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Wed Apr 22, 2020, 04:00 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #8-14: Wheel Of Corruption: The Phantom Menace Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #8-14: Wheel Of Corruption: The Phantom Menace Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! Another week, another home show. We’re in it for the duration of this awful pandemic. When things get back up and running we will try to do some live shows from our new home at Flappers but without the new music for the time being. We hope to do some full shows in the near future, we will see how this awful virus pans out. And of course our plans for touring the world – which we hoped to do for season 9 – got squashed. So instead we will be starting out with some very small scale shows at our new home in Burbank. If travel restrictions get lifted in the near future, we will be going back out on the road and bringing you our full show complete with some new musical guests. OK that said do we have time for the thing? Well I want to say that we have a thing before we get into the meat of conservative idiocy. But now that even Oktoberfest, the mother of all beer festivals, is canceled for this year, we got nothing! One thing we do have a lot of though is misinformation about the virus, and I think that my favorite so far is coming from America’s televangelists who are insisting that they can cure the virus just by placing a hex on it. Sorry guys but it doesn’t work that way. Anyways, I cannot wait until things start returning to some sort of normalcy so we have things to talk about other than this god forsaken virus!!! Shit, even our logo for the rest of the season is going to be reflecting the virus apocalypse! OK that’s enough of the intro, we have a lot of idiocy to get to. But even John Oliver’s segment is all about the virus:

The news is all bad, but we will try to keep it funny for you guys because we all could use a sense of humor right now. Because, the Wheel Of Corruption is back! Not the live wheel you know and love, because there’s no way that I could fit that thing in my house, but instead we have a virtual model that’s been setup until we can get back in the clubs! In the number one slot this week is Trump Vs The Governors (1). Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo, among others, are proving to be the adults in the room, while Trump is proving to be the insufferable child who begs for toys. In the second slot this week, is also Donald Trump (2). When do we reopen the economy after the COVID-19 shit show? Well Trump is throwing a daily temper tantrum on national TV and moving the goalposts back further and further. Taking the third slot is something called “Operation Grandslam” (3) and you may have noticed these protests against social distancing popping up in your state, but it gets crazier. And it’s a GOP sting operation at that! At slot #4 this week is Vince McMahon (4). Yes, even the head honcho and one of Trump’s BFFs is going through some rough times, as the XFL finally kicked the bucket, but he’s an economic advisor! In slot #5 this week is our weekly investigative piece, Top 10 Investigates (5) and this week, Trump is pushing the cure for COVID as hydroxychloroquine, but we will show you using examples from around the world, why this could be a really bad idea. At slot #6 this week is of course our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in “Holy Shit” (6), and this week our pastor is becoming increasingly alarmed by the Christian right’s response to the unfolding tragedy, but it’s about what you would expect. In the seventh slot this week is “Beating A Dead Horse” (7) and this week Fox News is turning up their COVID death toll rhetoric, and if they get their way, a whole lot of us are gonna die! In the 8th slot this week, after he made a casual reference about the potentially low death toll of COVID, we profile Dr. Oz (8) on a new edition of “This Fucking Guy”. Taking the #9 (NEIN!!!) slot this week is a new People Are Dumb, because the virus hasn’t slowed down people being incredibly and predictably stupid! Finally this week we have the 2nd round of Stupidest State 2020! It’s a Gun Nut duel to the death as #2 Florida takes on #3 New Mexico in a battle to take the crown and head to the Final Four! Unfortunately no live music until we’re able to leave the house and get back to normal life. Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

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

Of course you know the rules by now – I spin the wheel and we have to talk about whatever it lands on. Unfortunately there’s no tableside guacamole option because the CDC has temporarily suspended tableside preparation. Also, no t-shirt cannon either. And a much smaller wheel for the time being. So here’s what is on the wheel this week:

- Guns
- Abortion
- Crime
- Poverty
- Coronavirus
- Elections
- Buy A Vowel
- Chance
- Community Chest
- Greed
- Walls
- Intermission
- Donald Trump
- Clip Without Context
- Bankrupt
- 10,000
- 5,000
- Drink
- Morally Bankrupt
- Holy Shit
- Top 10 Investigates
- Whammy
- Double Whammy
- How Is This Still A Thing?
- Stupidest State
- 15,000
- A Random Tweet
- Infowars
- Go Directly To Jail
- Lightning Round
- Bonus Spin

Let’s get this going! Spin that shit! Come on no whammy no whammy no whammy…stop! Oh hey it’s one of our patented clips without context!

Well I hear that a plague is one of the punishments. But that’s probably because we elected the most sinful guy in history! Spin it again! Donald Trump. And for this segment – we are going to talk about the one question that’s on everybody’s minds. When will this crisis end and we can resume normal life? It’s the question of the year, the decade, and maybe even the century. Because this crisis is unparalleled and unprecedented. We were totally unprepared for this economically and socially. But with signs of the virus retreating and some things getting back to normal, others may not. And what is going to happen ultimately with this whole thing? Well first let’s look to Las Vegas.

Standing in front of an empty storefront along Main Street, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman was beaming with optimism, believing that businesses would make it through the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re all together in this and we are going to come out with a bang,” she said earlier this month.

On Tuesday, it became apparent what the independent mayor may have had in mind. She said she wants to reopen casinos, assuming that 100 percent of the population are carriers of the novel coronavirus.

Let them, and visitors, gather and gamble, smoke in confined spaces, touch slot machines all day — and let the chips, and apparently the infections, fall where they may.

“Assume everybody is a carrier," the mayor said Tuesday on MSNBC. "And then you start from an even slate. And tell the people what to do. And let the businesses open and competition will destroy that business if, in fact, they become evident that they have disease, they’re closed down. It’s that simple.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/22/las-vegas-coronavirus-reopen/

Yeah it’s not quite time to let the dogs out yet though, and I don’t think they thought this plan through very well. That’s just one example of this. Let’s go to Georgia where Brian Kemp is proving to be one of the dumber heads in the room. As they said in Animal House, “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to live a life, son.”. And really in this time of death and a killer virus roaming the landscape, are these the kinds of places you would want to patronize? Places like tattoo parlors and bowling alleys should probably be last on the list, IMO.

Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday that certain businesses can reopen this week in a move that breaks from the majority of state leaders and defies the warnings of many public health officials.

Kemp said specifically that fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, hair and nail salons, and massage therapy businesses can reopen as early Friday, April 24. Theaters and restaurants will be allowed to open on Monday, April 27, while bars and night clubs will remain closed for now.

The decision follows new guidance unveiled by President Donald Trump last week meant to help states loosen their social distancing restrictions.

According to an influential model often cited by the White House, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Georgia hit its projected "peak" for daily deaths 13 days ago, on April 7.

But that same model predicts that dozens of people will die each day in the coming week. And to limit a resurgence of the virus, the model says that Georgia shouldn't start relaxing social distancing until after June 15 -- when the state can begin considering other measures to contain the virus, such as contact tracing and isolation.

Man, the Dude and Walter must be having it rough right now. But they’re not the only ones. Let’s look at my home state of California where Gavin Newsom really is proving to be one of the cooler heads in the room and one of the adults taking this thing seriously. The thing is, Trump is betting that we’re going to just dive into this thing head first and expect that things will return to normal right now. But it’s not, we’re going to be in the shallow end of the pool for quite a while.

It's the question we're all asking: When will California reopen?

California Governor Gavin Newsom promised to outline some of the possible timeline for reopening on Wednesday, however the state continues to take a slow and gradual approach.

It's a contrast to some other states, which under public pressure, are already beginning to ease their shelter-in place-orders -- even if experts and some political leaders caution against it.

In South Carolina, some department stores and retail stores reopened Tuesday with 20% capacity. Public beaches opened as well.

In Georgia, businesses such as gyms, barbershops and bowling alleys will be allowed to reopen on Friday. Some restaurants and theaters will be able to reopen next week.

In Colorado, also starting next week, residents will be recommended to stay home but not required to do so. And in Tennessee and Ohio, a majority of businesses will be allowed to reopen May 1st, if not sooner.

Yeah so we’re treading waters very carefully but Trump wants to dive in the deep end and get things back to normal. Because we all know where this is leading. You know the reason why Trump is so eager to reopen the economy despite warnings is that he wants to get back out on the road and hold his ridiculous MAGA rallies. There’s an election in November and he is lost without them. So sleep tight, because Trump is about to make things that much worse.

President Donald Trump is eager to hit the road.

As his own health officials continue to warn against nonessential travel, Trump has privately urged aides over the past week to start adding official events back to his schedule, including photo ops and site visits that would allow him to ditch Washington for a few hours. The day trips would be similar to those Vice President Mike Pence has made visiting businesses during the viral pandemic, according to three people familiar with the planning.

Speaking at a coronavirus task force briefing this week, Trump noted he hasn’t “left the White House in months,” except to send off the USNS Comfort from a Virginia naval base and visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s headquarters in March. The president has otherwise stayed within the executive complex for six weeks, an extraordinary stretch of confinement for a president who — even while stuck in Washington — loves to golf and visit his businesses. Trump's last big trip outside the Beltway to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta ended with a three-day fundraising swing in Florida, during which he stayed at his Mar-a-Lago beach club and golfed at a nearby course he owns.

His itch to get away from Washington comes as his administration pressures governors to begin loosening restrictions on interstate travel, business operations and public gatherings — part of a three-phase plan the federal government released last week to reopen the U.S. economy after a near-total shutdown due to Covid-19. The road map has been criticized by some state officials who say they lack the testing capacity needed to safely reopen communities in accordance with the president’s timeline. Trump officials insist enough testing is already available to handle the first phase of reopening.

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[font size="8"]Donald Trump
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Now entering the spin zone! Come on no whammy no whammy no whammy… stop! Sweet, I win 5,000 of something. Still don’t know what it is though. Use your imagination. Spin it again! Donald Trump. It’s no secret that we’re all going stir fucking crazy not being able to explore the world, see our friends and family, or even do everyday tasks like being able to go to the store or go to restaurants. And there’s no one going more stir crazy than our own president, Donald J. Trump. Which is why we’re subjected to him on pre-evening TV every day since the lockdowns began. But what is causing his bizarre behavior as of lately? Well a whole lot of things.

President Donald Trump accused Democrats on Monday of playing “a very dangerous political game” by insisting there is a shortage of tests for the coronavirus. But Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, expressing the frustration of many state leaders, said the federal response has simply not been “good enough.”

Trump’s latest blast came even as Vice President Mike Pence assured governors the federal government is working around-the-clock to help them ramp up testing.

Pence sought to soften the Trump administration’s message amid growing clamor from governors of both parties for a national testing strategy to help secure in-demand supplies like testing swabs and chemical reagents. Trump said Sunday that he could use the Defense Production Act to compel one company to manufacture swabs.

“When it comes to testing, we’re here to help,” Pence told governors during a videoconference from the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Associated Press obtained audio of the call.

Yeah no, you fucking moron, *YOU* are the one who is playing political games with the protection equipment that doctors and nurses so desperately need to get us through this thing. There’s already predictions of a second wave and it’s going to get worse. And why are we putting up with this? This isn’t presidential behavior, these are the ramblings of a psychotic mad man intent on killing a whole lot of us.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he’s prepared to announce new guidelines allowing some states to quickly ease up on social distancing even as business leaders told him they need more coronavirus testing and personal protective equipment before people can safely go back to work.

The industry executives cautioned Trump that the return to normalcy will be anything but swift.

The new guidelines, expected to be announced Thursday, are aimed at clearing the way for an easing of restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while keeping them in place in harder-hit places. The ultimate decisions will remain with governors.

“We’ll be opening some states much sooner than others,” Trump said.

But in a round of calls with business leaders Wednesday, Trump was warned that a dramatic increasing in testing and wider availability of protective equipment will be necessary for the safe restoration of their operations.

These are crazy times but they do not call for a crazy leader. Unfortunately we’re stuck with him until November or they enact the 25th amendment. Whichever comes first. But here’s what is crazy is that he won’t shut the fuck up. And you ever notice how the people who say we shouldn’t politicize tragedies are the ones who are actively politicizing tragedies? Well, you might be right on that one.

The WHO responded Wednesday to President Donald Trump’s threat to cut its funding, saying the move would not be appropriate during the global coronavirus pandemic.

“We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding,” Dr Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, told a virtual briefing, according to Reuters.

A day earlier, Trump threatened to withhold funding from the United Nations’ health agency, claiming it got “every aspect” of the coronavirus pandemic wrong.

“With regard to us, they’re taking a lot of heat because they didn’t want the borders closed, they called it wrong,” Trump said at his daily briefing. “They really called, I would say, every aspect of it wrong.”

And if you’re wondering, not only is Trump politicizing tragedies, he’s also shunning the experts in this bizarre attempt to stroke his ego and prove that he’s right on everything. Look, you can’t make the claim that you’re right on everything, no one can. And I predict that we’ll see the firing of our surgeon general before the end of next week, count on it.

The Trump administration took Surgeon General Jerome Adams off television last week after his controversial remarks on Covid-19's threat to minorities, silencing the White House's loudest voice on racial disparities even as concerns mount about risks to communities of color.

Adams made just one TV appearance last week, a steep decline from the 10-plus TV appearances he made the prior week on programs like ABC's "Good Morning America,” CBS’ “This Morning” and NBC’s “Today Show." The surgeon general received multiple requests for high-profile media appearances last week that the White House didn't accept, said two people with knowledge of some of those requests. Adams also hasn't made an appearance at a White House press briefing since April 10.

Adams' disappearance on the airwaves and at the White House podium followed comments at a press briefing on April 10 that progressives attacked as racially insensitive for shifting responsibility to minorities. But health officials also fear that minimizing Adams means the White House is retreating from questions about its work on behalf of minority communities, a perennially sensitive issue for President Donald Trump and his administration. Early data from Chicago showed that black communities represented about two-thirds of the city's Covid-19 deaths, despite representing about one-third of the population.

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[font size="8"]Infowars
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Let’s spin the wheel shall we? And it lands on… no whammy no whammy… What? Bankrupt? NO!!!

Spin it again. Ah man, do I really have to talk about Infowars? Make me. But I don’t want to. OK my producer is telling me that I really need to talk about them. Fine. So folks you know that there’s protests propping up all over the country. But the question now is who’s behind them? Well, just check out the protests happening in Austin, Texas. Austin – one of our favorite places to visit. And it’s also the home of Alex Jones and Infowars. So on Saturday when the white male gun nut wannabe war lords were protesting the Texas state capital, guess who crashed the party?

The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was pictured shaking hands with protesters at a Texas rally against social distancing measures on Saturday.

A video posted on Twitter yesterday showed the Infowars founder shaking hands with at least four people at the demonstration against measures designed to keep people safe amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an advisory in March that encouraged Americans to "stop handshaking" to prevent the spread of infectious disease amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also said Americans should avoid shaking hands ever again to bring down both coronavirus and influenza cases.

In a YouTube video of Jones' appearance at the "You Can't Close America" rally in Austin, the conspiracy theorist said: "Texas, I salute you all. Texas is leading the way."

Ahh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put a warning on that thing!!! Dear god. Look, guys, we get it. Nobody likes this, and show me one person on earth who does, and I will tell you that is a crazy person. Nobody likes to be isolated and quarantined. But this disease is a beast like nothing we’ve ever seen before. And until we know how this ends, we’re all in the same boat. But these protests are springing up all over the country.

In tandem with Donald Trump, Fox News hosts and other influential conservatives spent the weekend egging on a small number of mask-less protesters flouting social distancing guidelines by crowding state capitols and demanding that closure orders be lifted. These “Give me liberty and give me death!” rallies, as a Washington Post satire piece put it, represent the opinions of a decided minority: A Politico–Morning Consult poll released last week found that 81% of Americans support maintaining social distancing measures “for as long as is needed to curb the spread of coronavirus, even if it means continued damage to the economy,” while nearly 60% of respondents in a similar NBC–Wall Street Journal survey voiced concerns over the U.S. lifting mitigation efforts too soon. But perhaps out of wishful thinking, members of the right-wing media are nonetheless framing protests as the Tea Party movement reincarnated.

“A lot of people are very proud of you,” said Fox News host Jeanine Pirro during a Saturday night interview with Meshawn Maddock, an organizer behind the so-called “Operation Gridlock” protest in Lansing, Michigan. “Peaceful protests, civil liberties, it’s what we’re all about. Keep going.” The segment aired after Pirro’s colleagues had spent days praising the protests. Last week Tucker Carlson hosted Maddock and thanked the Michigan Conservative Coalition activist for her service. On Saturday morning Fox & Friends prominently displayed the locations of future rallies on a map of the country—exactly what the network did years prior to promote the anti-Obama Tea Party protests. An article published on Fox’s website took the effort a step further, embedding a tweet with contact information for those who wished to join the Wisconsin Freedom Rally. On Friday conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh cheered on the protesters by citing historic examples of American bravery and sacrifice, including U.S. involvement “in World War II,” adding, “This shutdown, and hunkering down in total fear, is not a hallmark of American history.”

Can we stop paying attention to these morons please? For the last 15 years they have given us nothing but bad ideas. This is just another extension of the Fox News culture war, and it’s a war that nobody asked for, or wanted. Can we declare a cease fire now please? Otherwise this virus is going to kill a whole lot more of us if we don’t stop it. But yeah let’s tell these people to shut the fuck up.

The scene in front of the Pennsylvania statehouse Monday was anything but social distanced. Hundreds of protesters gathered on the steps of the Capitol building in Harrisburg as police barricades blocked people from advancing closer to the doors.

Cars circling the building added to the demonstration. One green rig with the words "Jesus is my vaccine" spray-painted above its front fender drove down 3rd Street, its horn blaring in support.
The protests went on in spite of -- or, more accurately, because of -- Pennsylvania's statewide stay-at-home orders designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The demonstrators called for a swift end to the government-imposed closures of regular business and for America to "open up." Similar events have taken place in state capitals across the country, including in Michigan, Texas, Maryland, and Washington state, with upcoming protests in additional states.

The organizers have an ally in President Donald Trump, who over the weekend defended the protesters as "good people" and called on citizens in multiple states with Democratic governors to "LIBERATE" their states. More broadly, the President has been talking publicly and privately about reopening the American economy for weeks. He released his administration's plan for doing so last Thursday and has since been frustrated by what he perceived as a negative response to the proposal from the media.

Yeah they’re full blown crazy all right. But now that we know the extent of these protests, where are they coming from? And what is fueling this fire? I can guarantee that nobody is liking these lockdowns, we all had plans before the pandemic, and we will get back to those plans afterward. But for now let’s all act like we’re on the same page right? But first let’s pull take off the mask and find out who you really are. Mr. Weatherby??? And he would have got away with it too if not for those meddling kids!

Thousands of people in the United States took to the streets over the past week to demand the country's swift reopening.

While some protested from their vehicles, many others defied coronavirus social distancing guidelines as they rallied on state capitol grounds and in front of governors' homes in several states including Michigan, Kentucky, Washington, Minnesota, Virginia and Colorado.

The number of people protesting was relatively small compared with those who have abided by stay-at-home orders.

Those who protested said they were concerned that their constitutional rights and freedom were being curtailed in the fight to contain the pandemic. Many were also frustrated that they could not work or lost their jobs due to state lockdowns.

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[font size="8"]The XFL
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Let’s spin the wheel shall we? Wheel goes round, wheel goes round… and it lands on… Coronavirus!

Uh… ma’am? This is a Baskin Robbins. Either order some Mint Chocolate Chip or get the hell out. Spin it again! Greed! Folks, it’s no mistake that the coronavirus has turned life upside down and inside out, and everything that we once took for granted is currently gone until we figure out how to deal with. Most notably the economy has just taken a tremendous beatdown. It’s a really tremendous beatdown, really tremendous. The best. Well, not really, bad Trump impersonation. Because one of the biggest blows was the demise of Vince McMahon’s XFL. We’ve made fun of the return of the XFL a lot on this program, but come on, we didn’t even get one season thanks to the Shithead Virus.

Former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck has sued owner Vince McMahon in federal court, citing wrongful termination after McMahon's decision to shutter the league.

According to the complaint, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, Luck received a termination letter on April 9 -- a day before McMahon laid off most of the XFL staff and three days before the league filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Luck "wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the Termination Letter and contends they are pretextual and devoid of merit," per the complaint.

McMahon is chairman and CEO of the WWE and is the owner of Alpha Entertainment, which was the parent company of the XFL.

Much of the lawsuit is redacted, citing confidentiality clauses in Luck's contract. He was hired in May 2018 for a deal reportedly worth approximately $20 million over its lifespan. Luck was not listed among creditors in the XFL's bankruptcy filings, but the lawsuit alleges breach of contract.

Now here’s where it gets weird. The WWE is still big business, and while the XFL was a great idea in theory, the low attendance and ratings were a factor, and it had yet to be determined whether or not it was a success. But then add in Coronavirus – which is killing whole economies as fast as it is killing people, and you have an utter disaster. But is it worth making Vince McMahon an economic advisor? Is it really?

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he is putting together an advisory group that will work to reopen the country economically. Included in the large collection of advisors is an entire section dedicated to sports, which features commissioners of the country's four major sports leagues and some other notable sports executives. The group is reportedly scheduled to take part in a call on Wednesday to discuss the effort, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Great American Economic Revival Industry Group, as the White House is calling it, features 16 sports figures:

Three of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States -- MLB, the NHL and the NBA -- have suspended their seasons as a result of the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The NBA was the first to announce its suspension after center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the respiratory disease that has become a global pandemic. Each league has expressed different expectations for when they'll return.

The NFL, the country's fourth major professional sports league and the most popular among Americans, has only needed to adjust its plan for this year's draft, to this point, with it being done virtually. Golf majors have been postponed or canceled, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been postponed until next year.

Yeah sadly we may never know what a rejuvenated XFL would look like. And is that really the guy who we want as an economic advisor? Look we’re all going stir crazy right now. Even TV sucks. There’s nothing worth watching right now. But it’s also not worth doing something stupid either. Until we know what this virus is going to do long term, we may have to live with it. We could be like Dana White and have fights on a private island to escape regulations.

UFC president Dana White insists UFC 249 won’t be a one-off return to action: The fight schedule will be in full swing again beginning April 18.

But where will these fights take place? According to White, the short-term will see events go down at the same still-undisclosed location as UFC 249 on April 18. After that, though, he claims the promotion will be setting up shop on a private island.

“I locked this venue (that will host UFC 249) for two months,” White told TMZ on Monday. “I have this venue for two months, and we’re setting up shop here. We’re going to be pumping out fights every week. I’m also a day or two away from securing a private island. I have a private island that I’ve secured. We’re getting the infrastructure put in now, so I’m going to start doing the international fights, too, with the international fighters.

“I’m not going to be able to get the international fighters, all of them into the U.S., so I have a private island. I’m going to start flying them all into the private island and start doing international fights from there. So as of April 18, the UFC is back up and running. … We have all our own planes and everything we’re going to fly into the island with the fighters.”

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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: DIY Hydroxychloroquine
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Now entering the spin zone! And it lands on… wait for it… ah hey it’s time for a clip without context!

In that case then call me Satan! Because I want the damn vaccine, damn it! Spin it again! Hey it’s time for Top 10 Investigates! It’s time to investigate beyond the headlines. This is Top 10 Investigates!

With the coronavirus upending our society and way of life as we currently know it, the idea of self-medication becomes ever more prevalent as doctors and hospitals are being repurposed to deal with this evolving and unprecedented crisis. One such medication being touted by President Trump is an old malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine and also the regular chloroquine. But the hype of this drug from the right wing media is illustrating why we need doctors to guide us through this pandemic and why we shouldn’t listen to hype men and product pitchmen. Because this is serious and taken in the wrong capacity, the cure really is worse than the disease.

A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported.

The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the largest look so far of hydroxychloroquine with or without the antibiotic azithromycin for COVID-19, which has killed more than 171,000 people as of Tuesday.

The study was posted on an online site for researchers and has not been reviewed by other scientists. Grants from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia paid for the work.

Researchers analyzed medical records of 368 male veterans hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus infection at Veterans Health Administration medical centers who died or were discharged by April 11.

About 28% who were given hydroxychloroquine plus usual care died, versus 11% of those getting routine care alone. About 22% of those getting the drug plus azithromycin died too, but the difference between that group and usual care was not considered large enough to rule out other factors that could have affected survival.

So when people are getting desperate to find a cure and get back to the way things were before the virus you’re going to get desperate. And that’s what is happening right now. Yes, there might have been a few successes with hydroxychloroquine, but there’s been more failures and the drug has yet to be proven to work long term. Which is why even Trump himself has turned down the rhetoric.

President Donald Trump and his allies in conservative media have subtly scaled down their hyping of hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure for the coronavirus, according to a POLITICO review of White House briefings and cable news coverage.

Although Trump had repeatedly promoted the decades-old malaria drug since the early days of the disease’s outbreak in the United States, his public statements regarding hydroxychloroquine have diminished significantly over the past week for reasons that remain unclear.

His most recent mention of the drug at the White House’s daily coronavirus news conferences came last Tuesday, when the president announced his administration had deployed roughly 28 million doses of hydroxychloroquine from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile.

Earlier at that same briefing, though, the president also trumpeted remdesivir, another experimental treatment developed by the biopharmaceutical company Gilead, and spoke positively of its “promising results.”

Yeah you probably should there, doctor. In fact the idea of hyrdroxychloroquine has become big business, even if it is a lot of false hope. And false hope is not something we need right now. But what will make this worse is that repurposing this drug takes away from people who actually need it, like lupus patients for instance. Yes, they need this drug, and thanks to Trump, they cant find it.

When Aimee Blou heard the lupus drug she has relied on for more than a decade promoted as a coronavirus antidote, she visited her pharmacist.

The 40-year-old woman from Stockton, California, was told the decades-old antimalarial drug commonly prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis was in short supply. She would get only a 30-day refill, not her typical 90-day supply.

“It’s all backordered,” the pharmacist explained to Blou on March 23. “We are not going to be able to give you these (90-day) refills."

Hydroxychloroquine, also sold under the brand name Plaquenil, has been touted by President Donald Trump, media personality Mehmet Oz and others as a COVID-19 treatment, though scientific evidence the drug is effective against the virus is lacking.

The renewed interest in chloroquine, an antimalarial drug available since 1944, and the similar drug hydroxychloroquine has made it difficult for pharmacies and hospital chains to manage a limited supplies, leaving patients like Blou fearful the shortage will harm their health.

In this case you probably should. Because this fight is going to get very ugly very quickly and this is a can of worms being opened up that you definitely shouldn’t open up. Let’s take it from someone who’s actually had the virus and actually used the drug to combat the virus. And their experiences were shall we say, less than ideal.

Tom Hanks is getting personal about the coronavirus battle that he and his wife Rita Wilson experienced.

The actor says although he didn't have symptoms as bad as Wilson, he felt "wiped" while in isolation at a hospital in Queensland, Australia, last month.

"I was wiped after 12 minutes [of exercising]. I laid down in my hospital bed and just slept," Hanks told National Defense Radio Show.

He recalled telling a medical professional who was treating him at the time, "'I just had the weirdest thing. I just tried to do basic stretches and exercises on the floor and I couldn't even get halfway through.' And she looked at me through her glasses like she was talking to the dumbest human being. And she said, 'You have Covid-19.'"

Hanks said that his wife had such bad nausea from the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, that at times she couldn't even walk.

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

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[font size="8"]Holy Shit
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Let’s give the wheel a spin, shall we? And it lands on… wait for it… CHANCE!

Damn. I did not pass go, guess I will have to collect my $200 later. Damn you Trump! Spin it again! Hey it’s time for Holy Shit! 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! Guess what? We’re back! Yes, we are doing this service from an undisclosed location in an undisclosed state – you know which one I’m talking about – because apparently it’s OK for some things to be open! But remember the last time we congregated online, I told you that there was a pastor who was planning a Christian version of Woodstock? Well, there’s another event coming down the pike that aims to make this look like child’s play. And this one is going to take place in Washington, DC, the place of the unholy Dark One, whose name shall not be spoken in my church, and well, it’s a very bad idea. I’m sure that the good LAWRD JAYSUS would not approve!

End Times author Jonathan Cahn is promoting “The Return,” a day of national repentance with events around the country and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 26.

Cahn explicitly connects “The Return” to the 2020 presidential election, describing the date as 40 days before the presidential election and the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. (Cahn’s End Times books are filled with similar historical and biblical numerology.)

“This year—2020—is crucial, as it leads to a presidential election in which the stakes are higher and the necessity of prayer more critical than before,” Cahn says in a video promoting the event as a photograph of Trump appears on-screen. “And even if the election goes in the direction of biblical values and righteousness, if we don’t see a spiritual turning, an awakening, a repentance, revival, then all the political, legal, judicial, and cultural efforts will ultimately fail or be undone,” he warns.

“We have driven God out of our public life and have called what is good evil and what is sin good,” Cahn said in an Apr. 14 press release. “America’s fall from God is not only progressing—it’s accelerating—to the point that it is no longer just a falling away, but a war against the purposes of God.”

Ooh “The Return”! Such a Biblically prophetic name isn’t it? But that brings up a point – are the lockdowns defiance against the almighty GAWD? Well, yes and no. And when your friends are John Hagee and Paula White, who really needs enemies? I mean if you’ve got a couple of televangelist hucksters and a hard-on for Revelations end times prophecies, this is what you are going to get!

A group of prominent religious-right leaders were featured on a Daystar television special on the COVID-19 virus Wednesday night. The program, which was also streamed on Pastor Robert Jeffress’s Facebook page, mixed encouragement and prayer with lavish praise for President Donald Trump. In addition to Jeffress, speakers included White House adviser Paula White, conservative Hispanic leader Samuel Rodriguez, prominent Christian Zionist John Hagee, and evangelist Jentezen Franklin. The special was hosted by Marcus and Joni Lamb, founders of Daystar, a Dallas-based global Christian network.

“Today, we’re not here to promote the president or promote Republicans,” Marcus Lamb said near the beginning of the 90-minute broadcast, but praising Trump and promoting White House talking points on the administration’s handling of the pandemic was certainly part of the agenda. Lamb and other speakers frequently pointed to scriptural admonitions to pray for those in authority.

“Whether you like the president or voted for him or not, he needs prayer,” Marcus Lamb said, prompting Joni Lamb to jump in, saying, “We have to acknowledge as Christians that this president has done so much for the church and the body of Christ.”

“People are beginning to see the president, the man that I’ve known for all this time, and how deeply embedded faith is in him,” said White, who claims in her recent book that God gave her Trump as a spiritual assignment years ago.

Except it really isn’t, Reverend. Just bullshit. Yes, we are allowed to swear in my church, I make up the rules, damn it! But in our weird, socially distant world brought on by this god forsaken virus, we need to at least have some kind of structure, right? Well, leave it to the Liberty Counsel to open the churches, and we have a date! Yes, Sunday May 3rd is the date of the great reopening! And yes, we’re all fucked in case you can’t tell.

Religious-right legal group Liberty Counsel launched a campaign Monday “calling on the churches to open and believers to start meeting again on Sunday, May 3,” which Liberty Counsel is calling ReOpen Church Sunday. The announcement came as “reopen” protests organized by right-wing activists have targeted Democratic governors with calls to ease shutdown orders.

Liberty Counsel, known for anti-LGBTQ-equality activism, has recently defended Rodney Howard-Browne, a Tampa, Florida-based pastor who was arrested at the end of March for holding services that violated COVID-19-related restrictions on public gatherings. After his arrest, Howard-Browne took his services online and has continued to use them to spread conspiracy theories. Deaths of parishioners and pastors have been linked to church gatherings that defied social distancing guidelines.

In a press release distributed Monday, Liberty Counsel connected its “ReOpen” churches campaign to the Trump administration’s recently announced phases for states to begin lifting social distancing restrictions. Liberty Counsel says churches “should include appropriate measures of sanitization and appropriate social distancing between families” and should consider a range of options, including seating outside the building and online access for higher risk individuals.

“The lockdowns have closed churches at a time of greatest need, and they must reopen to meet the burgeoning needs of the community,” Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver said in the press release. But he seemingly undermined the thrust of his campaign with the caveat, “Each church is different and each one must assess when and how best to open.”

Yes but in the time of the Great Pandemic, you don’t need to be at church that badly! And I say this a man of GAWD! You can still be at church, it’s just not the church you’re used to. And this is not permanent. And you are not being targeted. Until things get better, we’re all on the same page, and I’m pretty sure that’s what the good LAWRD JAYSUS would want! But there might be some good news in all this madness, Jim Bakker needs money! And LAWRD does he need it ever!

On his television program today, End Times pastor Jim Bakker begged viewers to send in donations by check so he can keep his ministry afloat and not have to declare bankruptcy.

As Right Wing Watch reported last week, Bakker is facing a dire financial crisis as a result of his network being unable to process credit card transactions ever since it found itself facing various legal problems for promoting the silver solution it sold as a possible cure for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“I’m just sad to see what’s happening to America,” Bakker said. “We are living in the final days, and if we go the wrong direction, America is through. You have to use a check [to donate or purchase products]. Your products are going to come to you. Every one of them will come right to your house, and if we can’t, we are going to refund. I will sell parts of the buildings at Morningside in the long run if you give me a chance. Don’t let me have to file for bankruptcy.”

“They’re already bleeding us to death, and now we’re going to have to pay lawyers that will bleed you to death,” Bakker continued. “I know [my critics] are watching me right now, and they’re having a ball. They’re having a ball, and they’re saying, ‘Wow, we’ve whipped Jim Bakker finally’ … I’ll tell you what, you all may want my head on a platter, and you may get it, but I’ll be gone to Heaven, and you’re not going to win. You’re not going to win because I’m 80 years old, and I don’t need to win. I need to please God, and that’s what I’m going to do the rest of my life.”

Now I would go to a real life church if it were like that! Well, until next week we will be meeting again online until it’s safe to do so! 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: We Report, You Die!
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Let’s give the wheel a good strong spin shall we? And it lands on… no whammy no whammy no whammy… stop! Oh it’s a clip without context!

Yeah I think Jim doth protest too much here. Spin it again! Oh hey it’s time for Beating A Dead Horse!

Fox News, you got some ‘splainin to do! So there’s no question that the economy is tanking because of the awful coronavirus that is spreading. But those on the right, apparently want to kill us! Did I say “kill us”? I meant that they want to sacrifice us for the greater good of the economy! Now here’s the thing- this talking point that has emerged is absolutely fucking horrifying. As you may have guessed. Until there’s a vaccine, there’s no way out of this without seeing numbers for the virus absolutely skyrocket, and Fox News is leading the charge. They’re already staging protests across the country with the hope of overturning the lockdowns. But they’re turning the crazy extra hard in the last week especially. Let’s run down some of their greatest hits.

Another celebrity “doctor” is suffering from foot-in-mouth disease.

Now that many parts of the country have spent more than a month sheltering in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing chorus is calling for reopening the American economy, which is stirring up arguments of how soon is too soon. And the latest voice entering the fray is TV personality and psychologist Phil “Dr. Phil” McGraw, who compared the death toll of a global pandemic that is still peaking to the annual number of deaths from … swimming.

Contrary to McGraw’s comments, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 36,560 people were killed in traffic crashes last year. What’s more, the CDC has reported 3,536 fatal unintentional drowning incidents (non-boating related) each year between 2005 and 2014 — a sobering number, for sure, but far short of the 360,000 a year figure cited by McGraw.

But the CDC does indeed estimate that cigarette smoking causes 480,000 deaths a year, including deaths from secondhand smoke.

McGraw also went on to hazard a guess that the lockdown will “actually create more death across time than the actual virus will itself” due to poverty and loneliness.

Why the hell do these guys get asked for advice anyways? Yeah Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and even Dr. Drew. So these guys may be MDs (except for Dr. Phil), but there’s no way they should be asked for their opinion on anything! Here’s the thing in this day and age, if you say something stupid, you’re gonna wind up apologizing for saying that stupid thing. Which is exactly what Dr. Phil did.

If you’re seeking an unbiased opinion on an urgent national matter, probably the last place you want to go is Fox News — and if you’re looking for a qualified medical professional to speak on said matter, the last person you should turn to is Dr. Phil. Luckily for the public, a Thursday night episode of Laura Ingraham’s show offered the best of both worlds.

Professional charlatan Dr. Phil is garnering intense criticism for arguing in favor of ending state lockdowns in order to stimulate the economy, comparing COVID-19 deaths to car crash fatalities and swimming pool drownings in the process.

“People are dying from the coronavirus. I get that,” the good doctor generously conceded on Ingraham’s show. “But the fact of the matter is, 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools, but we don’t shut the country down for that.” At least two of these statistics are actually wrong; per the National Safety Council, 38,800 people in the U.S. died from car crashes last year, and per the CDC, there are a little more than 3,500 nonboating-related drowning deaths a year in the United States, not all of which are specifically in swimming pools.

Yeah that’s pretty much the manta at Fox News right now – they’re very actively trying to kill us in the middle of the worst pandemic not seen in an entire century. So how did Fox News get away with escalating the propaganda? Well we saw who their experts are. Now we are going to start seeing COVID deniers and even worse – COVID truthers.

PragerU’s Candace Owens has been a prolific conspiracy theorist and spreader of misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owens has continuously spread misinformation about the virus, claiming hospitals are inflating death numbers for financial gain, downplaying the threat, and lashing out at social distancing and mitigation efforts.

On April 14th, Owens was a guest on Laura Ingraham's Fox News show to discuss “racializing coronavirus.”

As the national death toll of the coronavirus escalates, Owens has continued to downplay the crisis and insist that there are nefarious motivations behind the national attempt to mobilize Americans to flatten the curve.

On April 6th Owens claimed that it was “ironic” certain states, including New York, Connecticut, and California were claiming to be the hardest hit, and that there is “a financial incentive” for states to inflate the number of coronavirus deaths.

As the national and global death tolls rose, Owens used comparisons to different historical events to downplay the threat of COVID-19.

Here’s the thing I want to know – why is anyone turning to the advice of anti-vaxxers like Candice Owens during the worst pandemic not seen in an entire century? That would be like asking someone who’s lactose intolerant what their favorite ice cream flavor is. And by the way remember when Fox News kept bringing up death panels and pre-exisitng conditions during the Obamacare debate way back when? It’s kind of like that now in the opposite direction. There are death panels, and they’re coming to kill you!

Many right-wing media outlets — from Fox News to white AM talk radio — have promoted a great deal of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, which radio host Rush Limbaugh infamously compared to “the common cold.” But not only all right-wing media outlets have downplayed the severity of coronavirus: The Bulwark has offered an abundance of quality reporting on the pandemic. And Bulwark journalist Jonathan V. Last, this week, slams some of the bizarre contradictions that have been coming from coronavirus truthers.

“I’ve been consistently boggled by the loose affiliation of coronavirus-truthers, America Firsters, Catholic rad-trads, and economic boosters who have come together over the last month to insist that: (1) COVID-19 isn’t so bad. (2) The real problem is the economy and the lunacy of shutting America down,” Last asserts in an article published on Thursday

Coronavirus truthers, the conservative journalist adds, are demanding that the U.S. economy reopen and insist that social distancing is going too far.

“These people all seem to have different reasons for wanting America to ‘reopen,’” Last explains. “The only thing they have in common is that they all — from the Taliban Catholics to the alt-right trolls, from the conspiracy cranks to Peter Navarro — love them some Trump.”

Last adds, however, that coronavirus truthers overlook the fact that Trump himself supports social distancing for the rest of April — and that Dr. Anthony Fauci, who many of them hate, is part of Trump’s coronavirus task force.

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[font size="8"]This Fucking Guy: Dr. Oz
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Let’s give the wheel a good strong spin shall we? And it lands on… no whammy no whammy no whammy stop!! Intermission! We’re going to take a quick break so I can feed my dog. I’ll give you some music while you wait.

Spin it again. Hey it’s time for This Fucking Guy!

This week’s This Fucking Guy is Dr. Oz. Yes, you know Dr. Oz, he’s the TV quack who hawks unproven and potentially dangerous protein supplements as if they’re actual medicine! And this is precisely the kind of reason why you shouldn’t ask for anyone’s advice for someone that became famous because they appeared on Oprah. Oprah has been known to hawk some bad medicine on her show. Just ask Dr. Phil! So here’s what is happening with this. But here’s the thing – when a brand new disease strikes, we have no idea what is going to happen or how this thing is going to play out. It could go away in August. Or it could come back with a raging force in September and last the rest of the year. But one thing we know for absolute certain- never listen to a guy like Dr. Oz! Or Dr. Phil. Or Dr. Drew.

Over the past decade, celebrity wellness brands have helped to frame how we talk and think about health. But now that we are in the grip of a deadly pandemic, their shameless marketing of healing crystals, supplements and cleanses (aka unhealthy crash diets) comes across as especially ludicrous and exploitative. Now more than ever, the public wants and needs good science from trusted sources.

In some ways it feels like the volume has been turned down on the celebrity wellness pontificators. (Indeed, Gwyneth Paltrow's pseudoscience spewing Netflix show, "The Goop Lab," debuted just three months ago but already feels like it is from a different, more New Age-friendly, epoch.) But in reality, they are still playing a large and less-than-constructive role in the public discourse surrounding COVID-19. Arguably, they are actually making things worse than they were before the public health crisis.

Take Dr. (Mehmet) Oz. The celebrity surgeon is suddenly everywhere, especially on Fox News, where he has been (mis)advising America and President Donald Trump on hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that the president has been pushing as a treatment for the coronavirus, despite the many concerns of health professionals. Touting the unproven benefits of the drug without talking about the mixed science and its potentially deadly side effects is "inexcusable," a Mayo Clinic heart expert told NBC News recently.

This hasn't stopped Oz, however. On Thursday, he promoted a "self-reported" hydroxychloroquine clinical trial on Fox News without the vital caveat that it was designed only for patients so sick that they were already near death. And that this type of research is far from definitive (we need well-done clinical trials). It is exactly this kind of irresponsible commentary that led to a man to mistakenly ingest chloroquine phosphate (thinking it would prevent the coronavirus) and die. (Oz also implied reopening schools could lead to people dying but might be an acceptable "trade-off" — he later said he "misspoke."

But wait, there’s more! Yes, leave it to a pair of TV hacks to turn potential cures for this shitty virus into a late night TV infomercial. And who guessed that two guys who live and die by their TV appearances would hawk the same cures? I’m shocked, shocked!! And by the way when you’re looking for cures in the middle of the worst pandemic in an entire century, you don’t want to hear words like “maybe” or “almost” or “miracle”. Because as the survey might suggest, that’s complete 100% bullshit.

Business is booming for only a few industries—video conferencing, hand sanitizer, and…elderberry syrup manufacturers. In Washington, hit early and hard, a pair of siblings now work 70 hour weeks filling orders for their immune-boosting formulation, up four times from February. In Texas, a kombucha shop is selling out of elderberry concentrate and elderberry gummies. Across the United States, panicked consumers have cleaned out major retailers, who also report shortages of other “immune-boosting supplements,” among them Vitamin C, zinc, and Vitamin D.

It makes sense to see these purchases as irrational and possibly dangerous: a waste of money when money is scarce, and unscientific when respect for scientific authorities is at a premium. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the division of the National Institutes of Health tasked with evaluating “alternative” medicine, put out a warning with a key takeaway in bold print:

When Dr. Oz tells a national TV audience that supplements “may be beneficial in shortening the duration” of infection—elderberry among those he recommends—he’s in the same camp as televangelist Jim Bakker hawking “Silver Sol Liquid.”

Shut it all down, just like the FTC shut down Bakker. As health policy expert Timothy Caulfield argues in a blistering opinion piece, there should be no tolerance for pseudoscientific cures that drain resources and might kill you. We should condemn those engaged in “leveraging the fear and uncertainty surrounding the outbreak to sell products and ill-conceived health theories,” whether they’re faith healers, Dr. Oz, or supplement sellers—and we should strive to educate those who fall for their sales pitches so they are no longer vulnerable.

Seriously, at this point I’d trust Dr. Nick over Dr. Oz. But really you think that the idea of selling unproven supplements might be a bad idea? Especially in the age where actual health care is ridiculously expensive and more people are choosing to self-medicate, you really don’t want to hear the words “unproven” next to a medication you might plan to buy. Nor do you want to hear the words “unholy alliance”. Actually, you never want to hear the words “unholy alliance” on anything.

Of course President Trump is getting advice about the pandemic from Mehmet Oz, and of course Dr. Oz is eager to provide it. They’re a match made in ratings-obsessed heaven.

Oz, mind you, is not a virologist. Not an epidemiologist. His actual specialty — cardiothoracic surgery — isn’t the most immediately relevant to the coronavirus. But his real specialty is using medicine as a means to maximum public exposure. He wasn’t about to let this dark chapter go to waste.

Over recent weeks he has made a blizzard of appearances on Fox News, giving interviews to hosts not exactly known for the dissemination of responsible information. I mean Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, the Trump-besotted pep squad on “Fox & Friends.”

And part of what the good doctor has done on these showcases is promote the anti-malarial treatment hydroxychloroquine as a potential wonder drug for Covid-19. An article by CNN Business’s Oliver Darcy and Kevin Liptak on Tuesday said that these plugs had piqued the president’s interest in the treatment, which he frequently mentions — rather, moons over — at his daily coronavirus news conferences. And The Times has reported that Oz also pitched hydroxychloroquine in conversations with members of the Trump administration.

So between hawking hydroxychloroquine and useless protein supplements, Dr. Oz is treading some very dangerous waters here. But in case you’re wondering about the kind of effect that Dr. Oz has on hawking some serious bullshit, there’s actually a thing in the food and dietary supplement industry about the “Dr. Oz” effect. He’s not really a doctor, he’s more like a marketer who hawks medically adjacent products.

“Ten years ago, we used to talk about the Dr. Oz effect. That would usually be covered by two or three products,” Emme says. “Now we have hundreds of products that have massive demand.”

At Maypro Ventures, President Dan Lifton can point to February numbers as almost quaint. Through its Quality of Life finished product brand, sales of immunity products, led by the Kinoko AHCC mushroom blend, were up 28%. He knows sales will be higher, far higher, for March. “We are stocking up in an unprecedented way,” Lifton says.

On the ingredient supplier side, Lifton says Maypro is seeing a dramatic “uptick” for herbs such as echinacea and astralagus and that interest in the company’s Morinaga BB536 probiotic is suddenly trending. Lifton predicts a “permanent expansion” for the immunity category, but he expects every category will grow in the short and long term. “I think the gateway drug phenomenon will hold,” he says, explaining that customers will be drawn in by immunity and follow that interest into other categories. “Use of multivitamins will go up. Ultimately, the biggest driver for supplement use is prevention.”

Len Monheit, CEO at Trust Transparency Center, agrees that immunity and prevention are just the beginning of the success story. “Immunity is going to lead the charge, and it’s already exploding. But you’re going to see your multis do well,” Monheit says. Other ingredients like ashwagandha could be less obvious hits. “You’re going to have stress, and you’re going to have energy [do well] because these are challenging times.”

Yeah that just seems like the kind of thing that would burn down the emergency room. So more product hawking and less doctoring, that’s Dr. Oz, this week’s:

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[font size="8"]People Are Dumb
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Let’s give the wheel a good strong spin shall we? And it lands on… no whammy no whammy no whammy no whammy… stop!! Oh a clip without context!

Uh… have you seen the news lately John? Nobody is making money! So that makes your little theory there officially moot. Spin it again!! Oh hey it’s time for People Are Dumb! Hit it!

Of course you know by now that people are people, and people are dumb. Yes, sadly, even the pandemic has not stopped people from being the ridiculously dumb animals that they are. So with that in mind, let’s start with this story out of Iowa. OK look… look. People we really need to calm when it comes to where the virus actually is. Because there’s a huge steaming load of misinformation out there when it the coronavirus. So naturally people are going to be confused as to where the virus actually is and how it gets tramsitted. But if you think it’s on your drugs, well, you might be on them.

Worried that her methamphetamine was contaminated, an Iowa woman drove to police headquarters and asked cops to check her stash for the coronavirus, according to court records.

Shawn Salmen, 53, arrived at the Sioux City Police Department Sunday afternoon and reportedly admitted to officers that she recently used meth. Which appeared obvious since the paranoid Salmen was sweating profusely and acting erratically, cops say.

While speaking with police, Salmen “was requesting officers to check her narcotics for the COVID-19 Virus,” a criminal complaint states.

During a subsequent pat down of Salmen and a search of her truck, cops recovered 14.4 grams of meth, marijuana, and “a large amount of drug paraphernalia.”

Well that’s one way to do it! Next up – church. You know even religion is hurting in this trying time when there’s a killer virus that has just ravaged everything we care about. But that doesn’t exempt them from being dumb. Even a state-sanctioned religion like the Church Of England isn’t exempt from bringing on the stupid. Or a misfortune. We’ll let you be the judge.

A church was presented with signs reading "Chris is risen" after a mix up at the printers.

Acomb Parish Church, in York, had ordered four banners saying 'Christ is Risen' but the 'T' was missed off the finished article.

However, assistant Curate Ned Lunn said the error was discovered before the signs were delivered.

A BBC Radio York Facebook post has been shared more than 3,000 times, prompting one person to reply 'More T vicar?'

Mr Lunn said: "I'm so glad the customer spotted the mistake. It'll save a bit of embarrassment and a lot of confusion.

Praise Chris!!!! Next up – of course our good friends in the Sunshine State, scheduled to go up next in our 2020 Stupidest State tournament – is never exempt from bringing on the crazy. I mean when you live in warm climates on beaches surrounded by oil, with excessive booze and crystal meth easily available, you’re bound to get some stupid idiots. Such is the case here.

A Florida Woman placed plastic Easter eggs stuffed with pornographic images and other items in the mailboxes of scores of homeowners, according to cops who say they collared the “deranged offender” last night.

Investigators allege that Abril Cestoni, 42, delivered the X-rated material over the past several days, resulting in her arrest on 11 counts of distributing obscene items.

A charging affidavit alleges that Cestoni, seen above, stuffed mailboxes with Easter eggs and a pamphlet containing “incoherent rants about local religious clergy” and “multiple pornographic images.”

After a homeowner last night called 911 to report a suspicious person placing something in her mailbox, cops pulled over Cestoni’s car. Upon being read her rights, Cestoni reportedly admitted to distributing the plastic eggs and the pamphlets. Acknowledging she had distributed obscene material, Cestoni claimed she included the images “because homosexuals are allowed to teach in the church.”

Ah, that most elusive of dishes – the fabrege egg salad! Next up – we go to that most socially distant of US states, Michigan’s famous Upper Peninsula! Yes, while the Uppers (as they call themselves) rarely make the news, when they do so, they do so in spectacular fashion! You call that a knife? Well I got a chainsaw!!

A man and a woman, chased off by a Houghton County homeowner defending his property with a chainsaw, face first-degree home invasion charges.

Forty-year-old Sasha Joy Anderson of South Range and 32-year-old Christopher William Darmofal of Warren were arraigned Monday morning in Houghton County District Court.

First-degree home invasion is a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Darmofal is also charged with carrying a concealed weapon, felonious assault and malicious destruction of personal property.

The Houghton County Sheriff's Office says around 4:00 a.m. Saturday in South Range, Darmofal pulled a knife on a man inside his home. The man defended himself with a chainsaw, and Darmofal and Anderson ran away. Deputies found them at another home in South Range.

Investigators say no one was hurt. Anderson's bond was set at $300 cash. Darmofal's was set at $5,000 cash. Their preliminary hearings will be set within three weeks.

Yeah it stinks like fish in here all right! Finally this week – Florida governor Ron DeSantis might possibly be one of the dumbest people in the country and he’s certainly in the running for one of the worst governors of all time. So of course we’re all going stir crazy in this time of isolation and quarantine during the great pandemic. But Ron DeSantis has his priorities totally out of whack. Beaches? OK to open! Schools? Must remain closed!

Hundreds of people swarmed Florida's beaches Saturday, just one day after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced they would be allowed to open at local leaders' discretion.

Images of people flocking to beaches in the Jacksonville, Fla., area went viral on Twitter on Saturday, prompting backlash from users on the platform and the hashtag "#FloridaMorons."

DeSantis on Friday allowed cities with beachfronts to begin opening their beaches at their own discretion. The same day, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry (R) announced that Duval County’s beaches would reopen.

However, the easing of restrictions still banned people from bringing towels and chairs — to prevent large congregations — and limited the hours. People are encouraged to go on walks or swim and remain six feet or farther apart from one another to maintain social distancing.

“This can be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life,” Curry said. “Please respect and follow these limitations. Stay within the guidelines for your safety as well as for the safety of your neighbors.”

That’s it this week for:

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[font size="8"]Stupidest State Round 2 Week 1: Gun Nut Championships
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Let’s give the wheel one final spin this week! And it lands on… no whammy no whammy no whammy… stop!!! Ah, it’s another one of our famous clips without context!

Funny I don’t remember the Constitution being written by god. I must have fallen asleep during that lecture in 8th grade history. Spin it again! It’s time for Stupidest State 2020!

Welcome back to the 2020 Stupidest State! Just to recap last week was the last week of Round 1 and Week 4 was quite the stunner! We were in New Orleans where it was a battle of the 3s and 4s when over in the Family Values Conference, Mike Pence’s Indiana upset Jim Jones and his heavily favored Ohio squad with a thrilling last second buzzer beater! Meanwhile, over in the Batshit Conference, Idaho hangs on against surging South Carolina to play Virginia for the Batshit Crown! Now, since nearly all of America’s sports venues are closed for the foreseeable future, we are doing things simulated from here through the championship. Yes, simulated! This week, we’re in Chicago at the home of the Blackhawks and Bulls, the United Center, for the 2nd round action! #2 Florida takes on #3 New Mexico! Let’s go to the floor for more!

[font size="4"]Gun Nut Championship: Florida Vs New Mexico:[/font]

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

Florida is notoriously famous for having one of the single highest concentrations of guns, gun shops, and gun conventions in all of America. But since the Great Pandemic, gun conventions are completely closed to the public for the time being. Shame. Where are Florida’s Gun Nuts going to get their illegal backdoor weapons purchase fix? Well there’s plenty of alternate opportunities for gun purchases in the Sunshine State. And in fact, since the pandemic happened, gun manufacturers should actually revel in the fact that they are doing gangbusters business.

Guns purchases in Florida peaked in the middle of the month as the coronavirus fears gained momentum, and more guns were sold in March than any March in the last decade.

Dallas, who didn’t want to give us her last name, is a first time gun buyer.

“I believe in the second amendment, and the right to protect yourself,” said Dallas.

And while she says it isn’t all about the virus, sales at Kevin’s in the state's capital peaked in mid-March and have been steady since.

“It is another factor that makes me think, 'Should I be prepared if someone were to come and infringe on my rights,'” said Dallas.

"It’s a lot of first time buyers. People just wanting to protect themselves I think. They don’t know the outcome that lives in the future and just trying to get ahead of things. Supplies are drying up a little bit,” said Brandon Long, the gun manager at Kevin’s.

Bill and Jeanette Busby aren’t first time buyers, nor are they preppers.

“We’re going to go to the range and practice, and give her a little safety with it. But we’re not real big in guns,” said Bill.

Yeah that might be the sensible thing to do right now – just cut Florida off and let them sail into the Gulf Of Mexico. Maybe take Georgia with you. Sorry, Cuba! And let me get this straight – you’re buying a gun during one of the worst disasters in US history and you’re not a doomsday prepper? No, you’re a doomsday prepper, let’s not kid ourselves. At least with no gun show loophole, they’re choosing to get their guns legally. You know, tyranny and all.

As news of a worldwide coronavirus pandemic broke, many rushed to buy toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and guns.

"We had two to three weeks of an Armageddon-type of set up," said Alex Shkop, owner of Guns & Range Training Center in West Palm Beach.

For weeks, long lines could be seen outside gun stores in West Palm Beach with armed guards or law enforcement standing by to help with crowd control.

Numerous gun shop owners told WPTV Contact 5 on background that many purchasers were first-time gun owners.

"We had people that were basically openly admitting that they have never owned a gun, they have never used a gun," said Shkop. "They were purchasing firearms and they were asking questions like how to use them and how to take care of them. A lot of first-time buyer questions."

And yeah everyone, their mums, their dads, their pets, and their kids are packing heat in the Sunshine State. We kid all the time, but when you see stories like this, you know that things are really fucked up in Florida. And our extremely lax and loose gun laws in the world can even allow animals to get guns. Yup, you read that right!

Fla. - Florida authorities tracking a stolen car also discovered a little something unexpected — a baby alligator being kept as a pet.

Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma held a press conference Friday to announce details of the arrest made the day before. A deputy ran a license plate number and discovered a car was stolen.

The deputy trailed the car to a Lake Mary home and stopped a separate car that was attempting to leave the driveway. Deputies found guns, heroin and cocaine in the car, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Inside the house, investigators found the baby alligator along with more drugs and guns. The sheriff’s office posted photos on its Facebook page.

[font size="4"]New Mexico[/font]

We saw in Florida how they have one of the highest concentrations of guns in this country. Now how are they matched with a state that has one of the highest concentrations of drugs in this country? Well, it’s a pretty solid match. And it’s no secret that the Great Pandemic has turned things upside down and inside out. Now let’s look at the exact opposite of Florida – New Mexico. While New Mexico may be underdogs in this tournament, their gun nuts mean business. So much that they are planning to sue the governor over gun shop closures.

The National Rifle Association and other pro-gun organizations on Friday filed a lawsuit against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for closing gun stores in New Mexico during the COVID-19 crisis.

The NRA and the other plaintiffs filed the case in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, claiming the governor, as well as the state Department of Health and Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel, violated citizens’ Second and 14th amendment rights for not considering firearm stores “essential.”

As a result of Lujan Grisham’s order, all firearm-specific retailers and gun ranges in New Mexico are closed.

“It’s very important that, even in a situation such as this, people are able to exercise their basic and most fundamental rights,” said Cody Wisniewski of Mountain States Legal Foundation, one of the firms representing the plaintiffs.

Lujan Grisham extended the closure of many in-person businesses on Monday, including firearm stores, until April 30 in order “to minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

You tell ‘em Homer! What these gun nuts and religious zealots don’t understand is that these closures are just temporary! Temporary! They’re not permanent. And just like Florida, New Mexico’s gun owners are also having their fair share of problems, like inflated background checks. Well, you can’t say that the system isn’t getting used or anything!

Similar to many other states, New Mexico had a record-setting month in March for firearm background checks amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The FBI performed 24,571 background checks in the state last month through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which does not account for how many guns each person buys.

The number exceeds that of any month in New Mexico since the FBI began tracking firearm background checks in 1998.

When compared with the number of background checks during the same time last year, the number had risen by 45%.

Gun stores around the state reported that sales skyrocketed after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a public health emergency on March 11, with many running low on different types of firearms and ammunition.

New Mexico also shares a border with actual Mexico. And remember two years ago when the migrant issue on the Border was a huge thing and there was that guy who formed his own militia to round up immigrants? Well it backfired and he got arrested, and last week he was finally sentenced. Yes, he got his just desserts.

A New Mexico man who had been described as a "commander" of a group accused of detaining migrants was sentenced to nearly two years in prison Wednesday for illegally possessing guns, prosecutors said.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 70, was sentenced to 21 months for being a felon in possession of a firearm, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Mexico said in a statement.

Hopkins pleaded guilty in January under a plea agreement and admitted to having possessed nine pistols, rifles and shotguns on Nov. 28, 2017, in San Juan County, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Hopkins is barred from owning guns because of previous convictions in Michigan, Oregon and South Dakota.


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

No doubt about it, Florida utterly routed New Mexico and they have secured the first spot in the Final Four to play for the crown! Final score: 94 – 66. Florida - cut that net, guys! You earned it!

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

Next week we’re live at the home of the Chicago Blackhawks, the United Center in Chicago, IL for the Family Values Conference championships! #1 Alabama takes on #4 Indiana for the Family Values crown!

See you next week!


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