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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
July 18, 2024

Pelosi has told House Democrats that Biden may soon be persuaded to exit race

Source: Washington Post

Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi has told some House Democrats she believes President Biden can be persuaded fairly soon to exit the presidential race amid serious doubts he can win in November, according to three Democratic officials familiar with her private discussions.

Following Biden’s halting debate performance last month, and the panic it unleashed among Democrats in and outside of Washington, Pelosi is taking a strong, behind-the-scenes role in trying to resolve the political crisis by playing intermediary for upset rank-and-file Democrats and relaying those messages to the White House.

The former speaker, who left her leadership post in 2022 but still wields enormous clout, has told California Democrats and some members of House leadership that she thinks Biden is getting close to deciding to abandon his presidential bid. Some Democrats fear that, by staying in, Biden will end up handing the White House to Donald Trump, three Democratic officials said.

Pelosi’s aides declined to address her talks with her colleagues while dismissing the media “feeding frenzy” about her discussions with Biden.

“Speaker Pelosi respects the confidentiality of her meetings and conversations with the president of the United States,” a spokesperson for the former speaker said.

Read more: https://wapo.st/46iRR0n

July 18, 2024

Republicans Believe They Have the Real Answer to Unity: Religion

The Republican Party’s newly embraced message of unity arrived in Milwaukee this week as a deus ex machina—emphasis on the deus part.

“God saved Trump” has become one of the repeated mantras at the Republican National Convention, with top officials on the Trump campaign endorsing the notion that only the Lord Himself prevented Donald Trump from being struck in the head by a bullet.

Even though a firefighter died at the Pennsylvania rally on Saturday, the focus among Republicans has been on the bullet that grazed the former president’s ear.

“When you have an incident like that, where but for a millimeter’s difference, we would be having a very different conversation right now,” Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), one of the highest priority House members for the GOP’s efforts to hold the chamber, told The Daily Beast as he made his way through a security checkpoint.

Lawler said it’s easy to see why the party has responded with so much more religiosity following the shooting.

“Of course people are going to rely on their faith in a moment like that.”


July 18, 2024

I spent 4 hours and 20 minutes in the state fair's new weed lounge. Here's how it went.

SACRAMENTO — Last month, the California State Fair announced plans to allow cannabis to be sold and consumed on-site for the first time in its 170-year history. On Sunday, I hopped on a flight from L.A. to Sacramento, bypassed the stands of deep-fried foods and whooshing carnival rides and made a beeline for Expo 6 to watch the first symbolic smoke sesh firsthand.

Here’s how the first four hours and 20 minutes went down at the fair’s new weed lounge.


At the back of the California Cannabis Experience, a brightly colored sign beckoned in a font you might find on a vintage postcard: “This way to the Embarc Oasis, ‘High From California.’” Below it, a hastily printed paper sign taped to the double doors reads: “Sales and consumption start at 12:30 p.m.” Organizers explained that the original 11 a.m. opening had been delayed. The reason? Because of an unexpectedly cool morning, the flame retardant applied to the artificial turf in the consumption lounge tent hadn’t yet dried. (That’s right. Organizers were making sure the fake grass didn’t get burned alongside the real grass.)

Trisha Rogers, a fair worker stationed at the front door of the exhibition hall, told me that around 300 people had inquired about the consumption lounge’s opening since the exhibit’s 10 a.m. start. (According to a spokesperson, by the end of the first day, more than 1,000 fair goers visited the lounge.)

12:15 p.m.

Somehow, without anyone in the crowd appearing to notice, one sign came off the double doors and a new one went up. The lounge opening was being pushed back another half hour to 1 p.m. Some in the crowd of 30-plus decided to busy themselves by retracing their steps through the collection of educational, weed-related exhibits. Others bided their time by adding to the Department of Cannabis Control’s nearby display (a large sign that asked “How do you enjoy your weed?” and invited answers by way of sticky notes). A few grabbed CBD-infused slushies from the bar or familiarized themselves with the recently announced 2024 California State Fair Cannabis Award winners whose names and products filled another entire wall.


July 18, 2024

RNC Attendees Donate Their Organs to Trump

MILWAUKEE (The Borowitz Report)—In an extraordinary display of devotion to their presidential nominee, attendees at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday eagerly donated their vital organs to Donald J. Trump.

After the party faithful made their donations, Trump indicated he would sell the harvested kidneys, lungs, and other human parts to pay his legal bills.

“We’re moving very strongly on spleen, very strongly on pancreas,” he told Fox News.

But, according to one knowledgeable source, Trump’s quest for organs is far from over. “I can think of one he needs,” said Stormy Daniels.


July 17, 2024

U.S. Accuses Former C.I.A. Analyst of Working for South Korea

Sue Mi Terry, a prominent voice on American foreign policy, had a refined palate, a love for top-shelf sushi and a taste for designer labels. She liked coats by Christian Dior, handbags by Bottega Veneta and Louis Vuitton, and Michelin-starred restaurants.

And, according to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, she accepted such luxury goods and other gifts in exchange for serving the South Korean government in Seoul.

Ms. Terry, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and a senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, is accused in a 31-page indictment released Tuesday of a yearslong effort to assist South Korean spies. The indictment says she even introduced the spies to congressional staff members, an action that she described as “bringing the wolf in.”

The charges, which were brought by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, were part of a concerted push by the Justice Department to combat foreign influence in American affairs, which has produced dozens of prosecutions in recent years. Such cases have been set off by illegal campaign contributions from overseas, covert influence operations and even the bribing of Senator Robert Menendez, for which he was convicted Tuesday.


July 17, 2024

Amazon Announces Orthodox Prime Day Will Be July 29 Through 30

SEATTLE—Providing clarity for customers in Russia, Moldova, Serbia, Georgia, and several other countries where the branch of Christianity is dominant, Amazon announced Monday that Orthodox Prime Day would be held July 29 through 30 this year.

“To all those Prime members who follow the Julian calendar, please know we haven’t forgotten you,” said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, noting that the Amazon Prime holiday, which falls on July 16 and 17, is observed 13 days later by members of Eastern Orthodox churches as a result of religious differences dating back to the Great Schism of 1054.

“We will hold the same annual online sale for Orthodox Christians a couple of weeks after we hold it for everyone else, allowing you to honor your sacred traditions as you shop for all the best bargains. What’s more, we’re planning to have great deals on black veils, cassocks, klobuks, and skufias.”

At press time, Amazon had launched a new ad for Orthodox Prime Day in which Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I was seen baptizing an Alexa and anointing it with myrrh.


July 17, 2024

Report Finds Just Giving In And Going To Church Would Solve All Your Problems

WASHINGTON—Making the case that the time had come to abandon your godless life of unbelief, a new report released Tuesday by a consortium of local pastors found that just giving in and going to church would solve all of your problems.

“The challenges you face will disappear if you simply throw in the towel and stop questioning everything so much,” read the report, which emphasized how much easier life would be if you walked into the next Christian place of worship you saw and adopted all of its beliefs wholesale.

“Church will provide you with the community and direction you have lacked for decades. You can quit therapy—which is expensive and a lot of work, isn’t it?—and just take comfort in whatever faith the church espouses. To be honest, you don’t even have to believe in God. You just have to act like you do.”

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for the consortium said the group would be waiting a bit longer before it released a follow-up report on why, once you had given in and joined a church, it was important to donate 10% of your income to it.


July 15, 2024

Project 2025, GOP platform blast California, teeing up critiques of Biden stand-ins

At the start of Project 2025’s conservative playbook for a second Trump presidency, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts took aim at leaders who he said wield power to “serve themselves first and everyone else a distant second.”

He mentioned North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un comfortably ruling over an impoverished nation, “billionaire climate activists” flying on private jets while criticizing carbon-emitting cars, and two “COVID-19 shutdown politicians” in California who were seen out and about — at a hair salon and a fancy restaurant — while calling on their constituents to stay home.

Name-dropping U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom in the conservative right’s blueprint for the White House was a way for Roberts to tie them, and California, to the idea that out-of-touch coastal elites are ruining the country.

That notion — well worn in American politics — appears throughout the Project 2025 plan, a wonky, 900-plus-page manifesto released last year by conservative thought leaders and Trump acolytes.

The idea is also evoked more subtly in the much snappier, 16-page Republican Party platform spearheaded by Trump and adopted by party officials last week, which criticizes American politicians who “insulated themselves from criticism and the consequences of their own bad actions” while average Americans suffered.


July 13, 2024

Ruth Westheimer, sex therapist known to millions as 'Dr. Ruth,' dies at 96

Source: Washington Post

Ruth Westheimer, a child survivor of the Holocaust who became known to millions as Dr. Ruth, the perky sex therapist whose frankness on her long-running radio and television call-in shows made her a go-to guide for tips on the art and science of lovemaking, died July 12 at her home in Manhattan. She was 96.

The death was confirmed by Pierre Lehu, a publicist and her co-author on several books, but no cause was noted.

Described as the first superstar sex therapist, Dr. Westheimer was over 50 when she debuted in 1980 on New York’s WYNY with “Sexually Speaking.” The radio program initially aired in 15-minute installments and was later syndicated and extended to two hours to accommodate the onslaught of queries she received from callers. More than a few listeners professed that she had saved their marriages.

Cable television viewers knew her as the prim, matronly host in the 1980s of “Good Sex With Dr. Ruth Westheimer” and as a frequent guest on late-night talk shows. At 4-foot-7, she often was seen perched on a seat, bedecked in pearls, cheerfully dispensing advice on best practices in the sack.

Read more: https://wapo.st/3WkZFeD

July 12, 2024

New York judge throws out Rudy Giuliani's bankruptcy case

Source: Washington Post

A federal judge in New York on Friday threw out Rudy Giuliani’s bankruptcy case, paving the way for a litany of creditors, including two former Georgia election workers who won a $148 million defamation claim against him, to pursue and potentially seize his assets.

The decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane in the Southern District of New York comes nearly seven months after Giuliani sought bankruptcy protection after he was ordered to immediately pay millions in damages to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, two Georgia women he falsely accused of helping to steal the 2020 presidential election.

Lane’s written ruling came amid claims by Giuliani’s creditors that the former New York mayor and personal lawyer to former president Donald Trump had used the proceedings to hide details about his assets and avoid paying the former election workers.

Friday’s order would allow Freeman and Moss and other creditors to pursue legal remedies to collect money owed to them by Giuliani. It also allows other pending lawsuits against the former mayor that had been frozen by the bankruptcy proceeding to resume, including defamation suits by the voting machine companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic and a sexual harassment and wage theft claim by former Giuliani associate Nicole Dunphy.

Read more: https://wapo.st/3zIIdbm

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