GOP Audit Director barred from recount — after he confirmed the data says “Trump Lost”

The Republican overseeing the controversial GOP-backed election audit in Arizona has reportedly been banned from entering the building where the recount process is ongoing, after he shared some data with experts that showed the results match the officially certified numbers in Maricopa County.

The Arizona Republic…newspaper reported that Ken Bennett had shared some of the audit data with outside experts showing that the ballot recount was tracking “very closely” with Maricopa County’s certified results…(which is – TRUMP LOST!)…

Although Trump and many of his Republican allies continue to claim that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election, they have not provided evidence to substantiate this extraordinary allegation. On the contrary, dozens of election challenge lawsuits have failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans have rejected the often bizarre claims.

The truth shall set you free. Bubba!

Experts affirm manmade global warming but local predictions elude those expecting daily weather report

Climate scientists are surer than ever that human activity is causing global warming, according to leaked drafts of a major U.N. report, but they are finding it harder than expected to predict the impact in specific regions in coming decades.

The uncertainty is frustrating for government planners: the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the main guide for states weighing multi-billion-dollar shifts to renewable energy from fossil fuels, for coastal regions considering extra sea defenses or crop breeders developing heat-resistant strains.

Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.

That is up from at least 90 percent in the last report in 2007, 66 percent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995, steadily squeezing out the arguments by a small minority of scientists that natural variations in the climate might be to blame.

That shifts the debate onto the extent of temperature rises and the likely impacts, from manageable to catastrophic. Governments have agreed to work out an international deal by the end of 2015 to rein in rising emissions…

And gauging how warming would affect nature, from crops to fish stocks, was also proving hard since it goes far beyond physics. “You can’t write an equation for a tree,” he said…

The new study will state with greater confidence than in 2007 that rising manmade greenhouse gas emissions have already meant more heatwaves. But it is likely to play down some tentative findings from 2007, such as that human activities have contributed to more droughts…

The report will flag a high risk that global temperatures will increase this century by more than that level, and will say that evidence of rising sea levels is now “unequivocal”…

Drew Shindell, a NASA climate scientist, said the relative lack of progress in regional predictions was the main disappointment of climate science since 2007.

“I talk to people in regional power planning. They ask: ‘What’s the temperature going to be in this region in the next 20-30 years, because that’s where our power grid is?'” he said.

“We can’t really tell. It’s a shame,” said Shindell. Like the other scientists interviewed, he was speaking about climate science in general since the last IPCC report, not about the details of the latest drafts…

The core advance in the report, due for a final edit by the end of September, is a greater sum of evidence about the science of global warming. Not that it will mean much to those who fear science as much as they hate civil rights.

Fools who rely on ideology that fears science think the future is determined week-by-week by one or another of their superstitions. Reason, democracy, learning by scientific methods only hinders their flight from reality.

Senate confirmation process = petty bureaucratic farce

The United States Constitution, which turned 225 years old last summer, is a remarkable document: the provisions of a text written in the eighteenth century continue to guide twenty-first-century governance. We will be reminded of the implications of that in the coming weeks, as President Barack Obama fills senior positions in his second-term administration. In many cases, the process will not be pretty.

Article II of the Constitution stipulates presidential powers that require the “advice and consent of the Senate,” including the nomination of senior officials. Probably nobody, 225 years ago, had any idea that the number of officials deemed to require Senate confirmation would eventually exceed 1,400, or that Senate confirmation would involve a vetting process that often takes years to complete…Indeed, many people believe that the Senate confirmation process is broken…

Because of the sheer volume of nominations, most have traditionally sailed through the Senate with so-called unanimous consent, a process by which nominations are placed on the day’s calendar and the calendar is approved in a single voice vote. But that expedited process is becoming rarer nowadays.

A senator may place a “hold” on a nomination for any reason – including personal animus toward the nominee, or, more often, to gain something in exchange. And, increasingly, nominations have become a kind of public circus, attracting all kinds of players to the ring: non-governmental organizations, pundits, local politicians, and virtually anyone with an opinion and a way to express it.

These types of spectacles used to be reserved for the nomination of Supreme Court justices – a lifetime appointment to a nine-member body that can overturn laws passed by Congress and signed by the president. But those full-throttle battles have now spilled over to other nominations. As a result, an individual’s agreement to serve the president for two or three years has become a life-altering – and mind-numbing – experience.

Today, any nominee to a position requiring Senate confirmation can expect to spend many hours listing past places of residence, attaching tax returns, detailing family members’ campaign contributions, and answering questions about the employment of domestic help or gardening services and whether such employees were legal, tax-paying US residents. The vetting process will even go back to one’s teenage years – all to ensure that anything that the Senate’s own investigators can find is known before the nomination is formally submitted.

During my career, the Senate confirmed me five times. Each time, the vetting essentially started from scratch. In addition to the countless forms, lengthy questionnaires, and background investigations, there was an interview with a paralegal whose job was to ferret out any information that might conceivably bear on the nomination.

These interviews included such cheerfully delivered questions as, “Have you ever been arrested for growing marijuana?” Or, more directly: “Do you take drugs?” Or, probing further into past activities or behavior, “Have you ever been arrested for public drunkenness…?”

Sometimes, opponents of a nominee merely want to make a point, or to cultivate donors (an activity that can seep into any issue in Washington). When the point is made – or the fundraising goals are achieved – the nominee gets the happy phone call: “It’s done. The nomination will go through this afternoon. We’ll call you when the vote takes place. Congratulations!” At that point, the nominee hangs up and says: “What was I thinking?”

And, sometimes, filling a post can go on for years with no prospect of resolution. Since conservatives in Congress decided the position of director of the Bureau Alcohol, Tax, Firearms and Explosives needed Senate confirmation – six years ago – no one has been approved. Not because of qualifications or standards; but, because NRA flunkies don’t wish the department to function at all.

RTFA for more of Christopher Hill’s experiences and analysis of just how backwards congressional processes can become. I know it won’t surprise you. I wish it might shame this clown show into activity beyond their perpetual posturing for re-election.

Peter Higgs says, “It’s very nice to be right sometimes”

The British physicist whose theories led to the discovery of the Higgs boson has admitted he has “no idea” what practical applications it could have. Prof Peter Higgs said the so-called ‘God particle’, which is the building block of the universe, only has a lifespan of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second.

He refused to be drawn on whether the discovery proved there was no God, stating the name ‘God particle’ was a joke by another academic who originally called it the ‘goddamn particle’ because it was so hard to find…

Speaking at Edinburgh University, where he published his theory about the boson’s existence in 1964, he said: “It’s around for a very short time…”It’s probably about a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second. I don’t know how you apply that to anything useful…

“It’s hard enough with particles which have longer life times for decay to make them useful. Some of the ones which have life times of only maybe a millionth of a second or so are used in medical applications…”

He said he had not originally thought the particle would be discovered in his lifetime and confirmed he has been contacted by Prof Stephen Hawking, who has lost a $100 bet with another academic that it did not exist.

Prof Higgs did not gloat but said in a typically modest manner: “It’s very nice to be right sometimes.” He said it was unusual that a particle bear a scientist’s name and suggested it be renamed simply ‘H’.

It emerged that celebrated the discovery with a can of London Pride ale but is now expected to receive a much more eminent reward, a Nobel prize for science…

Asked if he had ever had any doubts over the last 48 years, he said: “The existence of this particle is so crucial to understanding how the rest of the theory works that it was very hard for me to understand how it couldn’t be there.”

The popular press rarely comprehends what basic research in any science is about, how we as a species got to where we are, how the mechanisms and mechanics of all societies progressed from cave and forest to modern times.

Don’t worry, I won’t try to take the time right now to explain all that. Though, it’s simple and direct enough in my own consciousness after all the decades I’ve watched just the tiny bit of progress we’ve made in my lifetime.

I’ll stand at one side and applaud for a very long time.

Al Qaeda confirms bin Laden death – someone tell the nutballs

Al Qaeda confirmed the death of Osama bin Laden Friday in an Internet message that vowed revenge on the United States and its allies, including Pakistan…

Five days after President Barack Obama announced bin Laden’s death in a U.S. raid in Pakistan, al Qaeda vowed not to deviate from the path of armed struggle and said bin Laden’s blood “is more precious to us and to every Muslim than to be wasted in vain.”

“It (bin Laden’s blood) will remain, with permission from Allah the Almighty, a curse that chases the Americans and their agents, and goes after them inside and outside their countries,” the militant network said in a statement released on Islamist Internet forums and translated by SITE.

al Qaeda had to confirm or deny Bin Laden’s death. If they’re to have credibility among the fools who follow their jihad, they must identify a new fearless leader. If they are to call for revenge, they must admit to the reason for that rabid outcry.

In related news, Andrew Napolitano and Michael Scheuer have said “the government might not be ‘telling us the truth or pulling a fast one to save Obama’s…presidency'” and Washington Times editor Emily Miller tweeted “no photo of the body. That’s what we need for proof.”

The looneybirds of the world have a champion in American politics and unfortunately, they generate a great deal of the ideology of the Republican Party.

DNA confirmation of the death of Bin Laden

U.S. forces administered Muslim religious rites for Osama bin Laden aboard the USS Carl Vinson, pictured, on Monday in the Arabian Sea, a senior defense official said.

The official, who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, declined to specify the methods of identification, but two Obama administration officials said DNA evidence confirmed the death.

The officials claimed the DNA evidence provides a match with 99.9% confidence

The U.S. is believed to have collected DNA samples from bin Laden family members in the years since the 9/11 attacks that triggered the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. It was unclear whether the U.S. also had fingerprints or some other means to identify the body on site…

The body was photographed before being buried at sea, although no images have been released by the Obama administration.

The U.S. official who disclosed the burial at sea said it would have been difficult to find a country willing to accept the remains. Obama said the remains had been handled in accordance with Islamic custom, which requires speedy burial…

Burial at sea also removes any focal point, access for worship by nutballs still devoted to Bin Laden’s murderous ideology.

It was not clear Monday whether the Obama administration intended to release its photos of bin Laden’s body.

In July 2003, when U.S. forces killed Saddam Hussein’s sons, Odai and Qusai, in a gunbattle in northern Iraq, the U.S. military released graphic after-death photographs in an effort to prove to Iraqis that they were dead.

I think most rational people know that jihadists aren’t especially interested in scientific proof. Evidence rarely means little to True Believers.

Thomas Perez to face confirmation battle over bigotry

Daylife/Washington Post

Thomas Perez, a Maryland lawyer nominated to head the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division, will be in for a tough confirmation fight, analysts say.

The civil rights post has always been a lightning rod for U.S. Senate confirmation battles, and while unnamed Senate sources say President Barack Obama’s nominee will likely be confirmed, the hearings will be contentious, the Los Angeles Times reported.

This is arguably the most difficult position to fill in the federal government when it comes to Senate confirmation,” Roger Clegg, a former official in the civil rights division, told the newspaper. “Both sides feel so strongly about the issues that the division handles.”

Current and former Justice Department lawyers say that under Obama and Perez, the civil rights division will probably increase prosecutions of police misconduct and racial profiling, push to make voter registration easier and give more attention to conditions in prisons, mental health facilities and nursing homes.

We’ll also get to hear from conservative Republicans and Democrats who could care less about police misconduct and racial profiling, oppose voting rights for minorities and don’t give a damn about conditions in prisons, mental health facilities and nursing homes.

You know. The thugs some of you keep re-electing because they make you feel safe and secure..