And it is time, once again, for a post in which I share news stories that either didn’t make the cut for this week’s Friday Five, or broke after I composed said Friday Five post, or provide updated information to a story I’ve linked in a previous post. Along with a bit more commentary that I usually make in a Friday Five post. Buckle up, because at least one of this is quite a bumpy ride! Let’s get started, shall we?
First, this story really needed about ten uses of the word “finally” in its headline: Twitter finally permanently bans white supremacist David Duke – Duke’s Twitter account was “permanently suspended” for violating the company’s policy against hateful conduct, a spokesperson for the social network says. David Duke, Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, white supremacist politician, white nationalist, unapologetic misogynist and homophobe, et cetera, and ad nauseum, was violating Twitter’s policy before Twitter existed. He violated it on day one of his membership. He violated it hundreds if not thousands or tens of thousands of times during the ten f-ing years that he was on the platform before they banned him. He is just one of thousands of examples of why none of us believe that most of the social media networks actually believe the words in their own code of conduct.
So, remember how a few weeks ago hundreds of very prominent accounts on twitter were hacked and posted a Bitcoin scam? Well: Three people have been charged for Twitter’s huge hack, and a Florida teen is in jai. John Gruber (daringfireball) summed it up best: “It appears Twitter wasn’t the victim of anything vaguely approaching an expert caper. These kids are such dingbats they used Bitcoin accounts opened in their own names. Makes me wonder what actual expert hackers are getting away with on Twitter.”
And moving on…
How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air” – This last spring, a team working under the president’s son-in-law produced a plan for an aggressive, coordinated national COVID-19 response that could have brought the pandemic under control. So why did the White House spike it in favor of a shambolic 50-state response?. Here’s the killer quote from the article:
Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.
So here’s what derailed a national plan: one of the asshole white supremacist friends of Trump’s incompetent son-in-law notice that it appeared that the virus was sparing red states while spreading in blue states. Apparently not understanding how either people or viruses work, they thought this meant that only anti-Trump voters would get sick and die. The White House saw this difference as way out of the crisis that required very little effort with lots of potential political gains.
Instead of instituting a nation-wide testing plan, the White House started talking about reopening for business with the idea that the economy would be revived while the virus continued to ravish cities and states ruled by the enemy, the Dems. Jared Kushner and the other White House ghouls was behind this plan, because they didn’t understand how contagious diseases worked. They really thought that the virus would stay in the blue states because… um, well, there is no because…
So the orange idiot made fun of the governors on the blue states and eventually stopped hosting the White House briefings. He resumed having the briefings only when the virus started killing people in states and districts that polling indicated was the home of his base. Now he’s telling people to wear masks. The problem is, he’s already got all the attack dogs of his base screaming about how masks and other measures to stop the spread of the disease are a marxist plot—and once they get a notion like that in their heads, you can’t dislodge it.
And that is why we’re screwed.