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  1. #27436
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    'An existential threat': The Republicans calling for their party to reject QAnon conspiracy theories

    CNN)Republican Rep. Peter Meijer has a warning for his party: He fears baseless conspiracy theories like QAnon will destroy the GOP from within if Republicans don't decisively and unequivocally condemn the false and dangerous beliefs and take action to stop their spread.

    "The fact that a significant plurality, if not potentially a majority, of our voters have been deceived into this creation of an alternate reality could very well be an existential threat to the party," Meijer, who was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the deadly attack at the US Capitol, told CNN in an interview.

    Frequently described as a virtual cult, QAnon is a sprawling far-right conspiracy theory that promotes the absurd and false claim that Trump has been locked in a battle against a shadowy cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles made up of prominent Democratic politicians and liberal celebrities. Members of the violent pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol had ties to QAnon, and the conspiracy theory has made its way from online message boards into the political mainstream in recent years.

    "When we say QAnon, you have the sort of extreme forms, but you also just have this softer, gradual undermining of any shared, collective sense of truth," Meijer said. The Michigan freshman believes conspiracy theories fuel "incredibly unrealistic and unachievable expectations" and "a cycle of disillusionment and alienation" that could lead conservative voters to sit out elections or, in a worst-case scenario, turn to political violence, like what happened on January 6.
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  2. #27437
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    How Facebook got addicted to spreading misinformation


    Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, a director of AI at Facebook, was apologizing to his audience.

    It was March 23, 2018, just days after the revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy that worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign, had surreptitiously siphoned the personal data of tens of millions of Americans from their Facebook accounts in an attempt to influence how they voted. It was the biggest privacy breach in Facebook’s history, and Quiñonero had been previously scheduled to speak at a conference on, among other things, “the intersection of AI, ethics, and privacy” at the company. He considered canceling, but after debating it with his communications director, he’d kept his allotted time.

    As he stepped up to face the room, he began with an admission. “I’ve just had the hardest five days in my tenure at Facebook,” he remembers saying. “If there’s criticism, I’ll accept it.”
    Finally, Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, asked Quiñonero to start a team with a directive that was a little vague: to examine the societal impact of the company’s algorithms. The group named itself the Society and AI Lab (SAIL); last year it combined with another team working on issues of data privacy to form Responsible AI.
    Quiñonero was a natural pick for the job. He, as much as anybody, was the one responsible for Facebook’s position as an AI powerhouse. In his six years at Facebook, he’d created some of the first algorithms for targeting users with content precisely tailored to their interests, and then he’d diffused those algorithms across the company. Now his mandate would be to make them less harmful.


    Facebook has consistently pointed to the efforts by Quiñonero and others as it seeks to repair its reputation. It regularly trots out various leaders to speak to the media about the ongoing reforms. In May of 2019, it granted a series of interviews with Schroepfer to the New York Times, which rewarded the company with a humanizing profile of a sensitive, well-intentioned executive striving to overcome the technical challenges of filtering out misinformation and hate speech from a stream of content that amounted to billions of pieces a day. These challenges are so hard that it makes Schroepfer emotional, wrote the Times: “Sometimes that brings him to tears.”

    In the spring of 2020, it was apparently my turn. Ari Entin, Facebook’s AI communications director, asked in an email if I wanted to take a deeper look at the company’s AI work. After talking to several of its AI leaders, I decided to focus on Quiñonero. Entin happily obliged. As not only the leader of the Responsible AI team but also the man who had made Facebook into an AI-driven company, Quiñonero was a solid choice to use as a poster boy.
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  3. #27438
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Have you ever wonder what would happen if....

    911 Dispatcher Refuses to Return $1.2 Million Paid to Her by Mistake, Sheriff's Office Says

    A 911 dispatcher from Louisiana is accused of refusing to return more than $1.2 million that was accidentally deposited into her brokerage account, authorities have said.

    Kelyn Spadoni, 33, of Harvey, has left her role at Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office after her arrest on Wednesday on charges of theft valued over $25,000, bank fraud and illegal transmission of monetary funds, nola.com reported.

    According to the news outlet, Spadoni opened a brokerage account with the Charles Schwab & Co., a financial services company, in January.

    The following month, a clerical error led the company to mistakenly deposit $1,205,619 into Spadoni's account when it only meant to transfer around $82, court records say.

    Spadoni allegedly moved the funds to another account immediately, according to authorities, and used some of the money to buy a new car and a house. Employees attempted to reclaim the money, but could not.

    That was because Spadoni had already moved the money to another account, Capt. Jason Rivarde, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, told nola.com.

    Rivarde said that although the money was put into Spadoni's account, "it's not her money" and she "has no legal claim to that money."
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  4. #27439
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    It’s pretty well established by past cases (at least in UK law, and I’d guess in US) that it’s a crime to try to keep money transferred into your account in error.

    In this case given the amount and circumstances the dispatcher obviously knew the money wasn’t hers, if she does not pay it back I think she will be facing criminal charges, and will very likely lose case.

  5. #27440
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    It’s pretty well established by past cases (at least in UK law, and I’d guess in US) that it’s a crime to try to keep money transferred into your account in error.

    In this case given the amount and circumstances the dispatcher obviously knew the money wasn’t hers, if she does not pay it back I think she will be facing criminal charges, and will very likely lose case.
    Yeah, she worked for the Sheriff's office so she should have known better, known that she couldn't get away with it.
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  6. #27441
    Sans Pants ChadH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    http://www.politico.com/news/2021/04...tch-rnc-480748

    Trump calls McConnell a "dumb son of a bitch" at GQP donor gathering.

    I mean, McConnell is a dumb son of a bitch for not doing more to excise this tumor from his party.
    Too bad moderate Republicans lack the backbone to organize and actually fight for control. That gathering was essentially Trump selling his message to the big-money donors and if they decide to buy in the only thing keeping Trump from becoming the official king-maker-in-chief are those moderates. The only hope any of us really have at this point is that his health takes a severe turn for the worse.
    Last edited by ChadH; 04-11-2021 at 10:17 AM.
    The Cover Contest Weekly Winners Thread So much winning!!

    "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis
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  7. #27442
    Extraordinary Member Malvolio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    Dude we've been over this. Stop besmirching James Bond by comparing all these Republicans to his greatest villains.
    Besides, Crenshaw looks nothing like Largo. All they have in common is the eye-patch. You might as well say that Crenshaw looks like the Governor from the Walking Dead.
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  8. #27443
    Sans Pants ChadH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malvolio View Post
    Besides, Crenshaw looks nothing like Largo. All they have in common is the eye-patch. You might as well say that Crenshaw looks like the Governor from the Walking Dead.
    I recall Pete Davidson on SNL saying he looks like a hitman in a porn movie.
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    "Being politically incorrect shouldn't be a matter of pride. It's the last gasp of the wrong side of history." - Unknown
    "By all means, compare these s**t-heads to Nazis." - Mike Godwin referring to the protesters in Charlottesville.

  9. #27444
    Extraordinary Member Malvolio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    It’s pretty well established by past cases (at least in UK law, and I’d guess in US) that it’s a crime to try to keep money transferred into your account in error.

    In this case given the amount and circumstances the dispatcher obviously knew the money wasn’t hers, if she does not pay it back I think she will be facing criminal charges, and will very likely lose case.
    When I worked at the mall as a cleaner, one of our security guards had $700 deposited into his bank account by mistake. He made it even worse by withdrawing the money in several small withdrawals, so when the bank made him pay it back, he had to pay an additional overdraft fee for each withdrawal. His wife was not pleased, to say the least.
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  10. #27445
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malvolio View Post
    When I worked at the mall as a cleaner, one of our security guards had $700 deposited into his bank account by mistake. He made it even worse by withdrawing the money in several small withdrawals, so when the bank made him pay it back, he had to pay an additional overdraft fee for each withdrawal. His wife was not pleased, to say the least.
    In UK not super rare. In UK law spending it if you don’t have reasonable grounds for believing it’s yours is potentially a criminal offence ( “taking false credit” under one of the crime acts).

    Obviously it’s not often prosecuted if you return money to bank double pronto, but people who have spent large amounts and can’t pay it back have done jail time...and courts have typically been very sceptical of defences along the lines of “I thought it was a lottery win”.

  11. #27446

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    On this date in 2015, “Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day” profiled of Sue Lowden, a former candidate for U.S. Senate from Nevada who offered an alternate suggestion to healthcare reform to the Affordable Care Act… people should go back to the good old days when they bartered with their doctor in goods and services for medical care (really). She also had several ethical complaints registered against her for illegal campaign financing, and was even widely reported to have stiffed a large portion of her paid media consultants on fees owed after the election. Lowden had previously, in the 2008 election, angered Ron Paul for President supporters by shutting down their insurrection at the state’s primary convention and awarding its delegates to John McCain, and not Paul, so they hounded her wherever she went, throwing their support behind fellow CSGOPOTD Sharron Angle, instead. Lowden has faded from relevance in politics.

    In 2016, 2017, 2018, as well as 2019, “Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day” presented its original profile of the U.S. House Representative from Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, Steve Russell, as pictured, former frequent guest on Fox News. And it’s easy to understand why the propaganda wing of the Republican Party being run by Roger Ailes would find this guy to be a media darling… he was a part of the military team that helped yank Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein out of his spider-hole back in 2003, and he detailed that story in his memoir, the aptly named “We Got Him!” Russell has quickly parlayed that into a career in Oklahoma politics, serving in the state legislature from 2008-2012, before seizing the opportunity that presented itself to leap to higher office when fellow CSGOPOTD almuni, Congressman James Lankford decided to take a shot at elevating himself to the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Sen. Tom Coburn. Now, this blog will always be perfectly clear about something… we respect our nation’s military, the honorable service they provide to keep our country safe, and represent its values in uniform. That will never, ever change. And the same respect is extended to a veteran like Rep. Russell. We would like to extend our thanks to him for his service. That being said, we find some of his statements in the realm of “military expertise” since he left the service to be highly suspect, and enough to have been the red flags that have so quickly earned him one of our profiles. You see, Steve Russell is one of those conservatives living on an alternate earth where ideology matters more than facts. As such, his version of the history of the Iraq War is one where the United States Armed Forces actually found not just Saddam Hussein, as his unit did… but he claims we also found the active program of Saddam Hussein’s regime that was attempting to build Weapons of Mass Destruction. Russell, on multiple occasions, spoken publicly that he has been told by others in the military who found the WMDs, but “the story was completely buried by the press”. Of course, maybe Russell just says things like this because he’s being completely partisan, but we’d have no reason to suspect that… except for when after President Obama recorded a Back-To-School message for public school students in 2009, much the way previous presidents had going back to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, that Russell decided to make the classy decision to compare Obama to some of the world’s worst dictators, including Kim Jong Il and the man he helped catch in Iraq, Saddam Hussein.

    Splendid. Now, getting back to Russell’s opinions on the military… there was an inspiring news story that came out in August of 2015, where Captain Kristen Griest and Lieutenant Shayne Haver became the first two women to successfully graduate from Army Ranger training school. Now, while most people would hear that news and salute those two service members for their achievement, as well as acknowledge a great moment in women’s history… Steve Russell called for an investigation because obviously they only completed their training because they must have received some sort of preferential treatment. Keep in mind, Steve Russell’s “sources” also tell him that a guy heard from another guy we found Saddam’s WMDs, so yeah, it’s just another wad of bulls***. And it’s spectacular that he would question a fellow service member’s commitment, ability, or integrity, isn’t it?

    Prior to getting to Congress, while he was still serving in the Oklahoma state legislature, he drafted legislation to try to get Oklahoma to opt out of the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd Hate Crimes Act, because it’s worth nullifying federal law to let people kill other people for being gay, apparently. His justification? It would violate the potential homophobic murderer’s “freedom of speech”. Of course, that was hardly his only extreme piece of legislation, considering he also co-sponsored legislation to try to define life at conception, supported Birther legislation regarding the birth certificates of presidential candidates, voted for stricter Voter ID laws to combat the statistically non-existent problem of “in-person voter fraud” at the cost of disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters, tried to nullify the Affordable Care Act, and voted for Oklahoma Republicans’ paranoid, Islamophobic idea to place a ban on Sharia Law in the state. Since hitting Washington, D.C., on July 30th, 2015, during a Congressional hearing, Steve Russell accused Matt Duss of the Foundation for Middle East peace of having “Anti-Semantic ties” because his father and brother were previously known to be critical of Israeli policies. Of course, what Russell meant to say was “Anti-Semitic”, and even that was a reach. He is, top to bottom, a kook.

    Now, in 2016, Steve Russell coasted to re-election in 2016 by over 20 points, what with his district having a +12 Republican lean in the Cook Partisan Voting Index. In the 2018 Blue Wave election, and after a contentious town hall where Russell refused to say whether or not the media was “the enemy” like Donald Trump had, Steve Russell was defeated by 3,000 votes by Kendra Horn, and bounced out of office in one of the bigger upsets of the 2018 elections.




    On this date one year ago, “Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day” first profiled Wyoming State Senator Lynn Hutchings, who was elected for the first time in 2018 to represent District 5 after an unsuccessful 2014 run for that seat. Almost immediately upon making it to the upper chamber, Hutchings got a lot of people’s attention for all the wrong reasons.

    It all started about a month after she took office when she accepted a visit from a group of teenagers from her district who were lobbying her to vote for LGBTQ employment protections, and she took the opportunity to ask the kids if she should then also be supporting beastiality and pedophilia:

    Only days later, an attempt to repeal the death penalty in Wyoming, Hutchings stunned those present in the State Senate chamber when she gave a bizarre reason for opposing the repeal… JESUS.

    For those who aren’t following how dumb this statement is… HBO’s John Oliver summarized it nicely by asking, “Your argument for the death penalty is that they got us a Jesus once, and maybe one day, if we kill enough people, we’ll get another one?”

    After these two brain dead moments by Valentine’s Day of 2019, Democrats within the chamber were calling on Lynn Hutchings to resign. Her husband released a statement saying that she was not resigning, and she seems intent on remaining in office until at least the 2022 elections. Her constituents also can’t be happy that her only plan of action to help anyone during the Covid-19 pandemic was to grant businesses immunity from any lawsuits due to their negligence regarding the virus. If she insists on putting her foot in her mouth so much, she had better hope nobody’s around to hear, going forward.
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  12. #27447
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Biden Bars Trump From Receiving Intelligence Briefings, Citing ‘Erratic Behavior’ (Published Feb. 5, 2021Updated Feb. 10, 2021)

    WASHINGTON — President Biden said on Friday that he would bar his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, from receiving intelligence briefings traditionally given to former presidents, saying that Mr. Trump could not be trusted because of his “erratic behavior” even before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

    The move was the first time that a former president had been cut out of the briefings, which are provided partly as a courtesy and partly for the moments when a sitting president reaches out for advice. Currently, the briefings are offered on a regular basis to Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

    Mr. Biden, speaking to Norah O’Donnell of CBS News, said Mr. Trump’s behavior worried him “unrelated to the insurrection” that gave rise to the second impeachment of Mr. Trump.

    
“I just think that there is no need for him to have the intelligence briefings,” Mr. Biden said.

    “What value is giving him an intelligence briefing?” Mr. Biden added. “What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?”
    I only just noticed this.
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  13. #27448
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    Biden Bars Trump From Receiving Intelligence Briefings, Citing ‘Erratic Behavior’ (Published Feb. 5, 2021Updated Feb. 10, 2021)



    I only just noticed this.
    After Trump stoked the fires for what happened on 1/6, Biden should've taken that action the day after he took office.
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  14. #27449
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    Trump, who has the attention span of a gnat, never listened much to the briefings anyway, no matter how hard the people preparing the briefings tried to make them as short and concise as possible. After all, why should he care? He doesn't believe what the intelligence community says anyway, since they're a big part of the Deep State. He takes Vladimir Putin's word over that of the CIA, and if Crown Prince Bonesaw says he had nothing to do with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, then that denial is good enough for Trump! Trump got all his "information" from Fox News, so the briefings were largely wasted on him throughout his administration, and there is certainly no reason to continue them now.

  15. #27450
    Invincible Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seismic-2 View Post
    Trump, who has the attention span of a gnat, never listened much to the briefings anyway, no matter how hard the people preparing the briefings tried to make them as short and concise as possible. After all, why should he care? He doesn't believe what the intelligence community says anyway, since they're a big part of the Deep State. He takes Vladimir Putin's word over that of the CIA, and if Crown Prince Bonesaw says he had nothing to do with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, then that denial is good enough for Trump! Trump got all his "information" from Fox News, so the briefings were largely wasted on him throughout his administration, and there is certainly no reason to continue them now.

    Honestly...

    That is probably the best reason to still give the guy seriously regular briefings.

    You know he has no patience for them and they will just be a chore.

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