Interesting Items 05/15

Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Media
  2. Comey
  3. Censure
  4. Pebble
  5. Salt
  6. Energy
  7. Travel

  1. Media. Limbaugh suggested his latest theory of the symbiotic relationship between the media and democrats.  This also includes the NGOs, foundations and other rent-seeking strap hangers comprising the coalition on the left.  For years, Limbaugh painted the media as the propaganda arm of the democrat party.  This includes paid apologists and most importantly burying things that are unflattering and politically unhelpful to the democrats.  With the election of Donald Trump, that relationship appears to have inverted, with the leadership of the left now coming from the media.  The media is doing all the planning, all the attacking, writing and rewriting the narrative, and lying about what Trump has done and not done with impunity.  Once the cacophony ratchets up to a sufficient level, elected democrats do their best “me too” impersonation and pile on the fracas.  The problem the media and democrats have is that Trump was, is and continues to be the ultimate troll, tossing stuff out in Twitter, speeches and via interview responses all designed to spin up the media and in turn the opposition (democrats and the Beltway Party).  For their part, they regularly take the bait and proceed to theatrics that would make a well-hooked salmon or trout proud – lots of fun to watch and even more fun to play on the end of your line.  Trump understands the media better than any president since Reagan, and he is showing everyone how to deal with them.  I couldn’t enjoy it more.  This has been a long time coming.


  1. Comey. The big national news last week, such as it was, was President Trump firing FBI Director James Comey.  Both parties have been calling for his head on a post since Comey’s awful and unprofessional announcement last year that while Hillary broke all sorts of federal laws covering handling of classified materials with her private server, she was not going to be prosecuted because no reasonable prosecutor would believe she knew what she was doing.  The press conference angered both sides.  Democrats believed he went after Hillary by detailing the myriad ways she broke the law.  Republicans believed he covered for Hillary by refusing to call for an indictment.  Over time, Comey, who was close to the Clintons for a long time, came to view himself as above the law.  He and his office would leak damaging things about the Trump administration and various investigations.  Looks like President Trump waited until he got the Deputy Attorney General confirmed (Comey’s immediate superior at (In)Justice) before pulling the trigger.  That confirmation was a couple weeks ago.  Immediately after the firing, both sides of the political divide were very happy.  That lasted all of 15 – 20 minutes before the Media Party tapped into their inner Animal House “They can’t do that to our pledges.  Only we can do that to our pledges.” And started blasting away at Trump for firing Comey.  They spent the weekend spinning up outrage as best they can.  Problem is that nobody seemed much to care despite their best attempts to make them do so.  Trump weighed in with one of his best trolling efforts yet, issuing a Tweet warning Comey to be careful with future leaks to the media.  Specifically, he wrote that Comey better hope there are no tapes of WH conversations with Trump that would conflict with future leaks to the media.  This is Grand Master trolling and got the expected reaction from both the media and democrats.  After a loud weekend, the Comey story mostly melted away as the left chased after the next squirrel in their continuing attempt to remove President Trump from office.


  1. Censure. The democrat – RINO – “independent” House majority in the Alaska Legislature voted for the first time in history to censure a member last week.  This censure was in response to an observation by the member, one David Eastman (R) that Native women in Bush Alaska were getting pregnant so that they could get free travel paid for by Medicaid to Anchorage and Fairbanks.  It was a remarkably stupid statement and of course opened the door for all the expected wailing, rending garments, and cries of sexism, racism, verbal abuse, yada, yada, yada.  The problem with this is that Eastman is on to something.  One of the nasty little games played by no small number of people in the Bush is Medicaid fraud.  Due to the lack of medical facilities and care in much of Bush Alaska, Medicaid pays for travel to places with medical facilities and care, typically Anchorage and Fairbanks.  There have been stories for years up here about people flying in on the Medicare dime and not showing up for their doctor’s appointments, using the free trip to reintroduce themselves to adult beverages not available in many of the dry Bush villages.  Eastman’s statement was the first time I’ve heard it applied to abortion, his particular pet rock.  Democrats gleefully took advantage of the opening and unmercifully beat him up on the floor of the House before voting to censure.  The House minority Leader, one Charisse Millett, a very nice Native lady, voted against censure on the grounds that a House member ought not to be censured for speech.  Democrats immediately went after her with a fundraising mailer accusing her of being anti-woman, anti-Native, and anti-Bush.  According to democrats here in Alaska, a woman can no longer be both a Native and a Republican.  This is a similar tautology that they use in the rest of their victim-mongering with blacks, Latinos and single women (you Hillary voters know who you are).  Eastman is not completely innocent here.  He is at his foundation an Millerite – a fundamental supporter of Joe Miller.  He was a participant in the attempted Millerite takeover of the Alaska Republican Party some years ago.  He refused to support legislation that shut down political PACs run by legislators, probably because he set one up for himself, although it has no money.  He refused to support legislation prohibiting candidates from jumping into political races at the last minute, something that would have prohibited democrats from joining forces with Bill Walker after the primary season and getting it rubber-stamped by a friendly judge.  Somewhere down the line, Eastman is going to have to decide whose interests he is really pursuing, his constituents or those of Joe Miller.  If he is smart, and at this point, this is debatable, he can use this opportunity to send a letter on his official legislative letterhead to the Inspector General of the federal HHS and ask for a federal investigation into Medicaid fraud here in Alaska.  The letter needs to include whatever evidence he has and demand an audit of how many of those with plane tickets missed their appointments over the years.  If the democrats want to play, let’s play.


  1. Pebble. The Pebble Partnership reached an agreement with the EPA last week that allows Pebble to proceed to permitting for the proposed mine. In 2014, the EPA published a fraudulent Watershed Assessment that assumed a mine that would have never been permitted would be bad for the watershed.  The assessment was constructed by EPA employees, anti-mining activists, local native organizations and other paid NIMBYs and used as an excuse for the EPA to pre-emptively find against the mine under Section 404c of the Clean Water Act.  The EPA agreed to withdraw the finding, review withdrawing the Assessment, and not participate in any clean water action until Pebble completed its environmental impact assessment.  Initial media coverage on this focused on the Trump EPA reversing the O’Bama EPA.  Unfortunately for that false narrative, Pebble has been in negotiation with the EPA for over a year, long before the Trump administration took over.  Why did the EPA roll on this?  The EPA rolled because they did not want to expose employees, grant recipients, and allied groups to a RICO prosecution.  When you use the public process to fraudulently pursue goals using techniques other than what you are mandated to use by law, you expose yourself to jail for a very long time.  You also set up Pebble to get everything they are trying to do paid for via fines and penalty payments out of personal accounts and the federal treasury.  The EPA never rolls over like this unless someone has them by the short hairs.  The possibility of up to 16,000 long term, high paying jobs in one of the poorest parts of the state is much more of a reality than it was a week ago.  Perhaps we can even learn how to do the functional equivalent of walking and chewing gum – mining and fishing – for half a century.  Perhaps we learned how to operate cleaner mines over the last couple of centuries.  Perhaps not, but my money is on the over.


  1. Salt. From the land of settled science comes a story about salt.  Studies of Russian cosmonauts held in isolation to simulate long-term space travel show that eating more salt made them less thirsty and somehow hungrier.  Experiments on mice found that mice burn more calories, and had to eat more just to maintain weight.  Previous model for salt had salt making you thirstier, and you drank water to help the kidneys excrete the excess salt.  The long-term studies found a 28-day cycle in the amount of sodium the cosmonauts bodies retained that was not linked to the amount of urine produced.  It looked like the body generated or produced water when salt intake was high.  The mice studies found that hormones were breaking down fat and muscle in their own body, freeing up more water for the body to use.  This means that salt may be involved in weight loss.  Always interesting what we find when consensus does not deflect us.


  1. Energy. Factoid for your consideration out of Jo Nova last week.  She linked to a Washington Examiner article on relative productivity of people employed in various energy sectors.  In 2016, there were 373,000 employed in the solar industry, 160,000 in coal, and wind just over 100,000.  The 373,000 solar employees produced less than 1% of electric power generated in the US in 2016.  A similar number of employees involved in producing natural gas (398,000) produced over a third of US electric energy.  The 160,000 coal employees also produced around a third of US electricity in 2016.  Do the math and graph the results and you end up with a single coal employee producing the same amount of energy as two natural gas employees which in turn produces the same amount of energy as 79 employees in solar energy.  For a make-work operation, solar makes as much sense as digging foundations with shovels or spoons.  This is one reason solar is so terribly, terribly expensive.  It simply takes too many people to generate a meaningful amount of electricity.  Regardless of improvements in efficiency, manpower alone guarantees solar will never economically compete with natural gas or coal.  Perhaps the question we ought to be asking about renewables is this an energy program or a make-work jobs program?


  1. Travel. Further demonstrating that we are no longer a country of laws, but rather a country of men, lawyers for the ACLU arguing before the Ninth and Fourth Circus Courts of Appeals last week made the case that the Trump Executive Orders on travel ban for people out of failed states in the Middle East would indeed be constitutional if Hilly or O’Bama signed them.  To the left these days, it is the man who decides what the law is and says rather than the law as passed making that determination.  I don’t think they will enjoy a return to the Divine Right of Kings nearly as much as they think they will.

More later –

– AG


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