Facts are stubborn things… There’s been a dramatic plunge in the number of pollution prosecutions during the Trump administration, according to research conducted by the University of Michigan Law School’s environmental crimes project.

The research found prosecutions under the Clean Water Act plunged 70 percent, while Clean Air prosecutions nosedived 50 percent.

The researchers blamed the significant drop in prosecutions on the EPA and Justice Dept. failing to aggressively pursue environmental crimes, “a policy that historically received support from Democratic and Republican presidents regardless of their environmental policies.”

EPA enforcement chief Susan Bodine took umbrage with the press coverage of her agency’s lax enforcement of rules on the books.

"There is an untold story out there—it is counter to the conventional wisdom that everybody thinks they know, which I would probably argue is simply not true—and that is that the staff here at EPA, the enforcement staff, are doing a great job and have great accomplishments," she told reporters on Oct. 21.

Bodine obviously is not a fan of John Adams who said: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

The National Catholic Reporter is not a fan of Amy Coney Barrett’s all-but-certain elevation to the Supreme Court, which would pack the High Court with six Catholics.

‘We at NCR do not like the prospect of five of the six conservative justices being Catholic and worry what that says about our church,” it said in an Oct. 21 editorial. In America, however, there are no religious tests for office and no senator should oppose Barrett on account of her religion.

The bi-weekly publication opposes Barrett due to her unwillingness to state her position on the “evils of climate change, access to healthcare and voter intimidation.”

It points out that Barrett after acknowledging that COVID-19 is contagious and that smoking causes cancer, declined to affirm that climate change is happening, She called climate change "a very contentious matter of public debate."

NCR continued: "But let's be clear: Denying climate change is not that far from QAnon conspiracy theories. If Barrett really has doubts on the subject, she is not intellectually qualified to serve on the bench, and we suspect she knows that. She was simply willing to embrace moral relativism rather than risk a nasty tweet from the man who nominated her.” Amen to that.

Ballard Partners has a very, very talented staff… Tallahassee lobbyist Brian Ballard, who chaired candidate Trump’s fund-raising apparatus in the Sunshine State, thinks it’s laughable for some to say his connections with the president are why Ballard Partners, which did not have a DC office before Team Trump took over the White House, is now the No. 7 lobbying firm in DC.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ballard Partners has collected nearly $75M in fees from foreign governments, US companies and other clients.

Ballard is a very busy man, registered to represent 122 clients on more than 300 policy matters.

He told the WSJ that firm’s success is due to its “exceptionally talented and bipartisan team” “The idea of being able to influence President Trump is somewhat laughable. More than any other political figure I’ve ever worked with, he makes decisions

Ballard chaired Trump Victory and led campaign’s finance effort in Florida. As a member of the Electoral College, he cast one of Florida votes for Trump. He was vice chairman of the Inaugural Committee and a member of the presidential transition finance committee.