It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me | TheHill

According to media reports this week, the FBI did indeed “wiretap” the former head of Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort, both before and after Trump was elected. If Trump officials — or Trump himself — communicated with Manafort during the wiretaps, they would have been recorded, too.But we’re missing the bigger story.

Source: It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me | TheHill


Monsanto’s Weed Killer, Dicamba, Divides Farmers – The New York Times

Farmers planted a new kind of seed on 25 million acres of soybean and cotton fields this year. Developed by Monsanto, the seeds, genetically modified to be resistant to a weed killer called dicamba, are one of the biggest product releases in the company’s history.But the seeds and the weed killer have turned some farmers — often customers of Monsanto, which sells both — against the company and alarmed regulators.Farmers who have not bought the expensive new seeds, which started to appear last year, are joining lawsuits, claiming that their crops have been damaged by dicamba that drifted onto their farms. Arkansas announced a 120-day ban of the weed killer this summer, and it is considering barring its use next year after mid-April. Missouri briefly barred its sale in July. And the Environmental Protection Agency, not known for its aggressiveness under President Trump, is weighing its own action.

Irma – The Market Ticker

This shows….. a strong tropical storm.Note that the eye went directly over that location; it’s obvious from the graph.Hurricane wind speeds are defined not by the highest gust recorded but by the highest 1 minute sustained windspeed. This was maybe a Category 1 hurricane at that point in time. Marco Island might have gotten a Cat 2 impact. Maybe.But even as the approaching storm came into the Keys I didn’t see anything that looked like Cat 3 sustained winds. Gusts over 100kts, yes, those were reported. But sustained winds at Cat 3 speeds? Nope.Just as telling and perhaps more-so are the damage pictures I’ve seen thus far. The early “drone survey” images posted to Twitter and elsewhere in the Naples area showed moderate destruction — of mobile homes. Folks, mobile homes are destroyed by Cat 2 hurricanes — reliably. We’re not talking about the roofs ripped off or some damage, we’re talking about only pieces being left. Cat 3s usually leave nothing but kindling when it comes to mobile homes.Well-built structures start to fail (entirely) at Cat 4.

There’s no doubt that Barbuda and Saint Marten got it in the face. But context matters, as do facts. The claim of 185mph sustained winds isn’t backed up by a sub-900mb surface pressure. That was simply never recorded and unlike anemometers that are often destroyed in heavy winds barometers are not.Let me further remind you that 185mph sustained windspeeds are roughly equivalent to an EF-3 tornado. I’ve seen the damage field from those; they reliably slab even well-built frame houses.Was Irma a nasty storm? Certainly. It had a large circulation and did a hell of a lot of damage.But lying for political purposes is not acceptable when it comes to such storms, and it appears that both the NHC and NOAA have done exactly that.

If you are making life-safety decisions you need accurate information, whether it is to choose to evacuate (or not), or if you are attempting to plan government or other organizational responses. Lies for political purposes that exaggerate the severity of an incoming storm do real economic harm to real people — they cause them to spend money, close businesses and otherwise disrupt their lives in ways that are not justified given the facts.

Source: Market-Ticker – The Market Ticker

Rep. Franks Predicts Awans Will Get Immunity For “Significant, Disturbing Story” About Wasserman Schultz | Zero Hedge

Last week the Washington Examiner reported that Hina Alvi, the wife of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s now-infamous former IT staffer Imran Awan, had struck a deal with federal prosecutors to return to the U.S. where she currently faces charges of conspiracy and bank fraud. The deal with prosecutors mandates a return to the U.S. during the “last week of September 2017” and is structured so that she will not be arrested in front of her children. Now, if you’re the cynical type, then it might have struck you as somewhat odd that Alvi would agree to return from Pakistan, the place to which she successfully fled specifically to avoid the charges she now seems to be embracing.But, at least according to Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) who appeared on Fox News recently, there may be more to Alvi’s return than meets the eye as he predicts that the Awans could be working on a broader immunity deal with prosecutors in return for a “significant” and “pretty disturbing” story about Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “I don’t want to talk out of school here but I think you’re going to see some revelations that are going to be pretty profound. The fact that this wife is coming back from Pakistan and is willing to face charges, as it were, I think there is a good chance she is going to reach some type of immunity to tell a larger story here that is going to be pretty disturbing to the American people.” “I would just predict that this is going to be a very significant story and people should fasten their seat belts on this one.”

Source: Rep. Franks Predicts Awans Will Get Immunity For “Significant, Disturbing Story” About Wasserman Schultz | Zero Hedge

VA Viper: It’s the birthday of H.L. Mencken, noted curmudgeon, satirist, and political and cultural critic

A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.

No one in this world, so far as I know – and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me – has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.

Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.

Source: VA Viper: It’s the birthday of H.L. Mencken, noted curmudgeon, satirist, and political and cultural critic