Tag Archive | rightwing

When you don’t know how anything works, it’s easy to see conspiracies everywhere

It started with this tweet…

This started as a twitter rant, but I wanted to flesh things out a bit.

First, I saw a lot of people sharing the above tweet from Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer with comments ranging from "LOL!" to "That’s some fine trolling!" Which I had me scratching my head. Were there literally people who didn’t know that all beer is made from fermenting grains and hops — plant products?

To be fair, one of the ingredients in beer making is yeast, which is technically a fungus, and therefore no long considered part of the plant kingdom. But most people don’t understand the difference between a plant and a fungus, and usually retailers and food producers use the term "plant-based" to refer to any a meat substitute.

So for a second I thought this might be like the phenomenon I remember at the height of the gluten-free craze: where foods that have never contained glutens were labeled gluten free (corn ships, for instance) leading some people to think that any other brands of the same food contained gluten.

Nope. Turns out that a former Trump administratin member over the weekend started the lie that President Biden was going to outlaw meat (he can’t legally do that on his own, btw). And the specific lie that they ended with was a claim that because of this, come the Fourth of July "No burgers on July Fourth. No steaks on the barbecue. … So get ready. You can throw back a plant-based beer with your grilled Brussels sprouts and wave your American flag." Source: Befuddled Larry Kudlow Rails That Biden Will Force Americans To Guzzle ‘Plant-Based Beer’ – So no more beer made of grains, yeast and hops? Oh, wait …

But the kicker is that Repubs (including Donald Jr) started repeating specifically that claim about plant-based beer, right?

Now I have to pause for a moment to point out that grilled Brussells sprouts are f-ing delicious, and go particularly well with a juicy rare New York steak. Most barbecues I have attended in my six decades of life, including those hosted by my much more conservative relatives, have usually included a number of grilled vegetables along with the typical burgers and hot dogs. I mean, in parts of midwest it is practically illegal to have an outdoor barbecue without grilled cobs of sweet corn as part of the menu!

But back to the beer: all beers are plant based. It doesn’t really surprise me that Donald Jr. has no clue what beer is made of, but surely at least some of the MAGA people who are seeing the claim being shared on social media have been home brewers! Why aren’t they speaking up?

For those who surprised to learn what beer is made from, I have a few other revelations that some may find shocking: All ciders are plant-based, as are all whiskeys, all rums, all tequilas, all gins, all vodkas — booze is basically fermented plant parts. Similarly it may surprise these people to find out that hamburger buns are plant-based and always have been. French fries? Plant-based. Ketchup? Plant-based. Mustard — yes, even the cheapest, yellowest, most generic mustard is made from ground mustard seeds, not just the fancy Grey Poupon. So that big burger you assemble with the extra tomatoes (plant), sliced onions (plant), lettuce (plant), et cetera, has a whole lot of plant-based stuff as part of the package.

Unless you’re making a burger out of three hamburger patties and a couple of slices of cheese and just holding the greasy thing in your fingers (yes, I’m looking at you, Uncle Gerry), you’ve eaten a lot of plant-based stuff at your previous Fourth of July barbecues.

This whole lie springs from conflating a few studies out there that have shown how reducing how much of our agricultural activity goes to raising various sources of meat could reduce carbon emissions and help mitigate some of the problems of climate changes. These are mostly private studies. The only one I could find (in what was admittedly only a few minutes of Google searching) that was published by a government agency was commissioned by the Trump Administration.

There is nothing in the Green New Deal that bans meat.

But for many years now neither facts, truth, nor logic have been exactly the strong points of Republicans.

Beer and the grains and hops it is made from.

Tuesday Tidbits: Tools Who Have Outlived Their Usefulness

There’s more than one way to be toxic…

You Know Things Are Bad if the Guy Whose Boots You’ve Licked for More Than Four Years Won’t Meet You

Embattled Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is denied a meeting with Trump

Meet Matt Gaetz’s PR firm, run by Trump ally who bailed on promise to eat his own shoe if Trump lost – Time to chow down!

Liz Cheney On Matt Gaetz: ‘As The Mother Of Daughters, The Charges Certainly Are Sickening’ – Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Sunday said that sex trafficking and other allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are "sickening."

Glenn Greenwald Defends Gaetz’ Right To Have Sex With ‘Consenting’ Teenagers – Frequent Fox News guest, this week said that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has the right to have sex with a "consenting" 17-year-old girl.

Mass Shootings Everywhere

Toddler among 4 wounded in Seattle Central District shooting

4 injured, 1 dead after shooting at Memphis auto repair shop, police say

Four shot, one critically injured near Grand Valley State University

Cops Killing Unarmed People

Derek Chauvin’s defense begins its case by highlighting George Floyd’s prior arrest Because of course they do!

Officer identified as a 26-year veteran in fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright: What we know

Protesters, police clash at Brooklyn Center police station

King County Executive Dow Constantine urges Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to retire – Sheriff sent an internal email to staff saying the settlement is “not a reflection of how I view the actions” of the deputy who shot unarmed 20-year-old Tommy Le This one has the complication that we King County voters approved a charter amendment last fall that ends Sheriff elections and makes the position of county sheriff an appointed position. In just 9 months the request from the executive (and calls from several county council members) will no longer be requests…

Weekend Supplement 4/11/2021: Images and Ideas that Need to be Shared

“My fave tutor at uni had a great journalism 101 lesson: ‘If someone says it’s raining & another person says it’s dry, it’s not your job to quote them both. Your job is to look out of the f**king window and find out which is true.’”
“I have no idea how teachers do it, man. If I had to teach algebra to some jackass knowing he’s going to join a frat and harass girls for 4 years before getting a job at his daddy’s business where he listens to joe rogan podcasts and makes 3x my salary i would become the joker.”
“Your taxes aren’t high because of schools or healthcare or food stamps. Your taxes are high because of rich people who game the system so they don’t have to pay their fair share.”

Weekend Update 4/10/2021: Hypocrites, volcanoes, vaccines, and humor

“Hypocrite”

“Did Republicans tell the CEO of Goya to stay out of politics between Fox News appearances or after he spoke at CPAC last month???”

Congressman Gaetz really should start listening to a lawyer and stop running around to all the news stations telling lies…
“Would it make you guys feel better if Lil Nas X gave Jesus a lap dance too?”
More hypocrites…
“If a woman sleeps with ten men, she’s a slut. But if a guy does the same, he is…” “…Gay, Karen. He is gay.”

Tuesday Tidbits 3/23/2021: Some useful info and a lot of WTF

Before I get into the fuckwits and deplorables in the news, this is a story some folks may find useful: COVID-19 or allergies? How to tell the difference between symptoms – With the arrival of springtime, people are starting to question whether coughs and sniffles are mere allergies, or something more scary.

I need to say, for the record, that because I have an allergic hay fever reaction to every pollen, spore, and mold out there, that the COVID or hay fever game is one I have played almost every single day since February 2020, it’s not just a springtime thing for me. And when the hay fever is severe, I happen to get some of those symptoms the article says usually only happen with the flu or COVID. But if you are a more typical hay fever sufferer, I hope the article is useful.

Let’s move on…

You remember all those lawsuits that were supposed to prove that Donald didn’t lose? And how every judge and justice (including a bunch appointed by Donald himself) threw all those cases our for lack of evidence, lack of reason, lack of logic, and lack of a legal argument that could hold any water at all? Well, one of the lies that were repeated (and easily refuted) again and again by the lawyers and others pushing the issue was that a certain company’s voting machine had mucked with the vote totals but only in the states where Donald lost. That fact was easily refuted because not one of the states in question was using that company’s machines or software. None.

So, they’re suing for defamation. And things are not looking good for the lying lawyers: Kraken Lawyer Sidney Powell is ‘in a whole lot of trouble’ after her latest legal maneuver: attorney.

This headline tells you the crux of her argument for why the lawsuits should be thrown out: ‘Should Be Disbarred’: Internet Furious After Sidney Powell Insists ‘No Reasonable Person’ Would Have Believed Her.

Insisting that she knew the lies weren’t true and arguing that no reasonable person would believe them in this filing can now be used against her in all the sanctions investigations going elsewhere. Because as an officer of the court, you aren’t supposed to knowingly lie in your filings…

Anyway, all anyone needs to do to disprove that no one took those lies seriously is to look at the murder mob that invaded the U.S. capitol on January 6. Remember that?

351 people have been charged in the Capitol insurrection so far. This searchable table shows them all.

People are still being tracked down and arrested: Former NYPD officer from Queens charged in Capitol riot, officials say.

Retired Green Beret assaulted cop with flagpole during Capitol riot, charges allege.

Proud Boys leaders facing new conspiracy charges related to Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Pittsburgh Detective Filed for Divorce After Wife Participated in Capitol Riot.

And at least one Congressman, himself a veteran of the Marine Corps, wants military and former military personnel who participated in the murder mob to face other consequences: Democratic Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego wants any former military members who participated in the January 6 Capitol riots to be stripped of their veterans’ benefits. His request comes as the U.S. military has begun examining the rise of extremism within its ranks.

Let’s move from merely deplorable to deplorable people making we go WTF?!

In case you didn’t know why American Republicans are defending the monarchy… (Click to embiggen)

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle admitted in their interview with Oprah that racism of certain palace officials, the British press (and certain royals) was more than just a small contributing factor in their decision to leave Great Britain and essentially resign as royals, conservative talking heads in America of all places started stumbling all over themselves to defend the British Monarchy. You know, the same monarchy that our Founding Fathers—who conservative claim to revere—rejected? We published that Declaration of Independence that the conservatives all claim to love (but misquote), fought the Revolutionary War (that conservatives love to praise) to secure that independence, and then fought another war in 1812 to remind them that no, we really meant that we didn’t want to be subjects of a King or Queen any more, thank you very much?

Yeah, that monarchy is somehow now even more beloved than the Founding Fathers and must be defended from the Radical Left: Heritage Foundation Mocked for Defending British Monarchy From American ‘Radical Left’.

Seriously, the Onion can’t make up weirding stuff than this: Conservatives Are Showing Their “Patriotism” By… Defending The British Monarchy?

I get it, the monarchy is being accused of racism, and if they don’t speak up when Oprah calls out the Queen for racism, there will be no one to speak up for American Republicans when we call them out for racism… again.

While we’re on the topic of people judging others by the color of their skin…

This one is personal in a weird way. Most of my childhood was spent in the Central Rocky Mountain region of the country, and King Soopers supermarkets is a big chain there. Most of my childhood memories of going shopping with my Mom for groceries happened in a King Soopers. We don’t have those up here in the Pacific Northwest where I now live, so on those rare occasions the brand gets mentioned online, it immediately grabs all of my attention:

Mass Shooting at Grocery Store in Boulder, Colorado, Left 10 Dead – Witnesses on the scene said they’d been waiting to be part of this kind of tragedy.

A Timeline From The Deadly Shooting At A King Soopers In Boulder Is Still Coming Together.

Of course the white-appearing suspect was taken alive. Yet: Boulder Shooting Suspect’s Arrest Sparks Comparisons to Elijah McClain’s Death – Comparisons are being made between the arrest of the suspect in the mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, and the death of Elijah McClain.

Let’s move on to another form of discrimination…

Colorado shooter posted anti-LGBTQ content on social media. Because of course he did!

First, some context: Even Republicans Mostly Fine With LGBTQ People Now, So PASS THE DAMN EQUALITY ACT. Seems like protecting LGBTQ civil rights would be a no-brainer for politicians and the like. Despite overwhelming majorities of the public support LGBTQ equality and for allowing transgender kids/teens to participate in school sports as the gender the identify, people still feel the urge to hate on LGBTQ people: Sweeping legislation allowing LGBTQ patients to be refused healthcare services over ‘conscience’ on Arkansas governor’s desk.

Private Facebook group for cops full of racist & transphobic posts revealed.

Arkansas & Tennessee lawmakers pass transgender sports bans.

Sunday Update: Closing so many open tabs

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Dr. Seuss is not canceled — but six of his books are being shelved over racist images.

No, Dr Seuss and Mr Potato Head haven’t been ‘cancelled’. Here’s the difference.

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No Republicans back $1.9T COVID-19 relief bill.

Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker brags about stimulus package he voted agains.

President Biden Just Signed a $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill Into Law. Here’s What’s In It.

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Voter suppression efforts are rampant: How pitiful is this GOP tactic? – Not only Democratic but neutral and expert observers agree that voter fraud was no problem in the big picture and that very little fraud occurred in the 2020 vote..

Fight voter suppression laws in the states. Let’s not let America regress to Jim Crow – There’s no time to wait while state-level suppression bills gain steam. Fair and free elections will be an uphill climb unless Congress passes HR 1.

For the People Act Is Needed to Stop New GOP Voter Suppression Bills.

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Spare us: After Trump, seven Republican lectures Democrats never need to hear again – It probably would be easier to list what Republicans are still qualified to pontificate on. Why the federal deficit is a huge problem? Hmmm. Never mind.

Republicans’ new strategy? Pointless obstruction.

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The American Rescue Plan Act Will Help Restore the Restaurant Industry and Save Jobs.

American Rescue Plan’s big winner: Families with children.

‘Played’ by GOP in the Obama era, wary Democrats and Biden go big on their own.

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Florida Governor DeSantis prioritizes vaccine rollout for wealthier communities.

A Pattern Emerges In Florida: Vaccine Sites Appear To Benefit DeSantis Donors.

Commentary: Skipping the vaccine line is not only unethical – it may undermine trust in the rollout.

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Bill Press: Today’s Republican Party cult: Destroy America.

How Mitch McConnell’s republicans are destroying America – Time and again, they’ve shown that they only care about their wealthy donors and corporate backers.

Dr. Seuss Books Are Pulled, and a ‘Cancel Culture’ Controversy Erupts.

Last year, more than 338,000 copies of “Green Eggs and Ham” were sold across the United States, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks the sale of physical books at most retailers. “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” sold more than 311,000 copies, and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” — always popular as a high school graduation gift — sold more than 513,000 copies.

However:

“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” one of the six books pulled by the estate, sold about 5,000 copies last year, according to BookScan. “McElligot’s Pool” and “The Cat’s Quizzer” haven’t sold in years through the retailers BookScan tracks.

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Fox News Defends Piers Morgan and Pepe Le Pew as COVID Bill Passes: A Closer Look:

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Tuesday Tidbits 3/2/2021: Stop being doormats

The loud insurrection vs the quiet insurrection...

The loud insurrection vs the quiet insurrection… © Rob Rogers-Andrews McMeel CounterPoint.com

The GOP’s 2022 Strategy: Voter Suppression or Bust – After failing to suppress enough Black votes to steal the 2020 election, Republicans are preparing for a heist the next time around.

Republicans roll out “tidal wave of voter suppression”: 253 restrictive bills in 43 states.

“The next person who tells you the insurrection wasn't planned... THEY. HAD. SHIRTS. MADE. ”

“The next person who tells you the insurrection wasn’t planned… THEY. HAD. SHIRTS. MADE. ”

How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot. “On social media, on cable networks and even in the halls of Congress, supporters of Donald J. Trump tried to rewrite history in real time, pushing the fiction that left-wing agitators were to blame for the violence on Jan. 6.”

Trump supporters who breached the Capitol: ‘It was not Antifa’.

“'It wouldn't be fair to (insert policy that would help millions of everyday people).' - Literally the Exact Same MFs Who Bailed Out Wall St.”

“’It wouldn’t be fair to (insert policy that would help millions of everyday people).’ – Literally the Exact Same MFs Who Bailed Out Wall St.”

Biden’s Covid relief bill is extremely popular. So why do D.C. Republicans oppose it? Because they don’t serve the American people, they serve the tiny community of billionaires.

Fight for $15 Is Also About Forming a Union, St. Louis Workers Emphasize – There’s another crucial piece to this movement.

Progressives push to squash Senate filibuster after minimum wage defeat – The left is channeling its frustration after a setback in their push for a $15 hourly wage.

“The Republican Party does not want unity. If they did they wouldn't still defend the man who orchestrated the coup & refuse to punish those persons involved. Democrats need to ram every bill through the next 2 years. Stop being polite. Being polite got us the insurrection.”

“The Republican Party does not want unity. If they did they wouldn’t still defend the man who orchestrated the coup & refuse to punish those persons involved. Democrats need to ram every bill through the next 2 years. Stop being polite. Being polite got us the insurrection.”

Lessons From the Obama Years, From a Cofounder of Indivisible – This op-ed shares advice for Gen Z from a millennial who worked on Capitol Hill during the Obama administration.

It’s time to eliminate the filibuster – U.S. legislature should be liberated from the will of the minority.

New minimum wage bill has maximum potential.

“Republican argument in a nutshell: Sure, Marjorie Taylor Greene called for Nancy Pelosi to be executed, harassed a school shooting survivor, claimed no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, and insisted Jewish lasers start wildfires, but, by comparison, Ilhan Omar is a brown woman.”

“Republican argument in a nutshell: Sure, Marjorie Taylor Greene called for Nancy Pelosi to be executed, harassed a school shooting survivor, claimed no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, and insisted Jewish lasers start wildfires, but, by comparison, Ilhan Omar is a brown woman.”

AOC smacks down QAnon Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene over LGBTQ Equality Act.

Ilhan Omar leads calls to fire Senate official who scuppered $15 wage rise – Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled provision in $1.9tn Covid stimulus bill did not qualify for budget reconciliation.

The Senate filibuster has a racist past and present. End it so America can move forward.

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘Loathsome and Dangerous Lies’ Disavowed by Her Favorite Gy.

Monday Update 2/22/2021: For whom the subpoena tolls… plus some free ambience!

Time to cover some news that either broke after I composed the most recent Friday Five, or has had new developments since then, or didn’t quite make the cut for that post, or is simply an update to some news story I have previous linked and talked about. So let’s go:

Supreme Court won’t halt turnover of Trump’s tax records to New York prosecutor. Finally!

This related to the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into whether Trump’s company inflated the value of some of his signature properties to obtain the best possible loans, while lowballing the values to reduce property taxes. There may also be evidence of insurance fraud. This is completely separate from the New York State Attorney General’s investigation, though it includes similar allegations. The Manhattan DA only has jurisdiction over crimes that happened within New York City, whereas the state AG can be looking at potentially criminal activities throughout the rest of the state: New York Attorney General Letitia James says Trump Supreme Court ruling won’t affect her tax probe.

And this is separate from a criminal investigation in the state of Georgia over Trump’s attempt to bulling state officials into magically “finding” enough votes to flip the state: Georgia prosecutors open criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to subvert election results. And things are getting even more interesting in Georgia: A Trump criminal probe in Georgia expands to include Sen. Lindsey Graham – A Georgia district attorney is investigating whether Graham violated state law in a call with an elections official. Lady G just might wind up being deposed!

Moving on…

“Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.”There aren’t likely to be criminal charges coming for the Texas Senator over this, but: One night in Cancun: Ted Cruz’s disastrous decision to go on vacation during Texas storm crisis. Let’s be honest: Cruz has always been nothing more than an ambulatory tape worm badly pretending to be a human who somehow manages to keep getting re-elected. But this was a particularly tone-deaf decision, and illustrates how any signs of empathy for people outside his immediate circle is all performative. Meanwhile, Ted’s constituents are being left to fend for themselves: Hypothermia deaths in Texas mount amid severe weather conditions and Texas power outages left woman with over $10,000 electric bill.

What a mess!

At least some help is coming: Biden Declares Major Disaster in Texas as Federal Aid Flows – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has shipped dozens of generators and supplies, including fuel, water, blankets and ready-to-eat meals, to the affected areas. I want to point out that, unlike the previous president, Biden didn’t hesitate to declare and emergency and authorize aid to a state that didn’t vote for him, and whose governor has been a virulent critic of Biden and his party. Just sayin’…

Meanwhile…

Unfortunately, we still have other issues to worry about: Fauci calls 500,000 coronavirus deaths ‘terrible’. It is a horrible milestone that we never should have reached. And still there are idiots (including some elected officials) encouraging idiots no to wear masks and so forth! Also: ‘Rapid take-off’ of variant first found in Britain threatens US.

There is one tiny bit of good news for at least some of us: People who wear glasses may be up to 3 times less likely to catch COVID, new study suggests. I’ll take any good news I can get, right now. And I can start feeling less irritated that my glasses keep fogging up.

Here’s a weird one: Who’s the Homophobe Bothering Local Businesses and Ken Jennings’ Family? If you are aware of Ken Jennings, a multiple Jeopardy champion, you might also know that he lives in Seattle, where I live. Because he is local, he is probably a bit more of a celebrity here than other places. Anyway, a few years ago someone started mailing postcards containing very unimaginative homophobic rants to Ken and his wife. Jennings has never identified as queer, but there is at least one of two times that he has publicly stated his support for queer rights in general, and marriage equality in particular.

They’ve been getting this postcards for a while, as I mentioned, but in the last several weeks similar postcards, supposedly signed by Mrs. Jennings, have been being received by various small businesses around town. Most of these businesses are not owned by queer people, though I know at least two of the businesses have offered Pride Month specials in previous years. It’s a weird story and a weird way to harass people. I assume the homophobe signed the new cards with Mrs. Jennings’ name in hopes that some of the recipients would believe they were from her and go public with the news?

But again, whey have they sent these postcards to the barely semi-famous straight couple for the last few years?

If I weren’t running out of time on my lunch break, I’d go off in detail about how often homophobes always spout almost the same, unimaginative slurs and insults. But, let’s move one…

Let’s leave with something cool!

I Miss My Bar – Recreate Your Favorite Bar’s Atmosphere. If you go to this website, you can select various options to make your computer, tablet, or whatever you’re browsing on generate background noised that sound like a bar (or restaurant). You control the mix of which ambient sounds, want a very light rain on the window? Or maybe the sound of more heavy rain? A lot of background conversations? Or just a few other people in a mostly empty place.

It’s just a really cool concept. And even though I’m a big introvert, I can appreciate how odd it has been that I haven’t been in a bar or restaurant for over a year. For people who used to go out a lot more than I ever did, this may be even more interesting.

It’s not world-shattering or life-changing, thus a really cool project that someone has put together and then put out in the world.

Weekend Update 2/13/2021: The truth eventually comes out

“It appears we have some breaking news.” “Good lord, what the fuck now?”

“It appears we have some breaking news.” “Good lord, what the fuck now?”

Time once again for stories that either didn’t make the cut for this week’s Friday Five, or broke after I finished that weekly news post, or update stores I have linked to and/or commented upon previously..

Christian Prophets Are on the Rise. What Happens When They’re Wrong? – They are stars within one of the fastest-growing corners of American Christianity. Now, their movement is in crisis..

“Brought to you by the same people who claim that football players kneeling was disresptful to America and unpatriotic”

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Popular Information: The next insurrection.

‘Hold the Line’: QAnon Adherents Claim Trump Will Become President Again on March 4.

Some Republican Leaders Call Capitol Riot a ‘False Flag’ –.

“The Republican Party does not want unity. If they did they wouldn't still defend the man who orchestrated the coup & refuse to punish those persons involved. Democrats need to RAM every bill through through the next 2 years. Stop being polite. Being polite got us the insurrection.”

“The Republican Party does not want unity. If they did they wouldn’t still defend the man who orchestrated the coup & refuse to punish those persons involved. Democrats need to RAM every bill through through the next 2 years. Stop being polite. Being polite got us the insurrection.”

Trump’s political operation paid more than $3.5 million to Jan. 6 organizers.

‘Smoking gun’: House Republican admits Trump made an explosive comment during the Capitol attack.

Why a GOP senator’s accidental revelation about Trump’s attacks on Mike Pence matter.

Witch offering the poisoned apple to Snow White: “For unity's sake, eat it!”

“For unity’s sake, eat it!” The apple is POISONED!

Georgia DA Gets Threats After Announcing Criminal Investigation Into Trump.

Biden leaves Republicans behind on $1.9tn bill.

Why a GOP senator’s accidental revelation about Trump’s attacks on Mike Pence matter.

Monday Update 2/8/2021: Infamy, Defamation… but also a bit of good news

Let’s play…

I put all my blogging time over the weekend into finishing my WandaVision episode review and a book review that will publish later in the week. There were a number of news stories that broke or had new developments after I composed this week’s Friday Five, So here are a few of those stories that I want to share and comment upon before next Friday.

First up, we have a number of news stories involving media, social and otherwise:

Rudy Giuliani lashes out at his employer, WABC, for adding a legal disclaimer to his radio show – Giuliani: This “gives you a sense of how far this free speech thing has gone and how they frighten everybody. I mean we’re in America, we’re not in East Germany. They’ve got to warn you about me?”. Giuliani has been pushing the lies about the election everywhere, including on his radio show. That includes unfounded (and in some details, impossible) claims about one voting machine manufacturer and an unrelated election software maker. The two companies have filed lawsuits against some of the networks that repeated those lies for weeks. So, the radio station decided to try to avoid being named in one of the lawsuits by putting a disclaimer on the show. Exactly what a lawyer that is worth his fees would advise, right? Rudy’s reaction is wrong in so many ways.

I mean, it’s been clear for a while now the Rudy is woefully ill-informed, has very poor reasoning skills, and doesn’t actually understand the law very well. I keep running into people online who point out that Rudy was a successful prosecutor years ago. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything. He could well have been one of the guys who was completely reliant upon his staff to write all the briefs, draft this questions for witnesses, and so forth. He may have been really good when he was younger at delivering the lines that had been scripted for him by his staff, without much understanding. But clearly he doesn’t have that kind of assistance now. It is also possible that he’s just suffering some sort of mental decline/neurological issue. In any case, the radio station that pays him to make his show is not censoring him if they put a legal disclaimer in front of it. They are still broadcasting his show in its entirety.

Free speech has always meant the government can’t stop us from speaking in advance, and that many types of speech are protected from legal repercussions. It has never mean that there will never be any consequences when we shoot off our mouths. Sometimes the consequence is that someone argues with us. Sometimes the consequence is that make fun of us. Sometimes the consequence is they block us on social media. And in the case that we knowingly lie about someone in a manner that harms their reputation, and so forth, the consequence can be getting sued.

If the statement is false, is published (or broadcast, et cetera), caused harm to the person—then it is defamation. It could be argued that the two corporations qualify as public figures, and if so, to prevail in court they would have to prove that the statements were made and/or published with malicious intent. And it looks like they have a good argument for that.

Meanwhile: Trump Lost Twitter and the Presidency. Guess Which One Hurts More? One of the stories that almost made it into another post asserted that the Grifter has been writing down insulting things he wants to say about certain election officials and public figures and trying to get other people who haven’t been banned from Twitter to post them for him. That’s just so pathetic. But that also tells us both how twitter aided and abetted the Grifter’s agenda, and why he didn’t just start walking into the press room the make statements once he was suspended: his twitter account was never about communication. It was always about trolling, bullying, and harassing. And even the most sycophantic news networks would try to phrase things to have at least the appearance of being news.

And somewhat related: Parler Wanted Donald Trump On Its Site. Trump’s Company Wanted A Stake – Documents seen by BuzzFeed News show that Parler offered Trump 40% of the company if he posted exclusively to the platform. The deal was never finalized. I’m not completely certain, but it seems to me offering the sitting president a large chunk of stock in exchange for him granting them exclusivity windows on each of his public statements would constitute a bribe, right?

Of course, the so-called Free Speech alternative to Twitter has other problems: Parler CEO Is Fired After ‘Constant Resistance’ Inside The Conservative-Friendly Site. And they still don’t have the service up. The managed to get a static page back on line, but so far that’s it.

Meanwhile, Twitter permanently suspends Gateway Pundit Homocon founder’s account. This guy has been pushing racist lies conspiracies from many years. A long overdue ban.

Speaking of long overdue things: Facebook to take down posts with false claims about vaccines.

And also: We Won’t Have Lou Dobbs To Kick Around Anymore. Dobbs was even more in the tank for the former Grifter in Chief that any other Fox host. A lot people are assuming the sudden cancelation of his show is because of the big lawsuits being filed about the false election stories. Dobbs is mentioned as a co-defendant and if the suit proceeds through discovery, he’s going to be deposed under oath. And Dobbs’ show was the highest rated of the Fox Business shows, so they didn’t cancel it because of bad ratings. There are other Fox hosts named in the lawsuits that haven’t been fired—at least not yet. On the other hand most of them have—after being forced by the network to read on air a statement disclaiming all those election stories—shift emphasis away from those election claims. Whereas Dobbs couldn’t seem to stop bringing them up. So maybe the network did fire him because of the lawsuit. It’s possible that Dobbs had become a problem in some other way that hasn’t been made public.

Dobbs, of course, isn’t taking it well: Lou Dobbs is lashing out at Fox on Twitter for dropping his show.

The important thing is that the lying racist homophobe is off the air. At least for a while.

Let’s shift gears to something more pleasant:

Dr. Fauci talks about his visits to gay bars & bathhouses (for scientific reasons) – He also contrasted the AIDS activists that once targeted him with COVID deniers, saying the former “ultimately were on the right side of history.”. I love the bit where he talked about going to meet about 100 angry AIDS activists by himself: “not for a second did I feel physically threatened to go down there, not even close. I mean, that’s not the nature of what the [AIDS] protest was.” The COVID deniers, on the other hand..

You can hear the whole interview on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast: Dr. Fauci On Vaccinations And Biden’s ‘Refreshing’ Approach To COVID-19.

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