Appeals court rules the Forest Service to ‘speak for the trees’

 

First let’s acknowledge that the Federal Government owns two-thirds of the Western States. This does not account for what the State and Local governments own.

Now moving East, we have a couple more States of considerable acreage of government land. This acknowledgement before we get to the latest insult a few judges have visited upon us.

The XL Pipeline is stalled in its tracks. First insult-

A refresher:

Nov 9, 2018 – A U.S. district judge has issued an order blocking construction of the controversial transnational Keystone XL Pipeline until the State Department conducts further study of its impact on the environment.

 

More at NPR

 

 

Recall that last winter the Boston area had to count on Russia for its Natural gas. Yes, that big bad Russia Russia Russia. Meanwhile we are awash in Nat gas. That story later on. But here it the latest in turning us into a “Hunter-Gatherer” society soon to forage for heat and food.

Appeals court rules the Forest Service to ‘speak for the trees’

 

A federal appeals court cited Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax to slam the U.S. Forest Service for granting a private company a permit to build a natural gas pipeline across two national forests and the Appalachian Trail.

 

 

 

“We trust the United States Forest Service to ‘speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.'”

— The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

 

 

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA., said in a ruling on Thursday that the U.S. Forest Service “abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources” when it granted the permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to Dominion Energy, the pipeline’s lead developer, NPR reported.

“We trust the United States Forest Service to ‘speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues,’” the three-judge panel said in the ruling, quoting the classic story.

The court decided that the Forest Service did not have the authority to grant the permits to build a pipeline that would originate in West Virginia and stretch across Virginia and North Carolina.

The pipeline plans caused uproar among environmental groups as parts of it would have to be built through the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests and across the Appalachian Trail, the NPR reported.

“This conclusion is particularly informed by the Forest Service’s serious environmental concerns that were suddenly, and mysteriously, assuaged in time to meet a private pipeline company’s deadlines,” the judges said.[…]

Dominion Energy said they will appeal the decision in a statement to NPR.

“If allowed to stand, this decision will severely harm consumers and do great damage to our economy and energy security,” said Aaron Ruby, a spokesman for Dominion Energy.

“Public utilities are depending on this infrastructure to meet the basic energy needs of millions of people and businesses in our region.”

Keep reading…

Let’s return to this absurdity.

Russian Nat Gas has to be imported to New England but let’s get on Merkel

Better yet, the Jones Act precludes Americans helping out other Americans:

The U.S. has several LNG export facilities that are already operational or will come online in the coming years. Why can’t we ship American LNG to Boston?

One reason is an antiquated federal law from 1920 – the Jones Act – that prohibits cargoes from being transported between U.S. ports unless they are carried on American-flagged ships.

The stupid thing:

There are about 150,000 miles of oil pipelines and more than 1.5 million miles of natural gas pipelines in theUnited States. ALREADY! 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently announced that in 2017, for the first time since 1957, the U.S. exported more natural gas than it imported.

Yet, even as we become a global energy superpower, political barriers prevent us from maximizing the benefits of the shale revolution.

Earlier this year, New England — located just a few hundred miles from the Marcellus Shale, one of the world’s largest natural gas fields — was forced to import a cargo of Russian liquefied natural gas. This was necessary because anti-energy activists have convinced local elected leaders to block new energy infrastructure, including pipelines that could bring American gas to the region. This is making households in the Northeast more dependent on imported energy, and forcing them to pay among the highest energy bills in the country. More at Washington Examiner

Here are a couple of sites where one can find out pipeline locations down to the county.

Pipeline101 – Where-Are-Pipelines-Located

 

Interactive map of pipelines in the United States | American …

he National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Public Viewer from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration allows users to view pipelines and related information by individual county for the entire United States. The map includes: Gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.

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Michael Flynn and the Trappings of Power

 

Trappings of Power 

by Mustang

Among those so inclined, the world of politics offers one of those “the sky is the limit” opportunities we read about in the newspapers.  But there is another side to these stories: failure and disgrace.  Such is the case with retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn who left the Army at the pinnacle of success and is now sitting in the dust bin of recent political history.  My guess is that not too many Americans care about Flynn or his trials and tribulations —and yet, the story is nothing if not instructive.

Flynn served 33-years on active duty.  Five of these years were spent in combat service.  Within this time frame, General Flynn received many personal decorations in recognition of his contribution to the military establishment, although none of these were combat decorations.  Flynn was no Audie Murphy.  Still, he served honorably and faithfully over three decades and while this should entitle him to our gratitude, it does not grant him access to the world of high politics.

So, what happened?  My view is that at the time he left the military, he was so over-confident in his own ability that he was anxious to prove that he was bright enough to secure a position of national leadership.  Along with over-confidence comes arrogance and, perhaps, a certain aloofness that, as it turns out, didn’t serve him very well.

Although a registered Democrat, Flynn was involved in the Trump election campaign and transition team.  His several public statements attacking Hillary Clinton did little more than paint a target on his back.  Apparently, he never consulted that long list of people who crossed the Clintons and met an untimely end (politically or otherwise).  By publicly attacking Clinton, he also ended up on the Obama target list.

Here we find the first important lesson: you don’t have to be guilty of anything in order to be disgraced by mere accusation.  This, by the way, appears to be a trend in our country today: guilt by accusation.

The actual story of General Flynn in post-military retirement is long, complicated, and boring.  I will only say that for a man who is so accomplished, Flynn might have thought about getting an attorney before meeting with FBI agents (set upon him by Clinton operative, FBI Director James Comey).  Even a lance corporal knows that whenever you’re called in for questioning, it isn’t wise to go in alone.  Maybe it was his arrogance, or perhaps, a belief that he’d done nothing wrong —so there was nothing to fear.  As he walked in to the interrogation room, he might have recalled that line in Shakespeare: “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”

General Flynn is pending formal sentencing for lying to federal investigators.  Was it really lying, or did his simply not recall certain details?  Actually, it doesn’t matter.  The entire novella was designed to intimidate Flynn so that he would roll over on Donald Trump.  Apparently, he never did that, or possibly, there was nothing to roll over about.

But this is the game General Flynn signed up to play, and he was an early casualty.  He was the shortest serving NSC advisor in the history of the United States.  Now, rather than achieving accolades for his work in the White House, he will simply be remembered as a convicted felon.  It’s cost him a lot of money, too.  Professionally, the man is destroyed, and I suspect that the only thing left for him to do is write a memoir that no one will buy.  At least, I won’t.

There are several lessons to this story and it appears that Flynn had to discover them the hard way.  High-end politics in the United States is a closed society.  If you have tons of money (which is to say, able to afford an entire law firm to address legal issues), if you have the Harvard degree, the Rolex watch, the secret handshake, and you’ve had years to make political friends (which is to say, you’ve got a lot of dirt on others of your ilk), then yeah … go for it.

But if you happen to be an outsider, such as General Flynn was, you really aren’t equipped to play with the big boys (and girls).  The astute citizen, especially the most educated and sophisticated of us all, would be wise to avoid the power trap.  It’s a matter of self-preservation—and the effect of this is that our highest political offices are bequeathed to the most corrupt, least-honest, most egotistical gangsters ever to receive a degree from Harvard, Brown, or Princeton.

There is also an interesting parallel to this story: recently, Martha McSally ran for the US Senate from Arizona.  Prior to that, she served successfully in the US House of Representatives from 2015.  Rather than focusing on gaining political experience in the House, she decided she was ready for the big time.

Her political strategy was simple: convince Arizonians that she’s a hero for having flown fighter aircraft in the Air Force.  Well, it is an interesting tale, but hardly relevant to what voters are looking for.  She lost her bid for the Senate because Martha McSally made the same (stupid) mistake as did McCain, who wasted all of his political capital talking about what a hero he was for being shot down in Vietnam.  The fact is that, while most Americans do appreciate those who serve in the military, few are interested in hearing war stories.  More than this, they quickly tire of egotistical officers patting themselves on the back.

McSally should have remained in the House for another ten years, and Michael Flynn should have taken General MacArthur’s advice; in having done his duty, Flynn ought to just faded away to enjoy his grandchildren.

Trump’s legal team’s epic fail – meet John Dowd

 

If you have any questions how Trump’s legal team got themselves into such a mess with Mueller, look no further than this fellow John Dowd. The good news is that after the damage was done as far as strategy and giving away the store, he left back in March 2018. The bad news? I will let you take a look-see.. and it’s not easy on the eyes.

We had the good fortune of hearing the setup this past week when Hannity dragged Dowd out from under a rock to explain his thinking. Dowd thought he could trust Mueller and had a handshake on it? He’s disappointed?

I can’t say he is in much better shape with media hog Rudy, who never let’s a minute go without being noticed.

Dowd, who has urged the President to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and resist attacking him publicly, resigned as his disagreements with Trump intensified and the President stepped up his attacks on the special counsel. His departure raises questions about the direction of Trump’s legal strategy and could signal a more aggressive posture on Trump’s part. (You think??) H/t: CNN

 

Spanish Radio station to beam Chinese Propaganda

 

The latest propaganda move of the chinese to control our media. But let us not forget what happened during the fading halcyon days of the Obama administration.

 

Apparently Jeff Sessions is still down Mexico way looking for gang bangers since Rosenstein had to take care of this business.

The Justice Department probe into the radio deal reflects stepped up efforts by the administration to counter foreign influence operations.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced last month that both the department and FBI are targeting foreign disinformation and influence operations, through prosecutions, counterintelligence operations, and other legal measures.

“Influence operations are a form of information warfare,” Rosenstein said during a security conference in Colorado. “Covert propaganda and disinformation are among the primary weapons.”

 

Recall during the waning days of the Obama administration we had this:

FCC Approves Foreign Takeover of U.S. Broadcasters

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on September 29th did something worse than give up control of the Internet. They voted unanimously to put America’s entire broadcast industry on the fast track to a foreign takeover by Chinese, Russian or Muslim Brotherhood front corporations.

This new FCC rule gives foreign interests the long sought-after tools they need to shape U.S. public opinion and to censor the opposition.

Once a foreign corporation scoops up a media business, such as a chain of radio stations, it can eliminate national and local programming and substitute its own government’s propaganda. That means that conservative talkers could find themselves off the air.

Citing the need for “change” from the old “vintage” laws, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel declared that “laws that govern broadcast investment can get in the way.”

So, rather than respect the law and Congress, the FCC decided in a 5 to 0 vote to decree a new “rule” that effectively guts a law that protected Americans from foreign interests and their propaganda. The new rule assumes that any foreign owner of a TV or radio broadcaster will be acceptable unless someone can prove otherwise.

The FCC in one of the most obscene votes in 2016. And we worry about Donald and Russia Russia Russia?? Note Clyburn’s daughter is on the commission as well as other members affiliations.

 

 

But this wasn’t the first:

 

China Radio International

You think? I first posted about this in 2010:  China buys U.S Radio Station – What’s next…let’s see how this goes:

It is the first U.S. station to broadcast CRI programing 24 hours a day, although the network has purchased blocks of time on U.S. stations at least since 1993.

 

 

 

Now the latest:  Mexican Radio to beam Chinese Propaganda

 

A large Spanish-language radio station in Mexico will soon begin broadcasting in Chinese in a deal critics say will bring Beijing propaganda to Chinese Americans throughout Southern California.

 

A Federal Communications Commission filing on the sale of radio station XEWW AM 690 radio near Tijuana reveals the buyer has ties to Phoenix Satellite Television US, a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing Phoenix TV.

According to government sources, signs that Phoenix is involved in the purchase of the radio station prompted the Trump administration last week to begin an investigation into the national security implications of the sale.

Phoenix TV has been identified by U.S. intelligence agencies as a major overseas outlet used to spread propaganda and promote the policies of the communist government in Beijing. The Hong Kong television station also has close ties to China’s intelligence service and military.

More at  Free Beacon

NATO Jet Accidentally Launches Secret Missile Near Russian Border – ‘Serious incidence’

 

 

Oh yea, let’s poke the bear…  indeed have lost their minds….

“Serious Incident” Unfolds As NATO Jet Accidentally Launches Secret Missile Near Russian Border.

Estonia’s defense minister has halted a NATO war exercise in Estonia pending an investigation after a fighter jet deployed in northeast Europe accidentally fired a secret missile during training. Authorities are now searching for the rocket, which was shot over the Baltic country’s airspace by a Spanish fighter jet this week near the Russian border.

Minister of Defense Juri Luik said Thursday during a press conference in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, the air-to-air missile was mistakenly launched Tuesday over southern Estonia has not been found nor did it injure any civilians.

 

Oh yea….

 

The Russian trail leads to Democrat Lobbyists The Podesta Group

 

“After the election I will have more flexibility.”

It’s obscene to think that the Podestas will get immunity. There is no one more Russia Russia Russia than the Podesta group. The Clintons will be protected once more. I had intended for my Saturday Flashback post to be:

Bill Clinton’s Multi-Million Dollar Communist Uranium Deal – Circa 2008

which shows there is no one more treasonous than one Bill Clinton with the seed of the present Russian collusion motif beginning there. Check it out. But what do you know, when reading it, the post circles us around back to K Street, lobbyists, the Podesta Group. So let’s do this from Forbes:

The media’s focus on Trump’s Russian connections ignores the much more extensive and lucrative business relationships of top Democrats with Kremlin-associated oligarchs and companies.

Thanks to the Panama Papers, we know that the Podesta Group (founded by John Podesta’s brother, Tony) lobbied for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank. “Sberbank is the Kremlin, they don’t do anything major without Putin’s go-ahead, and they don’t tell him ‘no’ either,” explained a retired senior U.S. intelligence official.

According to a Reuters report, Tony Podesta was “among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.” Among these was the European Center, which paid Podesta $900,000 for his lobbying.

That’s not all: The busy Podesta Group also represented Uranium One, a uranium company acquired by the Russian government which received approval from Hillary Clinton’s State Department to mine for uranium in the U.S. and gave Russia twenty percent control of US uranium. The New York Times reported Uranium One’s chairman, Frank Guistra, made significant donations to the Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for one speech from a Russian investment bank that has “links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.”

Let’s not leave out fugitive Ukrainian oligarch, Dymtro Firtash. He is represented by Democratic heavyweight lawyer, Lanny Davis, who accused Trump of “inviting Putin to commit espionage” (Trump’s quip: If Putin has Hillary’s emails, release them) but denies all wrongdoing by Hillary.

In his February 16 press conference, President Trump declared in response to the intensifying media drumbeat on his Russian connections: “I haven’t done anything for Russia.” K-Street lobbyists, on the other hand, have done a lot to help Russia.

They greased the skids for a strategic deal (that required the Secretary of State’s approval) that multiplied the Kremlin’s command of world uranium supplies. They likely prevented the shipment of strategic weapons needed by Ukraine to repulse well-armed pro-Russian forces. A fugitive billionaire who robbed the Ukrainian people of billions is represented by one of the establishment’s most connected lawyers. More at Forbes

 

 

Hillary Clinton’s interference in Putin’s election and his revenge

 

Reports of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election have dominated the headlines. But this wasn’t the first time Vladimir Putin and Hillary Clinton faced off over an election and its fallout.

You see, Putin was clear-eyed about how the Obama and Clinton operated with their cronies in arms- Susan Rice, and Samantha Power as they lay waste to a number of elected governments. We will look at six interferences perpetrated against governments. Putin was no fool.

Then the unspeakable happened. Hillary decided to take on Putin as he was up for re-election.

Here is a scene from part one of “Putin’s Revenge,” an epic FRONTLINE documentary from “The Choice 2016” examining Putin’s rise, rule and motivations, and the American responses. Two parts of the program are available on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

What’s more, all the protestations about Russian interference in the US 2016 elections  when compared to previous US interference in Russian elections is small change.  Remember TIME magazine’s cover and report of July 15th, 1996? That was yesterdays post:

Recall when Bill Clinton meddled in Russian Election? Putin extracts revenge?

Let’s get back to Hillary and Obama.

The Guardian points out that “Americans can spot election meddling because they’ve been doing it for years“.

According to research by political scientist Dov Levin, the US and the USSR/Russia together intervened no less than 117 times in foreign elections between 1946 and 2000, or “one out of every nine competitive, national-level executive elections”.

Indeed, one cannot understand US-Russian relations today without acknowledging America’s role in the internal affairs of its defeated cold war foe.

Yeltsin relied on US political strategists – including a former aide to Bill Clinton – who had a direct line back to the White House. When Yeltsin eventually won, the cover of Time magazine was “Yanks to the rescue: The secret story of how American advisers helped Yeltsin win”.

Without the chaos and deprivations of the US-backed Yeltsin era, Putinism would surely not have established itself. But it’s not just Russia by any means, for the record of US intervention in the internal affairs of foreign democracies is extensive.

There’s more at the link.  Do read the piece. It does a fine job of what happened after Bill Clinton came into power:

As soon as Bill Clinton assumed the White House in 1993, his experts discussed “formulating a policy of American tutelage”, including unabashed partisan support for President Boris Yeltsin. “Political missionaries and evangelists, usually called ‘advisers’, spread across Russia in the early and mid-1990s,” notes Cohen: many were funded by the US government. (With disastrous results.)

 

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