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Wed Jul 3, 2019, 05:00 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #7-4: Wheel Of Corruption: The Hidden World Edition


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #7-4: Wheel Of Corruption: The Hidden World Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! What’s up Houston??? How you guys doing, you doing fucking good? Great! This is our first time in the HOU, how about that? Well our Texas Roadshow is coming to a close unfortunately. Next week when we’re in Ft. Worth it will be our last stop in Texas before departing for our big college tour! But don’t be sad! We’ll be back soon! Plus we’ve got the Wheel Of Corruption for this stop! First off, congratulations to the Vanderbilt Commodores for winning it all in the College World Series. Michigan, you had a great run and you can rest easier knowing that you don’t have to go to the White House to eat cold hamberders with Trump. And I mean come on no one really parties like Donald J. Trump does. I mean did you see his stint in North Korea? He almost came full on tongue with Ivanka. Oh what? Too soon? But this is where I love the Tweetsphere is because #UninvitedIvanka was trending and Ivanka was showing up in places where she didn’t belong, like the cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road or the moon landing. Ah, I love it. And then of course you have your usual Trump fans who don’t get the joke like Joy Villa who said “The only people who are laughing are ugly little trolls at #unwantedIvanka are the kind of men and women who bully and attack others out of spite and jealousy.”. First off, drama queen! Second, someone didn’t get the joke! But really it’s international joke day people! Lighten up, that’s why you braved the humidity to come joke about politics with us! OK enough of the intro, we have a lot of idiocy to get to, but first John Oliver is back with his season finale and he delves into what it’s like to work at an Amazon fulfillment center – and it’s horrifying!



Hey everybody the Wheel Of Corruption is back!!!! It’s been a while since we dusted off the wheel but we’re glad to have it back! So for the first slot this week we’re going to do something a bit different and talk about what went down in the first two debates (1). Because there was a lot to unpack there and there were obvious winners and losers. In the second slot this week is the NRA (2). Gun control activists scored a *MAJOR* victory in their fight against the NRA and needless to say their long time spokeswoman Dana Loesch is out, as is NRA TV. Thoughts and prayers. In the third slot this week is SCOTUS (3) – and is gerrymandering a bad thing? Yes it most definitely is, and SCOTUS basically said something along the lines of “we’re on our own”. Which is just great. Taking the 4th slot this week is the guy who we currently call president, Donald J. Trump (4). and we’re going to have some fun since July 4th is tomorrow, and we’re going to preview his July 4th Americagasm Patriotic Boner Spectacular that will dwarf (ha!) the official Washington DC parade. For the 5th slot is of course our weekly investigative piece, Top 10 Investigates, and this week we’re going to take a look at a controversial claim made by the CEO of Hilton Hotels. When is it OK to tip a housekeeper, and how much? The internet outrage machine was ignited by this, and we will break it down for you. In the 6th slot this week is our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in “Holy Shit” and this week our resident pastor is becoming increasingly alarmed by the number of right-wing religious zealots claiming to be prophets. So who’s really a prophet and didn’t Jesus warn us about this sort of thing? In the 7th slot this week is “Beating A Dead Horse” – really conservatives, what’s your hate with Drag Queen Story Hour? Yeah we covered this before but it’s back in the news and the religious right is having one of their proverbial shit fits. In the 8th slot this week, for another Proud Boys vs Antifa rally in Portland, we’re going to pull back the masks on both groups and ask “Proud Boys Vs Antifa: How Is This Still A Thing?”. For the 9th (NEIN!!) slot this week is People Are Dumb, and while of course people are dumb, we’ve got a doozy of a story out of Alabama that is absolutely insane. And finally this week is Part 4 of our What’s Up With Texas docuseries, and this week we’re heading out to explore the Gulf Coast and find out what the climate is like there after Hurricane Harvey. Plus we’ve got some live music for you from the Mountain Goats! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

**ED NOTE: We are *NOT* going to cover the concentration camps operating at the border, or the threats from CBP against AOC, at least not currently. As is Top 10 policy, we do not cover anything we can’t joke about, and that is something that is too horrifying to make fun of, and doing so would be beneath us. Now on with our regularly scheduled programming!**

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[font size="8"]Debate Recap
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Hey everyone say it with me: It’s time for the WHEEL OF CORRUPTION! YAY!!!!!




Of course you know the rules by now – I spin the wheel and we have to talk about whatever it lands on. Of course if it lands on the guacamole option, you know that it costs $1.50 extra. So here’s what is on the wheel this week:

- Guns
- Abortion
- Crime
- Poverty
- Election Theft
- Buy A Vowel
- Sex
- Clip Without Context
- Greed
- Spying
- Flying
- Food
- Elections
- The Border
- Donald Trump
- Clip Without Context
- Chance
- 5,000
- Bankrupt
- Community Chest
- Top 10 Investigates
- A Random Tweet
- Something Random In The News
- ‘Merica!
- Golf
- 10,000
- Morally Bankrupt
- Guacamole
- Clip Without Context
- Talk Shows
- Holy Shit
- Beating A Dead Horse
- This Fucking Guy
- How Is This Still A Thing?
- Intermission
- 15,000
- People Are Dumb
- Texas
- I Need A Drink
- Infowars
- T-Shirt Cannon
- Lightning Round
- Bonus Spin

Let’s do this thing! Spin that shit! Come on no whammy no whammy no whammy no whammy…. And stop!!! Oh it’s a clip without context!



Well I think it’s very clear that your brain has been turned into mush! Spin it again! And it lands on… elections! Folks, I don’t have to tell you that we’re less than a year out from the 2020 election that will hopefully send Donald Trump packing. But then again I can’t get my hopes up after what happened in 2016 because it’s gonna happen again if we don’t stop it. Yeah I don’t want to sound like one of those people who is yelling about the sky falling but then again when the debates are happening and it gets really crazy really quickly, there’s no doubt that 2020 not only will be the longest year ever, it’s going to be a category 5 shit storm. So let’s get it out of the way about the aftermath of the debates last week.

Democrats are not as confident that Joe Biden is the best option to take on Donald Trump in the 2020 election after last week's debates, which showcased the potential rise of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris.

According to a new Huffpost/YouGov poll, the former vice president's electability decreased 13 percent in just over a month. The survey polled 1,000 U.S. adults from May 9-10 and again after the debates from June 28-29.

In May, 70 percent of voters said that Biden, if nominated, could win the general election. By late June, Biden had fallen to 57 percent though he still led the crowded Democratic primary field.

As Biden's edge over the race dropped, Warren and Harris saw double digit increases as more Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters said the senators were capable of winning the general election. Warren went from 40 to 51 percent in terms of electability, while Harris jumped from 39 percent to 49 percent.
https://www.newsweek.com/democrats-not-sure-biden-beat-trump-after-debates-1446941




Yeah ouch. So Biden went from sure thing to your rejected, crazy friend after prom. What do you mean that Lacy stole my date??????? I am so much better than her!!! It’s kind of like that. So now that our sure thing got downgraded to kind of sure, but not certain thing, it’s time to go back to the drawing board, who will be our savior? Will it be Bernie? Warren? Harris? Buttigieg?

Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have made steep gains after the first Democratic presidential debate, a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. shows, with former Vice President Joe Biden's lead over the field shrinking to a narrow 5 points.

The results indicate a significant tightening in the race for the Democratic nomination.

The poll, conducted after the two-night debate, finds 22% of registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents backing Biden for the party's presidential nomination, 17% Harris, 15% Warren and 14% Sen. Bernie Sanders. No one else in the 23-person field tested hits 5%.

That represents a 10-point decline in support for Biden since the last CNN poll in May, while Harris, of California, has posted a 9-point increase, and Warren, of Massachusetts, has boosted her support by 8 points. No other candidates have seen significant movement since the last poll.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/01/politics/2020-democratic-candidates-poll/index.html




Holy shit!!! Even the front runner right now only has 17% of the poll and Biden lost a whopping 10 points in the debate. So how do you climb out of this hole? It’s going to take a monumental effort after having this many candidates, but we’re ready for it. And I could show you hundreds of articles and videos about who owns what issue and there are a lot of them.

Climate activists — and more than a dozen Democratic presidential candidates — have been calling on the Democratic National Committee to host a debate focused solely on climate change. And for months, the top of the Democratic Party has essentially said “nope.”

That might be changing.

During a meeting of the DNC’s executive committee in Pittsburgh on Saturday, party officials introduced two proposals that would put climate change in the national spotlight during the Democratic primary. The party will make a decision on the proposals during their next meeting, in August in San Francisco, a DNC official told VICE News. It would be the first single-issue presidential debate in recent memory.

Asked what they considered to be the greatest geopolitical threat to the U.S. during the first round of debates, several candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker, and Beto O’Rourke, said climate change. Still, the heating climate only got 15 minutes of discussion time over the course of the first two nights of debates among the 20 candidates who qualified.
https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/evy99z/democrats-may-actually-debate-climate-change-after-all




Come on guys, get the lead out! The entire world is counting on you! We’re counting on you to do something to help stop climate change! Don’t kind of sort of think that you’re going to maybe do it, do it already! And by the way if you’re wondering who the clear winners and losers of the first night are, look no further than this:

Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have made steep gains after the first Democratic presidential debate, a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. shows, with former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead over the field shrinking to a narrow 5 points.

The results indicate a significant tightening in the race for the Democratic nomination.

The poll, conducted after the two-night debate, finds 22% of registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents backing Biden for the party’s presidential nomination, 17% Harris, 15% Warren and 14% Sen. Bernie Sanders. No one else in the 23-person field tested hits 5%.

That represents a 10-point decline in support for Biden since the last CNN poll in May, while Harris, of California, has posted a 9-point increase, and Warren, of Massachusetts, has boosted her support by 8 points. No other candidates have seen significant movement since the last poll.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/07/02/poll-kamala-harris-elizabeth-warren-rise-and-joe-biden-slides-after-first-democratic-debates/





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[font size="8"]The NRA
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Let’s give the wheel a good strong spin, shall we? And it lands on… golf!



Ha ha ha, that is awesome. Spin it again! And it lands on… GUNS! So folks, the NRA is an absolute dumpster fire of an organization currently. It all started when Oliver North attempted to oust Wayne La Pierre in a coup a few months ago (see: [linkhttps://www.democraticunderground.com/100212062949 | Idiots #6-16] ). And since then the organization has literally fallen apart. Of course if you’ve seen @realDonaldTrump’s twitter feed, you’d think that the NRA is doing just fine. But really their woes continue as this happened:

The National Rifle Association has shut down its online TV channel and lost its chief lobbyist, new setbacks for a group that also is the subject of another congressional investigation, NPR has learned.

The NRA has struggled under both scrutiny from the outside for its connections to Russia's interference in American politics and from internal divisions over its leadership and its finances.

The latest developments took place Wednesday when the gun rights group's CEO, Wayne LaPierre, announced that the NRA's online channel NRATV would stop broadcasting live programming.

He cited costs, return on investment and the direction of the content.

LaPierre also blamed Ackerman McQueen, the Oklahoma-based advertising firm overseeing television production. Despite a decades-long relationship between Ackerman McQueen and the NRA, allegations of financial impropriety have led to a contentious legal dispute.
https://www.npr.org/2019/06/26/736255639/turmoil-at-the-nra-tv-channel-ends-lobbyist-resigns-a-new-hill-probe-begins




Oh that was sweet. Can we play that again? Yeah really I’m not expressing any sorrow or grief over the loss of NRA TV, I will simply send them my thoughts and prayers. Oh and maybe a dose of the world’s tiniest violin playing just for them. But that’s not the only problem plaguing the world’s most powerful gun lobby. Which they are no longer not. The NRA might be a literal circular firing squad at this point. This happened last year:

The nation’s leading gun-rights organization saw its income drop by $55 million last year, after a record-breaking 2016 in which the group and its political affiliates spent unprecedented sums to elect President Donald Trump.

The National Rifle Association of America reported $98 million in contributions in 2017, down from nearly $125 million in 2016, according to new tax records obtained by The Daily Beast. Nearly one-fifth of its contributions last year came from a single anonymous donor, who chipped in nearly $19 million to the group.

More noteworthy than its drop in contributions, though, was its decline in membership dues. The NRA took in more than $128 million in dues last year—a significant sum, but down considerably from the $163 million it took in the year prior. That decline, more than the drop in direct contributions, appears to indicate a dwindling, if still formidable, base of public support. Asked for comment on the decline, an NRA spokesperson pointed to reporting showing that the organization’s magazine subscriptions have shot up this year, interpreted as an indicator of an accompanying membership surge.

Nonetheless, 2017 did not see a financial windfall for the group. In all, the NRA reported just under $312 million in total income, down from nearly $367 million the year before.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-nra-just-reported-losing-dollar55-million-in-income




Yeah so that happened. I mean when I say the NRA is an absolute dumpster fire of an organization, that’s definitely not stretching it. So of course you know you got to spend money to make money, but the NRA hasn’t exactly been doing that lately. And they are currently so toxic that no one wants to be associated with them. What’s causing the NRA’s money woes?

On the same day that the National Rifle Association announced that they were halting production for their 24-hour live streaming platform, NRATV, their top lobbyist resigned.

On Wednesday, the NRA severed ties with its advertising partner, Ackerman McQueen, and ended programming for the online streaming service. The two have worked together for 38 years, and the ad agency oversaw NRATV’s production and worked to shape the NRA’s public image. It has been a rocky few months for the relationship between the gun rights advocacy group and the agency.

The conflict also brought about today’s resignation of the NRA’s Chief Lobbyist Chris Cox, as confirmed to TIME by NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. Cox has worked with the NRA since 1995 and served as chief lobbyist and principal political strategist for its lobbying arm since 2002. He was suspended for his involvement in a power struggle against CEO and Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, in June before resigning today.

The downfall of an online streaming service and a top lobbyist are connected in a web of lawsuits and threats that has recently surrounded the group.

In April, the NRA filed suit against the ad agency, saying that the NRA felt Ackerman McQueen might be “overcharging for certain items” and invoicing salaries for time spent consulting other companies, the Wall Street Journal reported.
https://time.com/5614707/nratv-shutdown-cox-resigns/




And by the way, Trump had to get involved. You just know when Trump sticks his nose into anything – first of all, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Second of all, yeah, Trump really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I mean when you have your TV do all your thinking for you, who needs opinions? Trump certainly doesn’t! This is the Trump administration, facts don’t matter, only outrage does!

For the second straight day, President Donald Trump vented online about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Attorney General Letitia James, this time focusing on the latter's investigation of the National Rifle Association.

"People are fleeing New York like never before," Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. "If they own a business, they are twice as likely to flee. And if they are a victim of harassment by the A.G. of the state, like what they are doing to our great NRA, which I think will move quickly to Texas, where they are loved."

"Texas will defend them & indemnify them against political harassment by New York State and Governor Cuomo," Trump continued. "So many people are leaving New York for Texas and Florida that it is totally under siege. First New York taxes you too high, then they sue you, just to complete the job."

Cuomo responded to Trump's tweets in a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying the president "is in la la land."
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-laments-ny-probe-nra-second-day-complaints-about-home-n1025601





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[font size="8"]SCOTUS
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Let’s give the wheel a good strong spin, shall we? Wheel goes round, wheel goes round… where does it stop? Community chest!



Woohoo, I will take that $200 thanks! Spin it again!!! Election theft. It’s no secret that the Russians and the republicans are coming for the 2020 election and they want it very bad. So much that they will put up just about any insufferable jerk to get it. I mean we already have Donald Trump in the White House and Brett Kavanaugh on SCOTUS, how much worse can it get? Well, it can get a whole lot worse if SCOTUS keeps fucking with gerrymandering. And you can bet that in the months leading up to the 2020 election, the GOP will be doing anything they can to steal it from us. You know – fool us once, shame on you. Fool us 20 times… well who’s to blame then?

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that federal courts are powerless to hear challenges to partisan gerrymandering, the practice in which the party that controls the state legislature draws voting maps to help elect its candidates.

The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s more conservative members in the majority. In a momentous decision, the court closed the door on such claims.

The drafters of the Constitution, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority, understood that politics would play a role in drawing election districts when they gave the task to state legislatures. Judges, the chief justice said, are not entitled to second-guess lawmakers’ judgments.

“We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts,” the chief justice wrote.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/us/politics/supreme-court-gerrymandering.html




And yes, they do suck. Rather than make an informed decision that gerrymandering isn’t good for the country, they told us to go fuck ourselves. I mean we all know how Brett Kavanaugh is with this subject, he’s well versed! You guys judge the supreme law of the land, and this is what you decide, you’re going to send it back and let us duke it out for ourselves? I mean holy shit. And it’s only going to get worse from here.

On the last day of its term, the nation’s highest court churned out two major rulings: One concerning the U.S. Census, the other, the future of gerrymandering.

Let’s start with gerrymandering—that is, when a political party shapes the boundaries of an electorate so it favors them—which the Supremes already ruled could not be done on the basis of race. The question before them was whether political gerrymandering, that is, gaming political maps so they disproportionately benefited their parties—was just as unconstitutional.

In a decision splitting the court between its five-judge conservative majority and its liberal wing, SCOTUS ruled that political gerrymandering was permissible, and that federal courts had no business interfering in the will of state legislatures on this matter.

On its face, the decision might seem like one of those “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” situations. After all, this ruling would apply equally to states run by Democrats as it would states where the GOP holds all the power.

But therein lies the rub: Republicans have control over FAR MORE states than Democrats do. CNN, citing the National Conference of State Legislatures, reports that Republicans control more than 30 of 49 partisan legislatures in the country (Nebraska, apparently, does some other shit). Of that 30, 22 also have a Republican governor.
https://www.theroot.com/scotus-blocks-census-citizenship-question-but-rules-po-1835920771




Yeah BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! What is the GOP going to have control over all 50 states now? Are they going for total coverage like Richmond Valentine’s SIM cards from the first Kingsman movie? What’s the next step in their master plan? Oh and yes I’m aware that I am using the phrase “master plan”. Not a very good phrase but I feel it’s appropriate here. Well I do want to switch gears and talk about the Census decision. Because that was a good one.

The Supreme Court has blocked a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census for the time being in a major setback for the Trump administration.

The bitter controversy centers around whether the administration can ask all recipients a citizenship question on the 2020 census for the first time since 1950 -- a move that could impact the balance of power in states and the House of Representatives, which are based on total population. Adding the question, critics say, could result in minorities being undercounted.

Writing for a 5-4 majority, Chief Justice John Roberts concluded that there was sufficient reason for concern about why the Commerce Department wanted to add the question. Roberts had the support of the four liberal justices.

Supreme Court justices issued rulings on two major cases during their final day of the term, both dealing with partisan politics. Roberts split his votes, siding with conservatives on a major decision allowing severe partisan gerrymandering, and then crossing ideological lines to side with liberals on the census case.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/27/politics/census-supreme-court/index.html




So Trump lost with the Census decision – and you don’t fuck with the Census, and you especially don’t give fuel to white supremacists on it. It was good on the SCOTUS and a decision that should be commnended. But then he had to get involved and as I’ve previously said any time he gets involved, things turn to shit. What, he’s going to rig the census? How is that not an impeachable offense?

The Trump administration appears to have missed its own deadline Monday to start the printing of paper forms and other mailings that will play a key role in next year's constitutionally mandated head count of every person living in the U.S.

As of Monday evening, the 2020 census materials did not appear to have been officially approved by the White House's Office of Management and Budget for printing, according to a website tracking OMB's review process.

In another sign that production has not begun, Justice Department attorneys told a federal judge in Maryland on Monday that the administration has not reached a final decision on whether it will try to make another case in court for adding a hotly contested citizenship question to census forms.

U.S. District Judge George Hazel, who is presiding over recently reopened lawsuits over the question, has agreed to hold a hearing on the issue Tuesday, plaintiffs' attorneys Denise Hulett of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Shankar Duraiswamy of Covington & Burling tell NPR.

The delay in printing 1.5 billion paper census mailings could throw a wrench into a tightly wound timetable of final preparations for the 2020 census. The count is scheduled to begin officially in January in rural Alaska before rolling out to the rest of the country by April..
https://www.npr.org/2019/07/02/737662103/trump-administrations-delay-in-census-printing-sets-up-count-s-biggest-risk





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[font size="8"]Donald Trump
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Now entering the spin cycle! Come on no whammy no whammy no whammy stop!!!! What? Bankrupt? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!



Spin it again. Donald Trump. So what are you doing for your July 4th? Hey that’s tomorrow, don’t you know? Are you going to your high school’s poorly produced fireworks show? Or maybe you’re going for a much better fireworks show, like at Disneyland. But maybe you have plans to visit our nation’s capital, on the 4th and why wouldn’t you? it’s certainly the most patriotic thing you can do on the most patriotic day of the year. Or is it? Well, no matter how patriotic you think you are, well you are not patriotic enough! It’s not enough to say you’re a patriot, you have to eat, breathe and shit red white and blue, and nobody does it better than the guy who we currently call president, Donald J. Trump. By the way, judging by the quality of his toilet tweets, and his complete lack of a balanced diet, I’m pretty sure his shits are red, white and blue. And yes, he’s got quite the July 4th Americagasm fest to sell you!

On Thursday, the country will celebrate 243 years of independence — but this year's festivities are already setting off a different kind of fireworks.

That's because of President Donald Trump's plan to add more bells and whistles to Washington's usual celebration: music, military demonstrations and — notably — a speech he'll make, likely from the Lincoln Memorial, according to a White House official. The Washington Post reports there may even be an Air Force One flyover.

It's right up the president's alley, and he's encouraging attendees to come with flags in hand, predicting last week in Orlando there will "hundreds of thousands" of people on hand.

Trump was inspired by what he called one of the greatest parades he's ever seen: the march marking Bastille Day in France in 2017. That's when, as a guest of President Emmanuel Macron, Trump marveled at the display of military might.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-plans-elaborate-july-4th-party-d-c-critics-say-n1021276




America!!! Fuck yeah!!!! Ha ha, I love that movie. But speaking of which, no one puts on a bigger spectacle of himself than Donald J. Trump does. And despite the fact that there’s an official July 4th parade, his is going to be bigger and badder! So much that he’s even inviting his most die hard MAGA supporters by ticket! I mean at least Hitler invited his gestapo and SS without needing a ticket.

President Donald Trump's July Fourth celebration on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, will include a ticketed area in front of the Lincoln Memorial where he'll deliver remarks.

The perimeter of the restricted area will be "immediately around the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and about midway down through the Reflecting Pool," said Matthew Miller, special agent in charge of the US Secret Service Washington Field Office, in a news conference Friday with local and federal officials on the July Fourth celebrations in the nation's capital.

The White House confirmed to CNN on Saturday that there will be a ticketed area for VIPs, friends, family and members of the military. Those tickets come at no cost, but the White House did not say how it would specifically be allocated. The White House added that the entire event is free for the general public with no ticket requirement.

Miller said the Secret Service will provide security for Trump's "Salute to America" event, but that the White House is issuing the tickets.

Since attending the Bastille Day parade in Paris in 2017, Trump has pushed for a military display in Washington, DC, similar to one he witnessed in France.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/29/politics/4th-of-july-washington-dc-salute-to-america-trump-event/index.html




WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Oh sure it’s free. But if you want, if you have to be that much more ‘MURICA than the next guy, just spring for the VIP section! I mean it will just be like your favorite rock festival, but seriously – how can there be such a festival with no merch booth or beer tent? And at a Trump festival, they got to have the most America beer there is, America: The Beer (see: Idiots # 1-27 ). America, yo!

Plans by President Trump to reshape Washington’s Independence Day celebration now include an area in front of the Lincoln Memorial reserved for dignitaries, family and friends that will be accessible only through tickets distributed by the White House.

The VIP section will stretch roughly from the steps of the memorial to the midpoint of the reflecting pool, according to the U.S. Secret Service. It is in front of the spot from which Trump plans to address the nation as part of his rebranding of the traditional July 4 event into his own “Salute to America,” which includes moving the fireworks from the reflecting pool to two different sites, including West Potomac Park ...

Many people who have long-standing practices for how they get downtown, or where they position their boats for the best vantage points and ease of access, will need to make adjustments. Even travelers passing through the region’s skies will be affected, with all operations at Reagan National Airport suspended for up to an hour and 15 minutes on July 4, the FAA said late Friday.

Local and federal officials on Friday held a news conference to address security issues and deliver updates on the plans still unfurling just days before usually large crowds descend on the Mall from across the region and the country ...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/trump-plans-ticketed-access-area-for-vips-friends-and-family-at-july-4-celebration/2019/06/28/005fd56a-99a4-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html?utm_term=.c0431c731515




Excuse me a minute… OK… OK. By the way in case you’re wondering just how much America Trump plans to inject into his Americagasm spectacular, he wants a full on military show! That’s right – he wants tanks, he wants Marine One, he wants bald eagles, he wants a mountain lion in an American flag onesie… yeah I’ll let you picture that one for a minute. And think of how hard it must be to dress a mountain lion. So here’s just how much America this will get:

President Donald Trump said Monday that this year’s Fourth of July celebration in the nation’s capital would feature military tanks.

"We're going to have some tanks stationed outside," Trump said to reporters during an event in the Oval Office on Monday afternoon. "You've got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks. So we have to put them in certain areas."

Trump promised this year’s Independence Day celebration would be like "none other," featuring tanks from a factory in Lima, Ohio.

The Washington Post reported earlier Monday that Trump had expressed interest in having a massive display of military infrastructure at the annual celebration on the National Mall. Air Force One and the Navy’s Blue Angels, who were reportedly previously scheduled to be off on the holiday, are also expected to make flyover appearances. Trump will deliver remarks from the Lincoln Memorial in a campaign-style rally.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-says-there-will-be-military-tanks-fourth-july-celebration-n1025506





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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: Tipping Controversy
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Let’s spin it to win it!! And it lands on… come on no whammy no whammy no whammy… STOP! Oh it’s a clip without context!



And Jesus wept, I believe is the next verse. Spin it again! Oh it’s time for Top 10 Investigates.

It’s time to investigate beyond the headlines. This is:



Tipping your servers. It’s a very American custom that’s not generally well practiced in other parts of the world. That’s because other countries pay their service, retail, and maintenance people way better than the United States does. It wasn’t until the CEO of Hilton Hotels opened a can of worms that he should not have opened. Yes, a man who makes 1000 times more than your average employee does is lecturing us about when it is socially acceptable to tip your housekeepers.

Hilton's president and CEO, Christopher Nassetta, just noted he does not tip housekeeping when he checks out of a hotel.

During the 41st annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, the New York Times columnist and CNBC co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Nassetta how much he would be leaving for housekeeping.

"I typically do not leave a tip," Nassetta said. For a moment, the CEO (who according to Equilar made nearly $19.8 million in 2018) seemed to walk back his statement, explaining how he wasn't checking out of his hotel just yet. But he reiterated that no, he typically does not leave gratuities.

Nassetta had just spent half an hour telling a ballroom packed with more than 2,000 hospitality industry professionals how he had worked his way from "about as low as you can go" — specifically, a junior-level engineering position at a Holiday Inn where he used his plumbing skills to deal with "code browns" — and how the key to Hilton's runaway success has been the company's focus on people.
https://www.businessinsider.com/hilton-president-christopher-nassetta-doesnt-tip-housekeeping-2019-6




That brings up an interesting point. When is it OK to tip? And when should you tip and how much should you tip? It’s definitely a first world problem made painstakingly worse when CEOs make claims such as this when they clearly have more money than anyone else does. But as far as tipping etiquette goes, you absolutely should tip your housekeepers. Because well, they don’t get paid much.

They make our beds, clean our toilets and put out fresh towels, but 70 percent of Americans don't believe hotel housekeepers warrant a tip, multiple studies have shown.

Even the CEO of Hilton hotels said he didn't leave a tip for housekeeping until public outcry in June convinced him to reverse his position. The backlash over Christopher Nassetta's admission has renewed debate over whether housekeepers should be tipped just as the vacation season begins in earnest.

Nearly 100 million Americans plan to take a family vacation this year, and 68 percent of them will do so in the summer, according to AAA Travel.

“The great American road trip is still one of the best ways for families to relax and reconnect with one another,” Stacey Barber, executive director of AAA Travel Information and Content, said in a statement.
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900076679/hilton-hotel-ceo-vacation-tips-marriott.html




And that is true. But as studies have shown there’s not always a time and a place for tipping, and while it may be unwarranted to hear that, sometimes it is the case. Take for instance this study done by the Cornell Institute on hotel maintenance workers:

The national average hourly wage for bellhops was $11.40 in May 2010, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics wage estimates. The average for housekeepers was $10.17, according to survey data. Survey forms issued by the bureau ask for information on tips, but it's unclear how reporting varies between housekeepers and bellhops.

While those who study the lodging business are on the fence about tipping rules, many who give travel advice are fully in favor of tips for housekeepers.

"You really should, especially if you're a very messy guest and if you use all the towels ... and request extra pillows and blankets," said HotelChatter.com managing editor Juliana Shallcross.

"Housekeepers have so much more work to do these days as hotels roll out superplush bedding with six pillows at least and heavier sheets and duvets and everything needs to be washed and cleaned."
http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/06/24/hotel.housekeeping.tipping/index.html




Except you need to, sir. It’s not a question of whether you want to or not. However, here’s where tipping can go horribly, horribly wrong. Take for instance delivery company Door Dash. Their policy on tipping was so controversial that they were actually sued by the city of San Francisco for it, and their CEO was forced to reiterate his stance. And well, it wasn’t pretty.

Despite the fallout earlier this month over alleged “tip theft” on the part of Instacart, DoorDash is defending its own policy of using worker tips to supplement their base wage. If this sounds slimy, it is. It’s also a good reason to always tip in cash.

Speaking with Bloomberg on Thursday, the company’s CEO Tony Xu appeared to insinuate the only reason anyone’s upset that DoorDash has this policy in place is because other companies have been called out for similar practices. He told Bloomberg that the company has used the model “for two years now, and it’s unfortunate that the activities of others have mischaracterized what we’ve been doing for two years.”

Here’s the thing though. DoorDash, a food delivery service, relies on the labor of its contractors called “Dashers.” When people add additional tips to their delivery service tab, they reasonably assume they are tipping the delivery person—rather than the company. DoorDash previously told Bloomberg the model “was designed to ensure that Dashers are more fairly compensated for every delivery,” but DoorDash isn’t exactly hurting for cash.
https://gizmodo.com/doordash-are-a-bunch-of-snakes-1832805573




Yeah that’s pretty much the sentiment coming from America’s CEOs. But despite this, while the CEO of Door Dash did not have a change of heart, the CEO of Hilton Hotels did. Yes, just like the Grinch, his heart grew three sizes that day. .

Just over a week ago Hilton’s CEO, Chris Nassetta, was interviewed at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. He was asked about whether he tips hotel housekeeping, and he answered that he doesn’t — “I typically do not leave a tip.”

There are a few interesting things to note here:

You’d think a hotel CEO would be trying to encourage tipping as a way of shifting the cost of paying housekeepers from the hotel to guests
Nassetta made about $20 million last year
I do have to give him credit for the fact that he truly worked his way up in the hotel industry — he has been in it his entire career, and started by working at an actual hotel

Suffice to say that his comments were controversial, and he’s now walking back his statement. Hilton’s CEO now says that he will be tipping housekeeping during his hotel stays:
https://onemileatatime.com/hilton-ceo-tipping-housekeeping/




How about that? People can have a change of heart after all. That’s it this week for Top 10 Investigates. Good day.




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[font size="8"]Holy Shit
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Let’s give the wheel a good strong spin, shall we? Wheel goes round, wheel goes round… STOP!! Oh hey it’s a clip without context! Wow, two clips in a row, what’s next?



Actually, Lance, I’d say it’s poisoning the minds *OF* Trump supporters! Spin it again! Oh hey it’s time for Holy Shit!

Gather around my fair brothers and sisters of Houston! 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 time to remind you that the holiest among us are the most full of:



My fair congregation! What makes someone declare themselves to be holier than GAWD or JAYSUS himself? Is it pride? Is it ego? It is a flaming sense of self-superiority? Or self righteousness? Yes, these people are not the righteous beings of GAWD – they are self-righteous smug heathens! There, I said it – they are HEATHENS of the LAWRD and that is blasphemy of the highest order. They actually convince themselves that they are prophets, but we all clearly know that they are not! Of course we know that the highest elevation of talking to GAWD is a prophet. But what’s to stop these people from calling themselves that?

Pro-Trump evangelist Lance Wallnau appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show” today, where he was hailed as “a prophet of God that America needs to be listening to in this hour.”

Wallnau, a Religious Right activist and right-wing conspiracy theorist who made a name for himself by being one of Donald Trump earliest and most ardent supporters, was declared to be a prophet by Bakker, as well as by fellow guest, pastor Ramiro Peña, who has been among the right-wing Christian leaders who have been granted regular access to the president.

“You are a prophet,” Bakker said to Wallnau. “You are a prophet, I know that. How do I know it? Because your prophecies come true.”

Peña agreed, claiming that the first time he and Wallnau met was during the Republican primaries and that Wallnau prophesied that Trump would be win the nomination, be elected, and that Peña would become an adviser to the president.

“This is how you know when it is a real prophet, because their words come true,” Peña said. “This is a prophet of God that America needs to be listening to in this hour.”
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/lance-wallnau-is-a-prophet-of-god-that-america-needs-to-be-listening-to/




Ha ha ha ha ha ha… what???? Well these people can’t tell us what GAWD thinks because they support the unholy Dark One, whose name shall *NOT* be spoken in my church. And when you support the Dark One, you tend to think that you’re bigger than JAYSUS, and that will not stand! Can I get an amen??? I mean much like our old buddy Mark Taylor, the guy who literally thinks he’s a prophet. And we all know how full of crap he is!

Last week, radical right-wing conspiracy theorist and so-called “firefighter prophet” Mark Taylor appeared on the “Up Front In The Prophetic” radio program, where he proclaimed that President Trump should not be taking advice from evangelical leaders but rather should be speaking directly to “the prophets” … by which he presumably means people like himself.

It is no secret that since taking office, Trump has surrounded himself with right-wing evangelical leaders who, in exchange for doing their political bidding, have served as some of his main defenders and attack dogs. Taylor, about whom Liberty University made a movie last year, said that he has no problem with evangelical leaders praying for the president, but warned that they should not be giving him advice because that responsibility is reserved for prophets.

“I believe there is a place for the so-called [spiritual advisory] board that he has, but not in the role that they’re in,” Taylor said. “I don’t have a problem with these guys praying for him, but I think they need to be in a prayer and intercessory role. It’s not biblical to have a pastor in an advisory role like that. It is only biblical to have a prophet, or the prophets, to be advising the king. So these guys are in the wrong role and that is one thing I would like to see the president possibly address.”

Taylor’s assertion that “prophets,” such as himself, should be the ones advising the president is rather concerning, given that Taylor has spent the last several months repeatedly asserting that Trump has been called by God to carry out divine justice by executing his political opponents.

Taylor has complained that some of the evangelical leaders who are close to Trump do not have the strength needed to support the president when he rounds up and executes his enemies and must therefore be removed from their positions, less they weaken Trump’s resolve to do what God has called him to do. Taylor has openly encouraged Trump to impose martial law and has declared that anyone who tries to stop Trump from imprisoning and executing his enemies will be “standing in the way” of God’s will.
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/firefighter-prophet-mark-taylor-says-that-prophets-should-be-advising-trump/




GAWD’s will? You think you can come here and throw down some GAWD’s will? Is that what this is all about? All right if you’re going to throw down some trash talking about GAWD’s will, then you know what? I will too! Because it is my right as a human being and in the praises of the almighty, I will defend his honor! Can I get an amen???

Many Religious Right leaders joined President Donald Trump in Orlando on Tuesday for his re-election rally, and others cheered him on via social media. Paula White, Trump’s spiritual adviser, opened with a prayer that portrayed Trump as God’s anointed ruler and his opponents as agents of Satan.

Among those in attendance was Steven Strang, head of the Pentecostal-oriented Charisma media company. Strang commented on the rally in a blog post and podcast, which he also used to promote the two books he’s written about how, he says, God raised up Trump, and the impact that Trump has had in office.

Strang praised Trump for being “a champion for the church” at “a time when the left is waging an attack on Christianity.”

Strang repeatedly declared that he was “surprised” by how many Christian leaders came to Orlando for the event—among them Jentezen Franklin, Jerry Falwell Jr., Robert Jeffress, Harry Jackson, Alveda King, and Darrell Scott.
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/religious-right-leaders-join-trump-re-election-rally/




Yeah you think you can lay the smack down on what’s GAWD’s will? I will tell you something – the Dark One is not anointed by GAWD! Which is exactly why I do not say his name in my church! And my GAWD does not support this shit! Hell in my church we’re allowed to swear! But we always swear with people, never at them! But in case you’re wondering what their *TRUE* agenda is, why they want to be called prophets and priestesses, why they think there is a war going on, well, I give you this.

On last night’s episode of his “The MC Files” program, right-wing MAGA commentator and activist Chris McDonald declared that he has no sympathy for immigrant children who are reportedly being held in U.S. detention centers without access to things like soap or toothpaste, declaring that “God doesn’t pander to the lawless.”

“This is demonic,” McDonald said about the wave of immigrants attempting to cross the southern border. “This is the spirit of Antichrist. Whether people want to admit it or not, it’s the spirit of lawlessness.”

“I may be a little hardcore about this, but I’m getting sort of sick and tired of the media, and I’m getting sick and tired of these left-wing politicians blaming President Trump for the horrendous conditions at these detention centers,” he added. “I’ve got news for you, my friend: if they don’t want bad conditions at a detention center, don’t come across our border illegally. You’ve got the greatest center in the world at your home. If you’re complaining about not getting toothpaste and soap at a detention center, I’ve got a remedy for that: Go home! Go home and find your toothpaste and soap at your house.”

“We’re not obligated,” McDonald said. “I just don’t feel like God has put it on America’s tab to pander to the lawless. God doesn’t pander to the lawless.”
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/god-doesnt-pander-to-the-lawless-chris-mcdonald-says-detained-immigrants-are-not-entitled-to-soap-or-toothpaste/




There you have it folks – that’s what they believe the good LAWRD intended. Not hate the sin, it’s “go fuck yourself!” And I would give them the same courtesy! 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: Drag Queen Story Hour II
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Let’s give the wheel a good strong spin shall we? Come on no whammy no whammy no whammy no whammy stop!!! No, a whammy!!!



Spin it again. Oh hey Beating A Dead Horse!



Admit it, conservatives, you’re just pissed off at Drag Queen Story Hour because you’re not fierce enough to participate! The sooner you face that reality, the better. You might remember we previously reported on Drag Queen Story Hour way back in ( Idiots #5-20). Well it’s back in the news again. After a successful run in New Orleans, Drag Queen Story Hour is becoming a nationwide phenomenon! And Christian conservatives have got their collective panties in a wad all over the country about this now. Yes, I said “panties” to prove a point – they are deranged and if you use that kind of imagery against them, it works! And you might think what happened in New Orleans is just a fluke, but these people are seriously deranged and scary. I mean look at what happened in Pittsburgh for instance!

A threat posted on social media led the Carnegie Library in Oakland and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh to cancel “Drag Queen Story Hour” programs this week.

The threat, posted recently on the social media site Reddit, didn’t specifically name the Pittsburgh events but was “alarming enough” to cause the cancellation, said library spokeswoman Suzanne Thinnes.

Ms. Thinnes said the library occasionally receives emails, calls and protests from people who disagree with the program, but they have always been peaceful.

“This is on a whole different level,” she said.

The “Drag Queen Story Hour” program, which has chapters across the nation, involves drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools and bookstores. Various branches of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh have hosted the program since 2017.
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2019/06/29/Threat-on-social-media-leads-to-Drag-Queen-Story-Hour-cancellation-pittsburgh-carnegie-library/stories/201906290054




Oh no, oh no they absolutely didn’t think of the children in this case. Just let ‘em read the damn stories while wearing fierce costumes, I mean what harm could come of that? I guarantee it’s a lot less harmful than a bomb threat. But that wasn’t the only threat plaguing DQSH this week. Take a look at what happened in Seattle after some Proud Boys wearing MAGA hats crashed the party!

Local “Proud Boys” and others opposed to the King County Library System’s Drag Queen Story Hours showed up in Issaquah on Wednesday to voice their opposition to the events. The showing comes ahead of major Pride celebrations and after recent anti-LGBTQ vandalism in Renton that the FBI has started investigating.

At a June 26 King County Library System (KCLS) board meeting, large groups of both supporters and opponents of the events showed up to voice their opinions. This included some who may be associated with the Proud Boys, a right-wing violent street fighting organization.

KCLS spokesperson Julie Acteson said both sides followed meeting protocol, but that so many people showed up to testify, the public comment was split into two parts.

At the Issaquah gathering, a group of about 10 men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and black shirts with Operation Cold Front logos and the words “security” and “press” stood at the front of the room on either side of the audience. Others, attendee Kate Solomon said, wore knock-off Fred Perry shirts — which have become associated with Proud Boys and the alt-right.
http://www.issaquahreporter.com/news/opposition-and-supporters-of-drag-queen-story-hour-make-showing-in-issaquah/




Yeah that will get kids to vote republican! And in case you guessed that the Qanon people are all over this promoting their bullshit conspiracy theories, you might be correct! And note the careful use of phrasing from this dolt. He calls it “borderline pedophilia” – which it’s not under any definition of the words “borderline” or “pedophilia”. I mean really these fucking people are absolutely obsessed with DQSH, and it’s not in a good way, either!

Drag Queen Story Hour involves exactly what its name suggests—drag queens reading stories to children—and right-wing commentator Josh Bernstein wants the federal government to outlaw it on the grounds that it is “borderline pedophilia.”

“This is child abuse,” Bernstein declared in a video posted on Friday. “This is child endangerment and, among other things, I think that this should be illegal. I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression, but I don’t believe in indoctrinating and confusing and abusing, mentally and emotionally, little children to think that they don’t even know what sex they are. Think of the damage that this will have on these children as they grow up and get older. Many of them will commit suicide because they don’t know which gender that they identify with.”

“This is a crime against children,” he added. “This is borderline pedophilia, in a lot of ways. Now, they may not be touching or caressing these children, but they are mentally abusing these children. They are confusing these children. This should be shut down. I think that there should be an investigation in many of these states; maybe even the federal government ought to get involved by shutting this down. This is child abuse, child endangerment.”
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/josh-bernstein-drag-queen-story-hour-is-borderline-pedophilia/




Wait, wait, wait, wait. So let me get this straight – drag queen story hour is “borderline pedophilia” and “child abuse” but there’s actual child abuse going on at the border and you don’t care! Shut the fuck up, Josh. And then the Christian right further devolves their obsession and hatred of this idea even further by calling it “rape”. These are some very sick and twisted people spewing this crap.

Earlier this week, anti-LGBTQ activist Peter LaBarbera appeared on VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program to promote the protest he was organizing outside the Supreme Court yesterday to call for the repeal of the 2015 Obergefell decision, which legalized marriage equality in America.

During the discussion, LaBarbera and host Jim Schneider railed against Drag Queen Story Hour, which, as the name suggests, involves drag queens reading to children at libraries and book stores. LaBarbera fumed that those who promote or sanction such events are engaged in the “mental rape” of children.

“The left is now willingly putting these children in harm’s way,” LaBarbera said. “They are not telling them the immense health risks of homosexual behavior. So many issues on just health alone; not to mention morality and where the souls of these children are headed if they’re promoted into this sinful lifestyle. They’re not interested in any of that, they just want to indoctrinate them into the LGBTQ lifestyle.”

“If blackface is wrong,” he continued, “then why is drag OK? You’re teaching these young children—you have these gaudy men who are in this caricature, this stereotypical ugly caricature mocking women—and you’re teaching that to children. The whole thing is so perverse and yet they think this is appropriate to teach to young children, to imprint in their young minds? This is like mental rape, Jim. This is awful that this is the latest cause of the left in this country.”
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/peter-labarbera-drag-queen-story-hour-is-mental-rape-of-children/




So that happened. Here’s the thing – these children are *NOT* being put in harm’s way, and blackface has really only been around for the last 200 years. Gender transition and role playing have been around since the dawn of humanity and aren’t going away any time soon. And by the way, in case you’re wondering how DQSH really went, here’s how it actually played out in Seattle.

“Find fishes swimming in the water,” he sang, along with Fairwood Children’s Librarian Bernadette Salgado, to which the children responded, “Bubble! Bubble!”

“Those of you who came here against some hatred in our community, I want to thank every one of you,” Thadayus said to the crowd.

He explained to the overflow audience spilling out of the library’s meeting room to the main floor that “drag” is a form of entertainment where people of any sexual orientation dress up and perform in highly stylized ways.

At one point, King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht walked to the front of the room and said, that as a member of the LGBTQ community, “it’s inspiring to see everyone out here.”

Outside, competing shouts of “love” and “shame” boomed around the entryway where about 300 story-hour supporters outnumbered roughly 75 protesters.
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/drag-queen-story-hours-spark-outpouring-of-support-despite-protests/






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[font size="8"]How Is This Still A Thing?
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Let’s give the wheel a good solid spin, shall we? And it lands on… wait for it… CHANCE!!!



What? Go directly to jail? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Spin it again. Oh hey it’s time for How Is This Still A Thing:

Time once again to ask:



This week: The Proud Boys vs Antifa. How is this still a thing? And how is the city of Portland continuing to allow these shenanigans? You know that they’re going to end as badly as they started, and they’re only going get crazier and crazier. You could stop this before it starts. But then again there’s that pesky free speech issue that would prevent it from happening. So what went down in the latest round of political fight club? And that’s probably the best way of putting it.

It’s that time of year when the sunny days have cautiously begun to outnumber the gloomy ones and the lines for Salt & Straw begin to make a little more sense. In Portland, that can only mean one thing: Protest season is coming.

Recent Portland summers have been marked by protests that appear to serve only as an excuse for two opposing organizations to publicly throw insults and punches.

Here’s how they usually play out: Members of the Vancouver, Washington, alt-right group Patriot Prayer schedule a demonstration in Portland, showing up with rifles, MAGA hats, and sanctimonious smirks. They’re met with disdain from black-clad members of Portland’s anti-fascist (Antifa) groups. Eventually, armored Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers escalate the confrontation with smoke bombs and bean-bag bullets. After hours of cat-and-mouse chases around downtown, serenaded by police loudspeakers’ threats of arrest, the crowds disperse—only to return the following weekend and repeat the charade.

It’s exhausting.

Last summer, numerous rallies—all instigated by Patriot Prayer—ended in mass arrests, serious injuries, and outrage from Portlanders fed up with their city being used as an alt-right playing field.
https://www.portlandmercury.com/news/2019/05/23/26522992/hall-monitor-protest-season-is-coming




Even the city of Portland has had enough of their nonsense and wants it to stop. But here’s where this rally gets really weird. While the Portland alt right group Patriot Prayer got faces full of milkshakes, there was a claim coming from the Portland PB that the cups being thrown were full of cement. Yes, they actually made that claim and passed the conspiracy theory around a few times.

Police declared a civil disturbance in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday afternoon, after a day of duelling political protests culminated in brawls and standoffs between demonstrators and law enforcement.

By 3pm more than 400 leftwing marchers had blocked traffic in parts of downtown. Demonstrators occupied streets adjacent to Pioneer Courthouse Square, where police repeatedly warned them to disperse. Some were involved in altercations with officers in riot gear who deployed pepper spray and made three arrests. Others clashed intermittently with rightwing protesters.

The leftwing march evolved from an early afternoon rally in a downtown park organized as a counter-protest to two rightwing events. The rally organized by local group PopMob began as a vegan milkshake-themed rally and dance party, in response to rallies announced by the Proud Boys and by a group led by Haley Adams, a local rightwing figure. Adams’ event attracted around 25 people.

Milkshakes, recently used around the world as a symbolic weapon against prominent figures on the far right, became a theme of the day. Portland police claimed without offering evidence that some milkshake cups had been filled with quick-drying cement.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/30/portland-police-cement-milkshake-leftwing-rightwing-protests




Yes, milkshakes were used as a weapon. Not cups full of cement. But that was the claim that was made by the PPB:




Yes they went there and the damage was already done. In fact the scene escalated from political rally to full on domestic civil disobedience. And well, the Portland Police pretty much screamed “All Is Well” and that is about it.

A conservative writer was injured over the weekend at a rally in Portland, Oregon, kicking off a tidal wave of right-wing complaints about violence on the left.

But Saturday’s violence wasn’t an outlier; it was guaranteed. It’s been happening on the same streets, hosted by the same far-right extremist groups, on a regular basis since the election of President Donald Trump.

These rallies are specifically organized for the purpose of violence, with makeshift weaponry and bloodied, tearful faces appearing in Portland with regularity over the years. HuffPost has reported on how far-right extremists who organize them meticulously plan to attack their ideological opponents and then claim victimhood when the dust settles.

We saw the same on Saturday, when the Proud Boys extremist gang hosted yet another one of its street fights in Portland at which there were bound to be injuries.
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/andy-ngo-quillette-antifa-proud-boys_n_5d1a1275e4b07f6ca5811e0c




Yes, that escalated quickly. And if you think that Portland was an isolated incident, wait until you see it hit the Capitol! Really, DC you can stop this and save yourself a lot of trouble! And why aren’t these guys getting arrested? That’s something that we will save for another time. But here is what is happening at the Capitol for a planned “Free Speech” rally. Yes, very poor choice of words there.

Organizers of a “Demand Free Speech” rally planned for Saturday in Washington, D.C., told the National Park Service that they expect up to 1,000 participants—but wrote that there “could be more or less”—to attend their demonstration. Given the fact that, per the sponsoring group’s permit application, they’ve rented only one toilet, perhaps they’re banking on the “less.”

A copy of an event permit application the National Park Service provided to The Daily Beast shows event organizers’ stated plans for the rally, which is expected to attract members of the Proud Boys, identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and followers of far-right personalities including Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, and Gavin McInnes, who have been removed from social media platforms for violating community guidelines. The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer reports that the application has been approved and that counter-protesters plan to rally across the street from Freedom Plaza.

Event organizers told NPS in their application that they will assemble an event space with 10 chairs, five tables, one tent, and just one portable restroom. Organizers stated they will have space for 50 camera tripods but will not assemble a press riser. They are expecting one bus and 22 speakers, and wrote on the permit that “no marches or parades” will happen during the event.

In a section stating expected disruptions to the event, event organizers wrote “Antifa” and “All Out DC,” which is a coalition of groups organizing to oppose their rally on Saturday. Rally organizers state that they will have 50 event marshals providing “protection and security” at the event who will wear “red stop hate hats.” Those marshals, organizers state, will use 20 handheld radios and 10 bullhorns at the event.

Sommer reported in his Right Richter newsletter that some announced speakers for the rally have started to pull out of the event. Organizers sold tickets to a VIP event after the rally, but were booted from at least one venue they sought to secure.

Tensions around right-wing organizing have swelled since Quillette writer Andy Ngo was injured [by antifascist activists last weekend in Portland, Oregon.
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/right-wing-free-speech-rally-expecting-1000-participants-one-bathroom/




So 22 speakers, hundreds of protestors and even more counter protestors, and one bathroom to share among all of them. That’s enough to make you ask – the Proud Boys vs Antifa:





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[font size="8"]People Are Dumb
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Let’s spin it to win it! And it lands on… wait for it… oh clip without context!



Funny I don’t remember that being in the party platform! But we will still continue to mock the shit out of you, Jim! Spin it again! Hey it’s time for People Are Dumb!



Of course you know by now that people are people and people are dumb. And I always love these stories because it could easily be me, or it could be literally just about anybody. I want to start with this story which I am sure that you’ve all seen the story coming out of Alabama about a car dealership on the 4th of July giving out free flags, guns, and Bibles with the purchase of a new F-150. First of all, way to placate the stereotype, guys! And second, did you really think this one through? And unlike other People Are Dumb stories where we usually just report and move onto the next one, I want to take some time and unpack this one, let it ferment. Because quite frankly it stinks, and Ford laid the smackdown, but the dealer’s explanation is truly beyond stupid.

A rural Alabama auto dealership is giving away a Bible, a 12-gauge shotgun and an American flag with the purchase of any new or used vehicle as part of its Fourth of July sales promotion.

Chatom Ford launched the campaign God, Guns and Freedom last week, with general sales manager Koby Palmer telling USA Today that it helped them sell 5 vehicles in just 3 days.

The social media feed from Chatom Ford states it is celebrating America's independence by offering these gifts in exchange for buying a vehicle. Every vehicle purchased new or pre-owned will come with a bible, 12-gauge shot gun, and American flag!

The post shows a dealership employee standing by a flag draped over a Ford F-150.

The video promoting the giveaway, which was posted June 19 and had been expected to run through July 31, has been deleted.
http://clicklancashire.com/2019/06/27/auto-dealership-offers-free-bible-shotgun-american-flag.html




OK so the story to this point is that the dealer deleted the video because Ford layed the smackdown on the dealer and said “NO, because there was a shooting at a Ford dealership and 3 people died, we are not going to allow this.” Yes, this did actually happen. Of course it’s natural that Ford would want to discourage this kind of thing, so here’s the official response from Ford themselves.

Ford Motor Co. has asked a Ford dealership in Alabama to stop giving out certificates for free 12-gauge shotguns to anyone who buys a new or used vehicle.

The automaker told the dealership late Wednesday that the promotion was inappropriate after three people died Tuesday evening during a mass shooting at a California Ford dealership. There, a man who had been fired from his job at the dealership in the San Francisco Bay Area fatally shot two employees, then himself, according to local media reports.


"So it’s done. They’ve ended our promotion. I’m very disappointed," Colin Ward, general manager of Chatom Ford in Chatom, Alabama, said Wednesday.

Chatom Ford's advertising offered a shotgun, a Bible and an American flag with a car purchase. The offer drew hundreds of calls from across the country, including Michigan, from people wanting to buy cars to get the shotgun.

"Ford said we can fulfill our commitments to the customers that we've made up till now, but we have to cease it going forward," Ward said.
https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2019/06/26/ford-dealer-shotgun-giveaway-alabama/1571604001/




Yeah it’s pretty easy to see why Ford wouldn’t be encouraging this sort of thing. Now here’s where this story gets absolutely freaking bonkers. So Ford said “no guns”. What does this guy do? Simply remove the “gun” part out of the equation. Yeah he’s still being a dick, only now he’s out in the open about being a dick.

"They love their faith, they love their country, and they love to hunt," he said.

Prior to the corporate request to stop advertising it, the local dealership received overwhelmingly positive feedback, Palmer said. The dealership has averaged about one sale a day after the promotion was announced.

One of those customers is Josh Lankford of Gulf Shores. He'd already contacted Palmer about what he was looking for when the promotion came up. Lankford said he saw the gifts with purchase as a nice bonus to his new pickup.

"It circles back to the great service and sales team that they have," Lankford said. "It's great that they try to reflect the community's values."

Palmer wanted to make it clear that the dealership wasn't trying to push a political agenda.
https://www.chron.com/news/article/Alabama-Ford-dealer-s-gun-giveaway-is-back-on-14058442.php




Dude, you LITERALLY made it a political agenda! How does “flag, gun and Bible” *NOT* say political agenda? I mean really! OK that’s enough of that story, it’s making me angry. Next up – let’s go to El Campo, Texas. Really, there’s a time and a place for porn, but an empty classroom most definitely isn’t one of those times!

"The 24-year-old substitute teacher fired for recording solo X-rated videos in a Texas high school describes herself as “a bit of an exhibitionist and I want people to watch me please myself or be pleased,” according to her profile on a porn web site.

Elizabeth Ann Schneider was dismissed this week from her post at El Campo High School after administrators received a tip about a Pornhub page featuring a dozen explicit videos of Schneider engaged in sexual activity.

Schneider worked for three months at the school, where she subbed in English classes.

Several of Schneider’s self-shot videos were recorded last month in either a classroom or a teacher workroom at the school in El Campo, a city about 70 miles southwest of Houston.

One video, a 6:27 production titled “Naughty substitute teacher uses dildo chair in classroom,” features Schneider pleasuring herself in a classroom with the aid of a sex toy. The clip includes categories and tags like “MILF,” “substitute teacher,” “Solo Female,” and “School.”
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/internet/texas-substitute-teacher-749063




So yeah it was kind of like that. Finally this week for People Are Dumb – OMG we did it! We made it through an entire segment without a single story from the Sunshine State! Wow, that might be a first for People Are Dumb. But I did want to talk about this story from Indiana, and this is one of those stories where if you give an idiot a gun, don’t be surprised when they do something stupid with it. Also, fool me once…

In the four months since Mark Anthony Jones shot himself in the genitals, the 47-year-old Indiana man has been arrested four separate times and is now behind bars awaiting trial on narcotics, weapons, and domestic battery counts.

In late-February, Jones suffered an “accidental self-inflicted gunshot injury” while walking on a street in Marion, a city in Grant County. Jones told police that he was carrying an unholstered Hi-Point 9mm handgun in his waistband when the weapon “began to slip.” When he “reached down to adjust” the firearm, Jones told police, the weapon discharged.

Jones, seen in the above mug shot, was subsequently arrested for carrying an unlicensed handgun, a misdemeanor.

Since shooting himself, Jones has also been arrested twice for driving with a suspended license, domestic battery, possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, and methamphetamine dealing. This mix of misdemeanor and felony charges has resulted in Jones being locked up in the county jail in lieu of $30,000 bond.
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/stupid/troubles-grow-for-indiana-pistolero-953860


That’s it this week for:




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[font size="8"]What’s Up With Texas? Pt. 4: Gulf Coast Cleanup
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Let’s give the wheel a final spin this week! And it lands on… T-Shirt cannon!!!! Everyone gets our What’s Up With Texas tour shirt! Spin it again! And speaking of which…



What is up with Texas? That is the question on the table. Part 1 brought us to the city of El Paso where we visited a border detention center. Our quest to find the truth on the immigration crisis took us 550 miles south to Laredo, where in Pt. 2, we explored both sides of the border in one single stop. Part 3 took us to the capital of Austin where I wanted to get down to the bottom of why Texas doesn’t care, choosing to protect fast food instead of actual human beings. Now my quest to find out what’s up with Texas, we’re in Houston exploring the Gulf Coast. So what is happening post Hurricane Harvey? We met up with residents to find out.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 20, 2010, was the largest marine oil spill in United States history. The first deep subsurface spill, it pumped about 700,000 tons of crude oil, plus about 250,000 tons of methane, into the Gulf of Mexico before it was capped, and tragically led to 11 deaths and 16 injuries to people on the rig.

During the spill, available oil spill computer models operated at different scales, but did not interact, and they also did not include many of the shallow bays along the northern Gulf that are of great importance to local fisheries. This spill created a need for an integrated, multiscale, comprehensive computer model suite that showed the behavior of the petroleum fluids on a 3D scale rather than a 2D and operated from the molecular level to the scale of the Gulf.

Texas A&M University scientists have now created such a model suite.

A description of the model suite was published in a recent paper by Dr. Piers Chapman, research professor in the Texas A&M Department of Oceanography; Dr. Steve DiMarco, oceanography professor and team leader for ocean observing in the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) at Texas A&M; Dr. Robert Hetland, oceanography professor; and Dr. Scott Socolofsky, professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering.
https://today.tamu.edu/2019/06/24/texas-am-scientists-develop-crucial-multiscale-oil-spill-model/




Yeah so keep in mind that Texas has not one, but two disasters that it is still cleaning up after – Hurricane Harvey and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. One might take a year, and the other is probably going to take half a lifetime! We went to the coastal town of Rockport to learn more about what was going on.

You can’t keep a good town down! Rockport-Fulton Chamber officials said they are thrilled to be named #2 in the nation for Best Coastal Small Town in “USA Today” Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

As the only Texas town nominated in the top 10 category for coastal towns with population under 25,000, Rockport’s determined efforts to rebuild their town are paying off. This award is especially meaningful for Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce members. They literally rolled up their sleeves to help rebuild their town.

Remember those horrible TV news reports and photos when Hurricane Harvey hit our beloved Texas coast in August, 2017? My husband and I kept whispering “Please, not Rockport.” But Mother Nature ignored our pleas, and smashed directly into one of our favorite Gulf Coast destinations.

The small coastal village was almost totally demolished by Harvey. We drove down to Rockport as soon as they allowed visitors, to offer support for one of our favorite communities. Since there was no lodging, we stayed 63 miles away at a Best Western in Goliad. We were shocked and saddened to see many of our favorite places, like the Lighthouse Inn on Fulton Beach Road, closed indefinitely. Rockport High School students had to be bussed to another community while workers rebuilt their building.
https://www.focusdailynews.com/rockport-texas-harveys-aftermath/




Yes, while hurricanes and other horrible disasters are nothing to joke about, it’s entirely possible to bounce back from said disasters as the town of Rockport clearly demonstrated. But while disasters can be met head on, there’s some natural phenomenons that you just can’t explain. Like why is the sky in Houston yellow on certain conditions?

Residents in parts of Houston and East Texas woke up Thursday morning to find the sky yellow. Although it may look like pollution, it’s actually caused by small particles of sand that have traveled from Northern Africa. Here’s what you need to know about the Sahara dust, or Saharan Air Layer, as it’s formally called.

What is it?

The dust comes from the Sahara Desert in Northern Africa. Each year, hundreds of millions of tons of soil is lifted from the Sahara into the air, according to NASA. It’s not uncommon for this dust to change the color of the sky several times throughout the summer, while trade winds move north and take particles from the Sahara into the Gulf of Mexico.

The dust itself is composed of sand and other mineral particles, according to researchers from Texas A&M’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, who analyzed NASA satellite images and computer models in July of 2018.
https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/health-science/2019/06/27/337932/heres-why-dust-from-the-sahara-desert-turned-the-houston-sky-yellow/




Yes, so dust from the Sahara Desert can get picked up and travel all the way across the ocean to the Gulf Coast and it’s really quite a site to see. And by the way, while our exploration of the Gulf Coast was quite enjoyable, if you’re wondering if it’s going to be fixed any time soon, well, don’t count on your GOP representatives to come to the aid of Texas any time soon.

At least 43 of the 58 Republican House members who voted against a $19 billion bipartisan disaster relief bill Monday night have previously demanded or endorsed emergency aid funding for their own states, a ThinkProgress analysis has found.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the measure, which has been stalled since late last month, late Monday, by a margin of 354-58. All 58 “no” votes came from Republicans.

An identical bill cleared the Senate on a bipartisan 85-8 vote on May 23.

The bill provides funding to regions of the United States affected by severe flooding and hurricanes, including places like the Florida Panhandle, Arkansas and Oklahoma, North and South Dakota, and Puerto Rico.
https://thinkprogress.org/43-house-republicans-voted-against-disaster-aid-hypocrites-emergency-funds-home-states-a8b7c5429e1a/




[font size="4"]Next Week:[/font]

For the final part of our 5 part docuseries “What’s Up With Texas”, we’re heading out to College Station and to Dallas to find out what life is like at two very different universities – Texas A&M and University Of Texas.



[font size="8"]And Now This:[/font]
[font size="8”]The Mountain Goats[/font]

Ladies and gentlemen, my next guest has their great new album out called “In League With Dragons”, you can see them live on tour this September. Playing their song “Clemency For The Wizard King”, give it up for the Mountain Goats!




Thank you Houston! This was fun! We’re off to Ft. Worth next! See you next week!

Credits

Host: Initech
Top 10 Conservative Idiots Recorded In Front Of Live Audience At: Houston Improv, Houston, TX
Special Thanks To: Improv Group
Holy Shit Gospel Choir: New Life Church Band, Houston, TX
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