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Wed May 20, 2020, 05:00 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #8-18: Sometimes You Dont Want To Go Where Everyone Knows Your Name Editi


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #8-18: Sometimes You Don’t Want To Go Where Everyone Knows Your Name Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! So how you guys holding up at home? You doing good? Ah this fucking sucks, I can’t wait to go back out and do some live Top 10s again. But we’re here and not going crazy at the moment. This is our next to last edition of Season 8. We will be back for a Season 9 and a season 10. Not sure what is going to happen beyond that though. We’ve been covering nearly almost all of the Trump administration, which is insane. So last week, we lost the great Jerry Stiller who of course played George’s father Frank Costanza on Seinfeld. This week, we lost the late, great Fred Willard. Who has been in just a ton of great movies, like Best In Show, or This Is Spinal Tap, or Anchorman, or Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. OK maybe the last one wasn’t so great, it was funny sure, but in the back end of Fred Willard’s catalogue there’s definitely some much better movies of his that you can watch. And he was a dude who could not only make people laugh, but he was My personal favorite is him in Anchorman where he is on the phone to his son’s principal’s office and says “Why I don’t know where he could have got a hold of German pornography.”. Ah that was a classic. Also Spinal Tap, you can’t forget the greatness of that film. Do I know where I am going with this? You bet your ass I don’t. OK enough of the intro, we have a lot of idiocy to get to. But first John Oliver is back and explains how the Coronavirus is affecting the sports industry.



Man the GOP are really proving to be completely full of shit aren’t they? Not to mention stupid, classless and arrogant. So in the number one slot this week goes to Donald Trump (1). He’s apparently grown bored with Coronavirus and is shifting focus to his next wacky adventure – Space Force and locking up Obama, because, reasons. In the third slot this week is Wisconsin Republicans (2) and they clearly don’t give a shit about 87,000 Americans dying from Coronavirus and voted to fully open the state anyways. In the third slot this week is also Donald Trump and we’re going to talk about the alarming testimony from whistleblower Dr. Bright that took over the House and well, we’re seriously fucked. Taking the fourth slot this week is yet another guy who clearly doesn’t give a shit, and that’s Elon Musk (4), and we will talk about his quest to reopen the Tesla manufacturing facility in Fremont and his war with California. He crazy. In the fifth slot this week is our weekly investigative piece, Top 10 Investigates. And this week, how is Coronavirus affecting the animal population? Well animals trapped in zoos are having a hard time getting the food they need, and China’s got a huge bamboo problem affecting the worldwide panda population. Taking the sixth slot this week is of course our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in “Holy Shit”, and is the Coronavirus the key to unleashing the next generation of the mark of the beast? Our resident pastor is going to go over one of the crazier conspiracy theories to come out of the Christian right. In slot #7, after giving what many are calling the worst high school graduation speech of all time, we add Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse to the ever-growing list of People Who Somehow Got Elected. Taking the 8th slot this week is a new edition of Conspiracy Corner (8) and we’re going to check out a new video promoting some ridiculous theories about coronavirus vaccines that, well, for lack of a better word, went viral. In the number 9 (NEIN!!!) slot this week, we have an all new “I Need A Drink”. And do we really need a spinoff of Jeremy Piven’s hot-headed super agent character Ari Gold from Entourage? I need a few drinks for this one. And finally it’s time for the Stupidest State Final Four! Idaho. Michigan. Florida. Alabama. Two of these teams will advance, one wins it all! Plus we’ve got some new music from a favorite band of mine, AWOLNATION! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

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[font size="8"]Donald Trump
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You know that old saying about how the cure is worse than the disease right? Well, Donald Trump, the guy who we are currently calling “president of the United States” has officially lost it. And with the coronavirus still ravaging society and wreaking havoc on our day to day lives, would you really trust the guy who tells us to drink bleach and stares at the sun during an eclipse? I mean shit this reeks of Papa John’s infamous 40 pizzas in 30 days interview (see Top 10 #7-21 ). But when you’ve got a president who simply doesn’t give a flying fuck about things like health or science, would you trust him with a cure for this thing?

President Donald Trump said Monday that he has been taking anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine daily for over a week to prevent coronavirus infection even though it is not yet a proven treatment.

“I happen to be taking it,” Trump said during a roundtable event at the White House. “A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it. The front-line workers, many, many are taking it.”

He added: “I’m taking it, hydroxychloroquine. Right now, yeah. Couple of weeks ago, I started taking it. Cause I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories.”

Trump also said that he is taking zinc, and that he has taken an initial dose of azithromycin, or Z-Pak.

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley released a memo Monday evening, which said that after discussing evidence for and against hydroxychloroquine with Trump, they concluded “the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/18/trump-says-he-takes-hydroxychloroquine-to-prevent-coronavirus-infection.html




That is a good question sir! What is wrong with him? Does this mean that he’s got the virus and requires treatment? It’s no secret that COVID is probably crawling all over the White House with two Pence staffers testing positive. But at least even Pence, for all his flaws, has more sense than our president does, and that’s saying something. And then Nancy Pelosi had to weigh in on the subject, and well, it was a thing of beauty!

In response to the shocking news that President Donald Trump is taking hydroxychloroquine in an attempt to ward off the coronavirus, CNN's Anderson Cooper asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi what she made of that decision.

Here's what she said:

"As far as the President is concerned, he's our President and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group -- morbidly obese, they say. So, I think it's not a good idea."

Which raises an interesting question: Is Trump actually morbidly obese? (Twitter was taken by that question Tuesday morning, with both #PresidentPlump and #TrumpMorbidlyObese" trending.)

Let's start here: The CDC doesn't actually use the term "morbidly obese" at all.
Generally speaking, it defines obesity as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. (BMI is calculated by taking "a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters," according to the CDC website.) Within "obese," the CDC has three distinctions: 1) Those with a BMI between 30 and 35 2) those with a BMI between 35 and 40 and 3)those with a BMI over 40, which the CDC categorizes as having "extreme" or "severe" obesity.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/19/politics/nancy-pelosi-donald-trump-fat-hydroxychloroquine/index.html




Yeah let it all hang out there! By the way if you want to see where your state’s governor ranks on how they’ve been handling this seemingly never-ending crisis, then one thing is for certain – 49 of the 50 governors all have better approval ratings than Trump did. Oh and in case you’re wondering where this is leading, Trump is already bored with Coronavirus and has moved onto his next wacky adventure – conquering space with his shiny new toy, er branch of the military – Space Force!

The U.S. Space Force — the newest branch of the armed services — now has its own flag.

Defense Department officials presented President Donald Trump with the Space Force flag during a short Oval Office event on Friday. The dark blue and white flag includes elements intended to evoke the vast recesses of outer space.

The Space Force, which was officially established in December, is the first new military service since the U.S. Air Force was established in 1947. The 16,000 airmen and civilians that make up the Space Force technically remain part of the Air Force, which previously oversaw offensive operations in space. But Trump has made clear he sees the newest service as critical to the future of American defense.

The president said during Friday's ceremony that the U.S. is building a “super-duper missile” that can travel “17 times faster than what we have right now.”
https://www.syracuse.com/us-news/2020/05/president-trump-unveils-space-force-flag-promises-super-duper-missile.html




Yes, Trump wants to conquer space! And he might as well hire Elon Musk to help him get to Mars while we are at it. You know before we go conquering strange new worlds, why don’t we, I don’t know, solve the problems here on this world first? We’ve got a crippling virus that’s destroying the lives of everyone on the planet and an economy that’s been exposed for the fraud it is. Oh and I don’t need to tell you that he’s also got a super duper missile too! Why not I don’t know, fix that? Oh well, onto the next wacky adventure! It was spewed from the Powerbook of the laziest Hollywood hack writer! Here we go again!

President Donald Trump on Friday boasted that the US military is developing a new "super duper" missile that he claimed can travel 17-times faster than anything in the current arsenal, a claim the Pentagon was unwilling to confirm.

"We are building, right now, incredible military equipment at a level that nobody has ever seen before. We have no choice. We have to do it -- with the adversaries we have out there. We have a -- I call it the 'super-duper missile.' And I heard the other night, 17 times faster than what they have right now," Trump said at a White House event to sign the 2020 Armed Forces Day Proclamation.

Trump was speaking alongside some of the country's top military leadership, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

"You take the fastest missile we have right now -- you've heard Russia has five times, and China is working on five or six times. We have one 17 times. And it's just gotten the go-ahead," Trump added.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/16/politics/trump-super-duper-missile/index.html





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[font size="8"]The State Of Wisconsin
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Sometimes you don’t want to go where everyone knows your name. Because you’ll leave with more than what you came. You don’t want to be where you can get a disease, because then you will be the one to blame. You don’t want to go where everyone knows your name. Thank you virtual audience! Let’s do some fact checking here. Fact #1 – COVID will be with us for the next 18 months at a minimum and if we’re lucky. Fact #2 – social distancing will continue until at least 2022 assuming that there’s no vaccine found. Fact #3 – no way in hell will our economy last that long. Put all 3 facts together and this is a powder keg waiting to explode. Never mind that the parade of idiots and MAGAs keep spreading the virus to rural areas that had previously not contracted it. So how do you reopen the economy? Do you wade in the shallow end like California and Oregon are doing? Or do you dive in the deep end like Florida and Georgia are doing? Well, Wisconsin is going a slightly different path.

A feeling of so-called “normalcy” returned to the banks of the St. Croix River on Thursday, as people in Hudson packed the sidewalks and crowded restaurant patios for the first time in two months.

These activities finally became legal in the state of Wisconsin, after the conservative-led State Supreme Court deemed the Democratic governor’s “Safer at Home” order unconstitutional. In the absence of a statewide policy, the 72 local counties in Wisconsin – and the cities and towns within them – must now scramble to make their own rules as they see fit. In Hudson, the city and St. Croix County are still in discussions about those policies, according to county and city officials.

The elimination of statewide restrictions has led to a mix of celebration, confusion, and concern, depending on who you meet.

“It almost feels like we’re waking up from a dream,” teenagers Adrianna and Kenzie said after driving across the river from Minnesota to pick up food in downtown Hudson. “It’s cool to see everyone back. It’s… relieving.”
https://www.kare11.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/wisconsin-reopening-is-being-received-with-celebration-concern/89-9cad42ff-5ad2-4c50-83e8-2589c8f19df0




Oh we’re not doomed just yet. Ah fuck it, who am I kidding? Of course we’re doomed. We let our guard down in 1918 and what happened? The dreaded “second wave”. But let’s take a look at what happened in the bars in Wisconsin after things reopened as if the pandemic never happened or is happening. Holy shit are we doomed! Let’s cue my botched version of the Cheers theme again!

Bars in Wisconsin are open and busy.

The Palace in Superior has been open since Thursday night.

Anthony Erhardt is a bartender at The Palace and said it has been busy since Thursday.

While the bar offers masks and sanitation wipes, he noted very few customers have been going into the bar wearing protective equipment.

Erhardt said that people are traveling from all over to get a drink.

"75% of our business was people from Minnesota. A lot of people from the Twin Cities also and up the North Shore," Erhardt said.
https://kbjr6.com/2020/05/16/wisconsin-bars-busy-first-weekend-open/




Hey look I’m a drinker. I want to get my drink on again. I want to go to my favorite brew pub and sink a few pints. But as long as this virus is a threat I’ll get my beer to go and drink at home. Right now the society we’re in isn’t Cheers, and you’re not Norm Peterson. And we’re not done with this thing yet, we’re not done by a long shot. If you want to go out, be sure you are made aware of the risks, like diving in the shallow end. It’s not recommended, so don’t do it.

Businesses did attempt to keep customers and workers safe. Indoors, attendance capacities were limited. People were asked to keep their distance and limit trips to the bathroom.

But after two months of banned public gatherings and shuttered businesses, it was striking to see such normality days after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ safer-at-home order.

And it wasn’t just Wisconsinites taking advantage of it. As is typical in Lake Geneva, the town on Saturday was filled with cars bearing license plates from Illinois, a state that is still subject to a stay-at-home order from its governor.

“Illinois is closed and we’ve been wanting to get out,” said Castano Penn, a Chicagoan who works at a senior living center and was not wearing a mask Saturday. “I know it’s probably bad. I’m just kind of done with it all.”

It was a sentiment shared by others as well. About a half-dozen other people interviewed by the Journal Sentinel said they grew tired of isolating in their homes and felt they deserved the freedom to choose what’s safe and what isn’t.
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2020/05/16/coronavirus-hundreds-flock-lake-geneva-downtown-most-without-masks/5207663002/




Well yes, good point, Norm. Because there’s still things you can and can’t do. Sure you could go to a bar and pound brews with your buddies, but would you risk a DUI? Or would you risk getting into an Uber afterward? There’s plenty of chances you can take and right now none of them are particularly good, so really until we know what this virus is doing, stay home and shut up.

Does the Supreme Court decision mean all businesses will reopen in Wisconsin?

No. Business owners may decide to remain closed, or reopen at their own pace and with their own restrictions. They may also be subject to local restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus that were unaffected by the Supreme Court decision about the statewide restrictions.

Some businesses may have lost their staff during the shutdown period and need to rehire before opening, or may have closed permanently.

Can a business owner make me keep a distance from others, or wash my hands, or wear a mask to get services or purchase products?

Yes. Private business owners can operate how they wish, short of illegal discrimination or safety violations. Remember "No shirt, no shoes, no service" signs? A more current example is the ban many businesses impose on weapons, even though the state allows properly licensed people to carry concealed guns in public generally.
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/wisconsin/2020/05/14/what-you-need-know-businesses-reopening-wisconsin/5190132002/





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[font size="8"]Dr. Bright Testimony
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We’re fucked. No wait, yeah, we’re fucked. Nice knowing you, humanity. We had a good run, but it’s time to start packing it in. Do I know where I am going with this? Well last week, we saw the alarming and damning testimony from COVID whistleblower and former Trump admin employee, Dr. Bright and COVID whistleblower and soon to be ex Trump admin employee Dr. Fauci. The Trump administration is determined to reopen the economy if it means killing a whole lot of us, and this thing isn’t going away any time soon. But as far as the long haul fear mongering let’s keep in mind the average length of a pandemic is really about 12 months or so. But it’s going to be a hell of a long time before things get back to normal.

Dr. Rick Bright is the highest-ranking government scientist to charge the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic has been slow and chaotic. He says it has prioritized politics over science, and has cost people their lives.

It has cost Dr. Bright his job. In April, he was removed from a top position in the Department of Health and Human Services, and transferred to what he considers a position of less stature and responsibility. Dr. Bright has filed a whistleblower complaint running over 300 pages.

President Trump has called Rick bright a disgruntled employee. In congressional testimony on Thursday, Bright claimed the government retaliated against him for telling the truth about the depth of the crisis.

Bright at congressional hearing: Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to improve our response now based on science, I fear the pandemic will get worse and be prolonged.

Until a month ago, Dr. Rick Bright led BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a federal agency to which Congress has handed more than $5 billion to fund vaccine development, new antiviral drugs, and badly-needed medical supplies.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rick-bright-whistleblower-trump-administration-coronavirus-pandemic-response/




Yes, we’re doomed. Only in this administration do you get fired for speaking the truth. Because that’s just how Trump rolls. So we’re basically left with two choices – we reopen and we’re completely miserable because of all the restrictions that COVID has placed on our society and risk the possibility of certain death, or we stay at home and go crazy from boredom.

An ousted top Health and Human Services official testified Thursday before Congress that the Trump administration's timeline for a coronavirus vaccine is likely too optimistic — and that there's "no plan" to mass produce and distribute one.

Hopes for a vaccine to be ready in 12 to 18 months assume that "everything goes perfectly," the official, Dr. Rick Bright, told the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health, adding, "We've never seen everything go perfectly."

Bright also said he had warned the administration about shortages of personal protective equipment, and he faulted President Donald Trump and senior officials for having minimized the outbreak early on — with, he said, deadly consequences.

"I believe Americans need to be told the truth," Bright said. "We did not forewarn people. We did not train people. We did not educate them on social distancing and wearing a mask as we should have in January and February. All those forewarnings, all those educational opportunities, for the American public could have had an impact in further slowing this outbreak and saving more lives."
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/coronavirus-whistleblower-bright-issues-stark-vaccine-warning-we-don-t-n1207056




Well come on man this is the Trump administration. Anyone less than someone who isn’t 100% loyal to Trump is considered disgruntled. But the more Trump keeps tanking this thing and the more people start dying, this could be a bad sign. Even more so as the idiots keep showing up at those anti-lockdown protests. Yeah this pandemic couldn’t suck more. Everyone wants to get back to their lives free from the restrictions. But do something stupid and it could open up Pandora’s box.

The Trump administration official set to testify before Congress Thursday oversaw the production and purchase of vaccines before being abruptly dismissed last month amid a clash with the administration on coronavirus treatments.

Dr. Rick Bright is an international expert on vaccines with a lengthy work history in the field. His expected testimony comes after he filed a whistleblower complaint last week alleging he was removed from his post in retaliation for opposing the broad use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug frequently touted by President Donald Trump as a treatment for Covid-19.

Bright had led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of a Department of Health and Human Services office that has been central to the response to the coronavirus outbreak, since 2016.

As BARDA's director, Bright oversaw "the advanced development and procurement of medical countermeasures against an array of threats to national security and the public's health, including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear threats and pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases," according to an archived webpage of his official biography.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/22/politics/who-is-rick-bright/index.html





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[font size="8"]Elon Musk
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What is it with people losing their minds and going full MAGA? First Kanye went and became a full blown sleazy televangelist and now it appears that Elon Musk is following in his footsteps. I mean what is it? you reach a certain age and you don’t have to worry about money and then somehow you just lose your shit? Last week Elon shocked the world when he named his newborn son X AE A-12. But now Tesla is turning the tables on the state in which it was founded – California. Yes, my home state and the favorite punching bag of conservatives everywhere. But Elon is taking things to the next level against not only the state but the coronavirus lockdowns that have crippled the economy.

Musk continued tweeting, appealing to followers to protest to their local government officials over the issue and comparing the Alameda County lockdown to other nearby counties which he stated had been suffering ‘no ill effects’ from continued industrial operation.

Local government in Alameda does not consider Tesla manufacture to be an ‘essential business’ and has therefore been ordered to be closed until the end of May at the earliest, following an original lockdown beginning on 23 March.

While lots of carmakers globally are beginning to start production again, with the likes of VW, Ford and Porsche all reawakening productions lines, Tesla remains dormant. It’s the only carmaker based in California, with CEO Musk repeatedly voicing frustration in recent weeks at what he sees as over-zealous, unconstitutional measures against personal liberties in the US.

So far, more than 80,000 people are known to have died from COVID-19 in the United States, with more than 1.3 million known cases recorded. Both figures are the highest tolls for a single county in the world.

Earlier in May Tesla shares saw $14billion wiped off their value after Musk tweeted that he thought Tesla’s stock price was too high. In, erm, mildly better news, the Tesla Model 3 was the UK’s best-selling car in April, while the market as a whole contracted by 97 per cent.
https://www.topgear.com/car-news/elon-musk-says-tesla-will-quit-california-over-coronavirus-lockdown




Yeah pretty much. But then Elon not only did that, he decided to go rogue. You know – going rogue is the favorite plot of just about every spy movie in existence. And look, Elon, we get it, we all want to go back to our jobs and daily routines that we had before the pandemic, but considering the pandemic might not be over at least this year we are going to have to make some sacrifices. And this is coming from a guy who can lose $14 BILLION in a single tweet. Yes, billion.

Tesla Inc. told employees that a California county health official has now signed off on safety measures the company took last week at its car plant as it restarted production in defiance of the area’s shutdown order.

The Alameda County health officer’s approval means Tesla has local support to resume full production starting this week, Laurie Shelby, the company’s environmental, health, and safety vice president, wrote in an email to staff Saturday that was viewed by Bloomberg News. Representatives for Tesla and the county didn’t respond to queries outside regular business hours.

The county’s authorization could resolve a highly contentious episode in which Elon Musk threatened to move Tesla’s headquarters and future programs out of California and sued the county over its health officer’s resistance to reopening the factory in Fremont. It’s unclear whether the chief executive officer will now follow through on his warnings, which also included shifting the company’s manufacturing out of the state.

When Tesla was resisting calls to idle the factory in March, Fremont officials sought clarification from Alameda County as to whether the company was an essential business. Erica Pan, the county’s health officer, considered the plant to be a public health risk, according to documents obtained through a California public-records request.
https://auto.hindustantimes.com/auto/news/tesla-says-california-plant-elon-musk-reopened-finally-has-county-s-approval-41589773108595.html




Of course! Even in the worst pandemic not seen in an entire century do we set aside the almighty dollar for life itself! Well I got news for you Elon, no matter how much money you may have, you can’t take it with you when you’re lying in a box in a ditch! But this is quite the wild ride here – it’s Mr. Elon’s Wild Ride (thank you to our graphics department for that one). But really on our list of priorities right now, new cars should be like last on the list. Let alone niche cars that most people can’t afford even if they could.

Electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report reportedly has asked dozens of workers at its car plant in Fremont, California, to return to work as soon as this Wednesday despite stay-at-home orders that remain in place for some 40 million Californians amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Internal messages viewed by Bloomberg indicate that Tesla is asking some of its workers - mostly those responsible for paint and stamping operations - to return to work as early as April 29, six days ahead of the tentative May 3 date currently being considered by state officials as a date to begin cautiously allowing businesses to reopen.

The potential battle come as states weigh the health and safety vs. economic benefits of reopening for business some seven weeks after the coronavirus pandemic brought the U.S. economy to an unprecedented standstill. Several states including Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas and Wyoming began lifting restrictions on some businesses this past weekend.

Tesla last month gained headlines after defying stay-at-home orders and keeping its carmaking factory up and running, leading to a run-in with the local Alameda County sheriff’s office. Tesla argued it was an essential service and should remain open; the sheriff’s department argued otherwise. Tesla closed the site on March 29.
https://www.thestreet.com/investing/tesla-california-reopen-factory-stay-at-home-orders-coronavirus




Oh and here’s where it gets weird, because you knew that it was coming. I mean come on, would you expect the guy who named his kid a series of nonsensical symbols to not have something weird associated with him? Well, he’s gone full Red Pill Truther, which of course means that his political beliefs are well off the deep end. And I love that one of the co-creators of the Matrix wasn’t having any of it.

A strange tweet by Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, has given rise to speculation that he may be veering to the right of the political spectrum.

What Happened

Musk, who is known to be a prolific user of Twitter, took to the platform on Sunday to declare, “Take the red pill.”

The red pill may be a reference to the 1999 movie “The Matrix,” in which the protagonist, Neo, is faced with the choice of taking either a red or a blue pill.
However, the red pill may also be Musk’s way of indicating his willingness to adopt right-wing political ideology, according to Business Insider. Musk is a self-described “moderate.”

Replying to Musk’s tweet, Ivanka Trump exclaimed, “Taken!”
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/elon-musks-red-pill-tweet-081927398.html





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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: China’s Bamboo Problem
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It’s time to investigate beyond the headlines! This is Top 10 Investigates!



How is the COVID-19 crisis hitting the worldwide animal population? While animals have a very rare possibility of contracting the deadly affliction themselves, it’s disrupted the global supply chain to the point where certain considerations have to be made for the greater good of the species. And this all happened in ways that could never happen in a million years, but have because of the COVID-19 crisis that is currently ravaging the planet. Because if you go through the supply chain food would have to make it from one side of the globe to the other, and if that chain is interrupted, then it would be impossible for that species to have a steady food supply. Let’s take the panda for instance and how this is being affected.

The Calgary Zoo will be returning two giant pandas on loan from China because a scarcity of flights due to COVID-19 has caused problems with getting enough bamboo to feed them.

Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Calgary in 2018 after spending five years at the Toronto Zoo and were to remain in the Alberta city until 2023.

The zoo’s president, Clement Lanthier, said this week the facility spent months trying to overcome transportation barriers in acquiring fresh bamboo and decided it’s best for the animals to be in China, where their main food source is abundant.

“It’s about the animals. At the end of the day, we cannot pretend that we care for animals if we don’t take those tough decisions,″ Lanthier said. “We believe the best and safest place for Er Shun and Da Mao to be during these challenging and unprecedented times is where bamboo is abundant and easy to access.″
https://kstp.com/coronavirus/calgary-zoo-returning-pandas-to-china-due-to-bamboo-barriers/5729497/




And there will be a lot more sad pandas if this keeps up. Because this thing has the potential to be a huge problem, and not just in China’s panda community. But as the world’s meat supplies are being upended and people are turning to relative measures to eat food and stay alive. One such tree population that is being ravaged is the very plant those pandas need to survive – bamboo.

The sound is deafening as metal strikes metal, battering my eardrums. Wood chips whizz past my head and the temperature seems to be rising in this small and dusty workshop. Amid the haze of sawdust, which seems to be enveloping everyone in the room, a team of workers stands over a series of archaic machines.

"Business is getting better and better each year," explains Kuai Liangyou, taking a moment of temporary silence as an opportunity to talk. "We get through nearly 800 bamboo trees a day. That's about 20 tons. The demand is very big. In the peak season, we cannot meet the demand."

Kuai is the manager of a relatively small but highly productive bamboo factory in Changning County, in southern Sichuan. This basic but efficient production line churns out a constant stream of refined bamboo, either being made into furniture or being split into new sets of disposable chopsticks. The factory is one of hundreds in the region that are trying to satisfy the appetite of the Chinese market for this new in-demand resource.

"Sichuan is one of the most densely populated regions in the country," explains Li Yanxia, Sichuan program officer for the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR). "The rapid growth in demand for bamboo resources over the last two decades has caused excessive exploitation of forest resources in the province. This has resulted in serious disturbance and destruction of the biodiversity of ecosystems in natural bamboo forests."
https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/chinas-appetite-bamboo-damaging-forests




But if we want to figure out how to save our pandas during the duration of this pandemic, look to Scotland, where the panda is the star attraction at the Edinburgh Zoo. But is it enough? And how long will this pandemic last? Those are two unknown variables. If the pandemic lasts longer than 18 months than it is a possibility that stockpile could run low. But if it doesn’t then it’s possible that the pandas could be saved without relocating them to China.

Giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang munch through up to 40lb of bamboo per day in their enclosures at Edinburgh Zoo.Concerns for the iconic animals were raised after it emerged that Canada's Calgary Zoo plans to return its own pair to China because of problems getting enough bamboo to feed them, caused by a scarcity of flights because of Covid-19.

Edinburgh Zoo bosses say that while they are still asking the public for donations to help meet their £55,000 per month animal food bill while they have no visitor income, they have no concerns about bamboo supply. They added that, as a result, they are not considering sending their star attractions back to China.Jo Elliot, animal collection manager at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "We have made sure that our stores are topped up and ready, which means that we have a bit of resilience there if we do have any supply chain issues.

"Many of the animals have specialist diets - obviously the pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, need their bamboo. Most of it gets shipped in from the Netherlands, and at the moment that is fine, we are still getting deliveries."Giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in 2011 on a ten year loan from China, for which the Scottish Government pays around £600,000 per year.It was hoped Tian Tian, whose name translates as "Sweetie", would produce an historic cub in Scotland but efforts have so far failed.
https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/people/edinburgh-zoos-giant-pandas-have-enough-bamboo-get-through-pandemic-2857835




But that said why is Calgary not getting the supply they need if they have pandas on loan? Well the Coronavirus has turned life upside down in ways that were completely unimaginable even going back as far as last December. And unknown variables and plenty of ways for this to go wrong could not only upend the worldwide panda population, but could have an adverse effect on zoology as we know it.

Two giant pandas in Canada will be heading back to China because their main meal, fresh bamboo, was getting too difficult to find during the pandemic, officials at Calgary Zoo in Canada said.

The bamboo for Er Shun and Da Mao was flown directly from China and then, when the pandemic reduced flights, on transfers from Toronto, the zoo said Tuesday. But even those flights have been reduced, making the adult bears' favored food supply shaky.

Shipments have gone to the wrong place, delivery times have been longer and the pair just won't eat some of the bamboo, zoo officials said.

"We believe the best and safest place for Er Shun and Da Mao to be during these challenging and unprecedented times is where bamboo is abundant and easy to access," Calgary Zoo President and CEO Clément Lanthier said in a statement.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/animal-news/canada-zoo-return-pandas-china-because-bamboo-too-hard-get-n1207496




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





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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! You know while we sit and wait to see how these uncertain times play out, there’s people on the other side who think that this might be the end of the world. And right now, it might literally be the end of the world as long as the great pandemic is going on. Even the good LAWRD JAYSUS would agree with that. But is it bringing about some unwanted side effects? Because my brothers and sisters on the right think that there’s going to be an after mark of the dreaded virus that’s been ravaging the economy and ruining lives. So how would this play out exactly? Well it’s the Mark Of The Beast, and you might want to get your Iron Maiden soundtrack of choice ready!

Peggy Popham gets her flu shot every year, despite her daughter Laura’s opposition to vaccines.

“I’m 70 and I’ve gotten sick before,” said Popham. “I don’t have a great immune system.”

Popham, who spoke to Yahoo News by phone while quarantining at home in Asheville, N.C., acknowledges that the same factors put her at risk for the coronavirus. “Of course,” she said, she’s worried about contracting COVID-19.

But she’s more worried about a possible vaccine for it.

“Absolutely not,” she said. “I would not take the vaccine.”

That’s a view shared by nearly one in five Americans, according to a recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll, which found that an additional 26 percent weren’t sure if they’d take it. Some of them no doubt have been influenced by the anti-vaccine disinformation that has been spreading for more than a decade on social media — although that has been directed primarily at routine childhood immunizations and their hypothesized link to autism. Popham’s reasons aren’t medical: They are religious and political.
https://news.yahoo.com/evangelicals-fear-the-mark-of-the-beast-from-a-coronavirus-vaccine-183249943.html




Oh my LAWRD, one in five?? One in fucking five??? Sorry, we are allowed to swear in my church, good sir. That ratio is way too high and it’s the reason why we can’t have nice things. And I’m sure that the good LAWRD JAYSUS would agree with me there, now wouldn’t he? Even the chief vaccinator himself, Bill Gates – many of whom see as the devil himself, weighs in on how ridiculous this all is.

If the worries of most quarantined Christians in the United States center on health and when they might resume their lives, there is a segment that wonders whether this moment has greater biblical significance. These apocalyptic-minded Christians seem to have become increasingly less concerned about the disease itself and more concerned about the government’s response to the disease.

To some, it appears Satan’s emissaries are poised to take advantage of the pandemic. Some Christian pastors believe the start of a Last Days battle for religious freedom began with the social distancing orders that have placed weekly in-person church services under fire. Tony Spell, pastor of Life Tabernacle, a Louisiana megachurch, defended his decision to hold a Palm Sunday service: “The church is the last force resisting the Antichrist, let us assemble regardless of what anyone says.” Another Louisiana pastor, Ronnie Hampton, decried the order “because Caesar is mandating how we conduct ourselves using the pretext of this virus to be able to conduct our lives and run our lives for us.”

American apocalypticists tend to be suspicious of government, of course. This is partly due to their conservative bent, but this suspicion is nearly mandated by a literalist reading of the Book of Revelation. John the Revelator’s arch-villains are political powers that institute totalitarian social controls while persecuting the righteous who refuse to profess their allegiance. The second beast of Revelation 13, commonly known as the Anti-Christ, will, according to many Christians, come to power in the chaos of the apocalypse. John described him as a miracle worker who will deceive the nations to worship the image of an earlier beast, a dragon with seven heads and ten horns that is sometimes identified as Satan himself.
https://religiondispatches.org/bill-gates-comments-on-covid-19-vaccine-enflame-mark-of-the-beast-worries-in-some-christian-circles/




Now here’s where it gets weird, and you knew that it was going to. Even in the great land of Jamaica, you see they are spreading the Mark Of The Beast visions as far as the dreaded virus has been spreading all across the land. The question is, where is this coming from and where is it going? Just like the virus itself, nobody really knows. And I don’t think anybody really cares either.

Jermaine Allen and Jacqueline Murray of the Linstead Seventh-day Adventist Church and North Street Seventh-day Adventist Church, respectively, claimed to have received visions on Tuesday this week.

They stated that the visions warned the “mark of the beast” would soon be imposed around the world. The new world order would force the Jamacian government to impose mandatory worship on Sunday.

“When the Lord gave us the message, we woke with much trembling and I know we had to take this message to the people of the world, and the prime minister of the country, that a great crisis is coming and the devil is going to send persons to enforce a one-day Sunday worship,” Allen said.

The Adventist claimed he had not been able to sleep after his vision.

“God loves (Prime Minister) Andrew (Holness) very much, and he does not want him to follow the rest of the world and institute these laws. He needs to be careful because any country that breaks the laws of God will come to national destruction,” said Murray, referring to the Jamaican PM who also happens to be Adventist.
https://wtlmautodesk.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/jamaican-adventists-go-public-with-mark-of-the-beast-visions/




Now you might be wondering where is this nonsense coming from? Well like all bad things right n ow, it originated from social media. And like all bad things, that propaganda, which I am sure the LAWRD they GAWD would disapprove of, spread as fast as it was made. And you can almost tell it’s bullshit just from looking at it. But does that persuade our brothers and sisters on the right? No it most certainly doesn’t!

As universities and pharmaceutical companies race to put out the first COVID-19 vaccine, some sectors of the religious right are gearing up to fight it, based on tenuous ties to what they call “the abortion industry” and a biblical teaching about “the mark of the beast.”

LifeSite News, a Catholic, anti-abortion website, has gathered more than 350,000 signatures on a petition protesting mandatory coronavirus vaccination orders—none of which have actually been issued. The petition starts with the kind of big-government concerns that have become a hallmark of anti-shutdown protests, claiming that “fear of a disease” could inadvertently lead to support for “the hidden agenda of governmental as well as non-governmental bodies” with plans to “restrict personal freedoms.”

“The so-called ‘public health experts’ have gotten it wrong many times during the current crisis,” the petition states. “We should not, therefore, allow their opinions to rush decision-makers into policies regarding vaccination.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/religious-far-right-mounts-anti-abortion-attack-on-covid-19-vaccine?ref=scroll




And there you have it, the people responsible for circulating the Mark Of The Beat propaganda are tools of the devil himself! Me personally? I prefer Iron Maiden. Mass has ended, may you go in peace! That’s it this week for:




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[font size="8"]Tony Evers: People Who Somehow Got Elected [br] [/font] [br]

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: Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse. While the rest of us are still reeling from the unfathomable havoc that COVID-19 is wrecking on the rest of the world, Senator Sasse has his own ideas about where it came from. The class of 2020 is suffering from not being able to take part in graduation ceremonies and end of the year activities that every senior from every other year gets to participate in. Instead they were subjected to virtual proms and senior nights on Zoom. Which really is not how you want to remember the last days of your high school or college career. Well, Ben Sasse gave a graduation speech that one will definitely remember. Much like the infamous curse toast from Seinfeld., Ben Sasse gave a speech that a bad comedian might deliver in a really bad improv sketch.

Regulars here at the shebeen are familiar with the exploits of Young Ben Sasse, Republican senator from Nebraska. Young Ben is often discussed as the future of his party, since he has loudly proclaimed himself as a leader of that dwindling faction of the GOP fairly described as Not Publicly Insane. (However, this principled stand has not kept him from enabling El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago whenever the rubber has met the road.) He also has declared himself the avatar of homespun heartland values and virtues. He even wrote a book about how the country has lost both its moral language and its mad cow-milking skillz. It was another one of those interminable conservative hell-in-a-handbasket tomes in which lofty philosophical language is used in place of the phrase, “Kids, today. Jeez.” How that “national moral language” jibed with voting in lockstep with the current moral landfill in the Oval Office is not for small minds to ponder.

Anyway, Young Ben Sasse got yet another week of self-quarantine off with a bang by providing the graduating seniors at Fremont High School in Fremont, Nebraska with a video commencement address, just like Barack Obama, an actual president, did all over television on Saturday night. Except that Young Ben Sasse, tie askew and quarantine stubble ablaze, parked his speech somewhere between a televised megachurch and Open Mic Night at the Chuckle Hut in North Platte.

It’s hard to get a handle on what Young Ben Sasse was going for here. Was his odd denunciation of people named “Jeremy” a signal to Pearl Jam fans in Fremont that he is not with them? Was he trying to be the Hip Senator Who Can Talk to the Young with all that business about climbing the rope in gym class? (Note: I spent four years in high school trying to climb the damn rope. Never made it off the ground.) The denunciation of psychology was probably a pitch for the know-nothing constituency he’ll need later on. As for the rest, I have no explanation for the point where he makes an “I’m old” joke and then replies to it himself, or the sudden time-warped appearance of his 2024 presidential stump speech about the evil Chinese. Also, too: grit.
https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a32578533/ben-sasse-commencement-speech/




So that happened. Ben Sasse gave his speech that would be pegged by a comedian that bombed open mic night at the local chuckle hut. But is China really to blame for COVID? Well there’s plenty of theories suggesting yes and plenty of theories suggesting no, but before you go into which is which, let’s keep in mind all the information coming out of China about how bad this thing was going to get, that it would totally upend our way of life as we knew it, but let’s not let facts get in the way of misinformation.

The Republican senator Ben Sasse’s attempt at humor during a speech for high school students has drawn strong criticism.

Sasse delivered the online speech to students at his former school, Fremont high in Nebraska, on Saturday. During the speech he suggested that the students would remember their senior years at their future reunions as “that time when China started a big global pandemic that created the worst public health crisis in over a century and brought the economy to its knees and we had to stay home and everybody was hoarding toilet paper”.

Near the end of the speech, Sasse mixed some serious encouragement for students with another shot at China.

“Nobody knows exactly how we’re going to beat this thing, but you know what, we’re Americans, we’re Nebraskans, we’ve got grit and we’re going to beat this thing,” he said. “We will bring the economy back. We are going to beat the virus ... We’re going to have to have a serious reckoning with the thugs in China who let this mess spiral out of control by lying about it,” he said.

Sasse also joked about psychologists: “Ninety-five per cent of all gainfully employed psychologists – and I’m serious, there are dozens of them that are gainfully employed - their job is really just to help people forget high school ... If you’re headed to college, do not do not major in psychology. That part’s not a joke.”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/17/senator-ben-sasse-china-coronavirus-graduation-speech




Now why do you have to hate on psychologists, Ben? Who hurt you? Now if you’re one of the people who are asking for an apology for this, keep in mind that Senator Sasse is a member of the GOP, they apologize for nothing. But apparently Mr. Sasse has a thing for doctors too, because this is not the first time he’s spoken out about the health care system. And with friends like these, you know, who needs enemies?

"We will bring the economy back. We are going to beat the virus.. We're going to have to have a serious reckoning with the thugs in China who let this mess spiral out of control by lying about it," he said.

He went on: "Your generation is going to have a big calling. You're going to have to deal with the consequences of all this."

Sasse joked at one point there were no longer differences between parents and teachers, and suggested graduates should avoid majoring in psychology during college.

The Nebraska senator set off a wave of criticism after the speech, which came as he campaigns for reelection in November. His Democratic opponent, Chris Janicek, told The Omaha News-Herald in a statement that "it's hard for me to believe that a US senator would make remarks like he did in that speech."
https://www.businessinsider.com/gop-ben-sasse-thugs-in-china-high-school-commencement-address-2020-5




Yes, it is easily possible for us to believe that a US senator could make those comments. This is, after all, the Donald J. Trump administration, where civility, logic, and reason have all been thrown out the window. But in an era where it’s growing increasingly hard to joke about the news every day, how could a senator stoop to such lows? Well just take a look at who we are dealing with in the United States government, currently.

Sen. Ben Sasse, in an online commencement address Saturday for Fremont High School, delivered a talk that was part attempted stand-up comedy, including shots at psychologists and students’ fitness, and part a scalding indictment of China over the coronavirus pandemic.

It drew sharp criticism from a Fremont school board member, who called on Sasse to apologize, and from Sasse’s Democratic opponent in the November election. The school district issued a statement saying it wasn’t responsible for the comments. Sasse’s spokesman said Sunday that it was all a joke and that students are mature enough to hear the truth about China.

An unshaven Sasse, wearing a loosened red tie and white shirt, told students they would be rare among high school graduates in that they would remember their commencement ceremony because of this year’s odd circumstances.

A couple of the attempted jokes: He said that in life, the graduates would at times be asked to climb ropes. “If you don’t get that joke, talk to your mom and dad. Back in the day when we were a lot fitter than you people are, we used to have to climb ropes all the way up to the ceiling of the gym.”
https://www.omaha.com/news/state_and_regional/watch-now-sasse-ridicules-people-named-jeremy-trying-to-joke-rips-thugs-in-china-in/article_115b3a24-e69d-5e47-8e4f-8730652bd785.html


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This is Ben Sasse, yet another in the ever-growing list of:



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[font size="8"]Conspiracy Corner: The Plandemic
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Gather around, boys and girls, ladies and gents, and our LGBT brothers and sisters! I don’t want to leave anybody out. It’s the segment where we dissect the latest in the world of batshit crazy, Conspiracy Corner! This week we are going to talk vaccines. Because as the talk of the COVID era is a vaccine that will hopefully kill this virus so we can all get back to the lives we had, the only way we are going to do that is with a vaccine. But with the vaccine already is coming a massive, worldwide disinformation campaign about what vaccines actually do. But thankfully social media websites like Facebook, Youtube, and Google are starting to crack down on misinformation regarding Coronavirus. But like a bad weed or a game of whack-a-mole, truly batshit crazy theories never die. They just spawn new legs and move somewhere else.

Social media is playing a huge role in the consumption of news as people seek out information about the coronavirus pandemic. But COVID-19 conspiracy-based claims are also spreading amid reliable news.

“The 2019-nCOV outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’ — an overabundance of information — some accurate and some not — that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it,” the World Health Organization stated in a February situation report.

The latest viral craze is the documentary “Plandemic.” This 26-minute documentary focuses on former research scientist Dr. Judy Mikovits and documentary creator Mikki Willis as they dive into a realm of theories about the pandemic.

The video received over a million views while it was hosted on YouTube. It eventually was taken down late last week for violating YouTube’s community guidelines but has made its way to several other social media sites.

“The creators of the video directly encouraged people to share it,” said Alex Kaplan, senior researcher at the left-leaning Media Matters for America. “On the video’s website when the video was launched, they wrote: ‘In an effort to bypass the gatekeepers of free speech, we invite you to download this interview by simply clicking the button below, then uploading directly to all of your favorite platforms’.”
https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2020/plandemic-recirculates-after-platforms-say-they-took-it-down/




I don’t really think that’s how the virus spread but it does seem like that it could happen! The pandemic has spawned infodemic – and really just add anything with the word “demic” after it and it will be OK, kind of like when they added the word “quantum” to everything after Ant-Man. So now how does one go through the wormhole on anti-vaxxer thinking? Because like most things involving drugs, it’s a long, strange trip to nowhere.

The conspiracy theory video “Plandemic” recently went viral. Despite being taken down by YouTube and Facebook, it continues to get uploaded and viewed millions of times. The video is an interview with conspiracy theorist Judy Mikovits, a disgraced former virology researcher who believes the COVID-19 pandemic is based on vast deception, with the purpose of profiting from selling vaccinations.

The video is rife with misinformation and conspiracy theories. Many high-quality fact-checks and debunkings have been published by reputable outlets such as Science, Politifact and FactCheck.

As scholars who research how to counter science misinformation and conspiracy theories, we believe there is also value in exposing the rhetorical techniques used in “Plandemic.” As we outline in our Conspiracy Theory Handbook and How to Spot COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories, there are seven distinctive traits of conspiratorial thinking. “Plandemic” offers textbook examples of them all.

Learning these traits can help you spot the red flags of a baseless conspiracy theory and hopefully build up some resistance to being taken in by this kind of thinking. This is an important skill given the current surge of pandemic-fueled conspiracy theories.
https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-plandemic-and-the-seven-traits-of-conspiratorial-thinking-138483




And that’s probably the safest way to go out in public as long as Coronavirus and COVID-19 exist. Anti vaccination crusaders are a strange and certainly weird bunch indeed. Also, like most things involving social media in 2020, the scariest thing of all in the war on COVID-19? Disinformation! Yes, the bullshit is coming. And like coronavirus, the bullshit doesn’t care what political party you belong to, or what your social or economic status is.

Some “fake news” is more dangerous than others. Lies, distortions and misinformation about coronavirus can be deadly, which is why YouTube and Facebook keep having to remove posts for a video that has circulated widely on social media, garnering millions of views. Its title, “Plandemic,” gives away its premise: that the COVID-19 outbreak, and the attempts to control it, are part of a sinister conspiracy by the very people whom we trust to keep us safe.

The 26-minute video, which is supposedly part of a longer “documentary” to be released this summer, stars Dr. Judy Mikovits — a scientist who was fired from the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease in 2011 after her research into chronic fatigue syndrome was discredited and retracted.

The video was produced by Mikki Willis, who according to the New York Times was involved in making “Bernie or Bust” and “Never Hillary” videos during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“The coronavirus epidemic is really fertile soil for all kinds of coronavirus conspiracy theories. And I think this video is actually really a good indication for us of how much misinformation can get out there quickly on social media,” says Dr. Dara Kass, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and a Yahoo News medical contributor.
https://news.yahoo.com/debunking-the-coronavirus-conspiracies-in-viral-plandemic-video-181417621.html




Well it certainly seems that way. So yeah the people responsible for splitting the democratic party and giving us Bernie Bros are coming for our vaccines! But even with its’ super strict virus misinformation rules regarding COVID, the execs at Twitter are having a hard time swatting the Plandemic video. Even Roundup won’t kill this thing completely. And like a bad weed it will keep popping up and will take a massive effort to kill it.

It’s been about a week since a lengthy preview from the conspiracy documentary “Plandemic” went viral across the internet. The 25-minute video sent tech companies like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook into a frenzy as they scrambled to scrape it off their platforms.

The hoax — which featured discredited anti-vaccination scientist Dr. Judy Mikovits and has been debunked — sought to expose “the scientific and political elite who run the scam that is our global health system” and accused Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, of burying anti-vaccination research.

However, over the past week, the Plandemic video has continued to resurface through alternative video hosting websites.

While other social media giants such as Facebook and YouTube have managed to slow the hoax’s spread, unofficial video links to the “Plandemic” documentary continue to seep through Twitter’s policies and moderating algorithms.
https://www.digitaltrends.com/news/twitter-plandemic-conspiracy-video-resurfacing/





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[font size="8"]I Need A Drink: TV Spinoff Showcase
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Hey everyone, yet another shitty week in quarantine and I could really use a drink!



Well here we are in… what the fuck week is this? I forget. Anyway we’re still in quarantine, it still sucks that we can’t go anywhere. And of course this is the segment where we have some drinks and while we’re drinking we talk about literally anything that doesn’t relate to politics. This week we’re going to discuss some possible TV spinoffs. And one in particular caught my eye. Tell me o virtual bartender, what goes well with a story about spinoffs? Some Fight Milk? Well that is a bar staple at Paddy’s Pub in Always Sunny In Philadelphia. But I will stick to Jack Daniels since that’s what I have on hand I have been stocking plenty of it! So which TV spinoff am I the most interested in? Well remember the show Entourage? Yeah there’s talk that uber-creep Jeremy Piven, responsible for everyone’s hot-headed, anger-challenged super-agent Ari Gold should get his own series.

Entourage fans, get ready to hug it out. Jeremy Piven is apparently open to returning to his signature character—foul-mouthed Entourage agent Ari Gold—for a spinoff series.

"Yes, I've been asked about doing a spinoff for Ari Gold," Piven said in a video Barstool Sports shared on Twitter on Thursday. "And I want to put it out there to the people: Is that something you guys might be interested in?"

"I just want to know, we will figure out a hashtag," he added. (Might I suggest #GoForAriGold, Mr. Piven?) Piven also mentioned that if a spinoff happened, he'd bring along Lloyd, Ari's assistant/protege, played by Rex Lee.

Gold—the temperamental and often inappropriate agent who was equal parts unpredictable and brilliant at his job—was arguably the best character on Entourage. (Apologies to all the Johnny Drama stans out there.) He was certainly the breakout character, thanks to Piven's fiery performance and his way with insanely explicit lines, none of which will be quoted here. The actor was awarded several times over for his performance—he nabbed a Golden Globe and three Emmys for the role.
https://www.newsweek.com/jeremy-piven-teases-entourage-spinoff-about-ari-gold-every-bros-problematic-fave-1504150




I wonder how Ari and Lloyd are going to work in this socially distant nightmare hell world we’re currently living in? But since we currently have nothing to do but stay at home and watch TV, how are we going to pass the time until social distancing ends? I mean do we really need a spin off of the “Married At First Sight” people living under quarantine? I would probably shoot the TV. Well how about an American Horror Story spin off?

Ryan Murphy is bringing the American Horror Story cast back together for a special new project.

The series creator announced via Instagram that an anthology spin-off series called American Horror Stories is in the works, sharing the news alongside a photo from a recent AHS virtual reunion. Participants included Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Denis O'Hare, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts, Adina Porter, Billie Lourd, and Dylan McDermott.

“American Horror Story cast zoom call...where we reminisced about the good times...the spin-off we're doing called American Horror Stories (one hour contained episodes)...when we will start filming the next season of the mothership...and other stuff I cannot print. It was so much fun and I'm glad we caught up. I miss everyone," he captioned a photo of the group chat.

A representative for FX, home of the American Horror Story franchise, had no further information about the spin-off.
https://ew.com/tv/ryan-murphy-american-horror-story-anthology-spinoff/




Yeah seriously GTFO with this crap! How about a Star Trek spinoff? We currently have two Star Trek spinoffs on a network that we don’t watch or get – the CBS All Access. Really? Does anybody subscribe to that? Where’s my assistant at? LLOYD!!!! Oh wait, we don’t have any assistants right now. But this does sound promising assuming it can be shot in the post social distancing era.

Three of Star Trek: Discovery’s most popular characters are getting their own spinoff series for CBS All Access.

The new show will be called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and will follow Anson Mount’s Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn’s Number One and Ethan Peck’s Spock in the decade before Captain Kirk commanded the U.S.S. Enterprise through the stars. The show will follow the three shipmates as they travel the galaxy and explore new worlds.

The series premiere of Strange New Worlds is written by executive producer Akiva Goldsman, who will continue to serve as a key creative voice on Star Trek: Picard as well. Just like CBS’s other Star Trek shows, this one will be overseen by Alex Kurtzman. Kurtzman and fellow Discovery producer Jenny Lumet collaborated with Goldsman on the story for the series’ first episode.

Strange New Worlds is one of many shows set in the Star Trek universe that’s on the way in the near future. Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan’s animated series Star Trek: Below Decks is headed to CBS All-Access. There’s also a show based on Section 31 — a secret and semi-unauthorized branch of Starfleet that handles delicate missions and covert operations — starring Michelle Yeoh that’s currently in development and a new CG-animated series for Nickelodeon. Along with all these upcoming shows Star Trek: Discovery’s third season is set to release sometime in 2020 along with Star Trek: Picard season 2, which doesn’t have a release date yet.
https://www.polygon.com/2020/5/15/21260020/star-trek-strange-new-worlds-spinoff-show-pike-spock-number-one-cbs-all-access




Ah chugging beers, I miss those times. Hopefully they will return again and we’ll be able to put this weird time behind us. But here’s one thing though – since enough content has been produced to last us for a millenia, we may actually run out of fresh material if new shows can’t be produced. Which begs the question – when do we get a vaccine for this shit? We need one!!! We can’t run out of new TV!!!! I mean it!!

We'd be lying if we said Netflix hasn't been somewhat of a saving grace during these unprecedented times. The past month has brought a wave of new original content on the streaming platform, from series like Outer Banks and Mindy Kaling's Never Have I Ever to films like Extraction. While many people are itching for stay-at-home orders to be lifted, Netflix has been able to make this time at home a lot more bearable. Of course, the new content can't last forever. When will it run out?

In an interview regarding the eventuality of a content shortage, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos assured CNN that although all production around the world has been shut down, the company's 2020 slate of series and films have already been largely shot.

"We deliver all our shows with all episodes at once, so we're pretty far ahead. We don't see any disruption in our output over the next few months."
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Though the next few months are safely secured in terms of new original content, what does that mean for the latter part of the year or early 2021? Some of Netflix's projects are starting to see the effects of physical production being stuck at a halt; but production teams, casts, and executives are finding ways to (safely) nurture the creative process until in-person production can continue, Sarandos shared. One of these ways is virtual table reads of new episodes among actors and writers, giving subscribers hope that new content won't get lost in the shuffle, and when the time does come for people to return to work, Netflix employees will be more than prepared — as if almost no time was lost.
https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/will-netflix-run-out-original-tv-movies-in-2020-47473125





[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 Round 3 Week 1: The Final Four
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Welcome back to Stupidest State Round 3! Yes, the third round is finally here! Last week, Michigan’s stunning comeback left Nebraska out of the contest and secured the Final Four for this year! That said, let’s introduce the Final Four and get underway! From the Batshit Conference, it’s the Gem State, Idaho! From the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference, it’s the Wolverine State, Michigan! From the Gun Nut Conference, it’s the Sunshine State, Florida! And from the Family Values Conference, last year’s champion, it’s the Cotton State, Alabama!!! Let’s get ready to rumble! We go now live to the floor at the home of the Anaheim Ducks, the Honda Center in Anaheim, for the action! And of course since all the conferences are competing against each other all rules have been thrown out the window and we will just talk about whatever we feel like!

[font size="4"]Layover League Championship: Idaho Vs Michigan:[/font]

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


Well last time Idaho stunned the Batshit Conference by upsetting favorite #1 Virginia and upsetting the Batshit Conference for the first time in many years. And why is that? Because Idaho gun nuts are a special breed of insane. And since they can’t beat Oregon gun nuts, they’ve itching to take away a sizable portion of Oregon’s rural jurisdictions. But would that work or would that backfire on them big time? Well, it has the potential to do both. But instead we’re going to talk about another industry of Idaho – meat packing! Of which COVID is decimating the meat packing industry.

At least 23 employees working at a beef processing plant near Boise, Idaho, have tested positive for the coronavirus, health officials confirmed Saturday.

One additional employee is presumed to have the virus, and two other contract employees have tested positive, Central District Health spokesperson Christine Myron told the Idaho Statesman.

The majority of the employees have recovered, Myron said. Some of the employees who tested positive do not live in the Central District Health area, which serves Ada, Boise, Elmore and Valley counties.

Steve Cherry, CS Beef Packers plant manager, said in a statement that plant employees working in close proximity may have been exposed to the virus. Employees who are ill will remain at home until officials confirm they are recovered, Cherry said. Employees will be compensated for time away from work, he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/over-20-idaho-beef-plant-workers-sickened-with-coronavirus/ar-BB13QGz9?ocid=hplocalnews




Yes holy shit indeed! And by the way speaking of the stay at home orders, do we really need this douchebag as their spokesperson? I don’t need to remind you of what they turned that Oregon bird shelter into, or the mess they left off that freeway intersection in Reno. Yes, it’s the Bundy clan, and do we really need them fucking things up? Just when you think you can’t make a bad situation worse.

In the video, a man in a black cowboy hat and jacket stands on the sidewalk, offering his commentary on the arrest of Sara Brady, a Meridian woman who was arrested April 21 for trespassing after staging a protest at Kleiner Park, where some facilities had been closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

"It was a woman at a park with her children, and she was arrested," the man said. "Completely inappropriate—that's just the way it is. What will happen is, they'll grind her in the system that's called 'justice,' I guess, until they spit her out, until she's given up or you guys get your say. That's the way I see it, and I've been there."

Indeed, he has. The man in the video is Ammon Bundy, whose previous encounters with law enforcement include the standoff at his father's ranch in 2014 and another standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon, where he played a central role. The aforementioned video was shot from the sidewalk in front of the home of one of the officers involved in Brady's arrest, where dozens of people staged a protest the evening of the incident.

In a statement released on Facebook, the Meridian Police Employee Association expressed its frustration with both Brady and Bundy's protests, and shock at the intrusion into the private life of a police officer.

Read more: https://www.idahopress.com/boiseweekly/news/citydesk/ammon-bundy-protests-arrest-of-stay-home-order-dissenter-at-officers-home/article_953dec02-aa9f-5a18-a392-19e37b6a8c89.html




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


So we’ve seen Idaho and how crazy their right wing is. Now let’s see Michigan. They’ve previously been hot players in the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference, but this year they’ve managed to top themselves going into the 2020 election. Because as you may or may not be aware, Michigan’s MAGAs and gun nuts have stormed the capitol and we are left with the stuff of pure insanity. See, the Trumpsters and MAGAs aren’t exactly the brightest bulbs in the light fixture. So when you fill their heads with propaganda that this is bad, well, this is what we get.

Dozens of angry Michiganders, fueled by conspiracy theories and disinformation about the coronavirus, are promoting violence and mobilizing armed rallies against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Facebook, in violation of the social media company’s policies.

Metro Times gained access to four private Facebook groups that can only be seen by approved members. The pages, which have a combined 400,000 members, are filled with paranoid, sexist, and grammar-challenged rants, with members encouraging violence and flouting the governor’s social-distancing orders.

On Sunday, after being contacted by Metro Times, Facebook removed one of the groups, Michigan United for Liberty, and deleted posts on others for violating the company’s policy against inciting violence. Facebook announced last month that it will remove groups and events that encourage people to defy social-distancing measures. Facebook also is investigating the other groups...

https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2020/05/11/whitmer-becomes-target-of-dozens-of-threats-on-private-facebook-groups-ahead-of-armed-rally-in-lansing




And in case you’re wondering just how far the Wolverine State is devolving thanks to everything that is going on, look no further than one of their flagship universities, Michigan State University. Based in Lansing, it’s right next to the state capitol. And well, last year, some shit went down involving an extremely racist incident. Look, government still has to go on people. We’ve still got business to conduct, but people are losing their minds.

-- A fight broke out on the steps of the Michigan Capitol Thursday morning during a protest aimed at Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the ongoing state of emergency and stay-at-home orders.

J. Scott Park, an MLive photographer, witnessed the fight break out after a man carrying a garbage can filled with a sign, an ax and an American flag removed the flag from the can. Attached to the bottom of the flag was an unclothed doll with brown hair that was hanging from a noose.

Organizers of the protest called the display “hate speech” and when one protester tried to take the doll off the flag a skirmish broke out. The man who brought the flag fled away from the fight and to the lawn of the Capitol where Michigan State Police surrounded him.

The man was taken into the Capitol building following the altercation. Michigan State Police reported there were no injuries and no arrests were made.

MSP public information officer Lt. Brian Oleksyk said the man who brought the flag was interviewed by police and he will be allowed to press charges if he elects to.
https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/05/fight-erupts-at-michigan-capitol-over-doll-with-a-noose-around-neck.html?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=mlivedotcom_sf&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR3vuN5h96XDLJvThoguT6t0DMJCpa7_Iez9woeVxXb2i907siEoOZuCXsM&fbclid=IwAR262kX470s-cxHqLSwWi_umHzf3RioFxld7hMYf7SrA-weZ7nWAEDlJ6r0




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

We have a winner!!!! Michigan sinks 8 unanswered in a row, they handily defeat Idaho by the score of 88 – 79. Idaho, you had a good run and we will see you next year. Michigan, come on down and cut that net!



[font size="4"]Flyover League Championship: Florida Vs Alabama:[/font]

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


One of the biggest winners in the Stupidest State contest is undoubtedly Florida. Yes, America’s penis, the Sunshine State, always brings the stupid and crazy. I can always point out a million stories emphasizing the greatness of Florida Man. And well, Florida companies being run by Florida Men and Florida Women aren’t immune from this either. Because as we’ve said, business has to go on and it hasn’t stopped business from putting employees and property in reckless danger.

An Oveido construction company’s workers on faced cave-in hazards via safety violations OSHA classified as “Willful.”

Cathcart Construction faces fines of $303,611 from nine violations found at worksites in Orlando and Winter Garden, the Department of Labor announced.

Most of that proposed fine, $242,886, comes from the two “Willful” violations, one at each site. Of OSHA’s violation classifications, “Willful” is the worst, defined as “a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.”

The Citation and Notification of Penalty said on Jan. 10, at a sewer improvement project in Winter Garden, workers “were exposed to a cave-in/engulfment hazard” while toiling in a six-foot, one-inch deep, six-feet long, excavation next to traffic.
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article242531146.html




Yeah so Florida businesses got to be Florida businesses. But this might the most Florida thing to happen in 2020 and this is both for Florida and for 2020. Because in 2020 going to the beach in Florida is considered a death sentence, naturally, you got to have the Grim Reaper serve as a reminder of the problem that we’re facing. But yeah don’t be like Florida Man.

Uhlfelder is a staunch advocate for public beach access in the state, even butting heads with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whose Florida Panhandle home is parked on a private beach. But allowing anyone on the beach during the pandemic is a mistake, he said -- one that could endanger the community.

"We aren't at the point now where we have enough testing, enough data, enough preparation for what's going to be coming to our state from all over the world from this pandemic," the lawyer told CNN.

Scythe in hand, he traveled to beaches around Walton County, Florida, that have reopened ahead of the state's planned May 4 reopening. "Phase One" of the reopening will allow restaurants and retailers to open at 25% capacity. Bars, salons and gyms will stay closed for now.
The beaches he visited Friday were "very crowded," he said.

"I know how beautiful and attractive our beaches are. But if we don't take measures to control things, this virus is going to get really, really out of control," he warned.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/us/grim-reaper-florida-beaches-trnd/index.html




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


Florida’s next door neighbor, Alabama, is always guaranteed to do something equally as ridiculous as Florida is. While most states are weighing how to lift their “stay at home” orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic that’s destroyed lives and wrecked the economy beyond repair, Alabama is figuring how to deal with the situation. And we may also feature their governor Kay Ivey on a future “People Who Somehow Got Elected”. However, Alabama wins the Family Values Conference time and time again because, simply put, they don’t care about families.

Coronavirus fallout: Pay raises for Alabama teachers, state employees unlikely to happen
A Senate committee Tuesday approved a General Fund budget that rolls back spending increases — including pay raises for state employees — but doesn't eliminate agency funding increases entirely.

The $2.3 billion budget, approved by the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund committee, would represent a $167.3 million increase (7.5%) over this year's budget.

Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, the chairman of the budget committee, said after the vote on Tuesday that the economic downturn was chiefly affecting taxes that go into the Education Trust Fund (ETF), which pays for most public education in the state.

"Most of the revenue plummeting that's going on appears to be affecting the ETF," he said. "We've done changes with the whole way we do the budget ... so that now we have a healthy General Fund budget. We're not searching between the sofa cushion for dollars."

Read more: https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2020/04/28/pay-raises-teachers-state-employees-unlikely-happen-year/3036184001/




Yeah that’s about how Alabama treats its’ working families. And by the way, the constitution doesn’t really matter when making tough decisions. Or maybe it does depending on who’s making the tough decisions that will keep us safe as opposed to, I don’t know, dying of a deadly disease that is turning your lungs inside out and frying your brain. Maybe when making decisions, don’t listen to people like this, especially if you’re the governor of Alabama or the president.

State Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday warned Alabama cities not to stray from the state constitution when passing stricter regulations than Gov. Kay Ivey’s new coronavirus order.

Ivey announced Tuesday that the state stay-at-home order will expire Thursday at 5 p.m. in favor of a so-called “Safer at Home” order, where general retailers will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity. Some restrictions from the stay-at-home order will still apply, including restaurants relegated to only curbside or take-out orders and bars remaining closed.

Some cities, including Birmingham, adopted new ordinances to help contain the coronavirus amid the governor’s new order. The Birmingham City Council approved an ordinance mandating residents wear masks when out in public, with exceptions for exercising.

“As the state begins to phase out of the stay-at-home order, municipalities are wrestling with individual and, in some cases, unique decisions regarding the preservation of the health and safety of their residents. In light of today’s announcement, some municipalities have already expressed their intent to impose or maintain more restrictive orders than the state," Marshall said in a statement. "Though Alabama law grants municipalities broad ‘police powers’ when it comes to protecting the public health and safety, these powers must be exercised within constitutional parameters. Municipalities are thus strongly advised to carefully balance the constitutional implications of imposing and enforcing more restrictive safety measures against the need for such measures. As case law tells us, the broadness of these police powers is not a license to abuse them.”

Read more: https://www.al.com/news/2020/04/marshall-warns-cities-not-to-stray-from-constitution-when-making-stricter-orders-than-state.html




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

We have another winner!!! Florida routes Alabama by a score of 18! They take the Flyover League and they’ll face Michigan in a showdown for the ages! Final score: 99 – 81. Cut that net guys, you earned it!



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

Next week it’s the Stupidest State championship! Michigan. Florida. One of these two states will be crowned the 2020 Stupidest State champion! We will be there with the contest and crown our 2020 reigning champion! The champagne is on ice!



[font size="4"]And Now This:[/font]
[font size="4"]AWOLNATION[/font]

Folks I know we can’t have live bands for the foreseeable future but I do have a new song from a band I love, LA’s AWOLNATION. This is called “Pacific Coast Highway” and features Rivers Cuomo from Weezer!



See you next week for our 8th season finale!

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Reply Top 10 Conservative Idiots #8-18: Sometimes You Dont Want To Go Where Everyone Knows Your Name Editi (Original post)
Top 10 Idiots May 20 OP
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Wed May 20, 2020, 05:08 PM

1. On the first part of the journey...

On the first part of the journey,

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Wed May 20, 2020, 07:02 PM

2. Awesome

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Wed May 20, 2020, 07:31 PM

3. I'm gonna haul ass to Lollapalooza!

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