10,000 on ignore, Book 178: The Days of Reckoning, Part 37.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Arizona Senate will recount the Cyber Ninja's recount, two lawsuits want to know WTF is going on
Mother Mags

Stay with me here, you’re going down a super-sized rabbit hole. For months in Phoenix there’s been a recount of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots taking place, conducted by a company that’s never done an election recount, and whose CEO has posted conspiracy BS about the 2020 election. He also recently appeared in the movie Deep Rig, which includes QAnon and other Stop-the-Steal boobs spewing unfounded nonsense.

From the beginning, Senate President Karen Fann has defended her decision to hire the inexperienced and clearly partisan Cyber Ninjas to oversee the audit, even as news filtered out about the biases that influenced their procedures—who was hired to count ballots, who was permitted to cover the event, and who was funding the muddle, among other problems that election experts have uncovered.

The audit is supposedly a public undertaking, since taxpayer dollars were appropriated to fund it. Sure, that $150,000 in state funds is only a fraction of the amount needed, but the audit is still being conducted for “the people.” Sen. Fann has said all along that their goal is not to overturn the 2020 results, but to instill integrity in the election process. You’re sure doing a bang-up job, Senator! I can certainly see why other states want to embark on the USS Audit Grift.

Now the Arizona Republic reports that the Arizona Senate will recount the ballots after Cyber Ninjas finishes its recount. Wait … what?

The Arizona Senate will conduct its own recount of the total number of Maricopa County ballots cast in last fall's election, Senate President Karen Fann said Thursday.
The Senate has purchased two paper-counting machines to serve as a check on the work done by its contractor, Cyber Ninjas, as well as the count done by county elections officials.
Fann called it a "triple-check" on the number of ballots cast as the audit is winding down toward a possible end late next week.

They’re only recounting the physical ballots themselves, not the actual votes, so they can compare that count with the Ninjas’, who have missed several deadlines and whose handling of ballots and voter information has been called into question. Could it be that Sen. Fann isn’t so confident in the Ninjas anymore? Last week, because the process is so far behind schedule, they had to move the entire activity into a nearby building with no A/C because the Coliseum, where they had been doing whatever they do since April, was leased for another event.

Reporters trying to get an adequate explanation for this new development face the same information stonewall that’s confronted them at every turn. Fann says Cyber Ninjas is a private firm so they don’t have to reveal their procedures, funding, or security measures.

As a result, two lawsuits have been filed seeking information about WTF is going on, one by the Arizona Republic:

The news organization on Wednesday filed a special action in Maricopa County Superior Court seeking financial records and communications about the audit from the Senate and Cyber Ninjas, the contractor it hired to lead the work.

Another by a national legal watchdog group called American Oversight:

A nonprofit group called American Oversight, which formed in 2017 to investigate potential fraud in the Trump administration, filed the suit after the Senate declined to turn over records when they were requested through the state public records law.

Yup, this whole process is certainly instilling confidence in the integrity of the election process. I’ve never felt so confident. Lewis Carroll’s rabbit hole was a piker compared to this never-ending disaster.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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The Fox News proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, personally gave final approval to the network's decision to call Arizona for Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election, according to Michael Wolff's new book on Donald Trump.

The episode features in "Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency," an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.

Wolff wrote that Murdoch's son Lachlan, the CEO of Fox Corporation, got a call from the network's election-data operation shortly after 11 p.m. ET on election night saying it was ready to declare Arizona for Biden.

The book noted that the Murdochs - who spearhead a vast right-wing media empire - had "every reason" to delay calling Arizona at the time, given Fox's steadfast allegiance to Trump and the fact that no other network had made the call yet.

"Lachlan got his father on the phone to ask if he wanted to make the early call. His father, with signature grunt, assented, adding, 'F--- him,'" Wolff wrote.

Shortly after, the book said, the Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer called Trump's lead social-media strategist, Jason Miller, to let him know the network was going to call Arizona for Biden.

"Miller involuntarily rose from his seat. 'What the f---?' he said out loud, looking around and seeing the still-merry and untroubled faces in the Map Room" of Trump campaign staffers and insiders who believed they were on the fast-track to reelection, Wolff wrote.

Hemmer reportedly replied: "That's what they're doing. That's what they're going with."

"Who?" Miller asked.

"The election desk," Hemmer said, adding that the network's decision was going to be aired imminently.

As soon as Fox News made the call, Trump's campaign shifted into damage control to contain the fallout from the president's rage.

"What the f---? How can they call this?" Trump said, according to the book. "We're winning. And everybody can see we are going to win. Everybody's calling to say that we're winning. And then they pull this?"

Wolff's previous reporting about the Trump White House drew scrutiny after journalists and fact-checkers found that some of the details in his first book about the administration didn't add up.

He defended the book, however, and said he stood by his reporting. He also said "Landslide" featured only episodes that Trump's staff had confirmed or that were backed up by multiple sources.

He did not cite any sources in his anecdote about the Murdochs' involvement in the Arizona call. Wolff has written extensively on Murdoch, including a 2008 biography said to be based on 50 hours of interviews with him.

The decision to call Arizona for Biden was a pivotal moment on election night, indicating the Democrat was poised to win the traditionally Republican-leaning state and complicating Trump's ability to declare an early victory in the overall race.

Fox News' decision to make the call is widely believed to have shocked and angered Trump, who had counted on steadfastly supportive coverage of his administration from Fox News during his term in office.

Numerous reports have indicated the Trump team lobbied the network to reverse the call. The New York Times reported in November that Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior White House advisor, contacted Murdoch directly asking for a retraction.

Networks typically call US elections before all the votes have been counted if they've determined the leading candidate has a lead that is insurmountable. Biden ultimately won in Arizona by about 10,000 votes.

The Fox News elections desk and its editor received praise in some quarters after resisting pressure to reverse the call, seemingly in defiance of the highly partisan slant of most of the network's coverage.

Chris Stirewalt, the network's political editor at the time, described becoming the focus for "murderous rage" from Trump supporters for his involvement in the Arizona call. He was fired this January.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Wolff's claims add another layer of drama to the story of the relationship between Trump and the Murdochs.

Rupert Murdoch was initially dismissive of Trump's bid for the presidency in 2015, but as the reality star began sweeping aside challengers Fox News became one of the key media supporters of Trump's agenda.

Murdoch reportedly started to sour on Trump late last year, believing - according to reports - that Trump had botched his response to the coronavirus pandemic and was on course to lose the November election.

Though the Arizona call suggested that Fox News was distancing itself from Trump, many of the network's hosts have continued to back the whitewashing of the pro-Trump Capitol riot and bogus election-fraud claims pushed by the former president.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Former President Donald Trump is irritated that his son's girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, is backing former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in the state's Senate contest.

Politico Playbook reported on Friday that Trump has complained about Guilfoyle's decision to join Greitens's Senate campaign as its national chair, believing that the former Missouri governor could prove damaging to Republicans' efforts to hold retiring Sen. Roy Blunt's (R-Mo.) seat next year.

Once a rising star in Republican politics, Greitens resigned as governor in 2018 amid mounting scandals, including allegations that he blackmailed a woman whom he had an affair with. Greitens has admitted to the affair, but has denied the blackmail allegations.

Since announcing his Senate campaign in March, Greitens has sought to tie himself closely to the former president, touting the endorsement of Trump allies such as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and bringing on Guilfoyle as his national campaign chair.

But one Trump adviser told Playbook that Trump would not endorse Greitens at this point in time, given the former governor's controversial history.

There's already a long list of Republicans vying for the nomination to replace Blunt next year, with top contenders including Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) and state Attorney General Eric Schmitt. Other prominent Republicans are believed to be eyeing the seat, as well, including Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Billy Long (R-Mo.) and Jason Smith (R-Mo.).


A March survey from Trump's pollster Tony Fabrizio found Greitens with a nearly 40-point lead in the GOP primary contest. But more recent polling is scarce and the field has grown significantly since then.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Republican Dysfunction Will Be on the 2022 Ballot/Bloomberg News
Parties usually shed presidential losers before midterm elections. Trump makes this one politically unique.


......Republicans could have moved on, during a period where the danger in doing so was as low as it’s likely to be, and they chose not to.

Part of the reason was that Trump didn’t act like Bush, Carter or any other former president. Not only is he whining nonstop about his usual grievances, and adding false claims about fraud in the 2020 election, but he’s pressuring candidates up and down the Republican Party to go along with his increasingly anti-democratic rants.

Among other things, this has meant that Republicans have lost a made-to-order opportunity supplied by the Jan. 6 attack. Mainstream Republicans could have looked good by consistently condemning the attack, thereby distancing themselves from organized hate groups involved in the event. Instead, they’re stuck defending the indefensible and making it a major part of Republican messaging, while allowing their leading voices to be … well, let’s call them the high-profile Republicans least likely to appeal to swing voters.

This is most important in its effect on readying the party to govern when it next gets a chance at the national level, and to some extent it’s making governing at the state level more and more difficult. The Republican agenda right now is a combination of three things: Opposition to whatever President Joe Biden and the Democrats propose; support for whatever Fox News Channel’s product of the month happens to be; support for whatever incoherent and self-serving whims come out of Trump’s mouth.


This is barely a formula for making the strongest supporters happy. It’s certainly no way to build a policy agenda. What has been a problem for the party for several years, especially at the national level, is only getting worse......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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....However, as the owner of three Guinness World Records, holding the title of Scripps National Spelling Bee champion is just the beginning of her brilliance.

Zaila is also a basketball prodigy, so it's fitting that the aforementioned world record titles all deal with the sport. Her current records are:

- Most balls juggled in one minute with four basketballs
- Most dribbles in 30 seconds with four basketballs
- Most basketballs dribbled by one person simultaneously (6) …


Her long-term hopes are to attend Harvard, become an NBA coach and NASA scientist......



 
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