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Sun Apr 10, 2016, 02:23 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #23: Wheel O’ Corruption 2: Money Never Sleeps Edition

Last edited Mon Apr 11, 2016, 12:32 PM - Edit history (4)


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #23: Wheel O’ Corruption 2: Money Never Sleeps Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! This might be our biggest edition ever. How about that finish from Villanova, huh, am I right about that? Holy shit that was amazing! I mean a shot like that only comes around once in a lifetime. A 3 pointer literally at the buzzer when it could have gone into overtime. Congratulations to Villanova, you guys definitely earned this one! UNC, you can rest easier knowing that your championship gear will be going to cloth starving African children. I can’t make that joke enough, sorry. And you know what – baseball is back! I went to Angels opening day this year but saw them flame out to the Chicago Cubs. Oh well. But enough of the intro this week, we have a lot of idiocy to get to and I start with John Oliver’s excellent expose of local campaign finance and how crazy it’s become:



That is not a job I would want to work for any amount of money. Seriously I’d rather flip hamburgers than be subject to a call center hamster wheel. So where do we begin this week? To start with we’re going to bring back the wheel for another go round. The Wealthy Elite (1,2) are going to occupy the top 2 spots this week. There’s a new set of some 12 million documents dating as back as 1983 called “The Panama Papers” that are going to leak just how much money is being held overseas and who’s allowing this to happen (hint: it's worse than you think it is!). Plus I also talk about how Sean Hannity got owned by a real economist. I say grab some popcorn and watch the show. Taking the 3rd slot, the Koch Brothers (3) donated some money to George Mason University to name their law school after Antonin Scalia, but are shocked when they get an unfortunate acronym in the mix. In the number 4 slot, Alabama governor Robert Bentley (4) moves up on the list because he’s playing the republican’s favorite “get out of jail free card” (read: pray for forgiveness). At number 5, Trumpenfuror (5) doesn’t know which countries to allow to have nuclear weapons – some might and some might not. Not to mention some might be using his star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame as a toilet. At number 6, Don Blankenship (6) is finally getting his just deserts and a sentence at Supermax. Taking the 7th slot, Rick Perry (7) gets booed at a Starbucks, and that’s not just because he ordered the most expensive drink on the menu. At number 8, Big Oil (8) may be seeing their precious billions in profit shrink because the Tesla Model 3 is taking America by storm. Both literally and figuratively. In the number 9 slot, North Carolina (9) is experiencing some particularly harsh fallout from HB2, aka The Bathroom Bill, and particularly coming from Bruce Springsteen. We'll tell you why he's called "The Boss". Finally for the 10th spot – since there wasn’t anything super crazy in the news this week, we’re going to end with the Top 10 Movie Vault (10). I am going to “review” the sequel to the inexplicably popular flick “God’s Not Dead”, “God’s Not Dead 2”, which was both a box office and critical disaster. And depending on popularity this will become an ongoing feature within the Top 10. But it’s already four months in to 2016 and “God’s Not Dead 2” is already vying for a Razzie Award of some sort. So we’re going to have some fun with this one. Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!


[font size="8"]The Wealthy Elite[/font]


So for this edition we’re going to spin an imaginary wheel for republican corruption. Use your best imagination for this one. Like what Stephen Colbert uses.

The wheel has been expanded! Just like last week I’ll talk about whatever the wheel lands on. Although remember that if it lands on the guacamole option that it costs $1.50 extra. The items on the wheel will be:
- Gun Nuts
- Bernie Haters
- Obama Haters
- Hillary Haters
- Donald Trump
- Guacamole
- VR Headset
- Random Celebrity Endorsement
- Clip Without Context
- 5,000
- Poison
- Poison (The Band)
- New Car
- Bankrupt
- Guitar Solo
- Buy A Vowel
- Panama
- Pizza
- Voter Fraud
- Anti Abortion
- Get Out Of Jail Free
- "Family Values"
- 10,000
- Steak
- Celebrity Endorsements
- Greed
- 15,000
- Tax Avoidance
- Money
- Drum Solo
- Sex Scandals
- Washing Machine
- Anti vaccination crusaders
- T-Shirt Cannon
- A Random Trailer
- Something random in the news
- ??? (Mystery)
- Florida (Obviously)
- Infowars
- Public Urination
- Homemade Weapons
- Bonus Spin

Let’s get going! Spin it! Where is it going to land first? No whammy no whammy no whammy no whammy no whammy…. Stop! And it lands on - Panama! Hit it!


More specifically we’re going to talk about “The Panama Papers” to kick things off for the latest installment of the Top 10. So what are “The Panama Papers” you might ask? Well I answer you good sir / madam – it was the end result of an exhaustive study of where exactly the wealthy elite hides their billions of dollars. Did I say billions? I meant trillions. Over $32 trillion to be exact – and that’s also equal to the approximate number of Big Macs that have been sold by McDonalds. I kid, I kid. But seriously I’m reminded of this Lewis Black bit on his classic 2004 album “Rules Of Enragement” about the wealthy elite’s stranglehold and why they will never give up the power they wield unless we decide to take it back from them:


An investigation published today by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its media partners reveals the hidden workings of a secretive industry that banks and lawyers use to hide the financial holdings and dealings of powerful clients, including prime ministers, parliamentarians, plutocrats and criminals, according to a trove of leaked documents.
The files, known as the Panama Papers, expose the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and reveals how associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies, according to the joint investigative project conducted by ICIJ, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 other news organizations around the globe. ICIJ is the international arm of the Center for Public Integrity.
The files — which total more than 11.5 million documents — contain new details about major scandals ranging from England’s most infamous gold heist in 1983, an unfolding political money laundering affair in Brazil and bribery allegations currently convulsing FIFA, the body that rules international soccer and is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.
https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/04/03/19503/massive-leak-reveals-offshore-accounts-world-leaders


Holy. Shit. Let’s stop there for a minute. $2 billion in shadow corporations? 11.5 million documents that contain information about major scandals dating as far back as 1983? To quote Fry from Futurama – “Insane theories 1, regular theories – 1 billion.”. Let’s continue:

Most of the services the offshore industry provides can be used for legal purposes and by law-abiding customers. But the documents reveal that banks, law firms and other offshore players often fail to follow legal requirements to assure that clients are not involved in criminal enterprises, tax dodging or political corruption. The files show that these fixers and middlemen protect themselves and their clients by concealing suspect transactions. In some instances, they work to head off official investigations by backdating and destroying documents.
The documents include nearly 40 years of data from inside Mossack Fonseca, a little known but powerful law firm based in Panama with branches in Hong Kong, Miami, Zurich and 35 other cities worldwide. In the first of six articles posted today, ICIJ and its partners detail the the inner workings of the Mossack Fonseca firm, which is one of the world’s top creators of shell companies — corporate structures that can be used to hide ownership of assets.

I am shocked, shocked I tell you! So banks and governments and other private entities that held billions and in some cases trillions in Panama weren’t exactly “law abiding”? I mean how could that possibly happen?

Another article reveals a clandestine money network with ties to Putin that has shuffled at least $2 billion through banks and offshore companies linked to some of Putin’s closest allies. A third article details how the law firm of a FIFA ethics watchdog had created offshore accounts for three men indicted in the world soccer association’s corruption scandal. One of the men, a former FIFA vice president, has been charged by U.S. authorities with wire fraud and money laundering for his role in the alleged bribery conspiracy.


Wait – Vladimir Putin and 3 indicted FIFA officials have offshore money? I mean how far does this go? Well let’s just go over one brief example of the Panama Papers that you will find out about as more information becomes available from this damning research. This one concerns the government of Iceland. See conservative idiocy isn’t just limited to these great United States of ours. No, it’s a global problem that reaches every country where conservatives can lay their stink on it.
On May 15, 2014, the prime minister of Iceland stood before parliament answering questions about how aggressively his government would sniff out tax cheats and fraudsters who use secret offshore companies. Would Iceland follow Germany’s lead by purchasing revealing data from offshore whistleblowers?
The prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, hedged.
It was “extremely important that people work together on this,” he agreed. But whether obtaining the information would be “realistic and useful” was unclear, he said, adding that he trusted the tax officials to make the right decision.
What wasn’t known was that the offshore files Iceland was considering buying included offshore companies linked to him and at least two other top members of his ruling government.
https://panamapapers.icij.org/20160403-iceland-prime-minister.html

So what happens when the elite are bigger tax hoarders than the ones they accuse the others of? Holy shit, the elite are even more corrupt than we thought!
But because of the leak, it cause the PM of Iceland to resign:
In a day of high drama in Reykjavik, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson first tried to hang on to his office by seeking the dissolution of parliament.

But after Iceland’s president refused to grant the request, Mr Gunnlaugsson decided to step down as prime minister but carry on as the head of his Progressive party. Sigurdur Ingi Johansson, the current minister of fisheries and agriculture, will become prime minister.
But it remained unclear how other political parties in Iceland would react and early elections could still be called.

Read more: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/60d88fa0-fb27-11e5-b3f6-11d5706b613b.html#axzz44y9XVb53



[font size="8"]The Wealthy Elite [/font]


Spin it! Woohoo, I win 5,000! Boom! Oh we still don’t know what that 5,000 is. Could be 5,000 copies of Freddie Got Fingered. Could be 5,000 expired state license plates. Could be 5,000 chicken feet. We don’t know. But still, I win! Woohoo! Spin it again! Tax Avoidance.

So “The Panama Papers” have already been out a couple of days, but with 11.5 MILLION documents out there, it will take some time to sort out what really matters and what could have serious ramifications for all parties involved. But governments around the world are already beginning to look through them and some real life world leaders could be implicated in the grandest of all heists. Really I don’t even think Danny Ocean and his crew could take back the trillions that have been stolen from us. Here’s more:

Governments across the world began investigating possible financial wrongdoing by the rich and powerful on Monday after a leak of four decades of documents from a Panamanian law firm that specialized in setting up offshore companies.

The "Panama Papers" revealed financial arrangements of politicians and public figures including friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, relatives of the prime ministers of Britain, Iceland and Pakistan, and the president of Ukraine.

While holding money in offshore companies is not illegal, journalists who received the leaked documents said they could provide evidence of wealth hidden for tax evasion, money laundering, sanctions busting, drug deals or other crimes.

The law firm, Mossack Fonseca, which says it has set up more than 240,000 offshore companies for clients around the globe, denied any wrongdoing and called itself the victim of a campaign against privacy. Mossack Fonseca, in a statement posted on its website on Monday, said media reports had "misrepresented the nature of our work."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-panama-tax-idUSKCN0X10C2


That’s right – there’s some serious crimes here involved like money laundering, tax evasion, drug deals, sanctions, I can go on and on. The Panama Papers have some pretty damning evidence against not just America’s wealthy elite, but the entire world’s wealthy elite. But check out here where Sean Hannity gets owned by an actual economist:
http://thedailybanter.com/2016/03/sean-hannity-gets-bitch-slapped-by-an-actual-economist/
Serial liar and conservative propagandist Sean Hannity had a rather embarrassing interaction with a real economist on his radio show yesterday, and was ruthlessly exposed for spreading false information about President Obama's economic record and the causes for the economic crash in 2008.

Austan Goolsbee, who formerly served as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and was the youngest member of President Obama's cabinet, went on Hannity's show and thoroughly dismantled the Fox News presenter's deeply misleading statements that he professes with the certainty of a True Believer. Goolsbee was efficient in destroying all of Hannity's arguments because he used the exact same statistics Hannity attempted to use to prove his point, putting them into historic context and proving the complete opposite.






[font size="8"]The Koch Brothers [/font]


Spin it! Where does it land? Nobody knows! Something random in the news!

http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/Too-large-bulge-in-crotch-leads-to-airport-arrest-7229746.php
A man who was trying to smuggle drugs into Spain was busted when Madrid Airport officers noticed an exceptionally large bulge in his crotch.

A search of the hand luggage of the 43-year-old passenger, who had flown in from Costa Rica, turned up nothing, but the unusually large object protruding from his pants caught their attention, according to a story Tuesday in the Daily Mail.

Under two pairs of shorts, the officials found a plastic container attached to the man's genitals. It was filled with more than a pound of cocaine.




Spin it again! Money. Or should I say the complete waste of $10 million that the Koch Brothers spent on renaming George Mason’s school of law after late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. You know you would think that with the team of auditors that the Koch Brothers can afford, they would you know do some fact checking on this sort of thing before they spend $10 million on anything – doesn’t matter if you’re buying a Koenigsegg, or you’re spending $10 million to name a school after somebody. But no less, the Koch Brothers are huge losers this week after this happened:
(CNN)George Mason University recently renamed its law school after the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia -- and then quickly realized the acronym that name created was problematic.
The school first announced it would change the name to The Antonin Scalia School of Law, or ASSoL, after receiving an anonymous $30 million donation on March 31.
Observers took to Twitter to comment on the acronym's similarity to a vulgarity, with many of those tweeting not a fan of the conservative justice.

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/05/politics/george-mason-university-antonin-scalia-law-school-name-change/index.html


As you can imagine this ignited a firestorm on Twitter with people using their twisted imaginations to figure out what “#ASSLaw” meant. My personal favorite Tweet being this:
“#ASSLaw is trending. Lol. I don't think this is the PR they were expecting. Antonin Scalia School of Law. Roflmao I prefer #ASSoL myself.”

That’s right – ASSoL. Which is pretty fitting when you think about it, especially when most people did think of Scalia as a giant ass.



[font size="8"]Robert Bentley [/font]

Spin it!!! No whammy no whammy no whammy no whammy… what? Bankrupt? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!


Spin it again. Sex scandals. Well there is someone who is morally bankrupt and that’s Alabama governor Robert Bentley, and last week I talked briefly about this. But this week what’s happening in Alabama? Robert Bentley is the kind of family values politician who just a little kinky sex on the side. But this scandal evolved from more than just Bentley’s fling with a mistress. In fact it’s totally blown up and back in his face. And not in a good way either way. But first a little background on this scandal.

A high-ranking American politician is at risk of losing everything over an alleged extramarital affair — and no, it’s not Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz.
It’s Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. Like Cruz, Bentley is a Republican who has campaigned heavily on so-called “family values.” A God-fearing Christian, Bentley has spoken often about the “sanctity” of marriage, pledging to fight tooth-and-nail against same-sex couples who want to have marriages of their own.
Now, Bentley has found his own crumbling marriage under scrutiny (his wife, Dianne Bentley, filed for divorce last year). Last week, the 73-year-old governor admitted to having sexually suggestive conversations with his senior political advisor, 44-year old Rebekah Mason, who is also married. The conversations took place in 2014, before Bentley’s divorce proceedings began.
But Bentley didn’t have to admit to the conversations. Recordings of the conversations — reportedly taken by Dianne — were made public by AL.com.
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/03/31/3764800/alabama-robert-bentley-governor-sex-scandal-family-values/

Yes, this is a guy who ran on a campaign of “family values” (whatever that is) and protecting the “sanctity of marriage” (also whatever that is).

But there’s more to this scandal than just an affair. You might remember a few months ago when Bentley repositioned some funds that were supposed to be used to clean up that horrific BP oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico which recently settled for the tune of something like $20 billion. But it’s still FUBAR.

As storms once again battered the state of Alabama over Christmas, Republican Gov. Robert Bentley moved to divert funding from the 2010 BP oil spill recovery effort to finance the renovation of a second Governor’s mansion on the Gulf Coast.
Yet that beachside mansion, which Alabama governors beginning with famed segregationist George Wallace have enjoyed, was not damaged by the BP oil spill. It was damaged more than two decades earlier by Hurricane Danny, and has sat empty ever since.
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/12/27/3735129/alabama-mansion-bp/




So when one is in way too deep of a hole, how does one stop that without getting out in even deeper of a hole?



But seriously though - you take the GOP “get out of jail free” card. Which, if you guessed “pray for forgiveness” is the republican Get Out Of Jail Free card, then you are correct sir / madam! You get points!

Gov. Robert Bentley made perhaps his most heartfelt apology yet on Monday, repeatedly asking the people of Alabama for forgiveness for the scandal that has engulfed his administration.
Bentley also said he had asked forgiveness from God.
"I've asked God to forgive me because that's the most important thing," Bentley said in midday remarks at Limestone Correctional Facility. "I want back in His fellowship. And so I asked God to forgive me.
"But I asked other people to again forgive me and I've already done that and I have truly asked the people of this state – they're the folks who love me and are the best people in the world – I have asked them to forgive me."
During a press conference at the north Alabama prison, Bentley spent about 2˝ minutes speaking on the scandal that has led to the resignation of his senior political adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, and for some lawmakers to consider impeachment proceedings.
http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/04/gov_robert_bentley_on_scandal.html#incart_river_index_topics

That’s right – you can commit just about crime imaginable, and if you “pray for forgiveness” and God says “sure, OK” then you are fine. I mean what’s the worst that can happen?
Alabama Lawmaker Moves Forward With Plan to Impeach Governor

By KIM CHANDLER AND MELISSA BROWN, ASSOCIATED PRESS
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Apr 5, 2016, 3:00 PM ET

A Republican Alabama lawmaker said Tuesday that he is filing an impeachment resolution against GOP Gov. Robert Bentley in the wake of a scandal involving one of the governor's top aides, who has since resigned.

The resolution by Rep. Ed Henry of Hartselle will likely be sent to the House Rules Committee for consideration, and it's not clear if it will have enough support to move forward. Some lawmakers have said impeachment discussions are premature until investigations into Bentley's conduct have been done.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/alabama-lawmaker-moves-forward-plan-impeach-governor-38167979




[font size="8"]Donald Trump [/font]


Spin it! Wheel goes round, wheel goes round, where does it stop? Nobody knows. Steak!


“I love steak, I have the best steak recipes. I make the best steak. People always come up to me and say “Hey Mr. Trump, your steak is the best. Can I have the recipe? And I give them the recipe because I want to make steak great again! Also buy Trump brand steak sauce – it’s better than A1!”

Spin the wheel again! No whammy no whammy no whammy no whammy… stop! Public urination. So the Hollywood Walk Of Fame is a thing, and a very popular tourist destination in Los Angeles. Tons of people every year come down to see their favorite celebrity’s star, or see new ones get added. But when public figures, especially ones as controversial and polarizing as Donald Trump have public monuments, they tend to get defaced, and sometimes in very creative ways. But the vandalism is so bad that the Walk Of Fame committee is actually considering pulling Trump’s star:

In an instant, Lin's daughter Grace began her assault. With all her might, the South Pasadena elementary school student jumped up and down on Trump's star, stomping on it with emphasis.

Her family laughed as the diminutive 10-year-old continued to literally pound the pavement.
“My mom saw it, I started jumping on it,” she said with a wide grin. She didn't like “his speeches and stuff.”

Though Trump's star has been on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 2007, his star has never been more popular with tourists than during this election cycle. Love him or hate him, many pedestrians who happen upon his star outside the Hollywood and Highland Center, in the heart of the tourist district, can't help but react when seeing a tangible representation of the Republican firebrand.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-donald-trump-walk-of-fame-star-20160404-story.html



If you saw last Friday's Real Time With Bill Maher, Maher pointed out that Trump's star is in a very public place - 8601 W Hollywood Blvd, or right in front of the Chinese Theater. And come on, that’s not even a good swastika. I mean it’s completely facing the wrong way. The graffiti, vandalism, and poop is running so rampant on Donald Trump’s star that the committee is actually considering removing it, and that’s something they almost never do. I mean they actually voted to keep Bill Cosby’s star despite rampant graffiti and vandalism. But I love that people are also using his star as a toilet:

Trump’s star was installed on the renowned stretch of Los Angeles sidewalk in 2007, but it’s only become a target for vandals in recent months. One of the most notable incidents came in late January, when someone spray-painted a swastika on Trump’s star. (The Republican presidential front-runner has received the enthusiastic support of various neo-Nazis and white supremacists.)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-walk-fame-star_us_5702884fe4b0daf53af01d48


But while on the subject of Donald Trump, we got to talk about his stance on nuclear weapons, and this is not a guy who you want to have his finger on the button. Seriously, I wouldn’t trust Donald Trump to push the “go” button at a carnival fair ride.
Donald Trump refused to take the use of nuclear weapons off the table in any situation, including in Europe or the Middle East, during a wide-ranging town hall on Wednesday on MSNBC. 
The GOP presidential front-runner said he would consider using a nuclear weapon if the U.S. were attacked by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to an MSNBC transcript of the interview released Wednesday afternoon.
"Somebody hits us within ISIS, you wouldn't fight back with a nuke?" he said.
When host Chris Matthews asked if the real estate mogul could definitively say he wouldn't use nuclear weapons, he responded: "I would never say that. I would never take any of my cards off the table."
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/274730-trump-says-he-would-not-take-nuclear-off-the-table-in-any-situation

But Trumpenfuror got blasted by the Japanese government for his comments should Japan ever go to war with North Korea:
"Japan is better if it protects itself against this maniac of North Korea," Trump told CNN's Anderson Cooper Tuesday. "We are better off frankly if South Korea is going to start protecting itself ... they have to protect themselves or they have to pay us."
Japan remains the only country to have had nuclear weapons used against it and has had a non-nuclear policy and pacifist constitution since the end of World War II. 
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida added, "It is impossible that Japan will arm itself with nuclear weapons."
http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/31/politics/trump-view-from-south-korea-japan/

This is where Japan is different and better than the US – while we would bomb the living shit out of anyone who so dare looks at us funny, and occupy them a long time, Japan takes the high road and doesn’t consider North Korea’s missile launch a threat. But not with a president Donald Trump! Yeah so he’d launch nukes to counteract ISIS. Great, and this is after he threatened violence at the convention I mean riots if he’s not the nominee! And even if Donald Trump was the nominee, he would be facing the highest unpopularity level of any president entering office before him:
Clinton (48/41) and Bernie Sanders (48/40) each lead Trump by solid margins, and have more modest leads over Ted Cruz as well (45/42 for Clinton, 48/41 for Sanders). Clinton (45/41) and Sanders (44/41) would each trail John Kasich. We find that a generic Democrat would lead a generic Republican for President 45/43 so when it comes to match ups against Clinton, Cruz essentially is the generic Republican with Trump being 5 points worse and Kasich being 6 points better. Much is made of Trump's unpopularity nationally and he certainly is unpopular- a 29/63 favorability rating- but Cruz isn't much better off at 30/58. Kasich's 41/39 rating makes him the only candidate in either party on positive ground. 
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/donald-trump/



[font size="8"]Don Blankenship [/font]


Spin it! And the wheel lands on………………. Clip without context!


But Sarah Palin doesn’t see race! She says we should be condoning racism. So why is she stumping for Trumpenfuror then?

Spin it again! And this time it lands on…. Greed. To get the feel for this entry, read Steve Wynn’s statement on why he says people don’t like being around poor people. So real life C. Montgomery Burns – Don Blankenship, finally gets his just deserts and is getting a one way sentence to Supermax! I mean what does it take to get a real criminal locked up in this country when so many non threatening ones get locked up every minute of every day in this country?

http://abcnews.go.com/US/coal-king-don-blankenship-year-prison-deadly-mine/story?id=38191606
<snip>
A West Virginia judge ruled today that coal King Don Blankenship will head behind bars for a year for his role in safety violations related to an explosion that killed 29 miners six years ago this week.

Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, was convicted in December of one of three counts against him for conspiring to “willfully violate mandatory mine health and safety standards” at the Upper Big Branch mine that claimed the lives of 29 men in an explosion on April 5, 2010. A federal safety inspection later found that “if basic safety measures had been in place… there would have been no loss of life at UBB .”

Blankenship was sentenced today to one year in prison, plus one year’s supervised release and a $250,000 fine -– the maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge, according to ABC News’ local affiliate WCHS. Prosecutors had bemoaned such a short maximum sentence for what they called “monstrous” wrongdoing.


Go to hell Blankenship. The more fitting punishment would be to work a month in his coal mines that he denied regulation and service and maintenance too, which led to the collapse that killed 29 miners. But we’ll take him getting locked up for now.



[font size="8"]Rick Scott[/font]


Spin that shit! Wheel goes round, wheel goes round… where does it stop? Come on, VR headset! Daddy wants an HTC Vive! And it lands on… Florida (obviously). So Rick Scott walks into a Starbucks. Starbucks – proudly serving extra large lattes to extra large Americans since 1971. So what happens when a much hated political figure like Florida (obviously) governor Rick Scott goes into a Starbucks in Gainesville in order to buy his morning latte? Well naturally the people well turned on him. And you can’t feel too sorry because Rick Scott is a tea party governor and a conservative idiot of the highest caliber. Roll tape!



So what did Rick Scott do to piss people off so badly that he nearly got booed out of getting a drink at a Starbucks?

“You’re an a--hole. You don’t care about working people. You should be ashamed to show your face around here.”
The two-term Republican tries to defend himself by saying he’s created “a million jobs” for his state.
“Great! Who here has a great job? Or is looking forward to finishing school? You really feel like you have a job coming up?” Jennings replies.
As Scott — with no drink in hand — and his staff walk out, Jennings gets in one more big dig.
“You stripped women of access to public health care!” she says, referencing the bill he signed just days ago defunding Planned Parenthood.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/florida-gov-rick-scott-yelled-starbucks-customer-article-1.2590223


So he not only defunded Medicaid, he also voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Seriously what the hell? You can’t systematically deny health care rights to your entire state and then walk into a public place like a Starbucks and expect that you’ll be welcome with open arms. It doesn’t work that way! What did he expect? Well to play devil’s advocate for a minute, Politifact does some fact checking with the Starbucks heckler:

Scott and Medicaid
It doesn’t appear that Scott has outright "cut Medicaid," as Jennings said, but he has refused to accept the provision of the Affordable Care Act that would expand Medicaid to cover more of the uninsured.
Medicaid, the joint state and federal program to cover the very poor, normally extends to people making 44 percent of the federal poverty level (100 percent is currently $11,880 for an individual and $24,300 for a family of four). When Obamacare was enacted, it was supposed to cover adults up to 138 percent of that level.
1 million jobs
While not exactly on topic, Scott is right about the state growing 1 million jobs over his tenure.
Between December 2010 and February 2016, total nonfarm employment in Florida rose by 1,041,400. Viewed a slightly different way from his first month in office, the state still added 1,028,100 jobs from January 2011 to February 2016.
http://www.politifact.com/florida/article/2016/apr/06/we-fact-checked-dispute-between-rick-scott-and-wom/


I give this…………… 9 thumbs up.



[font size="8"]Big Oil [/font]

Spin city!!!! So where does it land for the #8 spot? Come on… oh…. Oh……. Oh.. can it be? A little bit more…. YES!!! New car!!! Wooooooooooohooo! What do I win? A Tesla Model 3?


Wait – you’re telling me that they don’t go into production until 2017? And that I might not get one until 2020 after a 3 year waiting list? Damn it!

But why am I talking about the Tesla Model 3 when this is about Big Oil? I mean it’s no secret that peak oil may or may no longer be just a conspiracy theory. But the Tesla Model 3 is taking both America and the world by storm. And when you think about the implications of what an affordable electric car that actually looks like a real car will do for not just America but the world itself, well, it’s no surprise that people are taking notice.

Tesla Motors Inc said orders for its new Model 3 electric sedan topped 253,000 in the first 36 hours -- a fast start for the company's first mass-market vehicle, which may not begin to reach customers for another 18 months or more.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted on Friday that the Model 3, which is slated to go into production in late 2017, will sell at an average price of $42,000, including the price of options and additional features, which would give the initial flurry of orders an estimated retail value of $10.6 billion.

That intense interest, fanned in part by a steady stream of tweets by Musk, could help boost Tesla's stock price, which closed Friday at $237.59, up 3.4 percent. The stock has soared more than 60 percent since hitting a 12-month low in February.

The car's average selling price projected by Musk is well above the $35,000 base price. Analysts earlier had estimated the first Model 3s off the factory line in Fremont, California, could be loaded with extra equipment and sell for $50,000 to$60,000.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/tesla-says-model-3-orders-top-10-billion-180336696--finance.html


That means that while Big Oil companies like Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and Conoco Philips got drunk with power under the Bush administration, they will be seriously hurting under the Sanders or Clinton administration when these things get off the ground and 300,000 people won’t be buying their crude.



[font size="8"]North Carolina [/font]


Spin it to win it!!!!! Clip without context!



Spin that shit again! And it lands on............. drum solo!!!!


So I bring up the drum solo to talk about this next entry - North Carolina. So once again Pat McCrory screwed over the state, and especially their relationship with The Boss, aka Bruce Springsteen. You know, there's a reason why he's called "The Boss". So because of the backlash coming from The Boss, that he canceled the E Street Band's appearance in Greensboro, well, this happened:

Bruce Springsteen is the latest to shun North Carolina over its so-called "bathroom law."
The legendary musician announced Friday that his upcoming show in Greensboro, North Carolina, has been canceled in "solidarity" with those protesting the measure.
Springsteen and his E Street Band were slated to perform at the Greensboro Coliseum this Sunday. The roughly 15,000 ticketholders will all be eligible for a refund.
The newly enacted law requires individuals to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate, and has drawn fierce criticism for excluding legal protections from gay and transgender people.
http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/08/media/bruce-springsteen-north-carolina-show-canceled/index.html


But because of this law, and Bruce's cancellation of his concert tour's appearance in Greensboro, there's one particular rep who's calling Bruce a "big bully" for canceling his appearance in Greensboro:

"We've got other artists coming soon — Def Leppard, Justin Bieber," says Rep. Mark Walker.
A U.S. congressman who represents portions of Greensboro, N.C., is accusing Bruce Springsteen of being a "bully," after the rock star canceled a concert there to protest a new law that's being described as anti-gay.
"It's disappointing he's not following through on his commitments," said Rep. Mark Walker, a Republican freshman congressman.
"We've got other artists coming soon — Def Leppard, Justin Bieber," the congressman told The Hollywood Reporter.
"I've never been a Bieber fan, but I might have to go. Maybe artists who weren't 'born to run' deserve a little bit more support," he said, referencing one Springsteen's most famous song titles.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/north-carolina-congressman-bruce-springsteen-882208


Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Def Leppard and Justin Beiber! One is a decent has-been 80's hard rock band that is still around, while the other pees in buckets and curses at pictures of Bill Clinton. Yeah that's something to brag about all right. But here's where I am glad that University Of North Carolina lost in the NCAA tournament this year:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2016/04/08/margaret_spellings_university_of_north_carolina_president_enforces_hb_2.html
Margaret Spellings, president of the University of North Carolina, is not a friend of the LGBTQ community. Installed by the hyper-partisan UNC Board of Governors through a de facto coup, Spellings served as secretary of education under President George W. Bush, an office she infamously used to suppress depictions of same-sex couples on children’s shows. When appointed UNC president, Spellings maintained her anti-gay stance, dismissively describing homosexuality as a “lifestyle.”

So it was no surprise when announced that UNC will comply with North Carolina’s vicious new anti-LGBTQ law, HB 2. Although the law doesn’t nullify UNC’s LGBT nondiscrimination policy, it does explicitly bar trans students from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. In response, Spellings issued guidelines to put UNC in compliance with the statute, declaring that “University institutions must require every multiple-occupancy bathroom and changing facility to be designated for and used only by persons based on their biological sex.”

This rule effectively excludes most trans UNC students from using the correct bathroom. HB 2 defines sex as “stated on a person’s birth certificate.” But in North Carolina, you cannot change the sex on your birth certificate unless you receive gender reassignment surgery, a procedure which many trans people forego for medical, ideological, or financial concerns. Other states, like Tennessee, explicitly bar trans people from changing their birth certificate sex—even if they receive gender reassignment surgery. So a trans UNC student born in Tennessee, for example, is now banned from public bathrooms for life....


Fuck you Margaret Spellings. You know what? Can we show Villanova's win again?


Thank you Villanova!


[font size="8"]Top 10 Movie Vault [/font]


Spin the wheel one last time this week! Where is it going to land? No one really knows! And it lands on… t-shirt cannon! Whoo! Who in the audience wants one? But you know what? The t-shirt cannon got upgraded to a t-shirt Gatling gun!



But in accordance with Civilization V rules, we still lack technology in the t-shirt flinging world. I mean just a few years ago we were still using the t-shirt trebuchet. We just upgraded to the t-shirt Gatling gun, but we need the t-shirt artillery unit and the t-shirt rocket artillery in order to be really effective at capturing audiences. But the t-shirt XCOM Squad is still a pipe dream, am I right?

Spin it again! And it lands on…….. Can it be??? Yes it’s the ??? (Mystery) item!!!! Whooooooooo!!!

Which happens to be a random trailer!


No that wasn’t the trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One. But nope. Instead it’s the trailer for Kirk Cameron’s ridiculously horrible “Saving Christmas” – a movie preaching about “people don’t care about the true meaning of Christmas anymore”. The movie was both a critical and a box office disaster . In looking up the info on Saving Christmas, it was a 1.6 out of 10 on IMDB. And this little tidbit appeared on the trivia page for Saving Christmas:

Kirk Cameron responded to the film's negative reviews by pleading to his fans on his Facebook page: "Help me storm the gates of Rotten Tomatoes. All of you who love Saving Christmas - go rate it at Rotten Tomatoes right now and send the message to all the critics that WE decide what movies we want our families to see. If 2,000 of you (out of almost 2 million on this page) take a minute to rate Saving Christmas, it will give the film a huge boost and more will see it as a result! Thank you for all your help and support in putting the joy of Christ back in Christmas!" This actually resulted in a severe backlash against the film, in which Internet users traveled to the Rotten Tomatoes page and condemned the film. Cameron later blamed this action on "haters and atheists".
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4009460/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv


Yes so Kirk Cameron's attempt at boosting the already sagging ratings of Saving Christmas backfired on him big time. And that is basically what happens when you make a movie based on a Bill O’Reilly book that isn’t about killing somebody. I mean come on, the man has “Killing Patton”, “Killing Reagan”, “Killing Lincoln”, and “Killing Jesus”. What is he trying to tell us exactly? That he likes killing people? The horror! The horror I say! But there is one good thing to come of the Saving Christmas fiasco - it was a near unanimous favorite to win the 2015 Razzie Awards. Which is a mighty big feat considering it was going up against Transformers: Age Of Extinction, and it would have to be a really shitty movie to knock that piece of shit out of contention for the worst movie of 2014/2015!

But for the 10th spot this week we are going to do something a bit different. I don’t want to make fun of religion, but when they can skirt around the Constitution and legally deny LGBT and especially the T people their basic right to exist in truly horrific and humiliating ways, then I can trash their ridiculously awful taste in movies, can’t I? After all, it’s the least I can do! We are going to open the Top 10 movie vault and talk about some extremely horrible faith based films that are inexplicably dominating the box office. It’s definitely no secret that when a faith based film like “Son Of God” or “War Room” hits the movie theaters that churches buy up what should be empty theaters in droves:

Religious organizations are seeking to flood multiplexes with faithful audiences for the Fox-distributed film about Jesus Christ, based on the hit "Bible" miniseries.
Church groups are seeking to take over entire theaters for opening night screenings of Son of God, the upcoming movie about the life of Jesus Christ.
Various religious organizations throughout the country have been buying out screens and distributing tickets to groups of thousands of people for "Theater Take-Overs" on Thursday, Feb. 27, the night before the film's officially released, according to production company Lightworkers Media.
Crossroads Church in Cincinnati is bringing thousands of people to a Cinemark theater, where Son of God will be showing on 13 screens at the same time.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/son-god-church-leaders-buying-680462


Yeah that happens almost every time. So where do we begin? Let’s start with the latest film they are trying to inflict on the world – “God’s Not Dead 2”. Which as you can imagine opened to abysmal box office numbers for a faith based film.

NASHVILLE (BP) -- The sequel "God's Not Dead 2" opened much weaker than its 2014 predecessor, trailing the top grossing "God's Not Dead" in per screen earnings by 72 percent, according to Box Office Mojo statistics.
With total earnings of $8.1 million for the April 1-3 weekend, God's Not Dead 2 averaged $3,350 per screen in 2,419 theaters. Its predecessor averaged $11,817 per screen in 780 theaters, earning $9.2 million when it opened in March, 2014. "God's Not Dead" was the highest-grossing independent faith film of 2014 at $60.8 million.
The sequel's total earnings ranked first among new releases. Its nearest competitor "Meet the Blacks," a comedy that grossed $4 million, still outperformed God's Not Dead 2 in per screen average earnings. Shown on only half as many screens as the Christian sequel, Meet the Blacks' average screen take of $4,026 outpaced God's Not Dead 2 by $700.
http://www.bpnews.net/46600/gods-not-dead-2-earnings-fall-short



It seems Nashville is becoming the Christian Hollywood (sarcasm). They’re home to the Grand Ol Opry, they’re home to Christian movie and music studios and even Christian fraternities. A lot of fundie movies are being produced there. But what’s really sad? Even churches couldn’t fill seats for this piece of crap. I mean the really sad thing? More people would actually rather go sit through “Meet The Blacks”. Which is a parody of “The Purge”. So let’s show the trailer for this movie.


So here’s how you don’t make a sequel. Let’s run through the checklist.

1. Are there any returning characters from the first movie? Just one. And it’s a guy who has an incredibly brief cameo in the first one.
2. Does the plot follow the story of the first movie? No.
3. Is there anything even remotely related between the first movie and the second movie? Just the town setting where the main characters are from.

And – spoiler alert... you know what? Do we really need to put a spoiler alert for this piece of shit? I mean you're not going to see it, so fuck it, I'm doing away with the spoiler alert rule for this and telling you the ending of the first Gods Not Dead - they killed off the main antagonist of the last movie in the last movie. This movie is the Christian hardcore fundamentalists’ wet dream here. They always play the persecution card whenever one of their own runs for office, like Ted Cruz or Rick Perry, or Rick Santorum for instance. So this movie is essentially the talking point taken to new extremes.They dream of God being taken out of the public square because it would mobilize and energize them to get out the vote to put whatever dream scumbag fundie politicians they want into office to prevent this from happening. I mean look at what Pat McCrory did to North Carolina with the stroke of a pen. But it’s something that has about the same odds as you winning the billion dollar lottery while getting struck by lightning. But the weirdest part about this flick? Despite that it has holier than thou candidate and pedophile hiding former Alabama governor Mike Huckabee and Christian rock band Newsboys, not to mention an extremely unnecessary cameo and shout out to everyone’s favorite backwoods, LGBT hating, duck hunting crew the Robertson family. So without seeing the movie (why should I put myself through that kind of torture? ), I instead went to IMDB and read through the plot synopsis. Which includes this:

Against the backdrop of the debates, a series of peripherally related subplots develop. Radisson dates Mina (Cory Oliver), an evangelical whom he often belittles in front of his fellow atheist colleagues. Her brother Mark (Dean Cain), a successful businessman and atheist, refuses to visit their mother, who suffers from dementia. Mark's girlfriend, Amy (Trisha LaFache), is a left-wing blogger who writes articles critical of Duck Dynasty. When she is diagnosed with cancer, Mark dumps her.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2528814/synopsis?ref_=tt_stry_pl




Holy shit! Taking cues from Newt Gingrich, are we? What about that whole “do unto others” part of the Bible? I mean you’re not Larry David. But this to me is the strangest part of the entire movie:

But Reverend Dave (David A.R. White), Reverend Jude (Benjamin Oyango), and Martin Yip (Paul Kwo) are back, as well as Amy Ryan (Trisha LaFache), the cancer-stricken “gotcha” journalist with the “I Love Evolution” bumper sticker. The movie makes a couple of other nods to fans, including a bit of conversation with a waiter about a car rental that will make absolutely no sense unless you saw God’s Not Dead.
The Christian pop-rock band The Newsboys has returned, with a much shorter concert, and Mike Huckabee also shows up along with several authors of famous books of Christian apologetics. Product placement isn’t dead, either; Priuses make repeated, strangely emphatic and name-droppy appearances for reasons I cannot divine but that may have something to do with film-production tax breaks. (The movie is also weirdly preoccupied with men’s black leather dress shoes.)
http://flavorwire.com/569175/gods-not-dead-2-disastrously-misrepresents-church-v-state-conflicts-and-condescends-to-christians-in-the-process




But here’s where God’s Not Dead 2 gets really strange. I thought die hard right wingers and Christian fundamentalists hated just about anyone who drove a Toyota Prius. Anyone remember Coal Rollers?



Well the producers of the movie actually held a contest to give away a brand new 2016 Toyota Prius:

My first thought was, maybe Toyota is trying to change the kinds of associations people have with Priuses, to reach beyond their typical audience. Get some of that sweet, God, ducks and pick-up trucks money. Not a bad idea, from a marketing standpoint. But I reached out to a member of Toyota’s media team who said that there was no advertising deal, that God’s Not Dead 2‘s Prius pimping was “purely coincidental.” Pure Flix hasn’t responded. As of last month, Pure Flix was running a sweepstakes where 10 winners would win a year-long subscription to Pure Flix’s streaming service, and the grand prize winner would win, you guessed it, a 2016 Toyota Prius. Is Toyota fibbing, and there is a partnership, but they don’t want to admit it publicly? Maybe. Or are they telling the truth, and the Pure Flix honchos just love their Priuses so much that they wanted to spread the gospel? Through multiple scenes in the film and a giveaway? That seems unlikely to me, but stranger things have happened. And we are dealing with a group that loves to evangelize.
http://uproxx.com/filmdrunk/gods-not-dead-2-product-placement/


Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Jesus (pun intended). Now I’ve seen everything!



See you next week!

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Reply Top 10 Conservative Idiots #23: Wheel O’ Corruption 2: Money Never Sleeps Edition (Original post)
Initech Apr 2016 OP
dembotoz Apr 2016 #1
Initech Apr 2016 #2
Initech Apr 2016 #3
Iggo Apr 2016 #4
0rganism Apr 2016 #5
Initech Apr 2016 #6

Response to Initech (Original post)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 05:27 PM

1. possible for next week could include rick scotts attack ad on the starbucks girl

when being an asshole is not enuf

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 10, 2016, 06:13 PM

2. Oh yes that will be on there for sure!

I'm thinking Dennis Hastert will be #1 though.

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Response to Initech (Original post)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 12:06 PM

3. K for Monday!

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Response to Initech (Original post)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 12:09 PM

4. Always my favorite feature on the DU.

Keep up the good work!

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Response to Initech (Original post)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 12:20 PM

5. in all fairness, that was a fine drum solo

credit where credit's due, right?

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Response to 0rganism (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 11, 2016, 12:25 PM

6. Yes it was!

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