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Thu Apr 22, 2021, 05:01 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #10-11: Don't Take Me Out To The Ballgame Edition


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #10-11: Don’t Take Me Out To The Ballgame Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! This is the very last and final Top 10 Conservative Idiots… … at Flappers Comedy Club with the blank, blue void! We actually have an ending date for this, finally! So I have some good news and I have some bad news. I’ll start with the bad news first – we’ve been asked to leave our home at Flappers Comedy Club. The good news? We have been asked to leave Flappers because…. Comedy clubs are finally opening back up! Yay!!!! Oh the kids love this don’t they? Which means… live Idiots are coming back! I’ve been waiting for this announcement for what seems like an eternity! We’ll be announcing dates for Season 11 during our time off! Oh man I can’t wait to get on the road. So for the time being, we’re relocating the Idiots to one of my favorite music venues in Southern California – the Observatory OC in nearby Santa Ana. This is a great venue with great bars and I’ve seen so many great shows here over the years. Funkadelic, 311, Tiger Army, Deftones, the Offspring, Coheed & Cambria, Devo, Symphony X, Opeth, Portugal The Man, Gogol Bordello, Toots & The Maytals… just to name a few. So they’ll be our temporary home for the end of the season, we’ll be finding a new home and announcing it shortly. But truth be told, we can’t wait to get back out on the road after being cooped up for over a year. And that also means the return of one of our favorite features – the Wheel Of Corruption! Things are getting exciting, folks! OK that’s enough of the intro, we have a lot of idiocy to get to. But first John Oliver is back and he delves into the subject of bankruptcy, which is not something you can just declare like Michael Scott:



So where do we begin this week? Well to start with , now that COVID is subsiding we’re getting back to that other epidemic that’s overwhelming health care and sending Americans to early graves. I’m of course talking about guns. And in the #1 slot this week is – Guns (1)! And there’s so much going on that we really can’t jam everything we wanted to in one segment, we don’t have that kind of time! Taking the second slot this week is our favorite Q Anon Congresspeople – Laruen Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene (2) because wait until you find out what they voted against! In the third slot this week is Capitol Rioters (3). Because being led by Iced Earth founder Jon Schaffer, they’re about to do some time and it’s not looking good, but you know what? Fuck ‘em. Taking the 4th slot this week is Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley (4). They’re attempting to take on MLB over the Altanta voting debacle and Well his social media site is already getting some much deserved shit, and he’s starting a new internet merchandise conglomerate to compete with Amazon! Yeah, good luck with that! In the 5th slot this week is our weekly investigative piece, Top 10 Investigates (5) and this week what happens when you cancel your online subscription software services? Well you get sent to a whole new level of customer service hell, that’s what! In the number 6 slot this week is our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in “Holy Shit” (6) and this week, our resident pastor has been spending way too much time watching the Jim Bakker Show, and he has had some absolutely batshit crazy guests on, and we’re going to go through some of the best, or worst of them In the #7 slot this week we’re debut a new segment – “Good Luck With That” (7) featuring Mike Lindell of My Pillow fame! Yes he’s taking on everything from social media to Amazon, and we predict a huge number of these are going to crash and burn! In the number 8 slot this week is a new Conspiracy Corner (8) and our old buddy Tucker Carlson is going full on white supremacist with a new version of the “White Replacement Theory” and yeah… it’s as racist as it sounds! In the number 9 (NEIN!!!) slot this week is a new I Need A Drink (9) – and really, do we need Dwayne Johnson as the 47th president of the United States? Come on, no more celebrity politicians! Finally this week it’s time for Stupidest State (10)! This week it’s Round 2 Week 1 which means it’s the Gun Nut Conference finals! Texas. Idaho. Who has enough firepower to take the other team out? It’s getting really exciting, folks! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

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[font size="8"]All Guns All The Time
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There’s no one who’s directly responsible for this but I am definitely venting my frustrations here in this entry. Because I have said it before many times, and I will say it again. Fuck guns. Fuck gun nuts. And fuck the NRA. Also, fuck Alex Jones too. The mass shootings are getting worse and it seems like there's one every other day anymore. It's becoming an epidemic. Hell it's such an epidemic that Trevor Noah was able to compare mass shooter manifestos and found that they matched almost word for word, and they are the incoherent ramblings of psychopaths! There's lots of people who you could blame for this mess. So instead I will combine everything I can find into one entry because we really don't have the kind of time to analyze all the news that's been going on. But I will say this. If you haven’t George Carlin’s 2005 special “Life Is Worth Losing”, then you must see it now. In fact you can see it for yourself here:



In the special he saw what was going to be coming because of America’s reckless policies. That terrorists were going to be coming out of the woodwork. The scary thing is this happened in 2005. He saw what was coming and he warned us. And well, here we are 15 years later when there’s literally a mass shooting about every day or every other day. People are rightfully horrified, but Congress isn’t doing anything because of the NRA’s stranglehold on our government. So what we want to know is – what can be done?

In an era marked by deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats, few issues are as politically polarizing as gun policy. While a few specific policy proposals continue to garner bipartisan support, the partisan divisions on other proposals – and even on whether gun violence is a serious national problem – have grown wider over the last few years.

Today, just over half of Americans (53%) say gun laws should be stricter than they currently are, a view held by 81% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents but just 20% of Republicans and Republican leaners. Similarly, while nearly three-quarters of Democrats (73%) say making it harder to legally obtain guns would lead to fewer mass shootings, only 20% of Republicans say this, with most (65%) saying this would have no effect.

The new national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted from April 5-11, 2021 among 5,109 adults, finds that 73% of Democrats consider gun violence to be a very big problem for the country today, compared with just 18% of Republicans who say the same. The current partisan gap on this question is 11-percentage-points wider than in 2018 and 19 points wider than in 2016.

Overall, several gun policy proposals continue to draw broad support from Americans. Nearly nine-in-ten (87%) favor preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns, while 81% favor subjecting private gun sales and sales at gun shows to background checks.
https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/04/20/amid-a-series-of-mass-shootings-in-the-u-s-gun-policy-remains-deeply-divisive/




Yeah that’s exactly about what it’s come to in America. Here’s the thing is that there’s plenty of ways we could end this madness and they all have the support of the majority of the American people! But conservatives in Congress will *NEVER* vote against the NRA because of that stupid gun-toting, flag waving “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!11!!1!” bullshit. But after an entire month where literally every day was one mass shooting after another, it’s time to maybe, I don’t know, start infringing!

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up three challenges to a federal ban on gun ownership for people convicted of nonviolent crimes, disappointing Second Amendment advocates who hoped a more conservative court would begin to chip away at the restriction.

By not taking the appeals, the nation's highest court let stand a series of lower court rulings that prohibited people convicted of driving under the influence, making false statements on tax returns and selling counterfeit cassette tapes from owning a gun.

The decisions Monday, which were handed down without explanation, are the latest in a series of instances in which the Supreme Court has skirted Second Amendment questions. The high court last issued major guns rights rulings in 2008 and 2010, cases that struck down handgun restrictions in the District of Columbia and Chicago.

Gun rights groups vowed to continue to press the issue.

"While we are disappointed the Supreme Court chose to allow grossly improper lower court rulings to stand, (we) will continue our aggressive litigation strategy," said Adam Kraut, senior director of legal operations at the Firearms Policy Coalition, which represented several of the petitioners.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/04/19/lifetime-ban-supreme-court-passes-three-second-amendment-cases/7283819002/




Seriously they might as well legalize dueling and get it over with. And by the way if you want to see where this is heading, don’t worry we’ll get to that in a minute. In fact most places are heading towards the exact opposite direction of what the people want. Really, in 2021 it’s probably easier and cheaper if we all just keeled over and died, because that’s what the NRA and republican lawmakers really think of us hardworking Americans.

In 2020′s pandemic year, record gun sales. In 2021, tragically, Americans are using them.

No one can say they didn’t see this coming. It was just over one year ago — amid the initial shock of a fast-moving global pandemic and the United States on lockdown, with deeper fears and paranoia beginning to set in — that, along the silence of empty streets, hordes of people lined up down city sidewalks to get into gun stores.

On March 18, 2020, The Inquirer reported that 30 people — some of them wearing protective masks, maybe for the first time — were waiting to get inside the Philadelphia Gun and Archery Club in South Philly (that famed archery hotspot) to purchase a deadly weapon or to stock up on ammunition amid the uncertainty of the pandemic.

“I’m looking to get an AR-15,” Joe Lynch, a 46-year-old longshoreman from South Philadelphia, told the newspaper, voicing concern over a report that police would stop enforcing lower-level crimes because of the coronavirus risk. “It’s a crazy city we’re living in.”
https://www.inquirer.com/columnists/attytood/gun-sales-mass-shootings-america-crisis-20210420.html




If only it were that easy, Marge! But if you really want to see where this is going let’s take a look at what’s going on in Nebraska! Because this is the opposite of what the people want. In a world where mass shootings are at an all time high, this is happening. And we may have to explore this in detail in a future edition. It’s getting fucking scary out there, and people like Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, you’re not helping!

Doubling down on his pro-gun rights credentials, Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a symbolic proclamation Wednesday designating Nebraska as a "Second Amendment Sanctuary State."

The proclamation comes as President Joe Biden recently announced a plan to address gun violence.

A growing number of Nebraska counties have adopted similar "sanctuary" resolutions. A bill also is pending in the Nebraska Legislature to allow counties to opt out of the state requirement that gun owners register and take a gun safety course to carry concealed weapons.

“The White House and U.S. Congress have announced their intention to pursue measures that would infringe on the right to keep and bear arms,” Ricketts stated in the proclamation. “Nebraska will stand up against federal overreach and attempts to regulate gun ownership and use in the Good Life.”

"Second Amendment sanctuary" refers to a declaration that a state, county or city will not enforce federal gun laws they consider to be too restrictive. At least four states, including neighboring Kansas and Wyoming, have declared themselves "sanctuary states."
https://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/gov-ricketts-designates-nebraska-as-sanctuary-state-for-gun-rights/article_f21deb9e-4a45-5406-8141-16283189ae97.html





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[font size="8"]Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene
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So would you expect Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-Batshit) to be anything less than charitable? I mean come on, let’s break it down. Lauren Boebert ran a gun themed restaurant called Shooters that got shut down by the health inspectors after an outbreak of food poisoning that gave their customers volatile diarrhea. And then there’s Marjorie Taylor Greene – a Crossfit owner who got caught fleecing her gym members for political donations and then won the election because her opponent dropped out after getting death threats. So it’s no surprise at all when out of 417 members of Congress, they were the only two that voted against something that literally everyone could agree on. I mean it’s like come on, you don’t have to be controversial and say stupid shit 100% of the time. Here's what happened this week. In one of the more shocking and stupid moves they've made so far, they voted against giving leukemia patients bone marrow donors. Which the 415 other members of Congress voted to approve! That's right, even Louis Gohmert and Steve King voted to approve this one! Greene and Boebert did not and they're almost quite literally sticking out like sore thumbs on this issue!

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert raised eyebrows Thursday night by voting against a bill to reauthorize the National Marrow Donor Program, which matches leukemia and lymphoma patients with donors of bone marrow and cord blood.

The legislation passed the U.S. House by a vote of 415-2. Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican who doesn’t shy away from controversy, were the only nay votes.

Boebert’s office did not respond to a request for comment, but the Republican from Silt told CNN that she opposed the bill because it adds to the national debt, did not go through the committee process and was not analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office, the agency which determines how much money a bill will cost.

“I’m not voting for bills that don’t go through committee and add hundreds of millions of dollars to the national debt,” Boebert tweeted Friday.

The bill — H.R. 941, the TRANSPLANT Act — was passed under a suspension of the rules, a tactic commonly used for expediting uncontroversial legislation. All other members of Congress from Colorado, Democrat and Republican, voted for it.
https://www.denverpost.com/2021/04/16/lauren-boebert-congress-bone-marrow/




OK here’s the thing – we would like to think that not getting sick and dying would be at the top of literally everyone’s lists. But as we’ve seen in the last year, eh……… that is up for debate. And it seems the people who actually want to get sick and die are the ones who are affecting the ones that don’t and making our lives that much more miserable. But really this is one of those instances where our life’s motto of “don’t be a dick” applies.

Conservative Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado were the only two House members to vote against a bill that would reauthorize the National Marrow Donor Program.

The bill H.R.941, or the TRANSPLANT Act, overwhelmingly passed the House in a 415-2 vote on Thursday night.

There were 12 lawmakers who didn't cast a vote.

The bill would reauthorize a program that matches bone marrow donors and cord blood units with patients who have leukemia and other diseases. The bill would help thousands of people diagnosed with leukemia and other diseases by reauthorizing the National Marrow Donor Program and the National Cord Blood Inventory for another five years.

Boebert said in a statement to CNN, "This bill added hundreds of millions of dollars to the national debt, while not receiving a CBO score or going through the committee process," a reference to scoring done by the Congressional Budget Office, the agency that, among other things, tells lawmakers how much legislation will cost.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/16/politics/marjorie-taylor-greene-lauren-boebert-vote-against-bill-for-leukemia-patients/index.html




OK here’s the thing – we get not voting at all. Or skipping the vote because you’re unable to do so. But going against a 415 vote majority is not only vastly stupid, it makes you stick out like a sore thumb! 415 to 2! I just can’t even get over how dumb that is. So why oppose the National Bone Marrow Registry? It doesn’t hurt anybody and is helpful in actually saving lives. There’s nothing I can say but I am literally shaking my head at how stupid this is! Argh!!!

In this case, Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado were the only "no" votes.
Recommended

And why, pray tell, did they cast this vote, knowing that the bill would easily pass anyway? Boebert published a tweet on Friday that read in part, "I'm not voting for bills that don't go through committee." While it's true that the bill didn't get a committee hearing, that's because the programs the bill reauthorizes already exist -- and already work. There wasn't anything for lawmakers to discuss at the committee level, which is why 415 members voted for it.

But even more interesting was the statement Greene's office sent to the Daily Beast, complaining, "Nothing in this bill prevents the funding of aborted fetal tissue by taxpayers. It opens the door for the [National Institutes of Health] to use this bill to research the remains of babies who were murdered in the womb."

The same report explained, this reasoning doesn't make a lot sense. Greene's office was apparently under the impression that the TRANSPLANT Act relates to fetal tissue and/or embryonic stem cells. It does not.
https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/why-did-some-republicans-oppose-national-marrow-donor-program-n1264493




Oh and this isn’t the only stupid thing they voted on this week. Literally like if we proposed a law against torturing puppies, the republicans would vote in favor of torturing puppies. Seriously – the conservatives – Greene and Boebert included – voted for allowing companies to scam senior citizens, and for carbon monoxide poisoning. Come on guys, Rush Limbaugh is dead. Let’s have Limbaughism die with him as well!

In what’s becoming a trend for this Congress, a group of House Republicans – many of whom are members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus – voted against bipartisan legislation that was passed Thursday by overwhelming margins, in a sign of their increasing willingness to buck their party’s whip.

Just eight House Republicans voted against the Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act, which requires the Federal Trade Commission to compile a report for Congress on scams targeting seniors.

The bill passed 413-8, with Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) voting no.

Seven of those eight, plus Reps. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Bob Good (R-Va.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas) voted against a bill to create an advisory office to help monitor scams targeting seniors, which passed 396-13.

Massie, in a statement to Forbes on his vote against the two bills, cited the national debt as his motivation: “A nation $28 trillion in debt shouldn’t spend unspecified amounts of money on unspecific solutions.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2021/04/16/right-wing-house-republicans-vote-against-bills-combating-senior-scams-carbon-monoxide/?sh=55f14e31412a





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[font size="8"]Capitol Rioters
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Everyone remembers where they were on January 6th, a day that will live in infamy. And everyone was rightfully horrified when a mob of frustrated Trump supporters stormed, looted and trashed the Capitol while threatening to murder the Vice President and other members of Congress if they went through with certifying the vote for Joe Biden as our 46th president. Well one thing I will say as the host of a program called Top 10 Conservative Idiots, is that this has been the gift that keeps on giving. We will seriously have material for like the next five years because of this one event. Well that is if we can keep going 5 more years. Not having strong ratings or a budget doesn’t help things! But anyway we have to start because last week our old buddy Jon Schaffer, the founder and lead guitarist of heavy metal band Iced Earth (see: Top 10 #10-1 ) is back in the news because he’s the first to plead guilty!

Jon Schaffer has pleaded guilty to two counts for his role in the US Capitol riot on January 6.

The Iced Earth founder and electric guitar player faced six charges for his involvement in the violent insurrection, but in a plea deal pleaded guilty to two: obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress and trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Both charges are felonies, with the former punishable by up to 20 years in prison and the latter up to 10 years. Schaffer was originally charged with six offenses, and faced up to 30 years in prison.

Schaffer is now the first rioter involved in the insurrection to plead guilty.

According to CNN, the plea deal describes Schaffer as a "founding lifetime member" of the right-wing paramilitary group the Oath Keepers, and as part of the deal, Schaffer also "admits his belief that the Electoral College results were fraudulent is not a legal justification" for storming the US Capitol.
https://www.guitarworld.com/news/iced-earths-jon-schaffer-pleads-guilty-to-two-felonies-for-role-in-us-capitol-insurrection




Now here’s something that I didn’t know prior to last week – did you know that Schaffer was a founding member of right wing terrorist group, er, militia the Oath Keepers? Yeah that was a shocking piece of news that came out, though it’s not really that shocking. But one guy I love in metal who is the opposite of Schaffer, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, had some very strong words to say about Schaffer. And yeah we actually kind of agree with him on this one.

Twisted Sister‘s Dee Snider has branded Iced Earth‘s Jon Schaffer a “piece of shit” and “embarrassment to the metal community” after his role in the US Capitol riot.

The metal guitarist was part of the mob that stormed the building on January 6, and pleaded guilty to his role in the violent scenes last week.

He admitted admitted to the obstruction of an official proceeding and entering a building with a dangerous weapon (carrying bear spray). CNN reports that a prison sentence of between 3.5 to 4.5 years has been suggested, based on a joint recommendation between prosecutors and Schaffer’s lawyers.

A plea deal could still be in the works, with Schaffer questioned about his ties to the militia organisation the Oath Keepers. During the insurrection, Schaffer was filmed and photographed wearing an Oath Keepers Lifetime Member baseball hat.

Snider shared a CNN article on Schaffer’s guilty pleas, criticising the guitarist for his role in the riot and for sharing information on the Oath Keepers.
https://www.nme.com/news/music/twisted-sisters-dee-snider-brands-iced-earths-jon-schaffer-an-embarrassment-to-metal-after-role-in-us-capitol-riots-2923170




As you can imagine this has divided the metal community very sharply. And it will be quite interesting to see if Schaffer rats out his Oath Keeper buddies. But naturally as the news broke last week, you can imagine that just about everyone in the metal community has had their opinions on Schaffer. But what’s really interesting to point out is that Schaffer is someone who is almost kind of the exact opposite of the type of mind that Trump attracts.

Danko Jones has blasted ICED EARTH leader Jon Schaffer, calling him "a white nationalist piece of dog dung."

On Friday (March 19), U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui ordered Schaffer held without bail on six federal criminal charges related to his alleged involvement with the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He ruled that while Schaffer wasn't a flight risk, he does pose a danger to the community. Schaffer's attorney argued his client's comments were taken out of context, and that he knows he used bad judgment on January 6 and wishes he had a "do-over."

Earlier today (Sunday, March 21), Danko tweeted out a link to a NME article about Friday's hearing, and he included the following message: "Jon Schaffer used bad judgement because he's a white nationalist piece of dog dung. His band mates cheered him on because ICED EARTH are a terrible band. His request for a 'do-over' proves his pathetic weakness. He's the dictionary definition of a bell-end." The Canadian rocker, who is the frontman of his namesake trio, added in a separate tweet: "Only those that cosplay at being Alpha want 'do-overs'. Jon Schaffer and @_IcedEarth are a FAKE band."

On January 6, then-ICED EARTH vocalist Stu Block appeared to take pleasure in the grim images out of Washington during the pro-Donald Trump riot on Capitol Hill, writing in a since-deleted post on his Facebook page: "Oh it's happening! History in the making. Sending love to my friends in the US and all over the world!" He later apologized for his post, saying that his "wording was absolutely misunderstood and not properly thought out on my part." A month later, Block and ICED EARTH bassist Luke Appleton announced their departures from the band.
https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/danko-jones-calls-jon-schaffer-a-white-nationalist-piece-of-dog-dung-says-iced-earth-is-a-fake-band/




So you can imagine that coming from someone who is a massive fan of heavy metal (and has actually seen Iced Earth in concert at one point), I have a natural interest of this case. And we will definitely be following with any updates as they happen. But getting back to what I said earlier, in terms of the sheer volume of content that is coming from the Capitol Riot, we won’t have any shortage of material anytime soon. Especially since both Vice and the New York Times recreated the Capitol Riot from cell phone data, and it’s pretty horrifying.

The masses came as asked. They came because something, they believed, had been taken from them.

“Media will not show the magnitude of this crowd,” President Donald Trump bellowed from the Ellipse, south of the White House, on January 6. “We have hundreds of thousands of people here, and I just want them to be recognized by the fake news media. Turn your cameras, please, and show what's really happening out here, because these people are not going to take it any longer.”

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.

No one had. In the hours that followed, thousands of Trump supporters marched on the Capitol, where Congress was officially counting electoral ballots, to protest President Joe Biden’s election. A mob broke into the building, forcing senators and representatives to flee for cover as insurrectionists roamed the hallways and tear gas floated through the Rotunda.

For this special episode of Source Material, an immersive series aimed at giving viewers the experience of being in the center of a story, VICE News scoured hundreds of hours of footage from the insurrection to distill how a spectrum of ideologies, conspiracies, and political beliefs converged that winter day.
https://www.vice.com/en/article/pkbe4b/the-capitol-riot-through-cell-phone-videos-terrifying?fbclid=IwAR07mv-xD7Luxj6AXiVPzt7s8DMfdXC5-QTACSJ7JeNQhwn144P3R_78m_4





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[font size="8"]Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley
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History time, kids! Gather around, don’t be shy! Well maybe still keep social distance, at least for a while longer! But anyways I want to give you a little history lesson. In 1918 the Major League Baseball season regular attendance hit an all time low. After the influenza pandemic, in 1919 when stadiums finally opened back up, they experienced record breaking attendance because of what economists refer to as “pent-up demand”. And part of that was also thanks to a rookie Boston Red Sox shortstop – Herman George Ruth, aka Babe Ruth. Now in 2021, we’re seeing some of that now and the possibilities of what will happen when we fully reopen after coronavirus. Now let’s compare that with the fallout of MLB pulling the 2021 All Star Game out of Atlanta because of the voter laws. Well Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley (Q – Batshit) are going nuclear on the organization for this decision but you won’t see that happening at baseball games anytime soon.

A trio of Republican lawmakers outlined legislation Tuesday aimed at ending Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption after the All-Star Game was moved out of Georgia in protest of that state's new voting restrictions.

The legislative push from the three conservative senators — Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Josh Hawley of Missouri — comes amid growing frustrations among Republicans over corporations and sports leagues embracing causes associated with progressives, such as protecting voting rights.

MLB relocated the Midsummer Classic from Truist Park, the Atlanta Braves home in Cobb County, Georgia, to Denver's Coors Field due to recently enacted voting limits signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican.

"This past month, we have seen the rise of the woke corporation. We have seen the rise of big business enforcing a woke standard," Cruz told reporters.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/sens-cruz-hawley-lee-seek-strip-major-league-baseball-anti-n1263930




Yeah that’s about what it feels like Cruz and Hawley are trying to do with this madness. But is it really going to work? Well of course they’re going after “woke” culture to justify their actions. You know what though? It’s all bullshit. We get that they’re trying to send a message that you don’t screw with the conservative mafia, but considering they’re currently the minority party we don’t expect this to go very far.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday called for the removal of Major League Baseball’s immunity from anti-trust laws in response to the league’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star game from Atlanta over Georgia’s new voting restrictions.

“If they’re gonna play partisan enforcer, they shouldn’t expect to see special goodies from Washington when they are dishonestly acting to favor one party against the other,” Cruz told reporters in a news conference alongside fellow Republican U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Mike Lee of Utah.

In late March, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a bill that shrinks the window for voters to request absentee ballots, imposes new voter ID requirements, and bans the handing out of water and food to people waiting in line to vote. Cruz pointed out in his Tuesday remarks that the Georgia bill expands early voting times.

MLB’s anti-trust exemption reduces the possibility of a competing league from emerging and threatening its status as the preeminent professional baseball league. MLB is unique compared with its peers in other sports in that it benefits from a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that treats the league as a sport and not a business.
https://www.texastribune.org/2021/04/13/ted-cruz-major-league-baseball-georgia-anti-trust/




Yeah I’m pretty sure that’s not how that works. So what is antitrust exemption? How exactly would targeting that hurt MLB as a large organization that employs thousands of people? Well just like the last pandemic, MLB’s anti-trust legislation also goes back 100 years. And the idea is that it makes it exempt from the Sherman Act, which means that businesses couldn’t collude with each other. So if this happens, what’s to stop the MLB from colluding with the NFL or NHL? Hmmm… they might want to think this one through!

MLB’s antitrust exemption resulted from a 1922 Supreme Court ruling that stated, somewhat incredulously, that the business of Major League Baseball did not constitute “interstate commerce,” thus making it exempt from the Sherman Act, which prevents businesses from conspiring with one another in an effort to thwart competition.

The Supreme Court decision came seven years after the Federal League first filed suit against the major leagues, but the nascent league’s claims of collusion went unheard by the presiding judge, future baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. The Baltimore Terrapins were the only Federal League franchise to press the issue, but an initial victory was overturned and ultimately the Supreme Court ruled against it, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes writing that “personal effort, not related to production, is not a subject of commerce.”

Baseball, it determined, was just a game. You wonder if Justice Holmes had any inkling this game would blossom into an $11 billion industry controlled almost entirely by one entity.

Long before the MLB Players’ Association asserted itself as one of the most powerful unions in the country, players had far fewer avenues to seek relief against the major leagues.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2021/04/13/mlb-antitrust-exemption-immunity-ted-cruz-josh-hawley-baseball-all-star-game/7211552002/




So maybe don’t take me out to the ballgame. Don’t take me out with the crowd. But in terms of actually putting up a fight with this, Ted Cruz is almost quite literally up a creek without a paddle. Although we would totally expect this coming from a guy who last week posted for pictures from his little stint at the border dressed like he was a Disneyland cast member auditioning for the Jungle Cruise ride. But yeah this whole thing is absolutely ridiculous, and right now, is probably #999 on the list of the 1,000 things we need to worry about right now. But that’s conservatism for you!

Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of (suburban) Atlanta as a response to Georgia’s racist voting law generated a response of its own from two of the Senate’s leading shitposting insurrectionists, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee: a threat to draft legislation to revoke baseball’s antitrust exemption.

Cruz, in an effort to show just how much he’s devoted to online clout rather than actual governance or meaningful action, included the hashtag #GowokeGobroke, because, sure, Major League Baseball and its billionaire team owners who use Jackie Robinson’s memory once a year to 42-wash the sport’s lingering institutional racism, yeah, they’re super leftists now because they decided the free market would find it toxic to remain in Georgia.

One way to tell that this threat is more about performative outrage than anything serious is that Cruz knows where his bread is buttered and who he really represents: those billionaire team owners. In the past 10 years, Cruz has gotten $60,600 from Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick and his family alone, as found in the OpenSecrets.org database. He’s not really going to do anything that hurts his buddies.

But the threat is out there, and it’s not the first time there’s been talk about ending MLB’s antitrust exemption, which was modified in 1998 by the Curt Flood Act, in which Congress established that baseball players “will have the same rights under the antitrust laws as do other professional athletes, e.g., football and basketball players.”
https://deadspin.com/ted-cruz-s-performative-outrage-over-mlb-is-laughably-d-1846644163





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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: Canceling Software Subscriptions
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It’s time to investigate beyond the headlines! This is Top 10 Investigates!



If you subscribe to expensive software subscriptions, such as those from Adobe and Autodesk, you are at the mercy of their Terms Of Service agreements, which we all agree that nobody reads and they could say just about anything in there. Such is a problem of the 21st century digital age. In fact this is such a common occurrence that it was the subject of a South Park episode. In fact if you do wind up canceling your subscription service, you will wind up paying ridiculous cancellation fees and be subject to customer service hell. But buying software in 2021, with constant updates and cloud services, is not what one would call cheap. In fact reading the fine print, which we encourage you to do here, might cause one to think twice before buying that latest version of Photoshop.

Adobe Creative Cloud typically sparks ingenuity and artistry among pro-level content creators, but this time, the suite of apps sparked a fiery Twitter uprising against Adobe for its "absurd" cancellation fees.

The ringleader of this social-media insurrection is @MrDaddGuy. They posted a screenshot showing their attempt to cancel their "Creative Cloud: All Apps" plan, which includes Photoshop, Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Illustrator and InDesign. However, @MrDaddGuy was slapped with a $291.45 cancellation fee. Yikes!

"This is [expletive] disgusting," @MrDaddGuy tweeted under the screenshot. "I'm honestly not surprised, but I am so [expletive] unbelievably pissed. This is beyond appalling." As of this writing, the tweet garnered more than 75,100 likes, 5,183 quote tweets and 14,200 retweets. Their post incited a wave of Adobe customers who commiserated with @MrDaddGuy's cancellation-fee woes.

"This is blowing up, great! Reminder that Adobe is a terrible ass company that hides the 'contract' part by hiding parts of the payment agreement in terms of service," @MrDaddGuy tweeted.

To breakdown @MrDaddGuy's frustration, "Adobe's Creative Cloud: All Apps" plan has three tiers: month-to-month, annual contract (paid monthly) and annual plan (pre-paid).

The month-to-month plan costs $79.49 per month, the annual contract (paid monthly) sets you back $52.99 per month, and the pre-paid annual plan has a $599.88 price tag. @MrDaddGuy signed up for the annual contract (paid monthly) plan. If customers cancel after the two-week grace period, they will be charged a lump-sum amount of 50% of their remaining contract obligation. This is why @MrDaddGuy was slapped with a $291 bill.
https://www.laptopmag.com/news/adobe-cancellation-fee-sparks-twitter-rage-how-to-get-yours-waived




That’s right - $291 just to cancel a service contract. That is beyond ridiculous. But when you sign up you need to read the terms of service agreement. Who knows what they hide between the lines of those things because they are longer than the length of the US Constitution. But Mr. Daddy is not the only Twitter user who has been experiencing a beef with the software giant. In fact it’s becoming an increasing problem throughout the industry.

When Jolene Stewart placed an order online for lingerie from Rihanna's line, Fenty X Savage, this year, she unwittingly signed up for a subscription that charged her bank account every month in exchange for credits to buy more bras and underwear.

"It was part of a deal, and I guess I didn't read the fine print close enough," said Stewart, 22, a recent college graduate.

As soon as Stewart realized that she had been charged, she canceled the subscription and opted to use the credits she had already paid for. Three months later, Stewart discovered that Fenty X Savage had been charging her $49.95 a month for a subscription she was sure she had canceled — the company restarted her subscription when she used the credits, she said, sharing screenshots of the three payments with NBC News.

When Stewart asked that her card be refunded and that her subscription be canceled, the company refunded her for only one month, she said. The ordeal cost her close to $150 that she had never intended to spend.

"I love Rihanna and her products," she said. "So I was really surprised and was like I guess won't be shopping there anymore."
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/customers-fight-surprise-charges-online-subscriptions-surge-n1252149




So this has sparked a rather interesting online debate. When software companies charge outrageous fees and put you through hoop after hoop to cancel their subscriptions, is it OK to pirate their software and use it instead of paying? Well you can argue the moral stance on what’s right until you are blue in the face. But the bottom line is the answer is no. And you might be asking what’s the alternative to this outrageous price gouging? Well there really isn’t one.

A $291 Adobe cancelation fee has provoked fierce criticism of the creative software company.

A post from a customer has gone viral on Twitter, after he discovered that he would have to pay nearly $300 to bring his Creative Cloud subscription to an end.

It has sparked a discussion about Adobe's practices, with many others coming forward to say that they too have faced extremely steep cancelation fees when they've tried to cut ties with the company.

A screenshot uploaded to the micro-blogging site by Twitter user @Mrdaddguy showed that they faced a $291.45 fee to cancel their Adobe Creative Cloud plan.

At the time of publication the tweet has attracted more than 13,000 retweets, more than 4,000 quote tweets, and more than 70,000 likes.
https://www.newsweek.com/adobe-cancelation-fee-twitter-users-argue-morally-correct-pirate-software-1583146




Yeah that seems about right. So people naturally have a right to be upset about getting fleeced if they hit the “cancel” button but this is one of those times where we actually encourage you to read the fine print. You most likely won’t, but then again you did agree to this when you signed up. And yes you can gripe about the cancellation fees all you want but it is there in the fine print. However, we do agree with the users that companies should be more up front about this when you agree to join.

Despite the high fee for early cancellation, some users have pointed out that it is actually mentioned in Adobe’s terms of service agreement when a user agrees to purchase a subscription.

Under the “cancellation terms” on Adobe's website, they state that a user is free to cancel their subscription anytime via the Adobe Account page or by contacting Customer Support and a full refund will be process if it's within a two-week window.

“If you cancel within 14 days of your initial order, you’ll be fully refunded. Should you cancel after 14 days, your payment is non-refundable, and your service will continue until the end of that month’s billing period,” states the Adobe website.

However, it’s the annual contract that seems to be causing the most backlash as it they appear to have the highest fees. Under an annual subscription that’s paid monthly, Adobe states that if a user cancels within 14 days of their initial order, they will be fully refunded.

However, if they try to cancel after that period, they’ll be charged a lump sum amount of 50 per cent of their remaining contract obligation and that the subscription will continue under the end of that month’s billing period.
https://www.thenationalnews.com/arts-culture/why-is-adobe-trending-on-twitter-software-company-facing-cancellation-fee-backlash-1.1203095




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




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[font size="8"]Holy Shit
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Gather around my fair brothers and sisters! It’s time to take a seat in the virtual pew and pass the VENMO 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 virtual congregation! You know we cannot take vacations right now, so I have been hulled up in my cathedral dormitory. What have I been doing with this free time you might ask? Well I have been watching some of the crazy shit that has been going on with our brothers and sisters on the right, because they have been upping the conspiracy theories and it’s getting nuttier and nuttier. My favorite example of pure, unfiltered crazy has been appearing on the Jim Bakker show. They have had some absolute doozies in the last few weeks. And that’s not something that the good LAWRD JAYSUS would want now is it? There is some seriously next level crazy going on in some of these talk shows, but none and I repeat none are more crazy than what Jim Bakker has been peddling. I guess those end times gallon buckets of industrial grade mac and cheese aren’t going to sell themselves now, are they? But like I said this is some next level crazy here.

For years, right-wing pastor Jim Bakker has been using his daily television program to terrify his audience into believing that the End Times are upon us, often for the apparent purpose of selling them products designed to help them survive the apocalypse.

Bakker kicked things up a notch on Tuesday’s program, which featured right-wing conspiracy theorist Steve Quayle warning about aliens, demons, trans-dimensional beings, and “diseases that are designed to initiate cannibalism in human beings” and turn them into literal zombies.

The conspiracy theories promoted by Quayle were so pervasive and convoluted that it was difficult to understand exactly what he was even saying, but he seemed to be suggesting that nasal tests for COVID-19 were part of a nefarious plan to obtain DNA samples to be used in the creation of targeted biological weapons that will unleash a disease to turn everyone it does not kill into flesh-eating zombies.

“Zombies that are on the Earth are a disease like any other disease that affects people, and they become like zombies. Is that right?” Bakker asked.
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/jim-bakker-is-now-using-his-end-times-broadcast-to-warn-about-zombies/




I’m pretty sure that’s actual footage of the last episode now, isn’t it? Now if zombies weren’t enough to scare you into buying his end times products, maybe alien viruses will do the trick? And I’m of course not referring to the virus we’re currently dealing with. But yeah as far as crazy goes, this I think breaks the crazy scale. And GAWD commanded that we not deal with certifiably crazy people such as this for they are wicked and insane!

While televangelist Jim Bakker’s daily television program has always been a repository for misinformation, baseless conspiracy theories, and End Times fearmongering, his show has gotten decidedly stranger in recent days.

Earlier this week, Bakker interviewed right-wing conspiracy theorist Steve Quayle, who spent two programs warning about aliens, demons, trans-dimensional beings, and “diseases that are designed to initiate cannibalism in human beings” and turn them into literal zombies. On the heels of those programs, Bakker interviewed End Times conspiracy theorist Tom Horn, who warned that an asteroid will strike the Earth in 2029, unleashing an alien virus that will give rise to the Antichrist.

On Thursday’s program, Horn discussed his recent book, “The Wormwood Prophecy,” which claims that the government is covering up the fact that an asteroid known as Apophis will strike the Earth in 2029. While scientists say that Apophis will simply pass by our planet in 2029, Horn insists that it will actually strike the Earth and fulfill the prophecy in Revelation 8: “The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.”

“I believe Apophis is the asteroid that is talked about in the book of Revelation, chapter eight,” Horn said. “It is what is called ‘Wormwood’ in the Bible.”
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/tom-horn-says-an-asteroid-will-strike-earth-in-2029-unleashing-an-alien-virus-that-will-give-rise-to-the-antichrist/




And I think these are all things that make people crazy right now! And come on, do we really need crazy theories about voter ID? I mean these theories that are peddled on this show are just getting crazier and weirder. During my week off, I was obsessed with watching the insanity that is the Jim Bakker Show, my fair virtual congregation! How does this guy still have an audience? There will always be crazies out there, but it seems they are getting even crazier!

Religious-right activist Alveda King appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show” Monday where she claimed that not requiring voters to show ID before casting their ballots is both “identity theft” and an effort to erase the identities of Black Americans.

“It’s just so hypocritical to say to a person, ‘It is Jim Crow to require that you have an ID when you go to vote,'” King said. “That’s called identity fraud, identity theft. When you say to me as an African American, ‘You do not need an ID, your identity does not matter, who cares who you are, just show up and vote,’ you are taking away my identity.”

‘During the days of Jim Crow,” she continued, “we knew it was important to be identified as equal citizens of the United States of America. So any law that says, ‘Oh, you don’t need a voter ID. Who needs an ID?’ Well, I have an identity. I know who I am in Christ Jesus. So it’s a double standard. … When you go to vote, nobody cares whether or not you are an equal citizen of the United States of America? That is identity theft. When you tell me, ‘Your ID is not important when you vote,’ you are telling me that my identity as a citizen of these United States is not relevant, it is not important.”
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/alveda-king-claims-not-requiring-voter-id-is-identity-theft/




No it’s just the sound of people being out of their minds ridiculous. You know what else is driving people crazy? The previous guy! Yes, I refer to a man so awful, foul, repugnant and repulsive that his name dare not be spoken in my church! Even if we are broadcasting to you on Zoom! That’s right – the unholy, ungodly Dark One is rearing his ugly head again! So in context, Christians don’t riot! Although do I really need to point out in the Bible the times that they did? Yes everybody let’s riot! Whew, I really got to block this channel from my TV.

On Tuesday’s episode of his “The Jim Bakker Show” television program, End Times pastor Jim Bakker and his guest, End Times author Jonathan Cahn, insisted that Christians had nothing to do with the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C., when supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the election for Joe Biden.

Bakker and Cahn insisted that even though Christians played no role in the chaos at the Capitol, left-wing activists are nonetheless trying to use the event to justify shutting down churches and persecuting believers.

“I still don’t understand all of that,” Bakker said. “Christians don’t burn buildings down. Christians don’t riot. They just don’t. I’m talking about born-again Christians, biblical Christians.”

That is an interesting statement coming from Bakker, considering that just three months before the election, Bakker himself warned that if Trump lost the election, Christians would start a revolution.

“We’ve got a few more days to stand up,” Bakker said in August 2020. “It’s going to be too late after the election, I believe. I think if we elect the wrong people—and you see how wrong it’s been—we’re gonna have a revolution. The church people are going to march in the streets.”
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/in-the-wake-of-the-maga-insurrection-jim-bakker-now-insists-that-christians-dont-riot/




Whew, there we go folks! I think I’ve reached that stage of quarantine where boredom is taking me strange places! 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: The Gay Bachelor
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You know I’m completely shocked that in 25 seasons of The Bachelor that this has never happened in the show’s history. And you’d think that, given the fact that contestants on that show go through a stricter vetting process than we have with our SCOTUS justices… what? Do I really need to explain Brett Kavanaugh to you again? Yeah no creepy weird guy in the back of the virtual audience… OK moving on… but anyways if you watch the morning talk shows that’s literally all anyone is talking about right now. and you know what the technical term for that when someone keeps driving a talking point into the ground is, isn’t it? Oh wait, I know what the term is… something about a dead horse… but that’s neither here nor there. But anyways yada yada yada, there’s a gay bachelor, but you probably already knew that.

Colton Underwood returned to TV on Wednesday morning for a revealing interview. The former Bachelor star, who led the 2019 season of the ABC reality dating franchise, said on Good Morning America that he is gay.

"Obviously, this year has been a lot for a lot of people, and it's probably made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they've been running from or what they've been putting off in their lives. For me, I've ran from myself for a long time; I've hated myself for a long time. And, I'm gay," he said during an exclusive sit-down with Robin Roberts for ABC News' GMA. "I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it. And the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know. I'm still nervous."

The conversation had been billed as a "deeply personal" interview, with Underwood saying only, "It's been a journey, for sure," in a brief Tuesday night teaser.

"Journey" is a common word used by the Bachelor and Bachelorette leads when describing the reality show experience for the ABC cameras. In sitting down with Roberts, Underwood shared the off-camera road that led him to Wednesday's announcement.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/bachelor-star-colton-underwood-comes-out-as-gay




Yeah probably. Now here’s where the fact that the Bachelor had a closeted gay man as its’ leading man is making the show look horrible. But here’s the thing – times are changing guys, and relationships are no longer limited to male and female. At least the good thing is that this hasn’t seemed to affect the people who still watch this show for some reason. They’re actually uniting behind their guy. So that’s a good thing!

Bachelor Nation sticks together. After Colton Underwood came out as gay during an emotional interview on Good Morning America, supportive messages from past contestants on the ABC franchise came pouring in.

Underwood, 29, opened up about his sexuality in a conversation with Robin Roberts, which aired on Wednesday, April 14. “This year’s been a lot for a lot of people and it’s probably made a lot of people look at themselves in the year and figure out who they are,” he said. “I’ve ran from myself for a long time, I’ve hated myself for a long time. I’m gay. I came to terms with that earlier this year, and the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know. … I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. That means the world to me.”

The Indiana native previously competed on Becca Kufrin‘s season 14 of The Bachelorette in 2018 before being named the lead of season 23 of The Bachelor the following year. In his 2020 memoir, The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV, Underwood remembered his dad, Scott Underwood, discovering that he might have been questioning his sexuality.

“He’d pulled up the history of recent Google searches, which included gay porn sites and a variety of questions: Am I gay? How do you know if you’re gay? Why don’t I like having sex with my girlfriend?” Colton wrote. “At first, I denied responsibility. Then I owned up to having been curious. He asked if I wanted to talk about it. I said no, explaining that I’d figured things out on my own. I begged him not to tell Mom. I’m sure he did. But neither of them ever spoke about it with me. All that research, though, led me to understand that I was definitely attracted to girls.”
https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/pictures/colton-underwood-comes-out-as-gay-bachelor-nation-sends-support/hannah-brown-32/




I’ll admit I don’t know how this sort of thing works, but I am pretty sure that if you’re actively looking for gay porn online, wouldn’t you already know the answer to that question? So now here’s what is happening is that fans are actually demanding a Gay Bachelor season! And why not? Seems like a logical thing to do. They’ve had Straight Bachelor for the last 25 seasons, maybe it’s time for a fresh outtake on the subject! Gay people need love and partners too, and now that gay marriage has pretty much been universally accepted, why not try it?

On Wednesday, former Bachelor Colton Underwood sat down for an intimate, revealing interview with Good Morning America to get something big off his chest.

“I’m gay,” he told anchor Robin Roberts, shaken though visibly relieved. “I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it … I ran from myself for a long time,” he said. Now, he feels “the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life”.

I’m hesitant to frame Underwood’s coming out as some kind of significant “gay first”, given how such narratives often end up portraying LGBTQ+ people as new, as if we haven’t been here the whole time. “The media that make us visible simultaneously obscure our presence in history by continually framing trans people [and, in this instance with Underwood, gay people] as new, as a modern, medicalized phenomenon only now coming to light,” writer and artist Morgan M Page wrote in 2017. And being “the media” in this scenario, I, uh, don’t want to do that!

That said, this is kind of a big deal in the Bachelor-verse, which didn’t even feature an openly queer person until bisexual contestant Jaimi King in 2017. Other contestants have, similar to Underwood, publicly come out after filming wrapped.
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/apr/15/its-time-for-an-actually-gay-season-of-the-bachelor-already




Good question! But how did Mr. Underwood manage to undo 25 years of the Bachelor’s reputation and make the show look bad? Well I will answer that and you’re not going to like it: It’s a fucking reality show, they’re made to look bad by design! That said since we’re always on the forefront of the entertainment industry we’ll keep an eye out on this subject. Here’s the thing – the show was centered on him being a virgin, that is going to bite the producers in the ass hard! Just, seriously… stop watching this crap, we beg you! This is one of those cases where it’s best to just let people be people. It’s definitely time for a fresh take on this concept.

Colton Underwood, the titular leading man on the 23rd season of The Bachelor, came out as gay on Good Morning America on Wednesday, stunning Bachelor Nation, as our sorry lot refer to ourselves. He’s also reportedly “weeks” into filming a Netflix reality show about his coming out; Gus Kenworthy will appear. Most fans have received the news with shock, but speaking as the gay son of a Southern pastor, my reaction was a little different: I am in fact completely unsurprised that a conservative Catholic former NFL player would go on a nationally televised heterosexual dating show simply to convince himself he’s straight. And now that I’ve rewatched parts of his season, I’m starting to wonder how we never noticed in the first place.

What a season it was. Colton’s narrative from the beginning of his Bachelordom—and in his stint on Becca’s season of The Bachelorette—centered on his virginity. It was a constant talking point that cropped up in conversations with all of the women he pursued, and even became a way for the show to sell itself. Chris Harrison, the series’ longtime host, teased the season by saying that viewers were in for a dramatic season because Colton “just might lose something along the way.”

Yikes! Indeed, Underwood’s virginity was used by ABC to hook the wide swath of conservative viewers that continues to drive the show’s high ratings, and producers framed his sexual inexperience as a noble quality, rather than a signal that something was a little off. Yes, there are plenty of perfectly normal virginal men in their late 20s, but not many who parlay an NFL gig into a berth in the reality swamp, and The Bachelor—which has long had deeply weird issues with sex—couldn’t get enough. If it all made you a little queasy then, it’s downright hard to watch now, when it’s so clear Underwood became convinced virginity was a way to sell his heterosexuality even to himself. Sometimes the things we say loudest are the things we’re lying about the most, and who among us once-closeted homosexuals hasn’t vocally proclaimed his heterosexuality in front of an entire summer theater program in high school? Underwood simply did his version with 30 women—and, uh, several million viewers.
https://slate.com/culture/2021/04/colton-underwood-gay-the-bachelor-comes-out.html
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[font size="8"]Good Luck With That
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Welcome to our brand new feature, Good Luck With That! It’s the segment where we tell conservatives who attempt to take on the establishment – whether it’s big tech, big retail, big sports, or big media with their own version of that thing, we know that it’s most likely doomed to fail. So to that we say… “Good Luck With That!”. This week we turn the spotlight to Mike Lindell. You know him as the scrappy self-made millionaire and former drug addict who founded the internet pillow sensation known as “My Pillow”. Which of course got pulled from every major retailer who cares about its’ public image (and profit margins) after his role in the January 6th attempted insurrection of the Capitol. Well this week, Mr. Lindell is launching his own version of a social media app, called FRANK, and well, that seems to be going well so far.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new "free speech" social media site will limit certain words, such as curse words and using the Lord's name in vain, the founder says.

"You won't be able to use four words: the c-word, the n-word, the f-word, and God’s name in vain. You won't be able to type that in," Lindell explained an interview on "The Ledger Report" podcast this week.

He also indicated that the site would limit threats of violence.

Lindell, a staunch ally of former President Trump, is set to debut his new site called Frank early next week. The slogan for the site is "Begin Speaking Freely With Frank."

"Everyone is going to be able to talk freely," Lindell told conservative host Graham Ledger on the podcast.

"When you come over now you are going to be able to speak out and have opinions," he added.
https://thehill.com/homenews/news/548791-mypillow-ceo-mike-lindells-new-app-bans-using-lords-name-in-vain




Now that’s just the kind of thing that won’t be allowed on FRANK. And by the way, the launch of FRANK is proving that he is a man who knows how to handle his websites. But as you might be able to guess, the launch has been a complete disaster so far. In fact it’s such a disaster that the users and celebrities who are gunning for the site’s VIP status – similar to the way Twitter verifies users, they are having trouble getting access.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new social media platform failed to launch for the second time in a week, with users unable to sign up on Monday.

On Friday last week, followers of the Donald Trump-supporting businessman were left confused and frustrated after a teased "VIP access" failed to take place. Lindell assured fans that they would be able to join up when the website launched on April 19.

But the Monday rollout quickly turned into a mess, with the platform constantly crashing and users unable to create accounts or access the homepage. On social media, Lindell suggested without evidence that the website was being hit with a cyberattack.

He wrote on his Telegram page: "FrankSpeech.com is having a massive attack against it currently. We are working to get it up ASAP! Thank you for your patience."
https://www.newsweek.com/mike-lindell-frank-social-media-launch-1584656




And to further why he’s the feature on our new feature “Good Luck With That”, Mr. Lindell is also taking on… Amazon! That’s right – in addition to taking on what conservatives have been referring to as “big tech”, Mike Lindell is also taking on Big Retail! And yes, with as much as the FRANK site is getting off to a ripping start, we expect My Store to go about as well as FRANK. Though if you’re seeing this you’re probably waiting for the fail as much as we are.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on Monday announced that he's launching "MyStore," an online marketplace for entrepreneurs that will rival Amazon, the largest global internet-based store.

Speaking on Steve Bannon's War Room: Pandemic, Lindell said, "I'm looking at another thing we're going to be launching, which is MyStore, which is a rival to Amazon."

Currently, a version of MyStore is on the MyPillow website, featuring a range of patriotic and miscellaneous products, including "Freedom Flags," "Freedom Coffee," "USA Flag Pole," and conservative books about former President Donald Trump.

Lindell boasted that his online store will include a range of products from "entrepreneurs and investors" in a video shared on the site.

"For years entrepreneurs and inventors have come to me with products and ideas. They don't know how to market them and I haven't had the time to show them. And now today, I am proud to announce this platform called MyStore.com," he said in the clip. "I am going to put vetted products from great entrepreneurs on here, like you see a sampling of them here today, that are going to change this country."
https://www.newsweek.com/mypillow-ceo-mike-lindell-announces-hes-launching-mystore-patriotic-rival-amazon-1583037




Seriously… Steve Bannon has a show? And people actually listen to it? Meanwhile I’m doing this thing in the back room of an empty Burbank comedy club with no air conditioning and a blue void to remind us of the fact that we have no audiences because of a raging pandemic? I might have to have a talk with my producer on this one. Getting back to the point, you might be asking – where is Mr. Lindell getting the money to accomplish all of this? Well, we might have Dominion Voting Systems to thank for this. But again this falls under “Good Luck With That!”.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell announced Monday that his company filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Dominion Voting Systems, the election-technology firm currently suing the pillow magnate and his business for defamation.

“This is a free-speech case. This is a First Amendment case,” Lindell said on a livestreamed broadcast.

Dominion in February accused MyPillow and Lindell, a loyal supporter of former President Donald Trump, of falsely spreading the claim that the company rigged the 2020 election for President Joe Biden by manipulating votes. Trump’s campaign and his allies lost dozens of lawsuits aiming to overturn key states’ election results.

Dominion is requesting more than $1.3 billion in punitive and compensatory damages, saying the “viral disinformation campaign” spread by Lindell and others has “irreparably damaged” the company’s reputation. Dominion has filed similar lawsuits against Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, attorney Sidney Powell and Fox News.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/19/mypillow-files-1point6-billion-suit-to-counter-dominion-defamation-case.html





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[font size="8"]I Need A Drink
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Hey everyone! I don’t know about you but I could really use a drink!



Of course you know the idea behind this segment is that we have some drinks and talk about anything in the news as long as it doesn’t relate to politics. Because booze and politics don’t mix, much like olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But this week we’re actually going to break that rule. Because celebrities are running for office! And that doesn’t matter whether it’s Caitlyn Jenner running for governor of California, or Matthew McConaghey running for governor of Texas, or Dwayne The Rock Johnson running for president of the United States… wait, what? That’s right you heard me! So tell me, virtual bartender, what goes well with a story about celebrity politicians? Aviator gin? Isn’t that owned by Ryan Reynolds? OK… Francis Ford Coppola Wine? OK.. Heaven’s Door whiskey? Owned by Bob Dylan? All right who’s been screwing with the virtual bartender? I really need my real audience back, and a real bartender. I’ll just have my usual Jack Daniels mixed with Jack Daniels. I call it the Double Jack. Anyway there’s lots of celebrity politicians running but one sits at the top.

Dwayne Johnson has just shown some support for a poll that indicates 46% of Americans would support him running for U.S. president. In 2016, Johnson spoke on the possibility of running for president, citing the chance to affect global change as being an alluring reason to take on the role. Following Donald Trump's election to the highest office in the land five years ago, Johnson said that he couldn't count out an eventual presidential campaign of his own.

In 2000, Johnson spoke at the National Republican Convention. In 2016 he was a registered Republican, but in 2020, he endorsed Democrat Joe Biden's presidential campaign in an election that resulted in Biden being elected president. In the trailer for his new show, Young Rock, the titular character runs for president in 2032. This past February, Johnson said that he'd run for president if people wanted him to do so.

Earlier this week, Johnson used his Instagram account to upload a screenshot of a Newsweek article about a poll conducted by Piplsay that purportedly indicates that 46% of Americans would support him running for president. In the caption for the post, he takes a moment to express his gratitude:

According to the poll, 39% of Americans think Hollywood stars can make good politicians, provided they've got the political aptitude. Other results showed that 30% of Americans would like to see Angelina Jolie run for president. Another 22% of voters would rather Tom Hanks run for the position. Either way, it seems like a good amount of people are open to celebs running for office in one capacity or another.
https://screenrant.com/dwayne-johnson-us-president-american-fan-support/




Oh come on!!!! 39% percent of Americans think Hollywood stars can make good politicians? I mean have we learned nothing from the previous administration? Or Schwarzenegger? Or Jesse Ventura? Or Reagan? You know the saying – “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 700 times… shame on me!”. But the Rock isn’t the only A list celebrity thinking of throwing his or her hat into the ring. There’s also Matthew McConaughey for governor of Texas? I mean really?

A new poll may put some wind in the actor Matthew McConaughey’s sails as he considers whether to run for governor of Texas.

Forty-five percent of the state’s voters said that they would vote for Mr. McConaughey if he were to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott next year, according to the poll, conducted by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas, Tyler.

An additional 33 percent of voters said they would support the incumbent, while 22 percent said that at this early stage, they would prefer to choose someone else.

But such highly theoretical questions can sometimes produce wonky results, especially this far in advance of any actual campaigning. That’s doubly true when the hypothetical involves a figure with name recognition as high as Mr. McConaughey’s, particularly in his home state.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/us/matthew-mcconaughey-texas-governor.html




Yeah I’m going to need more of that! OK so there’s the Rock, and there’s Matthew McConaughey in Texas. What’s behind door #3 you might ask? Well you know that my home state of California is in the middle of a messy recall effort against Gavin Newsom, fueled by white supremacists and rabid Trump fans. But who have they got to replace him? Unless they have a celebrity at the ready, which they did in 2008, they won’t unseat Newsom. Unless…

Caitlyn Jenner said she will “decide soon” whether she will run for California governor.

On Sunday, the former reality TV star and decorated Olympic athlete responded to tweets regarding her political ambitions.

Inside California Politics covered Jenner’s stance and her alleged fundraising contracts for the potential campaign run.
Inside the Bullpen: Could Caitlyn Jenner join the recall?

Axios reported that Jenner was coordinating with longtime GOP fund raiser Caroline Wren, who previously worked for a joint fundraising committee for former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign.

But Jenner said the news wasn’t true.

“#FakeNews show me the contracts,” she responded.
https://www.kron4.com/news/caitlyn-jenner-to-decide-soon-whether-shes-running-for-california-governor/




Oh come on!!! There’s no mistake – the GOP is in serious need of name brand recognition. Which it had under Trump, though Trump got rejected for a guy named Joe Biden. So now the GOP is in a scramble to rebrand itself, after the ejection of Trump and the death of Rush Limbaugh, and let’s just say it’s not going well. But here’s the thing – no matter who’s running, make no mistake that Americans can’t resist a celebrity politician with name brand recognition.

Are Americans in favor of the celebrity politician post-Trump? Seems like it, according to recent polling. The consumer research platform Piplsay found earlier this week that 58 percent of respondents said they would like to see one or both of the actors Matthew McConaughey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson launch bids for the Texas governorship and U.S. presidency, respectively. (Of course, the poll isn’t perfect — lumping answers about two different actors’ potential political aspirations under one question is not a good use of polling.) Other actors who people believed might make good future presidents included Angelina Jolie, Will Smith and Tom Hanks.

Johnson even recently teased a run for higher office, but perhaps it’s McConaughey we should pay closer attention to. The Austin-based actor has said — at least twice — that he’s “seriously considering” a run for Texas governor, though his politics are unclear. And earlier this week, it was reported that at least one more celebrity was considering tossing her hat into the ring: Former reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner was said to be talking with political consultants as she contemplates a run for California governor amid Gov. Gavin Newsom’s likely recall election.

But how seriously should we take celebrities who express a desire to run for political office? And how likely is it that they actually win, especially if they’re up against seasoned politicians?

Well, if history tells us anything, former President Donald Trump was not an anomaly. Former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, who resigned over sexual misconduct allegations in 2018, was a writer and actor on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” for nearly two decades. And Austrian actor Arnold Schwarzenegger used to be an action movie star before he successfully ran for California governor. Former President Ronald Reagan also was an actor.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-americans-cant-resist-a-celebrity-political-candidate/





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[font size="8"]Stupidest State
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16 states will enter and only one state will become the new Top 10 Conservative Idiots Stupidest State!



Welcome back everybody! After a really exciting round 1 full of ups and downs we’re back for Round 2 and the Conference Championships! We’re only four rounds away from the Final Four and the Stupidest State Championship. Which of these states will take the crown? In the Gun Nut Conference – it’s #1 Texas against #3 Idaho! And in the Family Values Conference, #1 Indiana takes on #4 Arkansas! Over in the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference - #2 Wyoming takes on #3 Nevada! And finally over in the Batshit Conference, #1 Georgia takes on #4 Michigan! There’s some exciting matchups here and we can’t wait to see the outcome! This week it’s the Gun Nut Conference – Texas vs Idaho, who has enough ammunition and firepower needed to take the other one out? We shall see who will move on and who will stay home! Yeah it’s probably a bad week to talk about guns but fuck it, here we go!

[font size="4"]Gun Nut Conference Championships: Texas Vs Idaho [/font]

[font size="2"]Texas [/font]




Holy shit Texas’ gun credentials are strong! Even beings from other worlds know that Texas is the gun capitol of the world! That was a throw away joke in Thor: Ragnarok where Skurge shows the ladies the giant assault rifles that he bought while he was on Midguard in a place called "Texas". But there’s something that our two contestants have in this round in common – both states are vying to be sanctuary states for gun rights! Yes, this is a fucking thing that conservatives are foisting upon us! So in a country where we want more gun laws, states like Texas actually want fewer! So let’s find out what that means.

Gov. Greg Abbott is vowing to make Texas a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary State” after President Joe Biden announced new executive actions on ghost guns Thursday.

Abbott sounded off on Twitter, saying “Biden is threatening our 2nd Amendment rights. He just announced a new liberal power grab to take away our guns. We will NOT allow this in TX. It’s time to get legislation making TX a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State passed and to my desk for signing.”

“The outcome for a bill like this would almost inevitably be a challenge in court,” said Jim Henson, Executive Director of The Texas Politics Project. “It’s hard not to see this as part of an effort to test the boundaries at how much states can push back against federal and constitutional provisions.”

Biden’s actions focus on the regulation of “ghost guns” or homemade firearms put together from parts purchased online or at gun shows. Oftentimes, ghost guns lack serial numbers used to track most firearms, according to NewsNation. The Justice Department is expected to issue a proposed rule to rein in ghost guns within 30 days.
https://www.kxan.com/news/texas-politics/abbott-vows-to-make-texas-a-2nd-amendment-sanctuary-state-in-response-to-biden-gun-plan/




So flying in the face of all convention and moral wisdom, Texas is literally giving the middle finger to pro-gun activists all over the country and saying “your laws don’t apply here! ‘Murica!!!”. And Texas gun laws put your states’ gun laws to shame. They have something like 10,000 pieces of pro-gun legislation in the works. That is fucking insane! And in an era where we have mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting, Texas is still saying “fuck you” to anti-gun activists!

Governor Greg Abbott has recommitted himself to having as little gun control in Texas as possible even as the nation is rocked by two horrific mass shootings within a week of each other.

Last week in the Atlanta area in Georgia, the man who went on an eight-person killing spree targeting Asian-Americans had purchased the gun he used on the same day he began his massacre. There was no waiting period or mandatory safety class. His transaction likely took no longer than a trip through the Whataburger drive thru. Georgia is ranked Number 11 by Guns & Ammo for best states to buy guns (meaning fewest restrictions).

Famously, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker said that the shooter was having a “bad day.” It’s worth wondering if not allowing him to take home his gun during that particular bad day might have prevented Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz, Hyun Jung Grant, Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue from being shot.
https://www.reformaustin.org/texas-legislature/push-to-make-texas-second-amendment-sanctuary-state-continues-amid-mass-shootings/




Yeah that’s probably the right reaction to that. So what would happen if Texas told the Biden Administration to fuck off when it comes to gun rights? It’s what one would easily describe as a “clusterfuck”. I mean come on, do we really need more gun rights? I swear in this country, guns have more rights than the people who are getting shot do!

Texas could soon join the ranks of a small, but growing, club of states that have passed laws that designate them as second amendment “sanctuaries.”

On Tuesday, the State Affairs Committee in the Texas House approved House Bill 2622, which would prevent state resources to enforce any new federal restrictions on firearms and ammunition. The bill, titled the Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act, would prevent state officials from enforcing new federal gun ownership rules, such as firearm registries, licensing requirements and confiscation programs.

It mirrors legislation that previously passed in Alaska, Kansas, Idaho, Wyoming, and, most recently, Arizona.

“Basically, we’re freezing Texas state law and federal laws in place that have to do with guns,” said the bill’s author, Rep. Justin Holland, R-Rockwall. “And (we’re) not recognizing, at the state level, any federal changes.”
https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2021/04/09/what-would-happen-if-texas-became-second-amendment-sanctuary-state/7146515002/




[font size="2"]Idaho [/font]


The Gem State is mostly a rural, small town America state. And you know what they say about those places – the residents there are packing some serious heat! In fact, just like Texas, Idaho is flying in the face of conventional wisdom and giving pro-gun activists a giant middle finger. We’re suspecting that this insane legislation is only going to get worse before it gets better, and it’s probably not going to end well. But here’s how Idaho is challenging Texas for the insane gun nut crowd.

Madison County is the latest county to declare itself as a Second Amendment sanctuary.

During the County Commissioner’s meeting on Monday, the county commissioners passed a resolution declaring the county as a Second Amendment sanctuary after speaking with Madison County Sheriff Rick Henry.

“We’re already a Second Amendment sanctuary,” Henry said. “The whole state is.”

Henry said the resolution just reinforces that the county supports the Second Amendment. Henry recommended that the commissioners pass the resolution. The commissioners held off on a decision about the resolution earlier in March to get input from the sheriff.

According to the resolution, the citizens of Madison County are opposed to any legislation that would infringe on their rights to bear arms or ban their possession and use of firearms, magazines, and firearm accessories.
https://www.bigcountrynewsconnection.com/news/state/idaho/madison-county-passes-second-amendment-sanctuary-resolution/article_f5cf103b-2f92-530c-ab88-6e2fa62ac0bb.html




Two questions: 1. Do you even know what the word “sanctuary” means? And two – you do realize that no one is challenging the second amendment right? I keep saying guns have more rights than people do in this country and it’s getting more ridiculous and absurd by the day, and it’s a shame that gun nuts are pulling this shit. But here’s what conservatives don’t realize – the idea of a “sanctuary city” is mostly symbolic and there’s no way this would hold up in court.

Nampa is the latest Idaho community to declare its intent to oppose any legislation and possibly defy any laws that may infringe upon Second Amendment gun rights.

The City Council voted unanimously for a resolution declaring Nampa a Second Amendment City. The resolution says in part, “The Mayor and City Council are opposed to any legislation that would infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms or ban the possession and use of any firearms now employed by the individual citizens of Nampa, for defense of life, liberty and property.”

Nampa joins Eagle and Star in the Treasure Valley in declaring opposition to such legislation and laws — though Nampa did not declare itself a “Second Amendment Sanctuary,” as Eagle and Star did.

Sanctuary status is largely symbolic. The term plays on liberal cities’ declarations of themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, with restrictions on city police from enforcing federal immigration laws.
https://www.kivitv.com/news/what-we-are-all-about-idahos-3rd-largest-city-declares-itself-2nd-amendment-city




That’s not proper use of a firearm either. But Nampa isn’t the only Idaho city that is looking to become a sanctuary city for gun nuts. But with as popular and insane as these ideas are, there’s no way they could possibly pass muster. In fact even the state commissioners are not going to even see the light of day, probably. So once again, gun nuts talk loads of trash and they talk a big game, but in fact once the dust has been settled, once again, nothing gets done.

Although a handful of Idaho cities has adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions — and the city of Kamiah is now considering it — the Idaho County Commission on Tuesday turned down a suggestion that the county follow suit.

Commission Chairman Skip Brandt said during the commission’s regular weekly meeting that he had considered bringing up the issue a few years ago, but he changed his mind after the Idaho Legislature passed a law in 2014 — Senate Bill 1332 — making Idaho a Second Amendment Sanctuary entity.

“Idaho as a whole has already taken care of that,” Brandt said. “So I don’t know why we would want to double the effort.”

Idaho County Sheriff Doug Ulmer said he has fielded inquiries from people who would like to see the county become a Second Amendment Sanctuary.

“If we did it, I don’t know what it would harm,” Ulmer said, adding that he would defer to the commissioners’ decision
https://lmtribune.com/northwest/idaho-county-commission-not-pursuing-second-amendment-sanctuary-status/article_21410260-6b42-11eb-96cb-730c0c72cc5b.html




[font size="2"]And The Winner Is: [/font]

Idaho is giving Texas a game here. But it’s been a wild back and forth with the clock now running around the 1:00 mark. Current score: 91 – 91. Texas has the ball and is attempting to run out the clock. 38 seconds left… Texas has it, they shoot… they score!!! Texas for 3! With no remaining timeouts Texas is going to run out the remaining 20 seconds! Texas wins! Final score 94 – 91! Idaho goes home! Texas wins the Gun Nut Conference!

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

It’s Round 2 Week 2 which means it’s the Family Values Conference championships! It’s #1 Indiana vs #4 Arkansas. Will Arkansas pull off an upset or will Indiana hang onto advance to the Flyover League championship? Only time will tell!




See you next week!

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