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Gender: Female
Hometown: Georgia
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 25,625

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Sharing a wonderful Carl Reiner story

Here's a pick-me-up for you. Matthew Rosenberg shares a wonderful family story about his dad and Carl Reiner. Seriously, I laughed, I cried--it's really good.

Starting tweet:

I have a Carl Reiner story that I hold very dear to me. I figured I'd share it today, on the day of his passing, because I hope it will bring some other people some joy the way it does me.

and the Threadreader version:



trump is murdering thousands every day. Why is no one actually calling him on it?

Obviously, Rachel is saying something, and I am so glad she is. But Congress should be screaming, should have been screaming for weeks and months... The media, CDC, or AMA or somebody could get together and yell about this. There is no coordinated push to point out how murderous trump's administration is, how directly responsible he is for thousands and thousands of needless deaths. It just makes no sense.

Bill Barr was in the thick of it. He knew exactly what was going on.

Former US Justice Lawyers Call for Investigation of Barr
VOA June 10 (is this the longest month ever or what?)

WASHINGTON - More than 1,250 former attorneys for the U.S. Justice Department called Wednesday for the agency’s internal watchdog to investigate the role Attorney General William Barr played in the aggressive police clearance of largely peaceful protesters from a park near the White House last week.

Police mounted on horses and officers on the ground firing pepper balls at the protesters cleared Lafayette Square minutes before President Donald Trump walked through the park June 1 for a photo-op at a nearby church where he held a Bible aloft.

Barr, the top U.S. law enforcement official, has acknowledged telling police commanders stationed at the park that he wanted the fencing perimeter surrounding the park extended a block farther away from the White House after three days of occasionally violent protests in Washington May 29-31.

But he has disputed accounts that clearing the park was directly related to Trump’s short walk, which Barr joined, through the park to St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Barr lies again and again in this article.

Read it quick before the new head of VOA takes it down.

The lie doesn't pass the smell test. Not even close.

1/ trump left his phone where? Since when is he allowed to leave a source of potentially sensitive information anywhere unattended? Regardless of his own carelessness, he has handlers around him to take care of these details.

2/ trump is surrounded by handlers, including scads of Secret Service. All of them have phones and will certainly answer WH calls promptly.

3/ No one had any trouble reaching trump, they just didn't have access to his twitter account for three hours.

How much do you want to bet Dan Scavino is no longer the only alternate person with access for when this happens again? (Notice I don't say 'if.')

The WH had no trouble getting in touch with trump. They just tried desperately to get him to delete the tweet for three hours and were faced with "I don't wanna." Highly likely the impasse broke when Scavino was finally reached. He deleted the tweet pronto, though the damage was already done, and here we are.


What is QAnon? The Prophecies of Q

The Prophecies of Q JUN 2020

The origins of QAnon are recent, but even so, separating myth from reality can be hard. One place to begin is with Edgar Maddison Welch, a deeply religious father of two, who until Sunday, December 4, 2016, had lived an unremarkable life in the small town of Salisbury, North Carolina. That morning, Welch grabbed his cellphone, a box of shotgun shells, and three loaded guns—a 9-mm AR-15 rifle, a six-shot .38‑caliber Colt revolver, and a shotgun—and hopped into his Toyota Prius. He drove 360 miles to a well-to-do neighborhood in Northwest Washington, D.C.; parked his car; put the revolver in a holster at his hip; held the AR-15 rifle across his chest; and walked through the front door of a pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong. [snip]

While Welch may have expressed regret, he gave no indication that he had stopped believing the underlying Pizzagate message: that a cabal of powerful elites was abusing children and getting away with it. Judging from a surge of activity on the internet, many others had found ways to move beyond the Comet Ping Pong episode and remain focused on what they saw as the larger truth. If you paid attention to the right voices on the right websites, you could see in real time how the core premises of Pizzagate were being recycled, revised, and reinterpreted. The millions of people paying attention to sites like 4chan and Reddit could continue to learn about that secretive and untouchable cabal; about its malign actions and intentions; about its ties to the left wing and specifically to Democrats and especially to Clinton; about its bloodlust and its moral degeneracy. You could also—and this would prove essential—read about a small but swelling band of underground American patriots fighting back. [snip]

All of this, taken together, defined a worldview that would soon have a name: QAnon, derived from a mysterious figure, “Q,” posting anonymously on 4chan. QAnon does not possess a physical location, but it has an infrastructure, a literature, a growing body of adherents, and a great deal of merchandising. It also displays other key qualities that Pizzagate lacked. In the face of inconvenient facts, it has the ambiguity and adaptability to sustain a movement of this kind over time. For QAnon, every contradiction can be explained away; no form of argument can prevail against it. [snip]

...as reports of a fearsome new virus suddenly emerged, and with Trump now president, a series of ideas began burbling in the QAnon community: that the coronavirus might not be real; that if it was, it had been created by the “deep state,” the star chamber of government officials and other elite figures who secretly run the world; that the hysteria surrounding the pandemic was part of a plot to hurt Trump’s reelection chances; and that media elites were cheering the death toll. Some of these ideas would make their way onto Fox News and into the president’s public utterances. As of late last year, according to The New York Times, Trump had retweeted accounts often focused on conspiracy theories, including those of QAnon, on at least 145 occasions. [snip]

In its broadest contours, the QAnon belief system looks something like this: Q is an intelligence or military insider with proof that corrupt world leaders are secretly torturing children all over the world; the malefactors are embedded in the deep state; Donald Trump is working tirelessly to thwart them. (“These people need to ALL be ELIMINATED,” Q wrote in one post.) The eventual destruction of the global cabal is imminent, Q prophesies, but can be accomplished only with the support of patriots who search for meaning in Q’s clues. To believe Q requires rejecting mainstream institutions, ignoring government officials, battling apostates, and despising the press. One of Q’s favorite rallying cries is “You are the news now.” Another is “Enjoy the show,” a phrase that his disciples regard as a reference to a coming apocalypse: When the world as we know it comes to an end, everyone’s a spectator. [more]

There's no way to encapsulate this article in four paragraphs or so. It is very long, convoluted, disturbing, and a compelling, necessary read. If you have trouble getting past the monthly article limit, clear cookies and try again or bookmark for July 1. Getting through it in one sitting is unlikely, so download or park it in a tab somewhere to dip in and out as you can. It's worth the effort.

Further reading:

Down the rabbit hole: how QAnon conspiracies thrive on Facebook JUN 25 2020

A Guardian investigation has documented:

More than 100 Facebook pages, profiles, groups, and Instagram accounts with at least 1,000 followers or members each dedicated to QAnon. The largest of these have more than 150,000 followers or members. In total, the documented pages, groups and accounts count more than 3m aggregate followers and members, though there is likely significant overlap among these groups and accounts. These groups and pages play a critical role in disseminating Q’s messages to a broader audience and in recruiting more believers to the cult-like belief system, researchers say.

“Facebook is a unique platform for recruitment and amplification,” said Brian Friedberg, a senior researcher at the Harvard Shorenstein Center’s Technology and Social Change Project who has been studying QAnon for years. “I really do not think that QAnon as we know it today would have been able to happen without the affordances of Facebook.”

Moreover, Facebook is not merely providing a platform to QAnon groups. Its powerful algorithms are actively recommending them to users who may not otherwise have been exposed to them.

How QAnon conspiracy theory became an ‘acceptable’ option in marketplace of ideas — and more lessons on fake news MAY 05 2020

In many ways, QAnon is a quintessential conspiracy theory: It offers its adherents simple explanations in place of complexity, a coherent entity on which to place blame for the transgressions of modern life, and a sense of control and populist purpose.

But in other ways, it seems to have tapped into deeper veins of moral gratification: an apocalyptic vision of a renewed America that resonates deeply with evangelical Christian beliefs about the End Times. (Indeed, at least one church has been founded on QAnon belief principles.)

Whether they see QAnon as prophecy, self-described “research” or an “open source intelligence operation,” its followers have grown so numerous and pushed its rhetoric so persistently on so many fronts online, that its most anodyne permutations — vague references to a coming reckoning for immoral Washington elites — are disturbingly present in mainstream discourse.


Bill Barr is the poster boy for the unitary executive theory.

So far, the Supreme Court has disagreed with him. So far.

The 40-Year War: William Barr’s long struggle against congressional oversight

But for Trump's attorney general, William Barr, and others on the right, the effort to take power for the president from the courts and especially from Congress has been a 40-year project. Barr and his comrades may find statements like “I have Article II” crass and narcissistic, but in their view Trump is generally correct. Executive power maximalists argue that the “original intent” of the framers of the Constitution was to create a strong president with concentrated power and a largely advisory Congress.

The historical evidence for that argument is exceedingly thin.

Yet Trump and Barr alike will adopt any means necessary to defeat challenges to presidential power, which even includes false testimony under oath by senior administration officials in judicial proceedings, as was the case in the failed effort to justify a citizenship question on the 2020 census. The claim to presidential power that may be most dangerous to democracy is the power to ration information to Congress and the American people. Neither Congress nor the courts nor voters can effectively check power abused in secret. And Congress's power to require information from the president may be the power most difficult to reclaim if Congress yields that power in a tactical retreat in advance of the 2020 election.

For Barr, this central confrontation with Congress over Congress's power to investigate represents unfinished business.

Long, detailed article--not unbiased, but well informed and well worth the read.

What isn't discussed in the article and it SHOULD HAVE BEEN

is that this is only the spread within the family. The birthday trimmings didn't materialize out of thin air, the family members who tested positive went on with their daily lives until they became ill and got tested, perhaps involving a trip to the grocery store or whatever. Who knows how many other people were infected? And those people are in contact with family at home and others as they go about their daily lives, so how many have they infected? And so on.

It's the perfect teaching moment to discuss contact tracing, how it works, how to get involved, and how important it is in stopping the spread and saving lives.


Oh, dear. Did Jordan really think this would just go away?

Sweet, sweet timing... Meet his Democratic challenger, Shannon Freshour.


Bolton is the last person who should accuse someone of turning a blind eye to COVID.

Top White House official in charge of pandemic response exits abruptly - May 10, 2018

The top White House official responsible for leading the U.S. response in the event of a deadly pandemic has left the administration, and the global health security team he oversaw has been disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton.

The abrupt departure of Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer from the National Security Council means no senior administration official is now focused solely on global health security. Ziemer’s departure, along with the breakup of his team, comes at a time when many experts say the country is already underprepared for the increasing risks of a pandemic or bioterrorism attack. [snip]

The personnel changes, which Morrison and others characterize as a downgrading of global health security, are part of Bolton’s previously announced plans to streamline the NSC. Two members of Ziemer's team have been merged into a unit in charge of weapons of mass destruction, and another official's position is now part of a unit responsible for international organizations. White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert, who had called for a comprehensive biodefense strategy against pandemics and biological attacks, is out completely. He left the day after Bolton took over last month. [snip]

“It seems to actively unlearn the lessons we learned through very hard experience over the last 15 years,” said Konyndyk, now a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. “These moves make us materially less safe. It’s inexplicable.”

Kueng was involved in a heinous crime that has the whole world on its feet.

He is out on bail - bless - and the freedom to enjoy his own home/backyard/balcony is not enough, he has to go out shopping? He could have had it delivered, could have gotten curbside pickup, could have asked a friend to pick up a few things, but no. He insisted on wandering into the supermarket with no mask on as though he is still officer Kueng picking up some groceries on his day off.


His lack of judgement is what landed him in jail in the first place. If he continues to exercise that lack by wandering around in public expecting no comment, and in the process is momentarily inconvenienced and embarrassed by being called out, that is another problem of his own making.

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