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Wed Apr 1, 2020, 05:00 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #8-12: Easter Sunday Bloody Easter Sunday Edition


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #8-12: Easter Sunday Bloody Easter Sunday Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! Well, another week down where we can’t go outside, how is everybody doing? You doing fucking good? Yeah us either. Sure, the Coronavirus is going to pass, but we don’t want anything stupid to happen in the meantime, which is why we’re staying home until it is safe to do so. But we can’t wait to reveal all the exciting things we have in store for season 9 as we approach what will hopefully be the end of the Donald J. Trump administration. And that includes our new home in Burbank. Yes, we left our good friends at the UCB Theater and are moving for greener pastures in Burbank, and we can’t wait to do a live show from there soon. We’ll reveal our tentative tour dates for the 9th season during our off day on April 15th, but I hope we can tour by then. You know I really want to find a silver lining in the news right now but it’s just so hard to do that. Usually here’s where we talk about some random, non-political nonsense before we delve into 10 solid entries of political nonsense. But there’s nothing going on during the Great Quarantine. Nothing. Come on, I’d kill for a good Florida Man story right now, but even he’s being isolated. But I’m sure that we will see some stories of some idiocy coming later down the pike. Just, god, we cannot wait until the great lockdown is over. Which we certainly hope is coming soon. OK enough of the intro, I’m rambling again. We have a lot of idiocy to get to. But first John Oliver is back and he delves into the latest on everyone’s favorite subject:



So we’re stuck at home for the foreseeable future and that means that there’s no live music and no Wheel Of Corruption that we planned to do for this edition. And our live audience laughter and applause is going to be replaced with pre-recorded audience laughter and applause. So in the #1 slot this week is Donald Trump (1). Because he’s gloating about getting the stimulus package passed but what’s in it? We will expose the reality of who’s getting $2 TRILLION. In the number 2 slot this week is also Donald Trump (2). So he wants this all to be over by Easter so we can pack the churches. We will explain in (not shocking) detail why this plan is clinically insane. Taking the third slot this week is Mike Lindell (3), who you might know better as the MyPillow guy, and if you expect that he’s trying to help, well, let’s just hope that his masks aren’t the same quality as his pillows. In the number 4 slot this week, we’re adding Mississippi governor Tate Reeves (4) to the ever-growing list of People Who Somehow Got Elected because he’s putting his whole state in jeopardy. At slot #5 is our weekly investigative piece, Top 10 Investigates (5) and this week we’re going to take a look at some Coronavirus scamming, and yes, just like the virus itself, the scammers are spreading like wildfire, and you may need watch your inbox and phone calls very closely. At slot #6 this week is our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in “Holy Shit”, and this week, why is Liberty University set on welcoming students back to campus? Is Jerry Falwell Jr insane? Probably. In the 7th slot this week is a new “Beating A Dead Horse” (7). OK, Twitter, you know that inviting James Woods back on your service was a bad idea, so why did you do it? Take a time out and go sit in the corner. At slot #8 this week, we get to debut a new segment! This is called “Conspiracy Corner” and we’re going to tell you about the bizarre new drug of choice for Q Anon fans, and they might be on too much of it! At the number 9 (NEIN!!) we have a new People Are Dumb, because of course they are! Finally this week it's time for Stupidest State Round 1 Week 3! This week, it's a battle of #1s and #2s, as over in the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference, #1 Michigan takes on #2 Pennsylvania, while over in the Gun Nut Conference, #1 Oregon takes on perennial favorites #2 Florida! The Elite 8 is shaping up! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

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[font size="8"]The Stimulus Bill
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Remember back during the Bush years when they gave everybody a check for $300 as a way to stimulate the economy? Well if you don’t remember that, I would suggest watching a Futurama episode from 2003 called “Three Hundred Big Boys” in which the Planet Express crew spent their $300 refunds on some absolutely ridiculous items. Well, this Coronavirus stimulus bill is kind of like that. Except we’re all getting $1200. And your bosses are getting some unchecked, very loosely defined rules as to how they get their end of the pie. And this thing is shockingly evil if you read the fine print. Which is what we are here to do.

With the goal of blunting the financial effects of the coronavirus outbreak, the US government committed to a $2 trillion economic stimulus package that includes payments of up to $1,200 to US taxpayers. Checks may start to arrive in three weeks -- assuming you're eligible to receive a stimulus payment.

It's expected that roughly 9 of 10 households could receive a recovery rebate of some amount under the economic stimulus law, which also provides financial aid for businesses staggered by the virus, and expanded unemployment and student-loan assistance. But not everyone will receive the complete payment, and some won't receive a stimulus check at all.

Here's what we know about the individual and household coronavirus relief checks that are part of the federal package -- including finding out if you'll be eligible, how much you can expect to receive and how to receive your payments. We'll update this story as developments occur. (Here's how you should spend the money when you get it and how else you can get financial relief.)

The total amount of your stimulus check will be based on your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from your 2019 federal tax filing or -- if you've not filed this year yet -- your 2018 filing.
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/coronavirus-1200-stimulus-check-see-if-youre-eligible-and-how-much-youll-receive/




Yeah so some of you will be getting the check, some of you won’t. And for those of you who won’t, that will be because it will be at the expense of large corporations also wanting their fair share of the pie, which will mean that they will get it all and we will get peanuts. Shit, $1200 will barely cover the rent in some areas. But here’s why this isn’t the quick fix that many will think it is. And we all know how much Americans love their quick fixes.

A little less than three weeks ago, when the number of people infected with the COVID-19 virus began to spike, Mikael Laboy found himself in a tough spot. The 21-year-old’s job at a biotechnology company in Puerto Rico required him to work in close proximity to his coworkers, and he says his employer wasn’t taking enough precautions to keep them safe. Since he lives with his brother and sister-in-law, who is pregnant, he felt he couldn’t risk accidentally bringing the infection home. So he quit. “There’s people living in my household that I can’t put at risk,” he says.

It was a difficult decision and bills have been stacking up, but recently, there seemed to be a glimmer of hope. On March 27, President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that includes the direct infusion of cash to the majority of Americans—including Laboy. The provision stipulates that any American with a Social Security number who isn’t considered someone else’s dependent and makes up to $75,000 will receive a payment of $1,200.

That means that Laboy, who says he has been struggling economically for three years, would catch a much-needed break. “I’ve been sleeping on the floor for years, being in houses with no furniture, beds, et cetera,” he says. “I’ve had weeks where I spend two or three days without eating just to stretch out the food as much as I can.” For him, the stimulus funds would be a game-changer.
https://time.com/5812750/stimulus-unbanked-checks-coronavirus/




Yeah that’s about what I would expect from the guy who uses the words “beautiful” and “tremendous” the way a Zappa-esque valley girl would use the phrase “like you know whatever”. Yeah OK that was a bit sexist and I do apologize for that. So that covers your average Joe Sixpack, but what does it mean for small business owners? Well they will see money but don’t expect it to last as long as you may need it.

It will take “a week or two" to get the PPP loans flowing, said Chris Maher president of New Jersey-based OceanFirst Bank.

He noted that the government has also injected $10 billion more into the federal Small Business Administration’ emergency loan program, making the loans easier to get. Those loans are ready at participating banks now. But they aren’t intended to be forgiven. “Don’t just grab a program,” he said. Borrowing from SBA too soon might make a customer ineligible for state programs and other alternatives.

“We’ve been on the phone with SBA — they’ve been great — but it’s still not 100 percent clear,” how soon the money will arrive, said Rodger Levenson chief executive of WSFS, the largest bank based in the Philadelphia area. “It will take a little time to come up with a process to handle this unprecedented volume of loans.”

Since banks are ready to lend and businesses have been banking more cash that they can use to reopen, Maher says, he expects coronavirus will be more like a terrible Shore hurricane, sharp and deadly, but leading to a faster recovery than a 2008-style Great Recession.
https://www.inquirer.com/business/small-business/sba-loans-business-coronavirus-20200331.html


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So that covers phase 3. What does phase 4 hold up? Well phase 4 is going to include things like infrastructure and more stimulus money. Because who knows how long this whole thing is supposed to go on for? We could be looking at months before this virus dies the horrible death it deserves. This is going to be a long and rocky road before we can put the Coronavirus behind us. And we personally cannot wait until that day.

Congressional lawmakers put the finishing touches on a $2 trillion stimulus bill to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, with cash and assistance for regular Americans, Main Street businesses and hard-hit airlines and manufacturers, among others.
The Senate passed the bill, 96-0, and the House is set to follow suit Friday.
CNN reporters read through the entire legislation. Here's a list of highlights:
Direct payments to individuals

Under the plan as it was being negotiated, single Americans would receive $1,200, married couples would get $2,400 and parents would see $500 for each child under age 17.
However, the payments would start to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all. The thresholds are doubled for couples.

Student loan payments suspended
The Department of Education would suspend payments on student loan borrowers without penalty through September 30, according to the bill.
CNN reported last week that the Department of Education was planning to allow student loan borrowers to suspend payments without penalty and accruing interest for at least 60 days.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/25/politics/stimulus-package-details-coronavirus/index.html





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[font size="8"]Donald Trump
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So is the country really going to be reopen by Easter? Is it really? If you guessed “no”, you are… absolutely 100% correct! It won’t be Sunday Bloody Sunday. Instead it will be Easter Sunday Bloody Easter Sunday, because if Trump’s plan went through, a lot of people could die. This thing seems to get worse by the day and our president currently has his head stuck up his big, fat ass. Well here’s the thing – the Coronavirus is not going away anytime soon, whether we want it to or not. But Trump is having some completely unrealistic expectations about what he expects the virus is going to do. And here’s the thing – there’s a million projection models out there, and none of them are good. And there’s not a whole lot we can do to make fun of the situation at hand, so we won’t try.

President Donald Trump's predictions that victory is close in the coronavirus crisis are becoming increasingly impossible to square with the harrowing escalation of America's battle against the pandemic.

Trump on Tuesday spied "light at the end of the tunnel" and envisioned packed church pews at Easter as America breaks free of stay-at-home orders and marks the return of its "raring to go" economy.
"I thought it was a beautiful time. A beautiful timeline," the President said Tuesday, making clear that his target date to open the nation by April 12 -- less than three weeks away -- was driven by sentiment and symbolism, not medical data on the virus's fast-tightening grip on the nation.

Anyone can empathize with the President's desire to crank back an economy that has probably already shed millions of jobs and left many Americans wondering how long they can survive without wages. But Trump has political motives too: he needs a swift rebound since the economy's long winning streak represented his best argument for reelection.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/25/politics/donald-trump-coronavirus/index.html




That is not a joke, by the way. that is an actual, unaltered, unedited picture from last year’s White House Easter Egg roll. And you actually have to feel sorry for the Easter Bunny in that picture. He’s probably saying “FML”. Is there anything that he doesn’t make weird or creepy? No. At the very least there is a silver lining here, because this year, we won’t be subjected to creepy Easter Bunny photos.

First lady Melania Trump regretfully announced Monday that the venerable White House Easter Egg Roll next month is canceled "out of an abundance of caution" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She cited the National Emergency Declaration made by President Donald Trump last week.

“The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now,” the first lady said in a statement issued by the White House.

“I deeply regret this cancellation,but we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to ensure a healthy country for the long-term.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2020/03/16/coronavirus-melania-trump-cancels-white-house-easter-egg-roll/5058221002/




Dude, Jay and Silent Bob, take it out on Trump. Don’t take it out on the Easter Bunny. And by the way, Melania, your husband put us in this position because he called the virus a hoax! And come on, are empty pews really a bad thing? So the Christian right doesn’t get their annual traditions in. Big fucking deal. We’re all making sacrifices right now, they should have to make some too.

President Donald Trump is determined to ease coronavirus restrictions on most Americans by the Easter holiday -- auspicious timing for his evangelical base and business allies but a worrisome deadline for public-health experts shaping the U.S. response to a still mushrooming outbreak.

Trump’s impatience to get everyone back to work set in almost immediately after he urged everyone to stay home -- touched off as he watched a sermon delivered by a prominent evangelical preacher to an empty megachurch. It gained momentum as Trump listened to advice from conservative economists who warned of near-apocalyptic financial damage, a view reinforced by a free-fall in markets.

And it coalesced around a single day, among the most sacred in the Christian calendar -- Easter Sunday, April 12 -- for reasons more symbolic than scientific after a key meeting headed by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner just four days after the stay-at-home advice.

Trump’s public-health advisers appear to have made some headway in softening his insistence on that single day -- “a beautiful time, a beautiful timeline,” as the president has called it -- but he largely remains undeterred.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-27/how-trump-picked-easter-as-back-to-normal-date-despite-outbreak




A Beautiful Timeline? OK the title of the next musical bio picture aside, there’s nothing about this that is beautiful. In fact I could spend this entire edition posting stat after stat saying there’s no such thing as what Trump is talking about. In fact, you could say that he is pulling these figures directly out of his ass, and that’s not a pretty sight, I can guarantee you that! Instead, I’ll show you what changed his mind and leave it at that.

US Christian leaders have criticised Donald Trump’s Easter coronavirus deadline – by which he wants to see much of the country reopened and churches full. One described it as the “height of hypocrisy”.

As US coronavirus cases and deaths continued to soar, the president said on Tuesday he wanted to reopen “large sections of the country” by Easter Sunday – 12 April – when there would be “packed churches all over our country”.

His comments came despite warnings from White House taskforce members Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, the latter saying she was “deeply concerned” about New York and its surrounding area.

On Wednesday the number of confirmed US cases rose to 54,453 and 737 deaths, according to figures from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/25/trump-coronavirus-easter-christian-leaders-respond





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[font size="8"]My Pillow Guy
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We currently live in a fucking cartoon. Actually no, we live in an infomercial that runs during the really late night shift once Stephen Colbert is over. Trump’s press conferences are so insane that I keep expecting him to say “BUT WAIT!! THERE’S MORE!!!”. Hell, I also keep expecting to hear the 1-800-EMPIRE commercial jingle in the background. Oh yeah that happened. And dude, when we’re all hurting for answers as to what the fuck is really going on, maybe don’t invite the fucking My Pillow Guy to a White House press conference!!! Really what the hell did you expect that would happen Trump? He turned official government business into one of his MAGA rallies.

President Donald Trump kicked off Monday’s press briefing on the coronavirus much like every other, by running through daily updates about the deadly virus and the White House efforts to eradicate it.

But unlike in typical briefings throughout the pandemic, in which various members of the administration discuss what their agencies are doing to combat the virus or help blunt its economic toll, Trump yielded the stage first to a handful of business leaders — one of them a staunch supporter who went off script in a moment of effusive praise for the president.

The Trump administration has involved business leaders in nearly every aspect of its response to the pandemic, leaning heavily on private-public partnerships to respond to the virus, which has rapidly spread and touched nearly every industry in the country, so it wasn‘t their presence alone that was unusual.

Among those he introduced Monday were the “great leader” of Honeywell, as well as the CEOs of Jockey, Procter & Gamble and United Technologies, all of whom laid out how their companies were fulfilling what Trump described as “their patriotic duty” to fight the virus.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/30/my-pillow-lindell-trump-coronavirus-156335




There’s honestly nothing you can say because this is too fucking stupid to be able to believed, but then again this is the year 2020 here. And for the people who say “Oh he’s only trying to help, what have you done?”. Well, to that I say “fuck you!!!”. Seriously you can’t pray this thing away, and just like gun violence, your thoughts and prayers aren’t going to work. And for Trump to use his platform for this guy, well, that’s sad.

After MyPillow founder Mike Lindell appeared Monday during a White House coronavirus task force briefing to announce his company's intention to produce face masks to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus, the term "My Pillow" became the number one trending topic on Twitter.

Lindell told reporters he had diverted 75 percent of his company's manufacturing capabilities to producing cotton face masks with a goal of creating 50,000 masks per day by Friday.

After speaking about what his company was doing to help in the fight against coronavirus, Lindell made some comments which he called "off the cuff."

"God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on," Lindell said, referencing the date President Donald Trump was elected. "God had been taken out of schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God. I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the Word, read our Bibles and spend time with our families."
https://www.newsweek.com/my-pillow-trends-after-mypillow-founder-urges-americans-focus-religion-during-white-house-1495165




Yeah no, your prayers aren’t going to work, Mike. You need way more than that to stop this virus from killing a whole lot of us. But to claim that Trump’s presidency is an act of God, well, that is so fucking stupid I can’t even come up with a response to it. Does that mean that God is a raging asshole? Oh yeah and if you think Mike’s masks will be the same quality as his pillows, there’s this from last year that you might have missed.

May 9 was the last day of work for 150 employees in the MyPillow production department in Shakopee.

The company is launching a new online store for inventors and “due to this new direction,” changing production at MyPillow. The employees have been informed of other job opportunities outside of the company, if they choose, according to the company.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said in a prepared statement the layoffs will allow the company to launch his next venture: an online store for entrepreneurs and inventors to sell their products. The new venture, called MyStore.com, will be run out of MyPillow’s Shakopee factories.

“As we prepare for the launch of MyStore.com, we are changing the layout of our Shakopee factories so the fulfillment and shipping of all MyStore products can happen here,” Lindell said.
https://www.swnewsmedia.com/shakopee_valley_news/news/local/mypillow-lays-off-from-shakopee-factory/article_205f5657-b9a4-59bf-92a4-4ab05638838f.html




Oh and by the way, do we really need this guy in any position of power? There’s no way this guy is equipped to be governor of anywhere. And if you think running the country like a business is the way to go, well, it got us here. In the middle of a global pandemic that is affecting literally everyone. So yeah, no, fuck you Mike. I hope the good people of Minnesota are better than you.

President Donald Trump introduced those tuning into his nightly coronavirus task force briefing on Monday to a special guest: Mike Lindell, the multimillionaire inventor and CEO of the MyPillow empire.

"Boy, do you sell those pillows," Trump said, asking him to step up to the mic and tell Americans how his company was helping them deal with the outbreak. Lindell then launched into a short infomercial for his company, going on to describe how the firm was manufacturing cotton face masks and effusively praising the president for his pandemic stewardship.

“I did not know he was going to do that, but he is a friend of mine, and I do appreciate it,” Trump said.

It’s hardly their first encounter. Lindell has told associates that the president is encouraging him to run for governor of Minnesota in 2022, to “keep Minnesota red beyond” the 2020 race, according to a person with direct knowledge of his comments.

Trump told him that “he really wants me to run,” according to the source, who spoke with Lindell in late February soon after the MyPillow CEO’s conversation with Trump in the White House.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/30/trump-nudging-mypillow-lindell-run-office-156195





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[font size="8"]People Who Somehow Got Elected: Tate Reeves
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Politicians at the state and local levels who are so toxic, you wonder how they’re able to get away with the things they get away with. This is:



This week – Mississippi governor Tate Reeves. Just like the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, Tate Reeves seems to just not care that a lot of his people are going to die from COVID-19. Just as in Florida, which seems to have a few very loosely defined restrictions on COVID-19 gatherings, Mississippi also does the same. In fact, you might say that they have even looser restrictions on public gatherings. And it’s because, economy, stupid. Yes, Tate Reeves is willing to put your lives at risk because he doesn’t feel that your life is worth more than your contributions to the economy are. And because of that, you will most likely die.

Gov. Tate Reeves said as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some areas of Mississippi, he is ready and able to issue a shelter-in-place order if needed.

“As we look at the days and weeks ahead, and as the data suggested and the experts recommended, please understand that there is a very real possibility that for certain communities in our state, a shelter-in-place order is imminent,” Reeves said. “I am committed to do everything I can do in a responsible way to protect my fellow Mississippians, and that’s going to be difficult on a lot of people. Nobody necessarily wants to be shut in their own home by the government. It’s not something that I will do lightly, but if the data suggests it and the experts recommend it, I will do it.”

Reeves and state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs were live Sunday afternoon on Facebook, where they stressed the need for social distancing and isolation to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Dobbs said the Mississippi State Health Department wants to do more expansive testing to identify those who are positive for COVID-19 and then track their "little cluster" contacts so they may be quarantined for a couple weeks. Doing so will help prevent the need for a broader quarantine order, Dobbs said. He compared it to pruning a bush rather than burning the bush.
https://www.wapt.com/article/reeves-signs-order-to-help-mississippians-out-of-work-because-of-covid-19-crisis/31970338#




Yes, you suck for sure. Sure, he could be ready, or he could not. In fact this should have been issued weeks ago. but leave it to the Gulf Coast states to screw it up for the rest of us who really could have seen this coming. But what is Mississippi doing? While other states have much stricter rules against this sort of thing, it seems that anything goes in Mississippi. Even the mayors of the cities are divided on this.

Mayors across the state are taking it upon themselves to clarify to their residents that curfews, restaurant bans, and stay-at-home orders remain in place after an executive order from the governor's office earlier this week muddled the waters.

Cities and counties and the state are operating under different guidelines on ways to protect their residents, resulting in confusion across the state, several mayors said.

In some cities, officials are dispatching their police and fire departments to enforce the public safety orders as they fear residents will not take them as serious as they should.

Meanwhile, reports of restaurants re-opening their dining rooms or churches preparing to worship in person are also circulating, raising concerns from city officials who are trying to stem the transmission of the coronavirus.

Still other mayors stand behind the governor's order which they say gives local officials the proper authority without forcing their hand. The best people to understand what measures to take are those on the ground and in the region, they say. https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2020/03/28/mississippi-mayors-divided-gov-reeves-coronavirus-directives/2925959001/




There aren’t enough facepalms for things that are going on in the world right now. Even the former governor of Mississippi is yelling at Gov. Reeves and telling him to shelter in place. And the rest of the country is going “THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE TWO WEEKS AGO YOU MORON!!!”. Well, things are going to get very ugly for the state of Mississippi.

Mayor: step up COVID-19 restrictions. Governor: prays

The mayor of a coastal Mississippi city called on the governor Sunday to step up restrictions imposed because of COVID-19.

Gov. Tate Reeves “needs to shut down the state,” Moss Point Mayor Mario King told WLOX-TV on Sunday.

Moss Point is a city in Jackson County, which had 35 of the nearly 760 cases in Mississippi as of Sunday. Moss Point’s 13,700 residents include 19 who have the disease, King said.

He said he planned an emergency meeting Sunday of the city’s Board of Aldermen.

“This is serious,” King said. “People are not social distancing, they are continuing to have large gatherings. We are going to have to step it up a notch.”
https://www.magnoliastatelive.com/2020/03/29/mississippi-mayor-urges-governor-to-shut-down-the-state-over-coronavirus/




There aren’t enough facepalms for this. But apparently if you live in Mississippi, your governor values his state’s economy over your life. So much in fact that he’s not willing to listen to rhyme or reason to protect the citizens of his state. Oh yeah and it’s his fucking job to do that! In the end is it going to be incompetence that will cause our demise? You betcha!

“I’m so frustrated by the whole thing,” said Smithson, the former director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and, before that, director of military support for the Mississippi National Guard. “The only thing I can do is minimize my outings and take care of my family. I think it’s going to get a whole lot worse.”

“We’re looking at economics over public health.”

Smithson is one of thousands of Mississippians who have implored Reeves to issue stay-at-home orders for all but essential operations, including health care and emergency response.

Instead, Reeves has signed an executive order that allows all manner of businesses to continue operating, including restaurants with limited seating, retail stores and auto dealerships.

In a Facebook post, Reeves referenced the state’s pandemic response plan, adopted in 2013.

The plan’s objective is public health. The introduction says, “The response phase will include steps to activate response systems, prevent the spread of disease, prevent severe clinical outcomes in the ill, ensure that adequate support exists for response activities and ensure the continuity of operations across the state.”
https://www.sunherald.com/news/coronavirus/article241559831.html


Yup, America, with people like this at the helm, we’re screwed. That’s Mississippi governor Tate Reeves, yet another in the growing list of:




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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: Coronavirus Scams & Fake Cures
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It’s time to investigate beyond the headlines! This is Top 10 Investigates!



The spread of the novel coronavirus has launched a spread of misinformation out there. It’s also launched a share of scams, cons, and fake cures. While COVID-19 has brought life to a near halt around the globe, that hasn’t stopped the worst of us from making a profit off this deadly disease and subsequent disaster that has followed. Which has turned America and the rest of the world into a hotbed rife for scamming. In fact there’s so much scamming and phishing going on right now that the Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines that will help you deal with the forthcoming barrage of scamming from this disaster.

Through emails, text messages and phone calls, scammers are targeting their victims and they're using the COVID-19 pandemic to get the job done. It's unknown how many people have been swindled, but 3 On Your Side doesn't want you to be the next victim.

So, first up, be aware of the Coronavirus Test Kit Scam. It works when a scammer calls you. A recent audio clip released by the Federal Communications Commission shows how the scam works.

“The Coronavirus Response Act has made coronavirus testing more accessible immediately,” the scammer says. “If you want to receive a free testing kit delivered overnight to your home, press 1. If you do not want your free testing, press 2."

Due to the shortage of test kits, the scammer hopes you'll call back and pay for something that really doesn't exist.

Then, there's Social Security Scam that targets senior citizens.
https://www.azfamily.com/news/investigations/3_on_your_side/originals/fcc-sees-increase-in-covid-19-scams/article_757ed7f4-72b8-11ea-b479-d35615c39e1a.html




If you’re a senior especially, be extremely careful about answering that phone or replying to that text message if it’s not from a number that you don’t know. Medication seems to be one of the scams that is emerging from this virus pandemic. But it is a good thing that governments are cracking down on this sort of thing because the virus has everyone terrified to leave or even answer the phone.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reissued an alert regarding scammers who tried to trick people into handing over private medical information by impersonating representatives from local public health departments.

Nessel said the suspects called residents to offer medication and at-home COVID-19 tests before asking for their Medicaid and Medicare numbers, purportedly for billing purposes. Incoming calls from scammers are also jamming local health departments’ phone lines, Nessel said, delaying important responses to COVID-19.

“Scammers are still on a quest to take advantage of this public health crisis to gain access to your private information," Nessel said in a statement. "As we continue to work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, I want to remind all Michiganders to stay on high alert for scam calls, emails and text or direct messages on social media.

Reports so far have been focused on the Ionia County Health Department and the Benzie Leelanau Public Health Department, Nessel said. The Attorney General’s office previously issued a consumer alert last week and reissued the alert Monday to increase awareness.
https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/03/michigan-attorney-general-warns-of-scammers-imitating-health-officials-during-coronavirus-pandemic.html




That’s easier said than done. In fact you are going to need to be very vigilant in the forthcoming weeks to protect yourself. So how do you protect yourself from Coronavirus scammers? Well for one thing just like any scam the key is to not give out any personal information to anyone, just like you would in normal, everyday life. Because you can never be too careful.

Do not give out your PayPal account information, Social Security number, bank account number or anything else if someone claims such information is essential to sign you up for a stimulus check relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

It's not. It's a scam.

It's time to warn consumers once again that we need to practice some social distancing from the scammers.

The FBI, state attorneys general and other agencies are alerting Americans that phone calls, texts or emails asking for personal or financial information to get the $1,200 federal payment are not legit.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Thursday issued what she called "an urgent consumer alert" relating to scammers who play up federal stimulus checks. In other states, the Better Business Bureau has reported that the level of "stimulus scams" has gone through the roof. The real stimulus cash is likely to hit bank accounts within the next three weeks or later, but taxpayers don't have to sign up to get the money. Checks are expected to take longer. And yes, some people could experience delays.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/03/28/coronavirus-covid-19-stimulus-checks-scams/2934056001/




See? Even the kids can see that this is a scam. You’ve got $1200 and they want it, and they are coming for it. Even worse – there’s people who will perform back alley operations for you. Yes, much like the meat market in Futurama, there’s the possibility of people offering cures for the virus in a back alley if your hospital has too many long lines. Gotta love deregulated America, right? So yeah if you come across this guy, don’t do it.

FBI agents arrested a Georgia man Monday on charges that he accepted kickbacks from medical testing companies by referring people for COVID-19 testing who didn't need it to fraudulently get Medicare reimbursement.

Court documents said Erik Santos, 49, of Braselton, Georgia, engaged in a large-scale scheme to defraud the government by soliciting and receiving payments from companies involved in medical testing in exchange for steering people to those companies for expensive tests that Medicare would pay for.

Prosecutors said he was already getting kickbacks for unnecessary cancer screenings when the pandemic hit.

Prosecutors said Santos told a government informant during a March 19 phone call that "while there are people going through what they are going through, you can either go bankrupt or you can prosper," and added, "Everybody has been chasing the COVID dollar bird."
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/coronavirus-kickbacks-fbi-arrests-georgia-man-large-scale-unnecessary-testing-n1172101




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! 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! We are only conducting this second online meeting for the duration of this unholy virus infecting the landscape. But that said, my fellow zealots are not taking this thing seriously. So with that in mind we’re going to take a look at some incidents around the country that will show that this is the work of GAWD. Now GAWD wants people to come together. He truly wants that. But in this time of pandemic and isolation, that’s incredibly hard to do. However, the people who pray to JAYSUS are , well, lost to the message right now. See, if we stay at home, the virus goes away sooner. But if we keep congregating, this is going to go on months. Which would you rather have? I know which my choice and the choice of our LAWRD would be!

As Liberty University’s spring break was drawing to a close this month, Jerry Falwell Jr., its president, spoke with the physician who runs Liberty’s student health service about the rampaging coronavirus.

“We’ve lost the ability to corral this thing,” Dr. Thomas W. Eppes Jr. said he told Mr. Falwell. But he did not urge him to close the school. “I just am not going to be so presumptuous as to say, ‘This is what you should do and this is what you shouldn’t do,’” Dr. Eppes said in an interview.

So Mr. Falwell — a staunch ally of President Trump and an influential voice in the evangelical world — reopened the university last week, igniting a firestorm. As of Friday, Dr. Eppes said, nearly a dozen Liberty students were sick with symptoms that suggested Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Three were referred to local hospital centers for testing. An additional eight were told to self-isolate.

As of 8 p.m. on March 29, of those three students tested, one was positive, one was negative and one student’s results are still pending, according to Dr. Eppes, who added that the student who tested positive for Covid-19 lives off campus.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/us/politics/coronavirus-liberty-university-falwell.html




Yes, you need JAYSUS! And just because that one student lives off campus, that does not make it OK to do that, Falwell! Now here’s where actions have consequences! Jerry, you should have been punished by your almighty GAWD. But you didn’t listen. And now you will instead be punished by the state. And you do not want to be punished by the state. Because, as I said, actions have consequences!

Virginia’s governor on Monday ordered all higher education institutions to stop any in-person instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic, a move likely directed at Liberty University.

The evangelical college in Lynchburg led by President Jerry Falwell Jr. has faced intense criticism over its decision to welcome students back to campus last week after the end of their spring break. The vast majority of classes have been moved online, but the university has said publicly that in-person instruction was necessary for a few select courses.

“We are currently reviewing what the governor said but aren’t able to make a comment at this moment,” said Liberty spokesman Scott Lamb.

Lamb said he couldn’t immediately say whether any in-person instruction was continuing Monday, but the university’s website specifically mentioned that flight training for aeronautics courses would “remain in the traditional face to face format.”
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/virginia-orders-end-to-in-person-classes-after-liberty-university-reopens-2020-03-30




Now see here’s where actions have consequences. Because Falwell did what he did, the governor of Virginia locked out all schools until this quarantine is over! Yeah, you got this in trouble for the rest of us, Jerry. Switching gears, let’s go over to our favorite state of Florida where a pastor has landed himself in some extremely hot water for violating the state and CDC rules on this sort of thing. See, this is why this thing is going to drag on months instead of weeks.

Megachurch Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne and the River at Tampa Bay Church had been warned.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip that the pastor planned to hold services Sunday in violation of county orders asking residents to stay home and limit gatherings to slow the coronavirus. Sheriff’s officials said they warned church lawyers on Friday and Sunday about the “dangerous environment they were creating for their members and the community.”

But Howard-Browne, the self-proclaimed “Holy Ghost bartender” and COVID-19 conspiracy theorist, ignored those warnings. He held two large services on Sunday, deputies said, and even bused people in to the church at 3738 River International Drive.

The church live-streamed the morning “Main Event” service on its Facebook page, showing congregants shoulder-to-shoulder while the church band played.
https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/03/30/tampa-church-holds-packed-service-draws-warning-from-sheriffs-office/




Yeah probably! But the good LAWRD JAYSUS wouldn’t put people in jeopardy like that. though, but look at that almighty palace of a church though! Wouldn’t you want to worship there, now? Well considering the toxic politics of the main pastor we wouldn’t. Though here’s why this is a bad idea no matter which way you look at it. Let’s go back to Virginia where another pastor threatens to break curfew.

Right-wing pastor E.W. Jackson posted a video on Facebook last night in which he vowed to hold services this Sunday at his The Called Church in Chesapeake, Virginia, in defiance of the stay-at-home order issued Monday by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Jackson, who has been promising members of his congregation that they will not become infected by the virus because they are protected by God, declared that Northam’s executive order is nothing more than a blatant attempt to permanently close down churches and vowed to defy it, even as fellow right-wing pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was arrested yesterday for holding services in defiance of a similar order in Florida.

“[They] couldn’t figure out how to shut these churches down and shut them up, but [they] finally got an excuse to do so,” Jackson fumed. “We’re going to have our worship services. We are. We’ve got enough room in our sanctuary for the numbers showing up to do social distancing, but I am not going to stop worshiping God, we are not going to stop gathering together because I don’t believe that any governor has the constitutional authority to tell me we can’t.”
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/e-w-jackson-vows-to-hold-church-services-in-defiance-of-virginias-stay-at-home-order/




Oh yeah, let them be mad. The sooner we get this over with the better! That’s it this week, mass has ended, may you go in peace! That’s it this week for:




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[font size="8"]Beating A Dead Horse: Twitter Vs James Woods
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Now Twitter, what did you learn? You knew that James Woods is a toxic asshole but you let him out of the bag anyways. And guess what? You learned nothing. In fact not only did you not learn nothing, this is what one might call a “circular firing squad”. Because what he did to Florida’s Andrew Gillum, who is currently suffering from his own mess, might be what one would call “rubbing salt in the wound”. And not only did Mr. Woods rub some salt in the wound. We’ve talked a lot about celebrities being banned from Twitter and their love-hate affair with social media. But this might take things to a whole new extreme. Hold your boos.

Citing violations against the social media site's internal rules, Twitter locked the account @RealJamesWoods, limiting the actor's ability to use the platform. While locked, account holders cannot tweet or retweet, but can still browse the social media platform.

"We may ask you to complete certain actions before we start the countdown on your limited state," Twitter explains in its Help Center. "These actions may include verifying your email address, adding a phone number to your account, or removing Tweets that are in violation of our rules."

While the exact conditions of Woods' lock are unknown, a screenshot circulating on social media suggest that his account was temporarily locked for a tweet about the former Tallahassee mayor and 2018 Florida gubernatorial candidate.

"Just remember, this could have been Florida's governor in the midst of the #WuhanCoronaVirus pandemic," Woods wrote in the tweet. "Make sure you vote #Republican in November like your life depends on it. Because it does."

But it wasn't Woods' words that prompted the ban. Along with the tweet, Woods also shared a photograph allegedly related to a Miami Beach Police Department report. Early in March, police were called to a hotel after midnight and found Gillum inebriated alongside a man suffering from a possible drug overdose. Police found suspected crystal meth in the hotel room, which Gillum denied using in a prepared statement released to the press.
https://www.newsweek.com/james-woods-twitter-feed-locked-freejameswoods-return-andrew-gillum-1494188




Yeah BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Of course you already knew that James Woods was a pompous, self-serving asshole. The perfect mind for Trump to attract. But James Woods wasn’t the only prominent conservative being banned from posting on Twitter. Look at what happened when Rudy Giuliani broke Twitter’s now heavily reinforced rule about hawking misinformation about COVID-19.

Twitter removed a message by Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus and making groundless attacks on Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

In the tweet on Friday, Giuliani quoted conservative youth activist Charlie Kirk, who claimed that an unproven anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine "in at least three international tests was found 100% effective in treating the coronavirus," according to screen shots of the message published by Mediate.

He went on to quote Kirk claiming that Whitmer, who in recent days has been targeted in attacks by Trump, is "threatening" doctors who prescribe the drug.

The drug has also been touted by Trump as a potential coronavirus cure — but doctors have warned that it can cause cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that can be fatal for patients with heart conditions.

Twitter confirmed to multiple news outlets that it had temporarily locked the account and removed the tweet.
https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-twitter-deletes-giuliani-tweet-for-spreading-misinformation-2020-3




Yeah so here’s the thing, conservatives. You can whine and cry all you want about “shadow banning” (not a thing). You can claim that there’s a social media war against conservatives (again, also not a thing). But in the end, just like a bad breakup, you have to tell yourself “It’s not them, it’s me.”. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at what happened when The Federalist also tried to be complete dicks during this pandemic. Yeah, they actually went there!

On March 25, The Federalist published an article suggesting “controlled voluntary infection” -- similar to “chickenpox parties" -- as a potential solution to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. The astoundingly irresponsible suggestion, hinging on the advice of an unlicensed dermatologist and businessman, is only the latest in The Federalist’s recklessly dangerous coronavirus coverage.

The article, written by Douglas A. Perednia, argues that the mitigation and suppression of the disease through tactics like social distancing will only cripple the economy for future generations and won’t resolve the problem in the long term. In order to avoid economic devastation and other issues, Perednia suggests that people voluntarily contract coronavirus to build herd immunity. Though the article identified Perednia as a physician in Oregon, his medical license has expired and he appears to have “spent the last 25 years as a businessman of various sorts.”

The article contradicts the harsh steps experts have warned need to be taken in order to avoid a nightmare scenario with coronavirus, and Twitter ultimately took down a tweet from The Federalist promoting the article (and locked its account) for violating rules on the spread of disinformation about COVID-19. (In a twisted coincidence, on the day the article was published, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear lambasted individuals for taking part in a “coronavirus party,” where one person ended up testing positive for the virus.)
https://www.mediamatters.org/coronavirus-covid-19/federalist-suggests-controlled-voluntary-infection-latest-example-its-reckless




And let’s hope this doesn’t become a thing. Look, conservatives, it’s not social media sites, its’ you. It doesn’t matter if you’re James Woods or the Federalist. We’re all in this together. You can keep your social media accounts. Just don’t be a dick. Also, don’t hawk dangerously misleading information from a guy whose organization became famous for wearing diapers to promote safe spaces! So yeah every time you’re a dick on social media, you’re playing with fire. Just look at the last time James Woods got banned from Twitter.

President Donald Trump attacked social media websites after a number of conservatives and extremist figures were banned from platforms, saying that he was monitoring the situation.

Trump spent parts of Friday and Saturday criticizing Twitter and Facebook, declaring, "I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms," he wrote on Twitter. Trump has repeatedly asserted that social media companies exhibit bias against conservatives, something the companies have rejected as untrue.

"It’s getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media!" Trump wrote, following in another tweet, "This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!

The president’s comments came after Facebook this week banned Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones and other extremists, saying they violated its ban on “dangerous individuals.” The company also removed right-wing personalities Paul Nehlen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer, along with Jones’ site, Infowars, which often posts false conspiracy theories. The latest bans apply both to Facebook’s main service and to Instagram and extend to fan pages and other related accounts.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/04/donald-trump-attacks-twitter-facebook-james-woods-banned/1102418001/





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[font size="8"]Conspiracy Corner
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Hey everyone welcome to our first ever edition of a segment that we’re sure will take off – Conspiracy Corner! Yes, it’s the segment where we dissect the latest batshit nuttery from conservative conspiracy theorists. And you can rest assured that in this day and age where there’s a killer virus on the loose, the tin foil hat batshit will be flying hard and fast! And specifically I want to start by talking about a conspiracy that I knew nothing about until COVID hit Kathy Griffin last week, and the usual amount of hate coming from Trump trolls was exactly what I expected was there. But then there was this absolutely baffling conspiracy theory that I had no idea even existed until now. And this might be the single nuttiest thing they’ve come up with yet.

Right-wing “journalist” and Trump–worshiping conspiracy theorist Liz Crokin posted a video on YouTube last week in which she declared that the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is really just a cover for the Trump administration to carry out the mass arrests long promised by QAnon, the right-wing conspiracy theory that posits that President Donald Trump has been working diligently to arrest countless prominent political, media, and business leaders for allegedly being part of a global satanic pedophile ring.

Crokin doubled down on this predication in a new video that she posted last night in which she and also speculated that celebrities like Tom Hanks and Idris Elba have contracted the virus by drinking adrenochrome that had been intentionally laced with the virus by “the white hats”—a computer security term used to refer to hackers who use their skills for good.

“I also believe that this virus was created by the cabal, specifically Bill Gates,” Crokin said. “I also believe that the good guys, the white hats, knew that they were going to release this virus, and they intercepted their plans to use this virus as a false flag. They are now using their plans with the virus against them by using the virus as an excuse to lock down the country and many other countries, so the military can go in and safely conduct these raids and military operations to sweep up these criminals.”

“There’s a lot of anons (i.e., believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory) that believe the white hats tainted the elite’s adrenochrome supply with the coronavirus, and that’s why so many members of the elite are getting the coronavirus,” she added. “Adrenochrome is a drug that the elites love. It comes from children. The drug is extracted from the pituitary gland of tortured children. It’s sold on the black market. It’s the drug of the elites. It is their favorite drug. It is beyond evil. It is demonic. It is so sick. So there is a theory that the white hats tainted the adrenochrome supply with the coronavirus.”
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/liz-crokin-claims-celebrities-are-getting-coronavirus-from-tainted-adrenochrome-supply/




Absolutely! This might be the craziest thing I’ve ever heard coming from the Trump / Q crowd, and I’ve heard them say a lot of crazy shit. So their quest to find a global satanic pedophile ring has dwindled into believing that a tainted batch of a drug is made from the brainstems of children and aborted babies. See, this is what happens when we lack access to mental health facilities. They tend to become conspiracy theorists. So just how crazy are they lately? Well let’s ask Tom Hanks’ son, Chet.

Following a bizarre video posted to Instagram, Tom Hanks' son, Chet, now loses it completely over claims his family is involved with the Illuminati and the coronavirus.

After his mother and father were diagnosed with the coronavirus, Chet Hanks took to Instagram to post a shirtless video of himself where he offered an update about his parents' condition.

Conspiracy theorists immediately recognized the All-Seeing Eye of the Illuminati, aka the All-Seeing Eye of Horus, aka the All-Seeing Eye of Lucifer (in some circles), tattooed on the 29-year-old's chest.

The bizarre video saw Chet Hanks say that it came to his attention that a lot of Trump supporters realized the truth about him and his family, that they are Illuminati.

It also didn't help that his father, Tom Hanks, dropped the number "201" in a tweet about the coronavirus, as right around the release of the Coronavirus in China, the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY.
https://cosmicbook.news/tom-hanks-son-chet-illuminati




Yes, you absolutely sound insane, oh followers of the Q! I think I get it now – Tom Hanks is using 5G technology to send tainted batches of adrenochrome to his fellow celebrities so they purposefully get Coronavirus as part of an illuminati plot to destroy Trump! It’s so obvious now! Except of course for that part about nothing in that sentence being true. But this whole thing is all part of a massive disinformation campaign.

Scientific warnings are being ignored, misinformation is spreading, and prominent Republicans have said that addressing the problem is either too expensive or too difficult. No, this isn’t climate change: This is the new reality of the novel coronavirus, the deadly pandemic sweeping the planet.

Over the past several weeks, as global cases of COVID-19 have climbed to over 500,000, conspiracy theories and fake news have also been on the rise. On Monday a man died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate, an ingredient in an anti-malarial drug that President Trump had heralded as a coronavirus cure.

Meanwhile, the website Snopes has been forced to scale back its fact-checking work in response to the overwhelming number of fake stories around the pandemic. (Some disturbing highlights: claims that the coronavirus was released by world governments to distract from a planet-ending doomsday asteroid, or that breathing hot air from a hair dryer can kill the virus.)

But these wild conspiracy theories hide a larger problem: widespread skepticism about the severity of the crisis. President Trump downplayed the risk of the virus for months, saying the situation was “very much under control” and that the pandemic would go away by April. Anchors on Fox News initially denied that the coronavirus was a significant threat, calling concerned scientists and policymakers “panic pushers” conspiring to take down the president. Sean Hannity referred to it as “a new hoax.”
https://grist.org/climate/misinformation-kills-the-link-between-coronavirus-conspiracies-and-climate-denial/




Dude, come on, you know things are bullshit when you overload Snopes. I mean that’s a site dedicated to tracking bullshit! You broke the fact checker, conspiracy theorists! I hope you are happy with yourselves! But this has opened up a can of worms that should not have been opened! Here’s the thing people, keep your god damn fake news and conspiracy theories to yourself. You want to see where this is leading? Let’s head to Iran to find out!

Two peculiarities to Iran are undercutting its response. One, Iranian scientists say, is U.S.-led sanctions that cripple the country’s ability to import drugs and protective gear or produce them at home. “It’s medical terrorism imposed on Iranian civilians,” fumes Mohammad Kazem Jafari, president of the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology in Tehran. The other is self-inflicted: Iranian media has been awash with dubious “cures” for COVID-19—hundreds of Iranians reportedly have died or become blind after consuming bootleg methanol—and rhetoric dismissing the outbreak as a Western plot. “It’s a high-stakes battle between science and conspiracy theories,” says Kaveh Madani, an Iran specialist at Yale University and formerly a senior environmental official in Iran.

Iran reported its first confirmed COVID-19 cases on 19 February: two fatalities in the holy city of Qom. Many observers suspect the virus had gained a foothold earlier, and its spread may have been accelerated by rallies across Iran on 11 February to mark the anniversary of the 1979 revolution that drew hundreds of thousands of people, then by parliamentary elections 10 days later. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei implored Iranians to come to the polls—the virus, he said, was being used as a pretext “to discourage people from voting.”

As the disease spread, Iran’s health ministry teamed up with the military and volunteers to equip and staff more than 1200 centers nationwide to screen for infected individuals, says Reza Malekzadeh, vice minister for research. But the government resisted imposing social distancing. President Hassan Rouhani on 25 February called the novel coronavirus “one of the enemy’s plots to bring our country into closure by spreading panic.”
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/iran-confronts-coronavirus-amid-battle-between-science-and-conspiracy-theories





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[font size="8"]People Are Dumb
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Hit it!



Of course you know by now that people are people, and people are dumb. And while we’re all sidelined by the Coronavirus, you can rest assured that there’s no shortage of stupid people even while we’re all quarantined. And not only are we learning that people are dumb, we’re also learning that people are gross. Now I don’t want to report this as being stupid but in this day and age where there’s a supervirus living among us, this kind of thing just flat out should not happen. So here’s the thing, while people are inexplicably buying toilet paper, others are coming up with some various ways to cope. So much that the EPA is issuing a statement saying “don’t do this!!!!”.

The all-caps message on the new sign that went up in Redding, California, after the coronavirus came to town could not be any clearer: ONLY FLUSH TOILET PAPER.

It made its debut last week on the corner of Smile Place and Russell Street after a desperate soul clogged one of the city’s sewer lines by wiping with pieces of shredded T-shirt — and flushing them down the toilet, the city confirmed.

Quick work by members of the city’s Department of Public Works averted what could have been a smelly disaster, officials there said.

“The sewer line that had plugged up last week was not substantially different than any other sewer blockage from people flushing products that they aren’t supposed to, just that it was during the toilet paper shortage and was intentionally flushed in lieu of traditional toilet paper,” Ryan Bailey, assistant director of public works, said in an email to NBC News. “The item was specifically cut T-shirts.”

What happened in Redding is not an anomaly.

There have been reports of sewage systems and toilets clogging across the country as Americans faced with a shortage of toilet paper have resorted to using baby wipes, paper towels, napkins and tissues — and flushing them away.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/americans-coping-coronavirus-are-clogging-toilets-wipes-t-shirts-n1168706




Yes, listen to the great Cornholio. By using anything other than TP, and flushing that thing down the toilet, you are putting your life in danger. Speaking of people putting other people’s lives in danger, don’t be like this next moron. It’s one thing to accidentally cough in a public place, it’s another thing to intentionally cough. And in the days of Coronavirus and social distancing, that’s actually putting someone’s life in danger.

At a time when grocery store workers and truck drivers are putting in long hours and selflessly risking COVID-19 exposure to keep the shelves in our communities stocked, a "very twisted prank" just forced a supermarket in Pennsylvania to throw away practically their entire inventory of fresh produce.

"Today was a very challenging day," Joe Fasula, the co-owner of Gerrity's Supermarkets, posted on the store's Facebook page Wednesday. "At 2:20 PM today, I got a call from our Hanover Township store. The manager informed me that a woman, who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community, came in to the store and proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case and grocery. While there is little doubt this woman was doing it as a very twisted prank, we will not take any chances with the health and well-being of our customers. We had no choice but to throw out all product she came in contact with."

The supermarket is now working with their local health inspector to ensure that they have identified and properly disinfected each of the areas that the woman potentially contaminated. They say, as a result, they have had to throw out more than $35,000 worth of food — a devastating thought at a time when many Americans are lining up to shop for necessities.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/supermarket-throws-out-35k-fresh-produce-after-woman-purposefully-coughs-on-it-coronavirus-scare/




Yeah let’s save the boos for a new segment: “People Are Awful”. Speaking of people who are fucking awful, there’s the Coronavirus challenge going around. Yes, people think getting a deadly disease that fries your lungs is fucking hilarious. Just ask Tate Reeves and Key Ivey. It’s hilarious don’t you think? I mean well just ask these people who gathered at an Arkansas church. Gee, shocking, don’t you think?

Nearly three dozen people who attended a recent children's event at a church in Arkansas have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to church officials.

Donald Shipp, a deacon at First Assembly of God church in Greers Ferry, about 75 miles north of Little Rock, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that 34 people who attended the event in early March at the Cleburne County church had tested positive for the coronavirus, and that an unknown number of others were awaiting test results.

... snip ...

"Even though we were the original positives, there are people who have been sick longer than we have," he said. "It clearly made its way through a special weekend of children’s ministry at our church."

He requested that people pray for health care workers, and he advised that people "take this medical threat more seriously."

"Maybe you assumed that it couldn’t happen to you, just like I did," he wrote. "Please adhere to the social instructions that you are receiving locally and nationally."

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1169471




Finally this week for the People Are Dumb category – I’m not even going to mention the fucking idiot who licked a toilet seat or the guy who used a fake tongue to lick a subway pole – you already know those guys are stupid. This time, our entrant into the People Are Dumb category – is Boris Johnson, yes, the PM of England. I always wondered which of our ragtag group of leaders would end up in this file, and I always assumed that it would be Trump. But then Boris Johnson comes along and says “Hold my pint of Boddingtons!”.

Whitty, who has appeared alongside Johnson at many of the daily press conferences held at Downing Street in the past two weeks, said he would spend the next week at home. "After experiencing symptoms compatible with COVID-19 last night, in line with the guidance, I will be self-isolating at home for the next seven days. I will be continuing to advise the Government on the medical response to Coronavirus, supported by my deputies," Whitty wrote on his Twitter page.

The announcements come just over a week after a top government adviser on the virus, Neil Ferguson, said he believed he had been infected and warned: "There is a lot of Covid-19 in Westminster," referring to the area of London that is home to the UK Parliament and other government premises.

Ferguson had met with the Prime Minister, as well as Whitty, and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance. It was unclear, however, where Johnson may have contracted the virus.
Days earlier, the heir to the UK throne, Prince Charles, revealed that he had contracted the virus and was isolating himself at his estate in Scotland.

Johnson had been criticized for continuing to shake people's hands in public while government advice was to keep around two meters away from other people. The Prime Minister, Whitty and Vallance have been giving regular in-person press conferences to journalists on the virus after meetings.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/27/uk/uk-boris-johnson-coronavirus-gbr-intl/index.html




Seriously, if this guy who was with BoJo was the health inspector? Is it any wonder why we’re fucked for the foreseeable future? I wish I had my staff here because someone really needs to pry my hand from my face. I know. That’s it this week for:




[div style="padding: 20px; background-color: #ffffff; border-radius: 10px; box-shadow: 0px 2px 4px 1px #aaa;"][div style="font-family: arial, helvetica; font-weight: bold; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999; padding-bottom: 8px;"]
[font size="8"]Stupidest State 2020 Round 1 Week 1
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16 states will enter and only one will become the new Top 10 Conservative Idiots Stupidest State!



Welcome back! Well, well, well. It has been quite the eventful Round 1 hasn’t it? If you’re wondering where you’re at so far, you can find the updated bracket posted weekly at the @10Idiots Twitter feed through the rest of the tournament. Last week, Nebraska stunned Tennessee to advance to the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference championship. Meanwhile, over in the Gun Nut Conference, New Mexico hung on to defeat Missouri to advance to the Gun Nut Conference Championship! This week, Florida and Oregon duel it out for Gun Nut supremacy and the right to play New Mexico, while over in the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference, #1 Michigan goes for broke against red hot #2 Pennsylvania! Let’s go live to the floor of the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans for all the action!

[font size="4"]Oregon:[/font]


Folks, you might be thinking “Hey! Oregon is a blue state! Why are they here?”. Well, Oregon is home to that most liberal bastion of cities, the almighty Portland. But they’re also home to some of the country’s most extreme militia groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. But once you get outside the major cities, there is a venerable melting pot of some of our favorite people like anti-government extremists and doomsday preppers. But in the day and age of Coronavirus how are things holding up in that part of the world?

He had never owned a gun before, but last week, a Pendleton man decided it was time.

John Battenfield went to the local farm and ranch supply store to make the purchase. After waiting a couple of days for his background check to clear, he returned and picked up the gun.

He was one of thousands around the state that day to do so.

In the one month since the coronavirus reached Oregon, waves of layoffs and social restrictions have given rise to panicked buying. Oregonians are stocking up in bulk on household and health care items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and bottled water. But they’re also buying guns and ammunition in staggering numbers.

The state police department has seen a sudden surge of requests to perform background checks required to purchase firearms. Gun store owners attribute the increase in sales to visits from regular customers, but say many people are also coming in to buy their first gun. One county law enforcement agency said similar spikes happen when people fear lawmakers might pass new gun restrictions.
https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2020/03/gun-sales-spike-in-oregon-as-coronavirus-spreads.html




Well in this case they might not be compensating. But there was that insane plan to split Oregon because conservatives can dish it out, but they sure as hell can’t take it. When you come at them, they scream and cry and run the other way. Because when you get a bunch of gun nuts in the room, this happens. Much like that insane plan to split Virginia in two.

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A retired La Pine nurseryman is a chief petitioner for the latest secession movement to draw attention in the West, a bid to add much of Oregon's southern, central and eastern counties into Idaho -- not including Bend or Sisters, but including Redmond, Madras and Prineville.

The Oregonian noted in its story Monday about the "Move Oregon's Border for a Greater Idaho" movement that there's always "talk of secession in the air," such as the long-standing Cascadia effort and the call for a conservative, rural state of Jefferson.

Mike McCarter, the La Pine resident who's helping lead the latest effort, told the paper he's backed the state of Jefferson movement, but doesn't see secession happening.

Instead, he's shooting for something far less constitutionally sticky -- moving a state's borders. He noted that's happened on a smaller scale in past decades elsewhere in the country.
https://ktvz.com/top-stories/2020/02/18/bid-to-shrink-oregon-enlarge-idaho-would-split-high-desert/




[font size="4"]Florida:[/font]


Ah, the Sunshine State. America’s most penis shaped state of Florida is always good for bringing the insanity. And guns. Boy, do they have a lot of guns in Florida. Our 2018 Stupidest State champion has rebuilt their team and heavily armed them. Once again, as we have reported all around the country, Florida has seen a rise in the sale of guns. That is probably true anywhere, but Miami is going to be in for a very long and rocky ride through this whole pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic is defining for the globe what's “essential” and what things we really can't do without, even though we might not need them for survival.

Attempting to slow the spread of the virus, authorities in many places are determining what shops and services can remain open. They're also restricting citizens from leaving their homes. Stay-at-home orders or guidance are affecting more than one-fifth of the world's population.

This has left many contemplating an existential question: What, really, is essential?

Whether it is in Asia, Europe, Africa or the United States, there's general agreement: Health care workers, law enforcement, utility workers, food production and communications are generally exempt from lockdowns.

But some lists of exempted activities reflect a national identity, or the efforts of lobbyists.
https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/03/29/whats-essential-in-us-golf-guns/




It’s good to know that in the age of pandemic that America has its’ priorities. Well, at least France’s are less violent. So what’s selling during this time of pandemic? Oh, just the essentials. Not so much food and anything necessary to survive. But instead, it loves guns, booze, and toilet paper. Yes, guns, booze, and toilet paper are what is selling. I’m going to need a lot more booze to get through this thing.

In tough times, we love toilet paper, guns and booze. Those are the obvious takeaways from the past few weeks.

TP remains elusive enough that an over-anxious Publix shopper elbowed me and the man in front of me to grab a 12-pack of the soft stuff on the weekend. Just the thought that he might not get one of the hundreds of packs lining the shelf sent him into survival mode. He nearly trampled a white-haired woman when he moved on to paper towels, also in abundant supply that day.

Gun shops report a brisk business, so brisk that popular calibers of ammunition are being rationed.

And then there’s alcohol. Apparently, shelter-in-place is a lot more palatable with a bottle of Jack Daniels — or three. Sales at stores nationwide were up nearly 28 percent for wine, 27 percent for liquor and 14 percent for beer in the week that ended March 14, according to Nielsen, which compiles data on what consumers watch and buy.

Virtual happy hours, where people visit with friends and family using video calling services like Zoom, appear to be helping prop up sales. Online scheduling platform Doodle recorded a 296 percent increase in the boozy meetings in March compared to February, CNBC reported.
https://www.tampabay.com/news/business/2020/03/30/florida-loves-its-toilet-paper-and-booze-during-hard-times/




[font size="4"]And The Winner Is: :[/font]

Oh my god, ladies and gentlemen, we have an upset brewing! Florida has trounced Oregon by a score of 25! And this might be the highest score of the tournament so far. Final score – 119 – 94! Both teams gave it their all, but the almighty Florida will advance.

[font size="4"]Michigan:[/font]


So Michigan is a longtime staple of the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference. If you want to see where the Koch and Heritage Foundation talking points are leading, look no further than the city of Flint, where the city still has no functioning water supply. And in this day and age, having viable drinking water is very important. They’re also hurting for money, and when Trump comes to town, he leaves behind a trail of destruction and debt.

Battle Creek released to the public how much it spent hosting President Trump for a rally in December.

The City spent approximately $93,000 on the presidential campaign rally.

According to the city, over 95 percent of that money was spent on staffing.

The rally was staffed by members of the fire department, police department, city building maintenance, The Department of Public Works, Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field, and Battle Creek Transit.

The amount spent on staffing does not include the amount of time and resources used by salaried staff to plan for the event.

The city said the other 5 percent of costs were spent on supplies to make the event possible and safe, like barricades and cinder blocks, city vehicles, and translation into Spanish and Burmese.

The total cost estimated by the city does not include the cost of using the venue.

The city does not have to pay to use the venue, since they own it, but does have to pay for operation.
https://www.wilx.com/content/news/Battle-Creek-spent-93000-hosting-Trump-campaign-rally--567008211.html




So those MAGA rallies aren’t exactly all that they’re made out to be. But this is why elections matter – any other governor in the country would have succumbed to this, but Michigan has Gretchen Whitmer, who is proving to be one of the cooler heads through this tragedy. But yes, elections matter at every single level. Or else!

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are warning Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about potential repercussions of a blanket stay-at-home order that would force employers to temporarily halt operations.

Governors in California, Illinois and New York have already issued orders to keep people at home unless they have essential reasons for leaving in order to stem the spread of COVID-19. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday announced that he will enact an order to stay at home starting Tuesday. Supporters of the orders say they are key necessary to combat a virus that could overwhelm hospitals. On Friday, Whitmer said Michigan was not at the point "where a shutdown is needed."

Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber, wrote a letter to Whitmer on Friday recommending, "at this time," against an order "that most if not all 877,000 businesses in Michigan should be closed while a select few are allowed to stay open."

"We cannot risk a disruption in the supply chain or a break in the distribution cycle," Studley wrote. "In addition, many businesses have non-interruptible operations and those operations need to be protected as we move forward.
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/21/michigan-chamber-urges-no-blanket-stay-home-order/2892213001/




[font size="4"]Pennsylvania:[/font]


The Keystone State are long time conservative idiocy champions. They are home to two of the biggest cities in the country – Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It’s also home to mountain towns and coal mining towns, all of which have been ransacked by reckless Koch policies. So here’s how much that line of thinking is hurting the Keystone State. Did you think that a diet tax on soda would stop people from drinking soda? No? Neither did we!

Philadelphia’s tax on soda and other sweetened beverages has not reduced residents’ consumption of such drinks, according to a new study.

Philadelphians reported a slight but not statistically significant decrease in sugary beverage consumption compared with residents of nearby cities without a tax, Drexel University researchers found in surveys taken before and after the tax took effect.

“We have ample evidence that sugary beverages are connected to type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues, but we’re seeing that raising the price of sugary beverages may not impact consumers who don’t drink a lot of soda,” Amy Auchincloss, an associate professor at Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health, said in a statement about the research.

Philadelphia became the first large U.S. city to pass a tax on soda in 2016. Mayor Jim Kenney championed the tax as a means of funding pre-K, community schools, and improvements to parks, recreation centers, and libraries. Public health advocates praised Philadelphia’s levy and have pointed to taxes on soda as a means of reducing consumption and improving residents’ health.

Read more: https://www.inquirer.com/politics/philadelphia/philadelphia-soda-tax-drexel-study-20200227.html




Yeah so that happened. Even worse is when your travel budget is so overblown that you have to spend money to figure out how to spend money! Ever wonder why we’re in a bureaucracy? Well, let’s look at a level of money spending that is to figure out how a department spends money. It’s Inception, but for accountants and auditors!

Pennsylvania’s largest pension fund is auditing its travel expenses after reporting by the Capital-Star revealed opaque expense records for cross-country travel.

The Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System board’s audit committee approved the deep dive Friday during a meeting in Harrisburg.

“We’re trying to make sure there is no independence question,” Rep. Frank Ryan, R-Lebanon, and chair of PSERS’ audit committee, said. Ryan said the report should focus on “operational red flags” in the travel, paid for by taxpayers and booked by an investment partner.

The committee’s request follows reporting by the Capital-Star that revealed limited expense records of travel to Los Angeles.

Read more: https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/teacher-pension-fund-to-audit-travel-expenses-over-la-trips/




[font size="4"]And The Winner Is: :[/font]

Ooh this is a close one, but Michigan is going to hang on to advance to Round 2. Final score – 83 – 77.

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

It’s the final week of Round 1 and this time we’re live in Lexington, Kentucky at the home of the UK Wildcats, where Idaho goes stir crazy against South Carolina in a battle for Batshit supremacy, while over in the Family Values Conference, Indiana is praying for a win against Ohio and the right play Alabama in the conference championship! It’s getting exciting folks!


Thank you very much for being with us through this home edition! It’s unfortunately going to be like this for the next few weeks. But we will get through it! Yes, we will. See you next week!

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