Obama’s Science Czar Rails Against Using ‘Red Teams’ To Debate Global Warming

President Barack Obama’s chief science adviser compared the Trump administration’s use of “red teams” to debate climate science to a “kangaroo court” meant to “create a sense of continuing uncertainty about the science of climate change.”

Another way of keeping the Minority Report out of the public eyes. 

“But I suspect that most of the advocates of the scheme are disingenuous, aiming to get hand-picked non-experts from federal agencies to dispute the key findings of mainstream climate science and then assert that the verdict of this kangaroo court has equal standing with the findings of the most competent bodies in the national and international scientific communities,” former President Barack Obama’s science czar John Holdren wrote in a Boston Globe op-ed published Monday.

“The purpose of that, of course, would be to create a sense of continuing uncertainty about the science of climate change, as an underpinning of the Trump administration’s case for not addressing it. Sad,” Holdren wrote in his op-ed, railing against the “perversity of the climate science kangaroo court.”

The idea of using red teams gained traction with Trump administration officials this year after former Obama administration official Steve Koonin suggested the arrangement in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in April.

Koonin, a physicist and former top Department of Energy official, argued red teams could strengthen climate science by exposing its faults and uncertainties. The military and intelligence communities often pit red teams against blue teams to expose weaknesses in policies and strategies being pursued. It could work in a similar way for climate science, with a red team of researchers given the goal of finding pitfalls in blue team’s scientific argument.

“A Red/Blue exercise would have many benefits,” Koonin wrote in the WSJ. “It would produce a traceable public record that would allow the public and decision makers a better understanding of certainties and uncertainties. It would more firmly establish points of agreement and identify urgent research needs.”

Senate defies Trump on call to investigate Hillary Clinton

She’s one of their own. Senators have got to have each other’s back, to keep themselves from being investigated. Via the Tribune News Service

President Donald Trump’s relentless calls for more investigations into Hillary Clinton, her emails and the Democratic National Committee are largely being ignored in Congress, where Republicans spent years and millions of dollars on Clinton probes that turned up nothing.

And Senate Republicans say Trump is wrong in prodding his attorney general via Twitter to revive an inquiry into the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee who lost the election to Trump.

“It harkens back to the notion of a banana republic,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of what he called Trump’s “inappropriate” calls for investigations into Clinton. “It’s what dictators do, they look to punish their enemies.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a Senate Intelligence Committee member, noted that Clinton’s missing emails as secretary of state were investigated by the FBI. As a result, he said, there appears to be no need to reopen the case.

“As for me, I prefer to look to the future, not the past,” Rubio said of Trump’s tweets agitating for Clinton investigations. “It’s time to move on.”

White Pine Property Management Closure Opens Police Investigation

More on the White Pines Property Management closure. Via KQQQ

The Moscow Police Department and Idaho State Police will conduct an investigation into White Pine Property Management business practices and the details surrounding the sudden closure of the business. According to Moscow PD, a large volume of calls and complaints involving the property management company has surpassed an estimated $200,000. Moscow PD requested the assistance of the Idaho State Police, the two agencies will further investigate possible wrongdoings by the now out-of-business company. City Staff are also working with property owners to address neglected utility bills and connections to White Pine with other management companies. Moscow Police urge residents who have been impacted by the White Pine closure to contact the department. The Moscow Chamber of Commerce will provide referral assistance for students in need of different housing.

GOP senators balk at repealing ‘Obamacare’

The states these senators represent could fix this by doing a recall election on each Senator. Via the AP:

After seven years of emphatic campaign promises, Senate Republicans demonstrated Wednesday they don’t have the stomach to repeal “Obamacare” when it really counts, as the Senate voted 55-45 to reject legislation undoing major portions of Barack Obama’s law without replacing it.

Seven Republicans joined all Democrats in rejecting a measure by GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky that would have repealed most of former President Obama’s health care law, with a two-year delay but no replacement. Congress passed nearly identical legislation in 2015 and sent it to Obama, who unsurprisingly vetoed it.

Yet this time, with Republican President Donald Trump in the White House itching to sign the bill, the measure failed on the Senate floor. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that repealing “Obamacare” without replacing it would cost more than 30 million Americans their insurance coverage, and that was a key factor in driving away more Republican senators than Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could afford to lose in the closely divided Senate.

Slaying suspects appear in court

Alcohol + drugs + teen boys + guns = bad results. Via the LMT

Keagan C. Tennant of Pullman and Matthew McKetta of Moscow face multiple charges in death of teen

Witnesses say a game of Russian roulette led to the death of 18-year-old Pullman High School senior Tim J. Reeves, whose body was found last week in a wooded area east of Troy.

According to court documents released Wednesday, witnesses said Keagan C. Tennant, 17, of Pullman, was holding a .30-06 rifle and pointing it at Reeves, who in turn was holding a silver Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver and aiming it at Tennant, when Tennant allegedly fired and killed Reeves the morning of July 17.

Tennant and Matthew McKetta, 18, of Moscow, made their initial appearance in Latah County 2nd District Court on Wednesday following their extradition from Ferry County in Washington, where they were captured Friday.

The fatal shot and the game of Russian roulette allegedly followed a night of alcohol and marijuana consumption off State Highway 8 east of Troy. The shot went through Reeves’ skull and killed him instantly.

“(Tennant) and Tim were playing around with the guns, like Russian roulette,” an unnamed juvenile witness reportedly told detectives.

The witness told police the two were pointing the guns at each other when Reeves used racial slurs and told Tennant several times to jump. That’s when the rifle went off, according to court documents.

Witnesses said Tennant may have loaded three or four rounds in the rifle, while there was believed to be just one round in the revolver.

The guns were stolen from McKetta’s adoptive father, Charlie McKetta, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said in open court.

 

Continue reading

Montana rates hiked amid health care uncertainty

Insurance companies request 23.1 percent hike for most individual plans under ACA. 

The irony: it’s called the Affordable Care Plan. And it’s as unaffordable as they come! 

Via the AP: 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana is requesting an average 23.1 percent rate hike for individual plans purchased under the Affordable Care Act, which would be its third consecutive double-digit premium increase since the federal health exchange came into existence.

Trump may veto Russia sanctions bill that seeks to restrain his power

Via the WaPo: 

President Donald Trump’s spokesman suggested Thursday that Trump may veto a massively popular bill designed to restrain his ability to roll back sanctions against Russia, despite the very strong likelihood that lawmakers will have the votes to override it.

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said on CNN that Trump “may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians,” citing Trump’s “counterintuitive, counterpunching personality” to explain why the president is considering a veto.

It is unlikely that promise will resonate well with members of Congress, many of whom have banded around the sanctions bill because they are concerned that Trump is fostering a too-warm relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and they fear Trump will scale back election-related sanctions against Moscow.

Congress has approved an unprecedented oversight role for itself in the Russia-focused portion of the sanctions bill, which also stiffens punitive measures against Iran and North Korea. Under the bill, the president is required to notify Congress before making any alterations to Russia sanctions policy, and lawmakers then have 30 days in which they can block the president from implementing those changes.