Patterico's Pontifications

2/3/2023

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:42 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Navalny continues to be an irritant to Moscow, and yet one that also strikes fear in the powers-that-be. He tweets:

The main torment of imprisonment is, of course, the inability to see the faces of your family, to talk to your loved ones. I haven’t had any visits for 8 months and yesterday I was told that I’d be transferred to a cell-type facility for the maximum possible term of 6 months. No visits are allowed there. This means more than a year without a visit. Even maniacs and serial killers serving life sentences have the right to receive a visit, but I don’t. Well, hardships make one tougher, though I don’t understand why this should apply to my children too. But most importantly, when something like this happens to you, you realize how important it is to fight this unscrupulous regime, how important it is to do just about anything in order to throw the yoke of these scoundrels off Russia and dispel the illusion that they have planted in the heads of millions.

Let us try to remain strong and do all we can every day.

Navalny’s daughter told CNN after learning about her father being moved to solitary confinement that Vladimir Putin and the FPS are slowly torturing and killing him.

The particular cruelty of today’s Russian prisons :

One might object that Russia’s history is a litany of imprisonments—nothing new under Putin. This is not quite right since Russian prisons have evolved as reflections of the regimes that have used them to muzzle opposition. We know this from literature: many Russian writers have endured prison and lived to tell about it. Dostoyevsky, in The House of the Dead, relates his experience: collective detention rooms, with their fleas and their filth, but also their sharing of tea and alcohol. The horror was tempered by a kind of camaraderie. If Navalny had the choice, he would surely go back to Dostoyevsky’s time. Putin’s regime is far crueler than the Czars’ ever was. And at the end of the nineteenth century, the Czars were becoming more humane under European influence. Chekov traveled all the way to the penal colony of Sakhalin Island to assess the condition of the prisoners. Each had his stone hut and his garden. The air was pure, as Chekov relates, and the prisoners’ main complaint was that Sakhalin was far from home; they did not want to be buried in Asia, so far from their European birthplace. Navalny would probably like to go back to Chekov’s time—or even to the time of Solzhenitsyn. To be sure, the Gulag Archipelago was a harsh place, where one froze in the winter. But Solzhenitsyn was treated for cancer in the Gulag, where he recovered. And he had the paper and pencil necessary to write his memoirs. Today’s Russia, as revealed by its prisons, is thus crueler than the previous regimes ever were.

Related:

The Russia expert who uncovered the poison attack on Navalny on the run from the reach of the Kremlin:

The Bulgarian Russia expert and investigative journalist Christo Grozev wants to leave his adopted country of Austria because he himself has become a target of the Kremlin. Vienna, his home for almost 20 years, has become so dangerous for Grozev that he will not return here for the time being, the “Falter” reported on Wednesday. “I suspect that there are more Russian agents, informers and henchmen in the city than police officers,” the weekly newspaper quoted him as saying.

The 53-year-old journalist, who has been working for the investigative website “Bellingcat” since 2015, was put out by Russia for a wanted manhunt in December. Grozev gained international fame when he tracked down the assassins after the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In a phone call made under a false identity, Navalny was able to get one of the perpetrators to describe how the poison attack was carried out. Grozev found out about the group through creative data-journalistic approaches, such as the use of airline passenger data.

If you haven’t watched the documentary Navalny, you need to. I’m so happy to see that it has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature film. Hopefully, it will give Navalny’s cause even more exposure, and further expose the vileness that is Putin and the Kremlin.

Second news item

UPDATE : The balloon was downed this morning by Air Force fighter aircraft over the Carolina coast. The recovery effort is now underway.

Despite some people thinking it silly or paranoid to discuss or be concerned about the balloon’s presence over the continental United States, it would appear that it presented a serious enough problem that the administration and Pentagon felt it needed to be brought down. There may have also been concerned that the balloon could be collecting intelligence that might be problematic for us. We just don’t know. Perhaps we will learn more in the coming week. One last thought: It’s also quite possible that President Biden also felt he needed to respond to China’s provocation and send the message that if they violate our airspace there will be consequences. I think it’s an important message to send.

Chinese surveillance balloon over Montana:

A massive spy balloon believed to be from China was seen above Montana and is being tracked as it flies across the continental United States, with President Joe Biden for now deciding against “military options” because of the risk to civilians, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Still, officials insisted, they continue to closely monitor the vessel as they have since it entered the country — while voicing their concern to Beijing.

“The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is flying over the continental United States right now,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement on Thursday. “NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] continues to track and monitor it closely.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry claims that it’s a weather balloon used for scientific research and simply drifted off course.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed this morning that it is a surveillance balloon, not a weather balloon, despite China’s insistence that it’s a weather balloon. He also reiterated that they don’t believe the balloon poses any threat to the U.S., but they did say that its presence violates U.S. airspace. The balloon is moving eastward, and there was no answer as to the question of whether the balloon was being controlled by China, or if it was just floating on its own.

JVW emails:

…if the balloon satellite poses no greater risk of gathering intelligence than low-orbit Chinese satellites do, then why would China even bother to launch this balloon, knowing full well that it would cause controversy here? Unless of course what they really want to know is how supine the Biden Administration will be when China provokes us. I guess they have found their answer, and it would not redound to our favor.

I think he’s hit on something there…but, if the U.S. knows that it’s a surveillance balloon collecting information over sensitive sites below (per the Pentagon) but we can’t take it out because the debris could injure people, it seems we are sending one of two messages: we may not have the ability to safely shoot it down, or we do but want to keep any such capabilities secret. But it’s just peculiar that the mere fact that it’s a Chinese spy balloon collecting information while over sensitive sites in the U.S. doesn’t compel us to take any seemingly real action… And let’s not forget that Antony Blinken has now canceled his scheduled trip to China as a result of the spy balloon, which indicates to me that it’s a far more serious issue than the Pentagon is letting on.

Third news item

Just terrible:

A New Jersey councilwoman — the mother of a young daughter and leader of her church — was shot and killed in a possible attack outside her home, an incident officials are calling “shocking” and “senseless.”

Eunice Dwumfour was the first sitting elected official in recent memory who had been shot and killed in office in the state, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told reporters Thursday.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone told ABC News the councilwoman’s political position does not yet appear to have played any role in the homicide.

Dwumfour was inside her white SUV when she was shot Wednesday night, officials said. She sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Police have no clear motive for Dwumfour’s killing, according to law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.

If police have no “clear motive” for Dwumfour’s murder, then how can the prosecutor say with any certainty, that Dwumfour’s politics didn’t play a role in the homicide? This jump-the-gun nonsense reminds me of Kamala Harris deeming that Jussie Smollett was the victim of an attempted “attempted modern-day lynching” even before an investigation took place…

Fourth news item

The importance of preventing Russia from rebuilding military capabilities:

European Union sanctions on Russia should be targeted at stopping Moscow from rebuilding its military capability, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday.

“We are very interested to ensure that Russia fails to rebuild military production. Sanctions are slowing down this process. We know precisely how many rockets were built there before the full-scale invasion and what happens now as result of sanctions from EU, US, Britain and other partners. Therefore, for us it is very important to make sure they don’t have the capability to bypass sanctions as they often manage with help of some other countries,” Zelensky said at a news conference in Kyiv alongside top European Union officials…”It is very important not to allow any dilution of the important European sanctions that have already been approved, as well as any relaxation of these sanctions against some individuals, as is speculated in some countries, and even in EU member states,” Zelensky said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is attempting to hold onto the Eastern city of Bakhmut. Zelensky is emphatic that the city will not be surrendered.

After eight months of grinding combat, Russian forces are bearing down on the city from three directions, leaving Ukraine’s main supply line under severe pressure and Kyiv facing an agonising choice over the cost of holding its ground…While analysts say Bakhmut has little military significance, the city has become the focal point of both Ukrainian resistance and Moscow’s drive to regain battlefield momentum…with relentless shelling and first world war-style attacks, Russian forces have managed to capture several towns and villages around Bakhmut in recent weeks. Most notable among them was the salt mining town of Soledar, 15km to the north.

Unsurprisingly, it is now Russian troops supporting Wagner Group fighters in the battle for Bakhmut:

Fighters from the Wagner Group, a mercenary organisation founded by close Putin ally Evgeny Prigozhin, have been in the vanguard of the Russian assault. Many of its fighters were recruited from prison colonies in far-flung Russian regions. They were used as “cannon fodder”, Ukrainian soldiers told the Financial Times during a visit in December.

Fifth news item

Giving homeschoolers a bad name:

Ohio’s education department said it would investigate the apparent use of fascist materials by a home-schooling network after reports that the pro-Nazi group is run by a couple living in the state. The course materials denigrate the intelligence of African Americans and celebrate Adolf Hitler..But there’s likely little the state can do because while the state mandates that certain topics be taught, it does not govern details of what home school can and cannot include.

Specifics of the materials:

The messages and lessons distributed by the home schooling network are filled with Nazi, white supremacist and racist lessons…When the network reached its 1,000th subscriber [WHAT??!!], leaders celebrated with a photo of boys delivering a Nazi salute… She told a podcast called “Achtung! Amerikaner” that she started the network because she was having trouble finding “Nazi approved school material for my home-schooled children.”

She also said: “We are so deeply invested into making sure that that child becomes a wonderful Nazi.”

One lesson distributed by the network teaches students that Black people have lower IQs than White people do. The lessons venerate Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and denigrate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Mrs. Saxon” also talks of celebrating Adolf Hitler’s birthday with favorite German foods, bragging about making a “swastika apple pie.”

Sixth news item

The problem with both political parties, in a nutshell:

Both parties are missing something big. For the Democrats it’s an inability to accept a gift from history and become a normal party again. For the Republicans, it’s an inability to agree on what they stand for in this century, and an inability to talk about the meaning of things.

Seventh news item

Ah:

Lawyers representing Hunter Biden are urging federal and state investigations into several allies of former President Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, alleging they unlawfully disseminated personal data used to attack his father, President Joe Biden.

The action by Biden’s attorneys, in letters to the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, represent an aggressive offensive as House Republicans are poised to launch inquiries into the Biden family.

In a separate letter to Fox News and personality Tucker Carlson, attorney Bryan Sullivan demanded that the network retract reporting from a broadcast last month or face a possible defamation lawsuit.

Eighth news item

Worrisome call to arms in 2024:

On his Truth Social platform, Trump shared the message of a user actively encouraging physical violence on his behalf.

Discussing a hypothetical effort to disqualify Trump from office, the user said anyone behind such an effort “will have to figure out how to fight 80,000,000 + it’s not going to happen again.”

“People my age and old will physically fight for him this time,” the user said. “What we got to lose ? I’ll donate the rest of my time here on this planet to do it. And I know many many others who feel the same. They got my 6 and we Are Locked and LOADED.”

Discussing a hypothetical effort to disqualify Trump from office, the user said anyone behind such an effort “will have to figure out how to fight 80,000,000 + it’s not going to happen again.”

“People my age and old will physically fight for him this time,” the user said. “What we got to lose ? I’ll donate the rest of my time here on this planet to do it. And I know many many others who feel the same. They got my 6 and we Are Locked and LOADED.”

Ninth news item

Heroes who continue to fight for freedom:

An exile confirms the brutal tactic:

[Director of Abdul-Rahman Berman, Center for Human Rights in Iran] Roya Boroumand said another tactic used by Iranian police is to target people’s faces with pellets, which could result in them losing their eyesight.

Saman told ABC News that he was a victim of this tactic.

He said that an Iranian officer shot him in the eye with the paintball gun while he was attending a protest in Valiasr Square in September 2022. Saman was hospitalized and lost his left eye.

While recuperating in the hospital, Saman said he found out that the police were looking for his hospital room number.

“Fortunately I was in the examination room and, with my friend’s help, I managed to get myself to the hospital’s yard and escaped,” he said. “By leaving the country, I decided to make my face living evidence for the world to see the Islamic Republic of Iran’s crimes closely.”

Tenth news item

For starters, any U.S. president who fomented an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and encouraged rioters does not deserve to have any public entity named after him. Shame on these lawmakers:

Two lawmakers would like to see a portion of the street near the Tennessee Capitol Building renamed for a former president rather than the late Rep. John Lewis.

Sen. Frank Nicely (R—Strawberry Plains) and Rep. Paul Sherrell (R—Sparta) introduced a bill that would rename two-tenths of a mile of Rep. John Lewis Way to President Donald Trump Boulevard.

When I contast the lives of John Lewis and Donald Trump…

MISCELLANEOUS

Father Brown is a favorite of mine for the same reasons, so now I love Bob Dylan even more after he said:

I recently binged Coronation Street, Father Brown, and some early Twilight Zones. I know they’re old-fashioned, but they make me feel at home. I’m no fan of packaged programmes or news shows…

Have a great weekend!

–Dana

441 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Happy Friday!

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. Less than an hour ago the Pentagon briefing confirmed the ‘bogie’ is a direct violation of U.S., air space and international law but would not specify where it is other than at 60,000 feet over ‘the central continental United States.” ‘Shooting it down’ could send a solid, firm and much more cost-effective loud and clear message to the PRC that America would defend Taiwan rather than the MIC money making billions shoveled over to corrupt Ukraine.

    Instead, thw message reaffirms what the world already knows: Biden is weak and the MIC runs the show…. not civilian authority.

    Lest you forget: on April 1, 2001, when a United States Navy EP-3E ARIES II signals intelligence aircraft and a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) J-8II interceptor fighter jet collided in mid-air, resulting in an international dispute between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

    The EP-3 was operating about 70 miles (110 km) away from the PRC island province of Hainan, as well as about 100 miles (160 km) away from the China military installation in the Paracel Islands, when it was intercepted by two J-8 fighters. A collision between the EP-3 and one of the J-8s caused a PRC pilot to go missing (later presumed dead); the EP-3 was forced to make an emergency landing on Hainan without approved permission from the Chinese authorities. The 24 crew members were detained and interrogated by Chinese authorities until a statement was delivered by the United States government regarding the incident. The exact phrasing of this document was intentionally ambiguous and allowed both countries to save face while defusing a potentially volatile situation between militarily strong regional states;

    The 24 crew members (21 men and 3 women) were detained for 10 days in total, and were released soon after the U.S. issued the “letter of the two sorries” to the Chinese. The crew was only partially successful in their destruction of classified material, and some of the material they failed to destroy included cryptographic keys, signals intelligence manuals, and the names of National Security Agency employees. Some of the captured computers contained detailed information for processing PROFORMA communications from North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, China and other countries. The plane also carried information on the emitter parameters for U.S.-allied radar systems worldwide. The fact that the United States could track People’s Liberation Army Navy submarines via signal transmission was also revealed to China.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainan_Island_incident

    Failure by the United States to bring down this uncrewed spy balloon sends the message the PRC wanted.

    DCSCA (a88336)

  3. I guess they have found their answer, and it would redound to our favor.

    I mistyped my comment to Dana. I meant to write that the Biden Administration response would not redound to our favor.

    JVW (e52b83)

  4. DCSCA (a88336) — 2/3/2023 @ 10:02 am

    Our failure to retaliate (by bombing the EP-3 on Hainan Island) made it even worse.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  5. “How” an American commander in ‘chief’ gets briefed:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8qjxT1iIAM

    “We got 183 combat planes on this base, general. The way they’re parked now, a one-eyed monkey hanging from a balloon could scatter them to hell with one hand grenade.” – Tora! Tora! Tora! 1970

    DCSCA (a88336)

  6. @6. Well, you know, it’s 2023, not 1970 for a superpower in decline, hence these days “failure is an option.”

    DCSCA (a88336)

  7. When the network reached its 1,000th subscriber [WHAT??!!], leaders celebrated with a photo of boys delivering a Nazi salute…

    What I am hoping this means is that there are one thousand overall idiots who read this Nazi crap, not that there are one thousand schoolkids who read this Nazi crap. I would guess some of these “subscribers” are adults who understand that education is a life-long process.

    JVW (e52b83)

  8. Two lawmakers would like to see a portion of the street near the Tennessee Capitol Building renamed for a former president rather than the late Rep. John Lewis.

    I would like to see a law — hell, a Constitutional Amendment even — which prohibits any governmental agency from naming any public item after an elected politician until a minimum of 25 years after that politician’s death. When I drive up to visit my friend who lives in the Robertson area of Los Angeles, I find myself on President Barack Obama Boulevard which makes me roll my damn eyes every single time.

    JVW (e52b83)

  9. JVW:

    We have to deal with a route named after Cynthia McKinney on the east side of ATL suburbia. There is some justice, I guess, that it’s the main road out to Stone Mountain (where the Confederate Leaders are carved out of the mountainside in a poor imitation of Mt Rushmore), but still…

    Appalled (f73062)

  10. I’ve added this to the balloon post: …but, if the U.S. knows that it’s a surveillance balloon collecting information over sensitive sites below per the Pentagon) but we can’t take it out because the debris could injure people, it seems we are sending one of two messages: we may not have the ability to safely shoot it down, or we do but want to keep any such capabilities secret. It’s just peculiar that the mere fact that it’s a Chinese spy balloon collecting information over the U.S. doesn’t compel us to take any seemingly real action… And let’s not forget that Antony Blinken has now canceled his scheduled trip to China next week as a result of the spy balloon, which indicates to me that it’s a far more serious issue than the Pentagon is letting on.

    Dana (1225fc)

  11. McCarthy rejects Greene’s claim that Jan. 6 rioter Babbitt was murdered

    House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday rejected a claim by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) that Ashli Babbitt was “murdered” by a Capitol Police officer as she took part in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

    “I think the police officer did his job,” McCarthy said during a news conference when asked if he agrees with Greene’s characterization or if he thinks that the officer did his job when he shot Babbitt as she tried to enter the Speaker’s Lobby through a broken window on that day.
    ……….

    Donald Trump disagrees; as does TrumpWorld:

    ……when we take office again we can prosecute him, and pardon all the Jan 6th protestors. ……Byrd could have fired a warning shot and I’m sure Babbitt would have backed down. Instead he decided to murder. …….Or was this all just a stage performance, fake blood and all. Can anyone here say for sure? …….I thought it was ANTIFA that stormed the Capitol. …….The first wave was mostly ANTIFA with a few patsies and people showing their faces for the cameras while those wearing masks were in back. It was the second group of Trump supporters that walked to the Capitol from the Ellipse. …….Whole thing with Ashli Babbitt was staged. she’s in Witness Protection. ……If she is really dead, they killed her after the fact. …….

    More:

    …….Well, we knew Mc Carthy was going to have a short honeymoon with us. ……Where have real men of honor gone? ……She was standing next to the FBI informant/CNN&NBC employee John Sullivan, when he broke a window to try to generate a police response. ……Yep… the setup wasn’t as chaotic as they had hoped for so they needed a dead body. ……I was starting to have hope for McCarthy. Oh well. …….KM is just another of the perpetual GOP mistakes……Kevin shows his true colors…..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  12. Since we know that Russian and Chinese satellites conduct surveillance of the US military world-wide, should we preemptively destroy their capabilities?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. Lawyers representing Hunter Biden are urging federal and state investigations into several allies of former President Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, alleging they unlawfully disseminated personal data used to attack his father, President Joe Biden.

    NRO points out that if Hunter Biden were serious he would simply sue those people for invasion of privacy. But of course, if he were to do that he would be (1) formally acknowledging that the infamous laptop is indeed his and that the information found there is true (even his plea to investigators to intervene seems to serve that purpose), and (2) he would be opening up the possibility for even more discovery and more sordid and ugly details of his life to leak out.

    Andy McCarthy thinks that this deserves the January 6 treatment:

    There’s not much else to say, except this: If I were running a House committee, and I’d been listening to the media–Democratic complex swoon for over a year about how effective and invaluable the January 6 Committee was, I’d be awfully tempted to take a page out of that committee’s book. You know: Subpoena Hunter, disregard his lawyers’ inevitable protest about the unfairness of it all, and then do a video interview to see if the son of the president of the United States would testify about his activities and his father’s involvement in them, or if he’d instead decide it might be better to take the Fifth a couple of hundred times. As the January 6 committee illustrated, that’s the sort of thing prime-time viewing was made for.

    What a sad mess the Biden family is. Maybe a lifetime spent in politics isn’t conducive to raising healthy and well-adjusted children.

    JVW (e52b83)

  14. Since we know that Russian and Chinese satellites conduct surveillance of the US military world-wide, should we preemptively destroy their capabilities?

    I was thinking the same thing, though that veers pretty close to an act of war, it would seem to me. The Chinese and Russians would just argue that it wasn’t a spy satellite, it’s a weather satellite. And we no doubt have plenty of spy satellites keeping tabs on them (probably more than they have on us, for that matter).

    But I guess the Jewish Space Lasers ought to be used for something.

    JVW (e52b83)

  15. #15

    Sometimes it is best to let bad precedents fall into disuse.

    Appalled (f73062)

  16. It’s really strange that we know that the balloon is a Chinese spy balloon *and* that it is collecting information over sensitive sites in the U.S. but that doesn’t seem enough to compel us to do something other than monitor it. What reasons would there be for this passive response?

    Dana (1225fc)

  17. Satellite overflights do not violate sovereign air space. Sputnik gave the legality edge to it for Ike and cleared the way for Explorer, Vanguard and the secret U.S. spysat program, Corona. But U2 overflights were a different kettle of fish– and Ike’s ‘weather plane off course’ excuse collapsed when Nikita shot down a U2 over Russia and put the spy plane wreckage and captured Powers on trial. Didn’t stop “somebody” bringing down a U2 over Cuba in ’62, killing pilot Anderson, either.

    DCSCA (e5200d)

  18. It’s really strange that we know that the balloon is a Chinese spy balloon *and* that it is collecting information over sensitive sites in the U.S. but that doesn’t seem enough to compel us to do something other than monitor it. What reasons would there be for this passive response?

    Well, no doubt there is a certain segment of our society which believes it is because China knows things about the Biden Family’s overseas business dealings that the Administration does not want the rest of us to learn. As much as I would love to dismiss that as conspiracy-mongering, the flaccidity of the Administration’s response to these various Sino-provocations leaves me plenty of room to wonder.

    JVW (e52b83)

  19. It would be a real shame if some kind of small object passed through the gasbag, causing it to leak slowly and slowly descend. I understand that light amplified by stimulated emission of radiation works as well. After the gasbag with one or two minor punctures lands, I’m sure folks would be happy to return it to its owners.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  20. Trump Litigation Watch: Not a good look……:

    Donald Trump has suggested many times that people who invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination are guilty. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he famously lobbed this attack against Hillary Clinton, whose aides had exercised their constitutional right in a congressional investigation. “You see, the mob takes the Fifth,” Trump said at a rally in Iowa. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

    So it was pretty embarrassing when America learned last summer that Trump himself had repeatedly invoked the Fifth while he was questioned by New York State Attorney General Letitia James’s office as part of a civil fraud investigation. But it gets worse: Now CBS News has obtained video of the August deposition, in which Trump demonstrated that, in his view, he’s no better than a mobster.
    ……..
    “I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’” Trump recalled. “Now I know the answer to that question. When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded politically motivated witch hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and even the fake news media, you really have no choice.”

    He added, “Anyone in my position not taking the Fifth Amendment would be a fool. An absolute fool.” One misstatement, he said, would be “met by law enforcement at a level seldom seen in this country.”

    Despite his realization that there’s nothing wrong with exercising your constitutional rights, Trump avoided actually uttering the words “I plead the Fifth.” ……

    Soon to appear in campaign commercials (though probably not by Republicans.)

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  21. @18. Fear of accelerating a confrontation over Taiwan. The U.s. is not prepared for it.

    https://www.history.com/news/attack-of-japans-killer-wwii-balloons-70-years-ago

    ‘Attack of Japan’s Killer WWII Balloons, 7[5] Years Ago
    Japan’s bizarre WWII plan to bomb the continental U.S. by high-altitude balloons claimed its first and only victims, an Oregon church group, 70-plus years ago.’

    Photo: Japanese fire balloon reinflated at Moffett Field, California, after it had been shot down by a Navy aircraft January 10, 1945.

    DCSCA (e5200d)

  22. Editing needed in Aisle Eight.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  23. Rest easy, America; tax-dollar funded NORAD tracks vitals like Santa Claus, too.

    DCSCA (e5200d)

  24. not that there are one thousand schoolkids who read this Nazi crap

    Oh, there probably are. Big country and what people read is still not the government’s business. But to put it in perspective, there are probably a thousand adult public servants who have either the Little Red Book or Das Kapital on their nightstand.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  25. And let’s not forget that Antony Blinken has now canceled his scheduled trip to China next week as a result of the spy balloon, which indicates to me that it’s a far more serious issue than the Pentagon is letting on.

    From the Defense.gov link:

    Ryder said the balloon is well above commercial air traffic and doesn’t pose a threat to civil aviation. He also said this isn’t the first time such a balloon has been seen over the United States.

    I think the serious issue is that Blinken is such a lightweight that the DOD needed to expose their knowledge of the Chinese surveillance to give him an excuse to not go to China for what will ultimately be another embarrassment for his overrated State Department.

    https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-alaska-antony-blinken-yang-jiechi-wang-yi-fc23cd2b23332fa8dd2d781bd3f7c178

    Maybe he is worried about something else?

    U.S. diplomats in China subjected to anal swab testing for Covid-19, State Department says

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1258844

    This administration is stoking fear to cover for their ineptitude.

    BuDuh (4acd17)

  26. We need anti-balloon balloons! We are falling behind in the balloon gap!

    But really, some of this is nonsense. A balloon over Montana is not going to fall and hit someone. Nor will it do that over Wyoming, Idaho, the Dakotas or southern Canada. They just don’t want to shoot it down.

    I wonder if they are letting it “see” our new and terrifying super-science weapons as it predictably moves across the country.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  27. After the gasbag with one or two minor punctures lands, I’m sure folks would be happy to return it to its owners.

    Don’t you imagine, though, that the balloon has some built-in self-destruction mechanism should it fall below some certain altitude?

    JVW (e52b83)

  28. Isn’t the whole point of home schooling to allow parents to teach their children what is important to them? I’m sure there are BLM, MAGA, and Antifa homeschools.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  29. @29. No. Why waste the weight; it’s disposable gadgetry as is, doomed to a watery Atlantic or Indian Ocean grave or lost to the African desert sands when it finally, inevitably descends. The U.S. failing to shoot this down is an answer the PRC wanted.

    DCSCA (3ae3b8)

  30. @28. Per the governor, it’s over Kansas now- they can see it. The anal Pentagon won’t comment. And no, it’s not the Wizard returning Dorothy from Oz, either.

    DCSCA (3ae3b8)

  31. let’s not forget that Antony Blinken has now canceled his scheduled trip to China next week as a result of the spy balloon, which indicates to me that it’s a far more serious issue than the Pentagon is letting on.

    Or somebody thinks it is, and we don’t know why.

    Possible reasons:

    1) It was not detected till it was over Alaska (which they attributed to a possible problem) and they are concerned that one day something else might be sent by China over the United States.

    Possibly related:

    2) They routinely prepare for a spy satellite passing over the United States, and an undetected surveillance object would not give them a chance to prepare. (they could be hiding various things — it might be only in case of a crisis or maybe they don’t want China or anybody to know about repairs.)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  32. @15

    Lawyers representing Hunter Biden are urging federal and state investigations into several allies of former President Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, alleging they unlawfully disseminated personal data used to attack his father, President Joe Biden.

    NRO points out that if Hunter Biden were serious he would simply sue those people for invasion of privacy. But of course, if he were to do that he would be (1) formally acknowledging that the infamous laptop is indeed his and that the information found there is true (even his plea to investigators to intervene seems to serve that purpose), and (2) he would be opening up the possibility for even more discovery and more sordid and ugly details of his life to leak out.

    Andy McCarthy thinks that this deserves the January 6 treatment:

    There’s not much else to say, except this: If I were running a House committee, and I’d been listening to the media–Democratic complex swoon for over a year about how effective and invaluable the January 6 Committee was, I’d be awfully tempted to take a page out of that committee’s book. You know: Subpoena Hunter, disregard his lawyers’ inevitable protest about the unfairness of it all, and then do a video interview to see if the son of the president of the United States would testify about his activities and his father’s involvement in them, or if he’d instead decide it might be better to take the Fifth a couple of hundred times. As the January 6 committee illustrated, that’s the sort of thing prime-time viewing was made for.

    What a sad mess the Biden family is. Maybe a lifetime spent in politics isn’t conducive to raising healthy and well-adjusted children.

    JVW (e52b83) — 2/3/2023 @ 10:59 am

    I’m not interested in prosecuting some very real crimes by Hunter.

    Not really.

    I’m more interested in out compromised the Bidens are.

    Its amazing to me, that folks till harp on how compromised the Trumps were, but are hand-waving away very blatant corruptions in the Biden family.

    Furthermore, the media, and those 50 former-intelligence yahoos who said that the Hunter laptop was Russian disinformation, need to endure some painful reckoning, because what they did was literally election influencing favoring one party.

    whembly (d116f3)

  33. Unconstitutional, so don’t even try:

    ………
    Gov. Gavin Newsom and a coalition of top Democrats quickly got behind a bill last year that they said would comply with the Supreme Court decision barring states from making people show a “special need” for concealed-carry permits while still maintaining stringent protocol for issuing them.

    But gun-rights advocates earned a rare and unexpected victory on the final night of the legislative session, when bickering among Assembly Democrats tanked the measure.
    ……..
    But rather than changing the legislation to respond to criticism that it was too restrictive to meet the Supreme Court’s newly defined constitutional standard, Democrats are plowing forward with essentially the same bill as before.

    Portantino’s bill, like last year’s, includes a lengthy list of so-called sensitive places where firearms would be prohibited, such as government buildings and schools, medical facilities, public transit, places of worship, parks, playgrounds and bars.

    It also requires a robust licensing protocol for local officials — largely sheriffs’ departments — to follow when issuing permits, including in-person interviews with applicants, obtaining three character references and reviewing social media and other publicly available statements to identify safety risks.

    The bill also prohibits concealed-carry licenses to anyone under 21, the same age required to purchase a handgun in California, and adds new firearms training and storage regulations.
    ……..
    Lawmakers likely won’t vote on SB 2 until the spring, when committee hearings kick off in the Capitol. The biggest change to last year’s bill is that Portantino removed an urgency clause, which allows bills to be fast-tracked into law before the end of the year if they receive a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Legislature.
    ………

    California should take note of what happened to New Jersey’s attempt to comply with New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. vs. Bruen: they have suffered two legal defeats: provisions banning firearms in places where alcohol is served, in public libraries, museums, and entertainment facilities, and on private property where the owner does not give explicit permission; it also blocked restrictions on how guns are carried in vehicles; and now the court blocked the law’s restrictions on carrying guns in public parks, beaches and casinos.

    And in New York itself, a district court blocked a legal requirement for gun licensees to provide their social media screen names and contact details of everyone they live with, along with various “sensitive” place restrictions. Unfortunately, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals blocked this order from going into effect, and which was unfortunately upheld by the Supreme Court.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  34. (Moved from other thread)

    New gun ruling that will cause problems:


    Fifth Circuit Holds People Can’t Be Disarmed Just Based on Civil Restraining Order

    From U.S. v. Rahimi, decided today by the Fifth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Cory Wilson, joined by Judges Edith Jones and James Ho:

    The question presented in this case is not whether prohibiting the possession of firearms by someone subject to a domestic violence restraining order is a laudable policy goal. The question is whether 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), a specific statute that does so, is constitutional under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. In the light of N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen (2022), it is not…

    Unpacking the issue, the Government’s argument fails because (1) it is inconsistent with Heller, Bruen, and the text of the Second Amendment, (2) it inexplicably treats Second Amendment rights differently than other individually held rights, and (3) it has no limiting principles…

    To be sure, as the Government argues, Heller and Bruen also refer to “law-abiding, responsible citizens” in discussing the amendment’s reach (Bruen adds “ordinary, law-abiding citizens”). But read in context, the Court’s phrasing does not add an implied gloss that constricts the Second Amendment’s reach. Heller simply uses the phrase “law-abiding, responsible citizens” as shorthand in explaining that its holding (that the amendment codifies an individual right to keep and bear arms) should not “be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings…”…

    Perhaps most importantly, the Government’s proffered interpretation lacks any true limiting principle. Under the Government’s reading, Congress could remove “unordinary” or “irresponsible” or “non-law abiding” people—however expediently defined—from the scope of the Second Amendment. Could speeders be stripped of their right to keep and bear arms? Political nonconformists? People who do not recycle or drive an electric vehicle? One easily gets the point: Neither Heller nor Bruen countenances such a malleable scope of the Second Amendment’s protections; to the contrary, the Supreme Court has made clear that “the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.” Rahimi, while hardly a model citizen, is nonetheless part of the political community entitled to the Second Amendment’s guarantees, all other things equal….

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  35. If police have no “clear motive” for Dwumfour’s murder, then how can the prosecutor say with any certainty, that Dwumfour’s politics didn’t play a role in the homicide? This jump-the-gun nonsense reminds me of Kamala Harris deeming that Jussie Smollett was the victim of an attempted “attempted modern-day lynching” even before an investigation took place…

    What strikes me is the apparent disinterest by the mainstream media in covering this story (Fox excepted, naturally). The New York Times, headquartered a mere 30 miles from the scene of the crime, finally put up a perfunctory piece on the shooting late last night, some 20 hours after the crime had taken place. The Washington Post did a touch bit better, getting up an article about 16 hours after the shooting had transpired.

    The late Ms. Dwumfour appears to have been quite the American story. She was an immigrant, of Ghanian origin, a devoted mother of a child she gave birth to as a teen mom, a new bride of a fellow immigrant, a faithful Christian, a college graduate with a Women’s Studies degree, a credentialed project manager, an elected official, a respected member of her community, and a Republican. Were it not for the attribute mentioned at the very end, I would think that the mainstream media would be paying far more attention to this tragedy. But just imagine the NYT or WaPo having to explain to its readers how a woman like Ms. Dwumfour fails to end up in the party of Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Ilhan Omar.

    JVW (e52b83)

  36. #34

    I agree if the laptop has evidence of “compromise” of Joe Biden, it is interesting.

    Otherwise, it looks like the only point is showering an unwilling world with HB naked pics and justifying the actions Trump took that led to his first impeachment.

    Appalled (f73062)

  37. Reading Judge Ho’s concurring section that Volokh excerpted, it may be that the end result is more serious treatment (including prosecution and incarceration) of those committing domestic violence and believed to threaten more. This case has Supreme Court written all over it.

    Note that the bright line this case draws threatens MANY state laws, particularly in blue states, that pile multiple encumbrances on 2A.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  38. Do you suppose that the Chinese have the “goods” on Joe Biden?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  39. @36

    (Moved from other thread)

    New gun ruling that will cause problems:

    Fifth Circuit Holds People Can’t Be Disarmed Just Based on Civil Restraining Order

    From U.S. v. Rahimi, decided today by the Fifth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Cory Wilson, joined by Judges Edith Jones and James Ho:

    The question presented in this case is not whether prohibiting the possession of firearms by someone subject to a domestic violence restraining order is a laudable policy goal. The question is whether 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), a specific statute that does so, is constitutional under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. In the light of N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen (2022), it is not…

    Unpacking the issue, the Government’s argument fails because (1) it is inconsistent with Heller, Bruen, and the text of the Second Amendment, (2) it inexplicably treats Second Amendment rights differently than other individually held rights, and (3) it has no limiting principles…

    To be sure, as the Government argues, Heller and Bruen also refer to “law-abiding, responsible citizens” in discussing the amendment’s reach (Bruen adds “ordinary, law-abiding citizens”). But read in context, the Court’s phrasing does not add an implied gloss that constricts the Second Amendment’s reach. Heller simply uses the phrase “law-abiding, responsible citizens” as shorthand in explaining that its holding (that the amendment codifies an individual right to keep and bear arms) should not “be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings…”…

    Perhaps most importantly, the Government’s proffered interpretation lacks any true limiting principle. Under the Government’s reading, Congress could remove “unordinary” or “irresponsible” or “non-law abiding” people—however expediently defined—from the scope of the Second Amendment. Could speeders be stripped of their right to keep and bear arms? Political nonconformists? People who do not recycle or drive an electric vehicle? One easily gets the point: Neither Heller nor Bruen countenances such a malleable scope of the Second Amendment’s protections; to the contrary, the Supreme Court has made clear that “the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.” Rahimi, while hardly a model citizen, is nonetheless part of the political community entitled to the Second Amendment’s guarantees, all other things equal….

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/3/2023 @ 12:35 pm

    The is the right call imo.

    This is the money quote:
    Under the Government’s reading, Congress could remove “unordinary” or “irresponsible” or “non-law abiding” people—however expediently defined—from the scope of the Second Amendment. Could speeders be stripped of their right to keep and bear arms? Political nonconformists? People who do not recycle or drive an electric vehicle? One easily gets the point: Neither Heller nor Bruen countenances such a malleable scope of the Second Amendment’s protections; to the contrary, the Supreme Court has made clear that “the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.

    whembly (d116f3)

  40. 15. 34. I think Hunter Biden lied to his interlocutors (but he doesn’t want to admit that he was trying to sell influence and promising corruption so he doesn’t say that too much – except about the keys he ordered for his father where he says it was building manager he wanted to impress so he wouldn’t get evicted) and I think, and I think that Ye Jianming, chief of CEFC China Energy, was acting on his own when he tried to bribe the Biden family when Biden was out of office and he was taking a gamble because if he won he’d be indispensable, and Xi Jinping didn’t like that and purged him and destroyed his company and put him into the Chinese gulag because of that (remember his disappearance (= arrest) happened in the first part of 2018, when Biden’s prospects for becoming president didn’t look too good.)

    And I think some things have been distorted:

    Hunter Biden’s text message to his daughter on January 3, 2019, that, in contrast to “Pops” he won’t ask her to give him half her salary was in the context of a request from her for money, and logically would refer to an unknown-to-us agreement by Hunter when he was around 20 or so to repay his father, not that he was turning over half his money to Joe, the way Steve Bannon “analyzed” it for Giuliani.

    And his reference elsewhere on the laptop to supporting his family for 30 years cannot possible refer to his extended family (he was a consumer of money!) but must refer to his nuclear family. And is typical for fathers.

    And the use of Hunter’s money to pay some bills for Joe is because Joe Biden did not keep track of his money, at least not when he was vice president, but had someone handle it, and this same person handled some of Hunter Biden’s money, and sometimes when Joe Biden’s bank account did not have enough money, he used Hunter’s to pay bills, and later paid it back. It is probably true that neither Joe nor Hunter had access to the other’s accounts but this other person had access to both.

    But Joe Biden quite deliberately tried to mislead the press and the public about the authenticity of the laptop – and now Hunter’s lawyer (paid for by whom?) tried to claim it was stolen (wrong on the facts and on the law) in an attempt to suppress it maybe, or slow down its use or possibly an attempt to use prosecutors to start an unwarranted investigation.

    And the New York Post and others pointed out that in so doing he was admitting that the files were authentic so now he’s trying to have it both ways.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  41. whembly,

    I agree that’s the root of it. I think that the pushback will be that some of those horribles would not pass any heightened scrutiny, but then we have some things that amount to much the same thing, such as the hundred types of places that you cannot be near with a gun in NJ.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  42. so now he’s trying to have it both ways.

    I think by now he’s trying to have three or four ways.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  43. Yesterday, DCSCA wrote, in part, on the Jan 27 Weekend Open Thread:

    Your MIC at work; defying the order of the Commander In Chief:

    Pentagon Discloses Chinese Spy Balloon over U.S.: Reports

    A Chinese spy balloon was spotted over the U.S. by civilians on an airplane this week, the Defense Department revealed today, with President Biden initially ordering that it be shot down, according to news reports.

    According to the Journal, President Biden had initially ordered that the reconnaissance device be shot down but was rebuffed by the Pentagon, which worried that such a move could cause civilian casualties. The balloon first was spotted by passengers onboard a civilian aircraft, the paper also reported.

    I thought he would say something like that, but it cannot be the way it sounds

    What happened was that somebody prepared for president Biden a list of options. These often include an extreme option on both sides with the idea that the president should chose the one or one of the ones in the middle. But President Biden chose shoot it down. Then, maybe after it went to the Pentagon, someone said something to the effect of “No, no, no, no no. Don’t do that. The debris could fall on a school and kill some people, (as we worry and complain to the Chinese decommissioned satellites could do) and the balloon is not doing anything. And Biden accepted the new advice.

    They did not defy Biden. That’s absurd, and if they did, they wouldn’t leak it that way to the press.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  44. Delaying a meeting; that’s telling them, Blinkie! =sarc= Blinken projects zero strength. His autobiography already has a name: ‘Welcoming Wedgies.”

    ….we may not have the ability to safely shoot it down, or we do but want to keep any such capabilities secret. It’s just peculiar that the mere fact that it’s a Chinese spy balloon collecting information over the U.S. doesn’t compel us to take any seemingly real action…

    A controlled descent is a just a matter of venting enough gas and the drag from the deflating balloon would slow the descent as well… Get on the horn to Elon and he’ll tell you how to pop a balloon. It’s just astonishing this government can’t field substantive answers to ‘We The People’ on this blatant violation of U.S. sovereignty. The Chinese know what it is; the Pentagon know what it is; the administration has been briefed… but the public, with the a Chinese Sword of Damocles floating over them, does not. This is why castles get stormed.

    DCSCA (908737)

  45. Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/3/2023 @ 12:56 pm

    I think by now he’s trying to have three or four ways.

    There are only two ways he can have it. Either the files are his or they aren’t. I suppose they can be subdivided.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  46. @454. Defied: shoot it down says the CiC. No says the MIC. It might hit a cow…. errrr kindergarten, now go eat your pudding.

    DCSCA (908737)

  47. New gun ruling that will cause problems vindicates the Second Amendment:

    FIFY

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  48. Cobalt:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cobalt-red-review-the-human-price-of-cobalt-11675293373

    … Up until the late 1990s, the uses for cobalt—in magnets, dyes, inks, chemical catalysts and little else—required some 20 kilotons of the mineral a year, a relatively modest figure by mining standards and one that had remained little changed over the previous three decades. Then the first lithium decade vaulted annual cobalt demand to about 60 kilotons.

    Three-fourths of that cobalt comes from the Congo, a market share that’s more than double OPEC’s claim on oil. Now comes the electric vehicle’s half-ton battery, each one using thousands of smartphones’ worth of minerals. Even at only 10% of global auto sales, electric vehicles have already pushed annual cobalt demand to 140 kilotons; it is expected to exceed 200 kilotons by 2026 as new battery factories come online and will explode from there when proposed EV mandates are supposed to kick in, many within the coming decade….As for the programs that claim to tag and track ostensibly child-free cobalt, Mr. Kara’s compelling chronicle makes it clear that “there is no accurate way to disaggregate artisanal from industrial production”—that is, to know whether the cobalt in any particular product came from an artisanal mine or not. And since more than 70% of the world’s cobalt is refined in China, the commingling is impossible to unravel.

    The only way to stop it is either to put an absolution prohibition or a quota on the amount of cobalt that can be sold internationally, or to give the laborers more options so they won’t agree to work in these conditions and so the cost of labor will be driven up, and give children in the area some other way of earning income, perhaps rewards for passing monitored tests.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  49. DCSCA (908737) — 2/3/2023 @ 1:03 pm

    @454. Defied: shoot it down says the CiC. No says the MIC. It might hit a cow…. errrr kindergarten, now go eat your pudding.

    shoot it down says the CiC. Actually, we think that’s a terrible idea, says the MIC. Could you change your mind?

    They didn’t say it could hit a cow – they said it could hit a kindergarten. (don’t falling satellites do that every day?)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  50. Do you suppose that the Chinese have the “goods” on Joe Biden?

    They know how to manage him; send a gas bag on the wind to befuddle a wind bag full of gas.

    DCSCA (908737)

  51. There are more than twice as many cows in Montana than people, Sammy and in Montana, it averages less than 7 people per square mile. Now it’s over Kansas; a threat to frosty fields of oats and wheat.

    DCSCA (908737)

  52. 37. It clearly could be connected with her political position – we don’t know that it was not. The key facts, even if publicly known, have not hit the press, but she was shot with multiple bullets while driving her car. It could be someone who didn’t like that the fact, say, she was not on the take, or political rivals. We can’t say anything yet.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  53. 54. I’m talking about this murder:

    https://nj1015.com/councilwoman-murdered-nj-top-news-for-thursday

    https://freebeacon.com/latest-news/republican-new-jersey-councilwoman-killed-by-gunman

    Eunice Dwumfour, elected to the Sayreville council in 2021, was shot by an unidentified assailant Wednesday night while she was in her car outside her home. Police said they believe Dwumfour was the intended target of the gunman, ABC7 reported, but they did not identify a motive in the attack.

    Did somebody actually say it might be a policeman?

    Her name is pronounced Junefour, as in Tiananmen Square

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  54. Not The First Time……

    ………
    NBC News also reported that F-22 Raptors from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, along with at least one E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) radar plane were sent to the area as deliberations were ongoing about whether or not to try to bring it down. Nellis is not home to any combat-coded units equipped with the F-22, suggesting those aircraft may have been diverted from the ongoing Red Flag 23-1 exercise being run from that base. The War Zone reached out to the Pentagon for more information, but was told no additional details could be provided at this time.
    ……..
    Whatever action was taken did prompt a so-called ‘ground stop’ at Billings Logan International Airport, halting all commercial flight activity within a 50-mile radius around the airport for approximately two hours, according to KFBB television, an ABC/Fox/MyNetworkTV affiliate in Great Falls, Montana. Two flights were diverted and one outbound departure was delayed.

    Air traffic controllers said this was necessary due to a “special military mission,” NBC News reported today.
    ……..
    The senior U.S. defense official noted that not shooting down the balloon is also offering an opportunity for “tracking what abilities it could have.” Though they did not elaborate, it’s also worth noting that surveilling the craft and its payload both visually and electronically at close proximity would be critical to assessing its capabilities. If shot down prior to this, that intelligence could be degraded or lost.
    ………
    Online flight tracking software showed that there were at least three KC-135 aerial refueling tankers flying over northern Montana (yesterday). It’s unclear whether or not they were directly supporting the ongoing monitoring of the balloon, but that would seem likely.

    Perhaps most interestingly, Pentagon Press Secretary Ryder and the senior U.S. defense official both said suspected Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloons have been monitored passing over the continental United States in recent years on multiple occasions. This includes instances that took place before Biden took office in 2021. Neither of them would say exactly how frequently this has occurred or provide details about any past incidents. They did say that the balloon that is currently inside U.S. airspace has been here longer than others in the past.

    This all is very intriguing given a very similar response, including the scrambling of F-22 Raptors, to the appearance of another spherical balloon floating off the coast of Hawaii nearly a year ago. To date, U.S. officials do not appear to have disclosed the origin or suspected origin of that balloon. ……
    ………
    A sighting in December of what appeared to be a high-altitude airship in the vicinity of the northern Philippine island of Luzon near the South China Sea, called new attention to growing Chinese capabilities in that regard. This is an area of the world that is of great strategic importance to the government in Beijing.

    Balloons that appear to have a very similar overall configuration to the one spotted over Montana have appeared in the skies over India and Japan – both countries of strategic interest to China – in recent years, as well.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  55. 53. DCSCA (908737) — 2/3/2023 @ 1:17 pm

    There are more than twice as many cows in Montana than people, Sammy and in Montana, it averages less than 7 people per square mile. Now it’s over Kansas; a threat to frosty fields of oats and wheat.

    I know it’s ridiculous to worry about that – next we should worry about something falling in the ocean — it might hit a ship. So that’s maybe not the real reason. What is?

    I thought of the idea that they complain to the Chinese about falling satellites, so that would be inconsistent.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  56. I think the reason that Ukraine is fighting so hard over Bakhmut, is that the Wagner Group is trying to conquer it, and they are afraid that success would cause Putin to out it more in charge of the war, and that would mean more missile attacks ion civilians, even though it won’t accomplish anything militarily.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  57. It clearly could be connected with her political position – we don’t know that it was not. The key facts, even if publicly known, have not hit the press, but she was shot with multiple bullets while driving her car. It could be someone who didn’t like that the fact, say, she was not on the take, or political rivals. We can’t say anything yet.

    That’t not really what I am getting at, Sammy. Had this African immigrant* success story been a progressive feminist Democrat, the media would have been saturated with pieces about what an exemplary life she had led and how her legacy will inspire immigrants and young women all over this country to fight for the sort of progressive values that the late Ms. Dwumfour embodied. There would be lots of questions of whether right wing rhetoric had been behind her apparent assassination, and even after the requisite warning that “we still don’t know the motivations of the gunman” the media would have continued to speculate that she was the victim of someone who was opposed to her progressive policies.

    But since she was a Republican? Crickets.

    (*I’m not going to look it up, but I think that maybe Ms. Dwumfour had actually been born here and was merely the daughter of immigrants, not an immigrant herself. I don’t exactly recall what I read about that last night.)

    JVW (e52b83)

  58. Mrs. Montagu and I enjoyed Father Brown, but it was spoiled somewhat after learning that the author, G.K. Chesterton, was a blatant antisemite.

    Paul Montagu (e21d53)

  59. On Chinese weather balloon that “drifted off course” the neighborly thing to do would be to bring it down, look it over for a month or two to “make sure we didn’t damage it” and then return it.

    steveg (c8205c)

  60. steveg (c8205c) — 2/3/2023 @ 1:54 pm

    I agree.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  61. How did our tatted-up tranny military let it get inside our borders in the first place. Don’t tell, I can make a pretty good guess. Their sex change medications synced their PMS and they were all in the infirmary with cramps.

    nk (bb1548)

  62. @61/57. The Biden administration doesn’t want to provoke China w/an aggressive action against a Chinese asset. The U.S. is not nearly ready to defend any escalated response in Taiwan.

    DCSCA (52c7c9)

  63. Paul you should read the other side of the story of antisemitism

    “Indeed, I was a warm admirer of Gilbert Chesterton. Apart from his delightful art and his genius in many directions, he was, as you know, a great religionist . . . I deeply respected him. When Hitlerism came, he was one of the first to speak out with all the directness and frankness of a great and unabashed spirit. Blessing to his memory!”

    — Rabbi Stephen Wise
    President of the American Jewish Congress (1937)

    According to the apologetics at
    https://www.chesterton.org/jews/

    He didn’t like Jewish bankers – who charged usurious rates

    He didn’t like a scandalous group of Jewish businessmen who got a secret government contract by offering British government officials cut rate stock that would be worth a fortune after the contract was officially announced

    He was a Zionist- who felt that the problem with Zionism was Zion

    They say he liked Jewish people individually and as a whole but also deeply disliked some Jewish groups and individuals

    steveg (c8205c)

  64. Anti-semitism was rife in the UK in the early 20th century and it is best not to judge authors of that period on that basis. I don’t recall the anti-semitism turning up in the short stories that are the Father Brown cannon.

    The TV show, with its 50s setting and not very closeted gay character, has little to do with Chesterton anyway.

    Appalled (f73062)

  65. If we judged every artist/writer/filmmaker, etc. by their personal beliefs or behavior, there wouldn’t any art to enjoy.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  66. GOP Rep Warns That Chinese Balloon May Have ‘Bioweapons’ From ‘Wuhan’

    House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) casually suggested to Fox News on Friday that the suspected Chinese spy balloon floating over the United States could contain “bioweapons” from “Wuhan,” invoking the “lab leak theory” that’s been embraced by Republicans.
    ……..
    After saying the balloon “never should have been allowed” to cross over into the U.S., the Kentucky lawmaker then fear-mongered that the craft could be loaded down with weaponized viruses. “My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon,” he asserted. “Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?”
    ……….
    The House Oversight chief, who has also vowed to hold countless hearings on Hunter Biden’s business dealings and “Laptop from Hell,” then seemingly accused the president of working with China when it came to his current classified documents scandal.

    “This is very concerning,” Comer breathlessly exclaimed. “Unless China is working with the Biden Administration to help find some of those missing documents that are scattered all over the United States, then this is unacceptable and should not be allowed. And, again, another sign of weakness on the international stage by our commander-in-chief.”
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  67. 2 House Republicans caught saying Ilhan Omar removal was the ‘stupidest vote in world’ before begging reporters to not tell GOP leadership what they said
    ……….
    As they rode the elevator away from the House floor, congressional newspaper Roll Call reported that Foreign Affairs Committee GOP member Ken Buck and Republican Rep. Mike Simpson reflected on what had just transpired and decided it was a boneheaded move.

    After Buck decreed it the “stupidest” political move, Simpson said the expulsion would probably make the Minnesota Democrat into a “martyr.”

    After airing their grievances, the pair reportedly asked those around them “not to let leadership know their thoughts.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  68. The U.S. is not nearly ready to defend any escalated response in Taiwan.

    That’s OK, the Chinese are not yet ready to make one.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  69. @70. Except they are.

    On their terms; on their timetable.

    DCSCA (e41b96)

  70. MEMO TO THE PENTAGON:

    Hate to burst your MIC balloon but there’s a better chance of a mass shooter busting into an American kindergarten than a Chinese balloon falling on one.

    DCSCA (e41b96)

  71. Biden tells press he doesn’t take responsibility for ballooning inflation either.

    DCSCA (e41b96)

  72. Appalled @ 66,

    The discussion reminds me of Roald Dahl too, although he sounded off, o think, in the 70’s or 80’s. I also love his work. But there is that tension…

    Dana (1225fc)

  73. Fox News has Ballooncam w/live coverage tracking Chinese gift to America’s airspace.

    … and the incompetent, multi-billion dollar Pentagon remains mum.

    DCSCA (857c47)

  74. This afternoon, the Pentagon said that they expect the balloon to be over the U.S. for a few days and that it is estimated to be floating at an altitude of 60,000 ft. This afternoon the Pentagon reiterated that it is not a threat.

    Dana (1225fc)

  75. My prior comment notwithstanding, I think what the Chinese wanted was to see what we shoot it down with. The same as the missiles they provide to Beautiful Letter to “test” in the Sea of Japan. Strategerie.

    nk (04a3d2)

  76. Don’t shoot it down, just give them a show. Hover a couple of those Groom Lake saucers, maybe have them shooting their x-ray lasers. Or as close to that as Hollywood can arrange.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  77. This afternoon the Pentagon reiterated that it is not a threat.

    That’s really not the point and the Pentagon knows it. Sputnik wasn’t a ‘threat’ either– it just beep-beeped going over every 90 minutes in space. It’s the response that is the threat metric. And America’s has been weak. Unlike Sputnik, at 60,000 feet the Chinese spy balloon directly violates sovereign U.S. airspace. The POTUS- the CIC, has a responsibility- a duty, to direct the Pentagon to shoot it down. He is in charge, not the Pentagon.

    DCSCA (857c47)

  78. Musk acquitted is an understatement. 3 week trial. Jury returned a verdict for Musk in a little over two hours. Which means they elected a foreman, had a nice catered lunch, turned in a verdict and went home before dinner. They probably actually deliberated for a little over an hour

    steveg (a04bb9)

  79. Don’t we have an EW system capable of taking over the signal from the balloon and sending midget porn back to Chinese spy HQ?

    steveg (a04bb9)

  80. sending midget porn back to Chinese spy HQ?

    Where do you think its produced?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  81. @83. Meh. Doesn’t really matter– the gadget could be pirating HBO for all ‘We The People’ know…

    The point is the deliberate violation sovereign U.S. airspace. They are probing for U.S. response. And they got the answer they were after. Don’t be surprised if there’s U.S. computer chips in it, too. If the situation was reversed, the Chinese would shoot it down w/o hesitation.

    DCSCA (857c47)

  82. Musk acquitted

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/02/03/elon-musk-tesla-verdict/

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/3/2023 @ 3:19 pm

    It was a investor securities lawsuit, not a criminal trial. He was found not liable.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  83. I’m tired of the propaganda. There was no insurrection. It’s a lie that has been repeated for too long. It needs to die.

    NJRob (fa4a36)

  84. It was a investor securities lawsuit, not a criminal trial. He was found not liable.

    Pedantic much?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  85. They probably actually deliberated for a little over an hour

    I wonder if he’ll get his legal fees paid.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  86. Where do you think its produced?

    I’d guess Putin’s bunker, but don’t want to try the polonium tea.

    steveg (a04bb9)

  87. RIP Melinda Dillon (83). Starred in Close Encounters…… and A Christmas Story.

    Rip Murdock (800c1a)

  88. There is no physical reason they cannot shoot down the drone. The service ceiling of the F15 is 65,000 feet, so they can go up and kill it with bullets if they want to.

    They don’t want to. The likeliest reason for that is that they don’t want to give the Chinese an excuse to shoot down their “mistakes”, but this song-and-dance about ground casualties is silly. If the really felt that way they’d stop flying their crash-prone jets over America.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  89. I actually think the logistics of shooting a ballon out of the sky are a bit harder than we think. First, it has a very small radar cross sectional area. Second, it has no heat signature and is not emitting any substantial RF (ie radar). Third, it’s moving very very slowly in contrast to most targets that might get engaged by a fighter. Now, I don’t know the logistics of trying to light-it-up at 60,000 feet to help with the targeting. I wonder if this is less about observing nuclear operations in Montana and more about how we might take it down. I think shooting at it would almost be like strafing a ground target…so what is the best platform to do that at 60,000ft? I’m sure the experts are figuring it out.

    Still, I wonder if a non-kinetic option is possible: RF or laser. Seems like it would require a lot of power and it’s certainly not a capability that we advertise. Do we want to show that hand? Jamming might work if we know what satellite it is communicating to…but again how much hand do we reveal? Sometimes prudence might be the best call.

    The political angle of this is the most fascinating. Are the Chinese floating by our nuclear operations as a specific signal about our nuclear operations? Is this a message about getting too involved with Taiwan? It does bring up an interesting point of whether we really should be sending the speaker and other high ranking congress people over to Taiwan.

    Personally I don’t see this as a buildup to a Taiwan invasion. I think the fabs will get destroyed if there is an invasion and there is then no real prize for China. Plus the retribution and economic chaos doesn’t seem in their short of long-term interest. Yes they get to slap dissidents down, but at what cost? An invasion will likely be bloody as hell and likely going against us – japan – india – australia navies would be quite risky and for what exactly?

    AJ_Liberty (2dcc33)

  90. Sad!

    A Jan. 6 defendant who sprayed a chemical irritant at about 15 police officers — and later bragged about it in a video interview — was sentenced Wednesday to 68 months in prison. This is one of the stiffest Jan. 6 sentences handed down to date.

    Daniel Caldwell, a 51-year-old Marine Corps veteran, delivered a tearful apology in court to the officers he sprayed, expressing remorse for his actions that day and pleading with U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly for mercy.
    ……..
    “You’re entitled to your political views but not to an insurrection,” the judge said. “You were an insurrectionist.”

    Caldwell has remained in pretrial custody since Feb. 10, 2021 — 721 days, he noted — and was one of the earliest charged with a direct assault on police that day.
    ……….
    Kollar-Kotelly said she appreciated his statement of apology to the officers, but as a Marine, he should have directed his apology to the whole country.

    She described in detail his attack on officers, noting that one officer who he sprayed began to “vomit uncontrollably.” The air was so thick with chemicals that it wasn’t clear whether the officers he hit were injured by him directly or by a combination of factors. No victims delivered statements to the court ahead of sentencing.

    Kollar-Kotelly also put his involvement in the broader Jan. 6 attack in the context of previous challenges to the United States government. She said it was crucial for her sentence to “fortify against the revolutionary fervor that you and others felt on Jan. 6 and may still feel today.”

    “Insurrection is not,” she said, “and cannot ever be warranted.”
    ########

    Plea agreement.

    Rip Murdock (800c1a)

  91. Not so sorry……

    ………
    U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta issued an order Friday instructing defendant Thomas Adams Jr. and prosecutors to explain why the guilty findings the judge entered on Tuesday, following a brief “stipulated” bench trial should not be overturned in light of Adams’ comments to a reporter the following day.

    “I wouldn’t change anything I did,” Adams told the State Journal-Register Wednesday outside his home in Springfield, Ill. “I didn’t do anything. I still to this day, even though I had to admit guilt [in the stipulation], don’t feel like I did what the charge is.”
    ………
    Judges handling Jan. 6 cases have been repeatedly and increasingly irked by defendants appearing to be apologetic and contrite in court, only to make public statements days later minimizing their guilt and sounding cavalier about their actions. And judges are loath to accept what effectively amounts to a guilty plea from any defendant who doesn’t sincerely believe in their own guilt.
    ……..
    Entering the Senate chamber has been a sort of red line for prosecutors, with them insisting on felony guilty pleas or convictions to resolve cases against those who went inside, even briefly.
    ……..
    Adams was on the Senate floor for about seven minutes before he was kicked out of the building, according to the statement of facts prosecutors and the defense agreed to in his case.
    ………
    Adams also admitted Tuesday to the facts needed to convict him on a misdemeanor charge of entering and remaining in the Capitol without permission. That carries a one-year maximum sentence. Mehta has set sentencing in the case for June 16.

    The FBI appears to have zeroed in on Adams after he said on the day after the Capitol riot that he enjoyed the experience. “It was a really fun time,” Adams told Insider. …………

    Adams isn’t they only one…….

    Some Jan. 6 rioters apologize in court, then change their tune later

    Rip Murdock (800c1a)

  92. @Dana@18 You can look at a bunch of sensitive sites from above via google maps. Our permanent emplacement secrets are underground, our mobile secrets can stay out of the way until the balloon is gone. Shooting it down could give away more than just letting it float through.

    Nic (896fdf)

  93. I actually think the logistics of shooting a ballon out of the sky are a bit harder than we think.

    Except it’s not– unles you make it so. You don’t “shoot it out of the sky”…. if the Pentagon knows the gadgetry aboard you have them- or demand the Chinese, command the deflation valve to be opened– or puncture in the gas bag[s] at the top to begin a managed descent– it doesn’t plummet out of the skies. It doesn’t take much to disrupt the balance between pressures which keep the balloon buoyant in the thin atmosphere at that altitude… and w/t deflating balloon acting as drag on itself the payload descends into the thicker air w/a minimal debris footprint.

    DCSCA (9d06e9)

  94. Shooting it down could give away more than just letting it float through.
    Nic (896fdf) — 2/3/2023 @ 7:39 pm

    LOL now it’s Biden and his supporters playing 5 dimensional chess

    and, a surveillance balloon can observe activity over time, which a google maps(!!) snapshot obviously cannot

    FFS if showing off our capabilities was “giving away” anything, then what in hell are we doing showing off our super cool weapons systems in ukraine?

    I mean, if you’re going to defend this feckless administration, at least make it make sense

    JF (3306e0)

  95. “Insurrection is not,” she said, “and cannot ever be warranted.” This is dumb. There are Iranians who would love to be able to explain to her why insurrection is warranted, but lets assume she just was referring to the USA

    I guess she’s never been a fan of US history, never read of British tax collectors being beaten, then tarred and feathered by British subjects. I’d guess she’s heard of Crispus Attucks but doesn’t know that he was killed when a large group of British subjects stormed the Customs House where the Kings money was stored and threaten to beat and murder the lone soldier on guard. When the soldier hit a man who got too close with fixed bayonet (hit, not stabbed) the British subjects threw ice, stones and snowballs at him. Later, the import duty on tea was to demonstrate to the colonists that Britain retained its sovereign authority to tax its subjects, and this was defied violently.
    The British narrative of the events is rightly one of insurrection as the incidents clearly rose beyond the level of simple rebelliousness.

    All that said, its not a huge surprise that a judge would be against the Trump Ultras fans brand of insurrection since judges don’t historically fare well during insurrections

    steveg (a04bb9)

  96. @JF@100

    1. While I realize that the meme is that the people in government are stupid, mostly they are not.
    2. It would be stupid to let the Chinese see anything important.
    3. The people in government (who are not stupid) are leaving the balloon alone.
    4. Therefore the balloon isn’t going to be seeing anything important.

    It’s basic logic. It is so obviously not 5 dimensional chess that it should be impossible for a person with even the slightest bit of thought instead of reactivity to even accuse someone of saying it is.

    Nic (896fdf)

  97. Kevin M has a point when he brings up the ceiling of the F-15 and then in addition we can add its gatling cannon that holds over 500 rounds that could probably hit a balloon the size of three buses from 2000 meters away, but would be able to get much closer than that

    steveg (a04bb9)

  98. Plus, the pilot could go on Oprah and GMA. His/her buddies would never get tired of calling her “Ace” she’d go out to the F15 and find someone painted a balloon that looks like more like a condom on the nose, on her birthday she’d always get a balloon hat… she’d probably move to Ecuador

    steveg (a04bb9)

  99. NJRob (03ae6a) — 2/3/2023 @ 7:48 pm

    Jesus christ. That kid deserves to get a baseball bat upside his head.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  100. “Insurrection is not,” she said, “and cannot ever be warranted.”

    — George III, 1775

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  101. I actually think the logistics of shooting a ballon out of the sky are a bit harder than we think.

    F-15s can fly higher than the balloon. It’s not a problem.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  102. @98: The main offender has been arrested.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/homestead/article272092052.html

    They say “middle school child” but the school is K-8 and the reporter is an idiot. Frankly, I’m appalled that other students didn’t get involved, but they’d probably be punished for doing so.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  103. Sigh! Still no post about Biden’s failure to fund exorcism-resistant incubi research.

    nk (265a31)

  104. That situation and the lack of immediate thunderous indignation is a bad look for the north of I-4 power base/focused governor. People are going start wondering why the Promise programs (infamous in Broward Co for a different reason 5 years ago and in Sanford 11 years ago) haven’t been wound down.

    urbanleftbehind (6b6278)

  105. #95

    Field testing of post-Wall (finally!) late 2020s narcotrafficking methods is probably just as plausible an end game as surveillance of military facilities.

    urbanleftbehind (6b6278)

  106. In 2012, Romney – Jindal would have been the corporate raider and your H1b replacement. It also helps that the Sikh segment of the Indian American community is the least intertwined with tech employment and has a longer history in non-elite professions and small business / urban roughneck life.

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2023/02/04/ron-desantis-nikki-haley-ticket-how-republicans-move-past-trump/69867880007/

    urbanleftbehind (6b6278)

  107. Wordle in 3. First guess with 3 vowels.

    Dana (1225fc)

  108. Any way you slice it, it’s a provocation by the Chicoms and a humiliation for Biden. If I can make the connection that Biden cannot secure either our Southern or Northern border, so can the rest of the world.

    As for our so-called military being a waste of MREs, we knew that even before they killed Pat Tillman.

    nk (265a31)

  109. Dana, magic happened, wordle in 2. 3 vowel method. Yesterday was rough at 6 as I danced around pasty, hasty, and even masty. Double-letter got me again!

    AJ_Liberty (2dcc33)

  110. I’ve been getting them at 3 all week, but this one took me 5. It had nothing to do with vowels.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  111. I think the Chinese sent the balloon to troll the American public and they have succeeded. The balloon probably can’t see anything more than the Chinese spy satellites can.

    Rip Murdock (ea3d80)

  112. https://www.cjr.org/special_report/trumped-up-press-versus-president-part-1.php

    Media bias and lies 101, but it was for the cause and that’s what counts.

    NJRob (32d4ec)

  113. Rip Murdock (ea3d80) — 2/4/2023 @ 9:43 am

    yep — for Biden fans, the narrative has to be 1) it’s actually really smart to leave it alone, or 2) it’s the American public’s fault for getting bent out of shape over it

    JF (b3de16)

  114. A quote from Noonan’s piece in the 6th item, about George Santos:

    George Santos was never elected to Congress. No one in New York’s Third Congressional District voted for him.

    This is who they voted for: A nice young man, 34-years old, a conservative who’d struggled against the odds—the son of immigrants, born in some want, an ethnic minority whose grandparents fled the Holocaust. He rose to be educated at one of New York’s greatest private schools, to be a star athlete at a great college, earned a masters in business administration, forged on to become an impressive figure in finance, with positions at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. He came to own mansions on Long Island. Only in America. But it wasn’t all material success, the guy had a heart: He devoted his private time to animal rescue. And he’d suffered: His mother died on 9/11.

    That’s who was elected. That’s who won by 8 points.

    But that man didn’t exist.

    This is who existed: A guy lately going by George Santos who previously went by aliases, who once worked for what the SEC says became a ponzi scheme, never went to the schools, never worked at the banks, and no one fled the holocaust or died in the Twin Towers. He allegedly shook down smalltime investors in what one target told the Washington Post was like a scene in “Goodfellas.” He was wanted in Brazil for fraud. The animal rescue? An impoverished veteran says Mr. Santos ran off with money he claimed to be raising for the man’s sick dog, who later died. (Mr. Santos denies this.)

    He’s a street-wise conman whose latest mark was NY-3. Where, a Newsday/Siena College poll out this week tells us, almost 80% of the voters want him thrown out of Congress.

    And Kevin McCarthy is keeping him around for a single vote. Tres stupid.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  115. Open skies; open borders… probably an open fly. Memo to Joe: open a window– and jump.

    DCSCA (cc770d)

  116. Couldn’t Zeldin just slide into the Santos slot? He was the ex rep in the Suffolk Co district.

    urbanleftbehind (6b6278)

  117. I think the Chinese sent the balloon to troll the American public and they have succeeded.

    They sent an easily trackable target to learn how this administration would react.

    And they got the answers they wanted. Bringing it down now will be day late/dollar short Joe Biden 101.

    DCSCA (cc770d)

  118. JF (b3de16) — 2/4/2023 @ 10:03 am

    You obviously don’t know sarcasm when you see it.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  119. America’s incompetent F-Troop military brassholes will shoot it down over international waters and the PRC will claim it a violation on them.

    DCSCA (cc770d)

  120. FAA issues ground stops for 3 airports in the Carolinas for “national security effort”

    The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a ground stop for three airports in the Carolinas as a suspected Chinese spy balloon drifts through the area, a spokesperson confirmed in a statement.

    The administration also restricted airspace near Myrtle Beach between 12:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. ET. for “national defense airspace.”
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  121. Flight-tracking sites show military aircraft along trajectory of Chinese spy balloon

    Flight-tracking websites that show military aircraft activity show several noteworthy flight profiles off the coast of the Carolinas on Saturday, in line with the expected trajectory of the suspected Chinese spy balloon.
    ,……..
    As of 1 p.m. ET, two Air Force KC-135R refueling tankers were flying off the coast of South Carolina above 20,000 feet, according to ADS-B Exchange and Flight Radar 24. The tankers appear to be in separate holding patterns.

    A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules is flying at low level off the coast of North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Sites such as ADS-B Exchange and Flight Radar 24 show the C-130, which took off from the Coast Guard base at Elizabeth City around 9:15 a.m. ET, flying at approximately 4,000 feet near Wilmington, close to where the balloon is anticipated to cross the east coast and fly over the water.

    Fighter jets that may be used to target the balloon would not necessarily appear on flight-tracking websites, so the tankers may be the only publicly visible indication that fighters are in the area……..
    ………

    Rip Murdock (cb65a5)

  122. Santos should take Noonan to task for not using the pronouns they/them in her piece. They are the first bi, trans, pan, etc etc representative in GOP and Congress

    steveg (659ffa)

  123. York County (SC) Sheriff:

    “That’s no moon.” Yes, there are reports that the Chinese balloon is flying over our area at the moment. It’s flying at 60,000+ feet. Don’t try to shoot it!! Your rifle rounds WILL NOT reach it. Be responsible. What goes up will come down, including your bullets #YCSONews

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  124. President Biden. If the Chinese balloon is up there to scarf up data that is not weather related, why wait until the balloon transits CONUS and exits into the relatively data free zone called the Atlantic Ocean? There is an old saying from back in your day sir, about locking the barn after the horse is out that seems to apply here.

    I don’t know if we still have overflight protocols in place from the Open Skies Treaty Trump took the US out of

    steveg (659ffa)

  125. I think the instincts are good in York, SC. I’m a bit disappointed in American ingenuity and was hoping some high school kids would send up a killer intercept balloon of their own

    steveg (659ffa)

  126. @127. Once again, multi-million dollar elephants chasing a mouse. Astonishingly bloated bureaucratic incompetence on display; a dinosaur doing a pirouette in a phone booth. Little wonder a country full of goatherders and a land of rice paddy guerrilla fighters kicked a superpower in the shins.

    DCSCA (b16709)

  127. President Biden makes vague comment today:

    “We’re gonna take care of it,” Biden said when asked by CNN whether the US would shoot down the balloon.

    Dana (1225fc)

  128. I don’t know if we still have overflight protocols in place from the Open Skies Treaty……

    China was never a party to the Open Skies Treaty.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  129. Brrrrrrrr…….

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  130. AP reports that the balloon has been shot down:

    The United States on Saturday downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America and became the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.

    An operation was underway in U.S. territorial waters to recover debris from the balloon, which had been flying at about 60,000 feet and estimated to be about the size of three school buses.

    Dana (1225fc)

  131. Ballooncam on Fox; Biden pops zit. But oh., the humanity… just look at that “debris field: =sarc=

    Tally up the cost and senc China the bill w/t wreckage.

    DCSCA (69cae0)

  132. CNN’s Jim Sciutto characterizes this shootdown as an “exchange of fire” w/China.

    Earth to CNN: did the Chinese balloon shoot back?

    IDIOTS.

    DCSCA (69cae0)

  133. Rip. I didn’t say China was party to the Open Skies Treaty. I was referring to any protocols the US military had in place when Russian overflights were underway. You’d have to assume the Russians were grabbing any data they could, and US military would act accordingly, correct?

    steveg (659ffa)

  134. Dana, so much of this is show. We have fighter jets with operational lasers that are line of sight.

    https://eurasiantimes.com/us-air-force-releases-weapon-pod-for-f-15-eagle/

    Even without this, the ceiling was low enough to put a couple of 50 calibers through the gas bag.

    We should have put in a leak in the gasbag, let it deflate slowly, and let some helicopters pick it up. If it is all civilian, we are happy to return it, plus a bill for recovery.

    The best option? Ground based lasers, no explanation. So sorry, friends, but your errant balloon lost airbag integrity, and the optical sensors must have been overloaded by the sun.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  135. LOL It’s just like this administration to shoot it down after it already collected and transmitted all the data the chicoms cared about.

    Sounds like another congressional investigation is in order.

    JF (5fe266)

  136. Added to post: UPDATE : The balloon was downed this morning by Air Force fighter aircraft over the Carolina coast. The recovery effort is now underway.

    Despite some people thinking it silly or paranoid to discuss or be concerned about the balloon’s presence over the continental United States, it would appear that it presented a serious enough problem that the administration and Pentagon felt it needed to be brought down. There may have also been concerned that the balloon could be collecting intelligence that might be problematic for us. We just don’t know. Perhaps we will learn more in the coming week. One last thought: It’s also quite possible that President Biden also felt he needed to respond to China’s provocation and send the message that if they violate our airspace there will be consequences. I think it’s an important message to send.

    Dana (1225fc)

  137. Actually, in listening to reports about the downing of the balloon, the military and administration opted to prioritize American lives by waiting for it to be downed over the water. As far as having already collected data and transmitting it, I wonder if they will be able to ascertain for sure whether that happened, whether it can be diffused or its impact blunted…I have no clue.

    Dana (1225fc)

  138. “Biden first became aware of the balloon last Sunday, January 28, when it was spotted over Alaska. The US military tracked it over Canadian airspace and as it re-entered US territory on Tuesday.

    The administration finally told the public on Thursday after local Montana paper, the Billings Gazette, published photos of the balloon.“

    there was plenty of opportunity to shoot it down a week ago

    what a sh!tshow

    JF (5fe266)

  139. @143. Too little, too late. The Chinese got the message they wanted; the obviously easy to see “spy” balloon was spotted over U.S. territory in Alaska a week ago. Biden directed the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday– when it was over sparsely populated Montana no less; the brassbutts balked;’ said to take it down over water after it had traversed the continent, Biden acquiesced and popped it Saturday. The message China got is exactly what they wanted; another green light for Taiwan; the Pentagon is run by incompetents.

    DCSCA (69cae0)

  140. Remember on 9/11 when the military scrambled jets and they flew the wrong way? Or the VEEP showing such concern for ‘American lives’ he was ready to order shooting down an airliner full of them….

    Austin should be fired. Milley, fired. The level of incompetence on display by these Pentagon bureaucrats should disturb every American.

    DCSCA (69cae0)

  141. I can only guess what was taking place behind the scenes, including worry about populated areas, worry about the incredible fallout if an American was injured or killed by falling debris during the mission, political concerns for Biden, technical issues, the bigger geopolitical picture, Taiwan, etc. But we can’t know for sure, certainly not at this point.

    Dana (1225fc)

  142. @141. It’s not so much “show,” but messaging. The Chinese come out the winners: they learned a great deal w/a cheap, EZ to see balloon about U.S. response time and decision-making chains, the time involved and the speed assembling the assets to confront it.

    DCSCA (69cae0)

  143. @148. Over the Aleutians or Montana???? There’s less than 7 people per square mile in Montana and per the census, over twice as many cattle than people in the state.

    The administration let it traverse the entire continental United States and the real time sluggish, decision-making bureaucracy involved- both civilian and military- is the message sent and learned by the Chinese– and it cost them only a cheap, easy to see and track balloon.

    DCSCA (69cae0)

  144. Not buying Biden Admin putting it on Pentagon
    The balloon took two hours to go the 49 miles from Reed Point MT to Billings MT. 25 mph
    Someone at JPL or SpaceX could do the math, factoring in wind speed and directions at different heights etc and come up with a bullseye.
    It was 25 degrees out, after dark, so no one is likely out in the hinterlands of the ranch at that hour. I will possibly allow they did not want to shoot it down after dark, but we have pretty good sensors on our aircraft…

    Here is a map of SE Montana, NE Wyoming and SW South Dakota

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Visit+Southeast+Montana/@45.5474987,-105.0305134,138702m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m6!3m5!1s0x534864d290fbefaf:0xc62bda830c33235f!8m2!3d45.7740111!4d-108.4953266!16s%2Fg%2F1261d99p5

    That excuse also does not explain why it was not shot down over Alaska or why they first announced they’d found it over Montana. Fantastic work if they really didn’t pick up an airship the size of three school buses on the Alaska early warning radars (I will say maybe the soft material composition may not have a big radar signature. But that would be a concern because a weirdos like little rocket man or disgruntled mullahs could just put nukes into soft shells and drop them from balloons) I’ll also allow that the Pentagon might have done a buzz of the balloon with radioactive sensor aircraft, data spy aircraft that and would rather not tell everyone

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Visit+Southeast+Montana/@45.5474987,-105.0305134,138702m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m6!3m5!1s0x534864d290fbefaf:0xc62bda830c33235f!8m2!3d45.7740111!4d-108.4953266!16s%2Fg%2F1261d99p5

    steveg (659ffa)

  145. Biden gave the order to shoot it down on Wednesday. Both congressional Democrats and Republicans have questions for the president as to why it played out the way it did.

    Dana (1225fc)

  146. The second map was supposed to be of the area in Alaska the balloon transited, but you are all smart enough to visualize hundreds of thousands of empty acres on a satellite map

    steveg (659ffa)

  147. Biden directed the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday– when it was over sparsely populated Montana no less; the brassbutts balked;’ said to take it down over water after it had traversed the continent, Biden acquiesced and popped it Saturday.

    Here’s another issue–this thing went right through Canada as well, through some of the most sparsely populated country in North America. Where was the DoD when they should have been communicating this to both Biden and Trudeau long before it even got past the Alaska/Yukon border, so that a response could be coordinated? If they were communicating, why didn’t Trudeau or anyone else in the Canadian government get on the horn with Biden immediately to engage and take it out?

    This whole thing has a massive stink to it. Someone needs to get racked over this, because we’re potentially looking at traitors operating within the DoD and possibly even the Canadian government to assist China in gathering intel.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  148. Dana is that the story or is there audio, video of Biden on Wednesday saying that

    steveg (659ffa)

  149. I know Biden…. extensive record of being person unfamiliar with truth, says he gave the order Wednesday, and soldier who obeys orders Lloyd Austin confirms/enables noted truth free zone Biden’s statement.

    I realize it is complicated, but it should have been shot down over mainland Alaska before it went into Canadian airspace and again after it passed into the sparsely populated areas of Montana

    steveg (659ffa)

  150. Wordle set a never Trumper trap today

    steveg (659ffa)

  151. ……You’d have to assume the Russians were grabbing any data they could, and US military would act accordingly, correct?

    steveg (659ffa) — 2/4/2023 @ 12:18 pm

    I assume both sides grabbed as much data as they could with the overflights. A moot point, though since both countries have withdrawn from the treaty.

    Apparently there were far more overflights of European (mostly NATO) countries than the US or Russia.

    ……. European states (excluding Russia-Belarus) account for more than 55% of active quota flights, whereas Russia-Belarus represents 30.4% and North America (United States and Canada) 14.2%. Likewise, the main recipient of actual overflights are European states (63.3%), followed by Russia-Belarus (30.7%) and, far behind, North America (6.1%).
    ……..
    When conducting overflights, the Open Skies Treaty permits the usage of four different sensors with fixed maximum ground resolutions:

    Optical cameras, 30 cm
    Video cameras, 30 cm
    Infra-red line-scanning devices, 50 cm
    Synthetic aperture radars, 300 cm

    ……..

    The Air Force used the Open Skies OC-135B Observation Aircraft (based on the Boeing C-135 Stratolifter) for these missions. Needless to say, the two planes have been decommissioned.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  152. Just another article of impeachment to charge Biden.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  153. I suspect operation spy balloon was a saber-rattle like China regularly does in the South China Sea…maybe in response to our high-level politicians visiting Taiwan and Biden blurting out unequivocal support. It may also be an exercise in seeing what we would do and how we would do it. With what sense of urgency and with what technology. Though it’s ridiculous to suggest that China would now feel safe to regularly send balloons across the country — no one is locked into a balloon response.

    Third, it could just be a distraction…how many hundreds of people will now be theorizing what it means and what should be our response. We will now have people devising new strategies to handle low-tech balloons and the potential Wuhan bio-weapons that they may carrying and dispensing. Fourth, and probably most importantly, it’s one more thing that will tickle our tribal uvula. Biden can’t keep us safe. The military is incompetent. We’re losing our precious secrets! Unless we do in fact recover a bunch of weather equipment, we do gain some political leverage here.

    I don’t want Chinese balloons regularly visiting (any more than I want Chinese drones regularly reporting home), but it’s still unclear what extra special sauce they are supposed to have collected with lower level over-head observation. They probably now know there’s not all that much to do in Montana…or perhaps they are Yellowstone fans and are trying to find where Rip disposed of the bodies. I jest, I think. Sure the camera details are finer and you can add in IR imagery and find heat sources, but most gross details are observable thru low-earth-orbit and geo-synchronous satellites. I’m much more concerned about spies like Chi Mak nestling into sensitive positions.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  154. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 2/4/2023 @ 1:38 pm

    You (and others, like Dustin, Paul Montagu and of course Dana and Patterico, consistently right on point.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  155. Trump Litigation Watch:

    Trump Sues Journalist Bob Woodward for Releasing Interview Recordings
    ……..
    In a lawsuit filed Monday against Woodward, Simon & Schuster Inc., and the publisher’s parent company Paramount Global, Trump claimed that although he had given Woodward consent to record their conversations “for the sole purpose of a book,” that didn’t extend to packaging those recordings as an audiobook.

    “This case centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation, and exploitation of audio of President Trump,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

    The complaint alleges violations of Trump’s copyright interests and accuses Woodward and the publisher of unjustly profiting from the tapes. Trump is seeking just under $50 million in damages, a figure his lawyers calculated assuming Woodward would sell two million copies of the audiobook at a download price of $24.99.
    ……….
    The case also accuses Woodward of misrepresenting at least one of their exchanges in the audiobook by editing out portions of the full interview. Trump had publicly complained about the recordings before, posting on his Truth Social platform shortly after the audiobook came out that he had never given Woodward permission. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist addressed the claim at the time, telling CNN that “they were done voluntarily” and “it was all on the record.”
    ………
    The suit alleges that Trump has been “harmed” by the recordings. Some of the recordings discuss topics including Trump’s correspondence with North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un and also his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in its early days.
    ………
    Related:

    Barbara McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former U.S. attorney, said Trump’s $49 million lawsuit is legally “weak,” and that if the former president consented to the use of the interviews in a book, then he can’t object to them later being published in audio form, unless there was an “explicit agreement” against that.

    However, McQuade suggested that the true intention of the suit may not to be actually punish Woodward or his publisher.

    “The lawsuit may instead be intended to provide political talking points portraying himself as the victim of the media,” McQuade told Newsweek. “Aggressive use of lawsuits can also be a way of deterring others from publishing unflattering news.”

    McQuade added that Trump may accept any possible sanctions he will receive over the dubious suit “as the cost of doing business.”
    ……..

    Oops, he did it again.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  156. For JF:

    US officials say they were able to block the balloon from gathering intel during its overflight of the US, while the US military was able to turn the tables, so to speak, to gather intel on the balloon itself and its equipment.

    Dana (1225fc)

  157. Also for JF:

    The balloon was “jammed”, tracked until it could be safely destroyed and the debris recovered for examination.

    So the Chinese were unable to capture intelligence after all. That should be reassuring.

    Dana (1225fc)

  158. Trump Litigation Watch:

    Trump Not Scared by Judge’s Million-Dollar Smack, Experts Say
    ………
    One expert said the sanctions sent a powerful message.

    “Both in the language of the order and amount of the award, this represents a strong rebuke of Mr. Trump, his attorneys and the claims he tried to advance in this case,” said Michel Huff, a criminal defense lawyer in California.
    ………
    “I don’t see Trump changing his strategy,” said former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers, now a lecturer at Columbia Law School. “This particular judge obviously has had enough of Trump’s abusive tactics, but Trump also knows that other judges won’t necessarily follow Judge Middlebrooks’s lead.”

    In fact, he might double down and file weak lawsuits to see how they do before different judges, Rodgers said, withdrawing cases as needed before they get to the point of dismissal — or sanctions.
    ……….
    As for the Clinton case, Trump could place the blame on Habba herself, said former federal prosecutor Kevin O’Brien. Together with Trump, she is liable for $937,989 in fees and costs for Clinton and more than a dozen other defendants named as part of the alleged conspiracy.

    “Trump’s conduct will not change,” O’Brien said. “First there will be the time-consuming and frivolous appeals. Then, because the penalty was imposed ‘jointly and severally’ on both Trump and his lawyer, Ms. Habba, Trump will not pay, leaving Habba to shoulder the entire penalty on pain of keeping her law license.”
    ……….
    Chicago trial lawyer Shawn Collins said the sanctions are likelier to have an impact on lawyers who consider doing work for Trump in the future. The ruling shows there is a “hellish price to be paid” for filing lawsuits on behalf of Trump with “fact-free tabloid-style theories,” Collins said.
    ………

    Related:

    Trump Offers $1 Million Bond to Appeal Clinton Suit Sanctions

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  159. So the Chinese were unable to capture intelligence after all. That should be reassuring.

    Dana (1225fc) — 2/4/2023 @ 2:13 pm

    I doubt extreme partisans (and “blame American military industrial complex” crowd) will be “reassured” by anything because the balloon has become an anti-Biden talking point.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  160. I suspect operation spy balloon was a saber-rattle like China regularly does in the South China Sea…maybe in response to our high-level politicians visiting Taiwan and Biden blurting out unequivocal support.

    The timing may not sync up exactly, but considering the whackdoodle in charge there during the latter 2010s, a notable development; https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-64479712

    urbanleftbehind (b96ea8)

  161. My two favorite cartoons from this week’s Politico collection are by Ramirez, and Koterba. (Who I don’t recall seeing before.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  162. So the Chinese were unable to capture intelligence after all. That should be reassuring.
    Dana (1225fc) — 2/4/2023 @ 2:13 pm

    yes Dana, this was such a counterintelligence coup that we want to let the world know about it

    kind of like when we broke the Japanese code and let everyone know before Midway

    JF (12aea5)

  163. Formatting, whatever

    JF (12aea5)

  164. <

    JF (12aea5)

  165. They are the first bi, trans, pan, etc etc representative in GOP and Congress

    Also the first Martian.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  166. So the Chinese were unable to capture intelligence after all. That should be reassuring.

    I’m actually not a big believer in jamming, particularly jamming something far away. I don’t think you understand what power levels are involved, and the many ways that the jamming can be defeated. Unless you know the exact protocols and frequencies (e.g. GPS) it’s a fool’s errand.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  167. Rip- If Biden had not spent the last 48 years teaching us that “no malarkey” meant malarkey and “malarkey” equaled truth, then Biden would be above this type of anti-Biden talking point. Its his own dang fault that people in large numbers do not trust him. Biden is also at times incoherent in public when he’s been juiced, so god only knows how he is in behind closed doors. This perception by millions is the fault of the Old Man and the Party for running for President/dementia patient. I do think that geriatric medicine will make great strides due to the squads of MD’s using juicing, recovery cycles on Biden that would impress veterans of the former the East German women’s swim team

    steveg (0ec8f9)

  168. By juicing, I don’t mean anabolic steroids for Biden although they might use Anavar for geriatric muscle tone, it just that anabolic steroid users and Biden have go cycles and recover cycles in common

    steveg (0ec8f9)

  169. @173 but if we’ve figured out how to jam what that balloon was carrying, we certainly would want to let the chicoms know

    I don’t know if those buying the administration cover story really understand what they’re implying about this administration

    JF (12aea5)

  170. @164. Your source is CNN reporter, Jim Sciutto??? Jim Sciutto characterizes the shootdown this very afternoon as an “exchange of fire” w/China. Did the balloon shoot back? Nope. Besides, what makes you believe they jammed it or that the government would admit it did collect data when it was the media that outed them and forced an admission and revealed the balloon was being tracked in U.S. airspace for several days. The Pentagon wouldn’t even specify where in was in their presser[s] so the media looked up and found it themselves and covewred the shootdown live. The last bureaucrats in government to believe on the details of this embarrassment for them is the Pentagon. Look how many decades it took FOI request and the media to pry explanations out about the Roswell balloons– and even that story kept changing.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2023_China_balloon_incident

    DCSCA (557905)

  171. The cartoon with a school kid having classified docs is funny, but really?
    Here are the actions of self-taught classified document experts Alan and Carol Preble.

    “Alan Preble found the papers in his Cleveland hotel room, apparently left behind by Carter press secretary Jody Powell. Preble took them to his Franklin Park home”

    “We had looked through them but didn’t think they were important,” Carol Preble

    This isn’t like finding a $20 bill on the floor (which should probably be left for the cleaner if that is all that was missed in the clean up, it is likely theirs). It says “Classified” then you take the briefcase to the PD with a folded over sample that shows that it is a federal government classified document . It was 1980 in the good old days when you could walk into the Police Station with a brief case and open it without wondering if you are going to get perforated by 6 .38 revolver rounds

    steveg (0ec8f9)

  172. Spy balloons aren’t new — primitive ones date back centuries, but they came into greater use in World War II. Administration officials said Friday that there have been other similar incidents of Chinese spy balloons, with one saying it happened twice during the Trump administration but was never made public.

    https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2023-02-04/china-balloon-many-questions-about-suspected-spy-in-the-sky

    IMO the proper response response would be to just ignore it, but the pants wetting and shrieking by the Republicans made that impossible.

    Davethulhu (16e358)

  173. the pants wetting and shrieking by the Republicans made that impossible.

    Biden immediately ordered it shot down the moment it reentered US airspace. Or at least as soon as the public became aware. It was a day or so later that people started saying WTF? As for it being “Republicans”, well we don’t know what Democrats were saying because they would never criticize Biden in public.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  174. @176. Exactly. Who would beleive the U.S. would admit, yes, they got intel?? Of cpurse they said they got nothing. But they did; they’re going to try to spin this away from any responsibility for blatant incompetence w/t ‘nothing to see here’ BS. The information China got and wanted was obtained by the incompetent response of the U.S. to the real time incursion. A response that was sloppy, slow and Keystone-Cops-lousy. Price out the cost of the assets assembled to respond, too— fueling costly Raptor fighters, flying a few tankers up as support not to mention the cost of a half-million dollar Sidewinder missile– and the expense of dispatching the USS Carter Hall to recover the intel pack and debris. Cost a lot more than a cheap-assed balloon. This was yet another Pentagon snafu from the moment the thing passed into U.S. air space over the Aleutians.

    DCSCA (557905)

  175. In the 1960s they used to eject film packs from things. Fast forward to now, where multi-gigabit encrypted and error-corrected communication channels to satellites are routine, and I wonder just what they hope to find.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  176. …….if we’ve figured out how to jam what that balloon was carrying, we certainly would want to let the chicoms

    I’m sure the Chinese figured out when they weren’t receiving any data from and/or lost control of the balloon.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  177. Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/4/2023 @ 4:03 pm

    Just saw Ice Station Zebra on the big screen (a gorgeous 35mm print) for the first I saw in its original release (1968). I thought of it immediately when “balloongate” started. Fun movie.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  178. “ for the first time since I saw it…..”

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  179. I doubt extreme partisans (and “blame American military industrial complex” crowd) will be “reassured” by anything because the balloon has become an anti-Biden talking point.

    Rip Murdock (6503df) — 2/4/2023 @ 2:26 pm

    Like clockwork.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  180. @182. Which “they?” China found it could violate sovereign U.S. airspace for significant time periods and learned much on how poorly the U.S. defense establishment reacts to a real time breach. The U.S. can learn how much U.S. tech is in Chinese surveillance gadgetry- circuit boards, chips and such, if they snag the wreckage.

    @183. No evidence has been made public to support that belief other than the BS statements from the Pentagon, which wouldn’t even reveal where the thing was in the sky and wouldn’t cop to failing to stop intel collection anyway. China learned what it wanted to know; how U.S. military/civilian decision chains respond to real time incursions– and tucked that into their ‘Taiwan Liberation Plans’ file.

    DCSCA (557905)

  181. @184. Rock was very butch in that flick. Saw it in Britain. McGoohan is always the ‘Bond’ that should have been.

    DCSCA (557905)

  182. @186. Like clockwork.

    If only the $850 billion/year DoD and the MIC tick-tocked as well.

    DCSCA (557905)

  183. Just saw Ice Station Zebra

    For some reason that I can’t recall, I saw it with a group at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, back in the day that “premiere” theaters existed.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  184. I fell in love with the Danish submachine guns the Russian paratroopers carried. Wanting one haunted me for decades.

    nk (50a30c)

  185. BTW, Trump is not paying for all these lawsuits out of his own pocket. Ronna McDaniel (RNC) was paying for them until he announced his 2024 candidacy, and now the donors to his PACs are paying for them.

    nk (50a30c)

  186. Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/4/2023 @ 4:57 pm

    Sadly, the Dome closed in 2021 when Pacific Theaters and their subsidiary Arclight didn’t make it through the pandemic. I remember going there in 1969 to see Krakatoa, East of Java. The Dome was shown playing that film in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  187. U.S. fighter jet shoots down suspected Chinese spy balloon with missile

    ‘SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C., Feb 4 (Reuters) – A U.S. military fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, a week after it entered U.S. airspace and triggered a dramatic — and public — spying saga that worsened Sino-U.S. relations.

    President Joe Biden said he had issued an order on Wednesday to take down the balloon, but the Pentagon had recommended waiting until it could be done over open water to safeguard civilians from debris crashing to Earth from thousands of feet (meters) above commercial air traffic.

    “They successfully took it down, and I want to compliment our aviators who did it,” Biden said. [It was as big as three school buses so why an ‘attaboy’ for doing their job hitting a target that big? IDIOT.] Multiple fighter and refueling aircraft were involved in the mission, but only one — an F-22 fighter jet from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia — took the shot at 2:39 p.m. (1939 GMT), using a single AIM-9X supersonic, heat-seeking, air-to-air missile, a senior U.S. military official said. [Cost?????? TELL US.]

    The balloon was shot down about six nautical miles off the U.S. coast, over relatively shallow water, potentially aiding efforts to recover elements of the Chinese surveillance equipment in the coming days, officials said. The shootdown came shortly after the U.S. government ordered a halt to flights in and out of three regional airports — Wilmington, Myrtle Beach and Charleston — due to what it said at the time was an undisclosed “national security effort.” The flights resumed on Saturday afternoon.

    While Saturday’s shootdown concludes the military dimension to the spying saga, Biden is likely to continue to face intense political scrutiny from Republican opponents in Congress who argue he failed to act quickly enough.

    Questions also remain about how much information China may have gathered during the balloon’s trek across the United States. The balloon first entered U.S. airspace in Alaska on Jan. 28 before moving into Canadian airspace on Monday Jan 30. It then re-entered U.S. airspace over northern Idaho on Jan. 31, a U.S. defense official said. Once it crossed over U.S. land, it did not return to the open waters, making a shootdown difficult. [Difficult??? Got that, Xi??]

    U.S. officials did not publicly disclose the balloon’s presence over the United States until Thursday. “It’s clear the Biden administration had hoped to hide this national security failure from Congress and the American people,” said U.S. Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican who leads the House Armed Services Committee.

    Biden’s emphasis on Saturday that — days ago — he ordered the balloon shot down as soon as possible could be an effort to respond to such critics. Former President Donald Trump, Biden’s potential rival in the 2024 election, called earlier this week for the balloon to be shot down, and has sought to portray himself as stronger than Biden on China. The U.S. relationship with China is likely to be a major theme of the 2024 presidential race. Washington had called the balloon’s appearance a “clear violation” of U.S. sovereignty and notified Beijing about the shootdown on Saturday, a U.S. official said.

    Still, officials on Saturday appeared play down the balloon’s impact on U.S. national security. “Our assessment — and we’re going to learn more as we pick up the debris — was that it was not likely to provide significant additive value over and above other (Chinese) intel capability, such as satellites in low-Earth orbit,” the senior U.S. defense official said. [Nice try- that’s NOT the point; the incursion and your weak response is.]

    A Reuters photographer who witnessed the shootdown said a stream came from a jet and hit the balloon, but there was no explosion. It then began to fall. China expressed regret that an “airship” used for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes had strayed into U.S. airspace. China’s foreign ministry said on Saturday that the flight of the airship over the United States was a force majeure accident, and accused U.S. politicians and media of taking advantage of the situation to discredit Beijing. The Pentagon assesses that this balloon was part of a fleet of Chinese spy balloons. On Friday, it said another Chinese balloon was flying over Latin America.’ -https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-says-us-is-going-take-care-of-chinese-balloon-2023-02-04/

    DCSCA (557905)

  188. I’m sure the details of the balloon and its intelligence value will be leaked to the media after the House and Senate Intelligence Committee briefings.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  189. Back in 2020, Biden signed an agreement with the news media that if they helped make him President he would always provide them with content and never prosecute them for publishing illicitly-obtained confidential material.

    nk (50a30c)

  190. ……and never prosecute them for publishing illicitly-obtained confidential material. ……

    The media has never been prosecuted for publishing classified material since the Pentagon Papers. and even then the government was only seeking an injunction to stop publication, not jail time for the reporters and editors.

    If you really want to stop leaks, convict a few reporters and editors under the Espionage Act, and the leaks will dry up.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  191. Since the investigation into the Dobbs leak wasn’t conducted by a law enforcement organization, there was no opportunity to compel testimony from outside witnesses (like the reporters) to identify the leaker.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  192. #195

    Rip, you’ve got to envision Trump emoting “where’s my Vindman”!

    steveg (819a09)

  193. Rip Murdock (6503df) — 2/4/2023 @ 5:37 pm

    Or any other “illicitly-obtained confidential material”. True, you would need to prove that the reporter conspired to obtain the material. That’s why reporters need to hauled before grand juries and forced to reveal their sources (or go to jail). Subpoena their telephone and emails.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  194. Rip, you’ve got to envision Trump emoting “where’s my Vindman”!

    steveg (819a09) — 2/4/2023 @ 5:49 pm

    Or his Deep Throat.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  195. #192 nk- I’d think the “my pillow” guy should be running thin on cash, but then again, he sells sheets and pillow covers now, so maybe he is still flush

    steveg (819a09)

  196. 201 Rip

    I just want to note that you are the one who plunked Stormy Daniels back into the conversation

    steveg (819a09)

  197. RIP Boeing 747 (53).

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  198. Judith Miller got jail time for refusing to reveal her (government) source to a grand jury in the Valerie Plame affair.

    nk (50a30c)

  199. steveg (819a09) — 2/4/2023 @ 6:00 pm

    Considering Trump is still under investigation for his payoff, it seemed appropriate.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  200. Judith Miller got jail time for refusing to reveal her (government) source to a grand jury in the Valerie Plame affair.

    nk (50a30c) — 2/4/2023 @ 6:07 pm

    Doesn’t happen often enough.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  201. Like Kevin, I’m a little skeptical that balloon-satellite jamming would be successful given spread spectrum techniques or even frequency hopping. That’s a lot of spectrum and a lot of required power, even if we knew which satellite it was trying to upload to (which I’m not sure that we would though I would imagine we would just bombard the balloon with RF). We could say we tried, but I doubt we would have shown our hand with secret jamming technology unless we believed there was critical intelligence at stake. If there was anything critical to be gotten, the military wouldn’t be worried about debris fields or awry missiles heading for Missoula. Some basic logic should be applied.

    Also, the notion that this tested our process and that our process failed dismally is just more partisan chaff. Maybe people who understand surveillance technology genuinely determined there was no concern and that there was more value in watching the balloon and seeing what it could possibly be inspecting and how it navigated. Maybe I’m out of step with the times, but I will give the President and military the benefit of the doubt over people prattling for partisan purposes. Retired generals huffing and puffing about how they would have shot it down first and saved us from the supposed national embarrassment. Would they bet their pension on that? Hardly.

    Yada yada yada. I have little faith in Biden and hardly trust his adamant claim of wanting it shot down. But I also don’t trust talking heads that seem to be cocksure without having the current best intelligence and expert opinions. Again, the end result is not a nation coming together, but a nation that continues to unravel. One more crack because we just can’t help ourselves….

    AJ_Liberty (193fc7)

  202. My first reaction to the ChiCom statement on the downing of their spy vessel is: “Chinese balloon ship, go f–k yourself”.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  203. How The Nation converged on its Russia coverage with American Greatness. It came down to one guy: Stephen Cohen, married to editor-in-chief Kristina Vanden Heuvel, who went off the rails in his adoration for Putin.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  204. I’m sure the Chinese figured out when they weren’t receiving any data from and/or lost control of the balloon.
    Rip Murdock (6503df) — 2/4/2023 @ 4:11 pm

    Right, once we got control we had it fly over the missile silos in MT just for fun.

    And, even though we jammed it, we had to shoot it down anyway just for target practice.

    JF (d9187f)

  205. Paul
    I think there is a translation app that can translate that into audio you can then email here:chinaembpress_us@mfa.gov.cn
    Although I personally wouldn’t book that trip to see the Great Wall after that, but you do you

    steveg (a40bab)

  206. In a statement, Beijing’s foreign ministry protested “the use of force by the United States to attack the unmanned civilian airship”, adding that it would “reserve the right to make further necessary responses”.

    norcal, how do you say “chutzpah” in Chinese?

    nk (50a30c)

  207. steve, the Chinese Embassy email that they’ll not be receiving is from me.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  208. Also, the notion that this tested our process and that our process failed dismally is just more partisan chaff.

    Pfft. Except it’s not.

    “Reality. What a concept.” – Robin Williams

    DCSCA (4ef110)

  209. Maybe I’m out of step with the times, but I will give the President and military the benefit of the doubt over people prattling for partisan purposes.

    “Yeah? Well… don’t worry about it.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIPItukg3qg&t=3s

    DCSCA (4ef110)

  210. The Eisenhower Cover Plan for the downed U2 [used before they knew pilot Powers was captured alive] – May 2, 1960

    Stamped ‘Top Secret’ – from Eisenhower Library

    https://www.eisenhowerlibrary.gov/sites/default/files/research/online-documents/u2-incident/5-2-60-cover-plan.pdf

    DCSCA (4ef110)

  211. Good move

    steveg (a40bab)

  212. Chinese spy balloons flew over the country during Trump’s tenure, too… I don’t think I had heard that before today…

    Dana (a1134f)

  213. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

    Good movie.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  214. I will give the President and military the benefit of the doubt over people prattling for partisan purposes.

    Agreed. I think they only shot it down in the end to make a statement of contempt.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  215. @220. And you can thank the bumbling boobs at the $800 billion/year Pentagon for failing then– and now.

    DCSCA (1b4986)

  216. Thinking about it some more, I think that claims of jamming are ridiculous. Had they actually tried to jam something at 60,000 feet, there would be widespread systems failures of things a LOT closer than 60,000 feet. Like cell phones and GPS receivers.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  217. @224. The only thing jammed for certain was the commercial airline schedules due to the FAA ground stop at the request of the Pentagon today. Add any costs incurred to the public and the commercial airline sector to the total tally for this embarrassment as well.

    DCSCA (01b015)

  218. I got carded buying a (one, single) small bottle of cough syrup. 1st time that’s ever happened. So weird.

    Nic (896fdf)

  219. SC black congressman james clyburn warns democrat not to run against biden in his state. DNC names SC first primary state to help biden warns democrats not to go negative. This should make AOC’s run in 2028 likely. Latinx will out number blacks in democrat party by then. If AOC would run in 2024 she rip biden to shreds over corruption as Bernie did to crooked hillary in 2016.

    asset (6c692a)

  220. “Had they actually tried to jam something at 60,000 feet, there would be widespread systems failures of things a LOT closer than 60,000 feet.”

    You have to target the receiver with jamming, not the transmitting antenna (though maybe you could fry or disrupt the electronics on the balloon with concentrated RF). So, jamming would be directionally targeted at a Chinese satellite either in LEO or GEO. Which requires a lot of power which you wouldn’t waste by going omnidirectional. Russia has been persistently jamming GPS satellites in Ukraine, which motivated Ukraine using Musk’s Starlink service which employs 1,000’s of small satellites.

    Here, the question would be, do we know what Chinese satellite or satellites were potentially receiving and could we target them all? This also gets to the point of what exactly do you want to reveal in this exercise as to your capability. I doubt the Chinese would put a lot of sophistocated equipment on their balloon knowing it would likely be taken down. But wouldn’t it be a coup if their low-tech intrusion gave them insight into how we might attack their constellation of satellites? Or if we are beyond that, how they might counter and defend against our attack.

    With 200+ Chinese satellites in the sky, I’m still not sure what information could not be collected via satellite that would necessitate a balloon and disposable and ostensibly cheap equipment. Those claiming this is a national embarrassment should at least offer some explanation beyond irrelevant movie quotes and out-dated U2 references.

    AJ_Liberty (193fc7)

  221. Chinese spy balloons flew over the country during Trump’s tenure, too… I don’t think I had heard that before today…
    Dana (a1134f) — 2/4/2023 @ 9:06 pm

    “The Pentagon was quick to point out on Thursday that this kind of thing has happened before, though it didn’t get into specifics.”

    There are no specifics in the article, which is actually an opinion piece. The author gives credence to every statement in support of the current administration and none to the prior administration.

    Exactly the sort of slanted reporting that would win an audience here.

    We have just one case of a chicom balloon flying unhindered over the continental US witnessed by the American public, and that’s the one that just happened.

    JF (4ac79e)

  222. Those claiming this is a national embarrassment should at least offer some explanation beyond irrelevant movie quotes and out-dated U2 references.
    AJ_Liberty (193fc7) — 2/5/2023 @ 7:10 am

    hostile actors don’t get to decide what to put in our airspace, whether it’s an innocuous weather balloon or a bio weapon

    It’s just like the defenders of this administration to expect more justification than that

    JF (4ac79e)

  223. Exactly the sort of slanted reporting that would win an audience here.

    Yeah, it’s telling that the narratives of the very same mainstream media that was just excoriated a couple of days ago by the Columbia Journalism Review for advancing a false narrative for partisan political purposes are so easily taken at face value here. Almost like such motivations are driven solely by the same tribalism that these same people try to pretend they detest.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  224. A dangerous concern. Why is this suddenly happening?

    NJRob (2ea093) — 2/5/2023 @ 7:38 am

    The obesity part of it can certainly play a role, but don’t expect anyone with actual influence or authority to propose something that would actually work–get outside, get regular exercise, and cut most carbs and sugars out of your diet–because the current Clown World establishment would start weeping about “fat-shaming.”

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  225. Interesting article by Charles Sykes about Trumps efforts to steal the presidential election.

    I don’t think there’s much new here. But the lack of concern with things like this really makes it hard to take a lot of the ppl who argue for election integrity seriously.

    They knew right from the start.

    The Trump campaign knew it had lost Wisconsin to Joe Biden in the 2020 election. But new audiotapes first published by the Associated Press confirm Trump operatives decided to ignore reality and instead “fan the flame” by spreading false allegations of fraud.

    Time123 (71a458)

  226. Time123 (71a458) — 2/5/2023 @ 8:23 am

    Anything coming out of the keyboard of The Bulwark’s editor in chief should be taken with the entire salt content of the Dead Sea.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  227. I got carded buying a (one, single) small bottle of cough syrup. 1st time that’s ever happened. So weird.

    Dextromathorphan restrictions by state

    Apparently, drinking an entire bottle of tussin can get you wasted.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  228. The odd thing: Up until recently, I was carded every time I bought Tussin DM or similar, even though New Mexico has no actual law. I think it was a Walmart rule.

    Then Robitussin (and the generics) changed the formulation to HALVE the strength of its cough syrup (reasons) and the carding stopped.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  229. Here’s the report from the Dept. of Defense:

    Long before the shoot down, U.S. officials took steps to protect against the balloon’s collection of sensitive information, mitigating its intelligence value to the Chinese. The senior defense official said the recovery of the balloon will enable U.S. analysts to examine sensitive Chinese equipment. “I would also note that while we took all necessary steps to protect against the PRC surveillance balloon’s collection of sensitive information, the surveillance balloon’s overflight of U.S. territory was of intelligence value to us,” the official said. “I can’t go into more detail, but we were able to study and scrutinize the balloon and its equipment, which has been valuable.”

    The balloon did not pose a military or physical threat. Still its intrusion into American airspace over several days was an unacceptable violation of U.S. sovereignty. The official said Chinese balloons briefly transited the continental United States at least three times during the prior administration.

    Dana (1225fc)

  230. You have to target the receiver with jamming, not the transmitting antenna (though maybe you could fry or disrupt the electronics on the balloon with concentrated RF). So, jamming would be directionally targeted at a Chinese satellite either in LEO or GEO. Which requires a lot of power which you wouldn’t waste by going omnidirectional. Russia has been persistently jamming GPS satellites in Ukraine, which motivated Ukraine using Musk’s Starlink service which employs 1,000’s of small satellites.

    Sure it’s a “beam”, but that kind of power (and the likely frequency spread) even the leakage would be disruptive. I guess you could have the transmitter at Thule or somewhere really remote, but still its a lot of power. I don’t believe it.

    Besides, there are ways to get signals to work at big negative S/N, which makes jamming problematic in any event.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  231. GPS jamming is easy, as the frequencies are sources are known, the signal at ground level is incredibly weak, and the [commercial] scheme is not particularly robust.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  232. I’m still not sure what information could not be collected via satellite that would necessitate a balloon and disposable and ostensibly cheap equipment

    The payload was “the size of 3 school buses.” I don’t see this as disposable OR cheap.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  233. The balloon did not pose a military or physical threat. Still its intrusion into American airspace over several days was an unacceptable violation of U.S. sovereignty. The official said Chinese balloons briefly transited the continental United States at least three times during the prior administration.

    These whole CYA efforts (and anyone who’s worked in the military knows that’s precisely what is going on here, because they’ve seen it in action) aren’t exactly putting the DoD in a good light. They’re basically admitting, with all their satellite surveillance, plus that of the NSA, that they’re not particularly competent at dealing with violations of US airspace by foreign adversaries.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  234. https://nypost.com/2023/02/04/the-medias-road-to-ruin-its-own-credibility-in-war-on-trump/

    When you hate so much that you destroy all your alleged standards to “win” at any cost.

    NJRob (3ecd9b)

  235. “The payload was “the size of 3 school buses.” ”

    Wasn’t 3 busses the entire balloon?

    AJ_Liberty (193fc7)

  236. This is an interesting report, discussing how difficult the downing of a balloon can be. It examines the hows and whys of certain tactics that might be used:

    None of this means that the balloon could just go about its mission unmolested. Jamming its ability to communicate with its controllers could result in what is akin to a mission kill. At the same time, jamming any radar or electronic intelligence collection devices could also hobble its mission severely. The same can be said with blinding any optical systems with low-power lasers. Now, as to the question of any of this actually happening and what platforms are being used to do so, we cannot say.

    The Pentagon did say that it has taken mitigating steps to hamper what the Chinese balloon can collect while it floats over the U.S., but won’t say what they are.

    “But out of an abundance of caution, we have taken additional mitigation steps,” the senior defense official said on Thursday. “I’m not going to go into what those are. But we know exactly where this balloon is, exactly what it is passing over. And we are taking steps to be extra vigilant so that we can mitigate any foreign intelligence risk.”

    Also, the debris field extends a reported 7 miles.

    Dana (1225fc)

  237. @242. The DoD BS was not to shoot it down over Montana because it would create a ‘debris footprint’ of up to 400 square miles. This morning, the report on CNN is the debris field off Carolina is just SEVEN miles. Once again, the Pentagon gets it wrong. These brassholes are incompetent. End of story.

    DCSCA (802307)

  238. Wasn’t 3 busses the entire balloon?

    Maybe. I wasn’t reading it that carefully.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  239. The payload was “the size of 3 school buses.” I don’t see this as disposable OR cheap.

    Of course it’s disposable; lightweight– and cheap; a Christmas ornament tied to a balloon floating in the thin atmosphere of 60,000 feet– and was designed to be lost; hell, it partly disintegrated like tinfoil when the sidewinder popped the balloon and the payload began its descent… clearly the missiles was not armed to detonate either… it just popped the thing. A 7 mile debris field– not 400 miles the Pentagon was BSing about when it was over Montana. Would have been easier- and cheaper- to collect the remains on land, too.

    DCSCA (802307)

  240. Marco Rubio confirms that Chinese balloons flew over the U.S. during Trump’s tenure:

    Tapper brought up the reports noting that Chinese spy balloons also made it into U.S. during the Trump administration. Rubio shook his head in response and made his case that the difference lies in the duration of their flights.

    The difference is this. Are we aware? Have we seen the Chinese fly these balloons in the past? Yes. I think there’s even Twitter pictures of it flying at one point off the coast of the U.S. down south somewhere. The existence of the balloons is not a mystery to people in that field. What we’ve never seen, what is unprecedented, and whoever the source is at the Department of Defense would have to acknowledge what is unprecedented is a balloon flight that entered over Idaho, flew over Montana, over all these sensitive military installations, air force bases, ICBM fields, right across the middle of the country.

    Dana (1225fc)

  241. The spy balloon thing seems silly to me. 99% of ppl who care have already made up their minds and any information that would cause a change in conclusion will likely be dismissed for one reason or another.

    I will say the Biden administration did a poor job leading this. The best course of action will depend on information we don’t know.

    -how sure are we we could block the signal?
    -how risky was trying to shoot it down?
    -were we able to learn anything by just monitoring the balloon?
    -what’s the impacts to the relationship with China?

    But the fact they weren’t able to explain what we wanted to do and why in a way that rallied public support was a fail.

    Time123 (ac1d47)

  242. FWO, I looks forward to you showing what his article gets wrong.

    Time123 (ac1d47)

  243. The Chinese learned a great deal about the bureaucratic incompetence and inept decision making chain by military/civilian authorities in the United States fielding real time incursions in short time frames. That it became easy to lull the DoD into a routine of accepting breaches of sovereign U.S. airspace by Chinese assets w/simple multiple balloon overflights until the public is made aware and the DoD is forced to act out of embarrassment.

    But if you’re an American civil aviation pilot and inadvertently fly your Beechcraft into the restricted airspace over Cape Canaveral, Washington, D.C. or Area 51- the brassholes scramble jets ASAP. It’s clear governmnent policy was to ignore, tolerate and accept the Chinese incursions and not to aggravate them– until the incursion became a public embarrassment. Open skies; open borders- a government run by bureaucratic fvck-ups.

    DCSCA (802307)

  244. To people who like Trump it was Armageddon narrowly averted by the prayers of Paula White; to people who like Biden it’s an overhyped nothingburger; to people who know that only Trump could have gotten Biden elected President, it’s an overhyped nothingburger that is nonetheless a serious embarrassment to Biden.

    nk (bb1548)

  245. nk sums it up

    Dustin (a87c64)

  246. FWO, I looks forward to you showing what his article gets wrong.

    Time123 (ac1d47) — 2/5/2023 @ 9:30 am

    It’s Charles Sykes; him being wrong should be taken as a given.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  247. MEMO TO: Speaker McCarthy
    Subject: SOTU Speech

    Go to Walmart; purchase Party Balloon set ($25); fill balloons for members from helium canister in cloakroom; release in chamber during Joey’s speech.

    DCSCA (802307)

  248. Dana (1225fc) — 2/5/2023 @ 9:27 am

    Jesus, you’re absolutely desperate to do anything you can to deflect from the administration’s incompetence here.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  249. @257. NSA Trump Administration officials deny it but they may have been purposely left in the dark by the DoD. Regardless, this is all on the DoD and their ingrained pattern of incompetence and CYA bureaucracy. And never forget the incestuous relationship between the DoD and thew MIC: the current SoD, Lloyd Austin, was on the BoD of Raytheon Technologies, a military contractor before joining the Biden Gang.

    DCSCA (802307)

  250. the current SoD, Lloyd Austin, was on the BoD of Raytheon Technologies, a military contractor before joining the Biden Gang.

    DCSCA (802307) — 2/5/2023 @ 10:32 am

    He’s also the dingdong who led Obama to believe that ISIS was the “JV team” of al-Qaeda, right before they rampaged down the MERV and took over Mosul, and got stunlocked by the press on the Afghanistan withdrawal. He’s about as close to a “company man” within the DoD as anyone I’ve ever seen.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  251. Gallup-Mood of the Nation Poll Jan. 2-22, 2023

    ………
    The overall quality of life in the country (65%) and the opportunity for a person to get ahead by working hard (61%) are the only two societal dimensions of eight measured in this year’s Mood of the Nation poll that a majority of Americans view positively.

    Even these satisfaction ratings, however, are well below the record highs of 89% for the quality of life in 2001-2002 and 77% for opportunity in 2002.
    ……..
    Americans are least satisfied with the nation’s moral and ethical climate (20%), the way income and wealth are distributed (24%), and the size and influence of major corporations (27%).
    …….
    The new survey also probed Americans’ satisfaction with 22 specific public policy and life areas. Public satisfaction with these ranges from a high of 64% for the nation’s military strength and preparedness to a low of 14% for the nation’s campaign finance laws.

    The public is content with just four issue areas this year, based on majority-level satisfaction. In addition to the nation’s military strength, these are the position of women in the nation [62%] the acceptance of gay and lesbian people [55%, though down from 62% in 2022] and the nation’s security from terrorism [55%]. All others, however, fall short, including 13 that earn lower than 40% satisfaction.
    ………..
    Partisans’ views on the state of the nation are similar in a few respects, while highly divergent in others. ……..
    ……….
    Republicans and Democrats share a mostly negative view of the size and influence of major corporations, with only about a quarter of each group (and the same proportion of independents) satisfied. ……..
    …………
    The widest gap is seen on the nation’s gun laws, with 56% of Republicans versus 12% of Democrats satisfied.
    ……….

    Complete question responses and trends (PDF download) at link.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  252. Jesus, you’re absolutely desperate to do anything you can to deflect from the administration’s incompetence here.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d) — 2/5/2023 @ 10:24 am

    Lol. Like clockwork.

    Dana (1225fc)

  253. This:

    To people who like Trump it was Armageddon narrowly averted by the prayers of Paula White; to people who like Biden it’s an overhyped nothingburger; to people who know that only Trump could have gotten Biden elected President, it’s an overhyped nothingburger that is nonetheless a serious embarrassment to Biden.

    Thanks, nk.

    Dana (1225fc)

  254. NK @253 that the most perfect and concise summation I’ve seen on this yet. Beautifully written.

    Time123 (71a458)

  255. The Pentagon did say that it has taken mitigating steps to hamper what the Chinese balloon can collect while it floats over the U.S., but won’t say what they are.

    I’m all for keeping our methods secret from our adversaries, but in situations like this where national embarrassment is involved, and given that the Defense Department hasn’t covered itself in glory the past few years, at this point it might be best if the Pentagon just this one time explained throughly to the American people what we believe the balloon was doing, what measures were taken to counter it, and what data we believe the balloon might have collected and transmitted back to China. Because otherwise one gets the strong sense that the Pentagon and Biden Administration stood by passively while some military information (perhaps of inconsequential value, but nevertheless) was obtained by an increasingly hostile adversary. Please, Department of Defense, prove me wrong.

    JVW (e52b83)

  256. Thank you, all.

    nk (48c3de)

  257. Bulwark/North Star Opinion Research Poll:

    ……..
    The Bulwark/North Star Opinion Research poll is consistent with several other polls that have found Trump fading with voters and losing to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in head-to-head match-ups.
    ………
    In a head-to-head match, DeSantis leads Trump 52 percent to 30 percent, with 15 percent undecided and 3 percent saying they would not vote if those were the only two options.

    With DeSantis, Trump, and “another candidate,” DeSantis got 44 percent, Trump got 28 percent, and the generic “another candidate” got 10 percent, with 17 percent undecided.

    In a 10-candidate field, DeSantis got 39 percent, Trump 28 percent, Mike Pence 9 percent, Nikki Haley and Liz Cheney 4 percent each, and five other candidates registered at 1 percent. In this scenario, 13 percent of the respondents were undecided.
    ……….
    Across recent polling (including ours) showing Trump losing ground, he was holding on to anywhere from 28 to 38 percent of GOP voters. …….
    ……….
    And according to our poll, that 28 percent of Republican primary voters already locked in for Trump say they’ll support him even if he ran as an independent in the general election.
    ………
    ……… Trump still has an awful lot going for him:

    100 percent name ID.

    A devoted base that will follow him on an independent run and potentially split the GOP vote. (And even if Trump doesn’t launch an independent bid, does anyone think he’s going to be a loyal Republican who supports the nominee if it isn’t him?)

    A big primary field of candidates who are scared of him and his base and therefore more likely to attack each other than Trump.

    New revelations that Biden and Pence also had classified docs at their homes and offices, nullifying Trump’s political (if not legal) vulnerability.

    An imminent return to Facebook and Twitter allowing him to fire up his small-dollar fundraising machine and push himself back into the news cycle.
    ……….

    Methodology and result summaries; toplines.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  258. Mayorkas Impeachment On Track:

    ………
    ……… Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who would lead any impeachment inquiry, held what he promises will be the first in a series of hearings on the border on Wednesday, while Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) plans to launch his own opening salvo next week.

    ………. The House GOP’s right flank has already filed an impeachment resolution and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) rolled out his own proposal Wednesday. Meanwhile, centrists are warning they aren’t on board and recent polls have suggested the public is wary of an excessive focus on investigations.
    ……..
    Republicans who want to impeach Mayorkas acknowledge they haven’t reached a critical mass within their own conference, though Republican Study Committee Chair Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) predicted that there would be “a lot of sentiment” among GOP lawmakers to remove the DHS secretary. If a resolution came to the floor, Republicans could only afford to lose four votes within their own party.
    ………
    The eager-to-impeach right flank has so far largely lobbed two broad arguments against Mayorkas: That he’s lost operational control of the border, and that he lied under oath when he told Congress the border was secure. And while their early hearings are focused on the border broadly, GOP lawmakers have signaled they will try to use the bully pulpit of their majority to demonstrate that the administration hasn’t complied with the law.
    ……….
    So far, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is only pledging an investigation. Asked recently about his November remarks calling for Mayorkas to resign, the California Republican told reporters that the House GOP will conduct their probe and said that could lead to an impeachment inquiry. But he wouldn’t pre-judge an outcome, as many top Republicans hope the case made in committee hearings will win over enough wary colleagues and disinterested voters.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  259. Link to Mayorkas impeachment article.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  260. it might be best if the Pentagon just this one time explained throughly to the American people what we believe the balloon was doing, what measures were taken to counter it, and what data we believe the balloon might have collected and transmitted back to China.

    I’m sure it will all come out in series of leaks from Congress to the NYT and WaPo, which will generate a whole new series of complaints about our inability to keep secrets.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  261. JVW, I agree and would add that the ability to rally the public to plan that balances
    Those competing needs is leadership we’ve been lacking for too long.

    Time123 (643029)

  262. “I’m all for keeping our methods secret from our adversaries, but…”

    but political games take precedence

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  263. I want to be clear here: I have no idea what the details are behind the event. I don’t know with certainty that military intel was prevented from being collected, and I don’t know how Biden and his team are not being straight up about the event and to what extent, but given that he is a professional pol, it’s safe to assume that, to some degree, he isn’t being entirely straightforward. I also don’t know if Biden and the Pentagon yet know how much info would be safe to release to the public. Perhaps that also depends on what they find during the retrieval mission. My point is: I have been speculating here just like the rest of you.

    With that, when Marco Rubio, a Trump loyalist who agrees that at least one spy balloon flew over the U.S. during Trump’s term causes a defensive reaction, it supports a reflexive response theory that one’s political persuasion determines whether to approve or disapprove of Biden’s response. He was in a no-win position from the get-go with a certain segment of the population because he is a Democrat, he can do nothing right or beneficial for Americans, he can only do wrong. So even if he did everything right and was transparent, he would still be attacked. That’s the nature of the partisan beast. And yes, people on the left do the same thing.

    Pre-emptive strike: Before someone makes some twaddle about “you’re defending Biden,” or “you voted for Biden, you own this,” for the record, I didn’t vote for Biden.

    Anyway, I agree with JVW that the Pentagon/administration should be as frank with the American public as much as possible to tamp down the suspicion that Biden boffed it. But also to demonstrate that the Pentagon and administration were indeed in control of the situation and let it go on for X reason. (I understand prioritizing American lives because if anyone was injured/killed by the seven-mile fallout, there would be hell to pay.) And yes, I realize that it was over Montana, a sparsely population area…

    Dana (1225fc)

  264. The particulars of any electronic intel- collected or jammed- are irrelevant; that’s merely a DoD PR diversion; it’s the pattern of physical incursions into sovereign U.S. airspace that is the real ‘intel’ revealed and collected by China. The Chinese apparently has had a fleet of these flying for years at various latitudes at the 60,000 ft., altitude and the DoD policy was to let them get away with it until the public became aware. The DoD failed to deter these incursions into U.S. airspace using a flawed rationale that the electronic intel collected was China’s goal when it is the lax pattern of sluggish decision-making in the short term for real time incursions that was the intel sought. They could/may/have stationed forces to “liberate” Taiwan for months if not years and make a move on it at their own choosing and, w/geography on their side as it is, expect the United States to be slow and befuddled in immediate response. Taiwan is a sitting duck.

    DCSCA (0d9102)

  265. Lol. Like clockwork.

    Dana (1225fc) — 2/5/2023 @ 10:43 am

    Followed by:

    I want to be clear here: I have no idea what the details are behind the event.

    “But I’m going to play this because I can get in a zinger against Trump anyway.”

    Pre-emptive strike: Before someone makes some twaddle about “you’re defending Biden,” or “you voted for Biden, you own this,” for the record, I didn’t vote for Biden.

    And I didn’t vote for Trump, but whom we voted for is a red herring. The fact that even the NeverTrumpers are having to admit that the administration botched their communications on this (and I actually don’t blame Biden himself for this, because he’s just a figurehead for these Peter Principle morons and is just reading off the script that’s given to him) and are trying to deflect with the typical “whataboutTrump” post hoc generalizing is even more pointless.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  266. With that, when Marco Rubio, a Trump loyalist who agrees that at least one spy balloon flew over the U.S. during Trump’s term
    Dana (1225fc) — 2/5/2023 @ 11:54 am

    except, he didn’t say that

    he said “at one point off the coast of the U.S. down south somewhere”

    and, Biden is being held to account not because he’s a Democrat, but because he already has a decades long track record of not giving a damn about our sovereignty

    but yeah, this became an “overhyped nothingburger” here the moment it became something his administration effed up, just like inflation, recession, border chaos and rampant crime are overhyped nothingburgers

    JF (41dce4)

  267. but yeah, this became an “overhyped nothingburger” here the moment it became something his administration effed up, just like inflation, recession, border chaos and rampant crime are overhyped nothingburgers

    JF (41dce4) — 2/5/2023 @ 12:13 pm

    I could buy the “overhyped nothingburger” declarations if these same people hadn’t spent 2016-2022 uncritically swallowing anything the mainstream media and government agencies put out simply because it confirmed their own tribalistic biases. I don’t mind tribalism because I understand that’s how human beings are. They try to frame tribalism as only being “Republican vs. Democrat,” while absolutely marinating in the tribal pretenses of neoconism.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  268. Where Biden effed up was letting the Pentagon sucker him w/their analysis. He is the CIC and gave the order to shoot it down as the incursion ‘ballooned’ into a big story as the public became are of it– as earlier incursions were hidden from the public. The DoD weenies pushed back on the CIC w/BS excuses and talked him into following a decision to spin it to make them appear as good as possible in managing the embarrassment. It made Biden appear weak, reinforcing an existing perception. LBJ listened to the BS from his deceptive DoD too– until Vietnam swallowed him up.

    DCSCA (0d9102)

  269. Rubio wasn’t being honest with his “off the coast of the U.S.” comment. He was on solider ground in saying that the latest spy balloon was over the US for a longer period.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  270. Mayorkas Impeachment On Track:

    Better and possibly more effective: Pass a resolution censuring him and calling for his resignation.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  271. Why would China have chosen to send its Trump-era spy balloon over Florida and Texas, of all places? – Michael Beschloss

    Memo to Beschloss:

    Same reason Russian trawlers hovered off the coastline of Cocca Beach, Florida; ever heard of Cape Canaveral and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas?

    What a myopic jerk.

    DCSCA (0d9102)

  272. Using the word of the timeworn but of course unnamed officials – “briefly over Florida and Texas” it sounds like could’ve been the Florida Keys and Brownsville. Neither one has a very big window.. measured in minutes, (not hours, or days) for a shootdown, and depending on balloon flight direction over Brownsville would shower debris into Mexico.
    I will allow myself a bit of “whataboutism” because the recent incursion is similarly about Chinese spy balloons over the US, but after that the time over US soil difference becomes exponential

    steveg (8ea70c)

  273. AJ@ 271, being able to rally support to you plan is part of leadership. Yes there are those who will never agree for partisan reasons. But can you point me to a statement from the government that puts this in context and lays out what and why ? I havnt seen it and it’s lack is a failure of leadership by the Biden administration.

    Time123 (265d34)

  274. Anyway, I agree with JVW that the Pentagon/administration should be as frank with the American public as much as possible to tamp down the suspicion that Biden boffed it.

    ROFLMAO Just like Roswell…

    The Truth Has Not Always Been Out There

    Rather than explaining when U.F.O. sightings were really just top-secret planes, the government has sometimes allowed public eagerness about the possibility of aliens to take hold.

    WASHINGTON — In the summer of 1947, a top-secret U.S. military balloon developed to spy on the Soviet nuclear program crashed in the desert near Roswell, N.M. The military gave only incomplete accounts of what happened, sowing decades of conspiracy theories (and a tourism industry) that built up around Roswell as the site of an alien crash landing.

    Since then, Americans’ passion for alien visitation has proved tough to shake, even when the evidence is clear that no spaceships have touched down or crash landed. After the Cold War, a pair of Air Force reports that aimed to come clean about the experiments near Roswell did little to debunk any belief in the potential for aliens.

    The government’s latest report on U.F.O.s, which the Pentagon now wants to call unidentified aerial phenomena, is unlikely to settle anything. Due out on Friday, the report’s expected assertion that no classified American programs exist to explain the observations will most likely be dismissed by those primed to disbelieve government pronouncements. Its failure to find affirmative evidence of alien spaceships will largely be ignored by those most passionate about theories of extraterrestrial visitation.

    It will also serve as the latest in a history of efforts by the government to confront public eagerness to know more about U.F.O.s. Officials have sometimes sought to be transparent about what they know, according to documents and interviews, but in other instances allowed confusion and conspiracy theories to take root as a useful cover-up for top-secret military programs.

    During the Cold War era, the public enthusiasm was a double-edged sword. While alien visitation was a helpful theory to explain away the top-secret programs developed near Roswell and in Nevada’s Area 51, where the Air Force and the C.I.A. developed reconnaissance programs intended to look deep into the Soviet Union, early C.I.A. documents show the agency worrying that the American public’s obsession with aliens in the 1950s could make the public vulnerable to Russian disinformation efforts.

    In the 1950s, the C.I.A. reviewed the test flights of the U-2 reconnaissance planes and then A-12 aircraft (the predecessor of the iconic SR-71 Blackbird) in the 1960s and found that roughly half of U.F.O. sightings were attributable to those top-secret programs, said David Robarge, the chief C.I.A. historian. Responsible for answering questions, the Air Force publicly attributed those sightings to natural phenomena. So, in a sense, the public fixation with space aliens provided a degree of cover for the C.I.A. But taking advantage of public obsession had a cost. A 1997 historical study by the C.I.A. found that while its deceptions were justified, they “added fuel to the later conspiracy theories.”

    “The agency’s understandable interest in concealing its role in some of the early U.F.O. investigations ultimately proved to be counterproductive, that it just fed into later charges of conspiracy and cover up,” Dr. Robarge said. From soon after its creation, the C.I.A. has been worried about the American public’s vulnerability to Russian disinformation. C.I.A. documents also show concern about the public’s obsession with aliens in the 1950s. If the Soviets were to attack, the agency worried, it might be mistaken for an alien visitation, causing the public not to take shelter but to flood local authorities with false reports. The United States was also concerned that the K.G.B. would try to penetrate U.F.O. enthusiast groups that were pestering the American government for details about military capabilities and secret programs. “None of that ever panned out; there is absolutely no evidence that any of these U.F.O. groups were stalking horses for the K.G.B.,” Dr. Robarge said.

    Those Cold War anxieties, featuring both the possibility of planetary destruction and the threat of Russian disinformation, have echoes in the current day. The fuzzy Navy videos of recent years that show some unexplained phenomena resonated with the public much as reports of sightings 50 years earlier. While government officials may be frustrated with the public gravitating to reports of space aliens to understand unexplained phenomena, some experts say the government’s own reflexive silence contributed.

    “Government secrecy has acted as a spur toward conspiratorial thinking, and it has aggravated that tendency in some sectors of the American public,” said Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “It’s not just limited to U.F.O.s.” When the C.I.A. first made public a batch of documents about U.F.O.s in the late 1970s, the press suggested that the government was continuing the cover-up. The government’s best counter, Dr. Robarge said, is to release information as objectively as it can, including both successes and failures.

    “It’s common in our history that the attempt to conceal a C.I.A. clandestine program feeds suspicions and conspiracies,” he said. The government has long examined reports of unidentified flying objects or unidentified aerial phenomena — sometimes with skepticism, other times more credulously.

    Project Blue Book, an Air Force effort running in the 1950s and 1960s to examine U.F.O. reports, is undoubtedly the most famous, fascinating young people for generations and inspiring television programs. The C.I.A. viewed Project Blue Book positively, believing that many of its investigators had done a good job debunking reports of U.F.O.s. But the effort was shuttered in 1969 after a 1,485-page University of Colorado report, commissioned by the Air Force, cast doubt on the scientific value of examining U.F.O. sightings.

    Rumors of alien visitations and the government possession of alien bodies persisted. And in 1985, officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio issued a fact sheet saying they no longer wanted to hear flying saucer reports. “Periodically, it is erroneously stated that the remains of extraterrestrial visitors are or have been stored at Wright-Patterson A.F.B.,” the statement said. “There are not now, nor ever have been, any extraterrestrial visitors or equipment on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.” For many, U.F.O. enthusiasm is merely inspiration for television shows and tongue-in-cheek tourism. But just as the C.I.A. worried that an obsession with aliens during the Cold War would make the American public more susceptible to manipulation by Soviet propaganda and misinformation, there are concerns today about the risks of indulging too deeply in unproven conspiracy theories.

    “We are gradually losing a consensual view of reality,” Mr. Aftergood warned. “We cannot practice the discipline of self government when people start to adopt widely disparate views of what is real and what is true. So it’s a serious problem. It’s not just a curiosity like U.F.O. sightings have been in the past.” ‘ – https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/24/us/politics/ufo-report-us-pentagon.html

    DCSCA (0d9102)

  275. Better and possibly more effective: Pass a resolution censuring (Mayorkas) and calling for his resignation.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/5/2023 @ 12:55 pm

    Consider it a test run for impeaching Biden et. al.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  276. My phrase US soil was meant to include 12 nautical miles of ocean off TX and 12 + 12 in the keys. Momentary incursions into US airspace are usually just escorted out

    steveg (8ea70c)

  277. @285. The circumstances of this incursion, involving an uncrewed ‘surveillance’ balloon, it was alleged to be ‘maneuverable’ by the Pentagon. So rather than escort it out– was the PRC asked/told/ordered to “maneuver” it out of U.S. airspace when it broached U.S. airspace over the Aleutians? Doubt it, given the DoD’s established pattern of permitting the overflights as long as they were not revealed to the public.

    DCSCA (0d9102)

  278. Consider it a test run for impeaching Biden et. al.

    Our election process is entirely “vote for me or those other guys will win.” Do we really have to submerge our days between elections with the same level of tribalism?

    I swear, the way they run this country, where it’s all about those bastards on the other side, is like airlines spending all their time running commercials showing the other companies’ air crashes.

    At some point you have to ask: “Why are we paying these people?”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  279. time: “being able to rally support to you[r] plan is part of leadership.”

    The defense community made a conclusion, based on the best intelligence, that there was no military threat or civilian threat and that there was some value to observing the balloon while taking measures to disrupt any information gathering. The balloon was then skewered and dropped into the Atlantic so that its recovered payload package could be inspected without any threat to the population from debris or weapons. That’s the anodyne perspective. It’s not helpful to play politics with this now as the administration will need to confront China and apply diplomatic pressure. As I said upthread, there’s more at play here then trying to get overhead intelligence that could be acquired from satellites or by on-the-ground operatives. Is it in our national interest to force our President into public reactions and, dear God, intelligence revelations when the Chinese and Russians are watching?

    I do believe that Biden should eventually address the country and reassure everyone that the air space is being defended and that there should be no further incursions of any kind. But they should do that after recovering the wreckage and architecting a fully-informed response. Senior leadership of Congress should absolutely be included in that process. This is the problem with sowing doubt in our institutions and making our politics even more toxic. Some here are declaring this a catastrophe without much objective evidence. He’s our President, not their President.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  280. At some point you have to ask: “Why are we paying these people?”

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/5/2023 @ 2:01 pm

    The Republican majority is doing the job they were elected to do.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  281. The defense community made a conclusion, based on the best intelligence, that there was no military threat or civilian threat and that there was some value to observing the balloon while taking measures to disrupt any information gathering.

    Bull.

    The ‘defense community’– [and BTW, that does a disservice to the term, ‘community’] had an established policy of permitting these Chinese balloon incursions into sovereign U.S. airspace as long as they were not made public. Once the public became aware of the embarrassing circumstances, they shoveled a BS story about intel as a diversion from their own flawed policy.

    The particulars regarding electronic intel- jamming/collecting are irrelevant; that’s a classic DoD PR diversion: a head fake. It’s the pattern of physical incursions into sovereign U.S. airspace that is the real ‘intel’ revealed and collected by China. The DoD failed to deter these incursions into U.S. airspace using a flawed rationale that the electronic intel collected was China’s goal when it is the lax pattern of sluggish, bureaucratic military/civilian decision-making in the short term for real time incursions that was the intel sought.

    Accordingly, China has learned what wanted. They expect the United States to be slow, befuddled and bureaucratic in immediate, short term, real time responses. And that’s tucked into their ;Taiwan Liberation’ file. Taiwan is a sitting duck.

    DCSCA (0d9102)

  282. Koch brother (other one burning in hell) will spend his money to defeat trump. These conservative economic libertarian free traders and immigrationists (for cheap labor) donor class didn’t learn their lesson in 2016 that you can no longer buy the republican nomination for president. The majority of republican voters are populists who loathe economic libertarian free trade pro immigration conservatives like koch brother. pretend social conservatives donor class money can not buy their way to power. Kari lakes defeat of her traditional republican corporate stooge opponent in az primary in 2022 shows this along with other primary trumpster winners. Might as well set fire to their donor class money like they do when they spend it against AOC.

    asset (30face)

  283. The Republican majority is doing the job they were elected to do.

    Rip Murdock (6503df) — 2/5/2023 @ 2:23 pm

    Case in point:

    Republicans Leery of Compromise With Biden; Majority Want GOP To Focus on Investigations
    ……..
    More than six-in-ten Republicans and independents who lean toward the Republican Party (64%) say that Republican congressional leaders should “stand up” to Biden on matters that are important to GOP voters, even if this makes it harder to address critical problems facing the country. About half as many Republicans – 34% – would prefer to see the party’s congressional leaders work with Biden, even if doing so requires them to make concessions that disappoint some GOP voters, a new Pew Research Center survey has found.
    ………..
    ………. Today, 56% of Republicans and Republican leaners say they are more concerned that their party’s representatives in Congress will not focus enough on investigating the administration, while 42% say they are more concerned that Republicans in Congress will be too focused on these investigations at the expense of other priorities.
    …………..

    Top lines; detailed report.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  284. FWIW Ric Grenell says that the “China balloons during Trump” story is a lie.

    steveg (8ea70c)

  285. I do believe that Biden should eventually address the country and reassure everyone that the air space is being defended and that there should be no further incursions of any kind.

    He’ll make light of it; don’t be surprised if he mentions it in the SOTU when one of his staffers in the gallery releases a balloon into the chamber and Quick Draw McStumblebum quips, ‘I’ll get that one, too…’ and all his Congressional buttkissers will laugh.

    DCSCA (2effd5)

  286. He’ll make light of it; don’t be surprised if he mentions it in the SOTU when one of his staffers in the gallery releases a balloon into the chamber and Quick Draw McStumblebum quips, ‘I’ll get that one, too…’ and all his Congressional buttkissers will laugh.

    That would seriously top anything I can think of that Trump did to express an air of unseriousness. I can’t imagine Biden’s team being arrogant and stupid enough to do that (I mean, I almost can, but I just can’t quite get all of the way there), but with Ron Klain being gone who knows what kind of dipshittery we are in for.

    JVW (e52b83)

  287. FWIW Ric Grenell says that the “China balloons during Trump” story is a lie.

    This brings us back to DCSCA’s conjecture that the DoD was actively keeping this intel from the White House. I suppose I wouldn’t be surprised if they did this during the Trump Administration, but if they also are doing it during the Biden Administration (and Team Biden is now lying about being in the know ever since the balloon reached Alaska) then we have a real, real, real problem with our nation’s permanent bureaucracy (I believe some call it “the Deep State”).

    JVW (e52b83)

  288. I believe FoxNews over Grenell.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  289. Republicans Leery of Compromise With Biden; Majority Want GOP To Focus on Investigations

    There are more voters outside the two parties than there are registered Republicans. Most of them would like to fire both parties and if they keep this sh1t up, they eventually will.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  290. Good Second Amendment News:

    Calling the right to bear arms “central to our freedom,” (Florida) House Speaker Paul Renner on Monday unveiled a bill removing Florida requirements for a permit and training to carry concealed guns, an idea endorsed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
    ……..
    The legislation, which supporters call “constitutional carry,” would eliminate the need to get a license to carry a concealed weapon as well as the required weapons training that goes with it. If signed into law, as expected, Florida would become the 26th state to allow permitless carry.
    ………..
    “We trust people to do the right thing,” said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, whose membership supports the bill.
    ………
    (The bill’s supporters) rationale is (that) criminals don’t worry about getting a weapons permit before committing a crime, so why should citizens who want to protect themselves go through that process?
    ……….
    The bill doesn’t allow residents to carry guns out in the open nor does it change current law that permits businesses to ban guns from their premises.

    The NRA backed the proposal in a statement, but other pro-gun groups called on legislators to go further and allow firearms to be carried openly in Florida.
    ……….
    Under the bill (HB543) filed by Rep. Chuck Brannan, R-Macclenny, a person can carry a concealed weapon without a license if they meet the same criteria for obtaining a license: That includes being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, being at least 21 years old, not having a physical condition which prevents the safe handling of a weapon or firearm, hasn’t been convicted of a felony or been found guilty of a crime relating to controlled substances within a three-year period, or hasn’t been found mentally incapacitated or committed to a mental institution.
    …………
    .

    These standards should be applied nationally.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  291. It’s not that Republcians are “leary of compromise” it’s that they don’t expect to be asked.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  292. @295. JVW, you mean, as a certain Corvette and famed 18 wheeler driving somebody recently quipped, “How could anybody be that irresponsible?” 😉

    DCSCA (575b31)

  293. Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/5/2023 @ 4:44 pm

    As I said, the Republican majority is just doing what their voters elected them to do. Voters at large oppose the investigations:

    Among all U.S. adults, 65% are more concerned that Republicans in Congress will focus too much on investigating the Biden administration……

    But House districts are obviously more partisan than the nation as a whole.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  294. From Paul’s link:

    Meanwhile, U.S. officials told Fox News on Sunday that a Chinese spy balloon crashed into the Pacific off the coast of Hawaii four months ago. Those officials said that at least one Chinese spy balloon flew over portions of Texas and Florida during the Trump administration.

    Dana (1225fc)

  295. @296. Keep in mind the only reason the Biden administration reacted to this incident was because the public via the press became aware of the incursion into sovereign U.S. airspace, not due to any forthcoming DoD disclosure. Supposedly it did happen before in the Biden administration as well as supposedly in Trump times w/o any public knowledge. Which begs the question why were the multiple incursions into sovereign U.S. air space permitted by the Pentagon.

    ‘… senior Pentagon officials said in an on-background press conference on Saturday that suspected Chinese surveillance balloons crossed into the US at least three times during the Trump administration and once earlier in the Biden administration.- – businessinsider.com

    And though the Trump NSA people deny it, they may very well not have known as w/t Biden people as well until the press broke the story to the public. Any whataboutisms by DoD spinners are just another Pentagon excuse for a diversion from a poor policy decision and does drive one to ask who is setting policy and running the show- the DoD/military or the CIC/civilian. The DoD established and maintained a policy of allowing incursions into sovereign U.S. air space and the message that policy sent to China is U.S. air space can be violated at will and when made public, United States civilian/military decision making chain is slow if or befuddled on how to react– which does not bode well for Taiwan.

    Revisit Ike’s ‘cover story’ his administration had in place for the 1960 U-2 debacle:

    https://www.eisenhowerlibrary.gov/sites/default/files/research/online-documents/u2-incident/5-2-60-cover-plan.pdf

    The DoD cover was blown when Powers showed up alive.

    DCSCA (575b31)

  296. @296. Postscript. I suppose I wouldn’t be surprised if they did this during the Trump Administration, but if they also are doing it during the Biden Administration (and Team Biden is now lying about being in the know ever since the balloon reached Alaska) then we have a real, real, real problem…

    Just review the timeline and the excuses the DoD has given; failure to stop it over Alaska; minimal acknowledgement when discovered in the Montana skies; failure to bring it down after an order from the CIC to do so– poorly advising him by wrongly projecting a 400 square mile debris footprint if brought down over a sparse land area [it left a 7 mile debris field in the sea after traversing the continental U.S.]; the Pentagon’s failure to even acknowledge the location of the object to the public in pressers aside from ‘central continental United States’ even as local press outlets could spot it visually, track and video it. The DoD and Pentagon have a failed policy to own up to… as Ricky said to The Redhead: ‘Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.’

    DCSCA (575b31)

  297. Also from Paul’s link is the title of Paul’s link:

    Chinese spy balloons over US during Trump admin ‘discovered after’ he left office: senior Biden official

    After Trump left something was discovered that Trump should have done something about while it was yet undiscovered.

    Makes sense.

    BuDuh (209a7b)

  298. @306. This isn’t a Trump or Biden thing; it’s a DoD thing– who in the Pentagon made the policy decision to allow these repeated incursions into sovereign U.S. air space using threat assessment as the metric? Any incursion is unacceptable.

    Find ’em; fire em.

    DCSCA (c69271)

  299. The U2 “weather mission” misrepresentation/lie reminds me of the topic of how even well intentioned lies are pernicious

    steveg (8ea70c)

  300. RIPHarry Whittington, longtime Texas GOP supporter shot by Dick Cheney in a hunting accident, dies (95).

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  301. Liars check each others work. The Chinese look at the U2 lie and say to themselves: “(in Chinese) Hey lets go with that. Turning a lie back on a liar

    steveg (8ea70c)

  302. #309 Whittington took one (or several) for the team. I wonder if Liz Cheney is going to the memorial- or maybe now that the money train has run out of steam and to be clear, they were never actually friends anyway..

    steveg (8ea70c)

  303. Now that I think about it, I don’t think any “accidental” shooting incident involving a Cheney can be characterized as friendly fire. Self serving, money grifting acquaintances are not the same as friends

    steveg (8ea70c)

  304. DCCCP is such the objective analyst of the military/. His objectivity just brims over/. I never thought I would see the day when the GOP trafficked in and gobbled down such cynicism. And for what, some political points? My diet excludes RT propaganda.

    AJ_Liberty (7e6c4a)

  305. @313. So cranks Fred Mertz… as Ricky said to The Redhead: ‘Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.’

    DCSCA (c69271)

  306. RIP actor Charles Kimbrough (86), best known for playing news anchor Jim Dial on Murphy Brown. His wife, Beth Howland, who played the ditzy waitress Vera on Alice, died in 2016. She was previously married to Michael J. Pollard.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  307. Venezuela:

    President Nicolás Maduro’s administration echoed Chinese comments, claiming the United States shot down a nonintrusive civilian aircraft.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2023_China_balloon_incident

    Lest you forget:

    Biden Turns to Venezuela for Oil…

    [T]he Biden Treasury Department announced it would allow Chevron to “resume limited natural resource extraction operations in Venezuela.” The oil will be exported to the United States.

    https://www.cnsnews.com/article/national/susan-jones/biden-turns-venezuela-oil-just-one-more-anti-american-act-says

    You can’t make the magnitude of this incompetence up.

    DCSCA (c69271)

  308. DCSCA Yeah but you have to admit the incompetence was marketed fairly as a Biden feature, but not Trump. People voted for “not trump” even though Biden has been a Washington idiot for over 48 years. So one could uncharitably deduce that Never Trumpers prefer Biden: Huge Washington lying, venal, idiot of over Trump… as if Trump, Biden are not at the core, one and the same

    steveg (c668a9)

  309. I never thought I would see the day when the GOP trafficked in and gobbled down such cynicism. And for what, some political points? My diet excludes RT propaganda.

    I’m pretty sure that DCSCA isn’t a Republican. For that matter, neither are any of the three bloggers on this site. I don’t even believe that DCSCA considers himself a conservative. But just as there are lots of us right-wingers who find Trump distasteful, there are plenty of those who skew to the left who can’t stand Joe Biden.

    And since it appears that you are commenting upon DCSCA’s reply to one of my comments, let me respectfully suggest this much: if you trust any branch of government — including the Defense Department — to always and everywhere be honest and transparent with the American people then you haven’t paid much attention to history.

    JVW (e52b83)

  310. @318. That’s why one has to suspect this isn’t a left, right, R, D, Biden or Trump issue but an entrenched bureaucratic problem. The hesitancy of the Pentagon to even discuss the location of the balloon in their presser[s]- an object in full view to the public and the media- the same DoD that boastfully tracks “Santa Claus” every Dec., 24th spoke volumes by saying next to nothing. It should be disturbing to us all. Their job is to carry out policy, not create it– so something is amiss here. Somebody in the Pentagon decided these U.S. sovereign air space incursions were acceptable using ‘threat assessment’ as their metric when no incursion should be acceptable at all. As noted earlier, if an American civil aviation pilot inadvertently flies their Beechcraft into the restricted airspace over Cape Canaveral, Washington, D.C. or Area 51- the Pentagon scramble jets ASAP.

    It’s clear there’s a Pentagon policy to ignore, tolerate and accept the Chinese incursions and not aggravate them– until the incursions became a public embarrassment. Open borders’ now open skies… an $800 billion/year budgeted organization owes the people who fund it an explanation as to who and why this policy decision was made.

    DCSCA (48154d)

  311. Among all U.S. adults, 65% are more concerned that Republicans in Congress will focus too much on investigating the Biden administration……

    These numbers are not unaligned people, just not Republicans. A different 65% are probably concerned that Biden will raise taxes or spend us into runaway inflation.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  312. @317: I can make a pretty good case that Trump threw the election of 2020 and tried to throw the election of 2016 (but was incompetent at that, too).

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  313. This brings us back to DCSCA’s conjecture that the DoD was actively keeping this intel from the White House. I suppose I wouldn’t be surprised if they did this during the Trump Administration, but if they also are doing it during the Biden Administration (and Team Biden is now lying about being in the know ever since the balloon reached Alaska) then we have a real, real, real problem with our nation’s permanent bureaucracy (I believe some call it “the Deep State”).

    JVW (e52b83) — 2/5/2023 @ 4:04 pm

    This is the same DoD that kept sending troops back in to Syria to conduct operations after Trump ordered them to withdraw. It’s not unreasonable at this point to suspect that there’s a lot of things they keep from their Commander in Chief when it doesn’t suit their interests.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  314. @321 Trump lost 2020 election by 43,000 votes. Az.10,000 ga. 13.000 wi. 20,000. A much better case can be made that republican state legislatures threw the election then trump did. Green party was on ballot in 2016 costing clinton mi. loses by 10,000 gp stein 50,000 pa. clinton loses by 43,000 gp stein 58,000 wi. clinton loses by 22,000 gp jill stein 38.000 Green party kicked off ballots in az ga wi by democrats using laws put in by republicans to keep libertarian party off ballot (they failed)

    asset (30face)

  315. He threw the election by making it a test of loyalty not to vote absentee.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  316. When an election is close, there can be multiple independent causes for the result. You can blame it on what asset says, on what Kevin says, on Clinton not campaigning in the rust belt, on calling Trump voters deplorables, on Comey re-opening the e-mails case days before the election… they can each and all be true. Every one of them independently may have cost Clinton a number of votes sufficient to have turned the election. It took a perfect storm for Trump to win, and he got it.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  317. Lurker,

    To rephrase what you said
    It took a perfect storm for Trump to lose. A man-made, weaponized virus unleashed upon an unsuspecting public. An unscrupulous election board and judges changing voting policy wily nilly irrrlespective of the actual voting laws of the state. Leftist fearmongering of the police and their usual accusations of racism. The summer of leftist rage.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  318. JVW: “if you trust any branch of government — including the Defense Department — to always and everywhere be honest and transparent with the American people then you haven’t paid much attention to history”

    Always and everywhere is a pretty tall order. However, I do like claims to be based on evidence, not on ill-motivated conjecture. What precisely are the facts that indicate that the rogue balloon represents a serious embarrassment? I haven’t heard many. What facts has DCCCP brought to the table that China now knows the administration is slow and incompetent…and that Taiwan now is an easy take? Isn’t this motivated reasoning on steroids based on DCCCP’s 13,434 unhinged rants on Biden? I don’t view his commentary as objective or measured, do you?

    There’s no evidence that the military did not detect the balloon early. There’s no evidence that the balloon posed any risk to military security or to the civilian population. There’s no evidence that allowing the balloon to sail through posed greater harm than shooting it down over Canada or Montana. There’s no evidence that waiting to shoot it down over the Atlantic was improper. Speculation leaves open that we learned more by observing the balloon and that by permitting a more provocative intrusion, that we gain diplomatic leverage over the Chinese. Who knows, we may have even had the oportunity to test technology and assess Chinese technology with little downside. There’s also no harm in keeping this information classified to safeguard it.

    Who has more facts about making this decision? The combined resources of the military, intelligence community, and diplomatic core…or some anonymous pro-Russian blogger hooting and cackling in his basement in his underwear. Sure there’s no evidence that he’s in his underwear, but who here would actually bet against it.

    Finally, I do want to speak up for Dana who dared to point out previous Chinese balloon incursions into our air space….and that there was no macho requirement at the time to immediately blast them out of the sky. The usual suspects remain without class.

    AJ_Liberty (7e6c4a)

  319. Of all the Presidents, not to mention Mafia bosses, Don Trump was the most likely to indulge in willful ignorance (called “plausible deniability” in News Speak), and not want his soldiers to tell him what they were doing if it was against stated policy or how they messed up. And I don’t expect that Biden is all that much different, just not as good at it.

    nk (5f468e)

  320. Aw, for crying out loud! Do you think that the Article Eleven President even knew the street address of the White House let alone secret military operations at any time even with the best of intentions?

    nk (5f468e)

  321. I know we paid wergild to the Afghani family that was murdered in Kabul during the bugout, but did anything happen to the intelligence failures who ordered the missile strike?

    nk (5f468e)

  322. Finally, I do want to speak up for Dana who dared to point out previous Chinese balloon incursions into our air space….and that there was no macho requirement at the time to immediately blast them out of the sky. The usual suspects remain without class.

    AJ_Liberty (7e6c4a) — 2/6/2023 @ 4:50 am

    LOL, you really think if the American public knew about the previous ones, there wouldn’t be a demand to knock them down? She used it as nothing more than a gotcha against someone she hates, and then had to go back and admit that, yes, the current administration cacked this up by not being more transparent about what was going on. The usual suspects were whining about it being turned into another partisan talking point, when people who aren’t pathologically obsessed with everyone “finding common ground” and “trusting the system” understand how badly the DoD and intel agencies handled this. The hilarious part is that you put more effort into trying to justify the actions of the government agencies than they could even be bothered to put forth.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  323. FWO, sorry I have no interest in engaging with you.

    AJ_Liberty (7e6c4a)

  324. FWO, sorry I have no interest in engaging with you.

    AJ_Liberty (7e6c4a) — 2/6/2023 @ 6:07 am

    That’s fine. Doesn’t mean your assertions and presumptions aren’t going to get challenged, especially when you’re so fixated on DCSCA’s posts.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  325. Thank you FWO.

    The need to justify the consistent ineptitude and overt hostility to the American public by this administration boggles the mind.

    NJRob (a2f0cf)

  326. To justify and excuse*

    NJRob (a2f0cf)

  327. She used it as nothing more than a gotcha against someone she hates, and then had to go back and admit that, yes, the current administration cacked this up by not being more transparent about what was going on.

    You couldn’t be more wrong.

    Dana (ea18b0)

  328. It took a perfect storm for Trump to lose.

    Plus all those suburban moms who think he is trash.

    DRJ (265356)

  329. @328. What facts has DCCCP brought to the table that China now knows the administration is slow and incompetent…

    Pfft. It’s called a calendar; the balloon was spotted breaching sovereign U.S. airspace over the Aleutians on January 28. Thanks for playing.

    DCSCA (f5a166)

  330. FWO, sorry I have no interest in engaging with you.

    Sort of like the Pentagon’s attitude toward the balloon. 😉

    Birds of a feather…

    DCSCA (f5a166)

  331. There’s no evidence that the balloon posed any risk to military security or to the civilian population.

    As usual you miss the point: breaching sovereign U.S,. airspace IS the risk to security, etc., etc. As noted earlier, if an American civil aviation pilot inadvertently flies their Beechcraft into the restricted airspace over Cape Canaveral, Washington, D.C. or Area 51- the Pentagon scramble jets ASAP seeing a risk with ‘no evidence’ at all. Thank for playing.

    DCSCA (f5a166)

  332. @332. The problem is within the Pentagon. Some brass hat[s] made a policy decision to use ‘threat assessment’ as the metric for managing breaches of sovereign U.S. air space. Their job is to carry out policy, not create it and that SOB should be fired, now. And as long as these breaches were not made known to the general public, they were deemed acceptable. Once that cover was blown by a free press, embarrassment and outrage erupted and vague excuses, aka damage control, stuttered forth. The DoD may likely have kept civilian officials in recent administrations deliberately unaware of such breaches. The DoD has some explaining to do.

    DCSCA (f5a166)

  333. When an election is close, there can be multiple independent causes for the result.

    Indeed. But some of them were entirely within Trump’s control. Two stand out: the dissing of absentee voters and his crazy-drunk-uncle performance at the first debate.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  334. For Clinton, her two huge blunders were collapsing on camera and not campaigning more in the swing states.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  335. #341

    What the administration has not done, as far as I know, is explain why they did not see the baloon before it was over land (or act on it if they did see it). It would have been better and far less dramatic to have shot the thing down in the Pacific (but inside the US limit).

    As usual, when the Biden administration appears to blunder in reality, they always blunder the explanation of what happened.

    Appalled (99e71b)

  336. Neo-Nazi leader and girlfriend accused of targeting Md. power stations
    ……..
    Brandon Russell, 27, and Sarah Clendaniel, 34, are expected to make their first appearance Monday in Baltimore and Florida federal courts on a charge of conspiring to destroy an energy facility, which carries up to 20 years in prison.
    ……..
    According to prosecutors, their plan was to attack with gunfire five substations that serve the Baltimore area. The charges come after similar attacks on the power grid in North Carolina and Oregon that remain unsolved; the Department of Homeland Security recently warned that the United States is in a “heightened threat environment” and that critical infrastructure is among the “targets of potential violence.”

    In conversations about the plot, according to court documents, Clendaniel “described how there was a ‘ring’ around Baltimore and if they hit a number of them all in the same day, they ‘would completely destroy this whole city.’”
    ……..
    According to prosecutors, they used open source information on the national infrastructure grid to pick five electrical substations around Baltimore that would, if attacked on the same day, create a “cascading failure” in the system.
    ……..
    Russell, a former Florida National Guard member, is the founder of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen, which attempted to use violent attacks to spark a race war in the United States. Experts say the group, while small, is dangerous because of its influence on the broader far-right movement to eschew politics and spill blood.
    ……..
    In discussing an attack on power stations, Clendaniel “added that they needed to ‘destroy those cores, not just leak the oil …’ and that a ‘good four or five shots through the center of them … should make that happen.’ She added: ‘It would probably permanently completely lay this city to waste if we could do that successfully.’”
    ……..

    Russell had previously pled guilty to possessing an unregistered destructive device and for unlawful storage of explosive material in 2017.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  337. Jan. 6 rioter seen in Nancy Pelosi’s office wants convictions tossed, claims 950,000-volt stun gun was ‘non-dangerous’

    The Jan. 6th rioter photographed kicking his foot up on a desk in then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office wants to overturn his convictions on charges that could put him away for 46 years.

    ……. Prosecutors performed a demonstration of the weapon for the jury at his recent trial.
    …….
    Barnett’s lawyers — Jonathan Gross, Joseph McBride, Bradford Geyer, and Carolyn Stewart — claim that those demonstrations for the jury were improper.

    “The Zap Hike N Strike is a walking stick, flashlight, and defensive stun device,” they wrote in a 45-page motion for an acquittal on Sunday. “It was not designed for and is not sold for offensive use. It is not a weapon. It is largely used by hikers, and for defense against animals. The sound provides a powerful deterrent. The packaging contains no age requirement for use.”

    The defense motion claims that prosecutors “deliberately demonstrated a Zap Hike ‘N Strike for five seconds to misrepresent the non-dangerous item and to unfairly scare the jury with the sound.”

    The attorneys also object to prosecutors calling the Zap Hike N Strike a “deadly weapon” during closing arguments, insisting it “lacks lethal capability.”
    ……..
    Only one of the eight counts against Barnett charges him with entering and remaining inside restricted grounds with a dangerous or deadly weapon. He was also charged and convicted of civil disorder, obstructing an official proceeding, theft of government property and multiple misdemeanors associated with his entering the Capitol.
    ……….

    I thought his zapper was nonfunctional?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  338. Biden Turns to Venezuela for Oil…

    Biden chose the lesser evil, cutting off Russian oil. Hopefully, we can back to cutting off Maduro as well, once the supply/price situation stabilizes.

    It took a perfect storm for Trump to lose.

    The leaders in other countries who didn’t lie and downtalk and incompetently manage the virus did quite well electorally, even BoJ, and they were stuck with the same “man-made, weaponized virus” as we were. Bottom line, we were Bottom Ten in deaths per million by Election Day, and it was on Trump’s watch.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  339. Biden admin offers to brief Trump officials on past Chinese spy balloon incursions
    ……….
    “This information was discovered after the prior administration left. The intelligence community is prepared to offer key officials from the Trump administration briefings on [China’s] surveillance program,” one of the officials said. The official, along with several others, asked not to be named in order to discuss sensitive information.

    Briefers would also be willing to discuss Beijing’s similar operations in East Asia, South Asia and Europe over the last several years, the official said.

    The proposal to brief the Trump officials is the latest development following the military’s shootdown of a Chinese spy balloon on Saturday, seven days after it entered U.S. airspace. Republicans and former Trump officials said this week that they would have downed the airship as soon as it appeared, and criticized President Joe Biden for waiting until the balloon was over water before bringing it down.
    ……..
    Some officials did speak in generalities, however. DoD tracks “hundreds” of balloons every day, but they are typically not deemed a threat. Their presence close to or over the United States would not be brought to the attention of senior leaders unless their behavior was “completely out of the ordinary, like this one,” said one senior Pentagon official.
    ……..
    One of the Trump-era balloons hovered over Guam, according to two U.S. officials. And in 2020, the intelligence community assessed that much smaller balloons detected off the coast of Virginia were Chinese radar-jamming devices, according to a former senior DoD official.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  340. ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/6/2023 @ 12:02 pm

    Are those some of the same 51 intelligence officers that claimed Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation?”

    NJRob (255104)

  341. ‘hovered over Guam…’

    Plan To Massively Upgrade Guam’s Missile Defenses Takes Shape

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/plan-to-massively-upgrade-guams-missile-defenses-takes-shape

    ‘… off the coast of Virginia.’

    Norfolk… and Wallops Island.

    DCSCA (994069)

  342. Are those some of the same 51 intelligence officers that claimed Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation?”

    NJRob (255104) — 2/6/2023 @ 12:14 pm

    No.

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  343. Memo to Bart Simpson:

    Get a party balloon pack at the Quik-E-Mart;
    fill balloons w/helium from canister;
    tie notes to balloons with this message: “gé lǐ tíng sī fú luó mǔ wǔ hàn , qí nà”;
    release from Flanders backyard.
    Call Moe’s and ask him if balloons remind me of his dad because they don’t come back…

    “D’oh!” – Homer Simpson

    DCSCA (994069)

  344. I thought his zapper was nonfunctional?

    They demonstrated an example device, not his.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  345. WHITE HOUSE TO BRIEF FORMER TRUMP OFFICIALS ON BALLOON BREACHES DURING THEIR TIME IN OFFICE

    Trump era officials were not told while in office.

    The frigging Pentagon – particularly Milley- has some explaining to do.

    DCSCA (994069)

  346. Trumpists seldom mention the qualifying statements, such as the one by the 51 former intelligence officials.

    We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement — just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  347. Trumpists seldom mention the qualifying statements, such as the one by the 51 former intelligence officials.
    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 2/6/2023 @ 12:54 pm

    maybe because, at the time, none of the NeverTrumpers breathlessly using the statement to brand it russian misinformation made any mention of the qualifiers either

    JF (df426c)

  348. We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement — just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.

    Some people who knew better got others to sign that.

    The only basis for saying that was that Russian government was known to be pro-Trump, or had been in 2016, and the material in the laptop was bad for Biden and sounded too good for Trump to be true – and Giuliani was involved. You needed no special expertise for that.

    Giuliani was involved because he was the 5th choice of John Paul MacIsaac, the computer repairman..

    Lindsey Graham and Jim Jordan had not been interested in those files or were afraid they were phony or the result of something illegal. Jim Jordan didn’t want to touch them! Which shows you he is a bit of a hypocrite.

    The FBI had done noting wth the files since they got them in December 2019.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  349. DCSCA @307. 319

    . Somebody in the Pentagon decided these U.S. sovereign air space incursions were acceptable using ‘threat assessment’ as their metric when no incursion should be acceptable at all.

    It is said that no one hates war more than people in the military.

    It could be they didn’t want to start up with China if it wasn’t necessary.

    And there are ways that watchful waiting could be useful – i.e. let us see what the Chinese are interested in and maybe also we can mislead them.

    And if they find out later they’ll always wonder how many things they think they are keeping secret from the U.S.A. the USA knows for a long time.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  350. “What the administration has not done, as far as I know, is explain why they did not see the baloon before it was over land (or act on it if they did see it).”

    The military did not notify them straight away. I’m guessing this policy whatever ambiguity there is in it will get an overhaul. It’s got to also be embarrassing to learn, oh yeah, they’ve done this before without any alerts. I would think the “debris field” concerns will also be re-visited. If you can’t drop something in Montana (or Alaska) with minimal concern, I’m not sure you could ever drop something. It could just be an excuse to study it…or maybe they were slow in figuring out the best way to bring it down (slow drain or quick pop). Either way, no one wants an EMP device, dirty bomb, or bio-hazard freely floating across the country (all would be acts of war but you have to figure the jihadists ears perked up at the news). It will be interesting to see how high the intrusion notification went in the military and why they thought that their threat assessment was sufficient.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  351. DCSCA (575b31) — 2/5/2023 @ 5:31 pm

    the Pentagon’s failure to even acknowledge the location of the object to the public in pressers aside from ‘central continental United States’ even as local press outlets could spot it visually, track and video it. The DoD and Pentagon have a failed policy to own up to… as Ricky said to The Redhead: ‘Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.’

    The only reason they confirmed it at all was that they have a rather recent policy of not refusing to explain UFOs – Unidentified Flying Objects which are now called UAP – Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

    The spokespeople didn’t say more than the minimal because it was all classified information.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  352. NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/6/2023 @ 4:22 am

    The fevered tribalism and speculation of some of your examples notwithstanding, your assertion that the perfect storm explanation I used for Trump’s close win also applies to his close loss is of course correct.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  353. @60. Overhaul hell: some brasshole[s] who took it upon themselves to set policy and keep incursions into U.S. sovereign air space from civilian authorities gets fired. End of story.

    DCSCA (991dd9)

  354. ^360.

    DCSCA (991dd9)

  355. 299. Meanwhile there’s a case pending in the Supreme Court that says a 2005 law outlawing lawsuits against gun manufacturers if the sake was legal is an unconstitutional interference with state law, and they’re trying to connect it somehow to the 7th amendment.

    But the 7th amendment doesn’t say that any tort a state creates or that is already a tort by common law can’t be the subject of a prohibition by Congress; it says that all trials in suits at common law must be by jury.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  356. In favor of leaving the barn door open:

    The Capitol Police Board, a three-member body that makes security decisions for the Capitol complex, split 2-1 last week in favor of erecting a temporary security fence ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, according to two people familiar with the decision.

    The lone vote against the plan: William McFarland, the House’s newly minted sergeant at arms.

    It’s unclear why McFarland opposed the fence installation. His Senate counterpart, Karen Gibson, and Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton both voted in favor of installing the temporary fencing. The three officials make up the Capitol Police Board. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger is an “ex officio” member of the board who can participate but cannot vote.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  357. 323. Factory Working Orphan (bce27d) — 2/5/2023 @ 9:59 pm

    This is the same DoD that kept sending troops back in to Syria to conduct operations after Trump ordered them to withdraw.

    Trump had allowed an exception. And they didn’t want to betray the people they were dealing with.

    Incidentally, there’s big earthquake along the Turkey-Syria border. 7.8 on the Richter scale – hot at 4 am local time.

    And now another in Buffalo, New York.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  358. Paul,

    Their statement was a deliberate lie made to make simple mined people this it was a Russian disinformation op. The FBI had the laptop for a year and sat on it. They knew it was verified.

    Your partisanship is showing yet again.

    NJRob (255104)

  359. Also, Kevin, after further investigation, it does appear that the payload was 3 busses….the entire balloon much, much bigger. So it definitely would show up on radar.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  360. DCSCA (0d9102) — 2/5/2023 @ 2:25 pm

    Accordingly, China has learned what wanted. They expect the United States to be slow, befuddled and bureaucratic in immediate, short term, real time responses.

    Not too befuddled about what is happening.

    The U.S. predicted the Russian invasion of Ukraine – and was pretty desperate in its efforts to get Putin to call it off.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  361. @361. Classified??? People could look up and SEE IT. Sammy, a civilian saw it and contacted the Pentagon and asked what it was and they responded with ‘we’re formulating a response’ then it broke in the press. If nobbody had seen it they’d have said nothing. The Pentagon was outed for another chapter of incompetence.

    DCSCA (991dd9)

  362. @370. The U.S. predicted the Russian invasion of Ukraine – and was pretty desperate in its efforts to get Putin to call it off.

    EVERY NATION w/an intel capability did. And Z blew them off saying they swerenb’t the titanic.

    DCSCA (991dd9)

  363. Clyburn foolishly defends Biden- says Trump officials not telling truth about balloon knowledge even as WH has stated Trump era officials were not made aware.

    DCSCA (991dd9)

  364. Biden was brifed about the balloon on Tuesday last week – he gave orders to shoot it down “as soon as possible” on Wednesday he said on Saturday — it’s not clear whether the Pentagon went back to Biden or just interpreted his directive (and maybe it included a qualifying clause about safety – the text had anyway been prepared by people in the Pentagon)

    They said the safest place to bring it down would be over water. How they knew it wouldn’t cross over into Mexico is not clear. Because winds don’t blow that way?

    It is not clear that the only way the Chinese could maneuver it was to raise and lower its altitude – and then how did they knew about what the wind was doing at different altitudes?

    It’s said the Pentagon got concerned when it lingered – did it linger? – over Montana – near a missile site.

    When it was over Missouri on Friday it was expected to take several days to reach the East Coast, but it did so in day. Maybe the Chinese were trying to race out of the United States and escape.

    They’ve apparently got numerous balloons like this. Previously, they only barely went over the United States. The Chinese experimental research program is getting pretty big.

    Trump wasn’t lying when he said he didn’t know. Bolton and others sad so too. And it is not clear if sometimes it was detected only in retrosect – like noticing photographs of comets or asteroids later.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  365. DCSCA (991dd9) — 2/6/2023 @ 1:29 pm

    @361. Classified??? People could look up and SEE IT.

    That doesn;t declassify it.

    Someone had authorized the general or others to say it was Chinese in origin and a surveillance balloon not a simple weather balloon, (and that only so that people shouldn’t suspect it was Martians or greys or a secret Pentagon program) but he was not authorized to say anything more, like its location.

    Sammy, a civilian saw it and contacted the Pentagon and asked what it was and they responded with ‘we’re formulating a response’ then it broke in the press. If nobody had seen it they’d have said nothing.

    Correct, I think.

    The Pentagon was outed for another chapter of incompetence.

    Including in deciding what was secret.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  366. DCSCA @372.

    EVERY NATION w/an intel capability did.

    And we’d know if they were seriously planning to attack Taiwan.

    And Z blew them off saying they weren’t the titanic.

    I thin because they hadn’t invaded on Feb 16. He knew the US was trying to avert that.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  367. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/6/2023 @ 11:45 am

    TrumpWorld begs to differ:

    ……..Wonder how long this Atomwaffen clown has worked for the FBI, or is it the CIA? False flag so big it could have covered the 3 story balloon. ……. I believe they are among the criminals that the Brandon regime and DNC use as their ‘militia’. Antifa, street gangs, drug dealers, White Supremacists – I believe our corrupt government and ‘public servants’ hire these people. This is the kind of people the DNC would use to ‘eliminate’ whistle blower Seth Rich. ……Probably an FBI plant with his SPLC or ADL girlfriend, hanging around with their local and state police informers “members”. …….When “they” killed Kennedy they took over. They used the intel resources to gain inside information. They are Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, etc. and used the intel agency access to grab the capital production. …….Usually it’s just feds right out of the FBI academy or douche bags like Ray Epps who are on their payroll. …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  368. NJRob (255104) — 2/6/2023 @ 1:27 pm

    What a silly hyperbolic comment. Their qualification stands for itself.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  369. NJRob (255104) — 2/6/2023 @ 1:27 pm

    The FBI had the laptop for a year and sat on it.

    About 10 months at that point.

    They knew it was verified.

    It’s content was not invented by Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  370. The fevered tribalism and speculation of some of your examples notwithstanding, your assertion that the perfect storm explanation I used for Trump’s close win also applies to his close loss is of course correct.

    lurker (cd7cd4) — 2/6/2023 @ 1:19 pm

    Your insult notwithstanding, I appreciate you acknowledging that my remarks were accurate.

    NJRob (bf270a)

  371. Paul,

    You doubled down. I’m so shocked.

    NJRob (bf270a)

  372. U.S. Air Defenses Failed to Spot Earlier Chinese Balloon Intrusions, General Says
    ………
    Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, contrasted those previous lapses in detecting balloons with the airship the military tracked and shot down Saturday. He described a surveillance gap and said the U.S. is trying to determine why the earlier flights went undetected.

    “I will tell you that we did not detect those threats and that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out,” the general said at a media briefing.

    With the most recent incursion, the general said the U.S. took countermeasures to prevent the balloon from collecting intelligence, studied the craft as it traversed the U.S. last week and hopes to learn more about its capabilities from the wreckage.
    ………
    Biden administration officials have identified at least four previous flights by Chinese surveillance balloons above the continental U.S. that went undetected until after leaving American airspace, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Three of those flights occurred in the Trump administration while one took place early in the Biden administration.
    ………
    Only later did the intelligence community assess those incursions “from additional means, and made us aware of those balloons that were previously approaching North America or transit in North America,” Gen. VanHerck said.
    ………

    Free links.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  373. You doubled down. I’m so shocked.

    Actually, you did, Rob. I’ll just note that your hyperpartisan prism can’t detect qualifying statements.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  374. “I rebuilt our entire military, which nobody talks about.”
    –Donald J. Trump, announcing his candidacy, 11/16/2022.

    Apparently that “rebuilt” military couldn’t detect a spy balloon.

    BREAKING: The top General from NORAD admits the U.S. Military did not detect the earlier Chinese spy flights during the Trump Admin and John Kirby says: “I can tell you that we discovered these flights after we came into office.”

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  375. Much is being made about how the GOP wants to cut Medicare and Social Security, but the sad truth is that the Democrats cut the Medicare drug program for most recipients last year.

    In the Inflation Exacerbation Act, the Democrats put several restrictions on how much Medicare plans could charge for certain drugs, notably insulin. But it also made it hard for them to raise fees to cover that, so the money came from reducing drug coverage for everything else.

    For me, the $15/month plan I had that included my one expensive drug dropped that drug from its formulary, and I had to change to another plan for $80/month that included that but excluded another needed, but less expensive, drug.

    From what I read, more changes are coming next year, from the same Act, which will make nearly all Medicare Part D plans near useless. They are forcing a reduction in deductibles and co-pays while capping the premiums.

    It seems like this is part of a plan to force seniors into the HMO-like Medicare Advantage plans which are designed for seniors who are either destitute or impaired. Now, maybe this is what will be needed to “save” Medicare, but they are being extremely dishonest about it. When the cuts hit home, they will be blaming the GOP for what they did without a single GOP vote.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  376. Soon, everyone will pay less that the average costs for medicine!

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  377. EVERY NATION w/an intel capability did. And Z blew them off saying they swerenb’t the titanic.

    The US (and everyone else) also predicted that the Russians would capture Kiev in 3 days. THIS is what Z blew off, and he seems to have had a reason.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  378. Biden to push for universal insulin price cap in State of the Union

    I wonder if price controls on baby formula will be included. Just think of what a dent we can make in inflation by making higher prices illegal!

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  379. @388. Wrong. What Z blew off:

    ‘We don’t have a Titanic here’: Ukraine plays down threat of Russian invasion

    President Volodymyr Zelenskiy complains war talk causing panic in financial centres and depleting gold reserves

    Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has talked down the threat of an imminent Russian invasion and said the UK and US are wrong to pull out non-essential diplomatic staff from Kyiv, adding: “We don’t have a Titanic here.” Zelenskiy said… he was acutely aware of the dangers posed by the 100,000 Russian troops gathered on Ukraine’s border. But he appeared to disagree with the Biden administration’s bleak assessment that a Russian attack next month was “distinctly possible”.

    In a briefing to foreign media organizations including the Guardian, Zelenskiy shrugged off claims his government was in denial, with an attitude that commentators on social media had compared to the Netflix drama Don’t Look Up.

    “We are looking up. We do understand what is happening. But we have been in the situation for eight years. We should not only be looking up but also at the ground,” he said. “The threat is constant.” He added: “We can’t say the war will happen tomorrow or by the end of February. Yes, it may happen, unfortunately. But you have to feel the pulse on a day-to-day basis.”

    Don’t panic: why Ukraine doesn’t like western talk of imminent attack.

    Asked if Boris Johnson’s government had made a mistake in withdrawing some diplomats, Zelenskiy said: “Yes. In these circumstances everyone is essential.” He noted that the Greeks had kept open their consulate in the city of Mariupol, next to the frontline with Russian-backed separatists. “You can hear cannons firing. The Greeks didn’t pull anyone out. The captains should not leave the ship. I don’t think we have a Titanic here.”

    Zelenskiy said the recent buildup of Kremlin forces was “no more intense” than in spring 2021. “If you look at the satellite you will see the increase of troops. You can’t assess if it’s a threat, an attack or simple rotation,” he said, adding that some of the tents for Russian soldiers appeared to be empty.

    Moscow moved in additional troops before major diplomatic negotiations, he said. “It’s psychological. They want to make believe they are there. They are trying to build up psychological pressure.”

    Zelenskiy denied differences with the US administration, after a phone call on Thursday night with Joe Biden. “We don’t have any misunderstandings with President Biden. I just deeply understand what’s happening in my country, just as he does with the US,” he said.

    “Do we have tanks on the streets? No,” he said. Hyped media reports were causing panic in the financial sector, damaging the “purse” of Ukrainians, and depleting Ukraine’s gold reserves and currency, he said.

    Zelenskiy was speaking at his official residence in Kyiv, the Mariinski palace, a neo-classical building overlooking the River Dnipro and next to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s lower house of parliament. The US believes the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine next month remains real. The US ambassador in Moscow, John Sullivan, has said a Kremlin operation could be imminent, citing the extraordinary buildup of Russian troops at the border.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/28/ukraine-plays-down-threat-of-russian-invasion-volodymyr-zelenskiy

    Ukraine crisis: Don’t create panic, Zelensky tells West

    ‘Ukraine is not the Titanic’

    By Sarah Rainsford, Eastern Europe Correspondent

    This was a slightly surreal encounter. One after another, journalists asked Ukraine’s president about the threat. But Volodymyr Zelensky batted away the questions, accusing the press itself of causing panic.

    On the other hand, he wasn’t contradicting the US intelligence: “I can see the 100,000 soldiers,” he eventually clarified. But he went from hinting that Russia was simply scaremongering, getting a “sado-masochistic” pleasure from seeing Kyiv sweat, to admitting that Ukraine was preparing for the possibility of all-out war. Still, Mr Zelensky reminded people that his country has lived with the threat of Russian aggression for years – it goes in cycles – and despite the unusual size of the current deployment, he seemed determined to play down the danger. When it came to the evacuation of some staff by some embassies, Ukraine’s leader was openly peeved: “Diplomats are like captains,” Mr Zelensky said. “They should be the last to leave a sinking ship. And Ukraine is not the Titanic.” – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60174684

    DCSCA (d76325)

  380. Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/6/2023 @ 4:14 pm

    That, Kevin, and this is another example of DC blaming the victim–which is why it’s better that he be ignored than responded to–rather than condemn the aggressor for his illegal invasion on bogus pretenses.
    After the 2014 invasions by Putin, the Ukrainian military worked with us and European allies to improve their defensive operations, and the proof of their progress is the fact that they’re fighting Putin to a standstill after reclaiming Kharkiv, Izyum, Lyman, Kherson, etc.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  381. @391. Pfffft. When the captain is warned multiple times there’s an iceberg right ahead and he blows off the warnings and fails to prepare for a collision, your response is to blame the iceberg for getting in his way rather than holding the captain accountable for ignoring the warning and sailing into disaster. Thanks for playing.

    DCSCA (d76325)

  382. Gen. Glen VanHerck, Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, Holds an Off-Camera, On-The-Record Briefing on the High-Altitude Surveillance Balloon Recovery Efforts
    ……….
    So the USS Carter Hall, a U.S. Navy ship under the command and control of NORTHCOM through my Navy component, now the North, Navy North, led by Admiral Daryl Caudle, they’re on station in the vicinity of the splashdown, and they’ve been collecting debris, category — categorizing the debris since arrival. The U.S. Navy Ship Pathfinder is also on station. The Pathfinder is a ship that conducts survey operations using sonar and other means to map out the debris field. It’s capable of conducting oceanographic, hydrographic, bathymetric surveys of the bottom of the ocean to do that. And they’ll eventually produce us a map — they’re in the process of doing that, and I expect to have much more today — of the full debris field. But we expect the debris field to be of the rough order of magnitude of about 1,500 meters by 1,500 meters, and so, you know, more than 15 football fields by 15 football fields. But we’ll get a further assessment of that today.
    ……..
    I don’t know where the debris’ going to go for a final analysis, but I will tell you that certainly the intel community, along with the law enforcement community that works this under counter intelligence, will take a good look at it. So we look forward to moving forward there.
    ……..
    Q: Thank you. Can you say the F-22 that shot down the balloon, will it get a balloon decal to signify the victory?

    …….I’ll differ to the first fighter wing. I — I will say I’m really incredibly proud of everybody that took place in this. But the F-22 was remarkable. I’d remind everybody that the call sign of the first flight was Frank 01. The secondly flight of F-22s was Luke 01; a flight of two.

    Frank, Luke; Medal of Honor winner, World War I for his activities that he conducted against observation balloons. So how fitting is it that Frank 01 took down this balloon in sovereign air space of the United States of America within our territorial waters.
    ………
    ……(S)o the balloon assessment was up to 200 feet tall for the actual balloon. The payload itself, I would categorize that as a jet airliner type of size, maybe a regional jet such as a ERJ or something like that. Probably weighed in access of a couple thousand pounds. So I would — from a safety standpoint, picture yourself with large debris weighing hundreds if not thousands of pounds falling out of the sky. That’s really what we’re kind of talking about.

    So glass off of solar panels potentially hazardous material, such as material that is required for batteries to operate in such an environment as this and even the potential for explosives to detonate and destroy the balloon that — that could have been present.
    ……..
    It was my assessment that this balloon did not present a physical military threat to North America, this is under my NORAD hat. And therefore, I could not take immediate action because it was not demonstrating hostile act or hostile intent. From there, certainly, provided information on the status of the whereabouts of the balloon. And moving forward, kept the department and the governor — the government of Canada in the loop as my NORAD, I have a boss in Canada as well.
    ……..
    ……(I)s it true you had U-2 spy planes around the balloon as it crossed the continental U.S. and that was another way that you could collect on the balloon?

    I’m not going to get into details of the operation, what planes. (W)e utilized multiple capabilities to ensure we collected and utilized the opportunity to close intel gaps.

    I would point out and I think it’s important to talk about is, day to day we do not have the authority to collect intelligence within the United States of America. In this case, specific authorities were granted to collect intelligence against the balloon specifically and we utilized specific capabilities to do that……..
    ……..
    ……..Can you give us the names of some of the sensitive military sites that were in range of the balloon’s censors as it crossed the U.S.? ……

    …….I’m not going to get in front of the department on specific locations, flight path. I would just tell you we took every precaution to ensure any sites in the way were covered and that we minimized any collection. ……
    …….
    Yeah, absolutely. There was a warhead in the missile. You can see that explosion on TV as it goes through the lower part of the balloon and right there through the superstructure.
    ………
    ……(R)ight after the balloon passed through Alaska it did enter Canadian airspace. I’m wondering if you can tell us who in Canada was notified when it crossed into the airspace.

    My boss is General Wayne Eyre, the Chief of Defense staff on the Canadian side. And I can assure you that General Eyre was kept in the loop.
    ……..
    I launched NORAD fighters, Canadian CF-18s and we were not able to corroborate any additional balloon. I do think their path was purposely built. And they utilized the winds and it’s a maneuverable platform as well, but their utilize their maneuverability to strategically position themselves to utilize the winds to traverse portions of countries that they want to see for collection purposes.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  383. @393. No questions about the costs incurred by the United States for dispatching multiple aircraft and multiple vessels for recovery, munitions and fuel expended as well as expenses to civilian airports, airlines and citzens delayed by the FAA ground stop at DoD request..

    But quite informative about decals.

    Makes a taxpayer proud. =sarc=

    Typical DoD poop.

    _________

    “It was my assessment that this balloon did not present a physical military threat to North America, this is under my NORAD hat. And therefore, I could not take immediate action because it was not demonstrating hostile act or hostile intent.” – Gen. Glen “Walter Short” VanHerck… so you assessed the bogie to be just like Santa Claus, eh, Glen?

    Thus a DoD general created policy using ‘threat assessment’ as a metric for managing intrusions into sovereign U.S. air space… the civilians in Congress may likely ask about that very soon…

    Memo to VanHerck: another “Bogie” has a message for you:

    https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/61305430-8d2a-4895-b21e-ac77560e62c7

    DCSCA (98db4d)

  384. https://www.politico.com/news/2023/02/06/federal-judge-constitutional-right-abortion-dobbs-00081391

    They must murder babies no matter the cost. Truly disciples of Moloch.

    Why is she not disbarred?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  385. https://twitchy.com/brettt-3136/2023/02/06/dr-jordan-peterson-has-opinions-regarding-the-worlds-youngest-transgender-model/

    Just a reminder that there is true evil out there. This mother has destroyed her child for fame and profit.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  386. Why is she not disbarred?

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/6/2023 @ 7:09 pm

    Not sure what malfeasance U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly committed:

    ……….
    Kollar-Kotelly noted that there is some legal scholarship suggesting that the 13th Amendment — which was ratified at the end of the Civil War and sought to ban slavery and “involuntary servitude” — provides just such a right. She is asking the parties in the criminal case, which involves charges of blocking access to abortion clinics, to present arguments by mid-March.

    Kollar-Kotelly’s request stems from a year-old case against 10 defendants, who are charged with conspiring to block access to a Washington, D.C., abortion clinic.

    One of those defendants, Lauren Handy, contended that the conspiracy charge is no longer legitimate because the Dobbs decision took Congress out of the business of making laws related to abortion access.

    “There is no longer a federal constitutional interest to protect, and Congress lacks jurisdiction,” Handy’s attorneys wrote. “The Dobbs court did not indicate that there is no longer a constitutional right to abortion; the court has made clear there never was.”

    Kollar-Kotelly, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, indicated that she viewed this position as overly broad. ……..
    ………

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  387. Your insult notwithstanding, I appreciate you acknowledging that my remarks were accurate.

    NJRob (bf270a) — 2/6/2023 @ 2:24 pm

    Remark, singular, Rob, not remarks. Your general remark was accurate. As I said, some or all of the specifics were fevered tribalism and speculation.

    I’ll leave appreciation for the irony of you complaining about anyone else’s insults as an exercise for the reader. Suffice it to say, what I wrote wouldn’t generally be considered an insult in online discourse, at least not an objectionable one. As I’ve explained to you before, people can be insulted; comments can’t. My criticism was directed at your comment.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  388. Rubio: Biden’s Failure to Address the Nation on Chinese Balloon ‘Beginning of Dereliction of Duty’
    ………
    ……… Why didn’t the president go on television and basically explain what we’re dealing with here and why he’s made the decisions he’s making, and what they intend to do? Once they went public with it, knowing the amount of interest this was going to generate, presidents have the ability to go before a camera, go before the nation and basically explain these things early on. His failure to do so, I don’t understand that. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t do that. That is the beginning of dereliction of duty.”
    …………

    Failure to give a speech is “dereliction of duty” when there are so many other reasons? I would rather not hear Biden speak at all. LOL!

    Rip Murdock (6503df)

  389. NORAD Balloon Defense Training Film:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95Oj9QhHzbA

    DCSCA (6e08e6)

  390. Joe, in his aviators & ‘Brandon’ cap, versus the Balloon:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6Ffr1U7KMY

    DCSCA (6e08e6)

  391. Kollar-Kotelly noted that there is some legal scholarship suggesting that the 13th Amendment

    Sure. It might also be hiding in the 3rd Amendment. Hard to say. After all requiring q woman to carry a fetus to term is just the same as slavery, or stationing troops in your house.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  392. @396 We had a civil war over dred scott decision. We may have another over dobbs decision. We will not except this ruling on abortion. Most democrats were elected before abortion ruling and have not had to face primary challengers. 2024 will force democrats in primaries to get tough on right to lifers and the states they control!

    asset (1009d6)

  393. https://nypost.com/2023/02/05/medicaid-rolls-swell-as-8-million-new-yorkers-get-coverage-at-expected-record-price-of-almost-35b/

    The perpetual welfare state, paid for on the backs of the remaining suckers that haven’t left yet.

    Out of a population of 18 million, 8 million are on medicaid (44%), another 3.7 million are on medicare (21%), and an addional 1 million are on other forms of government medical freebees including illegals (6%).

    So well over 2/3 of the population in NY is on government medical crack. And you wonder why we are falling apart.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  394. Asset,

    Where will you be on the front lines?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  395. Of course you do Rip. She’s telling the left how to argue in a criminal case so she can expand her decision to cover her personal preferences. It spits on the law.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  396. Biden said all that needed to be said: “We’re gonna take care of it.”

    Helping the media sell discount car insurance and wireless service is not one of the President’s duties.

    nk (bb1548)

  397. 393.

    ……..
    Q: Thank you. Can you say the F-22 that shot down the balloon, will it get a balloon decal to signify the victory?

    …….I’ll differ to the first fighter wing. …

    The word “differ” here clearly should be “defer.”

    And that’s one thing Chat GPT is geared to see, although it wouldn’t have the initiative to say anything is wrong on its own. It knows what words go together.

    Sammy Finkelman (ed5337)

  398. 400.

    NORAD Balloon Defense Training Film:

    Winnie the Pooh is a well known trope for Xi Jinping.

    Who is NORAD? The boy seems to be helping him. The bees? Winnie. the Pooh doesn’t seem to really benefit from his balloon, but the bees certainly aren’t winning either.

    Sammy Finkelman (ed5337)

  399. Sure. It might also be hiding in the 3rd Amendment. Hard to say. After all requiring q woman to carry a fetus to term is just the same as slavery, or stationing troops in your house.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/6/2023 @ 10:55 pm

    Forced Labor, Revisited: The Thirteenth Amendment and Abortion

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  400. Of course you do Rip. She’s telling the left how to argue in a criminal case so she can expand her decision to cover her personal preferences. It spits on the law.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/7/2023 @ 6:15 am

    Then I look forward to her impeachment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  401. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/7/2023 @ 9:28 am

    Koppleman is about the only one making that argument.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  402. Of course you do Rip. She’s telling the left how to argue in a criminal case so she can expand her decision to cover her personal preferences. It spits on the law.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/7/2023 @ 6:15 am

    More like intellectual self-gratification. It will go nowhere.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  403. @410: That someone can stretch an argument long past its meaning and publish a paper does not mean that its a valid argument. If we want to go there, we can get rid of jury duty, conscription, rent control, continuing education, subpoenas, etc, ALL of which are closer to the amendment than bearing a child.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  404. And I think that the 3rd Amendment is about the same level of stretch.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  405. We had a civil war over dred scott decision. We may have another over dobbs decision.

    I guess it’s only proper that we have mass killing of innocents to support abortion.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  406. @410: That someone can stretch an argument long past its meaning and publish a paper does not mean that its a valid argument. If we want to go there, we can get rid of jury duty, conscription, rent control, continuing education, subpoenas, etc, ALL of which are closer to the amendment than bearing a child.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/7/2023 @ 9:41 am

    As I said before, intellectual self-gratification. It will go nowhere.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  407. Now the military’s excuse is they have a ‘domain awareness gap.’

    WTF?! Civilians call that the crack in the asses of these lardbutted Pentagon paper jockeys.

    Get yours in gear, Joey: FIRE them.

    DCSCA (7aaf26)

  408. Now, if government was forcing women to become pregnant, the argument would be much better. BUt that’s unlikely so long as incels don’t run the government.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  409. For Rip:

    Satanic Temple to offer abortion services in New Mexico

    Based out of Salem, Massachusetts, The Satanic Temple, or TST, is launching what it describes as a “reproductive health clinic” in New Mexico.

    According to the news release, anyone in New Mexico seeking to receive free abortion services must first agree to conduct the Religious Abortion Ritual.

    The Religious Abortion Ritual is intended to “de-stigmatize this medical procedure” through recitation of two of the organization tenets, the release said. Something of a self-help, self-empowerment affirmation, the tenets are: “One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone,” and “beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world,” rather than distorting scientific facts to fit personal beliefs.

    As stated on their website, the mission of TST is “to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits for the individual will.”

    The Satanic Temple, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

    No word if daggers, altars or pentagrams are involved.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  410. Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/7/2023 @ 11:32 am

    An abuse of life and the tax code.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  411. Does anyone find it curious that there was no mention of these balloons during the previous presidency, but after Biden gets embarassed (yet again) they claim of course they were there previously, we just didn’t realize it till now.

    The Emperor wears no clothes.

    NJRob (e077d4)

  412. In Before NJRob:

    Conservatives are clutching their pearls in horror over Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ cheeky performance at the Grammys (of their duet, Unholy).

    …….. The hell-themed showcase featured several red-robed dancers, cages, whips and Smith sporting a top hat adorned with red devil horns.

    Naturally, conservative critics took offense at this apparent love letter to the Prince of Darkness and took to Twitter to slam the performance. The comments ranged from interpreting the number as an actual Satanic ritual to – what else? – an attempt to advance the vaccine agenda.
    ………
    ……… Human Events editor Ben Kew tweeted, “I know we on the right probably use the word satanic too often but this performance from Sam Smith is literally a tribute to Satan.”

    Newsman’s (sic) Benny Johnson also wrote, “The Grammys have gone full-on Satan worship right on prime time TV,” before sharing video of said Satan worship to his Twitter flock.
    ……..
    Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted, “The Grammy’s featured Sam Smith’s demonic performance and was sponsored by Pfizer. And the Satanic Church now has an abortion clinic in NM that requires its patients to perform a satanic ritual before services. American Christians need to get to work.”

    In the same vein, Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of the right-wing conservative nonprofit organization Turning Point USA, wrote, “The Devil. Brought to you by Pfizer . . .” And Sen. Ted Cruz added that “Pfizer is taking the whole truth in advertising thing pretty literally . . .” before calling the performance “evil.”
    ……….

    Anyone who takes the Grammys seriously is an idiot.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  413. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/7/2023 @ 12:00 pm

    “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” I’m sure the controversy will drive even more views to the video. Mission accomplished.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  414. In New Mexico, it is legal to abort a fetus between dilation and full delivery. There actually is no legal restraint.

    So, placing the “mother” on an altar and stabbing the crowning fetus in the head with a knife as part of a ritual sacrifice should be wholly protected by the First Amendment.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  415. New Mexico is majority Hispanic, which correlates highly with Catholic. The Church doesn’t get very involved with that these days though.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  416. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/pentagon-domain-awareness-gap-trump-biden-balloon

    “Every day as a NORAD commander, it’s my responsibility to detect threats to North America. I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out, but I don’t want to go into further detail,” Gen. Glen VanHerck, the commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, told reporters on Monday.

    I suppose that means they weren’t paying attention to balloons.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  417. Need a headache? Here is a definitional article on what domain awareness means.

    https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/November-December-2021/Ryder-Domain-Awareness/

    Maybe Sammy will click on the link. It does give jargon a bad name.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  418. @4328. Headache?

    Howzabout a laugh instead– at those military poop-shoveling chuckleheads, courtesy of Stanley Kubrick:

    https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/c00b94e5-bbb3-4ea9-a078-7a1a21b87bc5

    DCSCA (8bd6ce)

  419. David Harris (76) has died. Led the draft resistance to the Vietnam War; indicted for refusing to report for induction and served 15 months.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  420. The problem with gas stoves, comes from the flame, and the same problem exists with cigarette smoke. (it’s probably true that it seriously affects only a small percentage of people, and they can learn to avoid being there when there’s a open fire)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_dioxide

    Indoors, exposure arises from cigarette smoke,[18] and butane and kerosene heaters and stoves.[19]

    Footnotes 18 and 19:

    18. US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Toxicology. April 2002 ATSDR Nitrous Oxides.

    19. “The Impact of Unvented Gas Heating Appliances on Indoor Nitrogen Dioxide Levels in ‘TIGHT’ Homes” (PDF). ahrinet.org. 2013-03-21.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  421. Is it true that in Florida only 8% of homes use gas stoves? Nationally, the figure is supposed to be 38%. When did this happen?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  422. 404. NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/7/2023 @ 6:01 am

    So well over 2/3 of the population in NY is on government medical crack. And you wonder why we are falling apart.

    The big problem is caused by third party payments. When this gets to be way over 50% there is no market.

    Although New York as special payments. One thing is that family members can get aid as home health aides by Medicaid. Fair, after all.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  423. Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/7/2023 @ 12:47 pm

    “Is the Pope Catholic?” is no longer a sarcastic response.

    kaf (6fa9cd)

  424. Is it true that in Florida only 8% of homes use gas stoves? Nationally, the figure is supposed to be 38%. When did this happen?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 2/7/2023 @ 1:51 pm

    Apparently.

    DeSantis is trying to fix that.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  425. norcal, how do you say “chutzpah” in Chinese?

    nk (50a30c) — 2/4/2023 @ 7:09 pm

    Sorry, nk, I was out of town over the weekend.

    The answer is “da dan” (大膽).

    norcal (7345e5)

  426. @405 at the voting booth and donating as much as I can to AOC and the squad. We will vote to get rid of people (re-education camp time) who want to get rid of soc. security and medicare before we get rid of those programs. Mccarthy had to back track on soc. security and medicare cuts and still barely won the house thanks to democrats putting up corporate establishment stooges in NY. 30% and with city and states 50% sales tax so rich and corporations don’t have to pay income taxes even scares republican leadership in congress.

    asset (1ae6ea)

  427. @393 They will put a red star decal on plane. Its traditional.

    asset (1ae6ea)

  428. A red star?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_star

    A red star , five-pointed and filled, is a symbol that has often historically been associated with communist ideology, particularly in combination with the hammer and sickle, but is also used as a purely socialist symbol in the 21st century. It has been widely used in flags, state emblems, monuments, ornaments, and logos.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  429. Madness; utterly unreal; a Pentagon completely out of control:

    The true cost of the most advanced aircraft carrier

    https://www.businessinsider.com/cost-of-navy-uss-ford-aircraft-carrier-2021-9

    The U.S.’s $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier Has a Toilet Problem

    -The toilets on America’s two newest carriers clog frequently, causing problems throughout the ship.
    -The ships use a scaled-up version of airliner toilets, using vacuum power to evacuate human waste.
    -As a result, the system must regularly be cleaned with an expensive acid solution that costs $400,000 per use.

    The problem, first reported by Bloomberg, is mentioned in a General Accountability Office (GAO) report on sustainment costs for Navy ships. The GAO report states that the Navy used a brand new toilet and sewage system for the USS George H.W. Bush and USS Gerald R. Ford, the last two aircraft carriers to roll off the production lines. The system is “similar to what is on commercial aircraft, but increased in scale for a crew of over 4,000 people.” GAO:

    To address unexpected and frequent clogging of the system, the Navy has determined that it needs to acid flush the CVN 77 and 78’s sewage system on a regular basis, which is an unplanned maintenance action for the entire service life of the ship.
    Each acid flush costs $400,000. The Navy, the GAO states, cannot predict how often this expensive procedure is necessary, making it difficult to predict how often it will need to repeat the procedure over the 50-year lifespans of each carrier.

    The GAO report also mentions a bigger problem with USS Ford than faulty toilets: the ship, designed to be less expensive to sail than previous classes, was projected to cost $77.3 billion over 50 years to operate, or $1.54 billion annually. Instead, the GAO projects the ship will cost $123 billion over the same period, or $2.46 billion a year. If the Navy builds all eleven ships the service will see a combined cost increase of $10 billion a year—the equivalent of four new destroyers with toilets that flush.

    The U.S. Navy plans to build up to 11 Ford-class carriers, gradually replacing existing Nimitz-class ships over the coming decades. The next ships in class are the USS John F. Kennedy, USS Enterprise, and USS Doris Miller. USS Ford cost a whopping $13 billion, more than twice as much as the USS Bush. USS Ford has experienced a number of technical issues, including getting the electromagnetic aircraft launch system working, the advanced arresting gear, a new radar system, and electromagnetically powered weapon elevators.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a31929628/uss-ford-toilet/

    Flushed with pride; no.. just money flushed away… another costly domain awareness gap… a domain managed by a plunger that costs a buck or so at any Dollar Store.

    DCSCA (04f433)

  430. balloonfest 1986 disaster

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBZitH8VFEc

    steveg (7f25cf)


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