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Initech

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Member since: Sat Apr 2, 2005, 03:11 PM
Number of posts: 93,583

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The Closed Information Loop From Hell

https://twitter.com/TVietor08/status/850441771377086465

Found this on Media Matters' Twitter feed.

Your Words, Trump.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/373743492151136256

And:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/375075774644363264

And:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/375609403376144384

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #2-19: In Like Flynn Edition


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #2-19: In Like Flynn Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! Congratulations to the North Carolina Tar Heels for winning the NCAA March Madness tournament! Whew! Well anyway, Gonzaga, you put up a good fight and you can rest easier knowing your championship gear is going to clothe Africa’s starving children. I kid, hey miss, give it a chance, I just got up here! For you people watching at home there’s people already leaving! You know folks, I never thought I would agree with the BFEE on anything, but considering the tumultuous times we live in, where we have a maniacal mad man about to destroy the world, and that’s not even counting Donald Trump. Hey o! Thank you, I’m here all week! Don’t forget to tip your waitress! You know what I’m stalling enough. You know how they say “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, right? Well, there’s one person who I never thought we’d be allies with in this day and age. Let’s roll the tape!




That’s right! Bet you didn’t think it was going to be him, did you? And you think you’re so smart! I mean we have the single biggest piece of shit who’s ever occupied office. And I’m not counting the president in the previous video. Ha! I fooled you again! I’m of course talking about Donald Trump – a guy who is so polarizing that he’s causing even some of the most batshit crazy, extreme die hard republicans, to wake up and see what they are really doing. Hey maybe that’s what Trump meant by MAGA! All right that’s enough of the intro. We have a lot of idiocy to get to tonight. But first Colbert brings out his chalkboard and works his conspiracy theory magic:



So where do we begin this week? There's lots of stuff I would like to talk about including Bill O'Reilly losing sponsors and Steve Bannon getting pulled from the NSC. But we have to limit this to 10! The number one slot this week easily has to go to Michael Flynn (1) who is turning the tables on the Trump administration by exchanging testimony for immunity from prosecution. We will tell you what that means. Meanwhile the second slot is going to House Republicans (2). Because they passed a bill that will essentially give ISPs like Verizon and Time Warner the ability to sell your browsing history to the highest bidder, and that’s not good for anybody. In the number 3 slot is of course President Donald Trump, and in the third slot we’re going to channel our lecture series and talk about Trump’s latest tweet storm, and remember that this guy is our president. In the number 4 slot, we’re going to talk some baseball and specifically how Donald Trump (4) will be the first president since the game of baseball was invented to not throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals’ home opener this next week. Taking the fifth slot, once again is Donald Trump, and we’re going to do something unprecedented and try to use a flow chart to explain Donald Trump and the GOP’s knowledge of history after his flub explaining Susan B. Anthony. Well, it should be the “take no responsibility” party.In the number 6 slot, is the Bathroom Police (6). Yes they’re making a comeback. While Trump and the GOP are busy rolling LGBT rights back to the stone ages, the Iowa GOP is finding new and scary ways to instill their good old fashioned brand of Christian family values (speaking of family values!). Plus we also have to talk about the worst party bus ever. In the number 7 slot, we’re going to talk about the Russians (7) and their brand of cyberwarfare manipulating the election in favor of Trump, and you would be a fool and a communist to make that connection. Taking the number In the number 8 slot, we were originally going to talk about Chuck Berry but I didn’t like the entry. Instead we’re going to talk about Mike Pence and recent revelations about his bizarre behavior around women, and he makes Mitt Romney look sane by comparison. In the number 9 (NEIN!!!) slot, we have another installment of "I Need A Drink" (this is becoming a regular feature), and we’re going to lighten things up and tell you about a fun new fan cruise you can go on, and it’s being run by David Hasslehoff (9). Yes, put the Hoff on a boat for 5 days full of alcohol and drunk tourists, what could go wrong? Finally this week, we’ve got the next round of our Stupidest State Contest. This time it’s a Family Values face off for the championship as we pit back to back conference champions Alabama against the hottest state in the Family Values racket – Tennessee, who steamrolled over perennial favorites North Carolina in this contest. Plus we have some more live music for you, this time from Wisconsin’s own Violent Femmes! Their new album “We Can Do Anything” is amazing and a lot of fun to listen to. If you don’t have it get it. And they will be stopping by to play something from it! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!


[font size="8"]Michael Flynn[/font]




So that happened. In case you don’t know what we’re talking about – it’s the biggest shit show of the week, in a year where shit shows seem to be happening on an almost daily basis. In case you don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about, I give you Michael Flynn. Remember that cheesy 60’s British spy comedy In Like Flint that was the basis for the “Austin Powers” series? This is In Like Flynn! Yeah, baby!!!

Report: Michael Flynn Asked For Immunity In Exchange For Testifying On Trump’s Russia Ties
According to the Wall Street Journal, Flynn’s offer has not been accepted.
By Mollie Reilly 03/30/2017 07:03 pm ET

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser to President Donald Trump, is seeking immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying on the president’s ties to Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

According to the report, Flynn made the offer to the FBI, the House intelligence committee and the Senate intelligence committee. All three entities are currently investigating whether Trump’s associates had contact with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. According to the Wall Street Journal, none of them have yet accepted Flynn’s offer.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michael-flynn-testimony_us_58dd889fe4b0e6ac7093b323?5m79oc7olzxhl4n29&




Yeah! Groovy baby! Oh behave! This whole thing stinks. It’s like playing a really fucked up game of Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon. Except there’s just one degree and someone in the Trump administration was connected to Russia. Well Flynn may have been requesting immunity from prosecution to protect his own ass. But what is he hiding? Who is he hiding from? Well, there was this that happened over last week!

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (The Nil Admirari) - Earlier today, the Kremlin announced it had invited Ex National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to Moscow in order to award him the Atomic Medal of Honor.

The Kremlin explained the newly-created award was designed specifically "for high-profile individuals who had earned the attention and admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin."

Upon hearing the news, Flynn commented, "I am both honored and surprised. I had never heard of the Atomic Medal of Honor before today, and was unaware I was being considered for it."

Flynn added, "This is some great news considering all the bad luck I have been having. I just asked for immunity in exchange for my testimony on Trump's ties to Russia."
http://www.theniladmirari.com/2017/03/michael-flynn-wins-russian-atomic-medal-of-honor-putin-insists-he-travel-to-moscow-to-claim-russian-award-before-talking-to-congress-and-fbi.html




Please, oh please tell me that this is an April Fool’s Joke! Wait, what? This article was published on March 31st? Blast!!!! But this shit gets even weirder than that! Was Michael Flynn a paid operative by a foreign country? Oh this gets much scarier than some e-mails that got deleted off a private server.

WASHINGTON — Michael Flynn, who was President Donald Trump's former national security adviser until being fired last month, has registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work before Election Day that may have aided the Turkish government.

Paperwork filed Tuesday with the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Unit said Flynn and his firm were voluntarily registering for lobbying from August through November that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." It was filed by a lawyer on behalf of the former U.S. Army lieutenant general and intelligence chief.

After his firm's work on behalf of a Turkish company was done, Flynn agreed not to lobby for five years after leaving government service and never to represent foreign governments.

Under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, U.S. citizens who lobby on behalf of foreign governments or political entities must disclose their work to the Justice Department. Willfully failing to register is a felony, though the Justice Department rarely files criminal charges in such cases. It routinely works with lobbying firms to get back in compliance with the law by registering and disclosing their work.
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/michael-flynn-disclosed-his-lobbying-might-have-helped-turkey-n731056




Holy fuck! So he was working for Erdogan but didn’t disclose it? And as we all know Erdogan is a power hungry insane wannabe dictator who may or may not also be in Putin’s pocket. Allegedly, allegedly! Well, maybe not so allegedly! Because it turns out that Flynn may have actually met with the Turkish government.

Earlier this week former Donald Trump campaign adviser James Woolsey publicly revealed that he had attended a meeting between Michael Flynn and the Turkish government which involved discussions so legally dubious that he reported it to the U.S. government. But guess who else tagged along for a meeting between Flynn and the Turkish government? House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who this week inserted himself into the Trump-Russia scandal in bizarre fashion.

To be clear, these were two different meetings. Woolsey says the Flynn-Turkey meeting he attended, in which the kidnapping of Pennsylvania resident Fethullah Gülen was discussed, took place in the summer of 2016. But after Donald Trump was named the winner of the election, late in the transition team period, Flynn met with the Turkish government yet again. By this time James Woolsey had already resigned two weeks earlier. So instead, Flynn took another Trump transition team member with him, Devin Nunes.

It’s not publicly known what was discussed during the Flynn-Nunes-Turkey meeting on January 18th. But confirmation of the meeting has been hiding in plain sight all along. Earlier today respected political pundit T. R. Ramachandran posted a lengthy tweet storm (link) which included a reference to a previously overlooked article from Turkish news publication Daily Sabah (link). The article reports that “ Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with designated U.S. National Security adviser Rt. Gen. Mike Flynn on Wednesday at Trump Hotel in Washington” and goes on to add that “House Intelligence Committee Congressman Devin Nunes, a Republican heavyweight, also attended the breakfast.”
http://www.palmerreport.com/politics/devin-nunes-michael-flynn-turkey/2054/


So much better than Hillary’s e-mails, they tell us!




[font size="8"]House Republicans[/font]


While we’re talking about Trump’s latest bullshit tweet (which we will get to in a minute), we have to talk about what the GOP did over the weekend. And it’s extremely despicable. In the day and age where you have Alex Jones screaming about government surveillance and the illuminati, well, he may actually be right for once. But he’s wrong in who he is targeting.

House Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday, by a margin of 215-205, to repeal a set of landmark privacy protections for Web users, issuing a sweeping rebuke of Internet policies enacted under the Obama administration. It also marks a sharp, partisan pivot toward letting Internet providers collect and sell their customers' Web browsing history, location information, health data and other personal details.

The measure, which was approved by a 50-48 margin in the Senate last week, now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it.

Congress's joint resolution empowers Internet providers to enter the $83 billion market for online advertising now dominated by Google and Facebook. It is likely to lend momentum to a broader GOP rollback of Obama-era technology policies, and calls into question the fate of other tech regulations such as net neutrality, which was approved in 2015 over strident Republican objections and bans Internet providers from discriminating against websites. And it is a sign that companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will be treated more permissively at a time when conservatives control all three branches of government.

Supporters of Tuesday's repeal vote argued the privacy regulations, written by the Federal Communications Commission, stifle innovation by forcing Internet providers to abide by unreasonably strict guidelines.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/03/28/the-house-just-voted-to-wipe-out-the-fccs-landmark-internet-privacy-protections/




I’m sure a lot of conspiracy theorists right now are securing their tin foil hats to their heads. And I mean I hate to say it, but Infowars – as much as we mock them here – might actually be right about something for a change! So you might be asking “how are they going to do this?” Well, that’s a good question, and we turn to President Trump’s favorite resource to do that. Real news, the best news, OK?

1. Deep packet inspection.

Deep packet inspection allows the ISP to go through certain pockets of data that are sent across the web and data that’s used for user protection. This can also be batched together to include information like age, location, name and other personal data.

2. Monitoring Internet activity.

LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR STANDARDS FOR USE OF CELL PHONE SCANNERS

ISPs can simply monitor the websites that users are visiting and get the information, store and sell it that way. Since this is a direct method, it’s highly lucrative for advertisers.

3. Tracking user location through mobile devices.

ISPs such as Comcast or AT&T can access user location thanks to GPS-enabled smart devices and monitor them. Companies such as Apple and other retailers do this already, using beacons (i.e. when you walk past an Apple Store and you get an alert telling you you’re near), but the difference is ISPs are looking to generate revenue from location tracking.
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/03/30/how-will-isps-collect-and-sell-your-browser-history.html




Now you might also be asking how to protect yourself from your snooping ISP. Well, you know a lot of right wing conservative militias work on the internet and they work in secret carrying out their mischief and mayhem. So when this bill becomes law – and you know Trump wont hesitate to sign it – you can expect a lot of them to go to prison when they start searching for how many guns one can legally own and insane information about the rapture. Well, there’s this.

However, you can still go dark, if you don’t want big telecom peering into your private life. There’s a chance that your ISP will let you opt-out of certain types of data collection, although it’s unclear if they’re specifically required to do this in the absence of the privacy rules. The FTC does recommend that service providers off an opt-in option, although ISPs could just decide to ignore that recommendation. Your situation will inevitably depend on how your particular ISP decides to exploit the lack of rules. Otherwise, protecting your online privacy in these grim times essentially amounts to putting up a barrier between you and the prying eyes of large telecom companies. Let us show you how.
Use a VPN

Our first recommendation is the best one: pay for a VPN service. Using a virtual private network (VPN) is the only way to ensure that you’re accessing the internet through an encrypted, private channel. Your browsing habits can still be seen by the VPN service—and law enforcement, if it comes to that—but you’ll be safe from a spying ISP since it will see your traffic as coming from a random server instead of your house.
http://gizmodo.com/how-to-hide-your-browsing-history-from-your-snooping-is-1793687193




But the good news is that major ISPs are now saying that they’re not going along with the schemes being proposed by the House Republicans:

Internet service providers are in an awkward spot. After getting all dressed up for the sell-your-data dance, it turns out they'll be staying home.

Or so they claim.

Reuters reports that representatives from Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T all came out today to assure worried consumers that the companies will not in fact sell customers' browsing histories to the highest bidder.

"We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history," writes Comcast Chief Privacy Officer Gerard Lewis on the company's blog. "We did not do it before the FCC’s rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so."

But should we trust Lewis and his counterparts at AT&T and Verizon?

The denials were issued after the House and Senate voted to repeal landmark consumer privacy rules passed in 2016 that would have blocked internet service providers from selling the browsing history of their customers.
http://mashable.com/2017/03/31/isp-claim-wont-sell-browsing-history/#Q2sXZaSbniqJ




[font size="8"]Donald Trump[/font]


Ladies and gentlemen, we have some late breaking news to report!!!



Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, has been removed from the National Security Council in a staff reorganization.

Bloomberg News and other media outlets reported the changes, which were revealed in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

Bannon had been elevated to the principals committee of the National Security Council when Trump took office, a controversial move not just because of Bannon’s presence, but the apparent downgrading of the role of the national intelligence director and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Both of those figures, Dan Coats and Joseph Dunford, respectively, will now be regular attendees.
http://variety.com/2017/biz/news/steve-bannon-removed-national-security-council-trump-1202023363/




When I saw that Steve Bannon was trending I was hoping it was either his arrest or he'd been hospitalized for liver poisoning. Oh well, we can dream can't we? But maybe that means he'll spend more time with his pain killers and booze addictions. We'll cover this more as it happens. And by the way why are we going to Variety for late breaking political news? Not enough Kardashian or Bieber stories out there? But anyway back to the original entry. Sigh, another day, another weekend that Trump has spent it at a Trump property. Is this what we really need at this point on our country’s lifespan? Do we really need a president who lies about how much time he spends on the golf course? You know what Trump really is? He’s in that group of retired old guys who hang out at the local McDonalds every morning spending hours talking shit about how much time young people spend on those “dang cell phones” while complaining about using coupons to get 5 cents off an extra large iced mocha, but he spends about as much time on his cell phone as they do! And they complain about spending 5 extra cents on an iced mocha latte, when they won’t hesitate to spend $500 on a tee time. At 6:00 AM! And every single McDonalds everywhere has these people, am I not right about that? If you don’t live too far from McDonalds and want some free entertainment, just go to one on a weekend – any random weekend, order an Egg McMuffin, sit back and watch the show. You will see some mighty pissed off old guys. Well so what was our flip flopping president up to this weekend? Well first off he went on a late night Twitter toilet rampage, and it can be just as confusing when he ends with a “…” as he does with any of his other tweets. Let’s throw those up there, shall we?

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/848216035153121285
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/848219027659010051

But we’re not done! He’s been on a rampage! I guess that the staff finally figured out how to take his toy away from him, but now that he has it back he’s been pulling no punches!

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/848519587675201538

Wow, really? He went there? Fake news! Ok, sad! But this might be my favorite tweet of the last couple of days:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/848529014667055105

And we all know how much Trump loves leaks! Hey o!!!! And he’s not stopping! I mean really, he’s been dormant for a while, but he has resurfaced. And of course, he loves him some Fox & Friends doesn’t he?

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/848841326183534594

Amazing reporting, OK? Tremendous, tremendous reporting! Fox & Friends is the best! BTW, I found this video on Youtube where someone mashed a Trump speech with the Rodney Dangerfield classic “Back To School”:




But then he loves his favorite punching bag – Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager John Podesta, I mean come on seriously? Haven’t they been through enough? Stop acting like you’re in campaign mode!

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/848856822312292354
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/848857910297980928
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/848880519458717698

And at least he spelled “precedent” correctly this time! Hey o!!! So how much of this is true? I mean if you remember your training from our lecture series, you should know that 99% of what Trump tweets is pure, unfiltered bullshit.

President Donald Trump questioned Monday whether the brother of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta accepted money to have sanctions against Russia lifted and if the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate knew about it.

“Was the brother of John Podesta paid big money to get the sanctions on Russia lifted? Did Hillary know?” Trump asked via Twitter on Monday morning.

Trump’s tweet followed a Fox News segment in which “Fox and Friends” aired a clip of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who spoke with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. The Trump ally told “Sunday Morning Futures” that the Russia-Trump story is “absurd” but raises questions about whether the Obama administration “deliberately” leaked information and what the Russians have been up to.

“But, frankly, that involves the Podesta brothers, one of whom is a registered agent for a Russian bank,” Gingrich said, referring to Tony Podesta. “It involves all the different things that Peter Schweizer wrote about on his book on ‘Clinton Cash.’ And it’s ironic that all of the real evidence of real money and real influence-buying by the Russians relates to Democrats.”
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/trump-hillary-clinton-criticism-tweets-236818




And most of what Trump tweets is 100% bovine excrement:

President Donald Trump said on Sunday he does not regret any of his tweets, even the occasional bad post.

"I don't regret anything because there is nothing you can do about it," Trump told the Financial Times when asked about the impact of his Twitter account. "You know, if you issue hundreds of tweets and every once in a while you have a clinker, that's not so bad."

Though Trump has used his Twitter as a weapon to engage opponents and reach his own supporters, his tweets have caused a headache for members of his own party who are often forced to respond to early morning tweets.
http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-twitter-clinker-regret-2017-4


Occasional bad post? Have you read his tweets? Literally everything he says is that much fucking worse than the thing that preceded it! The only way you could be worse is be Satan on stage at a Puddle Of Mudd and Limp Bizkit headlining concert. I mean he talks shit about the “fake news” media on a daily basis, interfered with national security, provoked our allies, intimidated North Korea and China, and interfered with an official government investigation. And that was just last week! Holy shit! He really is Rodney Dangerfield! “I tell ya, I get no respect, no respect at all! I mean the media, you know they’re not kind to me! But Fox & Friends, they have the best reporting, the best I tell you! Ooh, boy, rough crowd!”




[font size="8"]Donald Trump[/font]




Whew!!!! Yes it’s baseball opening week! Yeah! Is everybody excited! Hey, I live in Anaheim! I’m an Angels fan, we’re lucky we got one! Before the Dodgers! At least let us have that! I mean come on every year the Angels play the Dodgers, I feel like the Dodgers fans will beat the living shit out of us in our own stadium, but that’s how LA fans are. I know my Angels are going to suck for the foreseeable future (thanks Josh Hamilton!), but I’m getting off topic here. So getting back to our current president, you know he is going to be the first president since the game of baseball was invented not to throw out the opening pitch?

President Donald Trump has reportedly decided not to throw out a ceremonial first pitch to start the 2017 baseball season — skipping a ritual that President Obama once said was one of the more stressful tasks a president faces. But, though the tradition dates back more than a century, it began, as so many traditions do, as a one-off idea that could have easily been forgotten by history.

In 1955, Sports Illustrated explained how it all went down:

The first first-ball pitcher was a portly right-hander from Cincinnati named William Howard Taft , who threw from under a tall silk hat his first time out. The year was 1910, and Taft opened the baseball season at the request of Ban Johnson, president of the American League. Johnson thought the Presidential appearance would give a lift to sagging attendance, and it did. Twelve thousand fans — a record Washington turnout — were on hand to cheer Taft and the baseball Senators. Although Taft 's ample girth was not prohibitive for a pitcher, as Fred Fitzsimmons and Hugh Casey later proved in competition, he was wild. Having shed his gray kid gloves, he wound up and let fly towards Catcher Gabby Street, who was waiting at home plate. To everyone's surprise, the ball sailed off to starboard and into the glove of Pitcher Walter Johnson, who was observing the event from the mound.

Taft was an notable baseball fan himself, and said that he hoped that having the "temporary first magistrate" — the president, that is — at a game would encourage other Americans to enjoy such "healthy amusement." But Sports Illustrated reported that, up until that point in 1955, President Wilson had been the biggest fan of the game and President Harding — who had once owned a team — "displayed the only real Presidential fireball."
http://time.com/4716562/trump-baseball-first-pitch-history/




No Trump, they’re actually booing you. That’s right – in 107 years Trump is the first president in literally 107 years – since the game of baseball was invented – to not throw out the first pitch at a game! I mean seriously what the fuck! But this might be my favorite thing about this story – and about the most Donald Trump thing you might expect:

When Donald Trump decided to be the first president since Taft to refuse to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day in a Major League Baseball game, he created quite the media buzz.

Why won't he?

Joy Reid has some thoughts and it's hard to argue with her, as usual.

First off, In a 2014 interview, Trump claimed to be at one time 'the best baseball player in New York.' This was when Trump was in high school, and he claimed such a preposterous superlative the very same year, 1962, when the Yankees won the World Series with Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Roger Maris.

Gee, that sounds plausible.

The grimaces and odd faces Trump has made in the past while throwing out the first pitch doesn't lead anyone to believe he is a skilled player of any sort. Nor, given that his biggest complaint of the "fake" New York Times post-election was that they used unflattering pictures of him, would he want even more pictures like this made available to the media:
http://crooksandliars.com/2017/04/trump-once-claimed-best-baseball-player-ny




“I’m the best player in baseball, OK? Nobody is a better baseball player than I am!”. Yeah, just try saying that in Rodney Dangerfield’s voice. “Ooh boy, rough crowd!”. But apparently the tradition of a president throwing out the first pitch does not happen every year – it apparently only happens about once every 3 or four years according to the “FAKE NEWS!!!” Washington Post:

Obama, in fact, only threw out one Nats first pitch during his eight years in office. His predecessor, George W. Bush — who also happened to be a former baseball team owner — threw out all sorts of first pitches, including in Washington. But after his 2005 pitch at RFK Stadium, he didn’t bless the Nats again until 2008, when the new stadium opened.

“It’s not possible with his schedule,” a spokeswoman said in 2007, when Bush was invited but declined. “He’s got various meetings during the day, a meeting earlier in the morning. … It just wasn’t going to work out.”

The Post noted in 2007 that Bush’s absence “was the last item in a little roundup story from Nats spring training camp. No one thought it was a big deal.” And The Post also noted that while presidential first pitches had once been an annual tradition in Washington, they would likely be more irregular events in the 21st century.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2017/03/29/no-president-trump-did-not-just-break-a-100-year-old-first-pitch-tradition/?utm_term=.ee71d622a4dd




Oh and maybe this is why Trump refused to throw the first pitch:

It appears some fans used the Washington Nationals' Opening Day game to show their displeasure with president Donald Trump.

Per Alex Rubinstein of RT America, fans unraveled a large "Impeach Trump" banner during Monday's home game against the Miami Marlins:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2701626-banner-saying-impeach-trump-seen-hanging-at-marlins-vs-nationals





[font size="8"]Donald Trump[/font]


First off we have to mention this story and we've repeatedly and often wondered on this show how the Jim Bakker Show is still a thing. The guy is a crook and will always be a crook. And it really makes you wonder about the quality of the people who he has on his show. Let's roll the tape.



I hate to break it to you lady, but God already cursed us by giving us Trump. I mean really… you know Trump loves the best women right? Nobody loves the best women more than he does. And nobody has a better understanding of history than Donald Trump does, am I right about that? Well, you know what they say about people who forget history are doomed to repeat it, am I right? I mean shit, this is the party where they had no knowledge of how Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride actually went down! Well, they also fail at humor, among other things.

President Trump spoke to a women's empowerment panel Wednesday and praised the "incredible women leaders" in his Cabinet. He also spoke of the contributions of figures such as Abigail Adams, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, as Women's History Month comes to a close.

Trump said Adams was "very much a pioneer" in advocating women's rights.

And about Tubman, Trump said, "She was very, very courageous, believe me."

The trouble came when he got to Susan B. Anthony.

"Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?" Trump asked in what seemed to be a sarcastic tone. Members of the audience chuckled in response.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/03/29/trump-speech-asks-about-susan-b-anthony/99801030/




Trump sarcasm should be an oxymoron.



Yeah he smiles like that. But really, what is happening? I mean do we live in a world where backwards crazy shit happens on an almost daily basis? I mean what happened to the prospect of Starfleet? What happened to future exploration and future technology? Well to move forward, we need a president who even has a basic understanding of history!

Unlike Bill Clinton, Barack Obama or even George W. Bush, Donald Trump is not much of a history buff. He doesn't really read. Only "passages" and "areas" and "chapters," as he told Megyn Kelly in May of 2016 when she asked for the last book he read. "I don't have the time," he says. This doesn't mean Trump doesn't have favorite books. Kind of. He has mentioned All Quiet on the Western Front as one of the best, along with the Bible (!) and, of course, The Art of the Deal. He's yet to crack a presidential biography, though. “I never have," he admitted during the campaign when asked by the Washington Post if he'd read about any of his potential predecessors. "I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before.”

So it shouldn't have come as a surprise when during Wednesday's Women's Empowerment Panel Trump didn't come across as particularly learned when it came to the women who have shaped American history. "Since the very beginning, women have driven—and I mean each generation of—Americans toward a more free and more prosperous future," he said before running down the accomplishments of Abigail Adams, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, his eyes never straying from the teleprompter.
http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/a-tour-through-donald-trumps-understanding-of-history/


With that in mind, we’re going to do something unpresidented and use a simple Top 10 Flow Chart to explain how President Trump’s understanding of even basic history happens works.


Thank you!

But moving on – as you can imagine, this made things *INCREDIBLY* awkward in the White House the last week:

As Women’s History Month draws to an end, first lady Melania Trump proclaimed at a Wednesday award ceremony that “wherever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them.” Soon after, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a briefing that the “president made women’s empowerment a priority throughout the campaign.” And later in the afternoon, President Trump attended a women’s empowerment panel and jokingly asked whether anyone had heard of Susan B. Anthony.

It was a discordant series of remarks given Trump’s history of controversial comments about and allegations of mistreatment of women over the years. This is a president who bragged during a conversation with an “Access Hollywood” host that he could grab women without their permission, who allegedly burst into the dressing rooms of beauty pageant contestants and who was accused by 11 women before the election of inappropriately touching or kissing them.

Trump — who lagged Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton badly among female voters in November — has leaned heavily on men for his top Cabinet and administration posts. As he signed legislation rolling back environmental protections this week, Trump was surrounded by at least 16 men, including Cabinet members, coal executives and coal miners.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-the-trump-white-house-celebrating-womens-history-month-can-be-awkward/2017/03/29/8f2f66d6-14a7-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html?utm_term=.b38debec9b23





[font size="8"]The Bathroom Police[/font]


It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the Bathroom Police. They have been dormant, but lately, they have been hitting for the cycle – speaking of baseball. And holy fuck – Trump and his enablers have stooped to jaw dropping, stunning lows here. I mean this is a whole new level of evil.

This week, President Trump quietly nullified an order that required companies receiving large federal contracts to show that they have complied with various federal laws, many of which relate to discrimination in the workplace.

Below is what happened on Trump's 47th day in office. You can find out what damage was done every other day so far on the Saddest Calendar on the Internet.

Not even two weeks after the US Department of Health and Human Services eliminated questions about LGBT people on two crucial national surveys on the elderly and the disabled, the Trump administration extended their erasure of LGBT Americans yesterday when they announced they would not include the option to declare sexual orientation and gender identity on the 2020 US Census. Earlier in the morning, LGBT advocates thought they had a triumph, as the Census Bureau released a list of proposed subjects for 2020 that included questions relating to the above, which were new additions that LGBT rights advocates have been pushing for. But then the Census Bureau made a follow-up announcement.

"The Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey report released today inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix," the Census Bureau said in a statement. "This topic is not being proposed to Congress for the 2020 Census or American Community Survey."
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/trump-strips-lgbt-people-of-workplace-protections-then-erases-them-from-census




So you’re basically saying that LGBT Americans shouldn’t even count as American citizens. I mean come on, how fucking heartless do you have to be to be a republican? You know I wish we had included Iowa in the Stupidest State contest for the Family Values Conference, but they lost to Arkansas in an entry level game. Because Iowa is home to some of the most batshit crazy anti-abortion laws. Laws that make Utah’s funerals for fetuses law seem tame by comparison.

An anti-abortion bill being offered by Republicans in Iowa would effectively ban all abortions and give parents rights over the bodies of unmarried adult daughters.

A state House panel on Wednesday voted to send SF 471 — the so-called “personhood” bill — to the full committee. The bill states that life begins at conception, giving fetuses the same rights as people.

Anticipating that the “personhood” provision of the bill will likely be struck down by courts, the GOP bill also provides criminal punishment for anyone who performs an abortion more than 20 weeks after conception. The bill makes exceptions if the life of the mother is at risk. However, it does not make exceptions for rape or incest.
http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/iowa-gop-abortion-bill-will-grant-parents-of-unmarried-women-rights-to-control-adult-daughters-bodies/




And not only did Iowa do that, there’s more to the LGBT community that needs to be addressed. I mean while we’re obsessing about the latest Trump tweet, the GOP are quietly passing some incredibly fucking evil legislation, and Trump will sign it. He’s like Ron Burgundy except he signs anything that is put in front of him without reading it. Shit like this:

Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday allowing federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees.

Trump’s order revokes three previous orders signed by Barack Obama, including Executive Order 13673, the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order”.

Signed in 2014, the order required companies receiving sizeable federal contracts to demonstrate that they have acted in compliance for at least three years with federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender stereotyping.

“This administration has made it extremely difficult to enforce these federal laws as applied to federal contractors,” Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal attorney, told Keen News Service. “It’s sending a message to these companies that the federal government simply doesn’t care whether or not they violate the law.”
https://www.thegailygrind.com/2017/03/28/friend-gays-donald-trump-just-gutted-obama-order-protecting-lgbt-federal-employees/




And then this might be one of the most evil things they’ve done. You know the GOP hates the UN with a fiery passion – almost as much as I hate Justin Bieber. And you know how much I hate Justin Bieber! I mean come on the guy pees in a bucket and flips off a picture of Bill Clinton! Seriously, he’s the king of douchebags. King Of Douchebags – great improv troupe, by the way. But this is a whole new level of evil right here. You know the government is *ACTUALLY* doing to LGBT people what conspiracy theorists *THINK* they are having done to them!

After news broke last week that the U.S. State Department was sending listed anti-LGBT group C-FAM as part of America’s delegation to a United Nations conference, the government has now said it’s working with the group because it provides “diverse viewpoints”.

The Southern Poverty Law Center designated C-FAM (Center for Family and Human Rights) as an anti-LGBT hate group in 2014.

“The United States does seek to include individuals from civil society organizations with diverse viewpoints and allow them to observe the U.N. in action during the Commission on the Status of Women,” he (State Department spokesperson Mark Toner) said.

He also, however, insisted that activists are “not authorized to negotiate or speak on behalf of the United States”.
https://www.thegailygrind.com/2017/03/21/trump-admin-inclusion-anti-lgbt-hate-group-un-delegation-matter-diverse-viewpoints/




By the way we have to talk about this bus that got banned from Madrid. It’s going around saying that trans people aren’t natural. We call it “The Worst Party Bus Ever”.

A bright orange bus emblazoned with an anti-transgender message has been forced off the roads in Spain, after activists, trade unions, and Madrid City Council united against it.

The slogan on the bus read: "Boys have penises, girls have vulvas. Do not be fooled."

A Catholic group, Hazte Oir, had planned to take it on a nationwide tour of Spanish cities.

The group said the ban was illegal and that it planned to acquire a new bus.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39125187


Well did you know that this bus has since been banned from Madrid and is now appearing here in the States? Well if you’re shocked at this, you’re not a Top 10 viewer. And now it’s being called a “Free Speech Bus”. Go fuck yourselves! By prohibiting a group of people from free expression, you are not in any way shape or form exercising your right to free speech! You’re actually hurting both theirs and your right to free speech! I’ll exercise my right to free speech: Go fuck yourselves!

The bus rolled into downtown Boston Wednesday morning, stopping first at the Massachusetts State House. About two dozen protesters were there waiting for it, holding signs and chanting, “No hate, no fear, trans people are welcome here!” as the Boston Globe reported.

Then the bus moved on to City Hall, where Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh, flanked by dozens of supporters, hoisted the transgender rights flag in opposition.

“We will not be intimidated by discrimination or harassment,’’ Walsh said. “And we will not tolerate these types of actions. When you deny the experience of transgender individuals, you are denying the experience of basic human civil rights.”

As the Free Speech Bus crawled through the city toward its third destination, Cambridge, Mass., protesters stood in front of it, blocking its path. At one point, someone lobbed a cup of coffee at the bus’s door, as local media reported.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/03/31/an-anti-transgender-free-speech-bus-is-rolling-through-the-east-coast-sparking-protests-and-a-video-game/?utm_term=.0a59d1967c86





[font size="8"]Russian Fake News[/font]


One thing we’ve talked about a lot on this show but haven’t really gone into much detail on is how fake news played a huge role in the election. Fake news, OK? Sad! Jail time! Thanks, Mr. President. Ok so how did Russia manipulate our news into becoming just a cesspool of bullshit? Cesspool Of Bullshit – I saw them at the Troub last week. Not that great. But anyways here’s how fake news played into the whole thing:

The Kremlin paid an army of more than 1,000 people to create fake anti-Hillary Clinton news stories targeting key swing states, the leading Democrat on the committee looking into alleged Russian interference in the US election has said.

Senator Mark Warner, the Democrat ranking member, and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Republican Senator Richard Burr, appeared together at a press conference to give an update on the investigation ahead of the first witnesses appearing today.

Mr Warner said: “We know about the hacking, and selective leaks, but what really concerns me as a former tech guy is at least some reports – and we’ve got to get to the bottom of this – that there were upwards of a thousand internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia, in effect taking over a series of computers which are then called botnets, that can then generate news down to specific areas.


“It’s been reported to me, and we’ve got to find this out, whether they were able to affect specific areas in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, where you would not have been receiving off of whoever your vendor might have been, Trump versus Clinton, during the waning days of the election, but instead, ‘Clinton is sick’, or ‘Clinton is taking money from whoever for some source’ … fake news.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/russian-trolls-hilary-clinton-fake-news-election-democrat-mark-warner-intelligence-committee-a7657641.html




I like that one! And how does it get any weirder? Well it’s not just that Putin paid 1,000 people to create hundreds of thousands of fake news stories. Wrong! Lame! Boring! Sad! Shut up, Trump! but thanks to Russia, fake news is now a weapon! And how many times must we click on web pages only to see the same bullshit “you may like” stories? I can guarantee we will not like any of those!

Russia gets a lot of attention over its ongoing aggression in Ukraine and other former Soviet states. What does not get a lot of attention is Russia’s non-lethal methods of hybrid warfare to influence political outcomes in nations it considers adversarial. The tool for this at the Kremlin’s disposal is state-funded propaganda disguised as legitimate news—and it has the vast resources to distort the facts in ways that can potentially sway public perception to Russia’s favor.

In the U.S., “fake news” is an annoyance on your Facebook feed, or a charge lobbed at an outlet that reports something you may not agree with. In Russia, fake news is a weapon, and the guns that fire the bullets are its state news outlets like RT and Sputnik. RT doesn’t generate remotely the same ratings as CNN or other news networks, but they serve their geopolitical purpose: to create some degree of legitimacy among enough Americans who don’t believe in mainstream news.

This weekend, President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of ordering a wiretap on Trump Tower during the presidential election. Even though a president cannot legally order a wiretap and Obama denied the accusation, RT ran an article Sunday leading with White House’s request to investigate whether Obama abused his powers in 2016.
http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/how-russia-weaponizes-fake-news-1793047886?utm_medium=sharefromsite&utm_source=Foxtrot_Alpha_




And you know even the guy who wrote the memo about Russia and fake news thinks this whole thing is a steaming load of bullshit.

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-dossier-looking-increasingly-credible-2017-1
Steele was head of MI6’s Russia desk. He worked at Britain's intelligence service for years and was a highly regarded specialist on Russia, according to The Guardian. He served in Paris and Moscow in the 1990s before retiring. He now runs the intelligence company Orbis Business Intelligence with Christopher Burrows, a former British Foreign Office counsellor.

He has a network of sources in Russia. The New York Times said he was known for "his knowledge of the intricate web of Kremlin-tied companies and associates that control Russia." He called on these contacts to compile the allegations against Trump.

Steele has been trusted by the FBI and others with sensitive work.Reuters reported that the intelligence expert supplied the FBI with information on corruption at football's world governing body, FIFA, in 2010. He also gathered intelligence on Russia for England's 2018 World Cup bid. Russia ultimately triumphed during the bidding process.

He has friends in high places. Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow who helped alert US intelligence to the dossier, said Steele was a "very competent professional operator."




But that doesn’t stop Trump from calling the Russia story fake news. It’s fake news, OK? Totally sad!

President Donald Trump labeled reports from two major networks on alleged ties between individuals linked to his campaign and the Russian government as “totally biased and fake news” Thursday morning, continuing his tirade against allegations that his election team colluded with the Kremlin.

“Just watched the totally biased and fake news reports of the so-called Russia story on NBC and ABC. Such dishonesty!” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. He did not dispute any of the specifics of either report, which aired on NBC’s “Today” show and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The president's complaint comes one day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced that he had been given information to suggest that members of Trump’s transition team, and potentially Trump himself, had been inadvertently surveilled after the election, a revelation that Trump said Wednesday made him feel “somewhat” vindicated.
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/trump-tweet-nbc-abc-russia-fake-news-236407





[font size="8"]Mike Pence[/font]


So we were going to dedicate this slot to the late Chuck Berry and how he was a creep of Cosby and Trump proportions. But I didn’t really like the entry so instead we’re going to talk about Mike Pence and his insane religious beliefs around women. But if you read the editorials on why the internet went apeshit, you’d believe that Mike Pence being loyal to his wife is the problem. But it isn’t – it’s the fundamentalist Christian church that’s the problem. In the real world, Mike Pence would be allowed to socialize with women who aren’t his wife or be around alcohol without losing all self control. But that’s what his fire and brimstone brand of fundamentalist religion brings. But editorials like this one from NOLA aren’t helping:

The internet went a little goofy last week over the fact that Vice President Mike Pence once told a reporter that "he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won't attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either."

Some of you may find it perfectly reasonable that a man in a powerful position -- Pence has served in the U.S. House of Representatives and was governor of Indiana before becoming Donald Trump's vice president -- would take steps to preserve his marriage, honor his wife, Karen, and put himself beyond reproach.

Others might think it a bit old-fashioned and overly cautious.

But is your first reaction that Mike Pence's choice is sexist, misogynistic, bizarre, evidence of sexual perversion or deviancy, and even illegal? That was how much of social media saw it.

The importance of this eruption -- "How Mike Pence's Marriage Became Fodder for the Culture Wars" -- is less about the details of the Pence marriage guidelines than the chasm that has opened in society over the issues of sex, gender and marriage especially in regard to religious beliefs.
http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2017/04/mike_pence_cherishes_his_wife.html




Yeah you’re not helping. Let’s go back to the original piece. You know here’s a little secret about the “culture wars” – the only people who are engaged in this “war” are the extreme right wing fundamentalist Christians. Us liberal, secular, non religious people don’t give a shit. We really don’t! Thank you! That’s right – we couldn’t care less that bakeries are baking cakes for gay weddings or what movie theaters show bullshit religious movies like “The Shack” or what stores greet us with “Happy Holidays” vs “Merry Christmas”. You know what we do when that happens? We don’t care! Religious fundamentalists like Pence should try it some time, that’s good for you! We’re working for rights, not against them. Here’s the original piece:

The Washington Post ran a profile of Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, on Wednesday. The piece talks about the closeness of the Pences’ relationship, and cites something Pence told The Hill in 2002: Unless his wife is there, he never eats alone with another woman or attends an event where alcohol is being served. (It’s unclear whether, 15 years later, this remains Pence’s practice.) It’s not in the Post piece, but here’s the original quote from 2002: “‘If there's alcohol being served and people are being loose, I want to have the best-looking brunette in the room standing next to me,’ Pence said.”

Some folks—mostly journalists and entertainers on Twitter—have reacted with surprise, anger, and sarcasm to the Pence family rule. Socially liberal or non-religious people may see Pence’s practice as misogynistic or bizarre. For a lot of conservative religious people, though, this set-up probably sounds normal, or even wise. The dust-up shows how radically notions of gender divide American culture.

Pence is not the first contemporary public figure to set these kinds of boundaries around his marriage. He seems to be following a version of the so-called Billy Graham rule, named for the famous evangelist who established similar guidelines for the pastors working in his ministry. In his autobiography, Graham notes that he and his colleagues worried about the temptations of sexual immorality that come from long days on the road and a lot of time away from family. They resolved to “avoid any situation that would even have the appearance of compromise or suspicion.” From that day on, Graham said, he “did not travel, meet, or eat alone with a woman other than my wife.” It was a way of following Paul’s advice to Timothy in the Bible, Graham wrote: to “flee … youthful lusts.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/pence-wife-billy-graham-rule/521298/?utm_source=feed




And you know this is what makes Indiana’s insane religious freedom law different from the next – is Mike Pence’s fire and brimstone beliefs. And the GOP wants this thing to go nuclear and go across the whole country. You know whatever happened to civil rights? Remember when we used to have those things? That was nice.

That’s a good background against which to measure the uproar about the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law by Governor Mike Pence last week. I don’t question the religious sincerity of anyone involved in drafting and passing this law. But sincere and faithful people, when they feel the imprimatur of both the law and the Lord, can do very ugly things.

There’s a factual dispute about the new Indiana law. It is called a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” like the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed in 1993.* Thus a number of its defenders have claimed it is really the same law. Here, for example, is the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack: “Is there any difference between Indiana's law and the federal law? Nothing significant.” I am not sure what McCormack was thinking; but even my old employer, The Washington Post, seems to believe that if a law has a similar title as another law, they must be identical. “Indiana is actually soon to be just one of 20 states with a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA,” the Post’s Hunter Schwarz wrote, linking to this map created by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/what-makes-indianas-religious-freedom-law-different/388997/




And you know “religious freedom” has nothing to do with actual religion or freedom right? It’s how the GOP gets away with most of the shit they do. See, we call it “false advertising”. It’s how they are able to get away with legalizing silencers and calling it “hearing protection”. Or how they’re able to ban gay marriage and call it “protecting marriage”. But let’s talk about the Billy Graham rule for a minute – calling these people “pigs” is an insult to pigs.

During his career, evangelist Billy Graham vowed never to meet, eat, or travel alone with a woman other than his wife, a strategy to protect his marriage and to avoid the even the appearance of an inappropriate relationship. The “Billy Graham Rule” or the “Modesto Manifesto” continues to be enacted by male Christian leaders today, especially those working in ministry.

Similar restrictions come up in other work settings, including on Capitol Hill, the National Journal reported earlier this month. According to their sources, some male members of Congress won’t meet one-on-one with female staffers “for fear that others would get the wrong impression.”

It’s the refrain recurring throughout many ministries: male and female working relationships are tricky and fraught with tension.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2015/may/sexed-up-culture-ruined-healthy-male-female-relationships.html


But it’s high time we really stop excusing this bullshit. Much like the way we make excuses for why chain restaurants still refer to their appetizers as “apps”. It was cute for a minute when smartphones first came out, but it’s been fucking years!!!! I’m looking at you, TGI Fridays, Applebees, and Chilis! Stop it, just seriously stop it!




Getting back on topic, it’s 2017 and we’re still acting like it’s the 18th century when it comes to how men behave around women. I mean really religious guys, can’t you keep it in your pants for a few minutes?

MARCH 17: Vice President Mike Pence arrives for a joint press conference by U.S. President Donald Trump (not seen) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not seen) at the White House.
The Internet is on fire after an in-depth Washington Post profile of Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen Pence. The article revealed that Pence explained, in 2002, that unless he is with his wife, he won’t eat alone with a woman or attend an event where alcohol is served, a spin on what evangelicals call the “Billy Graham Rule.” Twitter threads and think pieces have abounded. “Mike Pence’s ‘Billy Graham Rule’ has Internet yelling sexism,” blared a USAToday headline that could have read, but didn’t, “Mike Pence’s ‘Billy Graham Rule’ is sexist.”

What a luxury it is for a man to decide he can’t, and doesn’t have to, be unchaperoned in the presence of a woman who might be an evil temptress out to destroy him. And what a serious problem for women.
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_58de92d9e4b0ca889ba1a567





[font size="8"]David Hasslehoff[/font]


It’s now time for:



Yes ladies and gentlemen, I need a drink. Because you can only talk about so much dark news during the week, and it doesn’t get much darker than most of the crap happening this week. Ah, where ya been man? So while I’m enjoying this nice glass of Tito’s Vodka mixed with Sailor Jerry’s – I call it “The Angry Cowboy”, this is the part of the show where we throw out whatever we were going to talk about and talk about something that doesn’t have anything to do with anything. But before we get into this entry - I do have to mention what could quite possibly be one of the dumbest people to ever exist - and this is in a year when Donald Trump became the 45th president:

NEWVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Police in Pennsylvania say they arrested a man wearing a Drunk Lives Matter shirt for drunken driving.

Police say 44-year-old Elwood Gutshall III's blood-alcohol content was about two and a half times the state's legal limit for drivers when he was pulled over early on March 19 in Newville. He was wearing a green St. Patrick's Day shirt with the saying on it.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Gutshall, who faces a preliminary hearing May 26.
www.wbay.com/content/news/Man-in-Drunk-Lives-Matter-shirt-charged-with-drunken-driving-418344593.html




So what are we going to talk about this week? Fan cruises. You know those things were you can go be a fan of whatever you want to be a fan of on a boat for 5 days with other like minded individuals, get drunk and party. Shit, Adam Corolla has his own fan cruise. And you know there’s going to be lots of drunk, angry people rambling on that boat. But here’s a fun one we’re going to tell you about:



That’s right – you can be on a boat with the Hoff, ladies and gentlemen!

David Hasselhoff will be hosting a cruise which will take fans on a tour of the European ports.

“Come party Hoff style! Rock and roll on the sea with me and my team,” Hasselhoff wrote in a press release.

The Baywatch actor will be patrolling the decks of the cruise ship which will set sail on Nov. 4 in Savona, Italy, and includes stops in Civitavecchia, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Marseille, France.

The 64-year-old actor will entertain his fans with stage performances and take part in a meet-and-greet. There will also be a movie night where fans will be able to watch his TV shows and movies in a cinema with The Hoff himself.
http://globalnews.ca/news/3346190/david-hasselhoff-is-hosting-a-cruise-and-you-can-go-with-him/




But you have to sign up quickly folks! Apparently you have to act now because rooms are filling up fast according to the Hoff’s travel agent!

The point I am making is that, as a big-shot newspaper columnist, I routinely receive a wide assortment of emails that require constant attention, but nothing — hold on while I stress that last point in capital letters — NOTHING prepared me for the heart-pounding message that popped into my inbox Friday morning.

Sent by a travel company in Austria, it invited me — for a paltry fee starting at 799 euros per person — to sign up for (hold on while I once again activate the caps lock feature on my keyboard) DAVID HASSELHOFF: THE OFFICIAL WORLD FAN CRUISE, which kicks off Nov. 4 on board the cruise ship Costa Favolosa.

"You will have to decide quickly if you want to join THE HOFF on this once-in-a-lifetime cruise," the email warned. "A selection of cabins is still available, but going fast. So sign up quickly."

What made it all even more exciting is the email invitation contained an actual video of David Hasselhoff, wherein The Hoff dished up the following celebrity quotes: "Come party Hoff style! Rock and roll on the sea with me and my team!" And: "Don’t miss your chance to really get to know one another!! Love, David!"
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/TV/me-am-sorry-the-hoff-417146493.html





And how does one even get on Hasslehoff’s mailing list? I didn’t even know he had one, but I want to sign up for it now! But what kind of events might you expect from a Hasslehoff-themed cruise, you might ask? Well I answer you good sir / madam, with this!

What should guests on the ship, which will set sail from Savona, in the Italian province of Liguria, expect?

There will be a concert, of course, during which the former Baywatch star will surely perform “Looking for Freedom” – the song synonymous with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

There will an autograph session, so be sure to bring a bright red floatation device for the great man to sign.

And the final night will feature an “interview session” and a screening of “the best scenes from his movies” (for the record, they include Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, Keith Lemon: The Film, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and Terror at London Bridge).
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/articles/david-hasselhoff-fan-cruise/


Wow, such classy high end entertainment as Sharknado 3, and the Spongebob Squarepants Movie! Sign me up!




[font size="8"]Stupidest State Contest Round 10: Alabama Vs. Tennessee[/font]




16 states will enter, and only one state will be crowned the new Top 10 Conservative Idiots Stupidest State! If you need a reminder of the conferences, there’s the Batshit Conference, the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference, the Gun Nut Conference, and the Family Values Conference. So the Hateful 8 has been set, and our road to the Final Four continues! Last week, Florida was the rumored favorite to win the title, but they were stunned when Florida Man’s ridiculous stunt cost themselves the tournament and Texas handily won the Batshit conference. This week we’re going back to where it all started with the Family Values Conference. Yes the Family Values Conference – where it’s not OK for two men or two women to hold hands and kiss each other in public, or for trans people to pee in the bathroom of their choice, but it’s perfectly OK for your governor or representatives to wear adult diapers and engage in some backdoor foreplay with high end prostitutes. Yeah just picture that image for a minute! Alabama’s had a lot of rest here, but Tennessee proved to be an extremely strong competitor when they replaced Oklahoma in the championship. Let’s get out our brackets, shall we?



[font size="6"]Round 10: Family Values Conference Championship: #5 Alabama Vs #7 Tennessee[/font]

[font size="4"]Alabama [/font]


Next up is the first state we originally covered but we didn’t really go into much detail. Alabama is the home of the runner up in this year’s BCS Championship, the Crimson Tide. An interesting fun fact is that Alabama is one of only two states in the union without an official state nickname (the other being Wisconsin) ! Bet you didn’t know that! Some call it “The Cotton State” due to its’ use of cotton plantations in the 1800s, while others call it the Yellowhammer State as it’s the home of the bird species with the same name. Alabama is also the home of Talladega and the famous Talladega Speedway where the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup championship was held. And if that sounds familiar to you, perhaps you also know it from the 2006 Will Ferrell / John C. Reilly comedy “Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby”. Alabama is also home to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. But since the 1960s and especially today, civil rights have been in kind of a free fall, especially if you happen to be an LGBT citizen.

The Alabama House of Representatives passed four bills Thursday, two of which opponents say would allow discrimination against the LGBTQ community or non-Christians, and one anti-abortion bill that directly conflicts with federal rights outlined by Roe v. Wade.

House Bill 89, sponsored by State Rep. Matt Fridy, R-Shelby County, aims to amend the Alabama Constitution to establish that “nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,” despite abortion being a federally protected right.

House Bill 95 would protect state medical officials from performing services that violate their conscience or religious views, and House Bill 24 would allow child adoption services to deny adoption to a family based on religious beliefs.

Several House Democrats, including State Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, called it a “wasted day.”

Read more: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2017/03/16/controversial-abortion-discrimination-bills-easily-pass-house/99258998/




You know you can only use the same meme so many times! But yeah they pretty much all but legalized discrimination against LGBT citizens in Alabama since we last revisited this state. But what else have they been up to since the first round? And if you’re wondering if Alabama’s legislature is just as crazy as their citizens, I give you Phillip Pettus (R-Obviously) who said that there’s no one in prison just for marijuana!

Representative Phillip Pettus (R-Killen) said there were zero people in Alabama’s prison system for solely marijuana during a committee meeting.

Pettus’ comments came during a House Judicial Committee Meeting on Wednesday during a public hearing for a new bill that would make possessing 1 ounce or less of marijuana a finable offense.

“There’s nobody in our state prisons just for marijuana,” Pettus said.
http://www.alreporter.com/2017/03/20/alabama-representative-theres-nobody-state-prisons-just-marijuana/




Ooh, I like that one! But yeah that’s how you get LGBT bigotry and hypocrisy. Sure, it starts with misinformation, then the misinformation grows and lots of fake news stories spawn as a result of the insanity. And here’s how the abortion insanity fits into the Family Values conference. I mean seriously this is almost as bad as Utah’s “funerals for fetuses” law.

The state of Alabama is seeking to enforce a state law against a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure. The state has appealed a federal judge's ruling that blocked enforcement of the state's 2016 law banning abortion through dilation and evacuation. State lawyers wrote a brief filed last week for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, say the procedure is described as "particularly brutal." U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that ban would cause Alabama women to lose access to abortion in the state after fifteen weeks of pregnancy. Randall Marshall is the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. He says he's confident Thompson's decision will be upheld. He calls it a well-reasoned opinion.

http://apr.org/post/pro-lifepro-choice-forces-square-over-medical-procedure#stream/0 (short article)




And in case you’re wondering how the racism factors into the whole Family Values coalition, you may think it’s dead, but it’s very alive and well in Alabama.

Alabama has been in the news of late, what with Jeff Sessions, President Trump's controversial attorney general, hailing from there, and the state's Republican governor, Robert Bentley, in possible danger of impeachment after he was found to have had a sexually explicit conversation in 2016 with his then-chief adviser.

But there is something else to consider about Alabama that reflects on its history and the country's current racial divide. It's about the state constitution, which was written in 1901 and designed to limit local government and disenfranchise blacks. It has been amended more than 800 times since then and is the longest constitution in the country and possibly the world, at what the Council of State Governments says is 388,882 words.

Yet in the 116 years since it was written, and after all of the efforts to modernize the document - many of those efforts aimed at revising or eliminating racist language - these racist words still reside in the document:

"SECTION 256 - Of course, legal racial school segregation was banned throughout the United States by the Supreme Court in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, and federal law trumps state law."

Read more: http://www.kokomotribune.com/cnhi_network/alabama-constitution-still-calls-for-separate-schools-for-white-and/article_d7097724-35f0-5beb-9e99-d1fef495bdaf.html




Yeah so racism and sexism are very much alive and well in Alabama! If you want to talk about Family Values, we got to talk about all aspects, folks! And this state will never change, ever. All 49 states could go blue in 2020 and there’s only one who would still be a holdout. Yup – you guessed it, Alabama. Maybe Mississippi. In fact this is the state that gave us, in addition to Robert Bentley and Roy Moore, who we previously covered, our current attorney general – who has the most pretentious Alabama name possible – Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III – who has tried to prosecute his own challengers, which makes us wonder what he’s hiding:

“In September 1982, Bob Gulledge, a first-term Democratic state senator, was preparing to defend his seat when Sessions indicted him for alleged land fraud conspiracy….
A mistrial was declared after jurors could not reach a verdict. But by then, Gulledge had lost his party primary contest, and was out of his re-election race altogether”

“As the next election season approached in late 1984, Sessions struck again. The city commissioner, Gary Greenough, was sentenced to 10 years for allegedly stealing a cut of the profits from Mobile’s municipal auditorium, a city-run entertainment venue…
Greenough, who had, with Lambert Mims, pushed through municipal contracting reforms that left Sessions allies out of pocket, always maintained his innocence.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/04/jeff-sessions-legal-past-democrats-trump-administration


[font size="4"]Tennessee[/font]


Next on the agenda, we return to the Volunteer State. It’s the home of such universities as bracket-busting Middle Tennessee, and Vanderbilt and the University of Tennessee. It’s also the home of such world class sports teams as the Nashville Predators, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Tennessee Titans. And I do love the music, and Tennessee has lots of it, and some of the best in the country. It’s the home of the Grand Ole Opry and Jack White’s Third Man Records. Tennessee is also the home of the famous “Don’t Say Gay” bill which George Takei took and turned into a meme using his own name:





But what else has happened in Tennessee lately in regards to LGBT bigotry and hypocrisy which is the subject on the table here? Well let’s go back five years ago when Tennessee officially declared war on same gender families when they banned all local laws regarding everything about the LGBT community – this is the only state that has this on the books! Not even Alabama can top this!

GOP Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today signed the bill overturning Nashville's non-discrimination ordinance. The bill also effectively outlaws all local LGBT rights laws statewide as it bans any discrimination protections not already offered by the state. It was strongly opposed by several major corporations following a letter-writing campaign launched by Americablog Gay.

In an apparent attempt to score cheap political points, Tenn. Governor Bill Haslam has ignored the business community and signed into law a bill that wipes out county and city anti-discrimination laws, despite the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry reversing their earlier support and now opposing the bill. The measure – SB 632/HB 600 – passed the legislature last week and was designed to remove protections for LGBT Tennesseans by prohibiting cities and counties from enacting discrimination bans. Since there are no state protections for sexual orientation or gender identity, the Governor’s signature of this bill becomes a green light for anti-LGBT discrimination across the state.

http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/




Well, speaking of evil plans finally coming together – look at what is happening now as we speak. While Alabama may be old school and traditional, Tennessee is coming up with some very modern and extremely evil ways of unleashing the bigotry. This is going on in Nashville right now as we speak!

Heather MacKenzie bought her wedding ring at Wal-Mart. MacKenzie, now 38, proposed to her wife, Charitey, by driving to the top of Tiger Hill in Murfreesboro, a town located near the couple’s Tennessee home. The hill, a favorite spot for preteen sledders during the winter, looks over the entire town, as well as the vast expanse of the surrounding area. This was where the MacKenzies had their first date.

The pair said “I do” in June 2015, just days after the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling legalized marriage between same-sex couples in their state. The MacKenzies were wed in Nashville in front of the courthouse under a magnolia tree.

Over a year later, the couple are expecting a child: Charitey is 12 weeks pregnant with a son. A trio of recently proposed laws, however, could jeopardize the future of their growing clan. This legislation seeks to erase any hint of legal recognition for LGBT couples in Tennessee, all but declaring war on the families of same-sex parents living in the state.

Filed by State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, House Bill 1406 would prevent a couple from listing on the birth certificate the second parent (the spouse not giving birth) after a woman becomes pregnant through artificial insemination. The legislation would nullify a provision of the Tennessee Code Annotated 68-3-306, which was issued as part of the Vital Records Act of 1977. The law states, “A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.”

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2017/02/27/tennessee-has-declared-war-on-same-sex-families-inside-the-legislation-that-would-eradicate-nearly-all-rights-for-lgbt-couples/




Fucking hell! That’s about as evil as it gets – is Tennessee becoming as strict as Russia when it comes to LGBT rights? Well let’s examine this further. I mean we’re still not done with all the evil and havoc that TN is doing to make the rights of its’ LGBT citizens simply disappear:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tennessee-lgbt-counseling_us_570c4c4de4b0836057a23d63?

Tennessee legislators on Monday passed a bill that could jeopardize access to mental health treatment for LGBT individuals, part of a string of recent anti-LGBT legislation in the South. Therese are racist and bigoted bills to allow the haters to rejoice.

The GOP-sponsored bill, which now goes to Gov. Bill Haslam (R), allows therapists and counselors to reject patients they feel would violate “sincerely held principles.” Haslam hasn’t indicated whether he will sign the bill into law.

Gay rights and mental health advocacy groups have protested the bill and urge Haslam to veto it because it could permit mental health professionals to discriminate against LGBT patients without legal liability.

The bill passed by the legislature is a more discriminatory version of legislation approved earlier this year. That measure stated that therapists and counselors could turn away patients based on “sincerely held beliefs.” The state House last week passed a version that expanded grounds for shunning patients to “principles,” which the Senate approved on Monday.




Yeah this is exactly the kind of thing that LGBT rights activists fear if the nuclear version of Indiana’s “religious discrimination” law goes nuclear under Trump, and it will, and Trump of course will sign it meaning that this shit can happen. Just… fuck you, GOP. Fuck every single last one of you! But we’re still not done! Remember the “Don’t Say Gay” law? Would you be surprised to learn that the author of the bill is under investigation for having an affair? And he’s a die hard fundamentalist Christian? And he thinks Modern Family shouldn’t be allowed on TV? This gets better and better!

http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/_don_t_say_gay_christian_values_gop_lawmaker_accused_of_affair_with_employee_who_s_also_his_patient_who_s_also_his_cousin

Do you remember Tennessee state Senator Joey Hensley? He's the guy who won the seat of wildcard lawmaker Stacey Campfield, an infamous advocate for a "Don't Say Gay" bill that would ban schools, administrators, and even students from discussing anything related to homosexuality. Senator Hensley, who has been a lawmaker for 15 years and happens to also be a medical doctor, took up the mantle of pushing the ugly legislation. He also pushed a Tennessee bill that would allow discrimination against LGBT people and atheists by mental health students, allowing them to refuse to treat people, as part of their required training, if they expressed a deeply held religious belief.

Hensley still claims to be a good Christian conservative. He thinks "Modern Family" shouldn't be allowed on TV, but supports a pro-"MILO" bill created to ensure conservatives are allowed to speak on college campuses. It's named for that former Breitbart editor who advocated for underage sex between older men and teenaged boys as young as 13.




And the kicker? The woman who he’s having an affair with is also his cousin! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? This is every bad southern stereotype rolled into one! And we’re still not done! Did you know that if you’re a man in Tennessee you can claim you’re a parent of a child by singing “The Circle Of Life” from the Lion King? We shit you not! This is a real thing!

If you’re a man living in Tennessee, state law says you can claim paternity by performing what reads like a line from a famous Disney movie about a lion cub.

A man is presumed the father of a child if “while the child is under the age of majority, the man receives the child into the man's home and openly holds the child out as the man's natural child,” a state statute reads.

Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, cited that statute in defending legislation she introduced that would repeal a law that grants legitimacy to children conceived through artificial insemination in married heterosexual couples.

Weaver said repealing the law means "the state will no longer intrude into how a woman conceives her child," while other state rules about marriage and children would remain in effect.

Read more: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/20/lawmakers-lgbt-advocates-far-apart-marriage-parenting-bills/98065390/




There, men in the audience – you are now all officially parents in Tennessee! All you have to do is sing along! And in case you’re wondering if God indeed trumps even Trump, in Tennessee, this just happened this week:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A previously defeated proposal to amend the state constitution to say that God is the source of Tennesseans' liberties has been resurrected in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Micah Van Huss of Jonesborough failed on a 3-3 vote in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee earlier this month. But the panel agreed to a motion to reconsider the bill made by Republican Rep. Martin Daniel of Knoxville.

The resolution is scheduled to be reheard April 5.

The proposed addition to the Tennessee Constitution would read: "We recognize that our liberties do not come from governments, but from almighty God."

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Tennessee-bid-to-name-God-as-source-of-liberty-11037728.php




[font size="4"]And The Winner Is… [/font]

Holy shit, folks! We have a major upset in the tournament brewing! For the first time in six years it looks like the champions in Alabama are going to be unseated by tournament newcomer Tennessee! They are very surprising in how low they’re going to stoop to make the lives of its’ LGBT community that much more miserable, and they utterly destroyed the reigning champions! Final score 75 – 52. That is what we call a “mercy killing”! I tell you anything can happen in this tournament! They will move on to face the winner of the Montana – Missouri matchup in the Gun Nut Conference. But next time – we will go back to the Fiscal Irresponsibility Conference. Michigan. Kansas. The winner moves on to face Texas for the Layover League championship. The loser goes home. Stay tuned! Things are heating up, folks!

[font size="8"]And now this:[/font]
[font size="8"]The Violent Femmes[/font]

Ladies and gentlemen, playing their song “Issues” from their album “We Can Do Anything”, available everywhere music is sold, please welcome the one the only Violent Femmes!





Yeah how about… wait, what? They want to stick around for one more? Sure!




We are off next week, we'll be back on Wednesday 4/19 with a brand new edition. See you in two weeks!

McConnell: Gorsuch Is Going To Be Confirmed One Way Or The Other

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, will be confirmed this week one way or the other, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday, suggesting he'll trigger the so-called nuclear option if Democrats attempt to filibuster Gorsuch.

"Judge Gorsuch is going to be confirmed," McConnell said on "Fox News Sunday." "The way in which that occurs is in the hands of the Democratic minority."

McConnell did not say directly that he would trigger the nuclear option, in which the chamber's rules would be changed to allow the Senate to cut off filibusters on Supreme Court nominations with a simple majority, instead of the current 60-vote threshold. But he said the week "will end with [Gorsuch's] confirmation" whether or not Democrats attempt to filibuster him.

Democrats say that if the filibuster remains in place, they have the votes to torpedo Gorsuch’s nomination.

“It’s highly, highly unlikely that he’ll get to 60,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
www.politico.com/story/2017/04/mcconnell-gorsuch-supreme-court-236787


Fuck. You. Mitch. You belong in prison as much as Trump you treasonous rat bastard.
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