10,000 on ignore, Book 199, Gethsemane, Part 2.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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FOX News Celebrates 25 Years of Ripping America Apart with Propaganda, Lies, and Racism
News Corpse

In 1996 Rupert Murdoch, an immigrant to the United States via England, via Australia (neither of whom would take him back), joined with a professional Republican propagandist, Roger Ailes (who was later fired due to his serial sexual harassment), to launch a cable "news" network with the express purpose of advancing ultra-rightist policies and promoting neo-fascist politicians.

Twenty-five years later Fox News continues to sow discord and turn the American people against one another. Most recently Fox News has contributed (along with Donald Trump) to the demise of hundreds of thousands of Americans by dispensing disinformation about the deadly coronavirus. They have fractured democracy by buttressing Trump's "Big Lie" that the 2020 presidential election was "rigged" and "Stolen" from him. They have defended the domestic terrorism of Trump's January 6th insurrection. And they have exacerbated racial hatred by promulgating the "white replacement theory"

Notwithstanding that resume of ill-repute, the "Curvy Couch" potatoes at Fox and Friends were anxious to honor their employer with platitudes that bore no resemblance to reality. Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy embraced a fairy tale worldview when she gushed that...

"Don't you wish you had a dime for every time someone said to you, 'what would happen to America if we didn't have Fox News.' We'd have no alternative information at all. Think about that. Democracy, essentially, would die. Because you can't have a democracy like that."



Really? Campos-Duffy is lauding Fox News for its commitment to "alternative information," a close cousin to the infamous "alternative facts" contrived by Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway. And her conclusion that such manufactured falsehoods are required for democracy to continue is downright laughable.

Speaking of laughable, Desi Lydic of the The Daily Show had a much better tribute to what Fox News has contributed to the nation and the world for the past twenty-five years. Her homage includes such gems as...

"Without Fox News I wouldn't know that Hillary Clinton showered in baby blood or that Planned Parenthood invented Benghazi with George Soros and the Teletubbies at the Venezuelan BET Awards."

And...

"Fox News, you should be proud of yourself. For the past 25 years you brought half this country together - against the other half."

Buckle up and enjoy the rest of the fantastical accolades Lydic has compiled for the Fox News anniversary. It's funny because it's true.

 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Trump records fawning video tribute to insurrectionist Ashli Babbitt, calls for DOJ to reopen case
Rebekah Sager

In his latest attempt to stay relevant and stoke division, the twice-impeached, one-term former president appeared via video at a “Texas Loves Ashli Babbitt” rally Sunday, where friends and family gathered to pay tribute to the Jan. 6 insurrectionist on what would have been her 36th birthday.

According to reporting by Insider, Trump said Babbitt was “a truly incredible person” and described what took place on Jan. 6 as a “horrible day.” A horrible day indeed. A day when the president of the United States encouraged a mob of rioters to storm the U.S. Capitol and stop the counting of electoral college votes, which would solidify his loss in what can only be described as a coup. That horrible day, Mr. President?
......
“Together, we grieve her terrible loss. There was no reason Ashli should’ve lost her life that day. We must all demand justice for Ashli and her family, so on this solemn occasion as we celebrate her life, we renew our call for a fair and nonpartisan investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt,” Trump said in the video.



Let’s talk about who Ashli Babbitt was. After serving 14 years in the Air Force and in two wars, Babbitt ended her military career living in Lakeside, California, a suburb of San Diego, with her husband Aaron Babbitt, 39. She was struggling to maintain a pool supply business with her brother but started to spend more and more of her free time on social media, espousing her pro-Trump and QAnon conspiracy theories.

Babbitt had a history of unhinged behavior. The New York Times reports that in 2016, her husband’s former girlfriend filed a restraining order against Babbitt, then known as Ashli McEntee after she approached the woman rear-ended her car three times.

In 2018, Babbitt recorded and posted two videos to her Twitter page, raging about immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Those videos have since been removed.

“I’m driving right now, but I’m like really heated all of a sudden,” she said, The New York Post reported. “I am so sick of these politicians in this goddamned state, they’re all worried about what Trump is doing. How about we worry about what the hell you’re doing?

“Maxine Waters, what have you done? You’re talking about, oh, this thing at the border, it’s a political ploy that Trump’s done. Where are you? You’re not even here!”

The day before her death, she tweeted about a potentially violent uprising to overturn the Trump loss.

“Nothing will stop us,” she wrote on Twitter, according to the Times. “They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon D.C. in less than 24 hours …. dark to light!”

On Jan. 6. Babbitt, backed by a horde of Trump supporters, attempted to climb through one of the doors leading to the lobby of the House of Representatives chamber. Capitol Police Officer, Lt. Michael Byrd tried to hold them off. Byrd and a few other officers barricaded the door with furniture to keep the rioters out.

“If they get through that door, they’re into the House chamber and upon the members of Congress,” Byrd, a 28 year veteran of the Capitol Police told NBC News’ Lester Holt.

The mob continued to push forward, even after Byrd yelled for them to get back. Then Babbitt, hoisted by someone, tried to climb through the door where the glass had been broken. Byrd fired one shot, hitting Babbitt in the upper torso. She fell back and later died from her wound.

The far-right, including Trump, has decried the shooting as a murder, and suggested that Byrd, who is Black, worked for a high-ranking Democrat. Byrd has gotten death threats and racist attacks since that day.

“I know that day I saved countless lives,” Byrd told Holt. “I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that’s my job.”

It was the first time Byrd fired his weapon in his 28 years on the force. He added that, as far as having a political agenda goes, “I do my job for Republican, for Democrat, for white, for Black, red, blue, green,” he told Holt. “I don’t care about your affiliation.”

So, when Trump called for the Department of Justice to reopen the investigation into Babbitt’s death in his birthday video for Babbitt—after Byrd was officially exonerated in August—again, he’s opening a wound for the sole purpose of pouring salt and stirring hate.

Dean Obeidallah, host of The Dean Obeidallah Show on SiriusXM, made the point on Twitter that perhaps Trump took a lesson from Hitler’s playbook when, after the Nazi leader’s failed coup in 1923, he too honored those who waged it in his name.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Saudi Arabia royals gave Trump tiger and cheetah furs. Like Donald, they were just fakes
Hunter

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The New York Times has a new story about the Trump administration's lax policies on foreign gift-giving, and it may not surprise you to know that Team Griftabout was just as indifferent to this particular bit of the Constitution as they were all the others. Accepting gifts from foreign leaders (or foreign anybody) is strictly barred in the Constitution, if you're an elected official, due to its close proximation to bribery; as such, the process of receiving such gifts is complex and bureaucratic and requires either paying for the things received (seldom done) or handing them over to the federal government as official federal government property.

You can see immediately why these rules would especially grate for the team of unapologetic grifters and grubbers that make up Trump's inner circle. And family. And general reason for existing. True to form, the Times reports the last administration was frequently sloppy about the whole process. Yes, yes, we'll all need a minute to recover from the shock. Have you recovered yet? Good, let's move on.
..........
There are two tidbits the Times sussed out that are particularly intriguing. The first deals not with gifts from foreign leaders, but gifts intended for foreign leaders. You might remember that Trump was originally scheduled to host a G7 summit at Camp David last year; that summit had to be canceled due to the runaway COVID-19 pandemic. In preparation for the summit, the government prepared "gift bags worth thousands of dollars" to present to each foreign leader, the sort of high-value knickknacks that pass as diplomatic flattery in these circles.

In the last days of the Trump administration, "many" of those still-undelivered bags, as well as other presents, were missing.
Allegedly, "career officers" in the State Department "saw their departing colleagues leave with" them.

To be fair, however, the Times reports that at least some of the contents of the gift bags featured Donald and/or Melania's signatures, which probably drops their true value to approximately that of a Mars Bar or a half-finished coffee. Who's going to want a "marble trinket box" with Donald Trump's name plastered on it? It's like a little coffin of shattered dreams.

Anyhoo, all of this is building up to the good part, and there
is a good part and we're only getting to it now because we all know it's coming but needed to get in a comfy spot so we can savor it properly. Amongst the more problematic gifts received by Donald Trump and associates was an approximate crapload of swag given by the Saudi royal family in appreciation of Donald making Saudi Arabia the destination of his first foreign "presidential" trip.

Featured in the haul were "three robes made with white tiger and cheetah fur," as well as a dagger that "appeared" to have an ivory handle. Very illegal! Not good! The United States does not allow the trafficking of materials made out of endangered species!

Naturally, the Trump administration did jack-squat with this information, failed to properly disclose them as required, and eventually handed them over to the General Services Administration on Trump's last full day in office. (Why it couldn't have been done before then is a mystery; was the Trump team still looking for ways to keep the furs, along with the presidency, even on the team's very last day?) The Times reports that the gifts were eventually (properly) seized by U.S. Fish and Wildlife this summer, and that—good news, everybody!—it turns out they were fake to begin with.


Yeah, that's right. The Saudi royal family, the ultra-wealthy murderous dictators whose lifestyle consists of extravagant spending and a bunch of other things that they consider it illegal for anyone to bring up, gave Donald Trump fake tiger and cheetah pelts. It was a dye job.

And this is perfect. Couldn't possibly have ended in a better way.

What is Donald Trump, after all, other than a fake rich person? He is a reality show host whose incompetent burbles were famously edited into a reality show about bein' rich and bein' decisive, but the man's wealth is a small fraction of what he claims it to be, and his idea of "luxury" appears to be eating Big Macs inside rooms that have been spray painted gold and adorned with plaques claiming imaginary things happened there.

They didn't give Trump the expensive pelts of endangered big cats. They gave him expensive-looking fakes, knowing he'd be pleased as punch with expensive-looking fakes. (And it's not clear the "ivory" dagger is really ivory, either.)

Sure, then. We'll go with that. Finally, a bit of good news: There are at least two endangered animals out there that were not killed for the sake of this now-sedition-backing buffoon's pleasure centers. It was all fake, like Trump himself was.

Not the most important thing in the world, to be sure. But it's fun to remind ourselves that even the foreign leaders who were most obsequious towards Trump had his number from day one.
Faker.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Republicans made up a story about worker shortages and unemployment aid. Then reality caught up
Laura Clawson

Many business owners, Republican governors, and plenty of media figures spent the late spring and the summer pushing the idea—let’s just call it a lie up front, shall we?—that increased unemployment benefits were keeping people from looking for work. Never mind all the data showing that the extra $300 a week in unemployment aid was having a negligible effect on job searching. Never mind the businesses that found that by offering increased pay, they could get tons of applicants. The story went that the federal government was giving lazy people enough money to sit home in comfort, so few people were interested in going out and making an honest wage.

Well, the end of federal unemployment programs has punctured another giant hole in that story.
...........
In dozens of Republican-controlled states, the federal programs—including the additional $300 a week and programs extending benefits for additional weeks and to people like freelancers who usually aren’t eligible for unemployment aid—were cut off early. The federal unemployment aid expansion ended nationally in September. If the theory that people weren’t working because generous aid meant they didn’t need to held any water, the effects would have started being seen in the August jobs report and gone into full effect in the September jobs report. Instead, the August numbers were a disappointment, and so were the September ones.

In September, the labor force shrank for the first time since May, showing that rather than being pushed to apply for jobs by the benefits cliff, a lot of people still chose not to look for work. Even the director of fiscal policy at a conservative think tank admitted to CNN, “If unemployment benefits were the driving force behind labor market dynamics, then you would not have seen that effect.”

It wasn’t the $300 a week, after all. Workers had other reasons. All those studies showing that unemployment aid wasn’t keeping people from looking for work were right. Parents—especially mothers—with children at home were constrained in their work choices. People with health issues that made them especially vulnerable to COVID-19 didn’t feel safe going into workplaces where they wouldn’t be protected. And workers started looking for a better deal—one many employers resisted offering.

The story that business owners—especially restaurant owners—told again and again and again, drawing a steady stream of media coverage, was that workers were lazy and demanding too much. But the reality revealed by the data is that it was the business owners trying to get themselves access to cheap labor, and many U.S. workers aren’t interested in being cheap labor during a deadly pandemic.

“A lot of people wanted those benefits cut because they believed it would make it easier to hire at lower wages,” University of Minnesota labor economist Aaron Sojourner told CNN. “But the top line data is not telling us that's what happened.”

Writer Natalie Shure put it bluntly:



The Economic Policy Institute’s Heidi Shierholz pointed to slowing wage growth that came alongside slower job growth as the delta variant took hold of the United States:


2021-10-11.png

In short, Republican politicians and many business owners flat-out lied about what was going on with U.S. workers and the effects of expanded unemployment aid. Now we’re seeing the reality. They story they pushed was false—and we have to talk about who benefited from the story that workers were lazy and government aid was bad for the economy.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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How is failing CNN supposed to get ratings now that all the airport terminals are being shut down by the #FreedomFlu?
Travel much? For years, the waiting rooms in most airport terminals have been tuned into Faux Nooze.

And, howdafug you conclude that terminals are being shut down?

LULZ.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Anti-vaxxers offer a choose-your-own-adventure lie about canceled Southwest flights
Laura Clawson

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Lyin' Ted.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz jumped on a false rumor making its way around his corners of the internet on Sunday, attributing canceled Southwest Airlines flights to vaccine mandates. Because Cruz is an unrepentant fool, he made that claim in a tweet linking an article that made it repeatedly clear that vaccine mandates were in no way responsible for Southwest’s cancellations.

Southwest canceled 1,800 flights over the weekend, attributing those cancellations to “unexpected ATC issues and bad weather across our Florida stations,” which Southwest’s own staffing shortages then made worse when crews and pilots were not where they needed to be and the airline didn’t have replacements. But according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there were just a “few hours” of delays on Friday afternoon at Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center, and, “No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday.” Additionally, other airlines didn’t have to cancel anywhere near the number of flights Southwest did.
.......
That did not stop the anti-vaxxers from turning it into a big lie about vaccine mandates, with either air traffic controllers or Southwest pilots having walked out or staged a sickout over the mandates. The story varies wildly across social media, which is one of your first clues that the whole thing is fictional.

Some seized on the fact that the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association did ask a court to block the airline’s vaccine mandate and other “unilateral actions” that the union, which does not oppose vaccination, said needed to be bargained. That turned into the claim that the pilots—or the air traffic controllers, depending which version of the rumor you read—had staged a mass sickout leading to Southwest’s cancelled flights. Why did this happen at Southwest but not any other airline that has imposed or announced a vaccine mandate? After all, United Airlines already put into place a wildly successful vaccine mandate without noticeable labor disruptions. Silence. Why did it happen while the union had a court case pending, rather than at a more sensible point for escalating a conflict? Silence.

The pilots union denied the rumors, saying in a statement, “we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.” The statement pointed to “SWA management’s poor planning.”

Other online conspiracy theorists went with an air traffic controller walkout that somehow only really affected Southwest. Cruz, who fancies himself one of the sharpest minds of the Republican Party, decided to go with both:

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Did Cruz fall for the lies himself and not bother to check that the article he was tweeting matched the claim in his tweet? Or did he just figure that his audience didn’t care? Is he more stupid or more evil is the constant question about Republicans, and usually, it just doesn’t matter what the percentages are, because at base they don’t care about facts, they just care about getting the Republican base good and mad and ready to fight without stopping to think about wrong or right.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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By Miles Taylor and Christine Todd Whitman
Mr. Taylor served at the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, including as chief of staff, and was the anonymous author of a 2018 guest essay for The Times criticizing President Donald Trump’s leadership. Ms. Whitman was the Republican governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001.

.......After Donald Trump’s defeat, there was a measure of hope among Republicans who opposed him that control of the party would be up for grabs, and that conservative pragmatists could take it back. But it’s become obvious that political extremists maintain a viselike grip on the national and state parties and the process for fielding and championing House and Senate candidates in next year’s elections.

Rational Republicans are losing the party civil war. And the only near-term way to battle pro-Trump extremists is for all of us to team up on key races and overarching political goals with our longtime political opponents: the Democrats.......