out next month, and I wanted to see how these things worked.”
Did McCabe issue ‘Stand-Down’ order on FBI Clinton Email Investigation?. Yes, and the Clinton Foundation investigation too, after his wife took a few hundred grand in campaign donations from a Clinton crony, Terry McAuliffe. But there was no conflict of interest, right? But to be fair, his bosses in the Obama DOJ were pretty much ordering him to drop, or at least stall the investigations until after the election, at which point she would be free to stifle them entirely. Obstruct justice much?

Times, Post, AP seek sealed Mueller records
A coalition of news organizations are asking a federal court to make public materials used by special counsel Robert Mueller to obtain search warrants in his probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election.

The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, Politico and The Associated Press filed a joint motion on Tuesday asking a court to unseal affidavits, warrants and seizure records filed by Mueller's team, the Post reported.

The motion argues that the sealed materials could contain information of public interest and provide details about the direction of Mueller's investigation and the basis for FBI raids.
I'm interested too, but probably not for the same reasons they are. How the Mueller investigation affects the stock market: The Mueller Risk Index: Wall Street's newest tool to navigate how much to freak out about the Russia probe
As Donald Trump's roller coaster presidency continues to unfold, one firm has developed a new barometer to help Wall Street navigate the turbulence.

The firm calls it the Mueller Risk Index.

Named after the special counsel Robert Mueller, the index was developed by the political risk consulting firm GeoQuant to help Wall Street gauge the impact the FBI's Russia investigation has on the Trump administration and the markets.

GeoQuant uses a semi-automated process to test the market's response to developments, both big and small, in the Russia probe. In particular, the firm uses a combination of artificial intelligence and human analysis to forecast the index about a month out.
Weatherman are lucky to get a weather forecast right 5 days in advance. I can't see this working for 30. But hey, it's not my money. I think. Orrin Hatch uses the WSJ to weigh in on congressional plans to protect Mueller from being fired. Protect Mueller, but Not Like This. I still think Trump needs to interrogate Meuller under oath.

Some inside baseball for those who care: Ex-Obama Lawyer Who Worked With Manafort On Ukraine Project Abruptly Leaves Law Firm. What do you call it when a plane full of Washington lawyers crashes in the Potomac River? A good start.

Michael Cohen to take the 5th in the Stormy Daniels matter. I don't really understand how this works, but OK:

Probably for the best. A new rule for journolists, after the Hannity crisis? After Hannity revelation, personal data to be required for journalists by Trump Administration.
Henceforth, all practicing journalists in the United States must fill out a required Form for Transparent Journalism and file with the U.S. Office of Journalism that the Trump Administration has now established by executive order within the Department of Justice, retroactive to April 1, 2018. It is known informally as “The Hannity Rule.”

The form is reprinted below:

US Government Form 666
Department of Justice
Office of Journalism


  1. Are you now or have you ever slept with a journalist of any gender? If yes, please supply names, dates, locations.
  2. If you have ever dated or married a journalist, political consultant, bureaucrat, lobbyist, educator, lawyer, doctor, businessman, media executive, waitress, waiter, air conditioning maintenance technician, bank teller, maid, butler, camp counselor, nanny, movie or television star or other, please list along with filling out another list of that person’s clients. Also, how much money does your spouse or significant other earn per year and from what institution? Has your media outlet ever mentioned your wife’s employer and your connection to him or her? Please be precise.
  3. Have you ever purchased property ever owned, rented, or leased by a lobbyist, a government official, a political consultant, a man, woman, gay, transgender or foreign person?
  4. If living in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, an area where slavery and segregation were once legal, have you ever purchased property that once had racial restrictions on the deeds? There is a separate apology form attached if you have participated unknowingly in such abject racism. If you were in fact aware of the history of your property deed, you will be required to resign immediately and barred from journalism for life.
  5. What bank or banks do you use? What is their financial history? Who are the officers and directors of the bank and, if you are now a practicing journalist, has your news organization ever covered the bank or any of its leaders and not disclosed your interest in the bank? Please specify accounts held — checking, savings, certificates of deposit or other. Have you ever personally benefited from a service provided by the U.S. Government? If so, please begin your list with the U.S. Post Office and any other government services you have used . . . 

To Sweat is Human

Persistence truly does pay off, even if you have to endure the perspiration that comes with it. This is true right down to the biological and evolutionary level, and is in fact how we got here, as the apex predator of the planet. Millions of years ago, digestion consumed most of the calories we ate. These days, our brain takes 20 times more energy than any other organ in the body. So for our brain to develop, we needed a higher density food. Meat—obtained from hunting and killing other animals—fit the bill.

One theory of human evolution states that our ancestors began eating meat about 2 million years ago, which rapidly expanded the development of their brains. Since meat packed a lot of calories and fat, a meat-based diet allowed the brain to grow larger. But how did early humans get that meat?
 So that's why vegans seem so stupid!
One way was eating carcasses, just like pack animals of today still do. The human tapeworm evolved from the kind that infects dogs and hyenas, which means that at some point, we must’ve fed on the same carcasses as them, and came into contact with their saliva. But this wasn’t the only way we obtained meat.

Early humans must’ve taken part in hunting too. Yet, hominins didn’t begin using stones and sticks for hunting until about 200,000 years ago. So between 2.3 million and 200,000 years ago, how did early humans hunt? According to journalist and writer Christopher McDougall, author of the book Born to Run, we ran game animals to death in order to feast upon them.
Actually, the oldest known wooden spear has been dated to about 400,000 years old, and I'm reasonably confident it wasn't the first. And stone tools in various forms go back 2.6 million years, mostly as hand axes and cutting flakes. They're called axes, but who knows what all they were really used for.
The ability to run long distances and sweat—so as not to overheat, allowed our ancestors to wear out other animals. Sweating was the key factor. Consider a gazelle running over long distances and being chased by our progenitors. The fact that they can sweat and the gazelle can’t means they can last far longer in the heat of the African Savannah.
I've heard in the past that long distance runners can, in fact, outlast almost any other animal in a race, the possible exception being canines (There's a reason why dogs pull sleds with people on them for the Iditarod).

Game animals like the gazelle over time become overheated and have to stop to catch their breath, allowing early hunters to make short work of them, a strategy we call today persistence hunting. After about five miles or so, a gazelle needs to stop, rest, and breathe, or risk damaging itself, even dying. Such an animal can only fully extend its diaphragm when not running, while walking upright freed our ancestors from such an issue.
So how did they kill it? Bite it in the neck? Nope, we have pretty ineffectual teeth, and beating them to death with our fists seems unlikely.  I'm pretty sure that they had and used tools, bones, sticks or stones, maybe just what was at hand, and not anything made and carried around.
Research shows that several traits simultaneously evolved around the same time, about 1.89 million years ago. These were walking upright, hairless skin, sweating, and the ability to run great distances. One reason for all of these rapid changes might have been climate change. The Earth warmed over this same period, shifting the habitat from forest to open grassland, and allowing our ancestors to walk upright and even run in open space. It may have also forced them to hunt animals for food.
I like the theory, but it would be better if they didn't assert fact that seem wrong as proof.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Clinton Campaign Committed $84 Million Campaign Crime

FEC Records Indicate Hillary Campaign Illegally Laundered $84 Million
The press continues to feed the dying Russia collusion conspiracy theory, spending Friday’s news cycle regurgitating Democrat talking points from the just-filed Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act lawsuit against the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks, and Russia.

Yet the mainstream media took no notice of last week’s federal court filing that exposes an $84 million money-laundering conspiracy the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign executed during the 2016 presidential election in violation of federal campaign-finance law.

That lawsuit, filed last week in a DC district court, summarizes the DNC-Clinton conspiracy and provides detailed evidence from Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings confirming the complaint’s allegations that Democrats undertook an extensive scheme to violate federal campaign limits.
You think $84 million in illicit money is enough to tip a campaign? Apparently not; she still lost.

Dan Backer, a campaign-finance lawyer and attorney-of-record in the lawsuit, explained the underlying law in an article for Investor’s Business Daily: Under federal law, “an individual donor can contribute $2,700 to any candidate, $10,000 to any state party committee, and (during the 2016 cycle) $33,400 to a national party’s main account. These groups can all get together and take a single check from a donor for the sum of those contribution limits—it’s legal because the donor cannot exceed the base limit for any one recipient. And state parties can make unlimited transfer to their national party.”

This legal loophole allows “bundlers” to raise large sums of money from wealthy donors—more than $400,000 at a time—filtering the funds to the national committees. Democrats and Republicans alike exploit this tactic. But once the money reaches the national committees, other limits apply.

Suspecting the DNC had exceeded those limits, a client of Backer’s, the Committee to Defend the President, began reviewing FEC filings to determine whether there was excessive coordination between the DNC and Clinton. What Backer discovered, as he explained in an interview, was much worse. There was “extensive evidence in the Democrats’ own FEC reports, when coupled with their own public statements that demonstrated massive straw man contributions papered through the state parties, to the DNC, and then directly to Clinton’s campaign—in clear violation of federal campaign-finance law.”
Hey, remember when Dinesh d'Souza was convicted of "making $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions to the New York Senate campaign of Wendy Long, and for causing false statements to be made to the Federal Election Commission" and sentenced to "five years probation, eight months in a halfway house (referred to as a "community confinement center") and a $30,000 fine."

I look forward to seeing proportional sentences for Hillary (who almost certainly set this up) and the rest of the DNC. But I'm not holding my breath.

Incidentally, being a WaPo subscriber, I searched the site for any evidence of reporting on this event, and found nothing.

2017 Sets Modern Record For Bay Grasses

The Chesapeake’s underwater grasses — critical havens for everything from blue crabs to waterfowl — surged to a new record high last year, surpassing 100,000 acres for the first time in recent history.

Scientists credit a reduction of nutrients in Bay waters for the long-term increase in underwater grasses, which support fish, crabs and waterfowl.

“I never thought we would ever see that,” said Bob Orth, a researcher with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who has overseen the annual Baywide underwater grass survey since it began in 1984. “But things are changing.”

It was the third straight year that acreage of these underwater meadows has set a new Baywide record.

The 2017 survey results, released in late April, came on the heels of a scientific study published in March that credited nutrient reductions in the Bay for a sustained long-term comeback of the grasses over the last three decades — even as those habitats are in decline globally.
More stories:

WaPo: Underwater grasses in Chesapeake Bay experiences growth

Baltimore Sun: Scientists: Record abundance of underwater grasses shows Chesapeake Bay initiatives are working

MDDNR: Maryland’s Underwater Grass Exceeds Record 60,000 Acres

Yes, it looks good, but don't get cocky. All it will take to break the streak is some bad spring weather. I don't see it on the horizon yet, though.

Russiagate is Ridiculous

Things that make you go hmmm. Jonathon Turely: 'Ethical' James Comey is under investigation for unethical acts, so  Comey Has Brought On Former U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald As One Of His Lawyers. Yes, that Patrick Fitzgerald? Who better to know how to defend against a special prosecutor. But how will he get paid if All James Comey’s talks have damaged his book salesNewt Gingrich: Trump Mishandled Rosenstein Memo Outlining Comey Firing. Thinks he should have let public sentiment build and then used a "more in sorrow than in anger" approach. But we elected Trump because he is honest, not political.

More focus on why Andy McCabe is in the dock: From Andrew McCarthy: McCabe: Leaking and Lying Obscure the Real Collusion
The Justice Department’s inspector general has referred Andrew McCabe to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., for a possible false-statements prosecution. It was big news this week. But the story of how the FBI’s former deputy director lied to investigators, repeatedly, is mainly of interest to him. It is the story of what he lied about that should be of interest to everyone else.

He lied about leaking a conversation in which the Obama Justice Department pressured the FBI to stand down on an investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
Former Federal Prosecutor: Pay Attention to What Andrew McCabe Lied About! Refers to the story above.  Sara Carter: Sources Say the Inspector General Is Investigating Andrew McCabe's Alleged "Stand-Down Order" on the Clinton Foundation Investigation -- As Well as the Clinton Email Investigation
The Wall Street Journal story McCabe leaked in order to rebut alleged he was slow-playing the Clinton Foundation investigation.

Sara Carter's new reporting suggests he issued a similar stand-down order on the Clinton email investigation as well.
. . .
"If" is a very big little word, but it does bear watching.
Claim: 71 percent of FBI’s foreign counterintelligence budget diverted to Russia probe Because nothing is more important than taking down Trump.
Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a retired military intelligence officer and a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research says that over seventy percent of the FBI’s current budget dedicated to foreign counterintelligence investigations have been diverted to support the probe’s activities. Shaffer made the revelation on my radio program Monday afternoon on WMAL in Washington DC: . . .
The Dersh: Maybe Mueller should be investigated
Consider the issue of criticizing Robert Mueller, the special counsel. Any criticism or even skepticism regarding Mueller’s history is seen as motivated by a desire to help Trump. Mueller was an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston, the head of its criminal division, the head of the criminal division in Main Justice, and the director of the FBI during the most scandalous miscarriage of justice in the modern history of the FBI. Four innocent people were framed by the FBI to protect mass murdering gangsters who were working as FBI informers while they were killing innocent people. An FBI agent, who is now in prison, was tipping off Whitey Bulger as to who might testify against him so that these individuals could be killed. He also tipped off Bulger, allowing him to escape and remain on the lam for 16 years.

What responsibility, if any, did Mueller, who was in key positions of authority and capable of preventing these horrible miscarriages, have in this sordid incident? A former member of the parole board — a liberal Democrat who also served as mayor of Springfield, Mass. — swears he saw a letter from Mueller urging the denial of release for at least one of these wrongfully convicted defendants. When he went back to retrieve the letter, it was not in the file. This should surprise no one since Judge Mark Wolf (himself a former prosecutor), who conducted extensive hearings about this entire mess, made the following findings. . .
Sen. Mike Lee agrees with me:  Mueller legislation is unconstitutional. David French thinks America Owes Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein a Debt of Thanks, but what will he think now that Sessions Declines to Recuse Himself From Probe Into Trump LawyerMichael Cohen raid rattles Trump allies: Did feds seize president's communications? Of course, that was the point, and note how quickly the stuff from Hannity leaked. Flipping Cohen against Trump may not be so easy:
While the privilege can be waived, only Trump — and not Cohen — has the right to do so.

"It is absolutely the case that, even if he is criminally liable himself, Michael Cohen is not allowed to disclose client confidences learned through the attorney-client relationship about any client without their permission," said Paul Rosenzweig, a former legal adviser to Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr.
The Trump-Hannity Relationship Takes Conservatives One More Step Toward the Moral Low Ground Matt Lewis whines.

Trump’s 2013 Moscow Trip May Trip Him UpMiss Universe 2013 Host: Trump Definitely Stayed Overnight In Moscow. The last hope for the "pee tape." Byron York: Is 'can't prove untrue' new standard in Trump probe? It seems like it. "The mainstream media's latest cover story for how the Trump Russia investigation got started - BEFORE Papadopoulos apparently blabbed about […]" #resistance and why it doesn't make any sense either.

Just One Minute: The Narrative, The Whole Narrative And Nothing But The Narrative, wonders why Mueller is leaving the Natalia Veselnitskaya uninterviewed. Me too. Same reason sharks don't eat lawyers, professional respect?

Flopping Aces: Democrat desperation reaches its zenith, Tom Perez and the DNC are nuts. Curiously, the DNC shuns its anti-Trump Kremlin dossier in collusion law suit. They paid for it after all. Just because it's proof the DNC and Hillary colluded with the Russians? American Greatness: Weaponizing the Government for Leftist Political War, Midwestern Democrats To DNC: Stop With The Collusion Narrative Already. That ought to make them real popular in Trump country.
“The DNC is doing a good job of winning New York and California,” said David Betras, the Democratic county party chair in Mahoning County, Ohio, home to Youngstown. “I’m not saying it’s not important — of course it’s important — but do they honestly think that people that we just laid off another shift at the car plant in my home county give a shit about Russia when they don’t have a frickin’ job?”
Victor Davis Hanson: Revolution and Worse to Come
. . . We are entering revolutionary times. The law is no longer equally applied. The media are the ministry of truth. The Democratic party is a revolutionary force. And it is all getting scary.
Deroy Murdock: Russiagate’s Epic Fail vs. Watergate’s Windfall
The purpose of Mueller’s probe seems simply to probe. Rather than announce that he has found bupkis to tie Trump or his campaign to any Russian effort to secure the Oval Office, Mueller and his pack of pro-Hillary prosecutors keep on keeping on. Remember: Mueller’s team is not a fair and balanced cadre of career prosecutors. Andrew Weissman attended Hillary’s election-night party. James Quarles and Jeannie Rhee maxed out as contributors to Hillary’s campaign, while seven others donated to her candidacy, though less lavishly. Aaron Zebley defended Hillary in various legal actions, and represented Justin Cooper, a  technological aide. Cooper, in turn, literally demolished Hillary’s cell phones with a hammer.

These anti-Trump liberals have every reason to keep their investigation going and going and going and going and going. The Mueller probe’s mere presence anchors a thundercloud permanently over the White House. News of Trump’s domestic and international victories constantly must compete with the latest leaks about whichever bucket of sea water Team Mueller has discovered somewhere. Meanwhile, a whiff of suspicion lingers around Trump. Despite the absence of proof that Trump cavorted with the Kremlin, tens of millions of Americans still wonder what Trump might have done wrong, and when the surveillance tape of him plotting and planning with Putin, in perfect Russian, finally will emerge and vindicate the Left.

And that’s the point: to propel such doubts, through the midterm elections, and perhaps beyond.
And at last, two via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 04.24.18" American Thinker: John Brennan’s Secret Trip To Moscow, Russian collusion much? Did he hire the "pee girls"? Can he prove he didn't, since that is now the standard. And Mark Steyn: The Real Obstructors of Justice

You Might As Well Get Rid of the Whole NFL

No place in the NFL for cheerleaders in 2018
The Houston Texans aren’t even bothering with the pretense.

On their website is a photo gallery of the finalists from last weekend’s cheerleader tryouts, and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorites. Are these action shots of the women that highlight their athletic ability or dance skills? Do they include a list of their qualifications?

Of course not. They’re headshots. Sorry, head and chest shots. Close-up ones, at that. The better to ogle, you know.
 Damn right!
Cheerleaders from two NFL teams have filed gender discrimination complaints in the past month, detailing the demeaning ways in which they were treated. Restrictions on what they can and can’t post on social media. Rules that prohibit contact with players, and put the onus on the women to avoid it. Dress codes.

Is it any wonder? The underlying premise of NFL cheerleaders is degrading, presenting women as nothing more than objects to be leered at. With skimpy, suggestive outfits as their “uniform,” their only purpose is to titillate.
Well, no, they're there to encourage the fans to cheer, and to give them something to watch while the teams are swapping men, waiting for rulings from the refs, or just generally wasting time. It does help if they're attractive, but in bad weather, their dress is not really all that revealing.
It’s always been an appalling message to send and, in this #MeToo era, there’s no longer any place for it. NFL cheerleaders need to go. NBA dance squads and NHL ice girls while we’re at it, too.

This is not a criticism of cheerleading overall. In some forms, it very much is an athletic endeavor, a hybrid of acrobatics and gymnastics. The International Olympic Committee has even recognized cheerleading as a sport and it could some day make an appearance in the Games.

 Instead, I think they need to institute cheerleading at all the Olympic sports.
Proponents will say that most women who are NFL cheerleaders are professionally trained dancers who just want the opportunity to do what they love. That they play an important role in maintaining the team’s positive image with promotional appearances and community service.

All of which is true.

“I was always out in the community,” said Kristan Ann Ware, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader who has filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations alleging that she was discriminated against for talking about her faith and bullied after saying she was a virgin.

You mean, like Tim Tebow? I'm afraid religious discrimination isn't restricted to being a woman. If you don't want to be discriminated against, or at least not have it semi-officially tolerated, try becoming a muslima.

“If you take away the cheerleaders, you take away the glue. You take away the puzzle piece that brings football to life.”

But that isn’t the real reason 26 of the 32 NFL teams have cheerleaders, and everybody knows it. They’re there to be eye candy, blow-up dolls come to life.

Why else would the Dallas Cowboys mandate that women wear sports bras and hot pants for try outs – “No tank tops or bike shorts” – and include “personal appearance” and “figure” as criteria on which they are judged?

I was going to guess the writer is a chubby girl but then I checked. She's not but she's not cheerleader material either. She's Clearly jealous of the attention these women get.
The Ben-Gals, who once generously granted a three-pound “leniency weight,” now say that “fitness is very important. You must be in good physical condition and proportioned for your height.” Whatever that means.

And, of course, almost every team with cheerleaders has its own swimsuit calendar, and many news media outlets, including USA TODAY Sports, publish cheerleader photos to generate reader interest.

“When you’re on the NFL team as a cheerleader, it’s like they have a sense of control over you,” Ware said. “It does teach women that your life doesn’t matter.

“We’re told from day one that all they need is a pretty girl in a uniform.”
Nothing wrong with a pretty girl. Everybody loves them. Except other women. But they look too.
The NFL has a long history of disregarding and demeaning women, only acknowledging them when it suits the league’s financial interests. Few teams have female executives, even fewer have female owners. Despite efforts at the league level to address domestic violence, owners mostly ignore it, disciplining or cutting players only when there’s a public outcry.
You want a team? Buy a team. No one is stopping you.
The objectification of cheerleaders is yet one more example.

Some owners understand that. Of the 32 teams, there are six – the Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers – that don’t have cheerleaders. The Los Angeles Rams just added two men to their squad.
But at least New York and Green Bay have volunteer squads who do for free what the official team cheerleaders do for a pittance.

“Philosophically we have always had issues with sending scantily clad women out on the field to entertain our fans,” John Mara, the Giants co-owner, told the New York Times.

Good for Mara for speaking out. Too bad he said that eight years ago, and the rest of the league has not caught on.
Doesn't this woman realize that cheerleading is a voluntary activity, one that these women seek out, and work at with great diligence, despite relatively little reward, for their own purposes? Why are the feminists and the liberals such totalitarians?