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Thu Apr 15, 2021, 05:00 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #10-9: The Forwards Edition Repost Redux Reused Recycled Edition

Ed. Note: We decided to have some fun with April Fool’s Day when this edition originally premiered by running the entire edition completely backwards, starting with the end credits and ending with the opening monologue. For our week off on Spring Break, what follows is the original forwards edition as we originally intended to air. Enjoy!

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #10-9: Rule 80: Don’t Invite The Former President To Your Wedding Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! We’re still coming to you from this blank, blue void in the back room of a Burbank comedy club for the foreseeable future. Though this week because it’s that day, we are changing our blue background to whatever pops up on our Windows login screen. First it’s the city of Hong Kong, then it looks like a closeup of a grasshopper… and do we really need a Tucker reaction cam for this one? Come on! OK I brought this on myself.! People keep asking me where is the Wheel of Corruption? Well I assure you the wheel is safe and at some point we will be bringing it out of the vault. But it’s one of those things that requires audience participation. Though next week I might bring back some of our patented clips without context, because I’ve been missing those lately. Do we have time for the thing? Of course we do. So I ask you this my fair audience - how is Chet Hanks related to his dad Tom? I mean Tom’s one of the greatest guys in the world. But then there’s Chet Hanks. We may have to explore this in a bit more detail next week because this video is certifiably insane. And I say this as a white male myself – do we really need more “white boy” culture? Is that where we are at in 2021? Look I know everyone including myself missed having a proper summer last year but we’ll get back to that this year. But this is definitely toxic Barstool Sports culture at its’ most toxic. I know he’s going after Megan Thee Stallion here, and I personally couldn’t give less of a shit, but since 2020 didn’t happen we have a lot of making up time, and come on, what’s worse than a rich, privileged white boy complaining that his “culture” isn’t being respected? I mean shit you might as well recite the 14 words while you’re at it. What? Suddenly that’s going too far? Yeah I know we’ve all been cooped up way too long! Fuck you COVID-19! OK that’s enough of the intro, we have a lot of idiocy to get to. But first John Oliver is back and he goes into the subject of the National Debt:

So where do we begin this week? In the #1 spot this week is the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp (1). In case you’re wondering whether or not Gov. Kemp is a psychopathic douchebag, just look at what he did to Georgia’s right to vote, and we expect this will go to SCOTUS relatively soon. Taking the second slot this week is the NRA (2). After yet *ANOTHER* mass shooting, this time at a Colorado grocery store, the NRA gets shot down (ha!) at the 9th Circuit level over concealed carry laws, dealing a huge blow to their otherwise already tarnished agenda. In the 3rd slot this week is our old buddy, former Twitter troll @realDonaldTrump (3) and he’s gone from playing in huge arenas to crashing weddings and it’s quite spectacular! In the 4th slot, on the somewhat lighter side of the news is the Suez Canal fail (4) over one of the world’s largest container ships getting stuck between the waters! Someone’s getting fired! In the 5th slot this week is our weekly investigative piece, Top 10 Investigates (5) and this week, a shocking study found that just 12 people are responsible for nearly 75% of Facebook’s anti-vaxxer content and we are going to take a look behind the scenes at anti-vax propaganda! In the #6 slot this week is our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in “Holy Shit” (6) - rapper Lil’ Nas X released a line of Satan-themed sneakers containing a drop of human blood in them – and all 666 pairs sold out in less than 10 minutes! What does this mean for the future of devil worshipping? In the #7 slot this week, after a Southwest pilot gets caught saying some hateful things about liberals, cars, and coal rolling, we ask – “Coal Rolling: How Is This Still A Thing?”. In the 8th slot this week is a new edition of Conspiracy Corner – Q Anon has some hot takes on the news and they’re getting nuttier and crazier, and it’s everything you expect from them! In the number 9 (NEIN!!!) slot this week we have a new “I Need A Drink” and this week podcaster Jensen Karp made a shocking discovery after he bought a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch at Costco and discovered shrimp tales in one of the bags! Not only that, the response from General Mills is some very cringe-worthy stuff! Finally this week it’s time for Stupidest State! This week it’s Round 1 Week 3 and it’s a battle of Fiscal Irresponsibility heavyweights as #1 Kansas takes on red hot #2 Wyoming, while over in the Gun Nut Conference, #1 Texas takes on #2 Florida! This is going to be quite the epic battle! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

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[font size="8"]Brian Kemp
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In all seriousness I’m about to ask this question – are republicans having a contest among themselves to see who can be the worst human being in the world? As if Georgia’s Brian Kemp is bad enough, there’s Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts, there’s South Dakota’s Kristi Noem, there’s Tate Reeves of Mississippi and of course Ron DeSantis of Florida. But really this is about Brian Kemp. And I say this with literally about as much seriousness as I possibly can muster – FUCK YOU, Brian Kemp. After Trump goes and screams voter fraud for four months while his cronies go and literally fling their feces at the Capitol, you attempt to make voting in this country that much harder. Meanwhile it’s really easy to buy a gun. Where are your priorities, man? Oh wait that’s right – I forgot! He doesn’t have any!

Civil rights groups on Tuesday said they have sued the state of Georgia over changes to voting laws enacted last week that they said make it harder for all Georgia residents to vote, particularly people of color.

In a joint press release Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center and law firms in the state said that the law was a direct response to the 2020 presidential election and Senate runoff election, where the state had record voter turnout and Democrats won the state. The groups are suing in federal court on behalf of a church and other community groups.

"The elections were celebrated not just for their turnout, but also for their integrity, with Georgia officials praising them as safe and secure," the release said. "But rather than act to expand participation in the political process, Georgia leaders responded by doing what they have done many times in the state's history: they placed burdensome, unjustified, and unnecessary restrictions on voters, particularly voters of color and other historically disenfranchised communities."

That is a jaw-dropping and stunning level of pure evil. The thing is, we had the election with the highest voter turnout in history and an election where you’d literally have greater odds of winning the Powerball than you would finding an actual case of real voter fraud in this country. And this is counting the ones made up in Sean Hannity’s head. But one things is for sure is that it has businesses and supporters scrambling to find support for Georgia after this, including the state’s largest employer!

Delta Airlines came out in strong opposition to Georgia’s recently passed voting law on Wednesday, with CEO Ed Bastian writing in a memo to employees that the law is “unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”

In the week since a sweeping package of election restrictions was signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, activists have threatened to boycott Delta and other Atlanta-based companies, saying they didn't do enough to stop the law from being passed.

Delta’s statement,which the company shared with NBC News, is a forceful repudiation of the Georgia law — and similar efforts around the country.

“After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong,” the memo reads.

Oh sure now you walk back your statements! But only when it hits you in the one place you actually feel it – your wallet! Now that aside, with MLB players and fans petitioning the league to move the 2021 All Star Game out of Atlanta, to Disney fans petitioning Marvel to cease filming and production in the state of Georgia… it’s insane. And well deserved. But the shit hasn’t quite hit the fan yet but we will expecting it to in the next few weeks.

In light of Gov. Brian Kemp signing new voting legislation into law and calls to boycott Georgia-based companies, we are reaching out to some of the state's largest businesses to get their response to the new law.

The controversial law places new restrictions on voting by mail and greater legislative oversight of elections. It is facing legal challenges and gaining national attention, as the state continues to garner the political spotlight.

Opponents are using the term "Jim Crow 2.0" to describe the bill on social media, drawing on the legacy of the segregationist practices that systematically disenfranchised Black voters, among other things.

Activists are calling on boycotts of the Georgia-based companies, which could also threaten sporting events and the film industry.

But here’s the thing – before you get your underwear in a wad, make sure to read the whole articles before you start getting outraged, we can’t stress that enough. Yes, the Georgia voter laws are some of the most extreme we’ve seen in a century. But is it a return to the Jim Crow era? Maybe, maybe not, we don’t know! What it is though is a slap in the face to those of us who were responsible for voting during the pandemic, and even beyond when the pandemic is no longer a thing.

By passing one of the nation's most restrictive voting bills, Republican lawmakers in Georgia have forgotten a lesson from the past and are setting themselves up for defeat in the future.
The sweeping bill, signed into law Thursday by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to hand them food and water.

Kemp said the law allows Georgia to "take another step toward ensuring our elections are secure, accessible, and fair." Voting rights advocates, though, said it's a thinly disguised and racist attempt to suppress the Black vote.

"No one but Pee Wee Herman believed them when they talked about the 'integrity of the vote,'" says the Rev. Tim McDonald, an Atlanta-based pastor who founded the African American Ministers Leadership Council. His group created "Souls to the Polls," a get-out-the-vote movement among Black churches nationwide. Earlier versions of the Georgia elections bill would have virtually eliminated early Sunday voting, which is popular with Black voters.

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[font size="8"]The NRA
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Oh wrong intro, but that is a preview for next week – we are bringing back our favorite segment, Good Guys With Guns! So I guess now that COVID is slowly fading into the background, America can get back to the other virus that is killing people in ridiculously large numbers and sending the ones who survive to overloaded emergency rooms. Mass shootings! We’ve had two horrific ones in a week – one in Atlanta, and one in Colorado. And a near attempt in Atlanta as well! While all of that is going on, the NRA is attempting to overturn open carry laws and getting more guns into as many hands as possible. And this is coming from people who have tried to literally market firearms as fashion accessories! Seriously does the NRA think that we’re fucking dumb or do they really think that more guns is the answer? Oh who am I kidding! Of course they do!

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that state governments can restrict people from openly carrying guns in public, effectively ending a person's right to bear arms outside of their home.

The court issued an en banc opinion in the case of Young vs. Hawaii over a lawsuit by a Hawaiian resident who argued that the restrictions set by the state on his ability to openly carry a firearm was against the Constitution.

A district court ruled against George Young but a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court then decided in his favor. The latest development came from the full 11-member panel, or en banc.

The appeals court cited what they saw as a longstanding tradition in English and American law that government could prohibit "certain weapons from entering... public spaces as means of providing 'domestic Tranquility' and forestalling 'domestic Violence."
https://www.theblaze.com/news/9th-circuit-guns-open-carry v

Oh come on 9th circuit! What part of “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!!” do you not understand? And by the way this comes at a time when a survey that was conducted says that Americans have very little faith in America’s gun laws and say that they won’t do anything to stop mass shootings. And last year’s riots in the wake of the death of George Floyd? Guess what? They caused a massive gun buying spree. And if you’re shocked by this, you’ve turned to the wrong fucking program!

The two mass shooting incidents inside a week this month have brought to the fore the deadly epidemic of gun violence and the Joe Biden administration has expressed a strong intent to bring in more laws or if necessary, move executive orders, to curb the menace. But will more laws be able to rein in the violence that claims several lives in America every year?

A new survey has given a hint which makes one less than optimistic. Taken in the wake of the mass killing at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, that saw 10 people killed, the survey says most American do not believe that more gun laws will be able to stop the shootings.

The survey, which was conducted on March 24 and 25, also included other questions like: “Does the United States need stricter gun control laws?” and “Would stricter gun control laws help prevent shootings like the recent ones in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado?”

The survey, which covered 1,000 US likely voters, also revealed that 49 percent felt the country does not need more gun laws as against 46 percent that feel it does.

But here’s what makes this ruling even sweeter is that the appointees who overturned this ruling were during the Bush and Trump years! Oh my god! If they had that kind of influence on our voting laws, then maybe there is hope for America! I mean remember when it seemed like mass shooting after mass shooting turned America into a shithole country under Trump (see: Top 10 #4-8? Yeah let’s see them explain their way out of that one!

Hawaii gun advocates were dealt a blow Wednesday by a federal court ruling that upheld state laws regulating the open carry of firearms in public.

The decision stems from a 2012 case of a Big Island man who had been repeatedly denied an open carry permit. The majority of an 11-member panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of the state in the man’s latest legal challenge.

The 127-page majority decision, written by Judge Jay Bybee, is the most recent federal court ruling to declare that the right to bear arms, enshrined in the Second Amendment, is not absolute. The ruling comes at a time when other circuits are ruling differently, and also lands as the country experienced two mass shootings in the past few weeks — in Boulder, Colorado, and Atlanta, Georgia.

“Today’s ruling, joined by respected appellate judges across the ideological spectrum, is the latest reminder that arguments against reasonable, life-saving gun laws rarely hold up in the courtroom,” Eric Tirschwell, managing director of Everytown Law, a gun safety group that took part in the case, said in a statement.

Don’t worry gun nuts – we’re a long way from overturning the 2nd amendment and that will probably never happen in this country. We live in a country where guns literally have more rights than the people they kill do. But there is a bad side to this – while we may celebrate this minor victory in the war on guns, the war on packing heat is about to heat up! And by “heat up” we mean “expect SCOTUS to start reviewing gun related cases soon!”.

Mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado that left at least 18 people dead since last week are reigniting calls from gun control advocates for tighter restrictions on buying firearms and ammunition. But with Democrats in control of the federal government, gun rights advocates have been persuading Republican-run state legislatures to go the other way, making it easier to obtain and carry guns.

How are the politics of gun legislation playing out in the United States this year? Here’s the breakdown.
Biden says ‘we have to act’ after Colorado mass shooting, but prospects dim in divided Congress »
Prospects Mixed for Legislation

This month, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives adopted measures to expand background checks to all gun purchases and expand the time to to vet people flagged in a nationwide background check system.

But to pass in the Senate, the support of every Democrat would be needed. And that’s not a sure thing.

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[font size="8"]Donald Trump
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So remember that movie Wedding Crashers? You know the tale of that movie – Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play two enterprising bachelors whose social lives involve being uninvited guests of weddings of people who they don’t know. Well this is that in real life, and it involves the guy who was formerly the world’s biggest Twitter troll, Donald J. Trump. Yes, the guy who we inexplicably once called president and a guy who could attract giant arenas full of people, had the Spinal Tap treatment and now he’s reduced to being the main evening’s entertainment at weddings held at Mar-A-Shithole. So yeah that is a thing that happened. Of course in Florida where we can still have weddings, there was one at Mar-A-Shithole last week and of course he happened to show up.

One of the biggest wedding-related fears many people have is the prospect of a drunk guest grabbing the mic and, through slurred words, asking everyone to take their seats so they can just “say a couple of words,” tripping over the bandleader’s foot in the process and yelling, “Hey, man, watch where you’re going!” and then launching into a rambling, incoherent speech about how they and the bride were supposed to be together before the groom came along and stole her. Presumably fewer, if any, have ever worried about a former president of the United States wandering into their reception and giving a toast that involves ranting about how the election was stolen from him, in addition to his incomprehensible thoughts on the situation at the border and how he was going to make a beautiful deal with the Iranian government. Until now!

Moving forward, people will likely have the possibility in the back of their heads that Donald Trump might approach the dance floor while everyone is eating their salads to complain about no longer being president—or at least the ones who choose to host their affairs at his Palm Beach resort will.

Yes, according to video footage, on Saturday night, Trump made his way into a wedding reception being held at Mar-a-Lago and gave a toast that was less about the happy couple than it was about the ways he’s been wronged recently and why Joe Biden is doing a shitty job.

Let’s make this Rule 80: Don’t invite the former president to your wedding. Is there a rule 80? I am not sure it’s been a while since I have seen that movie. Though one thing though – if you’re crashing a wedding that Trump is also crashing, at least all the attention won’t be on you being there, and you can probably score some free drinks and hit on the bridesmaids. I mean come on that happens at every wedding does it not?

Donald Trump took the microphone at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night, to praise a couple getting married at his Florida resort. Nearly 400 words later he did so, according to video published by the website TMZ, after a rambling complaint about Joe Biden’s policy towards Iran and China, the situation at the border with Mexico and the supposed fraud he claims caused his election defeat.

“Y’know,” the tuxedoed former president began, standing in front of a waiting band, “I just got, I turned off the news, I get all these flash reports, and they’re telling me about the border, they’re telling me about China, they’re telling me about Iran – how’re we doing with Iran, how do you like that?

“Boy, they were ready to make a deal, they would have done anything, they would have done anything, and this guy goes and drops the sanctions and then he says, ‘We’d love to negotiate now,’ [and Iran replies], ‘We’re not dealing with the United States at all,’ Oh, well, they don’t want to deal with us.”

Trump withdrew from the deal between Iran and leading powers meant to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Biden is seeking to re-engage.

“And China, the same thing, they never treated us that way, right?”

Yeah no, that speech does not deserve that kind of response! Instead it deserves the Looney Tunes style cane yanking Trump off the stage! And here’s the thing, asshole, no – we do not miss you! In fact that’s why we kicked your sorry ass out of office and impeached you twice! Seriously, have I mentioned how much I think Trump is a colossal asshole? No? Well it can’t be said enough, and I still stand by my claim that he does not make it to 2024.

Donald Trump turned up at a wedding at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over the weekend and railed against Joe Biden, China and Iran.

The former president hopped on the mic at the ceremony and wasted little time in getting political.

He referenced the situation at the border with Mexico and raised yet more questions about November's presidential election, which he lost.

"Do you miss me yet?" he asked the party, to loud cheers.

"I get all these splash reports, and they're telling me about the border, they're telling me about China, they're telling me about Iran," Mr Trump began, in a video released by the entertainment website TMZ.

Yeah so seriously, fuck that guy. And I mean really right now if you book a wedding at Mar-A-Shithole, it should be expected that he’s going to show up. He’s got no social media outlets to project his outrage to the world so I guess he’s going to use events at Mar-A-Shithole now. There’s also his now weekly pity parties on Fox News to look forward to. Ugh, just like COVID, we may never get rid of Spongeblob.

Former President Donald Trump took the stage at a wedding reception at Mar-a-Lago to once again grieve his election loss and rail against Biden's foreign policy and border control.

Addressing guests in a tuxedo on Saturday night, Trump launched into his predictable baseless claim the 2020 election had been stolen from him while taking aim at the Biden administration and the situation in China and Iran, among other political concerns.

The 74-year-old was reportedly invited to the reception to toast the happy couple, but instead used the opportunity to air his personal grievances, a video obtained by TMZ reveals.

The couple, Megan Noderer and John Arrigo, are both longtime Trump friends and donors, according to Business Insider.

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[font size="8"]Ted Cruz
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So… our 46th president of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, is good. He’s too good. He’s doing his job instead of spending 56 hours a week watching TV and eating Big Macs in bed. He’s probably the first president we’ve had that could be considered “scandal-proof”. And when you’re now 70 days into the new presidency (and what seems like 70 years now, am I right?), and you don’t have a scandal to your name yet, what do you do? Well if you’re Fox News and you’re desperate for any kind of feces you can fling at the new president, you make one up! And that’s exactly what’s happening at the Mexican border – even though you can literally blame everything that’s happening now on the last guy (and that’s exactly what the last guy did). But this current “scandal” at the border is quite literally the stuff of insanity, led by – you guessed it – Ted Cruz. And I think we have actual footage of his trip to the border.

Sen. Ted Cruz posted a video of a woman he identified as a Biden administration staffer blocking him from recording at a migrant facility on Sunday.

Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn led a Senate delegation tour of the Texas-Mexico border last week in response to the immigration crisis surging.

"Please give dignity to the people. Please respect the people, the rules," the staffer can be heard telling Cruz while blocking his camera.

The woman in the video is a senior adviser who was hired two weeks ago, according to Cruz.

"Your policies are unfortunately trying to hide them. I understand that you were instructed," Cruz said. "I respect them. I want to fix this situation."

Excuse me a minute… that was actually footage of the Jungle Cruise ride from Disneyland. Here’s an actual picture of Ted Cruz’s trip to the border:

So is this the part of the Jungle Cruise where Ted gets mauled by a man-eating Cougar? I think I missed that part of the ride! Oh I kid, I kid! One thing I am not kidding about: them making the whole thing up, I mean where the hell were they three years ago? Oh that’s right they were blaming the whole thing on the last guy – Obama (see: Top 10 #5-2 ). And it gets weirder, my friends, because they literally make everything out to be that way!

Senator Ted Cruz posted a video Saturday of his attempt to film an immigration facility in Donna, Texas, while alleging that President Joe Biden's administration is keeping Americans from seeing what's unfolding at the Southern border. A woman can be heard pushing back against Cruz's filming, saying "this is not a zoo, sir," to which Cruz agreed and said it was a "dangerous place."

"How far is Joe Biden going to stop the American people from seeing inside the Donna CBP facility?" Cruz tweeted on Saturday, before alleging that "Biden sent a political operative from DC to block our cameras and even threatened another senator to obstruct legitimate congressional oversight."

In the video, the Texas Republican claims that a woman who works for the Biden administration was instructed to ask politicians visiting the border to not take any photos inside of immigration facilities.
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"You were instructed to ask us to not have any pictures taken here, because the political leadership at DHS [Department of Homeland Security] does not want the American people to know," Cruz says in the video. "You don't want the pictures taken. The rules are arbitrary, and they're designed to keep the American people in the dark."

Uh… Sen. Cruz this is an Arby’s! But here’s my favorite part – when you’re a conservative and you’re turned away for attempting to “expose” someone, where do you go? Why you turn to your favorite outlet to complain on – Fox News! And that’s exactly what Teddy did when he was turned away attempting to film one of the camps. And again, I ask with all seriousness – where the hell were you 3 years ago when Trump was locking people away?

Ted Cruz is, once again, in the headlines. The Texas senator took a break from feuding with celebrities on Twitter to take another trip to Mexico. But this time around, Rafael Cruz wasn’t fleeing his state for a quick Cancun getaway.

This past weekend, Senator Cruz took a trip to the U.S./Mexico border along with 18 other Republican senators. Their mission, ostensibly, was to shine a light on what they deem to be a “border crisis”.

Surrounded by tall grass, Ted Cruz addresses the camera in hushed tones, much like he was hosting a nature documentary. “So it’s past midnight. I’m standing on the shore of the Rio Grande. I’m down at the Texas border along with 18 senators who made the trip to see the crisis that is playing out.”

In the grainy video, he continues: “On the other side of the river we have been listening to and seeing cartel members – human traffickers – right on the other side of the river waving flashlights, yelling and taunting Americans, taunting the border patrol.”

Again that’s not actual footage of Ted’s trip to the border, that’s footage from the Blair Witch Project, and you could probably interchange the two and no one would really notice. And by the way he wasn’t really taunted so much as he was asked to leave. If you really want to see taunting in action, I think the French castle guard from Monty Python & The Holy Grail is available!

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) complained on Fox News on Monday that he was taunted during a photo op at the U.S.-Mexico border last week.

In the footage from the trip, Cruz pointed into the bushes near the Rio Grande and spoke of unseen smugglers on the other side.

“Just a few minutes ago there were multiple smugglers on the other side who were shining flashlights at us, who were yelling at us, who were taunting us,” he said. “Who were taunting, I think they probably assumed we were Border Patrol, but they routinely taunt the Border Patrol.”

Cruz also complained in footage he posted on his Twitter feed last week about the “taunting.”

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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates

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It’s time to investigate beyond the headlines! This is Top 10 Investigates!

A war is being fought right now. But it’s not being fought with bullets. And it’s not being fought in a war zone. It’s being fought online. The battlefield is your social media feeds – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The weapons aren’t guns and tanks. The weapons are memes, posts, and targeted advertising. The goal of this war? It’s to discredit use of vaccines. This comes at a time when the Centers For Disease Control has stressed the utter importance of the use of vaccines in order to end the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact the CDC themselves has said that anti-vaccination crusaders are becoming an inherent danger to society. So who is driving anti-vaccine content? Well it might surprise you to learn that only a very small handful of people are in control of most of Facebook’s anti-vaccine content. The media has dubbed these people the “Disinformation Dozen”.

About two-thirds of anti-vaccine content on major social media sites is tied to 12 prominent anti-vaccine leaders, according to a new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate and Anti-Vax Watch.

The report calls on social media platforms to take action against the “disinformation dozen” during the ongoing vaccine.

“Disinformation has become a direct threat to public health,” Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, said in a statement.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, the Anti-Vaccine Industry has executed a targeted campaign to mislead Americans about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines,” he said. “Social media is enabling anti-vaxxers to recruit millions of Americans and indoctrinate them with fear and doubt.”

The Center for Countering Digital Hate and Anti-Vax Watch analyzed a sample of anti-vaccine content that had been shared or posted on Facebook and Twitter more than 812,000 times between Feb. 1 and March 16, 2021. They found that 65% of the content came from 12 accounts.

So just like in real life, the trouble makers get around the rules and are able to flaunt disinformation and wild conspiracy theories online. And not only do they let the BS like this flourish, they plant seeds and watch it grow. And that’s why it’s not only become a public nuisance, but a threat to national public health and even national security! It’s time to start policing this content better, but we have learned the more you try to take it away, the more they go elsewhere.

With vaccination against COVID-19 in full swing, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter say they've stepped up their fight against misinformation that aims to undermine trust in the vaccines. But problems abound.

For years, the same platforms have allowed anti-vaccination propaganda to flourish, making it difficult to stamp out such sentiments now. And their efforts to weed out other types of COVID-19 misinformation — often with fact-checks, informational labels and other restrained measures, has been woefully slow.

Twitter, for instance, announced this month that it will remove dangerous falsehoods about vaccines, much the same way it's done for other COVID-related conspiracy theories and misinformation. But since April 2020, it has removed a grand total of 8,400 tweets spreading COVID-related misinformation — a tiny fraction of the avalanche of pandemic-related falsehoods tweeted out daily by popular users with millions of followers, critics say.

"While they fail to take action, lives are being lost," said Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a watchdog group. In December, the nonprofit found that 59 million accounts across social platforms follow peddlers of anti-vax propaganda — many of whom are immensely popular superspreaders of misinformation.

And in case you’re wondering if the Disinformation Dozen is going away anytime soon, Facebook has been resisting calls to ban these people. But they haven’t. And not only are they not going away, they’re selling t-shirts. You can’t kill the beast because it will regroup just like the Terminator. Then the beast becomes much stronger and harder to kill. But the Disinformation Dozen needs to go away and they need to be held accountable.

When news broke last month that two elderly patients in Brisbane had been given an incorrect dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine, a motley assortment of Australian Facebook pages and groups swung into action.

Within minutes, a page with more than 52,000 followers had posted a screenshot of a news headline with superimposed text reading: "And the culling of old people begins".

Another page with more than 30,000 followers cast doubt on whether the dosage had been an accident (it had) and claimed the government had made the COVID vaccine mandatory for Australians (it had not).

The two posts were viewed by thousands, of which 2,600 interacted by liking, commenting or sharing. (None of the pages mentioned that the elderly patients showed no adverse reaction.)

So what is Facebook doing about the Disinformation Dozen? Well as you can imagine they are quite literally stuck between a rock and a hard place. Instead of just flat-out banning them, Facebook is doing to anti-vaxxer posts what Twitter did to posts coming from @realDonaldTrump. Since they can’t effectively police the content, they are putting warning posts. So yes if they say you’ve been warned, take that literally.

Facebook is adding informational labels to posts about vaccines as it expands efforts to counter COVID-19-related misinformation flourishing on its platforms.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post Monday that labels will contain “credible information” about the vaccines from the World Health Organization. They will be in English and five other languages, with more languages added in coming weeks.

“For example, we’re adding a label on posts that discuss the safety of COVID-19 vaccines that notes COVID-19 vaccines go through tests for safety and effectiveness before they’re approved,” Zuckerberg said.

The social network is also adding a tool to help get users vaccinated by connecting them to information about where and when they can get their shot.

Facebook and Instagram have been criticized for allowing anti-vaccination propaganda to spread and for being woefully slow in weeding out the misinformation, often with fact-checks, labels and other restrained measures.

That’s it this week for Top 10 Investigates. Good day.

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[font size="8"]Holy Shit
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Gather around my fair brothers and sisters! It’s time to take a seat in the virtual pew and pass the VENMO collection plate, for the Holy Church Of The Top 10 has convened and it’s time to remind you that the holiest among us are the most full of:

My fair virtual congregation! You know… they say that SAYTAN gets a bad rap these days and why wouldn’t he? I mean he is the LAWRD of darkness and the ruler of all things that are awful and horrible in this world. And he was also in charge of the White House from the years 2016 – 2020, but that’s neither here nor there. I had something very different planned for this week but we’ll save that for another sermon. Instead this week, we have to talk about Satanic Shoes. Yes, these are apparently a thing that my elders have told me exists! And they were marketed and sold by rapper Lil Nas X, who is a 20 year old gay black man who loves to troll right wing Christian fundamentalists, which is something that we highly encourage here. But I can only speak for me. Let’s let these insane shoes speak for themselves!

Rapper and singer Lil Nas X launched a controversial pair of "Satan Shoes" featuring a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross and a drop of real human blood -- and they sold out almost immediately.

The black and red sneakers, part of a collaboration between Lil Nas X and New York-based art collective MSCHF, were made using Nike Air Max 97s, though the sportswear brand has distanced itself from the design.

In an emailed statement to CNN, Nike said it was not involved in creating the modified sneakers. "We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF," the company said. "Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them."

MSCHF confirmed March 29 that the limited-edition "drop" of 666 pairs sold out in less than a minute.

They were priced at $1,018 a pair, a reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18 that reads: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." Each shoe's air bubble sole contains 60 cubic centimeters (2.03 fluid ounces) of red ink and "one drop" of human blood, according to MSCHF.

Now in this case, he actually does! Literally in fact! Because if you walk on a pair of these shoes, you are literally walking on SAYTAN himself! Now what’s symbolic about selling Satan themed sneakers out of 666 pairs each containing drops of human blood in them, you might ask? Well there’s a whole lot of symbolism and it’s easy to get lost in it. We here at the Holy Church Of The Top 10 of course will take this time to remind you that we’re on the side of GAWD and JAYSUS!

Over the past few days, a tumultuous discourse around the musician Lil Nas X has reached a fever pitch regarding two things: the lap dance he gives the devil in his new music video “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and his sale of “Satan Shoes,” which allegedly have a drop of human blood in them. On those two topics, Lil Nas has drawn unsolicited commentary from everyone from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to basketball player Nick Young to conservative commentator Candace Owens.

At the same time, the video has drawn praise, and not just among those celebrating its proud embrace of LGBTQ imagery and themes. Another contingent has also excitedly rallied around the music video: historical scholars. “Montero,” across its three-minute runtime, is stuffed with Greco-Roman and medieval Christian motifs and messages in both Greek and Latin. Lil Nas, in an interview with TIME, says he wanted to deploy this type of iconography and symbolism to draw a connection between ancient and modern-day persecution. “I wanted to use these things that have been around for so long to tell my own story, and the story of so many other people in the community—or people who have been outcast in general through history,” he says. “It’s the same thing over and over.”

And scholars have come away impressed by the video’s attention to detail and conceptual sharpness; they say it is deeply researched and builds a powerful historical narrative that centers queerness in historical and religious spaces where it is too often erased. “Watching this video, I was a little bit shocked just because of how much knowledge you need to have to unpack some of these elements,” Roland Betancourt, a professor at University of California, Irvine and the author of Byzantine Intersectionality: Sexuality, Gender, and Race in the Middle Ages, says. “It says that institutionalization of homophobia is a learned thing—and that there are other origin myths available to us that are not rooted in those ideas.”

Yes, you mere mortals! You will silence your faith in the presence of the almighty SAYTAN! But who is the real SAYTAN in this case? Is it the guy who is selling the sneakers or is it the giant corporation who thinks they are taking advantage of them? Well if I am playing devil’s advocate here (HA!) then I would say it’s more the latter than the former. Especially when the latter is suing the former for copyright infringement. Yeah you can sell SAYTAN themed sneakers, just expect to get hit with a lawsuit when you do!

Nike filed a lawsuit on Monday against the company selling the Lil Nas X "Satan Shoes," arguing the swoosh on the controversial shoe violates its trademark and damages its brand. The lawsuit comes the same day as the release of the shoes, which feature a bronze pentagram, the number "666" and a small amount of human blood.

The shoes, a collaboration between Lil Nas X and the New York-based art collective MSCHF, are modified versions of Nike Air Max 97s — and the brand's signature swoosh is featured prominently on the side of the shoe and on its tongue. The shoes, which sold out in minutes, cost $1,018 — a reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18, which reads "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."

The shoes' satanic imagery drew strong reactions online — including from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who shared an image of the shoes alongside a warning that "we are in a fight for the soul of our nation."

Nike referenced that controversy in its lawsuit, which asks the court to force MSCHF to stop producing the shoes and to award monetary damages for the financial harm the company has suffered.

Oh now lighten up Gov. Noem! Not everything needs to be taken that seriously! This comes at a time when the Church of SAYTAN is attempting to gain acceptance. I mean come on, you literally worship the devil here. But in spite of everything those who worship the DEVIL are actively having a sense of humor about themselves. And I know, when you take the LAWRD of Darkness seriously, you got to have a good laugh at the situation, am I right?

As Lil Nas X’s limited-edition “Satan Shoes”, which contain a drop of real human blood, continue to spark intense backlash among conservatives and religious figures, one church has championed the sneakers.

The rapper released 666 pairs of the controversial shoes on 29 March to celebrate the debut of his new song and accompanying music video for Montero (Call Me By Your Name), which portrays the 21-year-old travelling to hell, where he dances with the devil.

Since the release, the sneakers, which were made from Nike Air Max 97s and feature a bronze pentagram, the number 666, and Bible verse Luke 10:18, which reads: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven,” have been widely condemned by everyone from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to Nike, which has filed a lawsuit against the company behind the shoes, New York-based art collective MSCHF.

However, one organisation has publicly supported the new endeavour, the Church of Satan, which believes in “humanistic values” and “the acceptance of man’s true nature,” rather than religion or spirituality, and which tweeted to the rapper asking for a pair of the sneakers shortly after they were unveiled.

Well Nike may not endorse these sneakers, but the Church Of SAYTAN does, and I’ll take that endorsement, thank you! Virtual mass has ended, may you go in peace! That’s it this week for:

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[font size="8"]How Is This Still A Thing: Coal Rolling
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It’s time once again to ask:

This week: Coal Rolling. How is this still a thing? Coal Rolling, or as some lower class individuals call it, “Prius Repellent” first came into prominence in the early 2010s. The process involves modifying the mechanical and software filters on the diesel engines of large trucks in order for them to be able to spew out as much black smoke as possible and to “trigger” the owners of much more environmentally responsible vehicles, such as a Prius or Tesla. Doing so not only voids the manufacturer’s warranty of your $80,000 truck, it might also be illegal. The practice came back into play when last week, the hot mic of a Southwest Airlines pilot went viral after a flight to San Francisco International airport. Here’s how that played out:

A Southwest Airlines pilot was caught on a hot mic making an expletive-filled rant against the San Francisco Bay Area.

The unidentified pilot was heard on a radio frequency at Mineta San Jose Airport (SJC) as the flight taxied for departure.

Here's part of what he said:

"F**k this place, goddamn liberal f***s. Like eight guns out here somewhere as it is. F*****g weirdos, probably driving around in F*****g Hyundais, F*****g roads and s**t that go slow as f**k."

While his tirade wasn't broadcast to passengers, travelers say the audio is concerning.

Judina Trade returned to the Bay Area on Thursday, traveling through SJC.

Trade told ABC7Chicago sister station ABC7 News KGO-TV, "I think it's a good thing that the aircraft did not hear that because I would be very scared to hear a pilot saying that. Especially with everything that's been going on."

Southern California resident, Shane Forker said, "I think I'd maybe be worried that he was drunk, or out of his mind, maybe."

That’s right – that rant included a section about Hyundais to which the pilot really hated and thinks that coal rolling is a much better way to go. But that got many people wondering – how is coal rolling still a thing in an age when car and truck manufacturers are switching to all electric engines? Well this comes at a time when the US government and the EPA are going to start cracking down on the process of coal rolling.

Companies offering products that enable diesel pick-ups to bypass emissions software – a phenomenon known as "rolling coal" due to the huge clouds of black smoke it creates – have come under scrutiny from the US government.

Earlier this week, the government filed a US federal court complaint against American company EZ Lynk for selling an aftermarket emissions defeat device advertised as a diagnostics and data-logging tool, news outlet Reuters reports.

The software allegedly permits owners of Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, and Ram pick-ups to change computer parameters which would normally disable the car when components such as the diesel particulate filter and exhaust gas recirculation system have been removed.

The product also lets owners upload their own engine 'tune', which changes the air/fuel ratio and boost settings for the turbo set by the factory.

Turbo-diesel engines in particular are known to see power increases of up to 20 per cent by adding fuel into the combustion cycle, in some cases creating smoke plumes known as "rolling coal".

"Emissions controls on cars and trucks protect the public from harmful effects of air pollution," a US government spokesperson said in a statement.

Yes, obviously. Do you think breathing heaping loads of black smoke might be harmful to your lungs and the environment? We all know the answer to that one. But this is just another watermark in the chapter on “assholes being assholes and being proud of their assholishness”. Because while most people are becoming increasingly more environmentally conscious, some out there have taken the exact opposite direction. One thing most who practice the process of rolling coal though are unaware of, is that cars like the Tesla Model Y have cameras. And they see things.

This TeslaCam video captures the moment when a Tesla Model Y on Autopilot moves to avoid a Ram diesel pickup truck. It just so happens that the truck was trying to roll coal on the Tesla at the very moment when Autopilot reportedly moved to avoid the pickup.

We don't believe that it's Autopilot moving to avoid the big plume of black smoke coming from the modified diesel truck. Rather, it's the driver reacting to avoid getting coal-rolled, but regardless, these coal-rolling attempts failed to get the Tesla. And yes, it does appear as though the diesel Ram driver is deliberately targeting the Tesla.

We at InsideEVs have covered numerous videos in which a diesel truck purposely targets a Tesla with the illegal act of coal-rolling. It seems some of these truck drivers have something against owners of clean electric cars in general and Teslas more specifically. Sometimes, the coal-rolling may not be targeted at the Tesla, but rather just the illegally modified truck accelerating and puffing out smoke as these cancer-causing rigs do. In other cases, the coal-rolling combines with a bit of road rage on behalf of the diesel truck driver too.

And yes, the act of coal rolling (modifying a diesel engine to emit all sorts of crap) is illegal in most (if not all) U.S. states, it's just not always enforced.

So coal rolling is illegal in most parts of the country. But coal rolling is only part of the problem, a lot of the problem can be traced back to toxic masculinity, which is a root problem for most of the ills of modern society. In fact as pickup trucks became larger, the owners of these trucks began flaunting their ability to pollute. And that became a symbol of totalitarian rule. But if you do roll coal, be prepared to have a whole lot of people hate you.

If you heard or saw a modern diesel engine running next to a gasoline one, it’d be hard to tell the two apart. Modern diesels are quiet and run with sophisticated engine management software. They have particulate filters and urea (or other DEF) injection to combat soot. NOx emissions—which cause acrid smog and acid rain—are curtailed with modern catalysts and exhaust-gas recirculation. All these tools work together to make sure it doesn’t look like your new pickup truck is cosplaying as an 18th-century London chimney.

But some owners, seeking more horsepower or torque, fiddle with these tools. They remove the catalytic converter. They screw with the engine software to change boost pressure or ignition timing, among other things. Then, when they stomp on the throttle, black smoke gushes out the tailpipe.

Originally, this occurred mostly in truck pulls, truck races where the goal was maximum pulling power. The engine mods needed to maximize performance had the side effect of thick, black smoke. On the racetrack, engine and exhaust modifications are nothing new, nor illegal. And, if confined to a racing environment, rolling coal wouldn’t really be an issue.

Problem is, some individuals took it on public roads. And they started messing with people.
Public Trolling

In the wake of increased automotive emission regulation, a certain subset of diesel truck drivers started to rebel. They’d look for a passing hybrid, and gun it down the road, leaving the hybrid driver choking on soot. If a Prius wasn’t there, they’d suffocate cyclists, or in some cases, even pedestrians.

So coal rolling is just another form of trolling, and if you tell people not to do it, that only makes them want to do it more. That’s enough to make you ask – Coal Rolling:

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[font size="8"]Conspiracy Corner: Q Anon Hot Takes
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Welcome back to the segment that attempts to explain the unexplainable, Conspiracy Corner! We’re of course coming to you live from our undisclosed underground bunker deep in the heart of the New Mexico badlands! This week we’re going to talk about the world’s biggest conspiracy – Q Anon, which is the cultivation of all of the BS endured under the Donald J. Trump administration come to a peak. This week, I think Q Anon might need more to do. But sadly for a lot of people, this is not only their hobby, but their way of life. This week I’m sure everybody knew where they were when they heard that one of the world’s largest containerships, Boaty McBoatface, er, I mean the Ever Given, was stuck between the walls of the Suez Canal. Well, here’s the original story and even that’s crazy by crazy standards and we wish we were making this up!

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A cargo container ship that’s among the largest in the world has turned sideways and blocked all traffic in Egypt’s Suez Canal, officials said Wednesday, threatening to disrupt a global shipping system already strained by the coronavirus pandemic.

The MV Ever Given, a Panama-flagged container ship that carries trade between Asia and Europe, became grounded Tuesday in the narrow, man-made waterway dividing continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the Ever Given to turn sideways in the canal. GAC, a global shipping and logistics company, described the Ever Given as suffering “a blackout while transiting in a northerly direction,” without elaborating.

Evergreen Marine Corp., a major Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship, said in a statement provided to The Associated Press that the Ever Given had been overcome by strong winds as it entered the Suez Canal from the Red Sea but none of its containers had sunk.

A Egyptian official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to brief journalists similarly blamed a strong wind in the area for the incident. Egyptian forecasters said high winds and a sandstorm plagued the area Tuesday, with winds gusting as much as 50 kph (31 mph).

No! No need to abandon ship just yet! Now here’s where it gets weird. Of course Q Anon followers would float conspiracy theories about the disaster – especially when your fuck-up is so huge that it’s visible from space. But that didn’t stop Q Anon followers from going there. And by going there, I mean they blamed the whole thing on Hillary Clinton. And they also suspected the boat might be trafficking children. Yes, that is a thing that happened. It’s completely insane. But not really that far from the course for Q Anon cultists.

Within minutes of the Ever Given ship getting stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal on Wednesday, an incident that’s created chaos in global supply chains, QAnon supporters were spreading wild conspiracies that the ship was operated by Hillary Clinton and carrying a cargo of child sex slaves.

The claims were based on the fact that the Taiwanese shipping company that operates the ship is called Evergreen, which was Clinton’s secret service name when she was first lady.

The baseless theory was given further credence — in the minds of QAnon followers at least — when it emerged that the ship’s call sign was “H3RC” which is close enough to Clinton’s own initials (HRC) for QAnon followers to make the link.

The theory quickly spread on Telegram and Gab, the platforms QAnon followers have fled to in the wake of a purge by mainstream social networks in recent months.

But the claims also made their way to Twitter and Facebook, where fact-checking group PolitiFact flagged and debunked them.

That’s right! The theory got so bizarre and crazy that actual news outlets had to employ real-life fact checkers to get to the bottom of this scandal. I mean shit, our janky little operation here could have told you that! No, Hillary Clinton is *NOT* trafficking children from Dubai to Europe through container ships traveling through the Suez Canal. Or is she? And my producer is throwing things at the stage!

A shipping vessel that could clog the Suez Canal for weeks is the latest piece added to an ever-evolving conspiracy theory about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other members of a so-called “deep state” and links to human trafficking.

Communications channels where QAnon conspiracy theories spread were humming this week about a connection between Clinton and the quarter-mile-long ship that ran aground as high winds cut across the canal.

Those seeped into mainstream social media as well, including posts on Facebook and Instagram, where users tied Clinton’s Secret Service codename to the ship and suggested its radio call sign intentionally matched Clinton’s initials.

A Facebook user who shared the post did not respond to a request for comment. It speculates without evidence that Evergreen "is most likely a cover for human and sex trafficking."

Others pushing the same theory allude to the containers being opened on television to reveal trafficked people inside. It is the latest potential disclosure related to the QAnon conspiracy theory that says former President Donald Trump was elected to thwart a deep-state cabal of pedophiles and cannibals, including Clinton.

And by the way remember that Nashville bombing last November? Q Anon thought that Lizard People were involved. Yes, actual, bonafied, real life lizard people. You seriously cannot get much crazier than that. The funny thing is that they, and only they, are talking about this. So if you want wild theories, then Q Anon is the group for you! But if you’re into Q Anon, you’re probably not listening to our shit, either!

The deadly Capitol siege was fueled by far-out conspiracy theorists, including Ashli Babbitt, a QAnon supporter fatally shot by police as she tried to breach a barricaded doorway. Meanwhile, federal investigators are still looking into the belief system of Anthony Quinn Warner, who made statements about a conspiracy of lizard people taking over the planet before the explosion that damaged 41 buildings and injured three people in Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas Day.

Many are scratching their heads. Why are people embracing such bizarre ideas?

The notion of shape-shifting, blood-sucking reptilian humanoids invading Earth to control the human race sounds like a cheesy sci-fi plot. But it's actually a very old trope with disturbing links to anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic hostilities dating to the 19th century.

Bonkers? Sure. Harmless? Definitely not.

Law enforcement sources say Warner's writings indicate his interest in a number of conspiracy theories — including the lizard people takeover. He may even have had a pastime of hunting such aliens in the park. Before the blast, Warner sent packages to friends filled with material expounding on his bizarre worldview. They included a letter that began "Hey Dude, You will never believe what I found in the park."

There really is a Gif for everything! Even with our budget of zero, we can still find some freaking hilarious shit out there. But here’s the thing about Q Anon – is that they do network. And when they network, things get really insane. And if you want to delve into the mind of Q Anon supporters, there’s a convention! Yes, an actual real life convention! I can just imagine the halls and panels that they will have at such a convention.

In this politically charged, hyperpartisan era, many hospitality brands would go out of their way to avoid being linked to a group that helped fuel the Capitol riot on January 6.

But this Memorial Day Weekend, the Omni Dallas Hotel is slated to host a QAnon conference, reports the Dallas Morning News. Attendees who stay at the upscale 1,001-room property in downtown Dallas for $149 a night can enjoy eight restaurants, a heated infinity pool, a full-service spa—and a stacked lineup of QAnon favorites.

The “For God & Country Patriot Roundup” kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 28, with a private VIP meet-and-greet reception at the hotel’s Texas Spice restaurant. The hotel is connected by skybridge to the Dallas Convention Center, though event organizers have scheduled the bulk of the activities at Gilley’s Dallas, a seven-venue complex just down the road.

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[font size="8"]I Need A Drink: Cinnamon Toast Shrimp
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Hey everyone! I don’t know about you but I could really use a drink!

So of course you know that the idea behind this segment is that we have some drinks and talk about anything in the news as long as it doesn’t relate to politics. Well last week there was a bizarre and quite frankly one of the weirdest stories I’ve heard in a while. And it’s one that hits very shockingly close to home! Tell me virtual bartender, what goes well with a story about Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Cinnamon Toast Beer? What is it? What the fuck is a “chunky IPA”? No thanks, I will take my usual Jack Daniels mixed with Jack Daniels. Here’s what happened – podcaster Jensen Karp – who’s already a minor celebrity here in Los Angeles as part of a former morning radio show that used to air every day until the whole show was fired over the phone at the start of COVID, found shrimp in the box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch that he bought at Costco. Here’s how that went down:

Writer and podcast host Jensen Karp is trying to get some answers after an unexpected surprise he had while trying to eat a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

He tweeted a photo of his bowl of cereal and wrote, “Ummmm @CTCSquares – why are there shrimp tails in my cereal? (This is not a bit).”

The cereal brand responded and wrote, “We’re sorry to see what you found! We would like to report this to our quality team and replace the box. Can you please send us a DM to collect more details? Thanks!”

CTC later sent another tweet denying that the shrimp tails were in the cereal.

They wrote, “After further investigation with our team that closely examined the image, it appears to be an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar that sometimes can occur when ingredients aren’t thoroughly blended. We assure you that there’s no possibility of cross contamination with shrimp.”

Somehow I don’t think that’s enough! Man, I miss my audience! But anyways, so Mr. Karp found a pair of shrimp tails and some other unexpected prizes in his box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. What makes this even weirder is that General Mills’ corporate PR department offered a completely batshit crazy and totally expected response to the fiasco. And when I say “totally expected”, I mean the exact kind of bullshit PR move you would expect. And this thing then went viral. And I do mean completely viral.

If you’re a devoted fan of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and don’t plan to stop any time soon, you should probably turn away now.

It may already be too late for comedian and writer Jensen Karp, who says he found a slew of unappetizing surprises in his breakfast cereal Monday morning.

A spokesperson responded, asking Karp to put the shrimp tails in a pre-paid envelope and send it to them so they can have it checked out.

Karp acquiesced, on one condition. “I’m going to keep one of the two (shrimp tails),” he wrote, “because your last response publicly was super weird and since you’ll be receiving a shrimp tail, I’ll keep one so you don’t try to say it’s sugar and make me look insane?”

It’s unclear what the company had to say to that. In another screenshot posted by Karp, they tried to offer him some vouchers to compensate for the “unpleasant experience” but he refused.

“No,” he wrote. “You just told me it wasn’t shrimp tails.”

Yeah that’s of course the solution is to live under the sea! And this inspired everything from people making their own Cinnamon Toast Shrimp to finding actual Cinnamon Toast Shrimp on the menus at restaurants. But here’s where it gets weird – as more places started picking up the story, the darker it, Mr. Karp is married to Danielle Fischel, who played the character of Topanga on Boy Meets World. But apparently being famous also has an ugly side and especially one that nobody expected from this. And it looks like anyone could have this happen to them if that’s where it goes.

As the post circulated internationally, Karp enjoyed a shining moment of Twitter fame, and granted interviews to media outlets including TMZ and the New York Times. “I’m the new Gorilla Glue Girl, aren’t I?” he wondered — perhaps wistfully? — in a tweet. But all the notoriety also raised suspicions among certain of Karp’s acquaintances, a number of whom suggest he may be an unreliable narrator.

Multiple women identifying themselves as his ex-romantic partners began sharing their own, remarkably similar, impressions of him. They said that Karp was manipulative, controlling, cruel, and that dating him had adversely impacted their mental health. (Karp did not respond to a request for comment from the Cut.) Former co-workers came forward, too — including writer, comedian, and actor Brittani Nichols, who wrote a lengthy thread alleging that leadership at Karp’s rap-battle competition show, Drop the Mic, had to be “talked into hiring a person of color,” among other things, and that he was a terrible employer in general.

There have also been allusions to theft of intellectual property from other podcasters, references to alleged “gaslighting,” and assertions that Karp generally just lies a lot. On the other hand, there have also been defenses of Karp’s character — for example, from Linkin Park guy Mike Shinoda, who called him an “all-around good dude” and praised his talents in comedy and podcasting.

But alas there is a lesson to be learned from all of this. Think of it like the famous Simpsons episode where Homer gets accused of sexual harassment and the more people picked up on the story, the crazier it got. But we can all learn from this and if you want a story to go viral, make sure that you don’t have any demons in your closet before you start turning on the thing that could potentially make you famous, because it could come back to bite you in the ass!

Disgusting. That's what everyone thought when they first heard about the saga of the cinnamon-and-sugar encrusted shrimp tail found in a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
The gross object was tweeted by Los Angeles-based writer Jensen Karp, who said he found pieces of a crustacean in his cereal earlier this week. His thousands of followers responded — and so did Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

The back-and-forth quickly devolved into chaos. The cereal brand owned by General Mills responded via Twitter to Karp, saying that the shrimp-tail-like objects weren't seafood, but an "accumulation of the cinnamon sugar that sometimes can occur when ingredients aren't thoroughly blended." It added: "We assure you that there's no possibility of cross contamination with shrimp."

Admittedly, it's a silly story. But for Tom Meyvis, a professor of marketing and consumer behavior at New York University's Stern School of Business, there's a lesson to be learned here.

Meyvis said the discovery is gross — and that's "very dangerous for food brands." However, how Cinnamon Toast Crunch responded was even worse, he said.

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[font size="8"]Stupidest State Round 1 Week 3
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16 states will enter and only one state will become the new Top 10 Conservative Idiots Stupidest State!

Welcome back everybody! Last week saw an epic battle as #3 Nevada handily routed #4 Iowa to advance to the Fiscal Irresponsibility Championship, while over in the Gun Nut Conference, #3 Idaho shot their way past #4 Oregon to advance to the conference finals! This week it’s a battle of conference heavyweights! Over in the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference, #1 Kansas takes on red hot #2 Wyoming to advance to play Nevada. And over in the Gun Nut Conference, last year’s reigning champion #1 Florida takes on #2 Texas to advance to the conference finals! This is going to be some really good matching, and let’s go to the floor!

[font size="4"]Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference: #1 Kansas vs #2 Wyoming [/font]

[font size="2"]Kansas [/font]

Kansas sits atop the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference. It’s the home of several large corporations and large industries. Agriculture is of course the prime industry but did you know that Topeka is also home to one of the world’s richest companies? I’m of course talking about Koch Industries. Kansas is also home to some of the biggest corporations and food processing companies in the entire United States, including the anti-Coke, PepsiCo, and Frito Lay! Both of which are locking in an insane labor negotiation deal. Think of it like that episode of the Simpsons.

PepsiCo, the company that owns Topeka's Frito-Lay plant, isn't negotiating fairly in contract talks with the union representing more than 450 of the employees there, says the president of the union representing those workers.

PepsiCo has "threatened to lock us out if we don't take what they offered," said Brent Hall, president of Local 218 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union.

Hall made those statements Friday on his personal Facebook page while asking the public to contact PepsiCo and express support for the union. He posted the phone number, email address and regular mail address for the PepsiCo board.

"We'd appreciate all the help we can get," Hall told The Capital-Journal on Saturday. "We're trying to negotiate a contract. We're not trying to negotiate a strike. We want fair and open negotiations."

Read more: https://www.cjonline.com/story/business/employment/2021/03/08/union-president-pepsico-not-negotiating-fairly-frito-lay-talks/4610488001/

And with lots of jobs also comes lots of unemployment, which Kansas has IN DROVES! Yes that’s right – there’s a lot of unemployed people in the central part of the United States. And with massive unemployment also comes massive unemployment fraud. And unlike voter fraud, unemployment fraud is actually a real problem in this country. Although you would think more people would care about this subject, but they really don’t.

Thousands of fraudulent unemployment claims are prompting Kansas to shut down its processing system this weekend, meaning some jobless workers will have payments delayed as the state installs new anti-fraud protections, Gov. Laura Kelly announced Wednesday.

Kelly acknowledged that fraudulent claims may have helped fuel a recent surge of filings for benefits, agreeing with Republican legislators.

The Democratic governor’s announcement came shortly after GOP lawmakers said they will push to protect employers from being forced to cover the cost of fraudulent claims in ex-employees' names. They said the state Department of Labor doesn't have a handle on the problem and that they've not gotten enough data or answers.

Kelly said the unemployment system will go down at 2 p.m. Saturday and go back up at 7 a.m. Tuesday. She said the state won’t pay benefits during that period but will work to catch up on claims when the system is back up.

Read more: https://theeagle.com/news/business/kansas-to-shut-down-unemployment-system-to-deal-with-fraud/article_0a875611-7910-5675-93e5-e1a706be8759.html

[font size="2"]Wyoming [/font]

Wyoming is a newcomer to the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference. And they’re one of the hottest teams in the league for a good reason. If you have any rich friends, you may have heard them talking about moving to Wyoming and it’s mainly thanks to Wyoming’s current rich guy ambassador and former presidential candidate Kanye West. Resort towns in the Equality State are becoming playgrounds for America’s super rich because of the large plots of land available and they’re incredibly cheap because Wyoming is in a terrible recession. But really there’s more to it.

Not many American towns the size of Pinedale, population roughly 2,000, can boast that they have a $22 million aquatic center, with a beautiful lap pool, water slides, yoga rooms and a three-story climbing wall.

Then again, most rural towns this size probably haven't had the steady pipeline of tax revenue from natural gas pumped off nearby federal land to pay for it. The opening of the center, more than a decade ago, convinced its now director Amber Anderson to move back home after college in 2018 as a young professional.

"I would not have come back to Pinedale had it not been for this facility, and my family's all here and I love the outdoors and stuff but there just wasn't a lot to offer in Pinedale," says Anderson.

The Jonah Field is one of the most productive federal drilling lands in the country. But in the last few years, things have gotten tough. When prices were high, companies drilled a lot, but now there's a glut. Prices tanked and the pandemic has made that even worse. Locally, people are getting laid off, and Anderson recently had to cut the aquatic center's budget by almost half.

And here’s the thing people – keep electing republicans because it will ultimately come back to bite you in the ass. Hard. And not only that, the shit is coming around and it will ultimately affect them. See, Wyoming might be a current playground for the uber-wealthy but it’s hurting financially. For every outer beauty, there is an inner ugly. And this is probably the least ugly thing but it’s way worse than you would think!

Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, says Wyoming sell its two jets used for transporting state employees, but some officials have pushed back against this idea.

“The State of Wyoming should list its TWO Luxury jets on EBAY instead of raising taxes and pushing toll road,” Bouchard wrote on his Facebook account that also featured a photo of the planes.

However, multiple Wyoming Department of Transportation studies have concluded the planes actually save the state money instead of being more costly.

State aeronautics division administrator Brian Olsen told Cowboy State Daily that although his department doesn’t have an official stance on the jets, the staff finds they are an efficient and effective tool in conducting state business.

Read more: https://cowboystatedaily.com/2021/03/12/legislator-suggests-wyoming-should-sell-its-jets-state-officials-push-back/

[font size="2"]And The Winner Is: [/font]

We have an upset! Wyoming knocks off Kansas to advance to the conference finals and play Nevada for the crown! Final score: 84 – 75! Kansas goes home and puts an end to a great season. Wyoming advances to their first Fiscal Irresponsibility championship!

[font size="4"]Gun Nut Conference: #1 Florida vs #2 Texas [/font]

[font size="2"]Florida [/font]

Florida was last years’ champion for one reason: Their MVP Ron DeSantis. Could he foster the first ever repeat in Stupidest State history? Only time will tell of course! But Florida not only has some ridiculously strong gun credentials, they also have strong Batshit credentials, making them a double contender in both categories. And again it’s all thanks to their current governor, Ron DeSantis. But remember in the Gun Nut Conference, the crazy doesn’t matter. Instead it’s how much heat you pack, and Florida – well they are packing lots and lots of heat!

With supporters saying the issue is about property rights, the Florida House on Friday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would allow people to carry guns at churches that share locations with schools.

House members voted 76-37 to approve the measure (HB 259), sponsored by Rep. Jayer Williamson, R-Pace, and Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach. Florida law generally allows people to carry concealed weapons at churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious institutions, but it bars being armed on school properties. That leads to people being prevented from carrying guns on properties shared by religious institutions and schools.

The bill would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to bring guns on properties shared by churches and schools. Religious institutions or property owners would continue to be able to bar guns at the sites.

Williamson described the proposal as an issue of private property rights, which he said are a “foundation of our country.” But Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura, disputed that the issue was about property rights and said it is about guns in classrooms. Geller said the Legislature’s job should be to protect students.

And not only does Florida allow guns just about everywhere, they steal guns! Oh yes my friends, in case you’re wondering if Florida can’t sink any lower in terms of gun crime – let’s take into account that most gun crimes are committed with stolen weapons. Then let’s go further and report on Florida having the most stolen guns per capita in the United States. Yes that is correct! And it does not surprise us in the least!

In the last year, Marion County saw a major increase in reported gun thefts, which went up 85 percent in 2020.

“When a gun is stolen, that gun was not purchased lawfully. There was no background check,” Bloom said.

He noted many of the weapons were stolen out of unlocked cars.

“Many times these people who break into cars are teenagers, and now a teenager has a firearm. A deadly weapon,” Bloom said. “No gun owner, no lawful gun owner would want his or her firearm falling into the hands of a teenager who has some bad intent with it.”

Marion County is not the only local area to see an increase in gun thefts last year. Kissimmee’s gun thefts nearly doubled, going up 95 percent in one year. Orlando’s gun thefts went up 34 percent and Osceola County’s went up 23 percent.

[font size="2"]Texas [/font]

Ah what’s there to say about Texas, the Lone Star State? A reigning champion of the Gun Nut Conference and Stupidest State 2019 winner? Well not a whole lot. Texas has one of the largest concentrations of guns in the entire country and is conveniently located on the other side of the Gulf from Florida. Well remember during the Trump administration when people were complaining about those icky “sanctuary states” (which was really a racist call? Well Gov. Abbott wants to make Texas a “sanctuary state” for gun owners! Gee, what could go wrong there?

Filed earlier this month, a state House bill backed by Gov. Greg Abbott would turn Texas into a so-called Second Amendment sanctuary state. In other words, the bill, if passed, would forbid Texas state agencies and other bodies from enforcing new federal gun laws or rules, a proposal some advocacy groups have criticized.

The bill’s primary author, state Rep. Justin Holland, a Republican from Heath, said HB 2622 comes at a time when it’s necessary to “step up and protect our 2nd Amendment rights in Texas,” according to a press release.

If enacted, the bill seeks to bar any state agency or political subdivision from enforcing new federal gun laws, orders, rules or regulations that do not already exist in Texas law.

One of more than 40 active gun-related bills in the Legislature, it would also block state grant funds to any political subdivision that adopts a new federal statute, order, rule or regulation on firearms. The funds would be denied for the next fiscal year, the bill notes.

And not only does Texas not have to be careful with guns, they have a whopping 40 – that’s right – 40 legislative bills on the desk awaiting approval. Expect mass shootings to get *THAT* much worse in the Lone Star State. And I mean come on, what can you expect when Ted Cruz is your senator? And if you get caught with a gun even though you have a history of abuse in Texas? You just get nothing more than a slap on the wrist. They’re soft on guns in Texas. Ew, that sounded wrong.

In Texas, if a protective order is issued against you, you can’t possess a firearm or ammunition. That’s been spelled out on protective orders for more than 20 years -- except in cases where a respondent is a peace officer with a full-time state agency job.

As of Sept. 1, 2020, trial courts are also required to inform people regarding prohibitions outlined in their protective order.

“(The court must) orally admonish the person, in a manner the person can understand, that the person is ineligible to possess a firearm or ammunition; and provide the person with a written admonishment informing that person of the person's ineligibility to possess a firearm or ammunition,” a chapter in the Texas Administrative Code states.

But based on multiple conversations with lawmakers, attorneys, judges, law enforcement and advocates across the state, we found that most of the 254 Texas counties don’t have a formal process for the surrender, storage and return of those guns.

[font size="2"]And The Winner Is: [/font]

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! This is one of the most hotly contested rivalries in the Gun Nut Conference! Texas has stunned Florida with 12 unanswered points on the board and they are going to move onto the Gun Nut Championship! Last year’s champions are not going to repeat this year! They are stunned on the floor! Final score: 103 – 91! Wow, what a match!

[font size="4"]Next Week: [/font]

It’s the final week of Round 1! And we’ve been saving the best for last as #1 Georgia takes on #2 Kentucky for the Batshit Conference crown, while over in the Family Values conference, #3 Mississippi takes on #4 Arkansas! The Elite 8 is shaping up and looking pretty interesting!

See you next week!


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