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Wed Jul 17, 2019, 05:00 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #7-6: Three Men & A Subpoena Edition


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #7-6: Three Men & A Subpoena Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! 15 minutes with us can save you 15% or more on your car insurance! Yo what’s up University of Georgia? How you guys doing? You doing fucking good? We made it!!! We took a really awesome trip through Texas, had a great time, now we are heading back to school! So why are we doing this college trip? Well, we had enough of touring the chuckle huts and laugh factories of the US and we figured that a lot of dems and liberals are in the university sector, so that’s where we are going to be playing for the rest of the year. We have an exhaustive tour coming up through the end of 2019 and taking us through 2020. Do we have time for the thing? So aliens are in the news and they’re in the news a lot this week, and of course we’ve got a whole entry devoted to it later in this edition. But since the military warned people to stay away from Area 51, we’re going to instead tell you other places where you can look for aliens, where you might, I don’t know, not be killed by military gun fire. For instance there’s Ovinpuerto, Argentina where you can visit an alien landing strip built by a guy who was told by a UFO captain to. Not making this up. Or you can go to Aurora, Texas where there’s supposedly an alien burial ground. Or you can go to the Australian equivalent of Roswell, Davenport. Or you can go to Landers, California where they have had alien and UFO conferences near a giant seven-story tall boulder. Again, not making any of these up. UFO people are crazy, I am telling you that. But my personal favorite has to be in Varghina, Brazil where they have a water tower shaped to look like a spaceship and people in this town are obsessed. The truth is out there, people! Yeah cue the X-Files music! OK that’s enough of the intro. We have a lot of idiocy to get to but first Colbert is back (yay!!!!!!!!!!!) and he asks the question – is Trump a racist? Spoiler alert – probably!



So where do we begin this week? In the first slot after recent developments in the Jeffrey Epstein trial, Alex Acosta (1) resigns! And any time we have a resignation in the Trump administration, you know what time it is. It’s time for the Trumper Games!!! Yay!! In the second slot is the Seth Rich Conspiracy (2). You may have thought this was settled as being complete and utter bullshit. And you’re right, but plot twist – it was Russia who started it! Shocker, I know. Taking the third slot this week is President Stable Genius (3). He invited members of the far right social media circles to the White House to talk about how the real world are big meanie heads. For the number 4 seed this week, after a series of devastating earthquakes ripped my beloved home state of California a new asshole, yeah we’re probably all gonna die (4) but it might be much worse than you think. For the fifth slot this week is our weekly investigative piece, Top 10 Investigates (5), and this week, Bernie Sanders has made the student loan crisis the center of his campaign. But how bad is it? We will find out! Taking the sixth slot this week is our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in “Holy Shit” (6), and apparently the recent wave of natural disasters including earthquakes and tornadoes are god taking his wrath out on the populace, and our resident pastor will investigate the claims made by the religious right in this matter. For the seventh slot this week we have another “Beating A Dead Horse” and after Trump took sides in a Home Depot boycott, we may have literally beaten our own dead horse here. For the 8th slot this week is an all new “How Is This Still A Thing?” and this week after a huge group of Facebook conspiracy theorists are planning on storming Area 51 about proof of extraterrestrial life, we ask “UFO Scouting: How Is This Still A Thing?”. In the number 9 (NEIN!!!) slot this week, we have an all new “People Are Dumb” because of course they are! And finally this week, we get to introduce our brand new segment “Keeping Up With The Candidates”. There are 24 democrats running, and are going to cover all of them! Yes, I said “ALL!!!”. But in the first segment we’re going to cover the first casualties of the 2020 election starting with the “Almost Rans”. Plus we have some live music from our good friends Bastille, they are returning to the show! Really, buy their new album “Doom Days” or you’re no friend of this program. Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

Ed. Note: We’re not covering the ICE raids yet, at least not currently, as that goes against the Top 10 policy. We will keep an eye on the subject though! Now on to our regularly scheduled programming!

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[font size="8"]Alex Acosta
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Hey everyone I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Of course you know we have to talk about the latest in our long line of departures from this revolving door administration. You know the president promised to “Drain The Swamp” but he lubricated that drain with a heaping helping of some fine greasy lubricants. Well yeah, you just know that the President is into that sort of thing! Nathaniel!!! Bring me the fine champagne! Yes, Nathaniel, my man assistant, has replaced my longtime assistant Charlie, though we won’t get into the reasons why. But anyway the latest tribute to leave this administration’s revolving door? Why it’s Tribute Acosta, from the 5th district, who has been a long favored holdout to win the Trumper Games.

President Donald Trump announced Friday that Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has resigned, a move that comes after furor over a plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein.

Acosta has been under renewed scrutiny over his previous role as the US attorney in Miami, during which he negotiated the 2008 plea deal with Epstein. Epstein, a well-connected multi-millionaire, avoided a federal trial at the time and served only 13 months in prison for state prostitution charges over his involvement with underage girls. A Miami Herald investigation published last November described the plea deal, negotiated by Acosta, as the "deal of a lifetime."

Acosta's resignation is effective next Friday. Trump said the labor secretary will be replaced on an acting basis by the current deputy secretary, Pat Pizzella.

Acosta, standing next to Trump outside the White House before the President departed for a trip, said he resigned to remove himself as a distraction.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/12/politics/alex-acosta-donald-trump-labor-secretary/index.html




Yes, anything does in fact go here! So Tribute Acosta from the 7th District… you know for the last time don’t ask me how the districts work because even I don’t know! And I am the host of this thing for crying out loud! So please indulge my while I sip on this fine semi-imported bubbly and comment on the revolving door that is this administration. Because I am a pretentious asshole! My current assistant and my former assistant both know that! Back to business! Why did Sec. Acosta resign? Well it mainly has to do with his role in getting billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein off the hook.

Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on Friday became the latest Trump Cabinet official to resign amid scandal after a fresh round of scrutiny of his role in a decade-old plea agreement for convicted predator Jeffrey Epstein finally caught up with him.

On Friday morning, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that his secretary of labor had called him that morning. Trump claimed it was Acosta’s decision.

“I do not think it is right or fair to have me as the focus,” Acosta said, standing at Trump’s side, adding, “I thought the right thing was to step aside.”

The president, still showing his support, told reporters, “I said, you don’t have to do this.”

Trump went on to praise Acosta’s work at the Department of Labor, noting twice that Acosta is Hispanic and that he was educated at Harvard.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/alex-acosta-trump-labor-secretary-exits-over-jeffrey-epstein-scandal-says-its-not-fair-to-be-the-focus




Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… oh that’s good!!! I am so fierce right now. You know remember that movie 3 Men & A Baby? Well think of this as 3 Men & A Subpoena. Only difference is that the baby is more expensive! I mean is there really anyone in the Trump administration who is not facing an indictment or under scandal right now, anyone? Bueller? Well the Jeffrey Epstein case – which forced Tribute Acosta to resign - just gets weirder and creepier. For instance…

An attorney representing Jeffrey Epstein accusers said Tuesday that at least one woman has come forward to say she was abused while the financier was on work release as part of his lenient 2007 plea deal.

Lawyer Brad Edwards said Epstein was allowed to have visitors while he was supposed to be working during the 13-month sentence.

“It was not for some business arrangement and it was for... improper sexual contact,” Edwards said, adding that the new accusers said they were under 21, though they may not have been minors.

“He just wasn’t in jail. He only slept there. He was in his office most of the day and what I can tell you he had visitors, female visitors,” Edwards said.

“All I can say is more than one person that visited him,” Edwards said, declining to provide more details because of ongoing litigation. “They believed they were going there for something other than a sexual purpose.

"Once there, he used his perfect master manipulation to turn the situation into something sexual,” Edwards said. “Not one of the individuals was a prostitute. These were all people who at the time that wanted something. They came over under false pretenses and he manipulated them and now his attorneys have labeled them prostitutes.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epstein-abused-victims-while-serving-time-in-florida-lawyer-brad-edwards-says?ref=home




So prostitution, sex stings and a tribute who went rogue. These are the qualities of someone who should do just fine in the Trump administration. But there’s plenty of tributes who have come and gone, will we be declaring a winner in the 2020 election by the time all this is said and done? Well, hopefully we will finally see the last standing tribute. And if Acosta and Epstein are considered friends of the President, wait until you see who else the President considers to be a friend. Yeah, bad timing to be dining with this guy! But for now, consider Tribute Acosta… ELIMINATED!!!

President Donald Trump dined with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft Monday night, less than five months after the billionaire businessman was charged as part of a South Florida prostitution investigation.

Kraft was among a group of government and business leaders invited to the dinner, hosted at the Treasury Department, to honor the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. Kraft sat one seat away from the president, with International Monetary Fund Chairwoman Christine Lagarde, who last week was nominated to lead the European Central Bank, seated between the two. Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke was also seated at the head table.

In February, Trump said the episode involving Kraft was “very sad” but pointed out that the Patriots owner had “proclaimed his innocence, totally."

“But I am very surprised to see it,” the president added.

Kraft, 77, was among more than two dozen people charged in a widespread prostitution investigation involving a day spa in Jupiter, Fla.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-09/patriots-owner-is-trump-dinner-guest-despite-prostitution-charge





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[font size="8"]Seth Rich: Origins Of A Conspiracy Theory
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We’re going to do something a bit different for this entry. It turns out that… conspiracy theories are bullshit! If you’re shocked by this revelation, you’re in the wrong place, people. Yeah I love that one guy in the back who yells out “WOOOOOOOOOO!!!”. And one conspiracy theory that was being peddled by… *drum roll* Russian meme makers!!! Yes, Seth Rich was a Russian hit job! It was such pure, unbridled, unfiltered bullshit that even Fox News *AND* Alex Jones were forced to apologize for how much bullshit it was (see: Top 10 #3-8 ), and whew, it was quite the steaming pile. But you know what? It worked! It set out to do exactly what it was designed to do – turn the populace against the DNC. And the right wing media bought it hook, like and sinker.

In the summer of 2016, Russian intelligence agents secretly planted a fake report claiming that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was gunned down by a squad of assassins working for Hillary Clinton, giving rise to a notorious conspiracy theory that captivated conservative activists and was later promoted from inside President Trump’s White House, a Yahoo News investigation has found.

Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the SVR, first circulated a phony “bulletin” — disguised to read as a real intelligence report —about the alleged murder of the former DNC staffer on July 13, 2016, according to the U.S. federal prosecutor who was in charge of the Rich case. That was just three days after Rich, 27, was killed in what police believed was a botched robbery while walking home to his group house in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., about 30 blocks north of the Capitol.

The purported details in the SVR account seemed improbable on their face: that Rich, a data director in the DNC’s voter protection division, was on his way to alert the FBI to corrupt dealings by Clinton when he was slain in the early hours of a Sunday morning by the former secretary of state’s hit squad.

Yet in a graphic example of how fake news infects the internet, those precise details popped up the same day on an obscure website, whatdoesitmean.com, that is a frequent vehicle for Russian propaganda. The website’s article, which attributed its claims to “Russian intelligence,” was the first known instance of Rich’s murder being publicly linked to a political conspiracy.
https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-the-true-origins-of-the-seth-rich-conspiracy-a-yahoo-news-investigation-100000831.html




Damn right, Bill Nye!!! And it’s a huge, steaming load of bullshit! And come on, we should know better that anything cooked up in the festering boil of the internet known as 4chan is going to be a huge, steaming load. So how did it go from the bottom of the barrel of the internet all the way to mass media and eventually the White House? Well let’s follow the shit train shall we? Worst train ever, by the way.

#HisNameWasSethRich and, no, he did not leak stolen DNC info to Wikileaks. A new report shows how Russian military intelligence fueled a conspiracy around the unsolved 2016 murder of the Democratic National Committee staffer, fooling right-wing talk show hosts, journalists, former NSA and CIA officials — to the point that Donald Trump ordered the head of CIA to investigate it.

The report, by investigative British journalist Duncan Campbell, was published on Monday by Computer Weekly, a professional IT online magazine. Campbell asserts that Russian military intelligence, the GRU, manipulated metadata in DNC files that it stole and then released to the public. The GRU’s goal in doing so: to give the false impression that the files were not hacked but copied from one computer to another by a DNC insider — Seth Rich — and then given to Wikileaks. The con job was good enough to persuade William Binney, a former technical director at the NSA, to conclude last year that the DNC files weren’t hacked at all, just stolen from the inside. Binney’s name and credibility helped to propel the conspiracy onto Sean Hannity’s show and then to the President and the head of the CIA.

To understand how the Seth Rich conspiracy made its way from the backwaters of 4Chan to Langley, you have to go back to June 2016. Cybersecurity company Crowdstrike had just reported that the DNC had been hacked and the culprit was likely Russian intelligence.
https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2018/08/how-russian-hackers-amplified-seth-rich-conspiracy-until-it-reached-donald-trump-and-cia/150263/




Damn right! So this plot to frame the DNC for a crime it didn’t commit started in the bottom of the barrel of the internet and made its’ way all the way to the fucking CIA! Think of it like the guy who starts out bombing at the Chuckle Hut every night and then somehow makes his way to working full arenas despite saying only a few marginally funny observations. Oh wait, you don’t have to, that guy is Sebastian Manascalo. You know, this guy. So think of Seth Rich as the Sebastian Manascalo of conspiracy theories.

There’s been a lot of pointing and laughing at Hannity and Fox News in the past 24 hours. And it’s deserved. Hannity peddled this conspiracy for almost a year after Rich’s death, though eventually retired the gimmick — reluctantly — some time after Fox News retracted a story on the theory after sourcing fell apart.

But to say Fox News got tricked by Russian trolls, like this GQ headline serves up, is just wrong. Or, at least, it misses the point. Hannity didn’t have the rug pulled out from under him by some foreign trickster hiding behind a screen in a Moscow. He openly peddled a conspiracy without anything to base it on, and does so regularly. This is the world he lives in and the language he speaks.

Look no further than the recently released text exchanges between Hannity and Paul Manafort, which were made public by a federal court during the trial of Trump’s former campaign chairman (of which I read all 56 pages, because I’m a masochist with too much time on his hands).

Here’s one literal word salad the Fox News host threw Manafort’s way: “HRC, E-mails, Obstruction, Destroying emails, bleach bit, devices no sim cards, Uranium one, Ukraine interference… Intel Leaks Unmasking Potus conversations leaked. My God.”
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/enterthefray/la-ol-seth-rich-conspiracy-fox-news-20190710-story.html




That’s about putting it mildly. There’s a lot speculating that this theory of pre-meditated murder was the inspiration for tipping the election in favor of Donald Trump. But as we’ve seen, the bullshit meter is in fact a sliding scale. With one extreme end of the bullshit meter being Pizzagate, and the other extreme end being an actual pile of bullshit. Seth Rich is… somewhere in the middle.

It was one of the first prominent “fake news” conspiracy theories to metastasize from Internet rumor all the way to the White House: In the summer of 2016, stories began to circulate in various online forums that Seth Rich, a fairly low-level Democratic National Committee staffer who died in July of that year, wasn’t the victim of a botched robbery at all, but had actually been assassinated by a contract killer working for Hillary Clinton. Rich, the theory went, was actually the secret source who had leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks—a theory that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared to lend credence to when he offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the identity of Rich’s killer or killers. “Our sources take risks,” he said, even though the DNC emails were actually given to WikiLeaks days after Rich’s death.

As Reddit users, denizens of 4chan forums and even Fox News hosts such as Sean Hannity spread versions of this theory, suspicion arose that there were shadowy forces trying to promote the loony-sounding conspiracy. But it wasn’t clear who exactly these forces were, or what their intentions might be. On Tuesday, Yahoo News investigative reporter Michael Isikoff announced that he had tracked down the original source of the theory: A fake report concocted by the Russian intelligence agency SVR (short for Sluzhba vneshney razvedki Rossiyskoy Federatsii), a unit of the former KGB. The phony “bulletin,” designed to look like an authentic intelligence report, was released just three days after Rich’s death, Isikoff writes.

The idea that the Rich conspiracy theory was distributed by agents acting on behalf of the Russian government is not a new one. When information started to come out about the activities of the so-called Internet Research Agency during the 2016 election—which engaged in a sustained campaign of disinformation and outright propaganda on Facebook and other platforms—the Seth Rich assassination theory turned out to be one of the many pieces of fakery the IRA distributed as a way of destabilizing the Clinton campaign. But the agency was a privately run, arm’s-length entity (albeit one run by a close associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin). Until Isikoff’s report, it was not clear that this conspiracy theory originated from the highest levels of Russian intelligence itself.
https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/seth-rich-conspiracy-theory.php





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[font size="8"]Donald Trump
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Now Mr. President, time to get up in front of the class and explain what you did wrong. You knew inviting ultra far right wing personalities to the White House to complain about social media being big meanie heads would end very badly for you, didn’t you? Yes, he invited members of the ultra far right wing media to the White House, because he’s a dick. And it ended about as well as you could have expected, because, well, they’re dicks. So who was involved in this shindig? And how well did it go and who was shouting at who? Well, these are the questions that we will be answering.

A conspiracy theorist, a meme creator and a plagiarist. Those are just some of the eyebrow raising attendees who will descend on the White House on Thursday for an event that will likely become a forum for airing claims of anti-conservative social media bias.

President Trump is calling it a "social media summit," but the White House did not extend invites to representatives from Facebook or Twitter. Instead, the White House has invited its political allies to the event.

In addition to inviting leaders from traditional conservative think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation and Claremont Institute, the White House has requested the presence of far-right internet personalities and trolls, some of whom have pushed conspiracy theories, lies and misinformation.

It's perhaps the clearest example yet of President Trump legitimizing fringe political allies.

The White House has repeatedly declined to release a list people it expects to attend, but some of the recipients have turned to social media to boast about being invited.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/10/tech/white-house-social-media-summit/index.html




So if you haven’t noticed our media is slowly being replaced with meme creators and Twitter posters… hey wait a minute, we’ve been doing that since before it was cool! Where’s our invite? Oh yeah we do this thing at the Wednesday 2:00 crowd, you know – prime time audience! So stop me if you’ve heard this one before – a conspiracy theorist, a meme creator, and a noted Neo Nazi walk into a bar… Well you can come up with your own punchline but there’s no denying Trump is trying to destroy the traditional media. So what did they cover? Well everything from Trump’s hair to the horrors of Democratic socialism!

President Donald Trump stood before political allies and online personalities at the White House on Thursday to talk about social media bias, but he also wanted people to know: Some 2020 Democratic candidates might be supporting communism, a certain celebrity tanked “The Apprentice” after Trump left the show, and the president's hair is “real."

Throughout the afternoon summit, Trump delivered quotes that just as easily could have come from his ranging Twitter feed.
On tweeting:


“I call Twitter a typewriter, that’s what I really call Twitter. Because it goes onto Facebook automatically and it goes onto Instagram. And it goes onto television. More so Fox than it does CNN.”

“I’m actually a good speller.”
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/11/from-his-spelling-skills-to-his-real-hair-trump-goes-on-a-riff-at-social-media-summit-1410433




That is a good question! But Trump is a good speller, really? The guy who brought us hamburders and Covfefe is a good speller? Right, and I’m Elvis. And I don’t think he knows that whatever brain fart he puts on social media, everyone can see, right? Well of course, actual journalists weren’t invited and had to sit outside the doors.

The White House is holding a closed-door social media summit on Thursday that’s short on social media companies and long on fringe conservative voices that back up President Donald Trump’s claims of being silenced online.

While Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. and other internet platforms weren’t invited, several presidential fans, provocateurs, leaders of conservative groups, media figures, and lawmakers have said they’re going -- including some who’ve faced allegations of racism and antisemitism, trolling and conspiracy theories.

“The White House will be hosting a very big and very important Social Media Summit today,” Trump said Thursday on Twitter. “Would I have become President without Social Media? Yes (probably)!”

Trump is scheduled to address the gathering, which was billed by the White House as a way to “bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.” But the confirmed attendees are primarily conservative tech critics who echo Trump’s own complaints that social media systematically silences conservative voices.
https://fortune.com/2019/07/11/white-house-social-media-summit-guests/




Oh and the after party was a bit of what one might call a “shit show”. Yes, Trump held a press conference in which he gave one of his inane ramblings and it ended with the moron brigade shouting at actual journalists. So you could say… mission accomplished?

A scuffle appeared to break out Thursday in the Rose Garden between far-right influencers and members of the White House press corps after President Trump held a news conference.

New York Times reporter Katie Rogers posted a video the scene, showing former White House official and conservative pundit Sebastian Gorka calling someone a “punk.” Someone off camera could be heard saying Gorka could kick a reporter’s “punk ass.”

A number of right-wing influencers attended Trump’s Rose Garden event, where he announced an executive order to obtain citizenship information about people living in the U.S.

Before announcing his executive order, Trump hosted the right-wing influencers at a social media summit at the White House before the presser.
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-press-conference-scuffle-gorka




Yeah, get a bunch of Trump loving conspiracy theorists in a room with actual journalists and you’re going to see a fight break out. It’s inevitable, you know like getting food poisoning after eating a tuna salad sandwich at the gas station. You knew it was bad going in, and it’s going to be a hell of a lot worse coming out. But you were so hungry that that was the only thing available! But guess what? They’re taking the fight to Google, Facebook and Twitter themselves! You know, fool me once, shame on you, fool me a thousand times and you’re a conspiracy theorist!

If anything was discernible from the White House’s social media summit today, it was that President Donald Trump intends to bring representatives from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google to the West Wing to talk about platform bias at some point in the future. When exactly? It’s not clear.

Right-wing figures and meme creators including Charlie Kirk, James O’Keefe, the pseudonymous Carpe Donktum, and the infamous duo Diamond and Silk, all came to the White House to promote their argument that conservative viewpoints are being censored on social media platforms. For nearly an hour, the president rambled about his follower counts and Twitter engagement. In between the riffing, he announced plans to begin “inviting the heads of social media companies to the White House over the next month.”

Twitter, Facebook, and Google all declined to comment on the proposed meeting.

From the president’s comments, it appears that meetings with social media representatives will happen separately.
https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/11/20690992/trump-social-media-summit-facebook-google-twitter





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[font size="8"]We’re All Gonna Die
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Hey everyone guess what? We’re all gonna die!!!! Yeah, the sooner we face that reality, the better off we’re going to be. But it’s not going to be in a horrible terrorist attack. The real terror is coming from Mother Nature. Yeah, she can be quite the cruel mistress! As was demonstrated on the July 4th weekend, when my home state of California was ripped a new asshole by a pair of devastating earthquakes. And while there were no casualties (this time), we need to be prepared for the worst, and cue the horror music!

To live in California is to make a wary peace with an existential dichotomy: breathtaking weather, astounding natural beauty, bounteous food and wine, stimulating multiculturalism and … the possibility of imminent, unpredictable disaster. Depending on where we live, Californians are just one spark, one mudslide, or, yes, one earthquake away from severe destruction—a reality that can be met with fatalism, fear, or some combination of both, but one that is omnipresent, if surprisingly easy to forget.

I can’t pretend it’s quite like living in Israel in the midst of an intifada, or in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, but there is nevertheless a low-grade febrile uncertainty amid the routines of daily life here. When your 100-year-old house shifts and groans with a sound like the straining timbers of a wooden vessel under sail—as ours did the other day—it’s hard not to feel a certain nauseated intimation of mortality.

Twenty years ago, when I first lived in Southern California as the Los Angeles bureau chief of The New York Times, I took the prospect of an earthquake very seriously indeed. The paper’s planning assumed that, in the event of “The Big One,” either the L.A. or San Francisco bureau might be leveled or incapacitated, so I had to be prepared to go to work on a moment’s notice, and perhaps a long way away. I’d been equipped with a satellite phone the size of a suitcase, which I was to power from a car battery using an electric inverter, and then aim skyward at just the right trajectory to establish communications with New York. (I was sure I’d never be able to make it work.) We were urged to keep rolls of quarters on hand because pay telephones would be the first restored to service. (Now, of course, finding a payphone would be next to impossible.)
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/07/existential-dichotomy-living-california/593902/




Oh come on, we’ve been through worse! A 6.4 is just a scratch! A 7.1 is a flesh wound. If you live in California, if you’re not experiencing earthquakes, we’ve got fires, floods, mudslides, extreme heat, and the occasional police riot for your enjoyment. Wait did I say enjoyment? Nobody enjoys those things! Just how bad was the state rocked by these earthquakes? And plus not all droughts are bad, California was in an earthquake drought! But consider this the calm before the storm!

For some, this year’s Fourth of July was a day of barbeques, celebration with family and fireworks. For residents of Ridgecrest, northeast of Los Angeles, it was a day of discomfort and fear after an earthquake — the largest in decades — resulted in power outages and damaged infrastructure and homes. The same region was rattled by an even larger earthquake the next day.

The two earthquakes — with magnitudes of 6.4 and 7.1 — jolted southern California and have policymakers and scientists concerned over what could follow.

The last time there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 was on October 16, 1999 in southern California, according to The Inquirer. Many fear that the thousands of aftershocks (smaller earthquakes that occur after the largest earthquake sequence) projected to follow July’s two major earthquakes could reach magnitudes of five and up.

“Those earthquakes [could] set off lots of other earthquakes [aftershocks],” said geophysics professor Greg Beroza. “There is a small chance that some of these aftershocks could be big. [The] official probabilities [will] change with time.”
https://www.stanforddaily.com/2019/07/15/recent-earthquakes-could-mark-end-of-california-earthquake-drought-professors-say/




Oh calm down, we’re not gonna die! And come on, if the earthquakes don’t kill us, maybe our improper disposal of nuclear waste will! That’s right, the earthquake ripple from the epicenter outside of Bakersfield was felt as far away as Las Vegas, where there’s a landfill where we dispose of our nuclear waste. Which, you know, storing it there was relatively harmless. Until now!

Recent California earthquakes that rattled Las Vegas have shaken up arguments on both sides of a stalled federal plan to entomb nuclear waste beneath a long-studied site in southern Nevada.

Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso said this week his legislation to jump-start the process to open the Yucca Mountain project is based on studies that take seismic activity into account, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .

Spent nuclear reactor fuel is currently stored at 121 sites in 35 states, and Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the earthquakes showed the need to move spent radioactive waste from places where it is currently stored above ground to a more secure repository.

“This doesn’t change my view,” Barrasso said. “We need to find a permanent location for the storage of nuclear waste. I think it’s much safer in Yucca Mountain than in a hundred different locations.”
https://ktla.com/2019/07/13/ridgecrest-quakes-shake-up-arguments-in-nevada-about-the-need-to-move-radioactive-waste/




And hey, I, for one, welcome our new radioactive squirrel overlords! Because that’s one of those things where you gotta ask “what could possibly go wrong?”. Well a whole hell of a lot. But if you’re concerned about earthquakes, maybe consider the currently safest place in California – Sacramento. Yes, Sacramento so far has been immune from even the biggest and most devastating earthquakes California has ever seen.

Reporting from Sacramento —

Want to be safe from earthquakes in California? You’d need to endure summer scorchers, winter flood threats and full-time politicians. But temblors don’t threaten people living in Sacramento.

In the state capital — River City, Sacratomato, City of Trees — earthquakes are seen only on TV. Here, you’ll escape the Big One.

“Sacramento is one of the safer places,” acting State Geologist Tim McCrink says. “We don’t have that many active faults in the area.”

In fact, Sacramento — based on historical records and fault maps — is unquestionably the safest earthquake refuge among all of California’s major metropolitan areas.

The most unsafe? You already know.

“The worst places are the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles,” McCrink says. “They’ve got most of the faults.”
https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-skelton-earthquake-safety-cities-20190715-story.html





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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: Student Loan Crisis
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It’s time to investigate beyond the headlines! This is Top 10 Investigates!



Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has made the student loan crisis the center of his 2020 campaign for president of the United States. Sanders and Warren have both made the loan crisis the underlying issue of their respective campaigns, but how do they plan to fix it? And just how broken is the system that puts new graduates under a gigantic mountain of absolutely crushing debt? Well, there’s plenty of reasons how the system got this bad. If you look at right wing media, they’re blaming everything from the parents to Obamacare, and in reality none of these things are fueling the crisis.

With the growth in student loans continuing to soar, politicians and borrowers struggling with an issue that’s become both a financial and political problem.

Presidential candidates are proposing to cancel student debt and make public college free, state legislators are cracking down on student-loan companies and, recently, government agencies have offered another approach — teaching students and borrowers more about finances.

The Treasury Department recommended earlier this month that colleges should require students to take financial-literacy courses and representatives from the Department of Education told a group of financial-aid professionals this week that the agency is planning to add robust financial literacy tools to the app students can use to apply for financial aid and manage their student loans.

These proposals come after years of colleges across the country experimenting with ways to teach their students good financial habits and provide them with more information about their loans. The idea behind these efforts is to help students manage their finances while they’re in school and once they graduate.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-financial-education-wont-solve-the-15-trillion-student-loan-crisis-2019-06-27




So really you can blame anything you want but in reality it’s a combination of America’s extremely loose business regulation laws, out of control loan interest rates, stagnant wages, and very slim chances of employment once you graduate. In fact if you want to see out of control debt at work, look no further than the state of Florida. Florida has a plan to do something about it, but then again this is Florida we are talking about here.

In the U.S., 43 million people carry school debt totaling more than $1.4 trillion. Student loans are the second-highest debt category behind mortgages. In Florida, 2.4 million Floridians owe $85.5 billion.

That’s largely because tuition hikes have outpaced wage increases and inflation. Between 2006 and 2016, the price of college tuition and fees increased 61 percent, compared with 21 percent for other items, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many students rely on loans to pay tuition bills and other college expenses. Federal Judge Michael Williamson said he often asks young attorneys whether they have student debt, and “everyone raises their hand.”

“That didn’t exist when I went to law school," said Williamson, the chief bankruptcy judge for the Middle District of Florida, who graduated from Georgetown University’s program in 1976.
[Popular on OrlandoSentinel.com] Vera Asian to bring ‘sushi robot’ to Orlando’s Creative Village »

Williamson, who signed the order outlining the program, described the country’s debt crisis as “tragic.”
https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/education/os-ne-bankruptcy-student-loans-20190715-aeti72wcovhuzfczhngeslmstq-story.html


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Yes, it needs to be fixed, but what can be done? Well, private corporations – many of which are blamed for causing this mess – are coming up with unique and innovative ways to fix it. One such solution is to stop risk free loans. And the risk part is what many are blaming for this crisis as it has created a scenario where interest rates are in the double digits meaning that there’s a good possibility they will never be paid back. So let’s cancel it entirely.

After snowballing for a generation, the student-loan crisis has taken center stage in the 2020 race to the White House, at least for Democratic contenders. Candidates are promising everything from tuition-free college to debt forgiveness.

Even President Donald Trump has considered capping payments at 12.5 percent of discretionary income and forgiving loans when they reach 15 years.

None of these proposals, however, strikes at the root: no-questions-asked loans backed by the federal government. Student loans as an entitlement is a dogma harming both the nation and the recipients. Doubling down will enrich bloated university administrations, but it will only make the crisis worse—even if the cost is buried in outlandish federal deficits.

If we ignore the injustice to those who have paid or are paying their loans studiously, the federal government is still in no position to bail out a $1.56 trillion combined debt load, and that doesn’t include future loans. About 44.7 million Americans hold a federal student loan, and roughly half are paying back. One third are in default, deferment, or forbearance, and the remainder are still in school.
https://www.theepochtimes.com/a-solution-to-the-student-loan-crisis-no-more-risk-free-loans_3002623.html




But again while we can play the blame game and blame literally everyone but the 800 pound gorilla in the room, the proposals by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both highlight the real problem: our extremely loose corporate lax of corporate regulations that got us into this mess. Remember – capitalism is not the problem. It’s the deregulation of capitalism that is the problem.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who helped create the federal agency that oversees student loan servicers, has come out in favor of a bill that would let Massachusetts institute its own laws to govern the industry.

Warren last week wrote a letter to the chairs of the state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure in support of a bill filed by Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, and Rep. Natalie Higgins, D-Leominster, to create a “student loan bill of rights” and let the state license and regulate student loan servicers.

Warren, a candidate for president in 2020, wrote in the letter that students today are “drowning in student loan debt.”

“Student loan servicing companies worsen this crisis by making it harder and harder for struggling student loan borrowers to stay afloat,” she wrote.

Warren, as a Harvard Law School professor, was instrumental in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Barack Obama. The CFPB regulates industries including debt collection, and it has an ombudsman to handle complaints related to student loans.
https://www.masslive.com/politics/2019/07/us-sen-elizabeth-warren-supports-massachusetts-bill-to-regulate-student-loan-servicers.html




That’s it this week for Top 10 Investigates. Good day.




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[font size="8"]Holy Shit
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Gather around my fair brothers and sisters of Austin! 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!!! You know that our father GAWD is a very finicky being, and has an extremely volatile temper. But with disasters in California, Texas, and New Orleans, can we all agree that GAWD is not happy? Is he in his RIGHT to take his anger out on the populace??? Because apparently our GAWD loves him some fire and brimstone punishment. And it’s not just your grandparents’ fire and brimstone punishment, he’s out to eviscerate Sodom & Gammorah. Again. Because his wrath and vengeance and fury shall not be challenged! For if you do challenge HIM, then you too shall not see the light of day, for it says so in our good book!!

End Times pastor Perry Stone hosted a “Prophetic Summit” at his church in Cleveland, Tennessee, earlier this year, where he prophesied that America will be struck by a tsunami as punishment from God for allowing legal abortion.

“I’m standing here at [Omega Center International], at this year, at a prophetic summit, to make a prediction I am not afraid of,” Stone proclaimed. “One day, you will go back to this DVD and some of you will go back to this television program, and you will say, ‘Perry Stone said it on a Sunday morning, the last night of the prophetic summit.'”

“I am here to announce to you that unless there is true repentance, unless the corporations in America quit supporting pro-abortion mills, unless the American people and their politicians begin to understand that life is sacred from the beginning,” he warned, “we will experience a judgment of water in the United States of America.”

Stone said the judgment will come through “extreme flooding” and tsunamis in which entire towns are wiped out

“I have seen in the spirit,” Stone claimed, “it was an ocean and they were surfing and we were screaming, ‘Get out of the water.’ I saw the wave coming way behind them. Nobody paid attention; they laughed, they mocked. And all of a sudden, the wave came in and the next picture—just like a movie—was people in mud whose hands were sticking out where they had tried to crawl, thousands of people on a beach, lying in mud.”

“God wants to be merciful,” Stone said, “but, at the same time, he cannot allow us to break laws that ancient nations broke and were judged for breaking. So therefore, at some point, if we don’t turn to him, we have to experience the same thing.”
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/perry-stone-god-will-strike-america-with-tsunamis-as-punishment-for-abortion/




Yes, dare I say that the good LAWRD is pissed? He is angry, my fair congregation. He is angry and willing to take his wrath out on the populace. But why? Did GAWD not get laid again? But GAWD doesn’t just take his wrath out on the populace by any old means, he prefers him some quick and devastating destruction that gets results!

On last night’s episode of his “The MC Files” program, right-wing commentator and radical conspiracy theorist Chris McDonald declared that the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein, the recent earthquakes in California, and the flooding that hit Washington, D.C., were all caused by the speech that President Trump delivered during the “Salute to America” Independence Day celebration on the National Mall.

“Something shifted in the spirit realm on Thursday, on July the 4th,” McDonald said. “Our president shook the heavenlies with that speech. Something shifted over D.C.and two earthquakes, a flood now in D.C., and this Epstein thing; something is astir in the heavenlies over this nation right now.”

McDonald’s guest, fellow radical right-wing conspiracy theorist and so-called “firefighter prophet” Mark Taylor, agreed, claiming that Epstein’s arrest and the upcoming sentencing of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán will reveal information that “could literally take down most of D.C.”

“This is not a coincidence that all of this stuff is happening at the same time,” Taylor said. “We now have flooding in Washington, D.C., so what is God trying to say to us right here, prophetically? God is saying, ‘Look, the storm is upon us. It’s here right now.’ And so the flooding is taking place, the old is being washed away and the new is being ushered in. There is a cleansing that is taking place in Washington, D.C., right now.”

Taylor also suggested that the earthquakes in California may not have actually been earthquakes at all, but were rather shakings caused by military operations being carried out against deep underground bases used by pedophiles to traffic, molest, and sacrifice children.
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/chris-mcdonald-floods-earthquakes-and-epstein-arrest-were-caused-by-trumps-july-4-speech/




You do know that earthquake faultlines have been around since the dawn of time, right, Mark? They are not some secret underground military bases. I mean really, you have to be a special level of stupid to believe something that off the wall, batshit crazy! Can I get an amen??? And by the way, how great is our gospel choir? Let’s give it up for them!! And if you think it doesn’t get any weirder, oh no, my fair congregation you are wrong! And just why would the almighty GAWD be taking wrath out on one state for the actions of another?

Mark Taylor, a radical right-wing conspiracy theorist and so-called “firefighter prophet,” appeared on the “Up Front In The Prophetic” radio program yesterday, where he declared that the tropical storm that is forming in the Gulf of Mexico is man-made and was created to punish the state of Georgia for recently passing a radical anti-choice “heartbeat bill.”

A trough of low pressure that has been sitting over Georgia is likely to strengthen into Hurricane Barry and is expected to strike Louisiana this weekend. Taylor, who has repeatedly asserted that the Illuminati creates and controls the weather, said it is “retaliation for the Georgia heartbeat bill.”

“That’s the first thing that comes to mind,” he said, “because when Roe v. Wade comes down, where is [the issue] going to go? It is going to go to the states. And you have states out there like Georgia—and there are a couple of others out there—that have gone as far as making this stuff illegal for abortion. You’ve got to remember, what is abortion? The sacrificing of kids. What does that sacrifice do? Abortion is the food source for Baal; Baal being the strongman over America. That’s what empowers Baal. You’re taking Baal’s food source and he’s not liking it, so this is retaliation from the enemy that I would say is from that heartbeat bill.”
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/mark-taylor-hurricane-expected-to-strike-louisiana-is-punishment-for-georgias-heartbeat-bill/




That folks, is the wrath of the almighty GAWD at work! Mass has ended, may you go in peace… should you survive the wrath of the ALMIGHTY!!! That’s it this week for:




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[font size="8"]Beating A Dead Horse: Taking Sides In A Boycott
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We may have officially beaten our own dead horse here. Now hear me out… we talk a lot about boycotts on both sides of the argument. We’ve even found the one company that has escaped many a boycott, and that’s Starbucks. They are the one company that is seemingly immune to boycotts! But then Nike came along and said “hold my beer!”. Now there’s a third company that you can add to the list: Home Depot. Which recently found itself at the head of yet *ANOTEHR* boycott – this time from Trump haters who found out that their billionaire founder donated a metric fuck ton of money to Trump’s campaign in 2016, and may do it again in 2020.

Some Home Depot shoppers are calling for a boycott of the retailer after billionaire co-founder Bernie Marcus pledged to donate to President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, reports Business Insider.

Marcus is an active supporter of Trump’s, contributing $7 million to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and $7.9 million to Republican candidates, committees, and PACs in the 2018 midterms (outspending any other Republican-endorsing private citizen in the latter election cycle), according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In June, Marcus told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he will donate more of his vast wealth — estimated at $4.55 billion — to Trump’s reelection effort, saying of Trump’s presidency, “I would say that we are better off today than we were eight years ago or six years ago.”

The hashtag #BoycottHomeDepot picked up steam on Twitter on June 30, the same day the AJC story published and three days after Marcus appeared on Fox News to tell anchor Neil Cavuto, “Democrats, use your stupid brains. You don’t have any brains.”

Boycotters, reacting to one or both of Marcus’s press hits, vowed on Twitter to cut up their Home Depot cards and instead shop at competitors like Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, and Menards. Others took up the issue with one of Home Depot’s most visible advertisers: HGTV. Home Depot sells HGTV Magazine, runs ads on HGTV, and enters paid partnerships with HGTV, with the network running spots “brought to you by Home Depot” and promoting Home Depot’s online tools.
https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/7/11/20690382/home-depot-boycott-trump-bernie-marcus




And hey since you know that it affects Trump directly, you just know he had to respond. Of course he sides with Home Depot and calls the people planning the boycott “unhinged and crazy”. Yeah we’re the unhinged and crazy ones? We’re planning not to go to a store. You’re the ones lighting your shoes on fire and throwing your Keurigs out the window. Who are the unhinged crazy ones again? Let’s think about this Donny.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted “the radical left” for using economic boycotts as a political tactic despite his own long history of supporting such strategies.

The president was responding to recent calls for a boycott of Home Depot because of the financial support that retired co-founder Bernie Marcus has shown for him. Marcus said last month he will back Trump in the 2020 election.

“More and more the Radical Left is using Commerce to hurt their 'Enemy.' They put out the name of a store, brand or company, and ask their so-called followers not to do business there,” Trump wrote Tuesday night in the first of three-part tweet.

“They don’t care who gets hurt, but also don’t understand that two can play that game!“

Trump wrapped up his statement with: “Fight for Bernie Marcus and Home Depot!“

The president’s rhetoric contrasted sharply with his call last month for his supporters to boycott AT&T for political reasons.
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/09/trump-home-depot-boycott-1404870




Hey Trump, in one post you LITERALLY called for people to boycott AT&T and now you’re mad at people exercising their right to boycott? Wow, you’re stupid. So if Trump does it, it’s for the people, but if democrats do it, they’re unhinged, deranged, and totally crazy. Shouldn’t we be immune to Trump’s childish bullying by now? No, well if you think Trump’s explanation was terrible, wait until you see Home Depot’s!

Facing a backlash, Atlanta-based Home Depot sought to distance itself from billionaire co-founder Bernie Marcus after he pledged to back President Trump’s bid for re-election in 2020.

Calls to boycott the retailer took off this week on social media as news spread that Marcus told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last month that he plans to support Trump’s bid for another term.

“If you plan on buying a hammer, wood, or ANY home improvement items from Home Depot, you may as well send donations DIRECTLY to trump’s 2020 campaign,” read one tweet under the hashtag #BoycottHomeDepot.

Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Smith said in a statement to NPR that Marcus retired more than a decade ago and is not speaking on behalf of the company. “In fact, as a standard practice, the company does not endorse Presidential candidates,” she said.
https://www.wabe.org/home-depot-responds-to-calls-for-boycott-over-co-founders-support-for-trump/




Plot twist!!!! Bet you thought that I was going to say that Bernie Marcus was going to say some batshit crazy thing about the left, weren’t you? And you think you’re so smart! Well, we are on a college tour so I would expect plenty of smart people in attendance! And here’s why you shouldn’t take sides in a boycott – which ever side Trump takes in said boycott, probably the wrong side.

Ever since Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus said that he will donate some of his multi-billion dollar fortune to President Trump's 2020 re-election effort, leftists have been vowing to boycott his home improvement empire. In response to this insanity, President Trump publicly praised Marcus for being a "great, patriotic, and charitable man" on Twitter.

"A truly great, patriotic & charitable man, Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot who, at the age of 90, is coming under attack by the Radical Left Democrats with one of their often used weapons," Trump tweeted on Tuesday night, according to Fox Business. "They don’t want people to shop at those GREAT stores because he contributed to your favorite President, me!"

"These people are vicious and totally crazed, but remember, there are far more great people (‘Deplorables’) in this country, than bad. Do to them what they do to you," he continued. "Fight for Bernie Marcus and Home Depot!"

The controversy erupted in late June when Marcus announced that he will be supporting President Trump's re-election while also praising his "businessman’s common sense approach to most things." He did, however, criticize the president's communication skills by taking on every battle.

"[Trump’s] got a businessman’s common sense approach to most things," Marcus said. "Now, do I agree with every move that he makes? No, I don’t. But the truth is he has produced more than anybody else. He has. If we look at this country, I would say that we are better off today than we were eight years ago or six years ago."
https://www.dailywire.com/news/49340/trump-praises-home-depot-co-founder-response-paul-bois





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[font size="8"]UFO Scouting: How Is This Still A Thing?
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It’s time once again to ask:



This week – UFO scouting. How is this still a thing? Last week a group with about 500,000 subscribers on Facebook announced a plan to storm the top secret base outside of Las Vegas, Nevada known as Area 51 searching for signs of extra terrestrial life. Yes, this is still a thing. And yes, this is still a thing after the CIA famously declassified a number of documents back in 2013 showing a lot of the myths surrounding Area 51 were in fact, a steaming load of bullshit. But let’s not forget that we are currently living in the post information age, where facts don’t matter and only outrage does. So just how outraged are people about the possibility that extraterrestrial life exists in the base made famous by conspiracy theorists and tin foil hat enthusiasts?

If you've ever wondered whether we're alone in the galaxy, you're no space oddity.

More than 379,000 people have signed on to a Facebook event pledging to raid Area 51 in southern Nevada in an effort to "see them aliens." An additional 396,000 respondents marked themselves as "interested" on the event page as of Thursday night.

"If we [N]aruto run, we can move faster than their bullets," the event description says, making a humorous reference to a Japanese manga character known for running with his arms stretched out backward and his head forward.

The page invites respondents to convene Sept. 20 at the Area 51 Alien Center, a combination diner, convenience store and brothel in Amargosa Valley, Nevada, about 90 miles from Las Vegas.

Though the event is months away, social media users have already begun to speculate about what might be inside the highly classified Air Force facility in the Nevada desert.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/11/area-51-raid-facebook-event-see-them-aliens/1711343001/




Yes, somewhere between 200,000 – 500,000 people are planning on storming Area 51 to look for signs of alien life. But their rationality surprisingly is not wrong – if 250,000 people show up, they can’t all be arrested! It’s true, we heard a guy on TV say that once. And by the way if you are one of those people who plan on storming Area 51, maybe don’t announce your plans 2 months in advance, because it gives the military time to get ready.

They've got a plan to raid Area 51 and "see them aliens." But what will happen if they actually do it?

Over one million people have signed up to a joke Facebook event, calling on users to meet at Area 51, the US Air Force base in Nevada that's long been a source of alien conspiracy theories, in September.
"If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets," the page says, referencing the Japanese manga-inspired running style with arms outstretched backwards and heads forward. "Let's see them aliens."

A pinned post on the page attempts to cover its bases, reading "Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet." But as the event has gained traction -- inspiring dozens of memes and jokes -- the profile of the situation has risen, so much so that the US Air Force has been made aware of the potential impending raid.

And they're not as lighthearted about the situation as folks on the internet are.

"[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces," a spokeswoman told The Washington Post. "The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets."
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/15/us/area-51-military-warning-trnd/index.html




Yeah maybe the message that they’re sending is “don’t fuck with the military”. Do you hear that alien hunters? Do you? Well they didn’t get that memo. They also didn’t get the memo about how stupid their plan actually is and got mocked incessantly for it. So does the group still plan to go through this very poorly thought out plan? Probably.

Around 400 thousand people have marked "going" on a Facebook event that aims to "storm" Area 51 of United States Air Force and "see them aliens" while more than 411 thousand others from all over the world are interested in the event.

Area 51 is a highly classified facility of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range. The facility is long subjected to conspiracy theories about aliens and UFOs being stored there, and the theories only get stronger with the high-level of secrecy being maintained by the authorities about the facility.

The Facebook event, which is scheduled for September 20, has become a rage among people catching the attention of hundreds of thousands in just a matter of a few days and is now trending on other social media platforms as well. Hilarious memes are lightening the mood while also giving a reality check to many as the potential "raid" on Area 51 might not be possible.
https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/humor/594918-area-51-hilarious-memes-about-planned-raid-for-aliens-go-viral




In fact this event was over a year in planning since Harvard researchers have spotted a comet hurling through space called “Oumuamua”. That reunited interests in scouting for aliens and the planned raid on Area 51. But is it a dumb idea? Yes. Will the military be ready for them? Absolutely. Really people, it’s just a comet. Not something that’s definitive proof of aliens existing. This is 2019 though, facts don’t matter, only outrage does.,

Extra-terrestrial beings have remained shrouded in controversy since the topic of 'other life' or 'other beings' except for all we know on earth being out there was ever thought of. Though so far, scientific evidence has so far, dismissed every theory of aliens existing. Except Oumuamua.

While the science behind aliens existing isn't exactly solid, 'we cannot rule out the possibility of life existing.' The last sentence is something conspiracy theorists will tell you. One particular place and term which remains shrouded in 'aliens are real' controversy is Area 51.

A quick Google search will tell you that this is the Internet's own conspiracy hot-spot, and it involves not just aliens but all kind of 'undercover secret-government cover ups.' One of the searches even includes lizard people.

Area 51 is, in reality, a United States Air Force facility located in Lincoln County, Nevada, the US which is a highly classified remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range. The fact that it is 'highly classified' is what makes it the subject of so much speculation
https://www.news18.com/news/buzz/more-than-8-lakh-people-are-planning-to-storm-area-51-in-usa-to-free-aliens-2227861.html




Except that it isn’t. So mistaking a comet and carrying out a poorly planned raid a heavily guaraded US military base. That’s enough to make you ask – UFO scouting:




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[font size="8"]People Are Dumb
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Oh come on, Athens, remember when conspiracy theories used to be about fun stuff like aliens and Bigfoot? Hey, we remember! And speaking of which - oh that’s right - 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 they are batshit crazy and I feel like they could happen to anybody. Well, really, anybody plus a heavy dose of crystal meth. I want to start with this story out of Clay County, Missouri. So if you’re a wanted criminal and you’re trying to hide from the cops. Well, in what seems like an outrageously cartoonish way that he was discovered by the cops. That’s right – he farted! And it was fart that seemed like it was something out of the movie Stepbrothers.

Some are calling it the fart heard round the world.

The viral, wacky story originates in Clay County, Missouri northeast of Kansas City where, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, a suspect’s loud fart gave away his position and allowed police to arrest him.

The unnamed, gassy suspect was wanted on a felony warrant for possession of a controlled substance.

“If you’ve got a felony warrant for your arrest, the cops are looking for you and you pass gas so loud it gives up your hiding spot, you’re definitely having a (poop emoji) day,” the department wrote on Facebook.

“We’ve gotta give props to Liberty Police Department for using their senses to sniff him out,” the post, which also includes the hashtag #ItHappened, reads.
https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/07/loud-fart-reveals-wanted-missouri-mans-hiding-spot-leads-to-arrest.html?utm_campaign=grandrapidspress_sf&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR09VyGvld6v4UIXzhkSwuSnX3dKJ-zUs5R_Xu_nbFyyjU1KFndNpY-m6QU




I love that even the cops were having some fun with this one. And speaking of dumb ways that people were found out by the cops, this next story is out of Guthrie, Oklahoma. And I have a lot of questions about this one. I get where they can get a rattlesnake and the Kentucky Deluxe… wait a minute, who the fuck drinks Kentucky Deluxe? I mean was Thunderbird too expensive? Anyway – where do you get uranium from? And what were they planning to do with it? Power the flux capacitor?

Two people were arrested after a traffic stop of a stolen car revealed the two had a rattlesnake, radioactive uranium, and an open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe.

Stephen Jennings is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, transporting an open container of liquor, operating a vehicle with a suspended license, and failure to carry security verification form. Rachael Rivera is charged with possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction.

The traffic stop was made at 11 a.m. in a Guthrie neighborhood because the tag was expired. Jennings was in the driver's seat, Rivera in the passenger seat, and in the backseat, a pet Timber rattlesnake in a terrarium.

At about the same time Jennings told officers he had a gun in console, police learned the Ford they were driving was reported stolen.
https://kfor.com/2019/07/10/logan-co-man-allegedly-driving-stolen-vehicle-filled-with-uranium-a-rattlesnake-and-kentucky-deluxe/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_content=5d26b9080ca7240001cb0e8f&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter




Yeah when you power this thing with ridiculously cheap Z-grade booze and enriched uranium, you’re gonna see some serious shit! A lot of stupid people and cops this week. For our next story we go to the land down under – Australia for this one. Yes, stupid people are not just limited to Florida, they are all around us! Well, if you’re just learning how to drive, maybe don’t tell the cops that you’re just blowing smoke – both literally and figuratively!

An allegedly stoned and unlicensed Melbourne teenager, accused of ramming a police car and breaking an officer's leg, has been granted bail.

Benjamin Saurini, 19, previously said he couldn't see the police vehicle because his car windows had fogged up from smoking cannabis after a session with friends on Friday night.

Saurini allegedly took off when he thought he was going to be "jumped" by officers on patrol, but panicked and side-swiped their car.

He is accused of pinning a senior constable against the car, breaking his leg.

Saurini allegedly read a news article about the injured police officer the following day and realised he was in trouble, dumping the car and removing its number plates.
https://7news.com.au/news/crime/bail-for-vic-teen-charged-with-ramming-cop-c-205385?utm_campaign=share-icons&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&tid=1562877108634




Next up, we go to of course the Sunshine State, which never fails to disappoint and they always bring the crazy extra hard. And this one started out as what should have been a good deed but has a really ugly side to it, and it could end disastrously. Honestly, I really hope that this waitress takes these two to court and scores big time. Maybe the restaurant too.

A 24-year-old woman from upstate New York has been charged with grand theft in Florida, where authorities allege she used her boyfriend’s credit card to leave a $5,000 tip for a waitress who’d served her breakfast.

PEOPLE confirms the allegations against Serina Wolfe, 24, through online court records.

Upset with her boyfriend for refusing to pay for her return flight to New York, the criminal complaint alleges Wolfe and her boyfriend argued, leading him to put a hold on his credit card.

Not long after, the complaint states that he had the hold lifted, and Wolfe — who lives in Buffalo — allegedly used it to pay the bill for her meal the morning of June 27.

Wolfe allegedly left a $5,000 tip on a $55 bill, according to the complaint — or 10,000 percent.
https://people.com/crime/woman-allegedly-used-boyfriends-credit-card-leave-5000-tip-waitress-spite-him/




Hey I can’t get a flight home so let’s saddle him with some crippling debt! Really, this story can go straight to hell. Next up, dumb professors! Yes, that may be a first here for People Are Dumb. And this story takes place in Nova Scotia. Yes, that’s in Canada don’t you know? Well, this might be a very strange request and probably should get you fired for it.

A faculty member at Cape Breton University has been terminated for demanding sex, moose meat and lobster from a student who was struggling in his course in exchange for better grades.

In an emailed response, university spokeswoman Lenore Parsley didn’t answer questions about the firing, the nature of the offence, details about the employee’s position and whether there had been other complaints about the employee.

“Cape Breton University is committed to a safe and respectful campus for all of our community members,” Parsley said. “Any and all complaints follow a formal process, as indicated in our respectful campus policy.

“We won’t be commenting further.”

But the student who reported the instructor says the university told her two weeks ago that he was being fired, with the right to appeal.

She said she hadn’t been notified of any appeal as of Thursday.
https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/regional/cbu-instructor-fired-after-demanding-sex-moose-meat-and-lobster-for-better-grades-331851/




Ha ha, I love Lego Batman. Finally this week for People Are Dumb – dumb superheroes! Yes, Captain America went full Thor on an unsuspecting victim and I can’t imagine that ending well. At least the Hulk wasn’t there or things might have got really ugly.

A Virginia man wearing a Captain America t-shirt--and not a Thor model--was arrested Tuesday evening for striking two victims in the head with a hammer, police report.

John Jefferson Tuggle, 36, is facing a pair of felony charges in connection with an incident at a residence near his home in Clinchburg.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Tuggle “went into another room of the residence and retrieved a hammer," which he then used to hit “both victims in the head.”
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/assault/captain-america-hammer-729058




That’s it this week for:




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[font size="8"]Keeping Up With The Candidates Episode 1: The Almost-Rans
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Hey everyone! This is our official Top 10 voters’ guide for the 2020 MOTHER OF ELECTIONS TO END ALL ELECTIONS: THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL!!! So what we decided to do for this segment is that there’s a whopping 24 candidates running to hopefully unseat Donald Trump in the 2020 election. And we wanted to give you our perspective on all 24 of the candidates running. Plus a few others in other local and regional elections that you need to know about thrown in for good measure and all the ups and downs, the poll numbers, and of course the precious 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College. And by the way, we are going to try and make this as unbiased as possible. Since this is our first week we’re going to tell you about the candidates that didn’t quite make it. The drop outs. But there’s already going to be a whole lot of candidates that are going to dropout before the election and things are already going to get ugly.

Swalwell had previously fueled speculation that he's dropping out of the race after canceling New Hampshire stops at the last minute and announcing a press conference for Monday afternoon, The Hill reports.

This would come three months to the day that Swalwell announced his candidacy for president on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He participated in the first round of presidential debates last month and in a notable exchange urged former Vice President Joe Biden to "pass the torch" to the next generation. Swalwell, who has been polling at 1 percent or below, had not yet secured a position in the second round of debates, as FiveThirtyEight noted. Asked in a post-debate interview about his low polling numbers, Swalwell responded that it's still "early" in the race.

Amid these reports on Monday, Swalwell replied to a tweet from The Washington Post's Dave Weigel, which noted that the rules for the third debate would likely result in many candidates not qualifying but that no one is complaining that the rules are rigged against Swalwell, with the "hands up" emoji.
https://theweek.com/speedreads/853325/el-chapo-gets-life-prison-what-judge-calls-overwhelming-evil




No no, no need to terror vomit just yet. Yes of course Eric Swalwell has said that he’s thinking about dropping out of the election. But let’s focus on why he’s running for a bit. Swalwell was the absolute biggest longshot don’t get us wrong but he definitely had good intentions of running for the highest office in the land.

SWALWELL BOWS OUT — “Go Big. Be Bold. Do Good” — That was the campaign motto for Democratic East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell’s longshot bid for the White House. But after Swalwell on Monday became the first prominent Democrat to drop out of the 2020 race, look for that motto — and those red, white and blue campaign signs — to be repurposed for Swalwell’s bid at a fifth term in his CA-15 Congressional seat.

The story from POLITICO’s Carla Marinucci and Jeremy B. White: “California Rep. Eric Swalwell, dogged by fundraising challenges and a failure to register in the polls, is ending his longshot bid for the presidency.

“Two weeks ago, Swalwell, 38, called on Democratic front-runner Joe Biden to ‘pass the torch‘ of party leadership to a new generation in the first Democratic presidential debates. But on Monday, Swalwell called a press conference at his Dublin campaign headquarters to announce that instead of continuing in the Democratic primary, he will instead seek a fifth term representing the strongly Democratic East Bay 15th district in Congress.

“‘Being honest with ourselves, we had to look at how much money we were raising, where we were in the polls,‘ Swalwell told supporters, arguing that he had ‘moved the needle on the debate stage with an issue I was very passionate about,‘ referring to gun control measures. ‘So we’ve achieved that,’ he said. ‘But we have to be honest about our own candidacy’s viability.‘“
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/california-playbook/2019/07/09/swalwell-is-first-prominent-2020-dropout-trump-tweets-hes-working-together-with-gavin-cagops-patterson-protests-bill-requiring-candidates-tax-release-wildfire-bill-passes-senate-gig-economy-demonstration-454554 [




Well, hopefully not! I mean we are just barely beginning the primary season and you just know that someone is contemplating on forming an exploratory committee to join the fray. But what else do we have to look forward to in the election to come? It’s going to be a category 5 shit storm and there will plenty of shit flying at you from every single angle. Especially when there’s that one guy who’s the odd man out.

Washington circles are abuzz with the suggestion that Justin Amash, the ex-Republican congressman from Michigan, may mount a third-party presidential campaign in 2020. In the few days since leaving the GOP, he’s talked about “room for a third party” and refused to rule out running for president. But sources close to Amash and the Libertarian Party deny that a presidential run is in the works—although the door is still open. For the time being, the Libertarian-leaning representative is looking to build a fiscally conservative, pro-restraint coalition across party lines.

Michigan representative Justin Amash has made waves in recent weeks with his challenges to the Republican establishment. He first suggested that President Donald Trump should be impeached, then he contested the president’s authority to attack Iran without congressional approval, and finally left the party.

Amash seemed to send mixed signals about his next move, telling CNN that he’s planning to run for re-election to the House of Representatives, but confirming that he still “wouldn’t rule anything like [a Libertarian presidential run] out.”

In an interview with a local ABC affiliate, he added that “I don’t rule things out in where I might go in my political work. I want to do what is best for our country, and if there’s something I can offer, I’m willing to consider that.”
https://nationalinterest.org/feature/odd-man-out-how-independent-justin-amash-could-shake-2020-presidential-election-67402




And hopefully this coin will land on the right side of history and leave the racists and sexists to the dust bin where they belong. So far even with the first casualty of the 2020 season, which by November 6th, 2020, is going to seem like a complete eternity away, is probably going to last an eternity. But some good news about our friend Eric Swalwell is that he is not backing down:

Chaos continued on the floor of the House of Representatives during the debate on a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s racist attacks on four young women of color.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) rose to support the resolution, listing multiple instances of racism from the commander-in-chief.

As part of the list, Swalwell noted Trump’s attacks on “sh*thole countries.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) complained and got in a back-and-forth with Swalwell.

Collins sought to have Swalwell’s words stricken from the Congressional Record, which would have banned him from speaking for the rest of the day.

“I will withdraw my offensive word,” Swalwell said, after discussions with other Democrats.
https://www.rawstory.com/2019/07/republican-freaks-out-after-democrat-quotes-trumps-racist-statement-on-the-floor-of-congress/




[font size="4"]Report Card:[/font]

Key Issues: Guns, Campaign Finance Reform
Target Demographic: Millenials
Probability Rating: 15:1
Likelihood Of Going Far In Election: Already Dropped Out

Overall Grade: B+

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

Next week for Episode 2, we're going to check in with the Alabama Senate candidates, and whew, they have some batshit crazy ones running!


[font size="8"]And Now This:[/font]
[font size="8”]Bastille[/font]

Ladies and gentlemen, returning to the show, is the first band we ever featured on the Top 10. Their latest album is called “Doom Days”, you can see them live on tour this September and October. Playing their song “Quarter Past Midnight”, give it up for Bastille!!!




Thank you University Of Georgia! This was a great stop for our first stop of the tour. We’re off to Gainsville and the University Of Florida next with the Wheel Of Corruption! See you next week!

Credits

Host: Initech
Top 10 Conservative Idiots Recorded In Front Of Live Audience At: University Of Georgia, Athens, GA
Holy Shit Gospel Choir: University Of Georgia Choir Club, Athens, GA
Images: All images copyright belongs to respective copyright holders.
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