Friday, December 2, 2022

Biden slaps down Hitler-praising Kanye West while subtly knocking Trump for his silence

: The leader of the free world is not impressed with Ye or his GOP apologists.

Biden slaps down Hitler-praising Kanye West while subtly knocking Trump for his silence (Raw Story link): President Joe Biden on Friday slapped down Hitler-praising rapper Kanye West while at the same time taking a subtle shot at former President Donald Trump for hosting him at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

In a post on Twitter, Biden directly addressed the multiple false and offensive statements made by West during his anti-Semitic tirade during his appearance on Alex Jones' InfoWars on Thursday.

"I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened," Biden wrote. "Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity."

Trump last week hosted both West and notorious Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago. Although Trump has since claimed that he did not know who Fuentes was at the time he came to dinner, he has also notably not condemned Fuentes' frequently racist and anti-Semitic diatribes. 

Likewise, Trump has remained completely silent about West in the wake of his anti-Semitic outbursts this week, which included attacks on "the Jewish media" for portraying Nazis in a negative light, as well as a flat-out declaration that "I like Hitler."

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Tucker Carlson's Fox News producer is an out gay man helping 'ramp up' hate: LGBTQ journalist

Mod: I can't see this fellow having a lot of friends outside of the workplace.

Tucker Carlson's Fox News producer is an out gay man helping 'ramp up' hate: LGBTQ journalist (AlterNet link): Fox News propagandist Tucker Carlson, whose nightly show frequently has the largest reach of any on cable news, regularly attacks the LGBTQ community with fear-mongering and hate-filled segments about gay people, transgender people, “groomers” and the latest target: “drag queen story hours.”

His senior executive producer, who oversees Carlson’s media empire at Fox News, is a married, out, gay man named Justin Wells, according to veteran journalist and SiriusXM Progress host Michelangelo Signorile, who is calling it “beyond horrific to think a gay man has helped to shape and widely disseminate a message of hate against LGBTQ people.”

Last week, in the wake of the horrific anti-LGBTQ hate crime mass shooting Carlson hosted a guest, the head of the so-called “Gays Against Groomers,” who told Fox News viewers the attack on LGBTQ people at a gay bar in Colorado Springs was “predictable” and warned that these hate crime massacres will continue, “until we end this evil agenda” of gender-affirming care.

Carlson has repeatedly hosted Jaimee Mitchell, the Gays Against Groomers founder who fearmongers against LGBTQ people, with the apparent consent of Wells, who “helped promulgate the kind of hate that leads to violence,” says Signorile.

“It’s unlikely that any narrative would get broadcast by Tucker without significant buy-in from Justin,” Angelo Carusone, President and CEO of media watchdog Media Matters, told Signorile.

Indeed, referring to the Colorado Springs mass shooting massacre, Signorile noted it is “the same kind of nightclub at which Wells, in years past, danced the night away in Miami Beach and elsewhere, liberating himself from the world outside and surely never imagining he’d be shot dead.”

“Now he’s aided the extremists who deny that sense of safety and liberation to every future generation of queer people,” says Signorile, explaining that “Wells runs the entire Tucker Carlson operation, and is responsible for imprinting the Tucker Carlson brand, which is all about emboldening white heterosexual male grievance, furthering the racist conspiracy of ‘replacement theory’ and pushing an increasingly virulent anti-LGBTQ agenda.”

Mod: More at the link.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Elon Musk’s Job Cuts Decimated Twitter Team Tackling Child Sexual Abuse

Mod: Do Teslas come with child safety seats?

Elon Musk’s Job Cuts Decimated Twitter Team Tackling Child Sexual Abuse (Bloomberg link): Elon Musk has dramatically reduced the size of the Twitter Inc. team devoted to tackling child sexual exploitation on the platform, cutting the global team of experts in half and leaving behind an overwhelmed skeleton crew, people familiar with the matter said. 

The team now has fewer than 10 specialists to review and escalate reports of child sexual exploitation, three people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified for fear of retaliation. At the beginning of the year, Twitter had a team of about 20, they said. 

It comes as lawmakers in the European Union and the UK are planning broad-reaching online safety rules that will require social media platforms to better protect children or face significant fines. Twitter didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The team -- a mix of former law enforcement officers and child safety experts based in the US, Ireland and Singapore -- was stretched before the cuts, working long hours to respond to user reports and legal requests, the people said. They were responsible for stopping the distribution of child sexual abuse material, instances of online grooming and media that promoted attraction to minors as an identity or sexual orientation.

Last week, Musk tweeted that “removing child exploitation is priority #1” and called on people to “reply in the comments if you see anything that Twitter needs to address.”

'It's become a hellscape': The View debates dumping Twitter over Elon Musk's mismanagement
(Raw Story link): Alyssa Milano was once a big fan of Elon Musk and a proud Tesla owner, but that has changed. Speaking to the co-hosts of "The View" on Tuesday, she explained why Musk wasn't who she thought he was.

"For me, speaking of #MeToo, when he was accused of sexual misconduct and paid out $250,000 to this person, I decided — I can't live in that hypocrisy of that, driving that car, you know, when that happened," she said. "I'm kind of, I'm so annoyed with all of these billionaires, especially with Elon Musk. You buy Twitter to destroy it for $44 billion. Imagine if he donated that money to UNICEF. He would change the world. There would be no hunger!"

has been an ambassador to UNICEF for two decades, striving to help children on areas where there is a serious conflict and war zone.

"He could go in his pocket and donate that money!" said Whoopi Goldberg, who recently left Twitter. "It wouldn't cost $40 billion, but these guys, you know.." Milano trailed off.

Twitter rolls back COVID misinformation policy
(Raw Story link): Twitter Inc has rolled back a policy that was aimed at tackling misinformation related to COVID-19 on the social media platform, lending itself to the risk of a potential surge in false claims even as cases rise in China and some parts of the world. 

The move also comes amid concerns of Twitter's ability to fight misinformation after it let go about half of its staff, including those involved in content moderation, under new boss Elon Musk. "Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing a COVID-19 misleading information policy," according to an update on its blog page. 

Mod: Apparently Eloon's ex-wife knows something interesting.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

'I get to wear my kilt': Hunter Biden laptop repairman sets conditions for testimony to GOP House

Mod: This one is getting off to a predictable start.

'I get to wear my kilt': Hunter Biden laptop repairman sets conditions for testimony to GOP House (Raw Story link): Computer repair shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac said on Monday that he would agree to participate in congressional hearings into President Joe Biden and his son Hunter — but only if he is allowed to wear a kilt.

"There would be subpoenas; there would be an inquiry," Newsmax host Shaun Kraisman told Isaac. "If you were subpoenaed or asked to participate in an inquiry to say hey, John Paul Mac Issac, what do you know; what can you tell us about you found on this laptop?"

"Would you respond?" he asked. "Would you be willing to go along with this committee under oath and answer questions from that committee?"

Isaac said that he had made previous attempts to work with Congress.

"I have been working with members of Congress over the past five, six months to make sure that that they have the resources, that they have my side of the story," he continued. "And I've also offered to continue that level of support if they want me to come in and testify, I only have one condition and that is I get to wear my kilt."

Monday, November 28, 2022

3rd Party Pooper: Trump has two paths to kill the GOP's 2024 chances if he is denied the nomination

Mod: Running for president is what Donald Trump does for a living. It doesn't mean he's going to shut down the business just because he loses all the time.

Trump has two paths to kill the GOP's 2024 chances if he is denied the nomination (Raw Story link): During an appearance with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Donald Trump biographer David Cay Johnston stated that, should the former president pursue his dream of a third presidential run, it will take the Republican Party down three paths -- none of which will be good for the GOP's prospects of regaining the White House.

Speaking with the host, Johnston claimed having the former president at the top of the ticket would be a big win for Democrats who see him as eminently beatable. He noted it could be even worse if he is denied his third run as a Republican. "I think going forward there are three likely outcomes," he told the MSNBC host.

"One is Donald gets the Republican nomination because he is able to turn out his minority of people who win the primaries; the Democrats should be very happy if that happens," he ticked off. "Secondly, he does not get the nomination and runs as an independent, which would allow the Democrats to run virtually anybody and win the White House."

"But the third possibility is that Donald seeing that he would be overwhelmingly trounced and labeled a loser -- a word he hates with a passion -- will tell his supporters to boycott voting," he suggested. But there is this. If Trump despises being a called a loser, why does he lose so much?

Mod: You've got to see this.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Ukraine: The World's First Lithium War? (Pasadena Star News)

Mod: If I were to tell you that Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter has something to do with the world's lithium supply, would you believe me? My latest PSN column.

Ukraine: The World's First Lithium War? (Pasadena Star News link): From mundane local issues to world-endangering conflagration is not too large a jump if you use your noodle. And you’d have to engage in the most tortuous mental gymnastics to avoid making any obvious connections between your neighbor’s energy-swilling jalopy and a potential for bloody international turmoil.

Of course, you might believe the millions of cars clogging our greater Los Angeles freeways are all a part of God’s plan for us. Yes, you are entitled to believe that. Don’t let me interfere. But any consequences of the energy production necessary to make your daily commute through hell and back can have effects elsewhere. We don’t live in isolation here.

As an obvious example, the debacle in Iraq that Bush the Lesser swindled us into in 2003 was an oil war. There was a lot of disinformation generated to make the infinitely trusting American people believe there were noble issues involved. Freedom for the Iraqi people. Removing Saddam Hussein, the bloody dictator we put in power. WMD, which never was found. Etc.

However, set aside those bollocks and what do you get? Oil and money, baby. That’s where the real action was found. And at quite a human cost. According to Opinion Research Business, which polled Iraqis about their personal loss during Bushapalooza 2, there were an “estimated 1,033,000 violent deaths due to the Iraq War. The range given (was) 946,000 to 1,120,000 deaths.”

Think about this next time you drive the Audi to Sprouts for $5 sushi Wednesday.

A big issue in California is the enforced conversion to electric cars in a decade or so. Here at the Crawford compound we already own a pair of EVs. Coupled with our solar panels, they run on sunshine. All the world’s problems solved, right?

Probably not. The fly in the ointment is lithium. It is a finite mined natural resource that has become increasingly sought after as electric cars have risen in popularity. As The World Economic Forum opines:

“The world could face lithium shortages by 2025, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says, while Credit Suisse thinks demand could treble between 2020 and 2025, meaning “supply would be stretched … About 2 billion Electric Vehicles need to be on the road by 2050 for the world to hit net zero, the IEA says, but sales stood at just 6.6 million last year.”

What has this to do with Ukraine? In the article “Lithium: The Link Between the Ukraine War and the Clean Energy Transition,” the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy claims:

“According to preliminary estimates, researchers believe that Ukraine is a treasure trove of lithium, holding about 500,000 tons of the ‘non-renewable mineral that makes renewable energy possible.’ … Skyrocketing global demand growth for lithium is estimated to range from 400% to 4,000% in coming years.”

A New York Times piece, “Before Invasion, Ukraine’s Lithium Wealth Was Drawing Global Attention,” adds this:

Ukrainian researchers have speculated that the country’s eastern region holds close to 500,000 tons of lithium oxide, a source of lithium, which is critical to the production of the batteries that power electric vehicles. That preliminary assessment, if it holds, would make Ukraine’s lithium reserves one of the largest in the world.”

So did Russia really invade Ukraine to reestablish Putin’s dream of a united USSR? Realistically, no. Like Bush in Iraq, it’s actually about a precious energy resource and the extraordinary wealth to be made there.

On Twitter someone made this acerbic claim about Tesla’s highly eminent lithium consumer: “Elon Musk is just fulfilling his promises to Putin potentially in exchange for a lot of recently obtained Ukrainian lithium. Twitter is just a propaganda tool now. Elon is using it for leverage.”

The wars and politics of the electric vehicle era have now arrived. Welcome.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Eloon Effect: Is America’s infatuation with billionaires finally coming to an end?

Mod: There is only so much you should need to stomach from these extreme examples of trust fund trash.

Is America’s infatuation with billionaires finally coming to an end? (AlterNet link): It has long been evident that Elon Musk is a moron, at least to those willing to see it. Well before the Tesla CEO overpaid for Twitter in the throes of a tantrum, there was a chorus of mostly-ignored people pointing out, repeatedly, that Musk's mental maturity appeared to have stagnated around the sixth grade. 

There was the time he rolled out a "ingenious" idea for tunnel-based transportation, only to have people point out that the subway has been around for over a century. Or the time he tried to push a useless and overly complicated plan to rescue a group of Thai children trapped in a cave. Or the time shortly after that when, still angry at being dismissed, he falsely accused the man who actually did save the children of being a pedophile. Or the time he acted like such an idiot on Joe Rogan's podcast that Tesla stock took a dive. Or the time he named his actual child X Æ A-12.

There are infinitely more examples. (His childish feud with rapper Azealia Banks is a personal favorite.) Yet somehow, no matter how often Musk has shown his ass in public, the damage to his reputation was fleeting. The business and tech press would be startled at his dumb behavior, but within 48 to 72 hours, it was all forgotten and Musk went back to being covered as if he were a genius, if perhaps an eccentric one.

Such is the power of the American mythology of the billionaire. The infatuation with our richest capitalists is related to, but in many ways goes even beyond, the illusion that the U.S. is a meritocracy. The notion that to be very rich must also mean you're brilliant permeates our society, justifying both ridiculously low taxes on the wealthiest Americans and the undue influence they exert over our political system. 

It's a social fiction that dates back to the Gilded Age and has covered up the intellectual deficits of many famous Americans. (Henry Ford comes to mind.) But it's gotten a lot more juice in the past few decades, as the new class of tech billionaires, starting with Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple, forged the image of the singular mastermind who, with little education and limited resources, remakes the world through the sheer power of their intelligence.

This presumption that wealth equals brains has so permeated our society that it's sometimes hard to see how pervasive it is. But the past couple of years — and indeed, just the past couple of months — have really done a number on the belief that having a fat bank account somehow inoculates one from being a dumbass. 

Watching Musk lay waste to Twitter, for no discernible reason beyond his desire to impress the biggest losers on the internet, has been a wake-up call. It's hard to imagine there will be the same mass forgetting of who Musk really is that we saw after all his previous public face-plants.

But it's not just Musk. The same process is unfolding for the single person who has benefited more than any other from the myth that money means you're smart: Donald Trump.

Mod: More at the link.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Resurfaced photo shows young Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones with students trying to keep Arkansas school segregated

: Jerry Jones was amongst those NFL owners leading the charge to ban Colin Kaepernick from pro football. No coincidence.

Resurfaced photo shows young Jerry Jones with students trying to keep Arkansas school segregated (Fox News link): An old photo recently resurfaced shows a 14-year-old Jerry Jones in a crowd, consisting of white students, attempting to deny access to six Black students at North Little Rock High School.

The event occurred just a few weeks before the Little Rock Nine integrated Little Rock Central High School less than five miles away in what turned out to be one of the biggest moments of the civil rights movement. To a lesser extent, this group of Black students is known as the North Little Rock Six

Two years earlier, the North Little Rock school board voted to integrate classes for seniors, but then-Arkansas Gov. Orval E. Faubus was largely opposed. Despite Faubus' beliefs, six students tried to enter the school, but with no luck.

On Sept. 9, 1957, Richard Lindsey, Gerald Persons, Harold Smith, Eugene Hall, Frank Henderson and William Henderson attempted to enter the school despite being shoved and having dozens of white students blocking their entry. The six students eventually enrolled at a different school based on advice from the district's superintendent. North Little Rock High School was officially integrated seven years later.

Jones has acknowledged that it is him in the photograph, but he says he did not participate in protesting the integration and looked on curiously without animosity.

"I don't know that I or anybody anticipated or had a background of knowing … what was involved," Jones, now 80, said via Daily Mail. "It was more a curious thing."

Jones also noted that his football coach at the time told his players to avoid the hysteria, but the now Dallas Cowboys owner did not oblige. He graduated from North Little Rock in 1960.

Jerry Jones Admits to Being In 1957 Photo Trying to Stop Black Students From Entering North Little Rock High School (Baller link): Are we surprised that an old, wealthy white man once participated in one of history’s most notable racially charged events? Not at all.

Leave it to social media to unearth never-before-seen photos that some hoped were long gone. On Wednesday, historian and civil rights activist, Joshua Clark Davis, tweeted a black-and-white picture from 1957 of six Black students trying to enter North Little Rock High School. They are surrounded by white men and teens trying to prevent them from entering the school. 

Among the crowd of racists stands the Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, who is one of the young men trying to stop the school’s desegregation from taking place. He was 14 years old at the time.

According to Davis, the now 80-year-old has acknowledged it was him in the picture. While this may be surprising for some, the multi-billionaire has a sketchy past when it comes to Black and brown people. In 2013, he was recorded on video making an insensitive comment about a Black woman. Famously in 2017, as NFL players took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustices, Jones gave his players an ultimatum: stand for the anthem or be cut from the team. 

Jones has also been called out on several other occasions for being silent on issues facing African-Americans, which is disheartening considering that many of his players are Black.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Burnt Turkey: Poor Jim Jordan Can’t Find Anything to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Mod: That's the problem with Gym Jordan. He does little real work, fibs and jabbers endlessly, and is always down at the mouth about something or other.

Poor Jim Jordan Can’t Find Anything to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving (PoliticusUSA link): Jim Jordan isn’t happy. Ha, I know. Breaking news. But anger is the only platform one has when a party has no real “platform” (Lower taxes on the rich is not a platform, it’s a reason to breathe if you’re a Republican). 

The platform becomes nothing more than a set of grievances directed at the people who are in control. Given that the Republicans just got flattened in a midterm election in which they believed that the entire country would agree that everything sucks, there was nothing to be happy about. We have no future and certainly nothing to give thanks over.

This tweet is Jim Jordan’s list of how he sees Thanksgiving coming down the pike. Why don’t you ask your friends at the oil companies making record profits about the price of gas? People would be less worried about being robbed if the country wasn’t flooded with guns. The price of groceries has gone up 9-10%, according to people who actually know and care about the truth:

In 2022, all food prices are now predicted to increase between 9.5 and 10.5 percent, food-at-home prices are now predicted to increase between 11.0 and 12.0 percent, and food-away-from-home prices are predicted to increase between 7.0 and 8.0 percent.

Maybe you ought to listen to your aunt and critical race theory since you surely don’t know what it actually is. From kindergarten through high school, CRT is nothing more than teaching real American history, which means history from all Americans’ points of view. Jordan wants American history taught according to the only Americans he believes mattered throughout that history, white people. Maybe Jordan’s aunt could do him a service if he weren’t so scared of the world and bitter that he has nothing to be thankful for in Biden’s America.

Mod: Cool ad.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Priest who had threesome with dominatrixes on church altar pleads guilty to felony obscenity

Mod: The religious order of this celibate servant of God is not identified here, though the New York Post article claims his priestly nickname was "Lurch."

Priest who had threesome with dominatrixes on church altar pleads guilty to felony obscenity (Raw Story link): A former Louisiana Catholic priest has pled guilty to a felony charge of obscenity after he video recorded a threesome with two alleged dominatrixes on a church altar, reports.

Travis Clark was handed a three-year suspended prison sentence along with three years of supervised probation and a $1,000 fine.

The New York Post writes that "a representative of the Archdiocese of New Orleans was present in court and signed off on the sentence after Clark entered his plea Monday."

The report adds that "the 39-year-old was serving as pastor at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Pearl River one night in September 2020, when a passerby noticed that the lights were on inside the church," looked through the window and "saw a half-naked Clark having a sex romp with two women in corsets and high-heeled boots atop the altar."

When police officers arrived in the scene, they found the tripod used to record the scene still standing along with sex toys that were scattered about. Despite the charges, police determined the incident was consensual.

Mod: The supporting New York Post article is unhappily linked here. NOLA here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

'Hostage situation': GOP insiders fear Trump third party run if he loses primary

: I've been saying this for a while now. If the GOP tries to turn its back on Donald he will burn it all down.

'Hostage situation': GOP insiders fear Trump third party run if he loses primary (Raw Story link): Former President Donald Trump is still the frontrunner to be the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nominee -- but what would happen if he were defeated?

Republican insiders who spoke with the news site Semafor (link) say they can't rule out the possibility that Trump would completely sabotage the party by launching an independent candidacy, with former RNC official Michael Short likening it to a "hostage situation."

The publication notes that Trump teased potentially running as a third-party candidate in 2016, which he boasted gave him "leverage" over the party as a whole.

One former Trump administration official also tells Semafor that while the former president at the moment isn't pondering an independent run, it is definitely not an outlandish scenario.

"Trump was so successful in part because he ran against the elite and out of touch political establishment on both sides, so I’d say it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility," they explained.

So far, Trump is the only Republican to announce a 2024 bid for the presidency, although there is speculation that former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley could also jump into the race.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooter is grandson of San Diego MAGA Republican representative Randy Voepel

Mod: MAGA terrorism has grown some deep roots.

The Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooter is reportedly the grandson of MAGA Republican representative Randy Voepel, who supported the January 6 insurrection and compared it to the Revolutionary War (Heavy link): Anderson Lee Aldrich is the 22-year-old suspect accused of perpetrating a mass shooting at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The November 19, 2022, attack left five dead and 25 injured.

The active-shooter burst into the nightclub with a long rifle and opened fire inside just before midnight, Colorado Springs Police Lieutenant Pamela Castro said in an early morning news conference on November 20. Aldrich was subdued by heroic patrons, who were credited with saving lives, Castro said. One disarmed Aldrich and beat him with the suspect’s own gun, according to NPR.

Heavy has confirmed that Aldrich is the grandson of outgoing Republican State Assemblymember Randy Voepel, the former mayor of Santee, California. Voepel represents the 71st District in the San Diego area. There were calls to expel Voepel from the state Assembly after he made comments comparing the January 6 attacks to the Revolutionary War. Aldrich’s mother, Laura Voepel, has written posts praising Randy Voepel on Facebook and confirming he is her father.

“This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny,” Randy Voepel, who was defeated in a Republican primary in August 2022, said in a San Diego Union-Tribune article three days after January 6. “Tyranny will follow in the aftermath of the Biden swear-in on January 20th.” According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Voepel “later tweeted that he condemned violence and lawlessness.” Voepel and his office did not immediately respond to requests for comments from Heavy.

Mod: In depth reporting available at the link.