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  1. #7111
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    How YouTube Misinformation Resolved a WhatsApp Mystery in Brazil

    Conventional wisdom has said that WhatsApp, a popular messaging service owned by Facebook, played a major and potentially decisive role in circulating false information that drove Brazilians toward the long-shot, far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

    But the more we looked, the harder it became to square this with what we knew about social media and what we were finding in Brazil.
    For another, the more we looked at the rise of Brazil’s far right, the more we encountered stories of radicalization and misinformation that centered not on WhatsApp but on YouTube, which even many far-right politicians cite as a deciding factor in their elections.

    We landed in Brazil hoping to unravel this seeming mystery. What had really happened there, why were so many observers crediting it to WhatsApp and what did it mean about the power of social media to distort or upend democracies worldwide?

    Everything began to click into place when we met Luciana Brito, a soft-spoken clinical psychologist who works with families affected by the Zika virus.

    Her work had put her on the front lines of the struggle against conspiracy theories, threats and hatred swirling on both platforms. And it allowed her to see what we — like so many observers — had missed: that WhatsApp and YouTube had come to form a powerful, and at times dangerous, feedback loop of extremism and misinformation.
    Original join date: 11/23/2004
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  2. #7112
    Extraordinary Member Malvolio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    More than I was expecting:

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    I would like to hear what questions those two ladies asked and what King's answers were.

  3. #7113
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDogindy View Post
    You know, I made a joke on Twitter about people potentially fleeing the state of Illinois due to the state curriculum adding events in American history about LGBT advancements (the Stonewall riots, for example), and I commented that they won't go far; they'll miss their easy access to virtual slot machines and saving .75% on purchases at gas stations once they move to a state that aligns with their politics (though given Portage's location to Chicagoland, they'd have to go out of their way for those slots).

    Seriously; if you're gonna raffle off a gun, why not, as the article featured a person commenting, a hunting rifle that could not only be more useful in the area for the upcoming deer season, but also not the freaking gun of choice for mass shooters?
    Exactly. I guess the only way they will learn the folly of their ways is the day when our area has a shooter incident involving a military class weapon with a large magazine. It can't be said often enough that the only purpose of this type of firearm's purpose is to kill people in a short amount of time. You don't even have to be that great of a marksman. No hunter would ever use one, esp if you're hunting game. The carcass would be full of bullets.

  4. #7114
    Mighty Member SquirrelMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malvolio View Post
    I would like to hear what questions those two ladies asked and what King's answers were.
    "Are you really our brother AND our father?"

  5. #7115

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malvolio View Post
    I would like to hear what questions those two ladies asked and what King's answers were.
    "Why did you decide to host this town hall in an abandoned bomb shelter?"

    "Is it because you're hiding until anyone who isn't an albino leaves Iowa and you'll finally feel safe?"
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  6. #7116

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    It was on this date in 2014 that "Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day" published our profile of Tye “Glenn” Champ, a GOP candidate for governor of California in 2014 who just so happened to have a record as a felon for soliciting underage prostitutes and committing manslaughter, who after faring surprisingly well in the primary (finishing better than ten other candidates), managed to later get into an argument with a neighbor where Champ fired off several rounds at the neighbor and his son, instead missing wildly and killing a horse. He is now back in prison, and as such, seems unlikely to be politically relevant for some time (but nice job inviting him to your state party convention, California Repubicans!)


    In 2015, 2016, 2017, as well as 2018, “Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day" profiled U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who in 2010, had colorful campaign discussions that included pushing back against calls to increase the statute of limitations on sexual abuse in Wisconsin, leaving victims of abuses years ago unable to seek justice, labeling Social Security "a Ponzi scheme", saying that the 97% of climate change scientists who say the phenomenon is man-made were "crazy", the real cause of climate change was sunspots, and that Greenland is covered in snow and ice because we're actually witnessing "global cooling". In 2013 that Ron Johnson answered criticism from the League of Conservation Voters that he denied climate change by accusing them of waging “environmental jihad and has compared politicians and activists trying to prevent climate change to Joseph Stalin, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro.

    Johnson also was against marriage equality, and was pro-life to the extent where he considers that life begins at conception (which means he's also against most forms of birth control). Johnson also showed quite a bit of hypocrisy, railing against the economic stimulus packages passed by Congress to help the American economy, that as it turned out, his business had accepted funding from. Or perhaps he showed a great deal of personal bias for attacking the Obama administration for trying to take BP Oil to task after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for the environmental damage he caused, by categorizing it as "launching an assault on BP" and after some digging, the media found out that Ron Johnson had hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock in BP Oil, and he made the excuse of not selling it because he was waiting for the stock market to be better so he could get more money out of it. And that was just what we discussed from BEFORE him reaching office in the 2010 Tea Party Wave in an upset victory over three-term Senator Russ Feingold. Since reaching office, Johnson has stayed to party lines in almost every obstructing vote in the Senate, voting against increasing the debt ceiling, the new version of the Violence Against Women Act (which he said was “unconstitutional), and disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy, just to name a few choice “blocks”. Heck, he voted for the 2013 Government Shutdown and then voted to keep the government closed when the time came to end it. Inexplicably, he also tried fear-mongering to the fringe elements of the GOP prior to the 2014 elections during the outbreak of Ebola Virus in Africa, warning that ISIS might deliberately infect its own followers with the disease and send them to the United States to deliberately spread it (which is not a viable form of suicide attack, considering people afflicted with Ebola are far from mobile as their body starts getting wracked by the disease, and they have to get blood or feces on anyone they’re attacking without being noticed). Sen. Johnson was one of the “47 Traitors” in the GOP who tried to meddle in the State Department’s negotiations with Iran, presented a photo of President Obama and President Rouhani shaking hands as proof they were “chummy” that was actually photo-shopped, and wasted time in a Senate hearing asking Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz questions about an “EMP Bomb” that doesn’t actually exist outside of movies. And speaking of movies, Johnson even went on record to rail against, of all things, The Lego Movie, because he felt the villain, Lord Business, was a demonization of rich corporations. He has blamed a rise in mass shootings on the media for reporting them, paid tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia after his death by stupidly posting a picture of actor Edward Gero, who starred in a play about Scalia and his court decisions called “The Originalist”, and whose solution to help combat the prescription opioid drug abuse epidemic… bring back those “War on Drugs” ads where your brain was compared to an egg in a frying pan that did nothing to curtail even ordinary drug abuse in the 1980s.

    Johnson compared his own hard battle for re-election in 2016 to the choice of passengers on Flight 93 on 9/11 to storm the cockpit, and as outrageous and disgusting as that comparison might be (not just to the victims but to his opponent Russ Feingold), with a lot of help from the voter suppression tactics employed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his cronies in the Wisconsin state legislature, managed to actually win a second term in 2016. And that was even after how on the week of the election, unprompted, he decided to discuss impeaching Hillary Clinton. I mean, counting your impeachment chickens before they’re hatched much, Ron?

    Now, since Sen. Johnson’s shocking re-election, he has done little to stand up to the Trump administration, voting for every unqualified member of his “Cabinet of Horrors”, as well as voting for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. As frustrating as that is to see, there has only been one big vote on legislation since January in the U.S. Senate, and that would have been on healthcare repeal… Ron Johnson, in late July, was saying he would vote against any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, because Sen. Mitch McConnell and leadership in the Senate were being too secretive about what was actually in the bill, and that he would vote to block it from coming to the floor. Two days later, Johnson voted to repeal. Two days. That’s all it took to contradict himself. And how upset was Sen. Johnson that he couldn’t burn down the American healthcare system and whiz on the ashes? Enough so that he responded to the dramatic “no” vote by Senator John McCain by whining about how Sen. McCain’s “brain tumor may have factored in” to his vote.

    Well, isn’t that sweet of you, Ron.

    We’ve covered before that Ron Johnson is a moronic conspiracy theorist, so current events in our country mean he’s really reveling in the moment, what with a conspiracy theorist at the White House. And what with Donald Trump and a lot of conservative “media” sources rambling on with paranoid delusions about a “Deep State” within the government sabotaging the Trump administration, that Sen. Johnson would join in the chorus on Fox News:
    And… that was stupid enough that fellow GOP Congressman Charlie Dent all but accused Johnson of having brain damage (possibly as a callback to Johnson going after John McCain).

    We’re honestly thinking that’s not hyperbole. In April of 2018, Johnson started whining about supposed “unprecedented obstruction” from Democrats, and then literally, a minute later, started praising Mitch McConnell for leading the Senate GOP to block the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Just… f***. F***.
    Last edited by worstblogever; 08-18-2019 at 02:27 AM.
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  7. #7117

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    On July 4th weekend of 2018, you may have seen a report about several Republican Senators and one member of the GOP House spending the celebration of American independence by going to Russia to meet with their foreign counterparts. Commentators and pundits thought that maybe the optics of going on a diplomatic visit to the country that meddled in the 2016 election on arguably its most patriotic holiday weren’t good. But, it was worse than that three days later, Johnson suddenly was arguing against sanctions on Russia because “they aren’t working that well. Three days. That’s all it took for Ron Johnson to flip on his on country. This… this ***hole really does telegraph how easily he’s bought, doesn’t he?

    Speaking of, Sen. Johnson gave lukewarm criticism when Donald Trump told four Democratic Congresswomen of color to “go back to where they came from”, but defended him against accusations that the attack was racist, saying that telling people to “love America or leave it” wasn’t racist in the 1960s. (Which isn’t what Trump said, mind you, and it has had racist connotations… but what do you expect from the dumbest man in the Senate?)

    Barring any sudden resignation or karmically developing brain tumor on his own end, Ron Johnson is now cemented in the Senate like the dumb bag of rocks he is until 2022. Just… goddamn. He has pledged to not run for a third term, and has intimated that he might run for Governor of Wisconsin that year, instead. We’ll have to see if after twelve years, the Badger State gets wise to his bulls*** and rejects him if he runs for either.
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  8. #7118
    "Comic Book Reviewer" InformationGeek's Avatar
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    Oh my god, my mom is watching Fox News (she always tunes in for Chris Wallace) and Larry Kudlow is on. She calls me in and what the hell... Larry sounds drunk. Seriously, his voice, his face, and his tone... he has to be drunk or high on something.

  9. #7119
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    Memo reveals a House Republican strategy on shootings: downplay white nationalism, blame left

    Congressional Republicans recently circulated talking points on gun violence that falsely described the El Paso massacre and other mass shootings as “violence from the left.”

    A document obtained by the Tampa Bay Times and sent by House Republicans provides a framework for how to respond to anticipated questions like, “Why won’t you pass legislation to close the ‘gun show loophole’ in federal law?” and “Why shouldn’t we ban high-capacity magazines?" The answers are boilerplate Republican arguments against tougher gun restrictions.

    But it also included this question: “Do you believe white nationalism is driving more mass shootings recently?” The suggested response is to steer the conversation away from white nationalism to an argument that implies both sides are to blame.
    “White nationalism and racism are pure evil and cannot be tolerated in any form," the document said. “We also can’t excuse violence from the left such as the El Paso shooter, the recent Colorado shooters, the Congressional baseball shooter, Congresswoman Giffords’ shooter and Antifa."

    U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, included the talking points in a newsletter that he emailed this week to his Florida constituents. His spokeswoman Summer Robertson said they were “provided by the House Republican Conference," the caucus arm in charge of devising messaging strategy for its members. The conference’s internal strategies are not usually made public.
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  10. #7120
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    Black teens were raising money for their football team when a white woman held them at gunpoint, police say

    (CNN)Four Arkansas teens were going door to door to raise money for their high school football team when a woman held them at gunpoint, police say.

    The 10th-grade boys, who are all black and who were not identified because of their ages, were selling discount cards for restaurants and stores in Wynne, Arkansas, on August 7. Jerri Kelly, who told police that she is a former law enforcement officer and the wife of a county jail administrator, stopped them in front of her home, according to a police report.

    Kelly, who is white, said she saw the boys making a ruckus, according to the police report. She called the Wynne Police Department to report "suspicious persons" and in a later statement said, "All males were African American, and I know this residence to be white."
    As the boys approached her home, walking up her driveway and standing in her yard, Kelly picked up her revolver and came out to ask what they were doing, according to her statements. Even though they said they weren't stealing, Kelly told police, she instructed them to get on the ground.

    One boy told officers that he thought it was a joke until Kelly said to "get on the f***ing ground and spread your legs," the police report says.

    When they were on the ground, the boys said in their statements, she told them she would shoot if they moved. She asked whether they knew who she was and whose house it was. When the boys tried to explain what they were doing, they told police, she accused them of lying.
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  11. #7121
    Extraordinary Member Tendrin's Avatar
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    Why Andy Ngo is bad:

    https://twitter.com/RespectableLaw/s...72206147743744


    Andy gives us a brief video, in mid-encounter, and tells us Antifa attacked some people on a bus and hit them with a hammer.
    In reality, a bus carrying hardcore fascist militia “American Guard” was passing some counter-protestors when it stopped at a light. After an exchange of taunts, members of American Guard opened their bus door and started attacking with hammers.

  12. #7122
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    And now we have Raising Money While Black. Maybe the reason that bitch is a FORMER officer is because she didn’t have the temperament for the job. The parents of those kids should sue the shit out of that harridan.
    Avatar: Here's to the late, great Steve Dillon. Best. Punisher. Artist. EVER!

  13. #7123
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    And now we have Raising Money While Black. Maybe the reason that bitch is a FORMER officer is because she didn’t have the temperament for the job. The parents of those kids should sue the shit out of that harridan.
    Some blame (more of a should have seen that coming type) is with the school. In this day and age, it's dangerously naive to send children, even teenagers, going door to door. At least not with an adult.

    Glad that woman was arrested, god only knows what she might have done.
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  14. #7124
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    Original join date: 11/23/2004
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  15. #7125
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    The ‘follow-up appointment’


    So far this year, Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center has filed more than 1,100 lawsuits for unpaid bills in a rural corner of Southeast Missouri, where emergency medical care has become a standoff between hospitals and patients who are both going broke. Unpaid medical bills are the leading cause of personal debt and bankruptcy in the United States according to credit reports, and what’s happening in rural areas such as Butler County is a main reason why. Patients who visit rural emergency rooms in record numbers are defaulting on their bills at higher rates than ever before. Meanwhile, many of the nation’s 2,000 rural hospitals have begun to buckle under bad debt, with more than 100 closing in the past decade and hundreds more on the brink of insolvency as they fight to squeeze whatever money they’re owed from patients who don’t have it.
    The result each week in Poplar Bluff, a town of 17,000, has become so routine that some people here derisively refer to it as the “follow-up appointment” — 19 lawsuits for unpaid hospital bills scheduled on this particular Wednesday, 34 more the following week, 22 the week after that. Case after case, a hospital that helps sustain its rural community is now also collecting payments that are bankrupting hundreds of its residents.

    “Think of me as the referee,” the judge explained, as he called the first case. “It’s my job to be fair. I’m not going to be chugging for either side.”

    On one side of the courtroom was a young lawyer representing the hospital, and he carried 19 case files that totaled more than $55,000 in money owed to Poplar Bluff Regional. Three nearby hospitals in Southeast Missouri had already closed for financial reasons in the past few years, leaving Poplar Bluff Regional as the last full-service hospital to care for five rural counties, treating more than 50,000 patients each year. It never turned away patients who needed emergency care, regardless of their ability to pay, and some people without insurance were offered free or discounted treatment. In the past few years, the hospitals’ total cost of uncompensated care had risen from about $60 million to $84 million. Its ownership company Community Health Systems, a struggling conglomerate of more than 100 rural and suburban hospitals, had begun selling off facilities as its stock price tanked from $50 per share in 2015 to less than $3 as the lawyer approached the judge to discuss the first case.
    What good is Medicare for All if Hospitals keep going bankrupt?
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