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Wed Dec 12, 2018, 06:00 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #5-23: Anarchy In The UK For Real Edition


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #5-23: Anarchy In The UK For Real Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots!! What’s up London???? We made it! We are here! I mean whew!!! And man did we pick the right week to visit London or what? So why do a British themed edition you might ask? Well back in June when we were first planning our road shows we were really impressed with how much you hate Trump by protesting his visit to the UK. I mean you hate him! You really hate him! And people thought I was crazy to plan a UK show in London in December, but hey we’ve got a staff and crew and $400 flights on British Airways is pretty tempting don’t you think? We got time for the thing? Sure. So we here at the Top 10 like to point out that perfect gift for that special someone. And rapper Soulja Boy has just the perfect gift for you at the last minute. Yes if you haven’t heard by now, he’s hawking very cheap, questionable quality electronics from China and Russia and passing them off as his own. But wait here’s more! Let’s roll tape! Yes, for $20 – and what says “quality” more than a $20 smartwatch that you can get shipped from China or Russia? That’s basically nothing more than just an Apple watch that’s been remanufactured about 100 times. And then for $10 you can get Souljapods – basically just cheap knock offs of the Apple pods. Or for $160 you can get the Souljapad which is a cheap Android tablet. And then there’s the SouljaGame Console and SouljaGame Handheld – both of which come with “800 games”. Sure. If you want to believe that. I mean this is really some Krusty The Klown level territory here. OK that’s enough of the intro this week, we got a lot of idiocy to get to for our Big British Special. But first SNL Weekend Update from this weekend was hilarious and well, you have to see it:



So where do we begin for our big British special? Well to start with we’re going to get you up to speed on the latest happenings in Brexit (1). Yeah it’s a hot mess and we will do our best to sort out all the madness. But in the second slot, UK journalists are having some fun coming up with post-Brexit scenarios (2) and hey, the Sex Pistols were right – we could see Anarchy In The UK for real this time! In the third slot this week we’ve got to talk about some stuff that happened back home with the death of president George HW Bush (3) and Trump basically got the cold shoulder at his funeral. In the fourth slot this week is Facebook, Twitter And Youtube (4), and conservatives *STILL* think that social media sites are biased against them and well their latest attempt to hammer that point home is the stuff of insanity! In the number 5 slot this week is our weekly investigative piece Top 10 Investigates (5) and this week we’re going to revisit an old topic – cell phone spying, and it’s been made even more relevant now that the CEO of Huawei was arrested in Vancouver for espionage. What’s really going on here? At the number 6 slot is our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in Holy Shit (6) and this week the Christian right is up to its’ usual bag of tricks and while Jewish people are celebrating Chanukah this week, they plan on crashing the party! And it is quite insane. For the seventh slot this week we’ve got a new edition of “Beating A Dead Horse” and we’re going to explore offensive song lyrics – is it finally time to retire the classic Christmas song Baby It’s Cold Outside? We’ll let you be the judge! For the 8th slot this week we’ve got a new segment – “What’s Up With The Royal Family”? Because the Royal Family, like all families, is straight up crazy and we’ll profile some juicy bits for you all! And in the number 9 (NEIN!!!) slot this week we’ve got a new version of one of my favorite segments – “I Need A Drink” and this week we’re going to a very New York City event – Santa Con! Yes, it’s the annual Santa Con convention and like most times when you mix booze and a theme, what could possibly go wrong? Everything! And finally this week for our big British special we’ve got a new installment of our ongoing series that explains how government works to your conspiracy theorist friends and neighbors, Deep State Diaries (10) and this week we’re going to explore a very British branch of the government – MI-6! That’s James Bond’s employers don’t you know? Plus we’ve got some live music from Slash! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

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[font size="8"]Brexit
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So you might be asking why are we doing a special British edition of the Top 10? When we were planning to do the Top 10 live was right around the time of Trump’s visit to the UK. Well we contacted the UK Liberal Democratic party after Trump’s visit and they said that if we could fill up a club we could easily come over here. Well, we did. With that out of the way, we got to talk some Brexit. It’s been in the news a lot. And for all the wrong reasons. The BBC and the press are saying that Thresa May is entering into uncharted territory here. Well, I got news for ya. We’ve been in uncharted territory since the day the Brexit vote went down. I mean who knew that a hostile foreign power was looking to upend the world’s democracies and replace them with true fascist dictatorships? Well…

More than a year and a half ago, British Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the treaty that established the European Union, declaring the U.K.'s intention to become the first member to leave the international bloc. At the time, the move seemed to be a crossing of the Rubicon, an indelible step toward departure.

Now, the EU's highest court says the U.K. can cross back if it wants.

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled Monday that the U.K. is allowed to reverse its decision to notify the EU of its intent to leave — and to do so entirely on its own, without the consent of the bloc's other member states.

That window for the U.K. is open so long as it hasn't implemented a final Brexit agreement with the EU — and would remain open until Article 50 was due to take effect on March 29, 2019.
https://www.npr.org/2018/12/10/675230990/u-k-can-still-back-out-of-brexit-if-it-wants-top-eu-court-rules




We can already picture that Putin is doing that in his bunker at the Kremlin somewhere. So what does this deal mean that May invoked article 50 of the treaty? Well in my efforts to understand the Brexit situation, well, shit, I’m going to be honest – I don’t understand this situation. I don’t think anybody can understand it. Calling it a category 5 shit storm is an understatement. It’s easily a category 7 or maybe an 8. But understand that the shit has already hit the fan!

Image copyright Reuters

It is not possible to renegotiate the Irish border backstop proposal without "opening up all aspects" of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, the Irish prime minister has said.

Leo Varadkar was speaking shortly before it was confirmed that Tuesday's vote on the deal has been called off.

The DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said the delay was a "humiliation" Theresa May had brought on herself.

The prime minister has said she will seek extra assurances on the backstop.

It comes as the European Court of Justice ruled the UK can cancel Brexit without the permission of the other 27 EU members.

Mrs May made a statement to MPs in the Commons on Monday afternoon, and said she had listened to "widespread and deep concerns" from MPs about the backstop.

It is the insurance policy aimed at avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46468409




Yeah clean that up! So what’s the smoking gun here? Or as Trump called it “smocking gun”? Well, a lot has been happening in the last week on this and we will do our best to try to understand it. But as I said if we can’t understand it, no one can, and I’m almost certain that Parliament will make a much bigger mess out of this than it needs to be! I mean couldn’t they just reverse the vote?

The European Union’s top court has found that the EU treaties do allow the UK unilaterally to change its mind and to withdraw its Article 50 application to leave the European Union.

The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union delivered an unusually “expedited” decision on a question forwarded by a Scottish court at the request of a number of MSPs, MPs and MEPs. They sought to challenge the idea that the Article 50 application by the UK was irrevocable unless supported by all the remaining member states.

In Monday’s judgment, the full court has ruled that when a member state has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, that member state is free to revoke unilaterally that notification.

That possibility exists for as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that member state has not entered into force or, if no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU, and any possible extension, has not expired.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/brexit-uk-can-revoke-article-50-european-court-rules-1.3726021




Wait, so they can simply cancel the vote? That’s genius! Why couldn’t we have done that? Yeah let’s elect a completely unhinged billionaire real estate developer as president! What could go wrong? Oh and let’s allow the people to vote on whether or not the UK can leave the EU! What could go wrong? Well a whole lot apparently!

Underneath this country’s worst political crisis in 80 years and the Westminster drama that looks set to reach a crescendo lie deep cultural and attitudinal divisions that will sit at the core of this country for decades to come. For millions of people, a basic stance on Brexit runs much deeper than any affinity they might feel with a political party: recent work by the psephologist John Curtice found that 77% of us identify with either side of the debate to a strong extent, as against only 37% who feel a similar allegiance to a party, with the respective figures for “very strong” put at 44% and a miserable 9%. This is not a country essentially split between Labourites and Tories: we are now either leavers or remainers, with large swathes of each camp motivated by boiling passions.

Obviously, the Brexit divide is only symptomatic of even more fundamental differences. Not long after the referendum, it was no great surprise to read that how voters felt about Europe slotted into their opinions on multiculturalism, social liberalism, the internet, globalisation and immigration; nor that such factors as age, class and education had been central to how people voted. Indeed, when I was out on the road during the campaign, it felt as if an even simpler question would decide the outcome: whether your view of the globalist, liberal future into which the country seemed to be inevitably heading was optimistic, or whether prejudice or a pessimism rooted in deep economic insecurity (or both) had pushed you to the opposite conclusion.

Now, it would be foolish to pretend that millions of people aren’t contradictory bundles of both sets of views. Moreover, in the sense that pre-Brexit electoral politics often meant that the two main parties had to aim at bringing very different voters together in order to win elections, the gaps between large parts of the electorate were constantly smoothed over. The grim political perfection of Brexit, by contrast, was that it represented a convulsive argument about a package of stuff that went straight to the heart of all of these tensions, and decisively pushed people one way or the other. This was David Cameron’s unforgivable oversight. What had been bubbling away for decades therefore exploded – and, in the manner of a political combustion engine, is now doing so again and again.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/10/brexit-divides-tensions-political-vote




Yes, we don’t either. And this whole thing is beyond stupid made even worse by a PM who may or may not be on Putin’s payroll. Well we say that because Putin is responsible for pretty much everything horrible that’s been happening. Yeah really let’s just ask the guy who came up with the word “Brexit”:

Peter Wilding, the chairman of British Influence, invented the word Brexit.

He claims he is "neither a 'phile' nor a 'phobe', just a realist campaigning for British Influence in Europe".

Here, Mr Wilding explains the origins of Brexit, which he describes as a "sad word," and why he's not pleased it caught on.

Have you ever won a prize you didn't want?

On the day I handed in my notice as Europe Director for BSkyB to fight for Britain to take back control of Europe through my think-tank, British Influence, I wrote an article saying:

"Unless a clear view is pushed that Britain must lead in Europe at the very least to achieve the completion of the single market then the portmanteau for Greek euro exit might be followed by another sad word, Brexit."
https://news.sky.com/story/brexits-my-fault-how-the-word-i-invented-could-be-an-epitaph-for-the-nations-decline-11576816





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[font size="8"]Post Brexit Scenarios
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We need some music for this one!



Brexit is a category 5 shit storm. But let’s say that it’s a storm of a category that hasn’t even been invented yet. And the UK is basically in a pickle about what to do. It’s literally a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario, and there’s plenty of ways that it could go, and they all seem very horrible. I mean the Sex Pistols weren’t wrong – we could be witnessing anarchy in the UK. For real this time!

The EU Withdrawal Act, passed by Parliament in June, sets out some rules. The government would have to produce a new plan of action within 21 days and then allow a further vote within another seven sitting days in the House of Commons.

However, the government could act much more quickly than that. And it's possible that political events would transform the situation.

There are a number of possible outcomes if MPs fail to back the deal - but here are six of the most likely ones:

no deal
a second vote on a deal
a major renegotiation
a general election
a vote of no confidence
another referendum

Following a government defeat in the Commons last week, MPs would now have more say in proposing alternatives to any plan of action - but these would still have to be put into law by the government.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that it would be legal for the UK to unilaterally revoke Article 50 to cancel Brexit (without the need for agreement from the other 27 EU countries).

With the government still committed to Brexit, it's very likely that a major event such as a further referendum.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-46393399




No we are not kidding you. So what could go down? It’s literally the angel and the devil on Theresa May’s shoulder right now and I’m sure they’re engaged in a political battle! Because I mean really who isn’t these days? I mean you know they’re worse off for this right? Even I could have told you that and I’m just an armchair comedian!

Governments don't usually say their policies will leave the economy worse off, but these are not normal times for Theresa May.

As the U.K. prime minister attempts to sell her Brexit deal agreed Sunday in Brussels to MPs at home, her government produced analysis showing all Brexit scenarios would hurt the economy but the impact of leaving under May's plans would be significantly less than exiting with no agreement at all.

The government analysis was echoed later in the day by a separate report from the Bank of England, which warned economic output in the U.K. could drop by as much as 8 percent if Britain drops out of the EU without a deal in place, compared to expectations had the U.K. stayed in. That compares to a 6.25 percent drop during the 2008 financial crisis.

May defended her government at her weekly question-and-answer session in the House of Commons, saying that her deal is the best available to protect the economy and "honor" the 2016 EU referendum result. She was met with widespread criticism, both from the Labour opposition, who dubbed her plan the "worst of all worlds," and from Brexiteers, who questioned the validity of the reports' assumptions.
https://www.politico.eu/article/best-case-brexit-scenario-means-2-5-percent-hit-to-uk-growth-over-15-years/




Yeah that’s kind of what we are doing right now! Seriously calling this a “clusterfuck” really is only beginning to state it. Even calling it a “colossal fuck up” isn’t really putting it correctly. Hell I think the only proper way to describe it is to come up with a string of profanities that haven’t even been invented yet! Or as they say in the movie “Animal House” – the words are so profound and disgusting that the decorum prohibits me from listing them here. So let’s go through a couple of these scenarios:

1. MPs vote in favour of the deal

This is possibly the easiest outcome in terms of pushing forward with Brexit, but the hardest to obtain, given the sheer number of Conservative MPs who have said they will vote against the deal. A vote in favour would give the prime minister the power to tell the EU that the deal has been ratified by parliament.

But the government would still need to pass a hefty amount of legislation as the Brexit process continues. This would begin with the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – a piece of legislation which the House of Commons Library thinks could happen before Christmas.

In the event that this first option doesn’t happen (which seems increasingly likely), the future is all a bid muddled. This is partly because it depends if MPs vote in favour of any amendments to the motion on December 11. Here, the possible outcomes would be:
2. MPs vote against the deal but in favour of an amendment

The House of Commons speaker, John Bercow, can select up to six amendments to a proposed bill to also be debated and voted on by the house. In this case, the proposed amendments include one by Labour MP Hilary Benn to reject both the Brexit deal and a no-deal scenario in an attempt to enhance the power for MPs to find an alternative. Labour and the SNP have said they will support the amendment. Other amendments include extending the Article 50 deadline to give more time to decide how to proceed.

If MPs vote against the main motion on the deal, the government would give a statement to the House of Commons within 21 days setting out how it plans to proceed, as specified in the EU Withdrawal Act 2018. This would bring us to January 1, 2019. Parliament would be given a week to debate the contents of this statement, before a further round of ministerial statements reporting on progress by January 21.

This handy chart put together by parliament shows how this would all work.
http://theconversation.com/what-happens-after-brexit-vote-four-possible-scenarios-explained-108279




You know what? Let’s take a look at the flow chart that could potenitally explain what’s going on.



You know I’m no expert but I think if you have that many items on your flow chart, your plan is already too complicated and fucked up to begin with! It’s like a Wes Anderson movie where the characters explain their overly complicated plans like they’re in a James Bond movie. I mean really this whole thing is completely insane. But apparently nothing is off the table!

This could include reopening the EU withdrawal agreement, even though that comes with risk, the sources say.

Theresa May is understood to be pushing the EU for flexibility on the backstop.

This is the clause in the prime minister's EU withdrawal agreement that is meant to prevent the return of border checks in Northern Ireland.

It would see the UK aligned with EU customs rules until a future trade deal is agreed that does not include a physical border between the EU and the UK on the island of Ireland.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-46503455





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[font size="8"]Donald Trump
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Now getting back into some familiar territory here is the guy who we in the states currently call president and that’s Donald J. Trump – the most depressing looking guy at a funeral – and he’s not even in the casket! So what has Trump’s underwear in a wad this week? Yes, sir, I believe the term you’re looking for is “knickers”. Thanks for clearing that up! But we got to throw that Tweet from Monday up there, can we do that?




Really you can’t make this shit up. Let’s break it down – especially the word “smocking”. And not only once, he said it twice! I personally can’t wait for: “The Smocking Gun: From The Files Of Police Squid!” that should be hilarious! And this was one of my other favorite tweets this week:





Wait, what? We don't even know what it is yet! At least give us a clue!!! We want to know!!! Did a koala bear clear you? Or was it the 500 pages of blacked out? We don't know! Tell us!!!!! Well nothing cleared President T so here’s what really happened!

Special counsel Robert Mueller is showing his hand.

It started Tuesday night, when he filed a memo for Michael’s Flynn’s long-delayed sentencing after he pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017, to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russians during the Trump campaign transition. Mueller recommended that Flynn receive little or no jail time based on his “substantial assistance” to the special counsel investigation.

That assistance seems to have been substantial indeed. Over the course of the past year, Flynn met with Mueller’s team or Justice Department attorneys no fewer than 19 times. Fully half of the memo detailing Flynn's assistance is redacted, a reminder that Mueller has a great many lines of investigation that no one, not even President Donald Trump, knows anything about.

Then Mueller filed sentencing memos for Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. While Flynn got full credit for his early acceptance of responsibility and his complete cooperation, Manafort had his cooperation agreement rescinded because he was apparently incapable of being truthful. Not only has he lost the opportunity for his sentence to be reduced, Mueller will be asking the court to impose an even longer sentence because of Manafort’s false statements.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/12/10/sentencing-memo-flynn-cohen-manafort-mueller-donald-trump-russia-column/2257509002/




That’s real! That happened! I mean in that clip Trump looks like he’s not only groping the flag but acting like the flag is his BFF. OK getting off track here. But apparently it looks like Mueller has got Trump into a corner. Which is great because that’s probably the only thing he fits into anymore. I mean did you see him at the Bush funeral? He’s so fat that he can barely sit in a pew!

Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein said Sunday that President Trump has been cornered for the first time in his life.

"He is boxed in by Mueller and the people around him know that he is and it's on the question of ... possible collusion with Russia and unquestionably a massive obstruction of justice that is now demonstrable for all to see, led by the president of the United States to cover up whatever the dealings of himself, his family, his aides were with Russia," Bernstein told CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, following several bombshell legal filings last week by Robert Mueller's special counsel team regarding people close to the president.

"It certainly looks like they are the kind of offense that would call for impeachment hearings into the conduct of the president of the United States," Bernstein said.

"There's something much more important than just impeachment going on and that is the fact that Donald Trump for the first time in his life was cornered."
https://thehill.com/homenews/media/420462-bernstein-trump-is-boxed-in-by-mueller




Yes, we know, sir! By the way in case you’re wondering what the over – under is on Trump actually getting indicted and maybe even serving some jail time, well, more people favor it than not but that’s not what the odds guarantee. I don’t know can you gamble on stuff like that here? Really? Cool!

Half of Americans believe special counsel Robert Mueller will personally implicate President Trump in wrongdoing, according to a CNN poll released Tuesday.

Respondents' answers were notably divided along partisan lines, but of the Republicans surveyed 23 percent said they thought the special counsel would personally implicate Trump and 47 percent of independents said the same. Among Democrats surveyed, 78 percent believe that Trump will ultimately be implicated in the special counsel’s report.

Most of those surveyed, 59 percent, also consider the investigation a serious matter, with about 35 percent saying Mueller’s probe is an attempt to discredit the president.

The poll comes days after court filings from Mueller revealed new details in his cases against former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Friday’s filings alleged that Trump personally directed Cohen to make payments to silence two women regarding affairs they say they had with Trump prior to his running for president.
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/420725-half-of-americans-say-mueller-investigation-will-implicate-trump-in





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[font size="8"]Google, Facebook, & Youtube
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American conservatives just cant seem to let go of the fact that they think they’re being censored on major internet outlets like Google, Facebook and Youtube. And really, no one wants to be censored but they keep beating that shit over the head. And yes, we have covered this previously in “Beating A Dead Horse” (see: Idiots #5-2 ) and they just won’t seem to let it go. I mean look at who crashed the party when Google was getting interviewed on Capitol Hill!

Infowars founder Alex Jones and longtime Trump associate Roger Stone made an appearance outside Google CEO Sundar Pichai's hearing before the House Judiciary committee today.

Jones, a far-right conspiracy theorist who's accused the nation's leading tech companies of anti-conservative bias, railed against Google for "censorship" in the halls of Congress minutes before the meeting began.

"Sundar and Google are absolutely the most horrible corporation on earth," Jones said.

Jones was flanked by Roger Stone, the longtime associate to President Donald Trump.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/11/alex-jones-roger-stone-google-ceo-hearing-1055994




Yup bet you didn’t think it was gonna be him did you? And you think you’re so smart! Oh and to be fair to Alex, at least it’s a step above yelling at a pile of poop! That one still kills me! So what do they have to be angry about this week? I mean it’s not like Facebook is in some deep shit or anything!

By almost any measure, 2018 has been a terrible year for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The company's image has been hammered by scandals including Cambridge Analytica's unauthorized use of user data, the use of the platform to spark a genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the aftermath of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and, most recently, revelations that Facebook hired an opposition research firm to tie its opponents to George Soros and even accuse them of anti-Semitism. The result of the near-constant negative attention is that users, activists, and even legislators are questioning whether Facebook is a net positive for democracy, and many are demanding increased regulation and oversight of the social network.

On the business side, the company faced challenges as user growth plateaued in its core markets in North America in Europe, and management said margins would narrow as it invested in additional employees and tech tools to help restore user trust in the platform and better serve its mission of connecting people in a positive way. The slowing growth and rising costs, along with the brand image problems, weighed on the stock, pushing shares down more than 20% for the year.
https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/12/11/at-facebook-scandals-and-slowing-growth-made-for-a.aspx




That happened. Yes Facebook is still getting grilled for their role in the 2016 election. So what do they have to hide? Why it’s a hell of a lot if you dig past the headlines. In fact Mark Zuckerberg actually *DOES* plan to punish speech but it wants to give people an out. Like an airing of grievances, of sorts. I mean who is he, Frank Costanza?

Last month, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and majority shareholder, published a memo on censorship. “What should be the limits to what people can express?” he asked. “What content should be distributed and what should be blocked? Who should decide these policies and make enforcement decisions?”

The company had previously posted its community standards and the internal guidelines that it uses when attempting to enforce those standards.

Now its CEO was looking to the future.

One idea he aired might be thought of as a Supreme Court of Facebook. “I’ve increasingly come to believe that Facebook should not make so many important decisions about free expression and safety on our own,” Zuckerberg wrote. “In the next year, we’re planning to create a new way for people to appeal content decisions to an independent body, whose decisions would be transparent and binding.”

A person who was kicked off the platform, or frustrated that a certain kind of post is consistently censored, might soon have a new venue to air his grievances.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/12/facebook-punish-censorship/577654/




So that aside there is a hearing this week and if there’s anything further coming on this we will keep updating you on this story but for now here’s what you need to know. They just can’t let this shit go, the Trump cult is that insane and they will let their voices be heard, just like the airing of grievances!

It was Sundar Pichai's turn in the congressional hot seat.

Google's CEO testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday where lawmakers grilled him on a wide range of issues, including potential political bias on its platforms, its plans for a censored search app in China and its privacy practices.

This is the first time Pichai has appeared before Congress since Google declined to send him or Alphabet CEO Larry Page to a hearing on foreign election meddling earlier this year. That slight sparked anger among senators who portrayed Google as trying to skirt scrutiny.

The hearing culminated a tough year for big tech companies, as lawmakers and the public have become increasingly skeptical about Silicon Valley's effects on democracy, misinformation and privacy. Through the course of Tuesday's proceedings, the soft-spoken Pichai remained cool and confident overall while defending Google in the face of the sometime's intense questioning.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/11/google-ceo-sundar-pichai-testifies-before-congress-on-bias-privacy.html





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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: Huawei Spying
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Hey London it’s time to investigate beyond the headlines. This is Top 10 Investigates!



Cell phone spying is a very tricky subject. But one company is more guilty of that than all the other companies, and that is Chinese phone and electronics manufacturing conglomerate Huawei. But since the last time we covered this subject, there have been some shocking new developments in how Huawei handles its’ business with its’ phones, tablets, laptops and other electronics. So why is the US government so paranoid about Huawei? Well just like it’s dealings with Russian-based Kaspersky, it has every reason to be suspect.

The US is again warning its allies about the risks of using telecom equipment made by China’s Huawei. American officials have briefed their counterparts in countries like Germany, Italy, and Japan about what they argue are potential cybersecurity risks, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). This follows previous warnings, such as a claim earlier this year that American citizens shouldn’t use Huawei’s phones.

The US may be concerned about Chinese government influence embedded in Huawei’s technology because America’s spy agencies have done the same thing in the past.

Western governments have long been wary of Huawei, which was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former People’s Liberation Army soldier. (The recent arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is Zhengfei’s daughter, over allegations of violating of Iran trade sanctions is apparently separate to concerns about cyber espionage.)

Shenzhen-based Huawei, founded in 1987, has grown into the world’s largest supplier of telecom network equipment, beating out firms like Cisco, Ericsson, and Nokia. Critics see Huawei as a possible Trojan horse that, once embedded in international communications systems, could provide opportunities for Chinese government spying or remote control of vital telecom systems. Huawei has vigorously denied these claims.
https://qz.com/1489707/the-us-is-worried-about-china-spying-via-huawei-because-it-did-the-same/




So Huawei lied about spying. Is anyone really that shocked? Really? If you are not shocked by this you are in the wrong place. But here’s where the recent developments come into play. Last week Huawei’s CEO was arrested in Vancouver for espionage. Let’s take a look at what that means.

The chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada. She faces extradition to the United States.
Meng Wanzhou, also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng, was apprehended in Vancouver on December 1, according to Canadian Justice Department spokesman Ian McLeod. In addition to her role as CFO, Meng serves as deputy chairwoman of Huawei's board. She's the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.

Meng "is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday," McLeod said in a statement, which was first reported by The Globe and Mail.
McLeod said the Canadian Justice Department can't share details of the case. Meng was granted a publication ban after a judge agreed to bar both police and prosecutors from releasing information about the case.

The US Justice Department sought the arrest as part of ongoing investigation, according to a law enforcement official.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/05/tech/huawei-cfo-arrested-canada/index.html


https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/05/tech/huawei-cfo-arrested-canada/index.html

What has people so scared of Huawei? It’s not just that the devices are known for spying on their customers or that they lied repeatedly. But with networks now upgrading their hardware and cell towers to the upcoming 5G standard, it seems that it could open the floodgates for spying and high definition video recording that previously hasn’t been seen before.

The US government has sought to press its allies to stop using equipment developed by Huawei, the Chinese telecom company with links to the country's military, amid spying fears.

US officials have contacted the governments of friendly nations including Japan, Italy and Germany to warn them about alleged risk of using Huawei devices. They are also thought to have contacted counterparts in Britain.

Huawei is one of the world's biggest manufacturers of telecom equipment, including the network kit required for next generation 5G mobile networks, which are now being rolled out globally.

Based in Shenzen, Huawei was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the Chinese People's Liberation Army. The company's devices are rarely used in US government departments amid persistent concerns over Huawei's links to the Chinese government and the potential that its hardware could be used for espionage.

The US has considered boosting financial aid for technology development in countries that avoid using computer hardware made in China. The threat of possible espionage using Huawei network gear is thought to be a particular concern in countries that host US military bases, according to a report first published in the Wall Street Journal.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/11/23/us-presses-allies-stop-using-equipment-chinese-firm-amid-spy/




But just like a company that would stump for Trump, as it has in the past, Huawei is optimistic that it is growing “astronomically” which worries intelligence officials around the globe. Which really makes us wonder why they’re not using this to their advantage. Really is there anyone to blame in this mess? No, it’s just Huawei.

The arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer is just the latest controversy to hit the tech giant which has been accused of conducting espionage activities for the Chinese government.

"We don't know to what extent they might be considered an arms length business and to what extent they might be simply an arm of the Chinese government," said David Skillicorn, a professor in Queen's University School of Computing.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has been thrust into the spotlight with the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, its chief financial officer and deputy chair of the board. According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday and is being sought for extradition by the United States.

The Globe and Mail reported Wednesday that Meng was arrested on suspicion of violating U.S. trade sanctions on Iran. She has a bail hearing in Canada on Friday.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/huawei-china-telecom-arrest-spying-1.4934905




Well, maybe if you have a Huawei device. We will keep an eye on this situation and any further developments. That’s it for Top 10 Investigates. Good day!





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Gather around, my fair brothers and sisters of London, it’s time to take a seat in the pew and pass the collection plate! For the Holy Church of the Top 10 has convened and it’s our weekly duty to remind you why the holiest among us are also the most full of:



My fair congregation, we are glad that you are joining us as we visit a new country! But while we are in that country, that doesn’t mean that the Christian right back home gets to take a week off. For they have said some truly horrible and stunning things and done some equally horrible events. Just last week they held an event so utterly terrible that they actually got kicked out of the Museum Of The Bible! I mean what kind of hogwash do you have to pull to get kicked out of the Museum Of The Bible? Well something like this!

On the day before the start of “Revolution 2018,” the Museum of the Bible abruptly refused to host the gathering. Right Wing Watch reported on the gathering and its hosts on Monday; on Wednesday, according to Religion News Service, the Museum of the Bible decided, “under pressure” from some members of its own advisory board, not to allow Lamplighter Ministries to hold its gathering at the museum. Museum staff helped the group scramble to make a last-minute move to the Trump International Hotel.

Lamplighter’s Jon Hamill, a self-styled spiritual Paul Revere, had plugged Revolution 2018 during the dominionist Rise Up 2018 gathering at Harry Jackson’s church the day before the election.

According to the Religion News Service’s Yonat Shimron, “a group of biblical scholars, including some members of the museum’s own advisory board, objected strongly to the gathering, saying it betrayed the values the museum says it wants to uphold, including being open to people of all religious faiths.”

It’s not entirely clear what kind of unwritten line Revolution 2018 crossed, given that the Museum of the Bible has hosted events for all kinds of Religious Right groups. In fact, Lamplighter Ministries held Revolution 2017 at the museum last year.

But as Revolution 2018 got under way at Trump International Hotel on Thursday, organizers weren’t looking backward. In fact, several speakers at the afternoon and evening sessions said that the move to the Trump hotel was the fulfillment of prophecy, something orchestrated by God as part of his unfolding plan to bring transformation to the United States.

“We thought we were going to be in the Museum of the Bible tonight launching Revolution. But God had other plans,” Hamill told attendees. “Can we thank God to celebrate freedom in the Trump International Hotel? We are getting back on track! This train has come into station! We are now in the turnaround that God has prophesied, and we are setting a new course, a new way forward for this nation.”
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/prophetic-group-says-eviction-from-museum-of-the-bible-was-part-of-gods-plan/




Of course like all terrible things the people who are supposedly anointed by GAWD himself turn to the hotel that is owned by the Dark One, whose name shall never be spoken in my church! Except for that one time I did, but exceptions have to be made! I mean these are the people who think that the Dark One was appointed by GAWD himself! And I think even the good LAWRD JAYSUS would think these people are off their rocker! Or they are batshit crazy.

After encountering a barrage of criticism for agreeing to rent space to a charismatic Christian group that claims the Trump presidency is part of God’s plan, the Museum of the Bible abandoned plans to host the group and moved its meeting to the Trump International Hotel.

The Revolution 2018 event, a three-day conference run by Jon and Jolene Hamill of Lamplighter Ministries, begins in the nation’s capital Thursday (Dec. 6). It is intended, its website said, to “focus on real-time prophetic revelation with governmental authority.”

The group, which held a similar conference at the Museum of the Bible last year, boasted in promotional material for the event that the museum “represents an ‘Ark of the Covenant’ for our nation.”

It also emblazoned the word “Hanukkah” on its poster and alluded to the Jewish holiday as being providential.

“Something is about to change,” wrote the Hamills on the website. “I feel a visitation is at hand. And He is summoning us together for a very important moment which will redefine our future. Not a coincidence we are gathering over Hanukkah.”
https://religionnews.com/2018/12/06/under-pressure-museum-of-the-bible-moves-charismatic-christian-conference-off-site/




I believe that passage is in my good book! Now of course they DELIBERATELY chose that date, you don’t have to be a moron to buy into their nonsense that it was coincidental! These are the people who believe that Dark One was chosen by GAWD! Really, these people.

On the day before the start of “Revolution 2018,” the Museum of the Bible abruptly refused to host the gathering. Right Wing Watch reported on the gathering and its hosts on Monday; on Wednesday, according to Religion News Service, the Museum of the Bible decided, “under pressure” from some members of its own advisory board, not to allow Lamplighter Ministries to hold its gathering at the museum. Museum staff helped the group scramble to make a last-minute move to the Trump International Hotel.

Lamplighter’s Jon Hamill, a self-styled spiritual Paul Revere, had plugged Revolution 2018 during the dominionist Rise Up 2018 gathering at Harry Jackson’s church the day before the election.

According to the Religion News Service’s Yonat Shimron, “a group of biblical scholars, including some members of the museum’s own advisory board, objected strongly to the gathering, saying it betrayed the values the museum says it wants to uphold, including being open to people of all religious faiths.”

It’s not entirely clear what kind of unwritten line Revolution 2018 crossed, given that the Museum of the Bible has hosted events for all kinds of Religious Right groups. In fact, Lamplighter Ministries held Revolution 2017 at the museum last year.
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/prophetic-group-says-eviction-from-museum-of-the-bible-was-part-of-gods-plan/




Now just remember that the good LAWRD JAYSUS thinks these people are full of shit! In fact they’re so extreme that they got barred from the Museum Of The Bible, which hosted their event last year. Really for those of you Brits who are here attending tonight, just remember that our religious right are batshit fucking crazy. Really, they’re part of a lifestyle brand. It’s not just going to church every Sunday, you have to be involved in the brand 24 hours a day! I mean these people are so extreme that even Biblical scholars were against this gathering!

The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., which towers above other buildings near the White House, is best known for hosting global diplomats and prominent dignitaries in its lavish facilities.

But last Friday afternoon (Dec. 7), one of the hotel’s many glimmering ballrooms was transformed into a sanctuary, where dozens of worshippers held their hands aloft and spoke in tongues as Jon Hamill, co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based Lamplighter Ministries, led the group in prayer.

Hamill — whom supporters describe as a prophet — closed his eyes tightly and shouted above the chattering: “In Jesus’ name, we declare the Deep State will not prevail!”

He then hammered a judge’s gavel onto a podium as people raised their voices in approval.
https://religionnews.com/2018/12/10/at-trumps-hotel-spiritual-warriors-pray-for-the-president-in-his-darkest-hour/




So pray for the poor, downtrodden Dark One at his own hotel in his darkest hour. That’s all you need to know for this week. Mass has ended, may you go in peace! That’s it this week for:




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[font size="8"]Beating A Dead Horse
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Hey it’s time for:



Christmas in the #MeToo era. Yes, this is our second Christmas post #MeToo, and it’s had us examining the harsh reality of many of our all time favorite Christmas classics – whether it’s A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer. Yes that’s a thing – people are saying that Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer encourages bullying. So does that mean that Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer encourages vehicular homicide? Well, yes. But really the one that we got to talk about called “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. Now don’t worry – before we get into it, we promise that we’ll keep it tasteful. But really this has set off a firestorm of insanity.

After a Cleveland radio station pulled “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from its Christmas rotation due to its controversial lyrics, others have followed suit — but not all listeners are happy about it.

National Public Radio reports that at least two stations, one in San Francisco and another in Denver, ultimately decided to hold a vote to determine whether the song would be heard on their airwaves.

Brian Figula, the program director at the former, KOIT, described the response as a “tornado,” and the outlet cites “hundreds of comments on social media and via email” that demanded “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” be put back on the playlist.

“People are unbelievably passionate about their Christmas music,” Figula explained. “It’s the one thing that you can’t mess with … [Listeners rely on it] to reminisce to the good old days when life was easy and simple.”
https://people.com/music/baby-its-cold-outside-radio-ban-controversy/




Yeah and if there’s one group of people who you don’t fuck with, it’s Christmas music fans. They are very passionate about their holiday traditions! But really this is the kind of thing that gives movements like #MeToo and leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. Hey I just realized that sentence I just said was totally creepy! Well you know why don’t we just ask the writer of Baby It’s Cold Outside what he thinks?

Baby, it’s really, really cold outside for Frank Loesser’s Oscar-winning song this Christmas season.

Under fire amid the #MeToo movement from critics who say "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is sexist and hints at date rape, radio stations in Cleveland and San Francisco have dropped the holiday staple from their Christmas playlists and others in the U.S. and Canada are following suit.

This is not sitting well with the daughter of Broadway legend Frank Loesser, who said she has heard complaints in the past about her dad’s ditty but blames Bill Cosby for turning it into something fiendish.

"Bill Cosby ruined it for everybody," Susan Loesser told NBC News on Thursday. “Way before #Me Too, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties. But ever since Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time.”
https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/music/daughter-baby-it-s-cold-outside-writer-frank-loesser-blames-n944901




First off I’m not touching this one with a 10 foot pole, you can make your own jokes. But second I mean come on really? Is that where we’re at? Remember when Bill Maher a few months ago said that we’ve reached “Peak Snowflake”? Well that peak might be getting higher. Yeah there’s lots of things that probably wouldn’t fly today exactly. But do we really need to start pulling songs that have been around 60+ years for something like this?

Copeland didn’t, and it wasn’t a surprise. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone these days who would sing lyrics that endorse domestic violence as a key to relationship longevity.

Like an ill-advised spring break tattoo, some standards and pop chestnuts aren’t aging well. In a culture increasingly vocal about whatever demeans women, makes light of sexual assault, or equates violence with love, such songs are rightly being shunned.

That’s why some radio stations are yanking “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from their holiday playlists. Written by Frank Loesser, it’s been a beloved perennial for decades. At the center of debate is its story line — a man unconvinced that a woman’s “no” really means “no.” She wants to go home; using the lousy weather as an excuse, he’s cajoling her to stay. She also needs a ride, but he makes no offer to oblige her. At the very least, he’s an insufferable jerk.

The creep factor amplifies after she agrees to “just a half drink more,” then asks, “Say, what’s in this drink?” Whatever Loesser’s lyrical intentions were when he wrote it in 1944, it now makes me say, “You in danger, girl.”

Today, the song “seems very manipulative and wrong,” said Glenn Anderson of Cleveland’s WDOK-FM, one of the first radio stations to ban the song. “In a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/12/07/when-sexual-assault-and-domestic-violence-were-set-music/r4tzpGeNYcMg1E3cC9mDqL/story.html




Oh come on even Putin is giving you the facepalm! And that guy has no sense of humor! And really, that’s the reason why that song should be banned? That sounds like it would be something that Trump would say! “That’s very manipulative, and WRONG, OK? SAD!”. OK so the song might be a little creepy after you read the lyrics but would it seriously border on rape territory? Well I’m going to let you be the judge because some stations are bringing it back!

Gayle King got so fired up over criticism of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” she accidentally swore on the air on Thursday.

The “CBS This Morning” the co-anchor expressed her affinity for the tune penned in 1944 by Frank Loesser. She spoke out in the song’s defense after a news segment on the CBS show acknowledged that some radio stations have recently banned the tune.

The CBS piece mentioned San Francisco radio station KOIT is conducting a poll to see if the song, which it banned Monday, should remain off its playlist.

In Chicago, LITE-FM 93.9 was still including the song in its playlist as of noon Wednesday.

“At last check, the votes were running more than 90 percent in the song’s favor. Please count me in the 90 percent,” King said to her co-hosts, John Dickerson and Norah O’Donnell. “I just feel I want to say to people: ‘It’s a Christmas song that was written years ago.’
https://chicago.suntimes.com/entertainment/a-heated-gayle-king-defends-baby-its-cold-outside/





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What’s up with the Royals?



So we’ve never mentioned the Royal Family on this show at least as far as I can remember so I’ve always wanted to do a segment that focuses exclusively on the Royals. Yeah exactly it’s like a train wreck – you don’t want to stare but you can’t look away. I’m certain that my British friends have had an ass full of the Royals but don’t worry – we’ll keep it tasteful, at least as far as our standards go. Which you know by now is pretty low. But what have the Royals been up to lately? Well I got to start with my favorite story about Prince Charles, which stems from a recent documentary on Netflix.

Being first in line for the British throne may have gone to Prince Charles’ head.

The Prince of Wales, 69, has reportedly earned a special nickname among the staff at Clarence House: The Pampered Prince. That’s because, according to Amazon Prime’s new documentary “Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm,” Charles needs help doing just about everything.

“His pajamas are pressed every morning, his shoelaces are pressed flat with an iron, the bath plug has to be in a certain position and the water temperature has to be just tepid,” Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, revealed in the documentary, per Yahoo.

Burrell even said that Charles “has his valets squeeze one inch of toothpaste onto his toothbrush every morning.”

The butler’s duties reportedly extend to fetching items just a few feet away from the prince. “On one occasion, he rang me from his library and he said, ‘Oh Paul, a letter from the Queen seems to have fallen into my wastepaper bin. Would you pick it out?'” Burrell claimed.
https://pagesix.com/2018/11/01/prince-charles-has-his-shoelaces-ironed-every-morning/




Yes WTF indeed! So if Charles drops something on the floor he doesn’t even have to get out of the chair to pick it up! I don’t know – is that considered lazy or luxury in the UK? And by the way if you think that’s insane you should see a list of the things that the Royals can and cannot do. There’s so much about this that I don’t understand or even will begin to comprehend.

The Duchess of Sussex was spotted shutting her own car door this week during her first solo engagement, at the Royal Academy of Arts. This is apparently significant, with the Sun’s royal correspondent tweeting: “A princess [sic] who still takes the time to shut her car door.” Whether it will happen again remains to be seen, now the strangeness of it has been pointed out, but there are many everyday things the royals – mostly Charles, really – cannot or will not do.

• Carry cash The Queen is rarely seen without her Launer handbag, though it famously never contains any money – except, reportedly, for a neatly folded £5 note, and occasionally a tenner, for the church collection on Sundays.

• Squeeze their own toothpaste One of the enduring stories about Prince Charles is that someone squeezes his toothpaste on to a brush from a silver dispenser. Although this rumour has never officially been debunked, it is thought his then-valet Michael Fawcett only did this for a short while after Charles had broken his arm.

<snip>

• Open a car door According to Hoey, Prince Edward “was said to have reprimanded a butler because the man was not outside the house when he arrived back and Edward had to open the car door himself”. Perhaps it had the child-lock on. Hoey adds that Edward’s driver is “instructed to face the front at all times”.

<snip>

• Take selfies Meghan, as a self-respecting millennial, once had a blog and popular Instagram account – but no more. A fan, greeting Ms Markle – as she was then – in Nottingham asked for a selfie and was told: “We’re not allowed to do selfies.”
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/shortcuts/2018/sep/26/meghan-markle-can-shut-her-own-car-door-so-why-cant-prince-charles-iron-his-own-shoelaces




So if you think that’s weird, oh it gets weirder. Of course I have to explain how the Royal Family works to my American audience but just… wow. Oh and it gets weirder. It’s Christmas time and of course the Royals have their own traditions which are very crazy.

The Royal Family's Christmas traditions are wackier than we could've imagined.

Centuries of tradition meets the New-Gen-Royals, the Royal Family's Christmas period looks a little different to us common scum.

Aside from the decadent banquets, accommodating world leaders and addressing the public on Christmas day, this is what the Royal fam gets up to in the Silly Season.

The Queen insists on reading ALL of the gags out at the dinner table. Reports say that when she was younger, she used to make up extra jokes after all of the crackers had been pulled because she didn't want the laughter to end.

The Royal Soccer Match is a more recent tradition, coined by Harry and Wills. The game is played on Christmas Eve, where the brothers join the Royal staff and surrounding villagers to raise money for charity.

Royal festivities are held in the Royal Estate in Sandringham each year. The decorations remain up until Queen and Prince Philip leave the estate in February, to honour Elizabeth's father who passed away in Sandringham on February 6th in 1952.

Yeah, not a joke. The tradition dates back to King Edward VII, who suggested that the members of the family were to be weighed before and after the meal to make sure they're sufficiently fed. While this royal tradition dates back to the early 1900s, it is still done today.
http://www.kiis1065.com.au/lifestyle/the-royal-family-weighed-weird-christmas-traditions




Holy shit! The Royals don’t leave their Christmas decorations up until February? Even on January 1st the car companies stop their ridiculous Christmas sales! Oh oh wait, they’re sales “events”. Is that a thing here in the UK? Yes it is! Really? So it’s just as annoying here as it is at home? I mean at home they show the commercials during the events now. Right. Thank you sir! I mean even the Royals celebrate the holidays differently than us regular folks do!

We all have some weird and wonderful family Christmas traditions, but we can promise you with absolute certainty that none of your wacky holiday quirks will beat out the Royals.

Royal expert and editor of Majesty, Ingrid Seward, recently dished all things Royal family to Grazia magazine and discussed how the Queen and her offspring spend Christmas, and one very odd tradition caught people’s attention.

Prepare to scratch your heads in confusion, folks:

Every member of the royal family has to be weighed before and after Christmas dinner.

We all know the amount of serious feasting that goes into the Royals Christmas day, so we can only imagine that having to see just how much you stuffed your face that year cannot be described as ideal.
https://www.instylemag.com.au/royal-family-weird-christmas-tradition





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Hey London I really need a drink!



So of course you know by now that the idea of this is that we have a few drinks, get drunk, and talk about anything in the news that doesn’t relate to politics. And this week we’ve got our annual holiday gift guide. So tell me bartender, what goes well with Santa? Peppermint schnapps? No thanks, I can’t stand mint flavor. I’ll stick with my Jack Daniels mixed with Jack Daniels. Well the reason I bring up Santa is that this week was Santa Con in New York City and well, you should never mix booze and bros, because this is the kind of shit that happens. And the people of New York City always dread this kind of year. For good reason.

Over the last two decades, NYC has slowly turned into a playground for the rich—but for one very special day of the year, it transforms into a playground for the drunk. SantaCon swept into town on Saturday, leaving a trail of spilled beer, abandoned Santa hats, and candy cane colored upchuck across Midtown and the East Village.

There are of course plenty of Long Islanders and NJ residents who just want an excuse to have a fun day out with their friends, and organizers have taken pains to snuff out the worst behavior from participants... but there are the people, like the gentleman below, who are just obliterated. If you want to see one SantaCon video that summarizes what it's all about, here you go:

Charitable contributions aside, there is no culture or purpose to SantaCon other than binge drinking (and perhaps reliving fraternity days of yore). The first step to making SantaCon tolerable to the rest of New York is admitting that, letting go of the defensiveness, and then maybe erecting an electric fence around Murray Hill and letting participants roam free without worrying about anyone shouting "MAKE AMERICA SANTA AGAIN" at innocent passersby.

Despite alcohol being banned on all Metro North, LIRR and NJ Transit trains for the day, plenty of people got started nice and early Saturday morning. "We haven’t done anything but wake up and drink," visiting Philly resident Charlie Rahr admitted to the NY Post, inadvertently coining the official motto for the event.
http://gothamist.com/2018/12/10/santacon_photos_2018_nyc.php#photo-1




Wait, you can drink on the LIRR and I wasn’t aware of this? I will have to remember that for my next trip to New York City! Get the paper bag PBR special, or maybe you can go even cheaper and get a 40 of Thunderbird! But come on, the draw of Santa Con is that you can get drunk and get holly jolly on everyone’s ass. Just like in Jingle All The Way!

Nothing brings people together quite like getting drunk in a Santa costume — just ask Andy Cohen.

After ridiculing the boozy tradition, Cohen couldn’t help but join in on New York City’s annual SantaCon bar crawl over the weekend when he spotted a party on the roof of a nearby building.

“This is out my kitchen window. This is the beginning of SantaCon,” he said in his Instagram Story on Saturday while recording a party forming across the way. “There are four Santas on this roof. This can’t end well.”

As the party continued to grow, a few partygoers noticed Cohen’s videos and invited him over.

“Do I go? I feel kind of funny, but it could be classic,” he said.
https://people.com/tv/andy-cohen-crashes-santacon-party/




But people think that Santa Con is exclusively a New York City thing but the truth is – it happens all over the country! And besides NYC, San Francisco famously holds an annual Santa Convention and it is just as batshit crazy as, just like its’ NYC counterpart, also has a tendency to draw a particularly rowdy crowd.

Seven Santa Clauses who got higher than a rooftop were busted for being drunk on Saturday in San Francisco during the annual SantaCon pub crawl.

The Santas were nabbed downtown and at the northern waterfront, according to police officer Robert Rueca. Fifteen other Santas were treated by medics for being drunk, tipsy, wobbly, sick or in other conditions brought on by excessive good cheer.

SantaCon, the annual celebration that started in San Francisco in 1994 and spread around the world, features countless celebrants in Santa suits fanning out from Union Square and bellying up to countless bars.

“It’s not officially sanctioned,” said Rueca, “but people do have the freedom to wear whatever disguise they want — that’s out of our control.”

It was not immediately known if there were more drunk Santas this year than in past years. Rueca said that everyone, including Santa, is subject to the same rules about public drunkenness “and it doesn’t matter what outfit you’re wearing.”
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Seven-Santa-Clauses-busted-for-public-drunkeness-13455721.php




And then what happens when a group of rowdy Santas goes to get booze? Well let’s just say it ends badly as it started, with these Santas trashing a popular restaurant in San Francisco. Which begs the question – if Santa’s on the naughty list, who is on the nice list?

Some Santa Claus revelers in San Francisco have made the jolly one's naughty list after trashing a popular Polk Street restaurant Saturday night.

On Monday, in the aftermath of the Santa Con participants' bad behavior, there was growing outrage over videos showing just how bad these Santas were.

Workers at Shalimar, a Pakistani restaurant, were still cleaning up Monday but managed to capture video Saturday night of Santa Con partiers demanding food they never ordered then one woman with a Santa hat in her hand shoving a cash register, a stereo and just about everything that was on the counter onto the floor.

Alejo Cano Chang said the group came in around 7 p.m. During the woman's outburst, she also threw a sugar shaker at him. The vandalism didn't stop there.
https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Naughty-List-Santa-Con-Revelers-Trash-San-Francisco-Restaurant-502428271.html






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[font size="8"]Deep State Diaries Episode 23: M:I-6
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It’s time for episode 23 of Deep State Diaries. Yes we’re touring the 24 branches and services that make up the United States government. Everything from the FBI to the IRS to the Pentagon to the CIA to the DPW to the DVA to parks and recreation and all branches and services in between. Of course if you’re here you probably already know more about our government and how it works than your average Fox News loving Trump supporter does. So that’s what this segment is going to address. We are going to do a deep dive into all that makes the United States the United States. Because we here at the Top 10 love to educate as well as entertain. Because we care.

[font size="6"]M:I-6/font]
https://t2.rbxcdn.com/0f24ba664d4ea25bd47a49ea19383985

We need some music for this one!



Yes for our edition of Deep State Diaries this week we figured that we would pay tribute to our British hosts by talking about the British counterpart to the organization we discussed last week – the Central Intelligence Agency. This week we’re delving into and hanging out with the British counterpart – the Military Intelligence: Section 6. If you recognize who M:I-6 is, that is of course the employer of James Bond from the 007 movies. But what else does the super secret organization do when their agents are not going out on world tours to exotic locales and having sex with some of the most beautiful women on the planet? Well stuff like this. So where did the inspiration for M come from?

The Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, works covertly overseas to gather intelligence. The world’s oldest intelligence agency was founded by the legendary spymaster Mansfield Smith-Cumming in 1909 as the Secret Service Bureau, and he ran it util his death in 1923. He was well-known and liked for his colourful personality.

Many of his innovations are still part of the lifeblood of MI6, say insiders.

Former secret agents tell all in 2014 Netflix documentary “Secrets of Her Majesty’s Secret Service".

Firstly, “good agents” were his most important tool, explains the documentary.

“From the very beginning, he understood it was all about collecting intelligence and recruiting and running sources," says Sir John Scarlett, who is himself a former MI6 chief.

"From the very beginning, that’s what he did. It’s just in the bloodstream."
https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1057318/james-bond-real-mi6-chief-inspired-m-character-mansfield-smith-cumming-spt




Yeah so James Bond was partly inspired by real life M:I-6 agents! How about that? So that said how does M:I-6 take on different agencies like ISIS and Al’Qaeda from say, the CIA? Or maybe one of the big fish of the espionage world, Russia? Well it’s really interesting to get the M:I-6 perspective.

The head of MI6 said Russia broke one of the primary rules of espionage and won't be trusted again after it tried to assassinate a former Russian agent despite giving him away in a spy swap.

Alex Younger said British spies had to revise their assumptions about Moscow after Skripal was attacked with a deadly nerve agent, in an operation which Britain has pinned on Russia's GRU spy agency.

Younger is the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, more commonly known as MI6, and gave a speech to students at St. Andrews University in Scotland, which was reported by the Financial Times.

In the speech, Younger said the UK had partly trusted Russian President Vladimir Putin when Russia pardoned Skripal in 2010 in return for its own agents.

Younger said he and his agents assumed that Moscow's spy swap "had meaning" and would be honored, but he said they revised their opinion in light of the Skripal attack.

He said, according to the Financial Times: "Mr. Skripal came to the UK in an American-brokered exchange, having been pardoned by the president of Russia and, to the extent we assumed that had meaning, that is not an assumption that we will make again."
https://www.businessinsider.com/mi6-head-alex-younger-russia-wont-be-trusted-2018-12?r=UK&IR=T




So I can guess M:I-6 job interviews are kind of like that? Or maybe it’s like Kingsman: The Secret Service, another movie which I am a huge fan of? And speaking of technology how does M:I-6 prepare for the forthcoming technological wars, of which most hated foe Russia, is handling things?

The UK is in a technological arms race with hostile states who are using the tools of the information age to pose existential challenges to Britain’s national security, the head of MI6 warned on Monday.

In a rare speech, Alex Younger said British intelligence agencies had to “innovate faster than they can” as the country’s adversaries turn to cyber-attacks, disguised use of military force, misinformation and political obfuscation to probe and undermine Britain’s institutions and defences.

Though his remarks appeared primarily aimed at Russia, Younger also admitted there are emerging issues over China’s dominant position in the development of game-changing new technologies.

“Power, money and politics [are] going east ... it is all getting more complicated.”

Delivering only his second speech since he became “C” four years ago at the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), Younger attempted to set out how the threat to the UK has evolved in recent years, and how his agency, which has always had agent recruitment and handling at the core of its work, is having to adapt fast.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/03/uk-is-in-technological-arms-race-with-its-foes-warns-mi6-chief




And that is a good question, sir! Why not stay dead? Well here’s the thing when discussing spies and spy technology, it’s probably best not to underestimate what they’re currently capable of, since we currently have spy technology available right in our very own pockets!

The head of MI6 will on Monday highlight the urgent need for a new era of spying in which artificial intelligence and robotics are deployed to combat rogue states hellbent on “perpetual confrontation” with the UK.

In a rare public speech - only his second in four years in the job - Alex Younger, the Chief of MI6, will say that Britain must enter an age of “fourth generation espionage” to keep the country safe.

The MI6 boss - known as "C" - will also emphasise the importance of "strengthening" Britain’s security ties with European allies ahead of Brexit, pointing out that "multiple" Islamic State-inspired attacks on the Continent have been disrupted thanks to the co-operation of intelligence agencies.

The speech to students at St Andrew’s University, where Mr Younger studied, will also warn of the danger of “adversaries” who are “willing to take advantage” of huge leaps in cyber technology to launch attacks on Britain “in ways that fall short of traditional warfare”.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/02/chief-mi6-calls-new-era-spying-using-ai-robots-combat-rogue/




But when it comes to the spy game, Trump is about to do something absolutely terrifying and if you’re not alarmed about this prospect, as I have seen just about every spy movie made in the last 5 years and I know what happens when you get names of agents leaked out in the open! Yeah it ends extremely horribly and Trump is going to do it!

British intelligence chiefs are reportedly desperate to convince the White House not to declassify more of the FBI wiretap application on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, because it would expose intelligence-gathering sources and methods.

According to a piece published late Wednesday in the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph, U.S. intelligence officials are also against the idea, as are those in Australia, another member of the intelligence-gathering club known as the Five Eyes (the group also includes Canada and New Zealand.)

Carter Page became a foreign policy advisor on Trump’s campaign team early in 2016. The FBI obtained a warrant to monitor his communications several months later, after they became aware that he may have been meeting with Russian officials in Moscow in mid-2016.

Over time, the investigation fed into the sprawling Russia probe that is currently being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. However, it did not spark the Russia probe, as some Republicans have alleged — the wider investigation was instead prompted by contact between the Russians and Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, regarding so-called “dirt” on Trump’s presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.
http://fortune.com/2018/11/22/mi6-trump-carter-page-fbi/




[font size="6"]Score Card [/font]

Overall importance: A
How Things Are Going: B+
Likely hood To Survive: B+

Overall: B+

[font size="6"]Next Week [/font]

For our season finale we’re going back to Washington, DC to discuss one of the most hated of all government agencies – the IRS! Yes, we came all this way just to make an IRS joke!


[font size="8"]And Now This:[/font]
[font size="8”]Slash Feat Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators[/font]

Ladies and gentlemen my next guest has a great new album called “Living The Dream”, you can see them live Feb 19th at The Dome at Doncaster and Feb 20th at Eventim Apollo. Playing their song “Driving Rain”, give it up for Slash feat Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators!




Thank you London! This was a blast! I hope to come back next year! Thanks to the 99 Club and to the Liberal Dem party for brining us over here. We are back home next week for our final Top 10 of 2018. See you next week!

Credits

Host: Initech
Top 10 Conservative Idiots Recorded In Front Of Live Audience At: 99 Club Leicester Square, London, UK
Special Thanks To: 99 Club Management, UK Liberal Democrat party
Holy Shit Gospel Choir:
Images: All images copyright belongs to respective copyright holders.
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Writing: Top 10 Writing Department
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Management: Initech Productions, CCC Management
Follow The Top 10 On Twitter at: @10Idiots
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Initech Productions: Yes, We Got The Memo

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