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Thu Jul 13, 2023, 05:01 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots Best Of #28: Hollywood Writer's Strike Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots Best Of #28: Hollywood Writer’s Strike Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! Oh hello! I know, right? We’re just sitting back here kicking it with a couple of cold ones at our set at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, CA. So if you missed our big announcement a while back as to whether or not this would be our last and final season, well… we’re currently unsure. That’s it, that’s the announcement. We don’t know what’s exactly going to happen between now and December. But one thing’s for certain is that we’ve got plenty of laughs in store for this season and we’re ready to make fun of our conservative evangelical overlords while the writers are still on strike. I mean come on… is that thing ever going to end? Pay your employees, you deadbeat CEOs! And I do want people to know that we’ll be taking a brief hiatus in August because of some planned trips that will totally fuck up the Top 10 schedule. And we are still trying to figure out how to go about proceeding with our talk show clips in the absence of talk shows. But this is one of our famous viewer mailbag Best Of editions where we dip into the viewer mailbag and the Top 10 archives to answer your burning questions! But first, remember talk shows? I definitely miss them and it sucks because they’re missing out on some solid gold material right now. Come on, like Tommy Tuberville’s BS statement or My Pillow going broke? Where’s Steve Bannon gonna go? And where will Marjorie Greene complain to when no one likes her ideas? So many questions and more to be answered on our season premiere next week! But first let’s play John Oliver’s episode from 3 months ago when he talked about how shady Homeowner’s Associations really are, and we really wonder how they continue to get away with a lot of the crazy and probably illegal shit that they do:

So where do we begin for this viewer mailbag best of? Well for the number one slot this week, we’re going all the way back to 2018 from Idiots #6-2, where Trump (1) puts his full inner asshole on display and greets the world champion Clemson Tigers with some stale McDonalds. Because he’s the kind of rich asshole who’s actually the cheapest person on the planet. In the second slot, from Idiots #6-14, is also that guy who we inexplicably used to call president (2) and remember that time when he went to Scotland and picked a fight with windmills? Yeah and Biden’s the one who has cognitive problems. Right. In the third slot this week is also that guy who we inexplicably used to call president (3) and after his latest rally in a middle of nowhere town that has an incredibly small population, you ever wonder what happens after one of his idiot rallies? Well, they leave behind a giant pile of trash, and he refuses to pick up the cleaning tab, because he’s that kind of cheap asshole! In the number 4 slot, from Idiots #11-4, is our old friends at Hobby Lobby (4)! Yes, the store where you can make decorative letters spell offensive things, is in hot water after the artifact smuggling scandal, and they deserve it! In the fifth slot, from Idiots #10-2, while we were all stuck at home because of COVID-19, some people found out that they didn’t look as good as they thought on camera, so our award winning investigative segment Top 10 Investigates (5) takes a look at the ridiculous lengths that some people go to in order to look good during a Zoom chat! In the number 6 slot from Idiots #11-14, our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in “Holy Shit” finds that our friends at Liberty University have a massive problem on their hands, and it’s one that some might use the “not safe for work” moniker for! In the number 7 slot this week, from Idiots #13-17, we profile self-proclaimed alpha male and guy who casually mentions he’s a ladies man in conversations, Nick Adams (7) in an edition of This Fucking Guy! In the number 8 slot, from Idiots #10-16, our segment that explores the never-ending world of online tin foil hat nuttery in Conspiracy Corner (8) looks at an effort from rural conservatives in the Pacific Northwest to form their own state, and it’s every bit of a disaster as you can possibly think of! In the number 9 (NEIN!!) slot this week, from Idiots #5-8, our segment “I Need A Drink” takes a look at a group that took the McDonalds Monopoly game for millions! And to think I had hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place too! Damn! Finally to close things out, from Idiots #11-15, our segment Red State Diaries, takes a look at a bizarre gathering of Q Anon fanatics in Dallas, at Dealy Plaza, where JFK was assassinated, because they think that he’s somehow… well, it’s too damn weird to describe. I’m going to let you be the judge! And to cap things off, we have some music from that time that King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard stopped by the show! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

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[font size="8"]Donald J. Trump & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Week
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From: Idiots #6-2

Denise K. from Buffalo, New York writes:

“Hey Top 10, what’s the MAGA obsession with fast food? Why is it when Trump serves them cold McDonalds, they are proud to eat food that even homeless people wouldn’t touch?”

Well, Denise, we don’t know. But we suspect it has everything to do with the fact that Trump seems unusually proud of being the cheapest of bastards!

Congratulations to the Clemson Tigers for winning this year’s College National Championship. What a game that was! I mean Alabama got their asses handed to them didn’t they? Well the Tigers will get to visit the White House. And remember what an honor that used to be? Well thanks to a certain guy who is currently called president, they might want to reconsider. Especially considering that he’s channeling his inner Richmond Valentine from the movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service”. Or maybe Kevin Spacey from House Of Cards. OK, bad example. Well, Clemson, here’s what you got waiting for you!

The Clemson football team’s visit to the White House on Monday night is going to be a greasy one.

The Tigers were invited by President Donald Trump to celebrate their national championship victory over Alabama and, according to Trump, the menu is going to be all fast food.

“I think we’re going to serve McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King’s [sic], with some pizza,” Trump said. “I really mean it. It’ll be interesting. I think that would be their favorite food, so we’ll see what happens.”

It sounds like Clemson will be getting the authentic White House experience, enjoying some of the president’s favorite foods. In a book about the 2016 campaign, two top Trump aides wrote that the “four major food groups” on Trump’s plane were “McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke.”

The menu probably isn’t a hit with Clemson Director of Football Nutrition Paul Harrington, though. We’ve emailed Harrington for his thoughts and will update this post if he gets back to us.

That’s right! No shut down means no White House staff which means no White House kitchen staff to cook for the Clemson team! So you could say that this is a House Of Carbs! And by the way this is what happens when the country is run by the less sophisticated – they actually enjoyed it! Either their standards are incredibly low or they haven’t had a decent meal in months! What is Clemson feeding them?

President Donald Trump paid tribute to college football champion Clemson for winning the College Football Playoff National Championship at a White House ceremony Monday evening.

Trump said he paid for their meal of "American fast food'' because of the partial government shutdown. He did not disclose the tab.

"We went off and we ordered American fast food, paid for by me. Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza,'' Trump said after returning to the White House from a trip to New Orleans. "I think they'd like it better than anything we could give."

Some players "whooped" when they saw the spread, according a pool report.

"We have some very large people that like eating, so I think we're going to have a little fun," said the president, a fast-food lover himself.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said much of the staff that works in the White House residence has been furloughed due to the shutdown, "so the president is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone's favorite fast foods."

Wow, how our standards have fallen as a society. Really he’s the kind of guy who would replace the White House kitchen with a McDonalds and Burger King just because he could. And he’s also fat and has no taste. And by the way let’s show that picture of Trump with the spread.

First off why is Trump like so proud of this? He’s feeding a championship football team garbage fast food that you can buy at the Flying J off the interstate. And second, why is he doing jazz hands? Ah, never mind, I have the answer! Just look at what Abe Lincoln is doing in the background!

By the way you’re wondering how much this spread costs, well…

Trump said, “So I had a choice. Do we have no food for you? Because we have a shutdown,” Business Insider reported. “Or do we give you some little, quick salads that the First Lady will make?”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement blamed Democrats for the shutdown and said that Trump was personally paying for the food.

The White House didn’t release the cost of the meal, but some news outlets tried to estimate the expense. The Post worked it out to be $2,911.44—or maybe $2,437.11, depending on whether the food came from the 2-for-$5 menu.

USA Today estimated the expense to be $861.72. Maybe the difference came down to what was included. USA Today didn’t include french fries or pizza, which Trump said would be part of the order, because none appeared in the pictures they used for their estimate.

Yeah so he spent $860 on fucking fast food. Really there were no other restaurants around? I mean you don’t own one that’s literally 5 miles from where you live? That wouldn’t work? Oh fuck it. I give up sometimes. And by the way here’s how much of a flaming narcissist Trump is. Not only did he pay for the food, he also said it was all food he likes, and he didn’t even get the quantities right!

Imagine being invited to the White House for dinner. You pack your best suit or dress and fly up to Washington, D.C. The day of the dinner, the president announces to reporters that he will be serving you fast food. He seems really excited about it. “I think we’re going to serve McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King with some pizza,” he says. “I really meant it. It’ll be interesting. I would think that’s their favorite food. So we’ll see what happens.”

He has to be kidding, right? He really means it? It’ll be interesting? We’ll see what happens? A few hours later you head to the White House, go through security and enter the State Dining Room. This is what you see:

Yes, President Trump served selections from McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King to the Clemson Tigers football team, who were in Washington on Monday to celebrate their national championship. The scene was surreal, with boxes of Quarter Pounders piled high on the White House’s silver serving ware. Sterling gravy boats were stuffed with dipping sauce containers. Fries had been removed from their original packaging and put into paper cups emblazoned with the presidential seal.

Trump was beaming. “I like it all,” the president said as aides lit an ornate candelabra. “It’s all good stuff. Great American food. It will be very interesting to see at the end of this evening how many are left.” He added that “the Republicans are really, really sticking together” and that “we need border security.”

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[font size="8"]Donald Trump
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From: Idiots #6-14

Joey C. from Palm Springs, CA writes:

“Hey Top 10, what’s wrong with windmills? I live here and I don’t see anything bad about them!”

That is a very good point, Joey. We don’t know why Trump hates windmills so much, but we suspect it might have something to do with a wind power plant operating on his turf. We want to channel our inner Morbo on this one!

In the last week, Trump has really escalated his beef with wind power. I mean come on, what’s he got against windmills anyway? Well if you listen to his nonsense, you would think that windmills are godless bird killing monster machines that give you cancer and drive your property values down 75%! Oh the horror!!! What will we ever do to rid ourselves of these nightmares? That’s the question we should be asking ourselves! Instead we’re asking what the fuck is up with Trump and wind power? Well it might have something to do with Trump International in Scotland, or it might not. And by the way, for the purpose of this piece, we’re going to forgo our usual memes and clips and replace them with pictures of Trump’s hair blowing in the wind, because we all know how much he hates that!

Unlike President Trump’s inability to pronounce the word “origins,” his recurring anti-wind bloviating isn’t a sign of mental decline. Sure, it is stupid and wrong to say the sound of wind causes cancer (just who is the “alarmist” by the way?) or reduces real estate values (it doesn’t.) But it’s also dangerous. This and other anti-science campaigns like the ones against vaccinations and evolution are not just silly ignorance. They’re weaponized stupidity.

Trump’s tirades aren’t reflective of any deeply held belief or well-informed opinion, but instead appear to be informed by, and in service of, Big Oil’s anti-wind propaganda. For decades fossil fuel companies have attacked clean and renewable competition, from working to block local wind power installations to fighting state policies promoting wind. Key to that effort is spreading myths about wind power’s potential as well as its progress, which our Fox News President predictably regurgitates.

For example, take Trump’s bizarre recurring joke were he pretends to be someone who watches a lot of television (ok—no need to suspend disbelief on that part,) but has to turn it off when the wind isn’t blowing. Trump’s own Department of Energy debunks that ridiculous reliability argument (hi, batteries!) along with other energy myths. Wind power kills less birds than other forms of energy, it poses no human health threat, and it is increasingly more competitive than fossil fuels.

The sad irony of Trump’s weaponized stupidity is that it hurts the rural communities and red states who are benefiting “bigly” from wind power. For example, on November 9, 2016, the very day Trump was elected President, the Omaha World-Herald published a story about how “wind has saved family farms across a wide swath of the heartland.”

So before we go any further, we got to play the clip of this because it’s pretty spectacular. I mean how stupid is he?

Whew. Yeah so if you listen to Trump, you would learn that windmills are godless bird killing machines, and what will we do to end the horror? Well you could go with clean coal. Yeah what a great idea – let’s replace clean wind power with black lungs! And by the way with this ridiculous claim, he might have cost the clean energy industry a whole lot of jobs! What about the “JOBS! JOBS JOBS!” president? Well, he’s nowhere to be found!

- Iowa's wind energy industry says President Donald Trump's claims against wind energy are nothing more than hot air.

Wind energy supports 9,000 jobs in Iowa and that number increases every year.

Now, some of those employees fear President Trump's false claims, and stance on wind energy could reverse the trend.

“I wanted to get his opinion about what he thought about the future of our town,” Newton resident Patricia Scalabrini said.

Back in 2015, Channel 13 News hosted a town hall meeting in Newton. The city is home to two large wind turbine manufacturing plants, TPI Composites and Trinity Structural Towers.

There are a lot of those pictures by the way! We will have no shortage of material for this piece. But for Trump to make a claim so dangerously dumb and absurd is well, laughable at best. But you know what, let’s extrapolate his claims for a minute. I mean do windmills really cause cancer? The answer you know, is quite literally blowin’ in the wind.

Oh, really? Take note, Johns Hopkins. That’s a new one for the medical research community. But the logic appears to go something like this: Windmills make noise. The noise stresses people. Stress causes cancer. Who are these people dropping like flies because they live near windmills? Was the Netherlands recently wiped out and nobody bothered to tell us? How odd that Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Sweden all produce more wind energy per capita than the United States, yet they all have significantly lower cancer rates.

Actually, this link between stress and premature death is worth exploring. As it happens, the American Psychological Association has been performing annual “Street in America” surveys and found a significant uptick in 2018. Among the questions people are asked: Is thinking about the country’s future “a significant source of stress” and are you “stressed by the current political climate?” Last year, the “yes” answers increased to 69 percent and 62 percent, respectively, after charting in at 63 percent and 56 percent the previous year. Some in the profession have even assigned a name to the source of the added stress: “Trump Anxiety Disorder.”

Still, one could always opt for the truth. And the truth is that while wind power is, indeed, dependent on wind, that’s not really how the power grid works. Wind power is part of a large, interconnected system that relies on many sources of power, renewable energy among them. So even those folks living in the shadow of a turbine still get to watch their televisions when the wind dies down. Somewhere else, the wind is blowing or the sun is shining on solar cells or the turbines are spinning at the hydroelectric dam or the nuclear reactor, and so on. (And that’s not even getting into various renewable energy storage technologies that are in use or development.)

As for falling property values, that’s not been the experience of contemporary wind projects — and one of the reasons we believe, close to home, that Ocean City’s protests over off-shore wind development are particularly ill-advised and short-sighted given the threat of climate change and rising sea levels. Finally, one of President Trump’s other frequent talking points on wind — that turbines kill birds — is true to a modest extent but kind of laughable given his administration’s record on the environment. No doubt the Trump EPA and Interior Department have advanced policies that will kill a whole lot more living things prematurely, including humans, than any bunch of windmills could hope to do.

Hey two ugly Trump shots in one! And by the way as to his claim about whether or not windmills are godless bird killing machines? Even the birds don’t like Trump! So if you listen to Trump’s claims about windmills, you would know that they are flat out absurd. Why is he making these completely insane claims about wind? Well, it could have something to do with his golf course!

Trevor Noah picked, in theory, a politically uncharged topic for Wednesday’s Daily Show: windmills. “They’re not just the most challenging obstacle on the putt-putt course,” he said. “No, they’re also Trump’s arch-enemy.”

In a series of public appearances over the past few months, “like a superhero whose parents were killed by a very slowly moving fan”, the president has established a pattern of decrying windmills and their attendant power source, the wind. He’s expressed numerous reasons for this war on wind, first and foremost the threat he believes they pose to television.

In a rally speech from earlier this year, Trump seemed to believe that a lack of wind would cut off power to TV sets – “I know a lot about wind,” he reassured the crowd.

“What the fuck does that mean?” Noah interjected. “Like, we all know the same amount about wind. What do you need to know about wind? You can use it to fly a kite, sometimes it screws up your umbrella, and if it goes in a circle, it’s a tornado.”

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[font size="8"]Donald Trump
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From: Idiots #8-5

Jennifer Q. from Santa Fe, New Mexico writes:

“My MAGA friends keep talking about the latest rally Trump had in South Carolina. Why do people still go to those things? He’ll just trash the place anyways.”

Well Jennifer, turns out he has a history of that sort of thing!

When Trump does rallies, they only show the rally. They don’t show the behind the scenes aftermath, of course they wouldn’t. He and the MAGA crowd would just attempt to pass it off as fake news. because that’s exactly what they would do if you showed the MAGA crowd the aftermath. Trump comes into cities like Wildwood, New Jersey and leaves behind a wrecking ball of destruction and trash and unpaid bills, and piles of garbage everywhere. Yeah cue Miley Cyrus… THEY CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL!! I mean this is what you get when you elect a clown like Donald Trump. You get the whole damn circus that goes with him. So here’s how it originally went down in Wildwood.

President Donald Trump received a warm welcome from an enthusiastic crowd at a rally in Wildwood Tuesday night. Some people waited outside for two days for a chance to see the president.

But not all of them got in.

Many people who stood outside for up to 12 hours didn’t make it into the Wildwoods Convention Center so they watched on a big screen in the parking lot.

With each shoutout and highlight of his ambitions, President Trump drew loud cheers outside the Wildwoods Convention Center, as thousands endured the cold to watch his Keep America Great rally on the big screen.

“This is great, had a wonderful time,” one man said.

Really? And you couldn’t have done a Google search to see the hours of footage from all the other Trump barfs his brain rallies? But then it takes a turn. Like what happened when they showed the aftermath of the original Woodstock Festival kind of turn. Sure, everyone had a great time, but who cleans up the trash and gets stuck with the bill? Why it’s the city of Wildwood, New Jersey!

As the dust settled after President Donald Trump’s rally in Wildwood Jan. 28, the city and its residents were left to account for the impact the large winter crowd had on the community.

Trish Asselta started working in her family’s Wildwood business over 65 years ago, when she was 6 years old, stocking glasses.

Asselta, 72, who owns Duffinetti’s Restaurant and Lounge, located two blocks from the Wildwoods Convention Center, said it was a day unlike any other.

“I would say it was two Fourth of Julys in one day,” Asselta said. “The dining room, the bar, everyone was singing, everyone was so happy.”

Trump’s rally, held at the Convention Center, drew crowds to the winterized shore town, many of whom said they had never been to Wildwood before.

Yup, they came in like a wrecking ball all right, and they wrecked the place good! MAGA! So yeah let’s show that photo for a minute. Hold your boos…

Well on the plus side, if I’m in the market for a folding chair, I know where to go! But really, trash should probably stay in the trash. And as for a MAGA rally, like I was saying, you know who gets stuck with the bill after Trump stiffs you on trash cleanup and security? Yup, the city governments, which means you, the taxpayer, get stuck cleaning up his mess!

Donald Trump has raised record amounts of money as a presidential candidate. But he’s still left a slew of unpaid bills in his wake.

In city after city, across the nation, Trump has failed to pay local officials who provide thousands of dollars’ worth of security assistance to the president’s campaign during his Make America Great Again rallies.

In total, at least 10 cities have complained that the campaign has not reimbursed them for services provided by local police and fire departments, totaling more than $840,000, according to a study by the Center for Public Integrity in June.

Minneapolis may find itself next on the list after the president picked a fight with the city’s mayor on Tuesday.

Trump accused Mayor Jacob Frey of overcharging the arena in downtown Minneapolis for services during Trump’s rally, scheduled for Thursday night, alleging that the mayor doesn’t want the president to speak in the overwhelmingly Democratic city.

Good question! And by the way in case you are thinking that this is an isolated incident, boy you are definitely in the wrong place here. Because there was a pro-Trump rally in one of San Francisco’s most progressive neighborhoods that coincided with a rally at a women’s group. And as you can imagine, things got ugly. If you want to know where all this is headed, here’s a sneak peak . And something that I didn’t know existed – MAGA drag. Yes, that’s a thing.

Several dozen Donald Trump supporters rallied in front of the Women’s Building on 18th Street Saturday night — causing a tense and bizarre scene to unfold in the heart of one of San Francisco’s most progressive neighborhoods.

“I want everyone to know that we are going to come out as a fierce, ferocious force in 2020 and re-elect Donald Trump!” screamed Scott Presler, an organizer with #WalkAway, a group aimed at steering the LGBTQ community toward Trumpism and the Republican Party.

Many of his supporters followed by chanting: “USA! USA! USA!” as counter-protesters chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!” Often, demonstrators from both sides got in each other’s faces, sometimes shoving each other — though no physical fights broke out. Police stood by and, at times, had to separate people.

Presler and his group organized the demonstration in response to the Women’s Building apparently canceling a “town hall” the group scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Representatives from the Women’s Building have not yet returned our inquiries, and it’s unclear if the nonprofit was aware it had scheduled a pro-Trump event.

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[font size="8"]Hobby Lobby
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From: Idiots #11-4

Mike O. from Flagstaff, Arizona writes:

“How come my MAGA friends talk all the crap they want about boycotting Target and Bud Light, but if I attempt to boycott Hobby Lobby, I get strange looks?

Well Mike, unlike Target and Bud Light, and the hundreds of other pointless boycotts the MAGAs have launched, Hobby Lobby actually deserves it!

I talked about this a bit last week but I am loving this story so much because I remember we trashed the Hobby Lobby Bible Museum when it first opened (see: Top 10 #3-5 ). But now it seems that karma is coming back to bite them in the ass, and very hard I might add! Because 4 years later, it turns out that Hobby Lobby may have acquired the Epic Of Gilgamesh illegally! Shocker, I know! But you know here’s a rule that I think should apply to everybody and it’s a pretty simple rule. How about… don’t steal priceless, irreplaceable artifacts from 3rd world countries, OK? And yeah that’s the kind of thing on display at the Museum Of The Bible. Which surprisingly omits “thou shalt not steal”. But needless to say this pissed off the Iraqi government something fierce.

A rare and ancient tablet showing part of the epic of Gilgamesh, which had been acquired by Christian arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby for display in its museum of biblical artefacts, has been seized by the US government.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) alleges that the 3,600-year-old “Gilgamesh Dream Tablet”, which originated in a region that is now part of Iraq, was acquired in 2003 by an American antiquities dealer, “encrusted with dirt and unreadable”, from the family member of a London coin dealer. Once it had arrived in the US, and been cleaned, experts realised that it showed a portion of the Gilgamesh epic, one of the world’s oldest works of literature, in the Akkadian language.

The DoJ alleges that the dealer then sold the tablet with a “false provenance letter”, saying that it had been inside a box of ancient bronze fragments purchased in a 1981 auction. It was then sold several times before Hobby Lobby bought it from a London auction house in 2014, and put it on display in the Museum of the Bible. The museum was conceived by evangelical Christian Steve Green, the billionaire president of Hobby Lobby.

Oh come on, you can’t wait 6 months? Well so Hobby Lobby stepped in it good. And this isn’t an isolated incident either! There were thousands of artifacts that have been stolen over the last few years from the country of Iraq. And come on they’ve been through a lot in the last 25 years. But looting in a time of war isn’t a new thing, it’s been around since, well, war. Even the Simpsons had an episode about stolen loot from World War II. But that said, Hobby Lobby is not alone here.

The United States has sent back more than 17,000 objects to Iraq. Hasan Nadhim, the Iraqi culture minister, said that the repatriation was “the largest in the history of Iraq.”

Among the objects repatriated to the country was a tablet from the epic of Gilgamesh that was owned by Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based craft store chain. U.S. authorities had been seeking its forfeiture since 2020.

The New York Times reported that cylinder seals, clay tablets, and more arrived in wooden crates in Iraq this week. More than 5,000 of the items that were sent back reportedly came from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, which has previously faced claims that it owns tablets looted from Iraq in the 1990s.

The Gilgamesh tablet was bought by Hobby Lobby in 2014 for $1.67 million with the hope of displaying it at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., whose founder and board chair is Steve Green, Hobby Lobby’s president. The tablet was seized from the museum in 2019 after federal prosecutors said they believed it was looted from Iraq. The museum said at the time that it supported returning the tablet.

That seems about right! So how was this allowed to happen? Well it’s no secret how grossly incompetent the previous administration was on foreign affairs, and this is huge for the country of Iraq which really needs this kind of thing. But make no mistake here that we’re glad to see these priceless artifacts being returned to their rightful owner. And we didn’t get here overnight, this happened to be a decade in the making. How come Hobby Lobby knew more about this than the US government? That seems like a fact worth knowing!

The so-called “Gilgamesh Dream Tablet” has been at the center of an antiquities trafficking scandal stretching back over a decade.

Named because it’s inscription bears a portion of the legendary Epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian folk tale which is among the oldest recorded poems in human history, the clay tablet was first inscribed in the area of modern-Iraq some 3,600 years ago.

Ultimately the tablet found its way into the possession of Hobby Lobby, the U.S. based chain store whose evangelical Christian owners were bankrolling the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.

For years, the Green family, who owns the chain, had been buying up artifacts from across the near East, often with an unscrupulous disregard for provenance, to stock their new museum.

No I think it’s you who are wrong. But now here’s where the story gets interesting. Just how did Hobby Lobby acquire this ancient tablet when even the US government couldn’t track it down? Well the tablet was stolen from Iraq back in the 90s and it went on a global journey – from Iraq to Jordan to London and finally wound up in the hands of the same store that sells you glitter guns and cheap art décor. Yup, that’s all you need to know!

Prosecutors said the dealer believed the tablets could be of some value and paid $50,350 for them. They were reportedly shipped to the U.S. without filing a formal entry with U.S. Customs, as is required for items costing more than $2,000.

One of the tablets that had been illegible and covered with dirt was cleaned when it arrived in the U.S. That’s when they discovered it was part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, court filings state.

The tablet spent some time being studied by a professor in Princeton, New Jersey, before it was sold to two antiquities buyers for $50,000 in 2007, prosecutors said. At the time of its sale, the antiquities dealer who first purchased it in London created a fake provenance letter stating it had been bought at auction in 1981.

That letter “traveled with the tablet as it was sold several times in different countries,” prosecutors said.

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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: Zoom Dysmorphia
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From: Idiots #10-2

Heather J. from Gainesville, Florida writes:

“Hey Top 10, I have a job interview coming up and they insist on having it on Zoom. Why can’t we meet again in person?”

We honestly don’t have an answer for that, but we can give you some tips for looking good on camera, and it comes courtesy of our award winning segment Top 10 Investigates!

It’s time to investigate beyond the headlines! This is Top 10 Investigates!

It’s been nearly 10 months now since the novel coronavirus outbreak sent the entire world out of the public view and living on their webcams. But with change also comes unwanted change. In fact since so many people have been spending so much time in front of a webcam, a new form of an old disorder has arisen. Dysmorphia can take many forms – whether one is unhappy with their gender, race, height, or weight, can cause a person to be unhappy with themselves. But now a new form of dysmorphia has arisen – Zoom Dysmorphia. That’s right – people are unhappy with the way they are looking in front of their webcams and are taking steps to improve their appearance on a computer monitor. And by “taking steps” – we mean “unnecessary plastic surgery”. That’s right – people are going so far as to modify their appearance by scheduling plastic surgery so that they can look good for their admiring virtual public. Even scarier than that? The market is booming right now.

Thanks to the pandemic and the subsequent decrease in social interaction it's caused over the last year, video calls and virtual meetings are now a normal part of everyday life for employees working from home. Convenient as it is to phone in to nearly every special occasion from weddings to happy hours to work meetings these days, new reports have shown that the heavy increase in screen time has contributed to a new phenomenon called "Zoom dysmorphia" — and it may be another reason behind the reported spike in plastic-surgery procedures months ago.

A form of body dysmorphia disorder (BDD), the term was coined in a new study published in the International Journal of Women's Dermatology to explore how staring at your reflection on video for several hours a day might lead some people to develop a "negative self-perception." The study surveyed more than 100 board-certified dermatologists, many of whom claimed to have come across patients seeking cosmetic procedures to change or improve the appearance they see on video calls. While the research suggests that the images many users see are distorted due to lighting, blurring, and/or bad camera quality, some experts argue that what we're experiencing is somewhat of a reality check.

"We have never spent this much time looking at ourselves — not in photographs, not in the mirror," Amir Karam, MD, of Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Center in San Diego, told POPSUGAR. "This is giving us a chance to really understand what our faces look like after years of not looking or examining. There are changes that are happening to the soft tissues, to the eye shape, and to the face neck volume that are real and expected, but have remained unexamined for quite some time. For that reason, I believe it's more of a matter of realization than it is a dysmorphic, nonreality effect."

Yes, if you spend all day everyday looking at yourself on a video screen, you’re going to notice things that you’ve never noticed before that you wouldn’t have been able to detect if you weren’t sitting in front of a monitor all day. But what happens if you notice these things? And in the middle of a raging pandemic would you really want to risk having to go to the hospital just because you’re uncomfortable with how your chin line looks? We find out.

A rise in at-home working amid the pandemic is said to be fuelling “Zoom dysmorphia”.

Millions of office staff have been working remotely for the best part of a year, communicating with colleagues via video calls.

With England in its third lockdown and similarly strict restrictions in place for the rest of the UK, Britons have also relied on the technology to stay connected with their loved ones.

While many have described the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts as a “lifeline”, new research suggests staring at a “distorted image on screen” for up to several hours a day is causing some to develop “a negative self-perception”.

Scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Dermatology sent a survey to more than 100 dermatologists across the US.

Results suggest there has been a 56% increase in people seeking cosmetic procedures amid the widespread uptake of video calls, with a 24-year-old patient claiming her double chin “became apparent” while using the technology.

That is an astonishingly high number of people who are willing to get procedures during this pandemic, and nobody looks good on a webcam no matter how hard you try. But you know who is winning the game during this pandemic? That’s right – surgery providers and botox manufacturers. Because those who are willing to go so far as to look good online are willing to pay big money for these procedures, and you had better have deep pockets if you’re willing to go this far.

In June, Susie Sessoms got her first lip filler. In November, she tried Kybella, the “fat dissolving” double chin injectable. “I swelled up like a bullfrog,” she says. “It’s a good thing I didn’t have to go to work!” Like many office workers, Sessoms, a mortgage executive in the Twin Cities, has worked from home from March of last year. Her company doesn’t do Zoom, which made it even easier to get treatments discreetly. “I wasn’t concerned about catching Covid,” she says. Her medspa’s sanitization protocols make her feel safer than at the grocery store.

Like so many businesses in the pandemic, cosmetic surgeons took a big hit last March; there was less interest in beautification and more focus on shelter in place and toilet paper supplies. Across America, shutdowns for elective cosmetic work varied wildly; New York closed for three months, Minnesota for seven weeks, and so on. Some places never reopened. In July 2020, AbbVie, the pharmaceutical firm that owns Botox, reported a huge dip in global net revenues from sales of cosmetic Botox — down to $226 million, a 43.1% decrease from 2019.

Then, a shift. Practices reopened. Phones rang. Appointment after appointment was booked. AbbVie’s October earnings call was distinctly sunnier: $393 million in net revenues from Botox, a mere 2.2% decrease from regular operations.

In 2021, with the vaccine on the horizon, and an end in sight, people are turning their attention to the possibility of IRL meetups — and what impression they’ll give. The stress, inertia, and (for some) carb-heavy diet of the last year has left many feeling prematurely aged, out of shape, and saggy. That’s led to a boom in cosmetic procedures, which are now widely accessible, even amid shutdowns (in California you can’t get your hair cut but can have Botox). RealSelf.com, the “Yelp’’ for cosmetic surgery, says appointment bookings spiked 71% in October, and they are seeing this trend continue in 2021.

And yes that would be a good idea. But the Botox and plastic surgery industry are booming, and while Zoom Dysmorphia may be a temporary solution for a temporary problem, people are also preparing for the possibility of real life meetings in the near future when the virus finally subsides. So how does one deal with Zoom Dysmorphia for the time being? We ask some actual therapists on how to deal with this very temporary problem.

As licensed clinical social worker and certified cognitive therapist Alyssa "Lia" Mancao, LCSW, reminds me, we live in society that's hyper-focused on physical appearance. "We internalize those messages, so we're going to hyper-focus on ourselves when we're on Zoom calls," she says. We also have this fixation with wanting to "see what other people are seeing" as we chat. "We tend to believe that other people care about how we look, when really it's only us that cares how we're coming off."

For Nunez, it's all about thought patterns. According to a recent research, the average person has over 6,000 thoughts per day. "We're constantly thinking," she says. Plus, she notes, a substantial portion of those thoughts tend to run negative: "Sometimes instead of focusing on the meeting, you're actually doing self-talk, focusing on yourself and identifying all the negative things that are wrong with you," she notes.

In society B.C. (before COVID), we weren't privy to our own features during everyday conversations—we were simply chatting it up with others (mask-free, no less!) and going on our merry way. That's not to say self-scrutiny didn't exist at all, but the criticism was largely left to the mirror. Now in a virtual reality, you're so much more aware of your own features while you're speaking in real time, down to every facial expression you make.

This, notes the journal article, can not only sabotage mental health but can also "[lead] people to rush to their physicians for treatments they may not have considered before months confronting a video screen, a new phenomenon of 'Zoom Dysmorphia.'" Board-certified dermatologist Jeanine Downie, M.D., tells me she's certainly seen an uptick in requests for in-office procedures. She even discussed the very topic on the Today Show, revealing an increase in patients' concerns over frown lines, dark spots, wrinkles, and acne.

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

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[font size="8"]Holy Shit: Liberty University SNAFU
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From: Idiots #11-14

Garrett F. from Coquitlam, British Columbia writes:

“Hey Top 10, I’m new to the show, and I was wondering why do you always pick on Liberty University?”

Well, Liberty University is an easy target because they make themselves one. They may appear to be part of the God Squad, but when the cameras are off, as the late, great Rick James once said, they are freaks between the sheets!

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 I seem to recall that this time last year I was reporting on yet another scandal to be associated with our favorite punching bag, Liberty University ( see: Idiots #9-9 ). But once again it seems that they can’t help themselves. I mean what is it with people who are that far to the right and sex? It’s criminally insane. But once again, you can only fool some people for some of the time. Not us. Because we’ve been keeping track of the “Christian” university that’s become a breeding ground for supporters of the unholy Dark One from day one. The thing is though when you start equating all of these scandals, is Liberty University really a place that you want your children attending? Only if their goal is to wind up on a sex offender registry list after losing the GOP vote for a state senate position. There’s nothing funny we can make about this so we won’t try. Instead we will just watch in the sheer unrelenting horror that is that shit show:

The conservative Christian institution, already rocked by scandal of former president Jerry Falwell, faces claims by dozens of women and questions about its political activity

“I feel the Lord moving here,” remarks a visitor looking over Liberty University’s Disney World-tidy campus toward the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia.

But other, more temporal matters, none godly, now hang over the once powerful evangelical institution founded in 1971 by the television preacher Jerry Falwell Sr, the Baptist minister who, eight years later, created the Moral Majority that mobilized the Christian right to the services of the Republican party.

Jerry Falwell Jr resigned in the wake of an extortion scandal last year.
Liberty University sues scandal-hit ex-president Jerry Falwell Jr for $10m
Read more

For decades Liberty has been a power-broker on the right of American politics and a bulwark of social conservatism but a succession of scandals now threatens a university that requires that students follow The Liberty Way, a student honor code that prohibits sexual relations outside of “a biblically-ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman”.

Of course he is! Because that’s what you get when you side with the Unholy Dark One, he is the enemy of all that is good in the world! He is so foul, so vile, and so evil and so depraved and sinful that he breaks every rule in our Good Book and the Holy Shit Guide To Life! He is certainly not what the good LAWRD JAYSUS would have in mind now is it? And it’s especially awkward when an actual university is calling you out for your bullshit at that!

A former Liberty University Title IX investigator who is now working at Baylor University seemed uninterested and dismissive of sexual assault reports from at least two Liberty students four years ago, according to a ProPublica report.

One of the students claims that “she felt punched in the stomach” by the insensitivity of Elysa Bucci’s questions and reported that photos of her bruises and abrasions from the sexual assault were excluded from her file because Bucci told her that they were “too explicit.”

Later, the student said, Bucci asked her to sign a document acknowledging that she could have violated school policy against drinking alcohol and fraternizing with members of the opposite sex.

The claims of the two students appear hauntingly familiar to those of former Baylor students who were sexually assaulted, including assaults by former members of the Baylor football team and a former fraternity president at an off-campus residence known as the “Phi Delt Ranch.” The sexual assault scandal catapulted Baylor into the national spotlight, spawned investigations and lawsuits and cost former Baylor football coach Art Briles and former Baylor President Ken Starr their jobs in May 2016.

Oh yeah probably, miss! Now you might be wondering how did Liberty University get here? Well we can almost certainly tell you that it didn’t just happen overnight. It’s a scandal that’s been brewing over years. And it starts at the top. When your founders are in bed with the Dark One, you can almost guarantee that they’re up to something shady too. Because of course when they get caught with their pants down, they always deny it.

Jerry Falwell Jr. is asking a court in Virginia to dismiss a lawsuit Liberty University filed over his headline-grabbing departure last year as leader of the evangelical school his father founded.

Falwell claims in a court filing that much of Liberty's suit serves only to keep shaming him after a provocative photo of him came to light and revelations surfaced of his wife’s extramarital affair, The News & Advance in Lynchburg reported Thursday.

Falwell claims the suit focuses on his wife’s personal life while not addressing his “actions as the leader of Liberty.”

“The rehashing of these events and protected defamation of Falwell through litigation serves one mission — ruining Falwell’s reputation through mischaracterization of events and public shaming through out-of-context pictures filed in a public complaint,” according to Tuesday’s filing in Lynchburg Circuit Court.

Wait, what’s Mr. Burns doing in church? I thought he said that religion is one of the demons you must slay in order to become a successful businessman. Anyway, Jerry is part of the reason why Liberty University is in the clusterfuck of a mess that it is in now. For like I said when you get in bed with the Unholy Dark One, you are probably guilty of committing a crime yourself. No matter what the crime, because he’s guilty of about 10,000,000 crimes. And even Liberty themselves is not above the law, even that of JAYSUS!

A Lynchburg judge has upheld most of a lawsuit Liberty University filed against its former leader, Jerry Falwell Jr., after an acrimonious parting last year. The lawsuit survived its first round of legal challenges Friday as Falwell's attorneys argued motions seeking its dismissal before Lynchburg Circuit Judge Fred Watson, The News & Advance reported.

Falwell’s departure from the evangelical school in Virginia founded by his father came after Giancarlo Granda, a younger business partner of the Falwell family, said he had a yearslong sexual relationship with Falwell’s wife, Becki Falwell, and that Jerry Falwell participated in some of the liaisons as a voyeur. Falwell denied the report. Falwell has alleged Granda extorted the family, which Granda denied.

Liberty claims Falwell crafted a “well-resourced exit strategy” from his role as president and chancellor at the school in the form of a lucrative 2019 employment agreement while withholding damaging information about the personal scandal that exploded into public view the following year. The agreement included a raise, which Falwell has said amounted to $250,000, and a $2.5 million severance package.

The lawsuit demanding at least $10 million alleged that Falwell breached fiduciary duties to the school and entered into a business conspiracy against it. Fiduciary duties don’t include disclosures of personal issues, even embarrassing ones, Vernon Inge, a lawyer representing Falwell, argued Friday. Falwell couldn’t be engaged in a business conspiracy with Granda against the university when the men were at odds, he argued.

Of course it has! Is it any wonder why atheism is the fastest growing religion in America? We’ll definitely keep an eye on this scandal and many more to come! Mass has ended, may you go in peace! That’s it this week for:

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[font size="8"]This Fucking Guy: Nick Adams
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From: Idiots #13-17

Melissa M. from Bend, Oregon writes:

“Hey Top 10, what’s up with white boys calling themselves alpha males? Where did this shit come from?”

Well, just like vampires, in order to get rid of them, you have to go to the head alpha male, and we think it might be Nick Adams!

This week’s This Fucking Guy is a former Trump speechwriter and current TPUSA Influencer, Nick Adams! In case you haven’t heard the name, Nick Adams is a real man’s man. Yeah he’s a self-proclaimed “alpha male”. In fact he wears the “alpha male” badge much in the same way that Mayor Quimby wears a sash that says “mayor” on it, in case you forgot his title. And for some reason he has a weird obsession with Hooters. That’s right – Hooters. You know, that restaurant where scantily clad women in tight t-shirts and short shorts serve you beer and barely passable buffalo wings? Yeah that place. Apparently they also have football on the TV monitors there. But this fucking guy has a completely weird obsession with the so-called “Brestaurant”. Look, I love drinking beer and watching football as much as the next guy. I personally had no idea that my choosing not to eat there has made me less of a man. If you go there with the intention of harassing and oogling the waitresses, that just makes you a creepy pervert. And you're also the kind of guy who the waitresses point and laugh at behind your back when you leave the restaurant. If you have had one order of Buffalo Wings, you’ve pretty much had them all. But this whole alpha – beta male debate is quite possibly the stuff of pure insanity, and this fucking guy, Nick Adams, is at the heart of the argument.

A conservative author was blasted online Monday after he defended the right of “alpha males” to enjoy wings and brews at Hooters with their buddies — and their families.

Nick Adams, who claims to be President Trump’s favorite author, said he was “sick and tired” of being shamed by “feminists” after he tweeted about his favorite restaurant chain.

“I am sick and tired of beta males and feminists trying to guilt alpha males out of eating at Hooters,” Adams tweeted.

“There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with eating at Hooters on a weekly basis, EVEN with the family and kids.”

The MAGA writer was responding to a deluge of online attacks that came from an earlier tweet that used some outdated cliches to explain the difference between the alphas and betas.

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!! Well in case you’re wondering what the average “alpha manly male” gets offended by, the answer is that it doesn’t take much to offend the guy who’s more of a man than you will ever be. You know what offends the average alpha male? Oat milk. That’s right – milk that’s made from nature. But wait, milk is supposed to come from cows! No there’s plenty of other substitutes for it. Of course that’s what happens when the guy who we inexplicably used to call president loves to court the poorly educated.

He insists he is an “alpha male” and “Trump’s favourite author”, but it seems US political commentator Nick Adams can be easily defeated with a morning coffee containing oat milk.

Yes, really.

In a revelation no one asked for on Friday night, Adams tweeted that he was asked earlier that day if he “wanted ‘oat milk’ in my coffee” – the quote marks around “oat milk” doing a good job of telling you where this story is going.

“I informed the girl behind the counter that it’s not physically possible to milk an oat and immediately left the coffee shop.

We hate that we have to explain this, but oat milk is made by mixing rolled oats and water together before straining to produce the liquid. Hardly controversial.

Fortunately, many Twitter users agree with us, and thus, his status as an “alpha male” was called into question.

By the way in case you’re wondering how ridiculous the alpha male – beta male debate gets, well, apparently Mr. Adams has a solution for why the GOP did so poorly in the midterms . it’s because of – wait for it – Gen Z doesn’t eat at Hooters enough. In fact Nick Adams tweets so much about Hooters that you might think he owns stock in the company or something. His Twitter account basically only tweets about two things – alpha males and Hooters. It’s something else. Here’s a small sampling.

Who the hell spends four hours at Hooters on Sunday even during football season? You’d think people have better things to do. But playing Nick Adams’ game is like playing a game of Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon. Except there’s just one degree, and he’s an alpha male who eats at Hooters and everyone else is a beta male! You know how the GOP did so poorly in the midterms? Beta males didn’t eat enough at Hooters to qualify for elite alpha male status.

Conservative political commentator Nick Adams was mocked after he complained once the "red wave" Republican legislators and pollsters had anticipated failed to materialize and offered a rather absurd criticism of Generation Z, who've represented the youngest and newest demographic at the ballot box.

Adams claimed that the "red wave" would have happened if Gen Z kids had eaten at Hooters—yes, the restaurant whose wait staff are primarily young women whose revealing outfits and sex appeal are played up and are a primary component of the company's image—when they were children.

Writing on Twitter, Adams said that if that had been the case, that he could have "guaranteed" a red wave on Election Night.

Adams, who refers to himself as an "alpha male" on his official Twitter profile, issued several more tweets advocating for parents to take their minor children to Hooters.

In one tweet, he said he is "sick and tired of beta males and feminists" who've tried to "guilt" so-called alpha males from eating at the restaurant.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… great movie! It’s like a broken fucking record with this guy. You spin me right round, like a record baby, right round, right round… yeah we’re turning this place into Hooters! Because you know that restaurant is synonymous with being a family friendly joint! By the way, even Hooters themselves are sick of the bad publicity they’re getting from him. Oh and did we mention that Mr. Adams is from Australia? That’s right – he’s not even a natural born citizen! Of course the Trump people don’t care about that sort of thing. They do apparently care too much about whether you eat at Hooters or not. And worshipping Trump and Baby Jesus. Don’t forget Baby Jesus.

Hooters, the restaurant chain equally famous for its wings and its well-endowed waitresses, started trending on social media Monday thanks to a conservative commentator's tweets.

Australia-born pundit and author Nick Adams argued that true "Alpha males" dine at Hooters. From there, Twitter users had a field day making fun of Adams' hot take.

Adams shot off a series of Hooters-related tweets, with one explaining that he'd visited the franchise recently.

"I was at Hooters over the weekend when I overheard two stunning waitresses discussing their plans to vote on Tuesday," Adams tweeted on Monday. "They both were undecided but said they were leaning Republican because of the cost of gas and groceries. I pray those two lovely ladies make the right call!"

Four minutes later, he continued on his Hooters tangent, writing: "I am sick and tired of beta males and feminists trying to guilt alpha males out of eating at Hooters. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with eating at Hooters on a weekly basis, EVEN with the family and kids." https://www.newsweek.com/hooters-alpha-male-comments-conservative-pundit-spark-backlash-1757656

That’s more manly than you Christian alpha male who eats way too much at Hooters, Nick Adams. This week’s:

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[font size="8"]Conspiracy Corner
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From: Idiots #10-16

Jeff C. from Auburn, California writes:

“Hey Top 10, I just moved to Northern California, and I was wondering – what’s up with all the “State Of Jefferson” bumper stickers that I keep seeing?”

Well, California is one of the largest states in the country, and we’re definitely not without our fair share of nutjobs. Every rural conservative has their ideas of what the 51st state in the country should be, and some proposals are more insane than the next. We need to go underground for this one! Adjust your tin foil hat accordingly!

Welcome back to the segment that attempts to explain the unexplainable, Conspiracy Corner! We are of course coming to you live from our underground Doomsday Bunker deep in the flats of the New Mexico badlands. Undisclosed location of course. But first let me adjust my tin foil hat for maximum government interference – they are trying to read my thoughts. And don’t forget the creepy oldies music. Every doomsday shelter has creepy oldies’ music. Well this week a bunch of gun nuts are creating a conspiracy of their own. We’ve repeatedly talked about rural Oregon’s quest to leave for redder pastures in Ohio. But this week we found out one of their own might be running for governor – that’s right, our old buddy, king conspiracy theorist himself Ammon Bundy. So here’s how that could play out.

Anti-government provocateur Ammon Bundy filed papers to run for governor in Idaho next year, even though he's not currently registered to vote or legally allowed to set foot on Capitol grounds.

Secretary of State candidacy records show Bundy listing his address as a post-office box in Emmett, with a local contractor, Aaron Welling, acting as treasurer.

He would be seeking the 2022 GOP nomination for the state's top post, currently held by Republican Brad Little. The governor had been unsuccessfully targeted for recall by anti-government activists unhappy with shutdowns he ordered in response to the pandemic.

Bundy told NBC News on Monday he's not yet formally announced a gubernatorial run, but wants to begin building an organization for a potential candidacy.

Wait a minute, wait a minute. Let’s get something straight her e – the guy who hates government so much that he raided a bird sanctuary is now running for the governor of Idaho? That would be like a guy who hates Elon Musk buying stock in Dogecoin! But if somehow this happens and the rooting tooting, freeway shooting cowboy does become governor of Idaho, he’ll have some more territory to occupy, and we wish we were making this up!

Political divisions in Oregon can to a great degree be measured by a river, the Deschutes, which winds its circuitous way through the state’s midsection. The river divides the high prairies of the eastern half — agricultural and politically conservative, largely — from the wetter, woodier western half, which has long been more populated and more liberal.

The statewide shutdown orders that accompanied the coronavirus pandemic last year deepened those divisions, crippling businesses at a time when some rural counties had few cases. The protests and riots over race and police conduct in Portland, the state’s largest city, widened the gap further still, and the defeat of former President Donald Trump, who won most counties but still lost the state by a big margin after President Joe Biden’s strong showing in the cities, capped off a litany of frustrations.

Last week, all of that led thousands of east bank residents to a single resonant but highly improbable word: secession. A majority of residents in five eastern counties said in nonbinding votes that they would like to leave Oregon and join with their more like-minded conservative neighbors further east in Idaho..
“Those of us in rural Oregon are written off,” said Mike McCarter, a retired agricultural nursery owner who has led the secession drive.

Yes, it’s all about the greater good. THE GREATER GOOD! So rural Oregon voters feel they are being left behind by big city Oregon voters and it’s understandable. I mean I’m sure Oregon has bigger fish to fry right now with the weekly Proud Boys – Antifa cage matches in the city of Portland. And we’re still puzzled at this one because Biden overwhelmingly defeated that other guy in Oregon by a huge landslide victory.

Voters in five rural Oregon counties approved measures on Tuesday to consider joining the state of Idaho, a part of a long-shot grassroots movement to break with a state dominated by liberal voters west of the Cascade Mountains.

Voters in Malheur, Sherman, Grant, Baker and Lake counties all approved measures that would require county officials to take steps to promote moving the Idaho border west to incorporate their populations.

Oregon voters favored President Biden over former President Trump by a 56 percent to 40 percent margin in 2020, but voters in those five rural counties gave between 69 percent and 79 percent of the vote to Trump.

They join two other rural counties — Jefferson and Union — whose voters approved measures promoting a move to Idaho last year.

OK so disgruntled Oreganites are planning to ditch Blue Oregon for Red Idaho. What happens after the vote to secede? Well I mean first of all they have to spell “secede” before they can secede. Let’s not kid ourselves here! And here’s the thing they should know before they go through with this – they’re not getting any new representation here! New Idaho will have as much representation as the previous Idaho, it just got more rural. Think about that guys!

Idaho could be getting a lot bigger if some voters in Oregon get their way.

Thousands of people in eastern Oregon voted Tuesday for their elected officials to consider ditching their state and becoming part of Idaho.

Voters in Sherman, Lake, Grant, Baker and Malheur counties all voted for ballot measures that would lead to them becoming Idahoans. People in Union and Jefferson counties had already voted in favor during the November election.

Baker County’s election results weren’t yet available on the Oregon Secretary of State’s page, but the Baker City Herald reported that a majority — 3,064 to 2,307 — voted in favor of county commissioners “meet(ing) three times per year to discuss a proposal to include 18 counties, including Baker, as part of Idaho.”

The vote is only the first step of the “Greater Idaho” project, which would allow some Oregon counties to join a state that advocates say more closely aligns with their political preferences.

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[font size="8"]I Need A Drink
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From: Idiots #5-7

Luan C. from Diamond Bar, California writes:

“Hey Top 10, I love your show, but I was wondering, how come you never have any contests or giveaways?”

First off, thanks! That means a lot! It’s great to know who our supporters are! But the reason we never have any contests or giveaways – is 1) it costs a lot, and we don’t exactly have what one would call a “budget”. And 2) it’s complicated. Especially if you saw the HBO docuseries McMillions!

Hey St. Louis, I really need a drink!

So you know the deal behind this segment is that we kick back, have some drinks, and talk about anything in the news as long as it doesn’t relate to politics. Because there’s so much bad shit in the news right now that it really makes one want a nice stiff glass of Jack doesn’t it? So bartender, tell me, what goes well with a Big Mac? A Big Mac martini? What’s in that? Thousand island and vodka? I’ll just stick with my usual Jack Daniels mixed with Jack Daniels. So this week we’re going to tell you about the guy who bilked McDonalds out of millions.

A wild story about a network of criminals arrested on charges that they defrauded McDonald's out of more than $24 million through its Monopoly promotion is making the rounds on the internet after Jeff Maysh unearthed the full account in a Daily Beast report over the weekend.

The story dates back to the 1990s, when Jerry Jacobson, a former police officer, set up a scheme to provide winning McDonald's Monopoly pieces in exchange for a cut of the money, the report says.

Launched in 1987, McDonald's Monopoly game is one of the fast-food chain's longest-running marketing promotions. Customers collect the Monopoly game pieces and tokens attached to McDonald's packaging for a chance to win up to $1 million.

In the 1980s, Jacobson took a job at a specialty printing company, where he worked with one of its clients, Simon Marketing, on its $500 million McDonald's account, The Daily Beast reported. He went on to be hired by Simon Marketing and was responsible for overseeing the printing of McDonald's game pieces and transporting them from the production presses to the packaging factories. He was known for running a tight ship, the report says.

Yes where’s my drink? Ah thank you waitress! And by the way give it up for the wait staff here at Helium – truly great. The greatest, OK? Nobody is greater! Back on topic – so holy shit! $24 million and all it took was running his own printing company? So who gets to play him in the movie?

Ex-cop Jerome Jacobson ended up claiming over $24 million (£18 million) in cash and prizes, ripping off millions of game-playing customers in the process, and thanks to his court case coinciding with 9/11 he has been forgotten by history.

However, an investigation by Daily Beast crime reporter Jeff Maysh this week has revealed the sheer scale of the scam to the world.

Temptation proved too much for Jacobson, who ended up in control of the Monopoly instant prize tickets through his security job at a marketing firm, and despite having an accountant shadow him as he delivered them to restaurants he still managed a quick visit to the toilet to pilfer them.

But stealing the prize tickets was just the start, as he had develop a national network of gangsters, friends, family, ex-drug dealers, gamblers, a family of Mormons and his butcher to claim the prizes which included cars and $1 million cash prizes.

He even sent a winning $1 million ticket to a children’s hospital in Tennessee, because he could. His gave his step-brother, who was rich anyway, winning $1 million tickets which he gave to the Salvation Army or flushed down the toilet.

Excuse me a minute… I love that scene! So he sent a million dollar ticket to a children’s hospital because he could. Congratulations, Jerome! You screwed over some needy kids! That sounds like a very Trumpian thing to do. “I hire the best people, OK?”. So how was this contest rigged? How was he able to get away with such a heist? And more importantly – who gets to play him in the movie? I personally say Will Ferrell but that depends since I couldn’t find a picture. Anyway…

On August 3, 2001, a McDonald’s film crew arrived in the bustling beach town of Westerly, Rhode Island. They carried their cameras and a giant cashier’s check to a row of townhouses, and knocked on the door of Michael Hoover. The 56-year-old bachelor had called a McDonald’s hotline to say he’d won their Monopoly competition. Since 1987, McDonald’s customers had feverishly collected Monopoly game pieces attached to drink cups, french fry packets and advertising inserts in magazines. By completing groups of properties like Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues, players won cash or a Sega Game Gear, while “Instant Win” game pieces scored a free Filet-O-Fish or a Jamaican vacation. But Hoover, a casino pit boss who had recently filed for bankruptcy, claimed he’d won the grand prize–$1 million dollars.

Like winning the Powerball, the odds of Hoover’s win were 1 in 250 million. There were two ways to win the Monopoly grand prize: find the “Instant Win” game piece like Hoover, or match Park Place with the elusive Boardwalk to choose between a heavily-taxed lump sum or $50,000 checks every year for 20 years. Just like the Monopoly board game, which was invented as a warning about the destructive nature of greed, players traded game pieces to win, or outbid each other on eBay. Armed robbers even held up restaurants demanding Monopoly tickets. “Don’t go to jail! Go to McDonald’s and play Monopoly for real!” cried Rich Uncle Pennybags, the game’s mustachioed mascot, on TV commercials that sent customers flocking to buy more food. Monopoly quickly became the company’s most lucrative marketing device since the Happy Meal.

Inside Hoover’s home, Amy Murray, a loyal McDonald’s spokesperson, encouraged him to tell the camera about the luckiest moment of his life. Nervously clutching his massive check, Hoover said he’d fallen asleep on the beach. When he bent over to wash off the sand, his People magazine fell into the sea. He bought another copy from a grocery store, he said, and inside was an advertising insert with the “Instant Win” game piece. The camera crew listened patiently to his rambling story, silently recognizing the inconsequential details found in stories told by liars. They suspected that Hoover was not a lucky winner, but part of a major criminal conspiracy to defraud the fast food chain of millions of dollars. The two men behind the camera were not from McDonald’s. They were undercover agents from the FBI.

Yes… I’ll take some more Jack please! Thank you! So holy shit! This *IS* a real life crime movie waiting to happen! So anyway this goes on to further explain just how crazy the odds of you actually winning even a PT Cruiser or even a million dollars are:

He read small print that revealed how the odds were stacked against the customer: McDonald’s makes one piece from each set of properties extremely rare, so while thousands have three of the four railroads, the odds of pulling the Short Line Railroad—and winning a PT Cruiser—were 1 in 150 million.

Come on let’s face it, the PT Cruiser probably isn’t worth $100 these days. What? It’s a PT Cruiser! I’ve driven these cars – they’re the shittiest cars known to man! So that’s where you draw the line then sir, are you serious? Security! Thank you. PT Cruiser fan in the audience. But here’s how the FBI finally caught the guy:

Before each bi-annual game, Jacobson arrived at the drab Dittler Brothers’ office at 5 a.m to observe their Omega III supercomputer making the McDonald’s prize draw. He watched the printing presses that roared for 24 hours a day for three months, using 100 railroad cars of paper to print half a billion game pieces. Laid end-to-end, the paper tickets would stretch from New York to Sydney–nearly two tickets for every American. Jacobson observed technicians applying the “INSTANT WINNER!” stamp to blank game pieces, and pioneered random watermarks that deterred counterfeiters. He locked the winning pieces in a vault behind coded keypads and dual-entry combination locks. It was Jacobson who personally scissored out the high-value game pieces and slipped them into envelopes, before sealing each corner with a tamper-proof metallic sticker. In a secret vest, of his invention, Jacobson transported the winning pieces to McDonald’s packaging factories across the country.

Everything he did was overseen by an independent auditor. On flights she sat in coach, while Jacobson flew first class, where he tried to impress other passengers by flashing his old police badge. On one flight, Jacobson and another security manager sent an air steward back to show the accountant the empty liquor bottles they’d guzzled. When they arrived at the factory, Jacobson would summon a forklift of french fry containers, hide the winning game piece, and send it into the wild. Then he liked to hit a Ruth’s Chris steakhouse and order “everything”–more than he could eat, and charge it to his expense account.

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[font size="8"]Red State Diaries
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From: Idiots #11-15

Andrew H. from Ft. Wroth, Texas writes:

“My Q Anon relatives believe the dumbest shit! How is it possible to believe that JFK is still alive and would be hanging around Dealy Plaza?”

Q theories get weirder and nuttier every single year. But none more stupid than these dolts who showed up to Dealy Plaza. They may still be there! You don’t know! You don’t know!

Welcome back to our ongoing survey of what the post-election MAGA clan is up to in our ongoing segment “Red State Diaries”! Last time, we brought you the story of how Q Anon nuts gathered at Dealy Plaza because a group of conspiracy theory nuts posting on the dark corners of the internet said that JFK Jr. survived his plane crash and was going to come back and tell the people that he was going to arrest all of the deep state operatives who were part of an elite pedophile ring. Whew. That is some serious amount of crazy here. But here’s where it gets weird – since we last left off, they have refused to leave! I would have thought that them thinking that Keith Richards was in fact JFK all this time would have been the absolute nuttiest conspiracy theory I could ever dream of. And it doesn’t even make any sense. But here's the latest on the crazy nuts in Dallas.

Weeks after they first gathered near Dealey Plaza, dozens of believers in the furthest fringe of the QAnon conspiracy theory remain in Dallas, expecting long-dead John F. Kennedy Jr. to reveal himself in the city where his father was assassinated and usher in the reinstatement of Donald Trump as president.

While their beliefs are patently absurd, the fervency and devotion of this particular group, along with their loyalty to a leader known as Negative48 and unwillingness to leave Dallas, is unique — and cause for alarm and concern, according to an expert who has followed QAnon for years.

“I think what you’re seeing here is really, undeniably a cult,” said Mike Rothschild, author of The Storm Is Upon Us, which chronicles the rise of, and fallout from, QAnon.

The leader of the group is Michael Brian Protzman, a Washington man who amassed a following on social media with his version of gematria, a Hebrew numerology language. Interpreting codes that include numbers and letters, and using elements of Christianity and QAnon, his followers have come to believe that Kennedy, who died in a plane crash in 1999, will reappear in Dallas and commence a new Trump administration.

What’s even more insane is that have these nuts not even researched any part of the history of the Kennedy family? JFK would literally hate these people. But the fact that they’re still there is some seriously insane shit. But that said, this is forming a melting pot of two serious groups of batshit crazy conspiracy theorists. Those groups are people who believe every crazy theory you’ve ever heard about JFK and every crazy theory that you’ve ever heard about Donald Trump. I can’t even.

Nearly three weeks ago, hundreds of middle-aged QAnon fanatics gathered in Dallas to witness the return of John F. Kennedy, Jr. This group believes that JFK Jr. and many other deceased celebrities — including his father, President John F. Kennedy — are not only alive, but part of a decades-long plot to take down a global pedophile cabal that secretly controls the world. Despite multiple no-shows from the former George publisher or his charismatic dad, dozens still haven’t left. In fact, one of the JFK Jr. truthers — a rapper by the name of Pryme Minister — offered the use of his property just outside Dallas, and the group’s Telegram chats indicate some of them have been living communally for weeks…

This QAnon group in particular is led by a popular conspiracy theory influencer named Michael Protzman, who has prophesied the Kennedys’ return, and organized these gatherings, the latest of which took place on Monday, the anniversary of the assassination of JFK. But this time they’re not the only JFK obsessed conspiracy theorist in Dallas. Just a few block away, at the Magnolia Hotel, about three dozen people gathered for the Ninth Annual JFK Assassination Conference, three days of discussions about the latest evidence and theories regarding autopsies, CIA informants, and links to 9/11.

That’s an understatement there! These people are off the wall over the top grade A certified batshit insane. Whew. And that sounds like the worst commune ever. I mean at least at a Phish concert there’s plenty of opportunities for beer and weed. These people bring… what I’m assuming to be a combination of meth and semi-automatic weapons. Well, it is Texas. But that said, these people are fucking nuts and they’re not going anywhere. Does someone want to explain to them that they’re living in a make believe fantasy land of bullshit?

Scores of QAnon conspiracy theorists converged in Dallas on Monday under the delusion that John F. Kennedy Jr., who died in 1999 and has been hailed as a savior by many in the movement, would somehow return on the anniversary of his father’s assassination—setting themselves up for another letdown after weeks of waiting for JFK Jr. to return and usher in a new Trump presidency.

More than 100 QAnon supporters gathered at Dealey Plaza, the site of President John F. Kennedy's assassination on this date in 1963, according to a reporter on the scene, packing onto a bridge overlooking the roadway where the president was fatally shot.

QAnon backers have been gathering in Dallas for weeks, and Monday is just the latest in a series of dates marked for JFK Jr.'s return.

Followers say JFK Jr. is Q himself, a mythological Trump supporter entrenched in the “deep state” that occasionally leaks information on the Satan-worshipping cabal of cannibalistic, pedophiliac Democrats QAnon followers think rule the world.

Damn right! But the question on the table is – where is this shit coming from? Who’s convincing them that JFK is still alive and that he’s a right wing operative looking to expose the deep state for committing satanic cannibalistic rituals? Well it’s coming from the author of a book that’s popular in Q circles called “Trust The Plan”. And what’s even scarier to me is that Q Anon is becoming as popular as some religions now. Trust me when I say we will cover this next week!

Conspiracy theorist group QAnon hit a bizarre milestone on Tuesday, when its supporters gathered for what they believed would be the return of the late JFK junior – who, they postured, would be running on an imagined 2024 ticket with former President Donald Trump.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Junior’s plane was pulled out of the Atlantic Ocean more than 22 years ago in a crash that killed him, his wife Carolyn and his sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette.

For some QAnon true believers, however, the son of the 35th president of the United States not only survived the tragedy but is poised to make a dramatic return to public life.

A bizarre theory has emerged suggesting that the accident was just a ruse to fake his death and that he will re-emerge – perhaps as early as next month – to join a reinstated President Donald Trump as his VP.

Thanks for getting through this Best Of! I know it’s been a long time between editions but I can assure you that we’ll be back next week with a brand new edition! See you next week!

[font size="4"]And Now This: [/font]
[font size="4"]King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard[/font]

Folks, I’ve been waiting 3 years to have these guys on the show, but they are one of my favorite bands out there currently. Their latest album is called Omnium Gatherum, you can see them at Boston Calling, May 28th, at The Caverns in Pelham, TN June 2nd – 4th, and Red Rocks Amphitheater Jun 8th and 9th, and the Hollywood Bowl June 21st. Playing their song “Magenta Mountain”, give it up for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard!

Thank you Boston! This was fun! We’ll be back again soon! We’re off to Portland, Maine next week with live music from our good friend Post Malone and Stupidest State Selection Sunday! See you next week!


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