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Thu Sep 22, 2022, 05:00 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #13-8: We Have The Meats And Also The Subpoenas Edition


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #13-8: We Have The Meats And Also The Subpoenas Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! Yoooooooooo!!! What’s up, Salt Lake City! How are you guys doing? You doing fucking good? Great! As I said last week we are definitely hitting the ground running for season 13 right now. The next few weeks we’re doing our first ever shows in Des Moines and Fargo, and we’re returning to Montana on 10/13. But… I can’t wait for our 10/6 edition which is in Denver and we’re celebrating the triumphant return of the Great American Beer Festival with a beer themed edition and the famous Wheel Of Corruption! We’ve definitely got some fun stuff planned for that one, so stay tuned! So I want to start this week by talking about our old buddy Kanye West. I don’t know if you saw this report last week but a reporter was apparently asking the former Mr. Kardashian about his “school” that he allegedly set up. We probably assume the school does nothing and was set up as a shell organization so that way Kanye could claim it as a charity to avoid paying taxes. But a reporter asked him about education and he said that he’s never read a book. Shocker! Yeah and my favorite part is that not only has he *NEVER* read a book, he said that reading is like eating brussels sprouts – it’s icky and gross. Dude, what is he, a 5 year old? Like why do people still listen to someone like this? Well he proudly represents the anti-education wing of the GOP, so it’s all starting to make sense! But you know here’s the thing, you can’t found a school if you’ve never read a book. Just ask his BFF Trump about that one. Hey o! OK enough of the intro, we have a lot of idiocy to get to this week, but first Stephen Colbert is back and he talks about the Queen and other things:



So where do we begin this week? Well the number one slot this week goes to our old buddies Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott (1). Yes, the Fox News appointed governors of Texas and Florida pulled one of the most douchebag racist stunts you could pull and sent planes and buses full of migrants to blue states, just to be dicks and to win points on conservative talk shows. God damn them. In the second slot this week is another old buddy of ours, Mike Lindell (2). Yes the My Pillow magnate had his phone seized at a fast food restaurant in the middle of nowhere, Minnesota, and we can’t wait for the details! In the third slot this week is that guy who we at one point inexplicably called president (3) – he attempted to invite himself to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral and got shut down by the Royal Family. Did conservative talk radio really think Biden would extend him an invite? Get fucking real! In the number 4 slot this week is Libsoftiktok (4). If you haven’t heard of this social media account, it’s run by a criminally insane woman who really hates trans people, and has been targeting children’s hospitals that treat trans care as if they’re performing chemical castrations on children. Which they’re not. But the two hospitals in question have been the subject of real world violence and it’s all linked to this account. Yeah it’s stochastic terrorism at its’ finest! In the number 5 slot this week we have our first Top 10 Investigates of Season 13! So what’s up with catalytic converter thefts? If you have a late model Toyota Prius, you may want to take steps to protect it, or you’ll be next! 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 become alarmed at the increasing rate of calls for violence coming from the Christian right, and we’re going to take a look at some podcasts and internet shows that delve into some light Nazism. It’s going to get real dark real fast everybody! In the number 7 slot this week, is a new Beating A Dead Horse (7) and this week while the right wing is targeting Disney for being “woke” against Ron DeSantis, the white wing is attempting to white wash Disney’s controversial casting choice in the Little Mermaid and come on, do we really need to go through with this again? They say yes unfortunately. In the number 8 slot this week is a new Conspiracy Corner (8)! And this week if you’ve been following the Russian government at all, it seems like Vladimir Putin’s associates are dropping like flies, but it also seems like China might be dropping Putin next! If you’re in Moscow, watch out! In the number 9 (NEIN!!!) slot this week, we have a new I Need A Drink (9)! This week, why the hell do we need 16 minute standing ovations? It’s a truly bizarre new trend that’s popping up at film festivals everywhere and we have one thing to say: Stop it, people! Just stop it! Finally this week it’s time for World Tour 2022 Destination #7 and this week we’re going to the land of ghoulash, the Danube River, and a gateway to neo Nazi politics – Hungary! Plus we have some live music from the legendary Indiana jam band Umphrey’s McGee for you! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

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[font size="8"]Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott
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There is one thing I think everyone in this room can agree on – the two worst governors in the country are Ron DeSantis (Q – Florida Man) and Greg Abbott (Q – Lite Nazi). But lately these two are in some kind of weird contest to see who can kiss up to the right wing conservative media sphere the most, because both of these guys want to be president. And this story is one of those stories that we say is like peeling an onion. The more layers you pull back, the more it stinks, and the more likely you are to cry as a result. But the really scary thing about what Desantis did to those migrants? He did this all to score points on conservative talk radio. OK don’t boo just yet. I see this one guy in the middle of the front row getting ready to boo. Don’t get mad just yet sir. And this thing is not only fucking weird, it’s pure fucking evil and represents the sheer cruelty of AM hate radio and Fox News policies. They’re going full fascist whether we want them to or not, and this is just the beginning.

Authorities in Massachusetts said Sunday that they have requested a federal human trafficking probe after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis boasted of sending about 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha's Vineyard to shine a national spotlight on immigration issues.

"We are requesting that the Department of Justice open an investigation to hold DeSantis and others accountable for these inhumane acts," state Rep. Dylan Fernandes tweeted Sunday. "Not only is it morally criminal, there are legal implications around fraud, kidnapping, deprivation of liberty, and human trafficking."

Fernandes said he had spoken with Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachel Rollins and was "grateful to hear she is pushing for a response from the DOJ."

The migrants were picked up in Texas, but DeSantis said the flights were part of a $12 million Florida program to transport undocumented immigrants to so-called sanctuary destinations. DeSantis denied claims that the migrants were duped into taking the flights with promises of jobs that did not exist. And he said he was "perplexed" to hear that President Joe Biden was "surging resources" to the Texas border in response to the flights.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/massachusetts-seeks-human-trafficking-probe-191103773.html




Yeah BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! So Ron Desantis sent a plane full of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard and now he’s paying for it. This is one of those things that I would put in the “play stupid games, win stupid prizes” file. Oh and it gets weirder the more you dig into it, because after all this was a political hit job and that’s about it. Apparently the migrants were lured by Ron with pamphlets and false pretenses. That’s right – they were tricked and conned by a guy who is associated with one of the worst known con artists of all time. Just for ratings.

A Texas sheriff on Monday announced a criminal investigation into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis chartering flights to send 48 migrants from San Antonio in Texas' Bexar County to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts last week, calling his actions "an abuse of human rights."

Bexar County Javier Salazar said in a news conference on Monday that the migrants were "lured under false pretenses" into staying at a hotel before being flown to Florida and then Martha's Vineyard. They were handed misleading brochures promising cash assistance, housing, job placement services, and more, according to their lawyers.

Salazar, whose office's organized crime investigators are looking into the issue, said a recruiter was paid a "bird dog fee" to recruit people to board a plane. The woman, who migrants identified as "Perla", according to NPR, promised the group they would receive expedited work permits in Boston.................


...............Senator Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation sent a letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Inspector General urging them to review Florida's apparent misuse of federal pandemic relief funds intended to help communities recover from the pandemic for "an inhumane program to transport newly arrived immigrants"......................................

After being flown to the Massachusetts island where the asylum-seekers were taken "for little more than a photo op or a video op," they were left "unceremoniously stranded," Salazar said..................

Read more: https://www.salon.com/2022/09/20/lured-under-false-pretenses-furious-texas-sheriff-investigating-desantis-marthas-vineyard-stunt/




Look, look. We could spend all day talking about this subject, but we don’t have that kind of time! But here’s my favorite part of this whole thing. See the entire idea behind this stunt was to give credence to the conservative AM radio talking point about how bad the liberal concept of a “sanctuary city” is, which was designed to rile up the conservative base 60 days before the midterms. And this thing backfired on them spectacularly. In fact it may have even more severe consequences for the schoolyard bully who currently occupies the Florida governor’s office and was installed by Fox News and Rupert Murdoch. But don’t get mad at Desantis, get mad at the source!

Sunday night, I sat in the ballroom of a Miami resort and watched Florida governor Ron DeSantis tell the crowd about how Texas governor Greg Abbott had been sending busloads of illegal immigrants to Washington, D.C. His envy was undisguised. Stunts like this, which use humans as props for a set piece about owning the libs, are the trademark of his own governing style. (He has done this with ex-felons, splashily arresting 20 and charging them with fraud.) You could almost see the wheels turning in his head.

Last night, DeSantis pulled off the stunt. He lured a couple dozen immigrants onto a pair of planes and flew them to Martha’s Vineyard, where he deposited them onto an unprepared island. He then handed the story to Fox News, a network that has coordinated closely with him and predictably gloated over his latest triumph.

The conceit of Abbott’s stunt is that his state is so overwhelmed with illegal immigrants he needs to send them to the place that is supposedly causing their arrival. DeSantis, not having a land border with Mexico, had no such pretext. Instead, he had to find immigrants in Texas and, essentially, kidnap them for his own use.

To acquire the bait for his stunt, DeSantis apparently deployed staff into Texas to mislead the targets. “The migrants said a woman they identified as ‘Perla’ approached them outside the shelter and lured them into boarding the plane, saying they would be flown to Boston where they could get expedited work papers,” reports NPR.
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/09/desantis-tries-fails-to-prove-liberals-hate-migrants-too.html




Thank you Nelson! And by the way in case you’re wondering – yes this is a stunt designed to rile up the conservative / MAGA base for the 2024 elections. The cruelty is the point! And it’s truly insane to think that the conservatives paint themselves as the party of children, babies, and anti-human trafficking. I am going to say – they don’t care about kids. Maybe if they’re white, blonde, and of European descent, then they might. But make no mistake that this is a white supremacist’s wet dream and this is only the beginning. If Desantis isn’t called out on this, expect him to do worse, with Fox News pulling the strings on his every move.


In a crowded 2024 presidential field, Republican politicians are seeking any path available to the nomination. Lately, they’ve decided the most promising one is paved on the backs of vulnerable immigrant children......

For months, the DeSantis administration has been jerking around shelters and foster families that care for unaccompanied migrant kids, including by refusing to renew these providers’ licenses. One shelter, run by Lutheran Services of Florida, had to close entirely in November because the state wouldn’t respond to its renewal application. The shelter scrambled to relocate the nearly 60 traumatized children in its care.

The shelter sued over the state’s unexplained stonewalling. On Thursday, on the eve of a court hearing, the new license magically materialized. DeSantis then released a confusing new “emergency rule” the following morning, which said existing shelters could continue operating and renewing their licenses for the next 45 days only. After that period, the state will license or re-license care providers only if the Biden administration agrees to onerous and possibly illegal demands, such as giving shelters new obligations usually handled by other federal contractors.

At best, these demands would make it more financially challenging for shelters in the state to continue operating; at worst, they might be a poison pill designed to force providers to lose their licenses and close......

DeSantis is copying similar measures announced earlier this year by other red states, including South Carolina and Texas. Both of those states ultimately watered down their policies following pushback from the faith community, which is deeply involved in foster care nationwide.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/13/ron-desantis-is-paving-his-path-white-house-backs-vulnerable-immigrant-children/





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[font size="8"]Mike Lindell
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Like I said last week, I am loving watching the MAGA world fall flat on their face. Yeah you know the old saying that two wrongs don’t make a right. Well, in this case, fuck that shit. Because you know their favorite president spent the last five years calling us losers and morons and now he’s going full whack job conspiracy theorist and embracing full blown Nazi ideology, yeah really the only acceptable response is fuck these losers. But here’s the thing MAGAs – you know the old saying, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time! This might be one of my favorite stories in a long while. I’m sure that everyone remembers where they were when they heard that Mr. Creepy Pillow Man himself, Mike Lindell got his phone seized by the FBI while at a fast food restaurant in the middle of nowhere, Minnesota. Me? I was sitting here in my hotel room on the Top 10 workstation laughing my ass off. At this point, it’d probably be easier to list who connected to Trump isn’t a criminal (hint: 404 file not found).

MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell said Tuesday that federal agents seized his cellphone and questioned him about a Colorado clerk who has been charged in what prosecutors say was a "deceptive scheme" to breach voting system technology used across the country.

Lindell was approached in the drive-thru of a Hardee's fast-food restaurant in Mankato, Minnesota, by several FBI agents, he said on his podcast, "The Lindell Report." The agents questioned him about Dominion Voting Systems, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and his connection to Doug Frank, an Ohio educator who claims voting machines have been manipulated, he said.

The agents then told Lindell they had a warrant to seize his cellphone and ordered him to turn it over, he said. On a video version of his podcast, Lindell displayed a letter signed by an assistant U.S. attorney in Colorado that said prosecutors were conducting an "official criminal investigation of a suspected felony" and noted the use of a federal grand jury.

The circumstances of the investigation were unclear. The Justice Department did not immediately respond Tuesday night to a request for comment about the seizure or investigation.
https://www.wgal.com/article/mypillow-mike-lindell-says-fbi-agents-seized-cellphone/41215022




Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!! Excuse me a minute…. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! You can’t keep a good election denier everybody! But I do love this. The initial reports were kind of vague about where he was detained. Some say it was an Arby’s, others say it was a Hardee’s. So let’s use the Arby’s slogan – we have the meats… and also the subpoenas! Thank you for that, Top 10 Graphics Department! But I love that the official Hardee’s social media account took a jab at the incident:

Fast-food outlet Hardee's has mocked Mike Lindell online, after the prominent Donald Trump supporter had his phone seized by the FBI at one of their restaurants on Tuesday.

FBI agents surrounded the MyPillow CEO at the drive-thru of a Hardee's branch in his home town of Mankato, Minnesota, as he was returning from a hunting trip.

Lindell, 61, is a vocal supporter of the discredited conspiracy theory that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against Trump, and that the former president was the true victor rather than Joe Biden.

Vikki Migoya, a public affairs officer at the FBI's Denver Field Office, told Newsweek confirmed the agency "executing a search warrant authorized by a federal judge" at the Hardee's outlet, but didn't go into details.
https://www.newsweek.com/hardees-trolls-mike-lindell-discount-if-you-still-have-phone-1743179




Gotta love whoever does fast food social media accounts, because they do have a great sense of humor about things! But you know who doesn’t have a great sense of humor? Mike Lindell. One thing I will say about living in the social media and smartphone era, is that smartphones are great to have but people also get addicted to them. So when you take away the phone of one of the world’s most notorious hard right MAGA trolls, you get them screaming and whining like the 5 year old yelling at his parents to buy him a toy at Target. So yeah that’s happening!

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell recently complained that he no longer had access to accounts that allowed him to transfer money between businesses after his phone was confiscated by the FBI.

While speaking to Steve Bannon on his War Room podcast, Lindell said he runs multiple businesses through his phone.

Lindell also said he would almost prefer to be arrested by the FBI than have his phone confiscated.

A clip of this has since gone viral on social media after being posted by the Patriot Takes Twitter page. The video has been viewed more than 125,000 times since being posted on Monday.

Lindell's comments come following his announcement last week that he and his team would be suing the FBI and the United States government over the phone seizure.
https://www.newsweek.com/mike-lindell-fbi-phone-confiscation-money-seizure-steve-bannon-podcast-1744506




Look, here’s the thing, conservatives, you’re knee deep in some ridiculously shady stuff! If you don’t do shady shit, you won’t get your phone seized! It’s that fucking simple. The old adage is true – don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time! But of course, in the MAGA world, instead of joining them if you can’t beat them, guess where they’re resorting? The lawsuit. That’s right – in the MAGA world, if you can’t beat them, then sue the shit out of them! For the party that claims to hate trial lawyers, they really do love them some trial lawyers, don’t they?

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell announced on Friday that he is planning to sue the FBI after his phone was seized this week, saying that "this will set a precedent."

"We are suing the United States government and the FBI, and this isn't just to get the phone back," Lindell said while appearing on Steve Bannon's War Room podcast. "My First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights were broken....We're not going to put up with this."

Lindell told Newsweek on Friday said that he plans to file the lawsuit next week and noted that following the seizure of his phone, some vendors on his website, MyStore, canceled their agreements "because of what the FBI did."

"We lost a huge chunk of business because of that," Lindell said. "There was four products that got canceled. Four different people because they're afraid of what the FBI did."
https://www.newsweek.com/mike-lindell-sue-fbi-over-phone-seizure-this-will-set-precedent-1743805





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[font size="8"]That Former President
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OK we got to talk about Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral for this entry. Now I know you’re probably all sick of hearing about as it ran almost as long as the line to see her lying in state at Westminster Abbey did. Yes that was a ridiculously long line. And you know this is one of those times when I am extremely thankful that we have a competent, graceful and classy leader back in the White House. Because he didn’t make it about him. Unlike… that other guy. Yes, you know who I am talking about. That guy who we inexplicably used to call “president of the United States”. Last week I talked about the insane debate raging on right wing conservative media about That Guy not being invited to the Queen’s funeral because previous leaders have been invited and Biden got a +1. Hey look, right wing conservative media – the Queen *HATED* Trump. And he looked like a massive buffoon when he went to England during his term. And also, right wing talk shows, that decision wasn’t Biden’s to make. It was the decision of the Royal Family themselves! Well, once again, Asshole 45 has decided to make it all about him.

Former President Donald Trump is claiming he would have gotten a better seat than President Joe Biden at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

Monday's state funeral was one of the biggest gatherings of world leaders in years, to bring closure to Britain's longest-reigning monarch, who died Sept. 8 at age 96.

More than 500 foreign heads of state, monarchs and dignitaries attended the event, including Biden and first lady Jill Biden.

The first family's leaders were placed in the 14th row of the church's south transept, seven rows from the back, The Times of London reported.

On his social media platform Truth Social, the former president mocked Biden by posting a photograph that showed all the assembled world leaders sitting in the abbey, with a red arrow pointing to Biden seated toward the back.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2022/09/20/trump-claims-better-seat-biden-queen-funeral/10433083002/




Hey asshole, look! That decision where you sit at Westminster Abbey isn’t yours to make, it’s the Royal Family’s! Does anyone else besides me have the feeling that even if Asshole 45 got invited to the White House that he’d get the same seat and complain that he couldn’t see anything? Or if he somehow did get a better seat, he’d find something else to complain about? Because he’s that much of a colossal horse’s ass who has no respect for anybody. Also: IT’S A FUCKING FUNERAL! It’s not like you’re sitting in the nosebleeds at an Arsenal game or something. Sigh… I can’t even.

World leaders began arriving in London this weekend to attend the state funeral service of the late Queen Elizabeth II Monday at Westminster Abbey in London.

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden were among hundreds of world leaders paying their respects to the monarch as she lies in state.

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska met with the royal family as her country’s representative, the BBC reports.

Controversial invites were also extended to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, though the BBC reports neither is expected to attend.

However, not all world leaders made the invite list. Leaders of these countries will not be joining Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral service.
https://thehill.com/policy/international/3649622-these-world-leaders-were-not-invited-to-the-queens-funeral/




Yeah that’s Trump right there in a nutshell. He didn’t get invited to the party and is now acting like quite the spoiled child. But again, let me spell it out for conservatives who still don’t quite get it: it’s a fucking funeral! It’s a somber occasion. And we don’t need this jackass ruining it. But one thing they don’t tell you about Royal Family events, unless you Google it, is that everything happens for a reason. It’s not like they purposefully put Biden in the nosebleed section. Even though everyone was seated at the same level.

In the one day since President Joe Biden attended Queen Elizabeth II's funeral in London on Monday, much has been made of him being seated far from the front row at Westminster Abbey.

With 2,200 guests at the abbey, the president, who was accompanied by the first lady, Jill Biden, was among the approximately 500 people invited who were overseas heads of state or foreign dignitaries.

The regal ceremony saw the Bidens settling into pew seats some 14 rows from the front, directly behind Polish leader Andrzej Duda and one row ahead of Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala. Ignazio Cassis, the president of Switzerland, was seated to the left of the first lady.

Former President Donald Trump, who was defeated by Biden in his bid for a second term in November 2020, used the optics to take a swipe at the U.S. leader.

Taking to his Truth Social platform, Trump shared a photo of the mourners at the funeral, highlighting the seating occupied by Biden, while also suggesting that it he would have been placed more prominently if he were still president.
https://www.newsweek.com/why-president-joe-biden-was-seated-far-behind-other-world-leaders-queen-elizabeth-funeral-1744377




Yeah that pretty much sums it up! But no – he would not have got a better seat, you assholes! In fact they only invited the current president and didn’t invite any previous leaders. The venue at Windsor Castle that they chose can only seat so many people. So some people just shouldn’t get mad if they didn’t get an invite. This is really supposed to be a private family service. Again, I can’t stress this enough – it’s a fucking funeral! It’s not an Arsenal game. It’s not the finals matches at Wimbledon. Just chalk this one up to a loss and move on. Oh wait, Asshole 45 doesn’t do that sort of thing.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden received an invitation to the funeral, and in the past, presidents have invited their predecessors to join them for high-profile funerals, USA Today reported. But the invitation was for only the Bidens, and Buckingham Palace didn’t give the president permission to bring a delegation with him.

Jimmy Carter told the newspaper he didn’t get an invitation. Spokespeople for Trump and former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton didn’t comment.

Politico reported that it had obtained official documents from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the United Kingdom that said only heads of state and their spouses or partners from each country have been invited to the funeral.

At a press conference Sept. 12, a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre whether Biden "would bring any former presidents with him" if he’s allowed.
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/sep/14/viral-image/no-trump-wasnt-only-former-president-not-invited-q/





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[font size="8"]LibsOfTikTok
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Let’s talk about the phrase “stochastic terrorism” for a bit. So the definition of the phrase basically means that when a group gets repeatedly dehumanized through repeated lies and slander, someone is going to take out their frustrations. Think of it like playing baseball for a minute. You can throw 1,000 pitches and maybe one or two are knocked out of the park home runs. So a stochastic terrorist will talk shit about, say, transgender people for days, weeks, maybe even years. See where I’m going with this? I want to talk about a particular stochastic terrorist for this entry. You may have been hearing recently about a social media account called “LibsOfTikTok” which in reality has nothing to do with liberals or Tik Tok. But lately that particular account has been banned from Twitter multiple times for threatening violence, yet is still present on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. And this particular account has over 1.3 million followers. But again, see where I’m going with this. The people who run this account are massive transphobes and have been feeding the lies and hate on programs like Tucker Carlson about transgender people. To the point where this happens.

Boston Children’s Hospital has warned employees about mounting threats and is coordinating with law enforcement after far-right activists on social media began targeting the hospital with false claims about its treatment of young transgender people.

It’s the most recent in a series of attempts to target hospitals for their work with trans youth, adding to an ongoing wave of anti-LGBTQ sentiment that has hit libraries, schools and even a trans-inclusive Los Angeles spa.

The public relations office of Boston Children’s Hospital sent an email to employees with guidance on how to respond to harassment and threats earlier this week, citing an “increase of threatening and aggressive” phone calls and emails sent to the hospital commenting on treatment of transgender patients.” The email was confirmed to NBC News by a current employee.

Boston Children’s Hospital first became the target of activists in recent weeks, when well-followed social media accounts such as LibsofTikTok, which has often promoted “groomer” discourse that falsely linked LGBTQ teachers and parents to pedophilia, began to make a variety of false claims. One allegation said that the hospital offered gender-affirming hysterectomies to children under 18 years old.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/boston-childrens-hospital-warns-employees-far-right-online-harassment-rcna43376




Ah, that’s the analogy I was looking for! It’s not baseball, it’s Russian Roulette. Pull the trigger, nothing happens. Pull the trigger, nothing happens. Pull the trigger again? BAM! Someone starts targeting hospitals over the conservative outrage du jour. Look, I know this gets into the whole “policing speech” debate and I ain’t touching that one with a 10 foot pole. But this shit is getting dangerous, and it’s a perfect example of what happened when people take what’s being said on Fox News and social media way too seriously. But look at what happened last week when someone actually attempted to take out their transgressions.

The FBI said Thursday an arrest has been made in connection with a bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital last month.

Catherine Leavy of Westfield, Massachusetts, was arrested without incident and charged with one count of making a false bomb threat by telephone, according to charging documents filed in U.S. District Court for Massachusetts. She faces up to five years in prison.

FBI Special Agent Joseph R. Bonavolonta said at a news conference Thursday that the threat was one of “well over a dozen” against Boston Children’s Hospital. He said authorities are investigating others.

Boston Children’s Hospital had been subjected to “a sustained harassment campaign based on dissemination of information online” about trans health care at the hospital.

Rachael Rollins, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, said at the news conference. A caller to the hospital on Aug. 30 is alleged to have said: “There is a bomb on the way to the hospital. You better evacuate everybody, you sickos.”

Several children’s hospitals, most notably Boston Children’s, have been the targets of a far-right harassment campaign for months, led by anti-trans influencers with millions of collective followers who have spread misinformation about the hospitals’ gender-affirming treatment for minors. The influencers have similarly waged anti-LGBTQ campaigns against schools and libraries that have been featured on conservative news programs.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/fbi-charges-massachusetts-woman-boston-childrens-hospital-bomb-threat-rcna47973




Yup, good ol’ Russian Roulette! And by the way in case you’re wondering if this woman in question is a MAGA supporter, I can happily say that “all signs point to yes”. Just like noted MAGA terrorist Ashlii Babbitt, who was killed after assaulting police officers on January 6th, this woman is another excellent case for a study on what happens when living in an echo chamber causes one to snap. By the way you might be wondering – where is this shit coming from? Well I answer you – it’s mostly linked to a closely monitored social media account called “LibsOfTikTok” which I mentioned earlier, that’s at – shocker – the center of a Russian disinformation campaign. See? All bad things can be traced back to Russia.

A video posted this month by the far-right anti-LGBTQ Libs of TikTok Twitter account has since spread among anti-LGBTQ Russian and European disinformation networks, effectively furthering the anti-queer agenda of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The account’s founder has pledged to do even more to threaten LGBTQ lives in the future.

On August 10, Chaya Raichik, who goes by LibsofTikTok on social media, posted a video of a therapist who works with jailed sex offenders. In the video, the therapist announces their pronouns and advises people to use the term “minor-attracted persons” (MAPs) rather than “pedophiles.” They said the latter term has “moved from being a diagnostic label to being a judgmental, hurtful insult that we hurl at people in order to harm them or slander them.”

Indeed, the Libs of TikTok account itself has regularly accused pro-LGBTQ teachers of being “groomers” and has called the youth anti-suicide organization The Trevor Project a “grooming organization.” Grooming is a term for gaining the trust of a child so you can rape them. The term has since become a common anti-LGBTQ slur. Gay men were frequently accused of being pedophiles by the religious right although that accusation had faded over the years.
https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/08/libsoftiktok-linked-russian-disinformation-campaign-stir-outrage-lgbtq-rights/




Oh come on, people! Stop your rabbling! Yeah these people are criminally insane and they’re going to keep making threats and harassing hospitals until they get the attention that they seek. It’s a classic narcissistic personality trait. But we can’t stress enough how dangerous the propaganda is getting and it’s eventually going to get people killed. And don’t think they’re stopping in Boston either. Expect the hate and harassment to come to a children’s hospital near you. Like we said in the beginning, stochastic terrorism turns into actual terrorism if we’re not careful. And just because one bomb threat didn’t work, these wannabe terrorists aren’t stopping there.

When first grade teacher Jake Daggett posted a photo of himself holding a mug with the phrase “Ask me about my pronouns” on it to Instagram, he didn’t imagine it would lead to a massive right-wing online hate campaign. But after the Wisconsin teacher’s post was picked up by LibsofTikTok — a right-wing Twitter account infamous for targeting teachers and LGBTQ+ people with incendiary language and accusations — the barrage of hate comments was swift and unrelenting.

“Honestly, what was so interesting is that it was one of the most mild posts — like, I've made posts about things that are way more than just a mug. I've talked about my partner, and books about girls with two dads, and more,” Daggett told Them. “It was bizarre to me that they chose that image out of it all.”

Daggett has substantial followings on Instagram and TikTok, where he shares literacy and phonics instruction strategies that he uses in his own classroom at a public school in Milwaukee. But he had to take a break from social media after LibsofTikTok posted the photo, which included his username, as well as the name of the district where he teaches.

“They have amassed a huge right wing extremist following that will do their dirty work for them,” Daggett told Them. “I started to get death threats. A lot of comments about showing up to the school and beating me, some about sending me through a wood chipper. Others saying that I should be hanged. I got images of a rainbow cartoon with a noose around the neck.”
https://www.them.us/story/queer-teachers-are-under-attack-libsoftiktok-conservatives-school-board-protests





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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: Catalytic Converter Thefts
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It's time to investigate beyond the headlines! This is Top 10 Investigates!



Any late model vehicle is going to have this device. It’s called a “catalytic converter”. The catalytic converter is a device that’s installed on your vehicle’s exhaust system in order to help prevent the pollution it would otherwise normally cause. But lately, the theft of these devices installed on vehicles has been increasing. The Toyota Prius has been a particular target of catalytic converter thefts everywhere, and it’s not just in one part of the country either. The thefts have been increasing all over the country. But it’s not just the Prius that’s being targeted. There’s a huge list of current and former models that are being targeted. So what’s the purpose of these thefts? The thieves aren’t after this device because they want their cars to pollute. No, they are after the precious metals contained within the device. So if your converter is missing from your car, probably consider it gone. So what are governments doing to stop the madness? Well it varies from one city to another.

The catalysts in the gas-changing chemical reaction happen to be an assortment of metals. According to CARFAX, they include platinum along with two other similar (and even more precious) metals: rhodium and palladium. This makes the part very valuable, both in resale and scrap value.

As of Aug. 22, YS Catalytic Recycling, a catalytic converter recycler based in Albany, New York, will pay an average of $336 per converter, although there’s a lot of variation depending what car it’s for, with the least expensive worth $13 to the most expensive up to $1,116.

As of Aug. 26, platinum is selling for about $28 per gram, while palladium is going for $68 per gram and rhodium a whopping $448 per gram, according to Daily Metal Prices. Catalytic converters are understandably expensive considering each will have between 3 and 8 grams of platinum group metals, according to Vehicle Freak.

A BeenVerified analysis showed that as of April 2022, thefts in Arizona are only about half of what they were in 2021, catalytic converter thefts are still on the rise nationally this year. Between January and April 2022, there were approximately 26,000 catalytic converter thefts, which accounts for about a 34% increase.
https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2022/09/05/catalytic-converters-why-thieves-target-them-and-what-do/7908640001/




But there seems to be a common pattern among these thefts – the thieves are targeting people who live in apartments and homes who don’t park their cars in a garage. And the thieves seem to be getting more creative with each theft. It seems like the more creative you are in protecting your car and home, the more the thieves seem to be getting around any anti-theft devices that you may have installed on your property. And it’s happening all over the country.

It’s an issue that communities and mechanics around the country are experiencing. Catalytic converter theft now comes with another problem. Once you lose it, it may be difficult to find another one.

It’s time to head into work, or wherever your destination may be. You have your keys in the ignition, turn them, wait for your vehicle to start and you’re on your way. But for one Wichita woman, the sounds coming from her vehicles when she starts them sound quite different - and it’s all because of the misdeeds of catalytic converter thieves.

“It got started, and it sounded like a jet engine going off,” said Lynn Bryan, who has been hit twice this year by catalytic converter thefts.

The first one happened to car she’s trying to sell. Although it cost her, she replaced that one with no problem.

“It had been sitting right there up by the house,” Bryan said. “Porch light on at night -- everything.”

Then in late July, thieves targeted another car in broad daylight.
https://www.kwch.com/2022/09/14/parts-shortage-compounds-frustrations-with-catalytic-converter-thefts/




So what happens in the event that your catalytic converter is stolen? Well, the first thing is perfectly clear – you’re going to have to wait. You’re definitely not alone in having your converter stolen. This Staten Island mechanic has stated that he’s been replacing this particular part in droves. The other thing that will happen? It’s gonna cost you. And by costing you, we mean in the four figure range, easily. If your catalytic converter is stolen, you’ll not only be paying through the nose, but you’ll also have to wait up to several months for a replacement.

A mechanic in Meiers Corners estimated his garage has been replacing stolen catalytic converters once every two weeks. He said the cost just to replace the part ranges from $500 to $2,500, depending on the precious metals used to make it.

That’s in addition to the cost of other repairs.

Customers on average have paid a total of between $1,000 and $2,000 when all is said and done, he said.

“[Thieves] aren’t gonna go in there and make it nice and neat, they’re gonna just rip it out.”

Experts say the converters on larger and newer vehicles tend to have have more value, while thieves sometimes haphazardly cut fuel and electric lines — adding damages that could reach up to $10,000.

The NYPD has said the stolen converters on average are sold to scrap yards for around $200.

There are some “big money” exceptions though, experts say, including a Prius converter that’s gone for $1,500, or a part from a turbo-diesel-engine truck that can bring in $5,000.
https://www.silive.com/crime-safety/2022/09/staten-island-mans-catalytic-converter-was-stolen-surveillance-video-shows-individual-emerging-from-bottom-of-car.html




So the thieves will steal the part and sell it on the black market and once the part is stripped of the metals within, it’s disposed of. What can be done to protect your precious catalytic converter? New laws being passed aren’t helping much, neither are new devices that are being aimed at stopping the thieves before they take your device. But no matter how many new ways there are to combat these types of thefts, the thieves are getting more creative. That being said, that doesn’t stop people from attempting to combat theft and one day we might just find something that works. Expect to see something like this appearing on a late night infomercial relatively soon!

Are you tired of seeing catalytic converters stolen? So is a Somerville man, and now he is inventing a device to stop them.

"I would say to them there are a lot better ways to make money without destroying people's lives and pocketbooks," said Ronald Royse, an inventor and decades long welder.

Royse just got a provisional patent on a steel cage he created to keep the pesky thieves away. He treated the cage with a coating that is supposed to dull saw blades.

"Even if they were able to cut the pipes on the side of the catalytic converter, they don't have the room to slide it out," adds Royse.

It can be installed on any vehicle for a few hundred dollars. A new converter can cost thousands. Royse says he was inspired to create the device after a friend had her converter taken. He hopes his device slows down the crooks or scares them off.
https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/catalytic-converter-theft-prevention-device-ronald-royse-somerville-massachusetts/




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




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[font size="8"]Holy Shit: Extreme Nationalism
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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 we live in quite a tumultuous time. And it seems like our brothers and sisters on the right are hell bent on taking this country down the path of fascism and neo-nationalism, whether we want it or not. And I can tell you right now, that is not the country I want to live in. Yeah I know you’re probably tired of me talking about this subject, but we can no longer ignore it! Last week, one of my parishoners tipped me off to a podcast from a guy named Dalton Clodfelter. And if you want to know what the future of the Christian right is going to be and where that party is planning on heading, well, just listen to his podcast. For this cretin does not worship the good LAWRD JAYSUS! No, he worships the unholy, ungodly Dark One! A man who is so foul, depraved and disgusting that his name dare not be spoken in my church! But we’ve mentioned Mr. Clodfelter in our sermons the last few weeks, but he is not pulling any punches and is well, to put it succinctly, a Nazi.

Earlier this year, far-right conspiracy theorist Stew Peters gave white nationalist, Christian fascist Dalton Clodfelter a nightly program on his Stew Peters Network called “The Right Dissident.”

Peters is a white nationalist-promoting broadcaster who, despite using his nightly program to spread wild conspiracy theories and calls for violence, has managed to build close ties to various far-right political candidates and to interview several elected officials, GOP candidates, and former members of the Trump administration. Peters clearly saw something he liked in Clodfelter’s brand of radical right-wing bigotry, Christian nationalism, and antisemitic fascism, all of which Clodfelter has openly promoted five nights a week on Peters’ platform.

Last Thursday, Clodfelter used his show to call for the establishment of a “far-right authoritarian government” in this nation that will imprison its political enemies, establish Christianity as the national religion, and outlaw all secular education.

“Once we take our country back, we will have federal agents kicking down the doors of every treasonous Democrat, every treasonous globalist, every homosexual couple that has molested a child, and they will be arrested, and they will be sentenced to prison,” Clodfelter declared. “I believe in a far right-authoritarian government. No, I am not a fascist. No, I am not a white supremacist. No, I am not a Nazi. But I do believe that hierarchy, structure, and authority are very important. I do believe that our society needs these things in order to progress and maintain its cultural framework.”
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/once-we-take-control-dalton-clodfelter-lays-out-his-christian-fascist-agenda/




So stop me if you’ve heard this one before – a fascist, a Nazi, and a white supremacist walk into a bar, and the bartender says “So, Mr. Clodfelter, what will you have?”. Hey o!!! But yeah this evil POS is all of those things and more. I’m not even going to play the clip of him drunk at 5:00 AM. But these people don’t worship GAWD or JAYSUS, they worship the unholy Dark One! And if you think I’m kidding about where that party is heading, it doesn’t just stop at Mr. Clodfelter, either! It’s a virus and it’s very quickly spreading and mutating!

Dominionist author, speaker, and political operative Lance Wallnau is a right-wing anti-LBGTQ activist, conspiracy theorist, and unabashed Trump cultist who has repeatedly praised authoritarian leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. He is also a self-proclaimed Christian nationalist who has urged former President Donald Trump to organize public rallies across the nation and infuse them with right-wing Christianity in order to bring about a revival in the United States.

The reason Wallnau has urged Trump to hold such rallies is that Wallnau is one of the leading advocates of Seven Mountains dominionism, a theology connected to right-wing political ideology that teaches that Christians are to “do whatever is necessary” to take control of the seven main “mountains” that shape our culture—education, government, media, business, arts and entertainment, family, and religion—in order to implement the will of God throughout the nation and the world.

As Wallnau explained earlier this year, if right-wing Christians can gain control of the seven mountains, they can control a nation.

On Monday night, Wallnau announced on his Facebook page that he will be joining Donald Trump Jr. in speaking later this week at a fundraiser for election-denier and Christian nationalism promoter Doug Mastriano, who is the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania.
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/christian-nationalist-and-seven-mountain-dominionist-lance-wallnau-to-speak-at-fundraiser-for-doug-mastriano/






Well if these people are on that side, I don’t want to be a part of it, thank you Reverend! Ah yes, our old buddy Lance Wallnau and his ridiculous Seven Mountains theory. We covered this quite a while ago but it seems to have festered and mutated into something even more ridiculous (see: Idiots #7-7 ! But extreme nationalism takes on many forms. And it’s getting weirder, nuttier, and darker my fair congregation! None of this appears in the Good Book and none of it is certainly what the GOOD LAWRD JAYSUS would ask for now, does it? No, this appears to be the bidding of SAYTAN!!! And I say: SAYTAN be gone!!! Get the devil out of this house now!!!

President Joe Biden delivered a speech last week from Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in which he warned that former President Donald Trump and his MAGA supporters “represent extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

Nick Fuentes, the racist, misogynistic, antisemitic, America-hating, Christian fascist leader of the white nationalist America First movement, is precisely the sort of MAGA activist that Biden was warning about. So naturally, Fuentes reacted to Biden’s speech Thursday night by unleashing an extended rant in which declared that “the United States of America is controlled by Satan” and has been taken over by “the Jews.”

“[Biden] is saying ‘Look, I’m the big gay American empire, and I’m gonna kill all the enemies of liberalism,” Fuentes said. “That’s what he’s saying. Biden is there saying, ‘This is global homo and I’m the puppet face of it. I’m the puppet face of world Jewry and global homo and we’re gonna crush all these fascists.'”

“The whole thing is just a lie,” Fuentes continued. “The whole thing is a sham. Biden is a puppet. The elections are fake. The social media companies are rigged. The elections are rigged. The news couldn’t be more Jewed-up; Jewed-up, moneyed-up, corporate, under the thumb of the Illuminati, whatever. It’s all real man.”
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/this-is-an-evil-country-christian-fascist-nick-fuentes-fumes-over-biden-speech/




Yes he does! And SAYTAN is taking on many forms in white nationalism! And in case you’re wondering where your right wing Christian friends and neighbors are getting their talking points from, consider this – there’s dark forces at work right now in right wing churches. And one of them is a Christian influencer – David Barton, a man who we’ve also covered on this program previously for his uncanny ability to misconstrue history in favor of religious fascism (see: Idiots #11-6 and Idiots #7-5. But it’s truly uncanny – it's almost like the Christian right wants totalitarianism whether we want it or not. And people like Clodfelter and Barton will continue to drag this fine nation of ours down to their level!

There is perhaps nobody more responsible for the widely held belief among right-wing activists that the United States was founded to be an explicitly Christian nation than religious-right pseudo-historian David Barton. Despite the fact that Barton’s misuse and misrepresentation of both American history and the Bible have been well-documented, his work has played a key role in laying the foundation for the Christian nationalist worldview being widely espoused today by Republican leaders and their right-wing political allies.

Recently, Barton delivered a presentation at Radiant Church in Colorado which provided a helpful example of how he misrepresents history and scripture to create false impressions that support his Christian nationalist political agenda.

In Barton’s telling, “there were 14 Bible verses that [Franklin] quoted” in this one short speech. Barton claims that while Franklin is generally considered to be one of the least religious of the Founding Fathers, he delivered a speech filled with Bible citations, which Barton claims is proof that the Founding Fathers were all deeply religious men who intended to create a Christian nation.

“If that is the least religious, what does the most religious look like?” Barton asked rhetorically, analogously arguing that even in the church audience listening to his presentation, someone is the least religious person there but “maybe that just means you’re 99.6 percent Christian when everyone else is 99.7 [percent].”
https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/14-bible-verses-how-david-barton-misuses-history-and-scripture-for-political-purposes/




Yes that’s true. We’ve got a long four years ahead of us and whether or not the United States descends into fascism or emerges unscathed remains to be seen. How much is a plane ticket to New Zealand again? 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 Little Mermaid
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Can we please stop with the culture war bullshit already? If you ever want to know if there’s a difference between democrats and republicans – here’s the difference. We’re concerned about a rising tide of Nazism and religious neo-fascist authoritarianism that’s about to engulf this country and send us back to the stone ages. They’re concerned with children’s cartoon characters. Every time. Every fucking time there’s a reboot of a classic children’s movie we go through this same damn debate. And before we go any further, I will point this out – if you spend even one iota of a minute thinking about the race of The Little Mermaid, you’re a racist. But the thing is, the right just can’t let this shit go. It’s like any time a studio attempts to cast some diverse actors and actresses to play roles that are well, iconic, they scream like spoiled children that they’re not white. And to put it succinctly, they are beating their own dead horse here. Yeah I can’t think of any better phrasing. But really, this whole thing is certifiably insane.

Two new adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Little Mermaid are prompting deep outrage and indignation among fans who are arguing that the projects’ increased diversity has weakened their faithfulness to the original story.

Detractors of Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings series, which debuted this month, claim that casting Black and Asian actors undermines the show’s faithfulness to Tolkien’s world. Meanwhile, some ostensible fans of Disney’s animated Little Mermaid are rejecting the new live-action version for swapping out the titular mermaid’s famous blue eyes and red hair for the features of Black actress Halle Bailey.

The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power first drew widespread anger from fans because it casts Black and Asian actors as characters across the spectrum of fictional Middle Earth races. Fans’ chief complaint was that the decision to include nonwhite characters had ruined the authenticity of Tolkien’s world, because he had never described his elves, hobbits, men, and dwarves as anything other than white. Then last week, Disney released the first trailer for The Little Mermaid, featuring Bailey singing “Part of Your World.” Thousands of YouTube users brigaded, leaving more than 2 million dislikes and countless derogatory comments on the trailer, and creating memes ridiculing the film for casting Bailey and mocking all of its supporters.
https://www.vox.com/culture/23357114/the-little-mermaid-racist-backlash-lotr-rings-of-power-diversity-controversy




Come on movie studios, this is the 2020s, this shit has been happening for 8 years now and it will happen every time. So what’s the solution? Do we ignore the trolls? And we certainly can’t keep feeding them. Like honestly who that lives in the real world gives a shit? Honestly what happened to you that you care so much if a Disney princess is white or not? Disney princesses can be whatever the fuck they want to be! I mean remember when they floated the idea of Else having a girlfriend in Frozen 2? Yeah we don’t care. But white male conservatives lose their shit every time!

Disney’s latest live-action remake, The Little Mermaid, has been engulfed in controversy ever since the casting of singer Halle Bailey was announced.

While Disney’s tepid remakes always receive criticism from nostalgic fans, this time, the backlash is transparently racist, with all of the negativity aimed at the casting of a non-white actress to play the titular mermaid.

The film’s trailer has been flooded with 1.5 million dislikes from angry “fans” - despite YouTube removing the dislike counter, the numbers are still available through an extension.

Comment sections have exploded with absurd talking points, defending the sanctity of the original Danish story (which Disney’s original animated adaptation sanitized almost beyond recognition).
https://www.forbes.com/sites/danidiplacido/2022/09/14/disneys-little-mermaid-backlash-has-reached-insane-heights/?sh=189f59e35592




Seriously, take a page from Elsa there! Just… let it go! Let it go, let it go… I don’t know how the rest of the song goes… But yeah anyway… enough of that. What’s insane is that you really can’t please everybody, and it seems like the people who you can’t please are given a megaphone. But come on, when you have a self-proclaimed AI “scientist” digitize a white Aerial over a black one, well, not only are you a batshit fucking crazy racist with too much free time on your hands, you really need to take a step back and reevaluate your life choices.

Trevor Noah does not want to be part of a world with racist trolls.

After the first footage of Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” featured lead star Halle Bailey singing “Part of Your World,” the teaser trailer received online backlash, triggering 1.5 million “dislikes” on YouTube before the rating feature was disabled. Bailey was cast as Ariel in 2019, leading to a #NotMyAriel racist Twitter campaign. The new teaser for the film reignited the color-blind casting debate.

“Really, people — we’re doing this again?” Trevor Noah slammed the criticism that Bailey looks “nothing like” the animated Ariel from the 1989 Oscar-winning animated film. “Nothing like? They both have the tail, they both have the red [hair].”

The “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” host continued, “Once again, a bunch of internet racists are upset that a fictional character is being played by a Black person. This is so ridiculous.”
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/09/trevor-noah-slams-racist-response-halle-bailey-little-mermaid-1234763368/




Yeah obviously! And here’s the thing – there’s nothing, and I repeat, nothing that is more pathetic than a bunch of adults complaining that the casting of a movie ruined their childhood. I know my own childhood had a lot more going on than just The Little Mermaid. So instead of pouting or being a racist douchebag, why don’t you ask the people who really matter – the kids, what they think of the new version of the Little Mermaid? Because this is after all, a children’s movie. It was made – wait for it – for children! Shocker, I know! Grow up, people!

The trailer for Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid is out and with Halle Bailey playing the lead role of Ariel, and her casting has delighted many young children, with reactions posted online showing the importance of representation.

The first footage of the highly anticipated movie was unveiled at Disney's D23 expo over the weekend, showing the R&B singer's casting in the iconic musical.

When the 22-year-old was cast in the role back in 2019, the movie's director Rob Marshall said that after an extensive search it was "abundantly clear" that Bailey was the perfect choice.

Sadly, a backlash against casting a Black Ariel ensued and the trailer's release prompted yet more racist criticism on social media.

The hashtag #NotMyAriel trended in 2019 and this weekend it saw something of a resurgence, not dissimilar to the current conversation surrounding the diverse casting of House of the Dragon and Rings of Power.

However, despite the backlash, people praising the film and Bailey's performance appear to outweigh the negativity and a heartwarming thread of Black children reacting with joy to the trailer has now gone viral.
https://www.newsweek.com/kids-reactions-little-mermaid-trailer-viral-cast-controversy-halle-bailey-1742071







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[font size="8"]Conspiracy Corner: Putin’s Associates
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Welcome back to our segment where we attempt to explain the unexplainable, Conspiracy Corner! So when times are tough, or people don’t simply want to read the actual article, they turn to conspiracy theories floated by crazy people like Alex Jones to fill in the gaps. We are of course coming to you live from our underground doomsday shelter deep in the heart of the New Mexico badlands. Let me just adjust my trusty tin foil hat for maximum government interference… they are trying to read yours and my thoughts after all! Ah there we go! So I don’t know how closely you’ve been following Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, or the three ring circus that is the totalitarian Russian government, but Vladimir Putin’s associates have a habit of “dying” mysterious deaths. Here’s the thing I want to preface before we go any further – we don’t usually make fun of death on this program. That’s beneath us. But when you have an authoritarian mad man like Vladimir Putin who’s on a quest for world domination through right wing propaganda at the helm, there’s nothing that is off the table. So anyway in the last few weeks or so there’s been a lot associated with the Russian mad man. Like this for instance.

A senior Russian oil executive has died after falling from the window of a Moscow hospital, months after his company criticised the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ravil Maganov, the chair of the board of directors of Lukoil, Russia’s largest private oil company, “fell from a window at Central clinical hospital”, the Interfax news agency wrote on Thursday, citing a source. “He died from injuries sustained.”

Lukoil said Maganov had “passed away following a severe illness”. The company did not say what Maganov was being treated for.

It was not immediately clear whether his death was an accident, a suicide, or caused by foul play. Russian state media agencies citing an unnamed source reported that Maganov had been admitted to the hospital with a heart condition and had been on antidepressants.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/01/russian-oil-executive-dies-in-fall-from-moscow-hospital-window




Yeah sure, he… “fell” out of the window of a hospital, and that’s after he questioned the Russian government’s illegal occupation of Ukraine. Don’t do that! You know that Pooty has a habit of knocking off his associates and they all die mysterious deaths. But what’s even weirder is that the list keeps growing of Putin critics who have suddenly died. And if that’s not enough, there was another one that fell off a boat. So like we said, Vladimir Putin’s critics have a bad habit of dying mysteriously and until Putin kicks the bucket expect this to become more widespread!

Another Russian energy boss has died in mysterious circumstances after "falling overboard" from a boat, according to local media reports.

Ivan Pechorin's body was found washed up around 100 miles from Vladivostok in Russia's far east, on Monday after a two-day search, local outlet VL.ru reported.

Pechorin fell off his moving boat on September 10 as it sailed near Russky Island, the outlet reported. He was the Aviation Director for Russia's Far East and Arctic Development Corporation (KRDV), which described his death as an "irreparable loss."

The KRDV is President Vladimir Putin's project for developing the rich energy and mining resources of Russia's farthest eastern region, which has become a crucial objective under the weight of international sanctions.
https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-executive-falls-off-boat-in-latest-mystery-businessman-death-2022-9




Sounds about right for Putin! But don’t blame the victim for this, blame the source. Vladimir Putin is one scary individual. He might be the first world leader who’s out for global domination since Adolf Hitler, though Hitler was another leader who had a bad habit of silencing his critics. There’s a great comparison for you! But come on, after nearly 8 years of watching Russia annex Crimea, committing genocide against Ukraine, and committing other unspeakable crimes against humanity, you’re just now coming to the conclusion that he might be dangerous? Just now?

At least seven Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin may have been murdered as the president purges his inner circle of former wealthy allies.

Since the start of the year, several of Putin’s cronies have died in mysterious circumstances, The Sun reports.

But sources believe they may have actually been murdered as it’s claimed there were similarities in their deaths.

The latest apparent victim was Ivan Pechorin - Putin’s point man for developing Russia’s vast Arctic resources.

He fell off the side of a boat in waters close to Russky Island in mysterious circumstances, it is reported.
https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/chilling-clues-that-seven-russian-oligarchs-were-murdered-by-putin/news-story/f43a9907df4b58d20cf7ea3c7e2f3de3




Yeah probably! But come on, Sky News – just say it! He was murdered and Vladimir Putin is a terrorist out for global domination. That’s why I’m hiding out in this basement bunker because there’s no way he could get to me! But there’s a connection between all of these deaths and I can’t quite put my finger on it. If you’re living in Russia and you speak ill of Vladimir Putin or his illegal and immoral occupation of Ukraine, don’t say we didn’t warn you. Because otherwise they’ll be coming to take you away, ha ha, and you’ll be next!

Another prominent member of Russian society has died, the latest in a string of mysterious deaths among top businessmen and oligarchs in the embattled country.

Vladimir Nikolayevich Sungorkin, 68, editor-in-chief of major state newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, died “suddenly” after appearing to “suffocate,” according to the newspaper he used to helm.

The Kremlin confirmed the death Wednesday, calling his passing “a great loss to Russian journalism.”

Sungorkin was in Primorye, in Russia’s far east, gathering material for an upcoming book and accompanied by his colleague Leonid Zakharov, when he died.

“It happened absolutely suddenly, nothing foreshadowed,” Zakharov wrote of the incident on Wednesday. “We were in the village of Roshchino. We were driving. We were already making our way towards Khabarovsk. We planned to get there in the evening today, and from there to Moscow. All was good.”
https://globalnews.ca/news/9131060/vladimir-sungorkin-dead-russian-newspaper-editor-sudden-stroke-suffocating/





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



Of course you know that the idea of this segment is that we cozy up to the bar and have some drinks, but we only got one rule in this saloon – and that’s no politics! Because there’s a lot of really dark shit in the world right now, so sometimes the best solution is to just say “fuck it” and crack open a cold one with your buddies. This week it’s the height of festival season – film festivals, that is. So we’re naturally going to see how long people can stand and applaud without getting sick of it. So tell me, bartender, what goes well with a story about long applauses? Seriously, that doesn’t even make sense. So what is in it? Bacardi 151? Are you trying to kill me, man? Well it does make all your hairs stand up on end. You know what, I need a beer for this one, but make it large and plentiful! IPA please. So after two years of not having box office records, the film industry is poised to make a roaring comeback with some new movies that are getting widespread critical acclaim and it’s about time we get some fresh blood in the box office because I’m sure everyone is tired of sequels, reboots and remakes, am I right? But that said it's been 2 years since we had film festivals and we’re getting stupid crap like this happening.

This weekend, a bunch of highly anticipated movies made their debut at the Venice Film Festival, and more than a handful of them were met with absurdly long standing ovations. Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All had the crowd on its feet for a whopping 8.5 minutes. Brendan Fraser’s comeback vehicle The Whale received an emotional six-minute standing O that had the star in tears, while Todd Field’s Tár received an equally long ovation. Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, nonetheless had people standing and clapping for a solid four minutes. And Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin topped them all, receiving a rapturous 15-minute standing ovation.

With all due respect to these films, enough is enough. These insanely long ovations have become silly and performative. (Even if a movie happened to be the greatest thing you’d ever seen, would you really feel compelled to stand and applaud it for the amount of time it takes the average human being to walk a mile?) It seems as though these standing Os are less about the actual quality of the movies themselves and more about festival-goers pushing the limits of fandom, getting lost in the moment and trying to one-up those who came before them. But when the vast majority of the films screening at a festival receive a standing ovation, the standing ovations become meaningless; if everything is given such a warm reception and it becomes the norm, then it’s no longer any indicator of quality.

If a movie like Don’t Worry Darling, which currently has a deeply mediocre 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, warrants a four-minute standing ovation, how long are we now expected to stand for something that’s…actually good? Festival audiences keep moving the goalposts; will we soon start seeing Oscar contenders getting hour-long applause sessions?
https://www.insidehook.com/daily_brief/movies/venice-film-festival-standing-ovations






Yeah keep ‘em coming! So wait a minute, let me get this straight... they’re applauding for four straight minutes for a movie that only has a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes? Come on. Well to be fair, we haven’t had a real box office for over 2 years so I guess that film festival audiences will literally applaud just about anything right now. If that wasn’t enough, you remember Brendan Fraser right? The embattled star of such hits as the Mummy and the Mummy 2, is in the process of making his comeback with another film that starts with “The” in the title – The Whale. And this happened.

The Toronto International Film Festival, unlike the Euro film fests, isn’t known as a place for standing ovations. As soon as those credits roll, they need to jump into a post-screening Q&A, clear the theater and get into the next screening.

But it was a different story tonight at the Royal Alexandra Theater as The Whale director Darren Aronofsky and the cast of the A24 film kept he standing ovation momentum going for what seemed more than three minutes (long by TIFF standards) as Brendan Fraser took the stage teary eyed in what his second major fall festival reception after Venice where he sobbed for six minutes.

Based on the Samuel D. Hunter play, Fraser plays a reclusive English teacher, with a penchant for teaching Moby Dick, who lives with severe obesity and attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter (Sadie Sink) as he struggles to stay alive.

Yes, a lot of prosthetics went into the performance, but a lot of heart. And that’s what bowled Aronofsky over when he took a meeting with The Mummy franchise actor one frozen afternoon in January.

“To find the right actor at the right time, it’s not a calculation,” says Aronofsky
https://deadline.com/2022/09/brendan-fraser-the-whale-tiff-premiere-1235115216/






That is one long ass standing ovation! Look, I get it, we haven’t seen a movie in the theaters for over 2 years now! So look long standing ovations, I kind of get it. But do we really need ones that last 5 minutes or 10 minutes? Well, according to the Guinness Book Of Records, opera star Placido Domingo currently holds the record for the world’s longest standing ovation at 80 minutes. I really can’t believe that I had to look that up. But 14 minutes seems paltry by comparison! We’ve got a long way to go before we reach Italian opera star status!

Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde” debuted to a massive 14-minute long standing ovation during its world premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. Ana de Armas, who plays Marilyn Monroe, was in tears at the screening, her face glowing as tears streamed down.

Before the film’s world premiere Brad Pitt, who is among the film’s producers, de Armas, director Andrew Dominik, Adrien Brody and Julianne Nicholson created commotion on the red carpet, largely for Pitt who worked the crowds wearing a black Covid mask when he came into close contact with fans to sign autographs and do selfies. Pitt made a surprise appearance in Venice since he was not present at the film’s press conference earlier in the day. Dede Gardner, who is also among “Blonde” producers, was also on hand.

The biographical drama, based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, is one of the most anticipated titles of the festival due to de Armas’ casting as the Hollywood icon.

Co-star Brody also shed a few tears. Pitt was visibly pleased.
https://variety.com/2022/film/news/blonde-ana-de-armas-standing-ovation-venice-nc-17-marilyn-monroe-1235337816/






Oh come on, the Marilyn Monroe biopic can’t be that good, can it? But if you think the long standing ovation is getting to be quite a bit ridiculous, well we ain’t seen nothing yet! Just wait until the 2023 film festivals! We’ll see standing ovations that are 28 minutes long! Hell, why not give a 32 minute standing ovation? Maybe we might even reach Italian opera star status! Seriously, give it a couple of years and we might see standing ovations as long as the movies themselves! The MPAA might need to give a run time on the applause after the movie! Or maybe we need Dave Chappelle’s “Wrap It Up” box. Who knows?

Standing ovations for movies at film festivals is nothing new, but with the current instant-coffee news cycle that demands content 24 hours a day, every ovation is worth a post. So if you're going to a movie anytime soon, please remember to clap. Oh, and make sure to start a stopwatch before you put your hands together because we need to know how long people are clapping.

The celebs are absolutely dominating the ovation game this year. Don't Worry Darling, a movie about darlings not worrying, starring a bunch of darlings who have done a lot of worrying, which has widely been panned by critics, received a four-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. That appears to be the baseline both for the quality of film that deserves an ovation and the length of which people will take note of. Or maybe it was just an excuse to point out how awkward the entire damn cast is for... reasons.

As impressive as that ovation was, it was nothing compared to the six-minute ovation that announced loudly to the world that Brendan Fraser was back. Fraser was seen overcome with emotion during the reaction to The Whale in Venice.

Of course, standing ovations aren't just for great comeback stories. Timothee Chalamet is as young and hot as you can get without being sucked into the Don't Worry Darling universe and his new movie Bones & All got received an eight-and-a-half minute ovation in Venice according to Collider. Or maybe it was full 10 minutes as Deadline reported.
https://www.thebiglead.com/posts/venice-film-festival-standing-ovations-blonde-dont-worry-darling-01gcy2ekzsqf





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[font size="8"]World Tour 2022 Destination #7 - Hungary
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Part of our mission statement here at the Top 10 Conservative Idiots is that we view conservative idiocy not just as a uniquely American problem. No, it’s a global problem and conservatives are ruining everything they touch all around the world. Which is why we present to you:



[font size="4"]Destination #7: Hungary [/font]




Hello everyone! This week we’re in Eastern Europe and visiting the country of Hungary! The country is pretty much smack dab in the middle of Eastern Europe. It’s capital is Budapest, and no relation to the Wes Anderson flick the Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s home to the Danube River, who you might be familiar with from the classical song “House Of The Blue Danube”.



Here’s the thing I want to stress before we go any further – it’s not all fun and games on this World Tour 2022. We’re going to see some great parts of the world and we’re also going to see some very dark parts – this country being one of them! Now you might be wondering why we’re visiting Hungary and the reason is because… conservatives. Hungary is one of the key allies that Vladimir Putin has left with their populist prime minister Viktor Orban. Who American conservatives love for some reason and I really can’t quite put my finger on it. Oh wait yeah that’s right – he’s a full blown fucking Nazi. And the fact that he keeps getting elected and reelected should not only scare you, but it should scare the entire world. Because populist / (*insert country here*) movements are not good. They’re terrible. And things like this can happen as a result.

The European Union is moving to cut off funds to Hungary after accusing its leader, prime minister Viktor Orbán, of eroding the country’s democracy and ruling as an autocrat, further isolating one of the continent’s last Putin supporters.

The southeastern European country of Hungary, which has been led since 2010 by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, may have to forgo as much as €7.5 billion in funds from the European Union, which is accusing the country’s leaders of democratic backpedaling and corruption.

Lawmakers say that Orbán’s history of anti-democratic governance in Hungary, which EU lawmakers said last week could no longer be considered a “full democracy,” is concerning enough to cut the country off from the EU’s €1.2 trillion ($1.2 trillion) shared budget.

On Sunday, the European Commission announced that lawmakers had proposed “budget protection measures” that would severely limit funding to Hungary under the current EU budget regime. If it goes through, it will be the first time the EU enacts a 2020 law designed to protect the bloc’s budget from being “misused by EU governments who bend the rule of law.”
https://fortune.com/2022/09/19/eu-trying-cut-off-funding-hungary-putin-ally/




Look people, I cannot emphasize this enough – STOP VOTING FOR FASCIST FUCKWADS!!! Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t we fight two world wars to stop fascist populism from taking over the planet? I think my grandparents would be rolling around in their graves if they knew what was happening all around the world in 2022. But make no mistake, like Brexit, Hungary’s election of Viktor Orban was no joke and it was done intentionally by design. Because the whole goal of the current movement is to tear down all the establishments. I said all of them!

After his headline performance at Hungary's Sziget Festival last month, pop star Justin Bieber held a grandiose party for his staff in a luxurious countryside setting — a 19th century castle owned by the son-in-law of the country's prime minister.

The castle, to the critics of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, is emblematic of the corruption, nepotism and largesse of which the populist leader and his government have been accused for years — the kinds of behavior which now threaten to cost Hungary billions in European Union funding.

Standing beside the iron gates of Schossberger Castle this week, an independent Hungarian lawmaker who has made a name for himself as an anti-corruption crusader snapped pictures of the structure and its expansive manicured grounds.

A former member of Orban’s ruling Fidesz party, Akos Hadhazy left the nationalist-populist party in 2013 after becoming aware of what he describes as a clientelistic system of unchecked corruption taking shape in the Central European nation.
https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/hungary-faces-reckoning-eu-cost-billions-90053030




Yeah that is kind of what it feels like right now. But here’s the thing – we can no longer ignore the rising tide of fascism and neo-authoritarianism that is seeming to rear its’ head around the world. Whether it’s Boris Johnson in the UK, or it’s Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, or it’s Xi Xianping in China, or Hungary’s Viktor Orban, these fuckers are scary and dangerous. Even worse when you combine them with the head villain of them all, the Thanos of the modern world, Vladimir Putin. No wonder the GOP loves Orban so much, he’s on Putin’s side and so are they.

Hungarian civil liberties groups have welcomed a new EU report that says the country cannot be considered a full democracy.

The EU parliament voted to approve the report on Thursday, which accused Prime Minister Viktor Orban of creating an "electoral autocracy".

Budapest rejected the findings and Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called the report an "insult".

But a number of pro-democracy groups in the country welcomed the EU's move.

"For Hungarian human rights organisations, this is sadly not surprising," Dr Marta Pardavi told the BBC. "This is obviously something that is very painful for us as Hungarian citizens, but we do see that the report's conclusion is inevitable."

Dr Parvdavi, who is co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee - a human rights monitoring group - said "very serious violations" of democratic norms have been documented against Mr Orban's regime.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62925460




You might be wondering – why are we spending so much time talking about Viktor Orban? Well I will answer you, good sir or madam – because he’s been invited to speak at two different American conservative conventions this year! They see this guy as a role model for far right fascist authoritarian viewpoints! That’s why! It’s truly scary to think that the US religious right is heading in a neo-fascist direction. Well there is one good thing, don’t want you to think it’s all doom and gloom – but the party opposing Orban finally has some webbing under its’ feet! Yes, things could get interesting in the next election cycle!

A foundation led by prominent critics of the Hungarian government and conservative forces in general allegedly helped the Hungarian opposition’s electoral campaign with significant funds from the United States. According to a Hungarian government politician, this could have amounted to “abusing the law.”

Péter Márki-Zay, the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely (southeast Hungary), and former prime ministerial candidate of the joint opposition coalition in the parliamentary elections in April, made some remarks about his campaign funding and US connections, raising eyebrows in the Hungarian media and public discourse.

During Magyar Hang’s podcast last week, Márki-Zay said that he had only recently received the “42,000-rows-long” account of the campaign budget – which he intends to publish in its entirety soon – and it shows that as recently as in July of this year, two months after the elections, his campaign received several million HUF “from America.” He noted that he did not think billionaire George Soros was among the donors, the donations most probably coming from “Americans and Hungarians living in America.”

The politician said that his Everybody’s Hungary Movement (MMM – Mindenki Magyarországa Mozgalom) used the above-mentioned funds to pay for this year’s campaign bills. According to Márki-Zay, around one hundred million HUF (approx. 250,000 EUR) still remains in the funds, which he intends to transfer to the bank account of his movement.
https://hungarytoday.hu/hungarian-opposition-received-millions-from-the-usa/




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

Tourism: C
Culture: B+
Political Spectrum: D-
Liberal Appeal: F

Overall: C-

Change from 2017: Hungary has made a bit of progress in turning things around but as long as Viktor Orban is at the helm of that country, I cannot in good conscious recommend people travel there for the time being.

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

Next week – we’re heading to the land of Neuschwanstein, luxury cars, and Oktoberfest – the heart of Bavaria, Germany!



[font size="4"]And Now This: [/font]
[font size="4"]Umphrey’s McGee[/font]

Ladies and gentlemen, my next guest is a legendary jam band from South Bend, Indiana. This is their new album called “Asking For A Friend”, you can see them on tour through the end of October. Playing their song “Small Strides”, give it up for Umphrey’s McGee!



Thank you Salt Lake City! We’re off to do our first show in Iowa next! See you next week!

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