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Mr. T, UFOs, volcanoes, hurricanes, brainless sleep
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Published Friday, May 21, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 21 2021

"You pity the fool because you don't want to beat up a fool. You know, pity is between sorry and mercy. See, if you pity him, you know, you won't have to beat him up. So that's why I say fools, you gotta give another chance because they don't know no better. That's why I pity them."
-Mr. T (b. Lawrence Tureaud is 69 today.)

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Reality Checks:

YouTube termintated the "Truth About Vaccines" channel. The channel had about 75,000 subscribers but some of its videos had a much broader reach, including one that had over 1.5 million views and featured Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a prominent voice in the anti-vaccine movement.

Vax and scratch... New York offers $5M lottery for newly vaccinated. Why not? It appears to work.

When your company is named Covid, you've heard all the jokes. "You know, we get a lot of customers who always want to come up with our new taglines ... 'Covid, we had it first.' Or 'The only thing that's contagious is our quality.' We get all kinds of jokes from people. And a lot of people call and they talk to us and they just, 'can you believe that?' And you just smile a little bit and say, 'yeah,' and you just tell some of the stories that's happened because of it. But, yeah, it's OK."

This guy bought a fake COVID-19 vaccine card on Etsy.

Hundreds of PPP loans went to fake farms in absurd places. An online lending platform called Kabbage sent 378 pandemic loans worth $7 million to fake companies (mostly farms) with names like "Deely Nuts" and "Beefy King."

QAnon believers see Trump's mounting legal troubles as part of 'the plan.' "Do you think they realize how much MOAR powerful Trump will be after being falsely arrested?"

The myth of labor shortages. One of the few ways to have a true labor shortage in a capitalist economy is for workers to be demanding wages so high that businesses cannot stay afloat while paying those wages. But there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the U.S. economy does not suffer from that problem. If anything, wages today are historically low.

They have been growing slowly for decades for every income group other than the affluent. As a share of gross domestic product, worker compensation is lower than at any point in the second half of the 20th century. Two main causes are corporate consolidation and shrinking labor unions, which together have given employers more workplace power and employees less of it.

Former President Obama on UFOs: "What is true, and I’m actually being serious here, is that there's footage and records of objects in the skies, that we don't know exactly what they are, we can't explain how they moved... And The Onion has a summary of what's in the Pentagon report on UFOs, including the revelation that most UFOs were acquired by United Airlines in 1998 as part of a $7 billion merger. Also: How to talk about the Pentagon's UFO report without sounding like a conspiracy theorist.

111-year-old Australian recommends eating chicken brains. Of course he does.

Kevin McCarthy proposes removing January 6th from month of January. (Andy Borowitz)

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Nature:

Alaskan volcano may erupt... Due to low-level volcanic ash emissions and the detection of explosion signals, scientists at the USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) have upgraded the color code and alert level at the Semisopochnoi volcano. Semisopochnoi is the easternmost land location in the United States and North America, located just 9.7 miles west of the 180th Meridian in Alaska. (It's eastern because it extends beyond the International Date Line.)

U.S. government forecasts above-normal 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. They predict 3-5 major hurricanes, six to ten moderate hurricanes, and ten to 14 tropical storms. A storm expected to form off Bermuda this week.

Sleep evolved before brains. Sleep affects metabolism pervasively in the body, suggesting that its influence is not exclusively neurological.

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Researchers are restarting a DNA study of the remains of Christopher Columbus to try to settle the question of his nationality. Given his drop in popularity, one has to wonder if this is so the Italians can blame the Portugese.

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Ford's F-150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in America for decades. A $40K all-electric version may help push the transition away from internal combustion engines. In the meantime, a semiconductor chip shortage has halted production of the F-150, Bronco Sport, and others.

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Federal authorities have seized 68 big cats from an animal park in Oklahoma featured in Netflix's "Tiger King" citing recurring inhumane treatment and improper handling of animals protected by the Endangered Species Act.

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Colonial Pipeline paid hackers $4.4 million to restore its computer systems. In the old days before the Internet, companies who needed to network computers did so by obtaining dedicated leased lines from the telephone company. While expensive, it makes hacking from outside sources far more difficult, since breaking into a system requires actual physical access to the circuit connecting the sites or to a system directly connected to the private network. Also, systems providing essential services should be isolated from the public Internet. (I guess some executives never saw the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Also, cybercrime is now a major industry- with its own trading markets and even CSR.

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Senators expected to announce deal on US Postal Service reform. It would eliminate the absurd law that required the postal service to pre-pay $5 billion a year in mandatory retiree health care benefits, and require future retirees to enroll in Medicare.

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"I hate everybody including you." The art of saying "no."


Categories: Andy Borowitz, Barack Obama, Covid-19, Donald Trump, Mr. T, QAnon, The Big Lie, UFOs, Unemployment, YouTube


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It's getting weird out there...
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Published Saturday, June 06, 2020 @ 10:44 AM EDT
Jun 06 2020

Signs of the Apocalypse, #912: I'm not a believer in conspiracy theories or biblical prophecies, but I have to admit this caught my attention:

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Oregon Police Caught On Video Collaborating With Armed White Extremists

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Washington, DC Mayor Mayor Muriel E. Bowser renamed a street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza” and had the slogan painted on the asphalt in massive yellow letters, a pointed salvo in her escalating dispute with President Trump over control of D.C. streets.

So Trump now lives at 1600 Black Lives Matter Plaza (that's the White House on the far right).

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Colbert scores again. (Video)


Categories: Black Lives Matter, Dolly Parton, Muriel E. Bowser, Revelations, Signs of the Apocalypse, Stephen Colbert, Twitter, Video, Washington, DC, YouTube


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John Wayne, Tonto, Grand Moff Tarkin, smart squirrels, Rhinestone Cowboy, and, of course, Covid-19
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Published Tuesday, May 26, 2020 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 26 2020

Today is Tuesday, May 26, the 147th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 219 days remain until the end of the year.

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Among other things, today is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day, National Cherry Dessert Day, National Paper Airplane Day, Sally Ride Day, World Dracula Day, World Lindy Hop Day, and World Redhead Day.

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Rmembering John Wayne (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 - June 11, 1979) (Video)

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Remembering Jay Silverheels (born Harold Jay Smith, May 26, 1912 - March 5, 1980) (Video)

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Remembering Peter Cushing (May 26, 1913 - August 11, 1994) (Video)

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The video you must watch today. A little over 21 minutes, but worth it. (Video)

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Stevie Nicks is 72 today; Pam Grier is 71 today; Bobcat Goldwaith is 58 today; Helena Bonham Carter is 54 today.

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Glen Campbell's recording of Rhinestone Cowboy was released on this day in 1975. (Video)

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China's 'Bat Woman' warns coronavirus is just tip of the iceberg. Shi Zhengli, a virologist renowned for her work on coronavirus in bats, said in an interview on Chinese state television that viruses being discovered now are "just the tip of the iceberg" and called for international cooperation in the fight against epidemics.

Related: Nobel laureates and science groups demand NIH review decision to kill coronavirus grant.

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First human trial of possible COVID-19 vaccine triggers rapid immune response, few side-effects. But... the ability to trigger these immune responses does not necessarily indicate that the vaccine will protect humans from COVID-19.

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Desperate rats are brazenly searching for food during the coronavirus pandemic, CDC warns. "They're mammals just like you and I, and so when you're really, really hungry, you're not going to act the same. You're going to act very bad, usually," Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist, told NBC News.

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"The new normal." On weekend dedicated to war dead, Trump tweets insults, promotes baseless claims and plays golf.

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WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment amid safety concerns.

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Scientists warn against high doses of vitamin D supplementation for preventing or treating COVID-19. Examining previous studies in this field scientists found no evidence of a link between high dose supplementation of vitamin D in helping to prevent or successfully treat Covid-19 and cautioned against over supplementation of the vitamin, without medical supervision, due to health risks.

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What happens when your health care system is based on making a profit: At a time when medical professionals are putting their lives at risk, tens of thousands of doctors in the United States are taking large pay cuts.

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Wealthiest hospitals got billions in bailout intended for struggling health providers. Seattle-based Providence Health System, one of the country's largest and richest hospital chains is sitting on nearly $12 billion in cash, which it invests, Wall Street-style, in a good year generating more than $1 billion in profits. And this spring, Providence received at least $509 million in government funds, one of many wealthy beneficiaries of a federal program that is supposed to prevent health care providers from capsizing during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Hot dogs sales skyrocket by more than 120% during the coronavirus pandemic, as Americans embrace the 'best quarantine food.' The question no one is asking: Which will kill you first?

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Borowitz:

Fauci urges Trump to remain on golf course until pandemic is over.

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Trump says Republican National Convention might move from Charlotte if the state doesn't relax is coronavirus rules... but no other city wanted to host it. An article published by New York Magazine's Intelligencer blog laid out the GOP's struggle with the headline: "GOP Awards Its 2020 Convention to the Only City That Sorta Kinda Wanted It."

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Trump sees a 'rigged election' ahead. Democrats see a constitutional crisis in the making. The president’s increasingly amped-up rhetoric surrounding the integrity of the November elections has many wondering how he might respond to a defeat.

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China warns U.S. taking world to brink of 'new Cold War' over coronavirus. The ratcheting up of tensions comes as Beijing is hounded by questions over alleged missteps in its initial response to contain the virus.

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SpaceX is about to launch two astronauts into space in a historic first. NASA's Commercial Crew program, aimed at developing private spacecraft to transport American astronauts in to space, began under Barack Obama.

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Want to buy a used car? Rental car companies are offering up some good deals. All of the major car rental companies- Hertz, Enterprise, Alamo Avis, Budget and others- list their used rental cars for sale on their web sites. Shoppers can search inventories and test drives are usually much more generous than you'll find at typical used car dealers.

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Microsoft confirms new Windows 10 update warning The problem, once again, is KB4556799, a recent Windows 10 update pushed to millions of PCs which has already caused numerous issues, including Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) crashes, deleted user data, performance issues, broken audio and more. Microsoft is investigating these problems, but the company has now also confirmed on the official KB4556799 update page that it can break Internet connections as well.

 




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Categories: Andy Borowitz, Bobcat Goldwaith, CDC, Covid-19, Donald Trump, Glen Campbell, Health, Helena Bonham Carter, Jay Silverheels, John Wayne, Microsoft, Pam Grier, Peter Cushing, Rhinestone Cowboy, SpaceX, Squirrels, Stevie Nicks, Twitter, Video, Windows, YouTube


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Star Trek, Space Force, Marilyn, Mount St. Helens, NASA says don't worry...
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Published Monday, May 18, 2020 @ 12:31 AM EDT
May 18 2020

Today is Monday, May 18, the 139th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 227 days remain until the end of the year.

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Among other things, today is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, I Love Reese's® Day, International Museum Day, Mother Whistler Day. National Cheese Soufflé Day, National No Dirty Dishes Day, National Visit Your Relatives Day, Send an Electronic Greeting Card Day, and World AIDS Vaccine Day.

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Supreme Court debacle: On this date in 1896, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that the "separate but equal" doctrine was constitutional.

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On this date in 1933 as part of the New Deal, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally owned corporation created by congressional charter to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected by the Great Depression.

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On this day 70 years ago, St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Tommy Glaviano made errors on three consecutive grounders in the bottom of the ninth, allowing the Brooklyn Dodgers a 9-8 victory. At least he could tell himself it wasn't, you know, something people would remember two decades into the next century or anything

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On this day in 1962, A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy took place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The highlight was Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Happy Birthday." (Video)

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Tina Fey is 50 today. Click here for quotes by Tina Fey.

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On this date in 1980, Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupted, directly killing 57 people and releasing thermal energy equivalent to 26 megatons of TNT, over 1,700 times larger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. (Video)

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Ever listen to Trump ramble and wonder what he was asked about in the first place? Now it's a game you can play at home! From The Daily Show. (Video)

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This just about sums it up... (Video)

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Inside Trump's coronavirus meltdown. Again and again, the story that emerged is of a president who ignored increasingly urgent intelligence warnings from January, dismisses anyone who claims to know more than him and trusts no one outside a tiny coterie, led by his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner- the property developer who Trump has empowered to sideline the best-funded disaster response bureaucracy in the world. "It is as though we knew for a fact that 9/11 was going to happen for months, did nothing to prepare for it and then shrugged a few days later and said, 'Oh well, there's not much we can do about it,'" says Gregg Gonsalves, a public health scholar at Yale University. "Trump could have prevented mass deaths and he didn't."

Meanwhile, on Earth 2: Eric Trump accuses Democrats of "milking" coronavirus lockdowns to win the election.

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Borowitz: Trump says nation will have vaccine before it sees his taxes.

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Obama openly criticizes Trump administration's coronavirus response. (Video)

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'A lot to be hopeful for': Crisis seen as historic, not another Great Depression.

Related: Drastic makeover looms for world's most followed stock index. "The S&P committee is going to have to decide how long they want to wait before ditching COVID-damaged companies..."

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As cable TV fades, fearing 'the end of Comedy Central.' The network that made the careers of Dave Chappelle, Stephen Colbert and Amy Schumer has laid off top executives while looking to make shows that are cheaper to produce.

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Space Force launches robotic X-37B space plane on new mystery mission. While the X-37B's exact purpose is a secret, Space Force officials have revealed that the craft is packing numerous experiments on this trip to test out different systems in space. Some of those experiments include a small satellite called FalconSat-8, two NASA payloads designed to study the effects of radiation on different materials as well as seeds to grow food, and a power-beaming experiment using microwave energy. (story includes video)

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ViacomCBS, which owns Paramount and the Star Trek® franchise, should sue Trump for using the phrase "warp speed" for the vaccination projects and the delta shield emblem as the core of its Space Force logo. Not for intellectual property violations, but for damaging the value of its brand via association with a malignant miscreant.

And speaking of Star Trek, seven years ago today my wife and I saw "Star Trek: Into Darkness," by far the worst Star Trek film ever made.

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Meteor caught on doorbell camera. A Summerville, SC family caught a meteor entering Earth's atmosphere on their doorbell video camera early Thursday morning. The video, provided by the Giltner family, was taken around 12:42 a.m. (video)

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Trump 'spiritual adviser' Paula White imitates queen bee dance to declare end to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Expert's COVID-19 swimming pool study: chlorine no safety guarantee, high-level controls the way back to the water.

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Here's what a solar minimum is and why NASA says it's nothing to worry about. Some say the current cycle could be a repeat of the Dalton Minimum, which was one of the most extreme weather periods in history. The Dalton minimum was a period that lasted over three solar cycles from 1790-1830 and resulted in heavy snows, deep frost and general cooling around the globe. NASA scientists say there's no mini ice age on the horizon, because planetary warming due to climate change will offset the cycle. There. Feel better?

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Offered without comment: (Video)

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Thoughts of the day:

Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.
-G.K. Chesterton

The written word will soon disappear and we'll no longer be able to read good prose like we used to could. This prospect does not gentle my thoughts or tranquil me toward the future.
-James Thurber

There are few things in life harder to find and more important to keep than love. Well, love and a birth certificate.
-Barack Obama

We can usually recognize the consequence of our actions. It is the consequence of our inaction that gets confused with the inevitable.
-Robert Brault

The more you know, the sadder you get.
-Stephen Colbert

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I'm a sucker for rescue dogs to begin with, but this sweetheart tore my heart out. Thank goodness she found a loving home with a great mom dedicated to caring for special needs dogs. (Video)



Things are really rough out there.
Please consider donating to Feeding America
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Categories: Andy Borowitz, Barack Obama, Climate change, Comedy Central, Covid-19, Daily Show, Donald Trump, Eric Trump, FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Meteors, Mount St. Helens, NASA, New Deal, Paula White, Rudy Giuliani, SCOTUS, Space Force, Star Trek, Supreme Court, Tennessee Valley Authority, The Sun, Tina Fey, Tommy Glaviano, Video, YouTube


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Mickey remembered, Elsa whacked, fold your own viruses, secret spaceplane, big bang bust, Alaska tsunami, happy facts, tear gas ice cream
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Published Friday, May 15, 2020 @ 4:15 AM EDT
May 15 2020

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Today is Friday, May 15, the 136th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 230 days remain until the end of the year.

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Among other things, today is Bring Flowers to Someone Day, Endangered Species Day, HG Awareness Day, International Conscientious Objectors Day, International Day of Families, International MPS Awareness Day, International Virtual Assistants Day, NASCAR Day, National Bike to Work Day, National Chocolate Chip Day, National Defense Transportation Day, National Pizza Party Day, National Safety Dose Day, National Tuberous Sclerosis Day, Nylon Stockings Day, O. Henry Pun-off Day, Peace Officers Memorial Day, Relive Your Past By Listening to the First Music You Ever Bought No Matter What It Was No Excuses Day (here's mine), Shades Day, Straw Hat Day, and VBF Day of Awareness.

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Remembering L. Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 - May 6, 1919), an American author chiefly known for his children's books, particularly The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Click here for quotes by L. Frank Baum.

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Madeleine Albright, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and the first female United States Secretary of State in history, is 83 today. Click here for quotes by Madeleine Albright.

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Remembering Clifton Fadiman (May 15, 1904 – June 20, 1999), an erudite essayist and editor whose affable wit delighted millions during his long reign as moderator of the popular "Information Please" radio quiz show and even longer tenure as senior editor of the Book of the Month Club. Click here for quotes by Clifton Fadiman.

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On this day in 1928, the Walt Disney character Mickey Mouse premiered in his first cartoon, a silent film called "Plane Crazy", in a test screening before a theater audience. Sound was added, and the film was later released as the fourth Mickey Mouse cartoon, after Steamboat Willie, The Gallopin' Caucho, and The Barn Dance. (Video)


The sound-added version of Plane Crazy, released a year later in 1929.

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Whistleblower Rick Bright's damning testimony on Trump's COVID-19 failures: A Closer Look (Video)

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Use your computer's idle time to fight disease. Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics, including the process of protein folding and the movements of proteins implicated in a variety of diseases. It brings together citizen scientists who volunteer to run simulations of protein dynamics on their personal computers. Insights from this data are helping scientists to better understand biology, and providing new opportunities for developing therapeutics.

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There are sensible ways to reopen a country. then there's America's approach.

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Private jet company founded by Trump donor gets $27 million bailout. It's a grant, not a loan. The vast majority of the other 96 recipients of government funding or loans on the list are major commercial airlines, regional carriers or support companies.

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CDC releases scaled-back guidance on reopening after White House blocked earlier release. The new guidelines provide brief checklists meant to help key businesses and others operating in public reopen safely.

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McConnell admits he was wrong to say Obama administration failed to leave a pandemic playbook.

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McDonald's is going to look drastically different when it opens.

Related: On this date in 1940, Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the first McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino.

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Opinion: stock market crash round 2 is coming.

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Delta Air to retire all of its 777 jets and replace them with Airbus SE aircraft in another hit for the beleaguered U.S. plane maker. Delta will continue flying its fleet of long-haul, next-generation Airbus A350-900s, which burn 21% less fuel per seat than the 777s they will replace, the airline said.

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Everything you need to know about a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks. TLDR: Good stuff, but McConnell and his GOP Senate goons will probably gut stuff that actually helps individuals.

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Cities crack down on food delivery app fees as restaurants struggle to survive.

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Nearly 40% of the poorest households hit with a job loss during pandemic, Fed study shows.

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Mysterious spaceplane prepares for launch on Saturday. The spacecraft may remain in orbit for two years. "What they're trying to do is anyone's guess."

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Scientists warn about risk of massive tsunami in Alaska's Prince William Sound, potentially within the next year. The scientists say an unstable slope sitting above Barry Glacier in Barry Arm, about 60 miles east of Anchorage, could slide into the water below — impacting tourists, fishermen and hunters, and potentially leading to a 30-foot wave...

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Is the Big Bang in crisis? Stubborn problems with dark matter, dark energy, and cosmic expansion have some astronomers rethinking what we know about the early universe.

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Hong Kong shop offers 'tear gas' flavor ice cream. The main ingredient is black peppercorns, a reminder of the pungent, peppery rounds fired by police on the streets of the semi-autonomous Chinese city during months of demonstrations last year. "We would like to make a flavor that reminds people that they still have to persist in the protest movement and don't lose their passion," he said.

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Stopped cold: 'Frozen' musical on Broadway not to reopen. Citing the "global pandemic," Thomas Schumacher, president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, said Thursday that running three Disney shows on Broadway was "untenable.""

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40 happy facts that'll make your day a little better.

"Fact: Sea otters hold hands when they sleep." Uh, you're going to have to do better than that. From 2003, some happy facts of my own:

100% TRUE
(and insipid)

1. At least two people in this world love you so much they would die for you.
No, wait a minute. Technically, your ferrets aren't really "people".

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
But be advised that two of those ways are felonies in most states.

3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.
...and they lack that interesting muscular aberration that helps you while away those lonely hours.

4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
And you thought forgetting to wear your dentures was a mistake.

5. Every night, someone thinks about you before they go to sleep.
Something along the lines of "I can't believe someone hasn't murdered that little bastard yet."

6. You mean the world to someone.
Someone with a vocabulary of one word, that word being "world"

7. If not for you, someone may not be living.
But since you skipped town before the paternity hearing, you'll never know.

8. You are special and unique.
Just like everyone else.

9. Someone that you don't even know exists, loves you.
Thanks to your ex, who posted that "special" picture of you on the Really Hot Amateurs porn site.

10. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.
Like discovering you really aren't cut out to be an air traffic controller.

11. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take another look, you most likely turned your back on the world.
And the world is just waiting for you to bend over.

12. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won't get it. But if you believe in yourself, sooner or later, you may get exactly what you want.
Especially if what you want is arthritis, hair loss, erectile dysfunction and declining cognitive capabilities.

13. Always remember the compliments you receive; forget about the rude remarks.
No need to remember the rude remarks. You hear them incessantly, you being you and all.

14. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you'll feel much better when they know.
Just be certain there are no witnesses.

15. If you have a great friend, take time to let them know that they are great.
And buy them a gift. Their Blow-Up Betty could use a patch kit.

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Borowitz: Trump wishes he could replace Fauci with the doctor who saved him from Vietnam, Obama unworried about Trump accusing him of crime because Bill Barr does not prosecute criminals.

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Florida man attacks victim who didn't thank him for holding open door to liquor store, deputies say.

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Thoughts of the day:

Today is Mark Zuckerberg's birthday. I don't care, I just wanted to give away some of his personal information.
-Seth Meyers

The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways. But he uses a base ten counting system and likes round numbers.
-Scott Adams

I've never been quarantined, but the more I look around, the more I think it might not be a bad idea.
-George Carlin

So let me get this straight... Captain Clorox thinks schools are safe enough for your kids but jail is too dangerous for Paul Manafort.
(from Facebook)

"Obamagate"- A nonsensical word you create when your cult stops buying your lies about Covid-19, and you desperately need to change the narrative.
(from Facebook)

Not sure Trump is thinking through the implications of normalizing extensive investigations into former presidents.
-@matthewamiller

Donald Trump was never going to get along with anyone called "Dr. Bright.""
-@middleageriot

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Well, there's our problem:

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Just aesthetics? You're overlooking all that great foreign protein:

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There are worse ways you can go...

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Categories: 777, Airbus, Barack Obama, Boeing, CDC, Clay Lacy, Clifton Fadiman, Covid-19, Delta Air, Donald Trump, Folding@home, L. Frank Baum, Madeleine Albright, McDonald's, Mickey Mouse, Mitch McConnell, Richard and Maurice McDonald, Rick Bright, Seth Meyers, Video, Walt Disney, YouTube


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Mac the Knife, the Sun is asleep, a ton of memes, and existential despair
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Published Thursday, May 14, 2020 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 14 2020

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Oops

The email version of yesterday's report said it was Tuesday. Of course, it was Wednesday. When I dusted off the old blogging software, I forgot to adjust for the fact 2020 is a leap year. I'm not blaming the software: it was strictly human error.

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Today is Thursday, May 14, the 135th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 231 days remain until the end of the year.

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Among other things, today is "The Stars and Stripes Forever" Day, National Dance Like a Chicken Day, International Dylan Thomas Day, National Buttermilk Biscuit Day, and National Underground America Day.

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The Sun is asleep. Deep 'solar minimum' feared as 2020 sees record-setting 100-day absence of sunspots.

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Remembering Richard Deacon. (May 14, 1921-  August 8, 1984) (Video)

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Remembering Bobby Darin (May 14, 1936 – December 20, 1973) (Video)

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George Lucas is 76 today. (Video)

George Lucas quotes.

Related: Carrie Fisher's family reportedly doesn't want her likeness used in Star Wars again.

Also related: Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, 68, is 'done' with the franchise. "I'm full of gratitude for what it has given me and my career but I don't want to be greedy. There are still so many more stories to tell and so many great actors to tell them, they don't need me."

Somewhat related: Coronavirus has moved visual effects work to the cloud- and it may stay there. "With this technology, you can set up 1,000 workstations in less than an hour and have people working on a project simultaneously in Mumbai, New York, Dublin and Vancouver," says Botham. "It's a seamless process."

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Robert Zemeckis is 68 today. (Video)

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Tim Roth is 59 today. (Video)

(He's perhaps more famous as the restaurant robber in Pulp Fiction, but that clip's a bit over the top.)

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On this date in 1796, Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox inoculation.

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On this date in 1948, Israel was declared to be an independent state and a provisional government was established. Immediately after the declaration, Israel is attacked by the neighboring Arab states, triggering the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

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On this date in 1973, Skylab, the United States' first space station, was launched. (Video)

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AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s perfect China ban, death toll myths.

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Whistleblower: US could face virus rebound 'darkest winter'. Immunologist Dr. Rick Bright makes his sobering prediction in testimony prepared for his appearance Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Aspects of his complaint about early administration handling of the crisis are expected to be backed up by testimony from an executive of a company that manufactures, respirator masks.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down state's stay-at-home order. "This isn't a game. This isn't funny. People die every day because of this virus- often times painful and lonely deaths- and the more we delay or play political games the more people die."

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As each day passes, I become more convinced he's determined to destroy the Republic: Mitch McConnell is pushing the Senate to pass a measure that would let the FBI collect Americans' web-browsing history without a warrant. The Senate is expected to vote to renew the 2001 Patriot Act, and Mitch McConnell is pushing an amendment to the law that would expand the FBI's surveillance powers.

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Atmospheric CO2 soars to record heights in spite of global pandemic. While the coronavirus pandemic has led to a decline in carbon emissions in some areas, the effect is expected to be short-lived.

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Rand Paul says secret to social distancing is making everyone despise you. (Andy Borowitz)

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The real reason Trump wants to reopen the economy. (Video)

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Vitamin D determines severity in COVID-19. Vitamin D has many functions in the human body, and now researchers claim it can also support the immune system through a number of immune pathways involved in fighting SARS-CoV-2. Many recent studies confirm the pivotal role of vitamin D in viral infections. This may be because vitamin D is important in regulation and suppression of the inflammatory cytokine response, which causes the severe consequences of COVID-19 and acute respiratory distress syndrome associated with ventilation and death.

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Get ready for a Covid-19 vaccine information war... Social media is already filling up with misinformation about a Covid-19 vaccine, months or years before one even exists.

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JCPenney gives executives bonuses ahead of deadline for possible bankruptcy filing. Well, they won't have any money afterwards, will they?

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Tired of binge-watching old science fiction movies? Use SpaceX's ISS Docking Simulator to dock with the International Space Station.

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Justice Clarence Thomas brings up Frodo Baggins during Supreme Court oral arguments. He finally speaks, and it's a Lord of the Rings reference. Related: Supreme Court appears poised to let states keep 'faithless electors' out of the Electoral College. President Trump once supported abolishing the Electoral College- he previously felt it was a "total disaster for democracy"- but since his 2016 presidential victory over Hillary Clinton, in which Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, but Trump received 304 electoral votes, he has changed his mind.

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Stocks fall as Fed Chairman Powell warns of lasting economic damage.

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House Democrats' stimulus bill rolls back $10,000 state and local tax deduction cap for two years. It's unlikely Mitch McConnell and his minions in the Senate will go along.

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Forget murder hornets. Giant gypsy moths could bring 'serious, widespread damage' to the US.

Incidentally, the fella in the photo below has been in the U.S. since the mid-1800s: the hornet moth, which mimics a stinging hornet as protective coloration. They're harmless, aside from the heart attack they induce when they land on you.

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From The Scarlet Pimpernel to Spiderman, superheroes have had secret identities. This history of that trope also explains why the practice may be disappearing.

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Astronauts could live in lava tubes on Mars. That's beginning to sound pretty attractive.

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The world's last Blockbuster remains open, pandemic and Netflix be damned.

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Topic of the Day:

Failure.

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Thoughts of the day:

I do not dispute that God speaks to you, but I am dubious that He speaks to you for the purpose of relaying instructions to me.
-Robert Brault

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
-Upton Sinclair

What people want, mainly, is to be told by some plausible authority that what they are already doing is right. I don't know know of a quicker way to become unpopular than to disagree.
-John Brunner

Hubris and hypocrisy are a deadly combination.
-Anne-Marie Slaughter

Insanity is contagious.
-Joseph Heller

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Things are really rough out there. Please consider donating to Feeding America.


Categories: Bobby Darin, Carrie Fisher, Clarence Thomas, Covid-19, Donald Trump, Edward Jenner, Electoral College, Federal Reserve, Inoculation, Israel, ISS, JC Penney, Mark Hammill, Robert Penn Warren, SCOTUS, Secret Identities, Skylab, Smallpox, SpaceX, Star Wars, Supreme Court, Tim Roth, Vaccines, Video, YouTube


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Facebook censorship, vaccines, Trump v everybody, Social Security, SCOTUS, the shopping cart theory
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Published Wednesday, May 13, 2020 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 13 2020

Forward our URL to a friend. They can subscribe here.

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Before commencing the usual daily festivities:

Senseless censorship:

For the past few months, Facebook's "community standards" scanner has been periodically stopping my KGB Report newsfeed on the social network and, most recently, prohibiting me from posting anything at all, including to my personal account. This was particularly irritating, since I couldn't respond to comments or even use Facebook Messenger. My guess is they've grown sensitive to criticisms about some of the conspiracy, white supremacy and other nut job postings, so they've turned their post-scanning censor software up to 11. For example, if you post a meme that contains a photo of a swastika, the words "hoax", "5G", or some other conspiracy/coronavirus-type reference, you'll get suspended for "activities... that don't comply with Facebook policies."

This posting in February got me kicked off for a week. Facebook labeled it "Hate Speech":


I still don't know who was being hated upon: the men or the dog. I had posted it a year earlier without incident. I guess Facebook is getting touchier as it gets older.

The current offense in question was shared from another page which, incidentally, is still up and running. This image is also all over Twitter as well:

Just a few hours after the expiration of my latest suspension, this appeared on my page last night:

I have no idea what I did to deserve this. It doesn't reference a specific post, so I have no way of knowing what "didn't comply with Facebook policies." Does Andy Borowitz or The Onion have this problem?

See the box that says "Disagree With Decision"? It used to be that you could appeal and a human would review it, and generally you'd get an "oops" and the post would be restored. But now you get the message:

So the strike remains on your record, and there's no way to remove it. And then you get this, should you happen to stumble across the "Page Quality" tab, which is hidden under a "More" button on the administration page:

As A.J. Liebling wrote in The New Yorker in 1960, "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." With the Internet, everyone owns a personal electronic printing press. The trick is getting people to read it. On Facebook, KGB Report has over 10,000 followers. The KGB Report blog has -ahem- somewhat less.

If you read and enjoy the blog, spread the word. If you're receiving the email version, forward it to a friend or five. If you're reading it on the website, please copy our url (https://www.kgbreport.com) and pass it along.

Maybe this is what got me the boot. Do not taunt The Zuck, I guess:

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Today is Wednesday, May 13, the 134th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 232 days remain until the end of the year.

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Among other things, today is Cough Drop Day, Donate a Day's Wages to Charity Day, Frog Jumping Day, International Hummus Day, International Receptionists' Day, National Apple Pie Day, National Fruit Cocktail Day, National Leprechaun Day, National Root Canal Appreciation Day, National Third Shift Workers Day, Top Gun Day, World Cocktail Day, and World FM Day.

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Remembering Bea Arthur (May 13, 1922 - April 25, 2009) (Video)

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Harvey Keitel is 81 today. (Video)

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Remembering Mary Wells (May 13, 1943 - July 26, 1992). (Video)

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Little Stevie Wonder is 70 today. (Video)

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Remembering Ritchie Valens (May 13, 1941 - February 3, 1959). (Video)

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Stephen Colbert is 56 today. (Video)

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Listen to the audio- Supreme Court oral argument: President Trump's financial records. Justice Elena Kagan told Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow a "fundamental precept of our constitutional order is that the president is not above the law." Chief Justice John Roberts asked Trump lawyer Patrick Strawbridge: "Do you concede any power in the House to subpoena personal papers of the president?" The Trump attorney said it was “difficult to imagine” a situation in which that would be justified. However, in 1974 the justices acted unanimously in requiring President Nixon to turn over White House tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor. And in 1997, another unanimous decision allowed a sexual harassment lawsuit to proceed against President Clinton. In those cases, three Nixon appointees and two Clinton appointees, respectively, voted against the president who chose them. Ginsburg and Breyer were those Clinton appointees. The New York Times story is here.

Related: I've seen Trump's tax returns and you should, too: "If all of this information from Trump's taxes, bankers and accountants was good enough for me over a decade ago, it's certainly good enough for Congress and the Manhattan district attorney today."

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Unreleased White House report shows coronavirus rates spiking in heartland communities. Trump's claim that cases are falling everywhere is contradicted by his own task force's report... showing the virus spreading far from the coasts.

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Reopening America... "...daring Mother Nature to kill you or someone you love...Mother Nature bats last, and she bats a thousand."

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Credit where credit's due... The four men responsible for America's COVID-19 test disaster..

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Fact check: McConnell claims Obama didn't leave Trump a pandemic 'game plan.' Obama left a 69-page playbook.

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Mall optometrist Rand Paul doesn't know why Dr. Fauci thinks he's such an 'expert' on pandemics.

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Developing a COVID-19 vaccine quickly is possible... but not without risks and some ethical rationalizations. (Video)

Related: Let's say there's a COVID-19 vaccine—who gets it first? An immunization shot is still in development, but debate over who gets priority has already begun.

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Broadway theaters will remain dark at least through Labor Day. The closed productions will offer refunds or exchanges to ticket holders through Labor Day.

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The filmed performance of the blockbuster Broadway musical "Hamilton" is coming to Disney+ a year earlier than anticipated, just in time for Fourth of July festivities. Disney paid $75 million for the worldwide rights in February and had set a theatrical release date of fall 2021. But with the pandemic shuttering so many cinemas and theaters worldwide, Disney is clearly betting on its hugely successful streaming service (which just surpassed 50 million subscribers) to recoup its investment.

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Our weird behavior during the pandemic is messing with Artificial Intelligence models. (Video)

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Judge invites outside parties to weigh in on Flynn case, delaying DOJ effort to drop charges. The judge, a Clinton appointee, still needs to approve the DOJ's motion to drop the charges. He has yet to schedule a hearing or ask for further briefing.

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Clarence Thomas wants to shrink your free speech rights- unless you're a rich donor.

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Thoughts of the day:

There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.
-G.K. Chesterton

Some call the adage "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" a cliché. Others call it practice.
-Variously attributed

I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.
-Emo Philips

There is no happiness for people at the expense of other people.
-Anwar Sadat

I am truly horrified by modern man. Such absence of feeling, such narrowness of outlook, such lack of passion and information, such feebleness of thought.
-Alexander Herzen

Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race.
P.J. O'Rourke-

The smartest thing ever said on the Internet: "Laws are just stories we tell poor people."
-Variously attributed

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Social Security beneficiaries might not receive much of a cost-of-living adjustment next year- and some say recipients might not get anything at all.

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Things are really rough out there. Please consider donating to Feeding America.


Categories: AI, Anthony Fauci, Artificial Intelligence, Barack Obama, Bea Arthur, Broadway, Censorship, Clarence Thomas, Covid-19, Disney+, Donald Trump, Facebook, Hamilton (musical), Harvey Keitel, Michael Flynn, Mitch McConnell, Ritchie Valens, SciShow, SCOTUS, Social Security, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Colbert, Stevie Wonder, Video, YouTube


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Brain-eating killer songbirds and other existential threats...
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Published Friday, May 08, 2020 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 08 2020

Today is Friday, May 8, the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 237 days remain until the end of the year.

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Among other things, today is Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice, Free Trade Day, Iris Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, National Coconut Cream Pie Day, National Give Someone a Cupcake Day, National Have a Coke Day, National Public Gardens Day, National Student Nurses Day, No Socks Day, Pesach Sheni, Provider Appreciation Day, Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War, Victory in Europe Day, World Ovarian Cancer Day, and World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.

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According to Wired, Covid-19's scary blood clots aren't that surprising. According to the author, "researchers have long known about the link between infectious diseases and blood clotting. There's even data to suggest a heightened risk of fatal heart attacks—a related complication—among those who get plain old influenza." Swell.

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Here's that CDC document that the Trump mob said "would never see the light of day." Nice work, Associated Press. The plan is to have no plan. "There is no genius there, only a damaged human being playing havoc with our lives." Speaking of having no plan, one of Trump's personal valets has tested positive for coronavirus. So, what's next? A senior administration official said he expects the president to begin publicly questioning the death toll as it closes in on his predictions for the final death count and damages him politically.

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Of course, the big question the country is asking today is Which Supreme Court justice flushed the toilet during oral arguments?

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Not only is our economy tanking, but so is our respect for the rule of law: The Justice Dept. is dropping charges against the former Trump aide Michael Flynn, a stark reversal for a defendant who'd twice pleaded guilty.

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How can there be anything worse than Murder Hornets? How about the brain-eating killer songbird apocalypse? No worries, though. The songbirds in question (a certain population of great tits) eat only bat brains. Of course, bats harbor zillions of viruses, which could be transferred to the birds, and... can you say "avian flu"?

We'll probably end up doing ourselves in. Think the coronavirus is nasty? How about a human-engineered pandemic (which the current SARS-CoV-2 most certainly isn't, conspiracy theories notwithstanding). Check out #3 on this video. The observation that our "outbreak response protocols are rapidly improving" is almost laughable given our current situation. But the video is over a year old, and I don't think anyone could have predicted how one man could ignore and even sabotage medical science.

By the way, I heartily recommend the SciShow channel on YouTube. They have thousands of brief, cogent, and entertaining videos covering an astonishingly large range of subjects.

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Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972), the 33rd President of the United States, was famous for the sign on his desk:

While this concept is totally foreign to the current President, some things don't change. As Truman observed: "A liar in public life is a lot more dangerous than a full, paid up Communist, and I don't care who he is."

More Truman quotes here.

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On this date in 1886, pharmacist John Stith Pemberton first sold his carbonated beverage named "Coca-Cola", which was originally was marketed and sold as a patent medicine.

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Remembering the original voice of Elmer Fudd, Arthur Q. Bryan (May 8, 1899 – November 18, 1959).

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On this day in 1912, Paramount Pictures Corporation was founded as Famous Players Film Company.

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Remembering Bob Clampett (May 8, 1913 – May 2, 1984), best known for his work on the Looney Tunes animated series from Warner Bros. Clampett directed 84 cartoons later deemed classic and designed some of the studio's most famous characters, including Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and Tweety.

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Remembering Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996), the innovative graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker, best known for his design of motion-picture title sequences, film posters, and corporate logos.

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Remembering Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017), the insult comedian aka "The Merchant of Venom" and "Mr. Warmth."

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On this date in 1962, the Broadway musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum had its first of 965 performances, winning six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Zero Mostel).

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Fifty years ago today, The Beatles' twelfth and final studio album, Let It Be, was released about a month after the group's breakup. The album spent four weeks atop the Billboard albums chart (June 13 - July 4) and has sold over four million copies since its initial release.

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Those were the days... on this date in 1980, the World Health Organization" confirmed the eradication of smallpox.

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Remembering Ricky Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985), who grew up on the long-running television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet where he became a pop star. His last hit, 1972's Garden Party, reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100. Nelson and six others were killed when his refurbished DC-3 aircraft crashed on December 31, 1985, on a "comeback tour."

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If 24/7 news coverage of the pandemic isn't enough, you can curl up with a book: Everything you ever wanted to know about pandemics in 'The End Of October'.

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Daniel and Valerie Zane, married 71 years, die two days apart. "He said that the end of Val's life was like being in the foxhole at the Battle of the Bulge, but even that was easier," Mr. Hettwer said. "He said that at least in war, you have all your soldiers around you. You have the camaraderie." Mr. Zane had always seemed to be a survivor. "We thought he would have more time with us," Robin Zane said. "In the end, it was almost as if she had said, 'I'm not going alone,' and as if he had said, 'You're not going alone.'"

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You're doing it wrong. Only 1 in 75 households are cooking chicken safely.

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The Trump administration is reversing nearly 100 environmental rules. Here's the full list.

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Why stop with destroying the environment? Trump vows complete end of Obamacare law despite pandemic. While the president has said he will preserve some of the Affordable Care Act's most popular provisions, including guaranteed coverage for preexisting medical conditions, he has not offered a plan to do so, and his administration's legal position seeks to end all parts of the law, including those provisions. (That's because he's a pathological liar.)

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What else can Trump destroy upon which we all depend? Trump ally named next postmaster general. Louis DeJoy, who is currently overseeing fundraising for this year's Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., will assume the post, the Postal Service's board of governors announced Wednesday.

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Americans died from covid-19 at the rate of about one every 42 seconds during the past month. That ought to keep any president awake at night. Not Donald Trump.

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"Confronted with America's worst public health crisis in generations, President Trump declared himself a wartime president. Now he has begun doing what past commanders have done when a war goes badly: Declare victory and go home."

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Three Russian doctors have fallen from hospital windows in two weeks, amid reports of dire conditions. The exact circumstances of the separate incidents in the last two weeks remain unclear and they are being investigated by police, but they underscore the enormous strains that Russian doctors and nurses have faced during the outbreak. Reports said two of the doctors had protested their working conditions and the third was being blamed after her colleagues contracted the virus.

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It's come to this: Cornhole Mania 2020 to Air on ESPN and ESPN2.

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3.2 million filed for unemployment benefits last week.

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New research shows a rise in food insecurity without modern precedent. Among mothers with young children, nearly one-fifth say their children are not getting enough to eat, according to a survey by the Brookings Institution, a rate three times as high as in 2008, during the worst of the Great Recession.

Things are getting really rough out there. Please consider donating to Feeding America.


Categories: ACA, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Arthur Q. Bryan, Associated Press, Bob Clampett, Brain-eating killer songbirds, CDC, Child Hunger, Children, Coca Cola, Cornhole, Covid-19, Daffy Duck, Donald Trump, Don Rickles, Elmer Fudd, EPA, ESPN, Existential Threats, Feeding America, Food, Food Stamps, Harry S. Truman, John Stith Pemberton, Justice Department, Let It Be, Looney Tunes, Michael Flynn, Obamacare, Paramount Pictures, Porky Pig, Post Office, Rick Nelson, SCOTUS, Seth Meyers, Smallpox, SNAP, Supreme Court, The Beatles, Tweety, Unemployment, USPS, W.H.O., Warner Bros, Wired, YouTube, Zero Mostel


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National Day of Reason in Unreasonable Times...
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Published Thursday, May 07, 2020 @ 12:04 AM EDT
May 07 2020

Today is Thursday, May 7, the 128th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 238 days remain until the end of the year.

Let no man boast himself that he has got through the perils of winter till at least the seventh of May.
-Anthony Trollope

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Among other things, today is Make-A-Book Day, National Barrier Awareness Day, National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, National Cosmopolitan Day, National Day of Prayer, National Day of Reason, National Roast Leg of Lamb Day, National Tourism Day, Paste Up Day, and World Password Day.

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Today is The National Day of Reason, a secular celebration for humanists, atheists, and other secularists and freethinkers in response to the National Day of Prayer, a legal holiday in the United States. The day is celebrated on the first Thursday in May of every year, to coincide with the National Day of Prayer, which many atheist and secular groups view to be unconstitutional. The purpose of the National Day of Reason is to "celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship." The National Day of Reason is also meant to help build community among the non-religious in the United States. This year, the U.S. House introduced House Resolution 947 to recognize today as a National Day of Reason. The resolution was introduced by Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and cosponsored by fellow Congressional Freethought Caucus members Huffman (D-CA), Holmes Norton (D-DC), and McNerney (D-CA). In related news, this is the Secular Week of Action.

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Remembering Darren McGavin (May 7, 1922 – February 25, 2006), whose 1972 television film The Night Stalker was the highest-rated original TV movie on US television up to that time, earning a 33.2 rating and 48 share.

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On this date in 1824, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 was first performed in Vienna. The symphony is regarded by many critics and musicologists as Beethoven's greatest work and one of the supreme achievements in the history of western music.

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On this date in 1967, The Mamas and the Papas' "Monday, Monday" reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remained for three weeks. It was the group's only #1 hit.

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Remembering Edwin H. Land (May 7, 1909 – March 1, 1991), American scientist and inventor, co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation. He invented inexpensive filters for polarizing light, a practical system of in-camera instant photography, and the retinex theory of color vision, among other things. His Polaroid instant camera went on sale in late 1948 and made it possible for a picture to be taken and developed in 60 seconds or less.

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Remembering Anne Baxter (May 7, 1923 – December 12, 1985).

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Remembering Jimmy Ruffin (May 7, 1936 – November 17, 2014)

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NASA working with Tom Cruise to film movie on the International Space Station. Cruise narrated the 2002 IMAX documentary film Space Station 3D, which was filmed by astronauts during the assembly of the International Space Station. A short science fiction film named Apogee of Fear was filmed on the space station in 2008 by Richard Garriott, who paid for his trip to orbit on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

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What your morning coffee really does to your brain. To get the most positive impacts of your daily caffeine intake, drink coffee between 10 in the morning and 12 noon or between 2 in the afternoon and 5 in the evening. Or, do as I do, use it as your sole beverage.

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Trump quote of the day: "Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon."

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The urgent quest for a coronavirus treatment involves door-to-door blood collection and a llama named Winter.

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Conservative militia group prepares for societal collapse by training as hairstylists, nail technicians. Ok, it's The Onion, but these days, who knows?

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New York Rabbi claims hot air from hair dryer will kill Coronavirus

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A frontline nurse treating coronavirus in New York has claimed that patients are "literally being murdered" by medical negligence and mismanagement every day, but that "nobody cares because they're all minorities."

Another nurse:

I will give zero apologies for what I'm about to say because while we're busy working to save people's lives we're also growing really concerned about the conspiracy theory BS that's seeming to become a bigger problem than #covid19. We don't have time while we're working to save lives to also be on social media explaining, with the depth of knowledge most of us have acquired over years and decades, how to understand with scrutiny the science of everything that's happening right now and why the science is so important. So, if you don't know how to keep a #SARSCoV2 patient alive and you're posting your opinion on vaccines, population control, Bill Gates, shutdown hoax, deep state, your personal liberty to go out in public without a mask or whatever bullsh*t crap fake news is about to come next let me just say this… The health care professionals I know, including myself, give the SAME high quality heart and soul, brains and brawn, care to the victim and the drunk driver. We WILL fight for your life if you end up on life support whether you got #coronavirus accidentally or because your dumb ass went out to protest the lockdown without a mask. So, have a little respect and know that if you don't know what the f**k you're talking about it's okay to just shut the f**k up right NOW. This is not a joke.
-Nurse Eric

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"We are not essential. We are sacrificial." A New York City subway conductor who had Covid-19 returns to work.

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The President Is Unraveling. The country is witnessing the steady, uninterrupted intellectual and psychological decomposition of Donald Trump... the past dozen days have proved we're at the point in his presidency where Donald Trump has become his own caricature, a figure impossible to parody, a man whose words and actions are indistinguishable from an Alec Baldwin skit on Saturday Night Live.

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Barack Obama will headline a televised prime-time commencement address for the Class of 2020. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will simultaneously air the special May 16 at 8 p.m. Eastern along with more than 20 other broadcast and digital streaming partners.

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A student once asked anthropologist Margaret Mead, "What is the earliest sign of civilization?" The student expected her to say a clay pot, a grinding stone, or maybe a weapon.

Margaret Mead thought for a moment, then she said, "A healed femur."

A femur is the longest bone in the body, linking hip to knee. In societies without the benefits of modern medicine, it takes about six weeks of rest for a fractured femur to heal. A healed femur shows that someone cared for the injured person, did their hunting and gathering, stayed with them, and offered physical protection and human companionship until the injury could mend.

Mead explained that where the law of the jungle- the survival of the fittest- rules, no healed femurs are found. The first sign of civilization is compassion, seen in a healed femur.
-Ira Byock

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Irish return an old favor, Helping Native Americans battling the virus. More than 170 years ago, the Choctaw Nation sent $170 to starving Irish families during the potato famine. A sculpture in County Cork commemorates the generosity of the tribe, itself poor. In recent decades, ties between Ireland and the Choctaws have grown. Now hundreds of Irish people are repaying that old kindness, giving to a charity drive for two Native American tribes suffering in the Covid-19 pandemic. As of Tuesday, the fund-raiser has raised more than $1.8 million to help supply clean water, food and health supplies to people in the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Reservation, with hundreds of thousands of dollars coming from Irish donors, according to the organizers.

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The coronavirus has mutated and appears to be more contagious now, new study finds. The study has yet to be peer-reviewed, but the researchers noted that news of the mutation was of "urgent concern" considering the more than 100 vaccines in the process of being developed to prevent Covid-19.

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COVID-19 Strategy: The Japan Model... Has Japan found a viable long-term strategy for the pandemic?

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Trump asks why taxpayers should help bail out blue states. Maybe because most of the states who pay more money to the federal government than they receive are blue states. Sen. Mitch McConnell's home state of Kentucky ranks third in the most money received from the federal government, receiving $148 billion more than it contributes.

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New research shows a rise in food insecurity without modern precedent. Among mothers with young children, nearly one-fifth say their children are not getting enough to eat, according to a survey by the Brookings Institution, a rate three times as high as in 2008, during the worst of the Great Recession.

Things are getting really rough out there. Please consider donating to Feeding America.


Categories: Anne Baxter, Covid-19, Darren McGavin, Donald Trump, Edwin H. Land, Ira Byock, Irish, Jimmy Ruffin, Kentucky, Leonard Bernstein, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mamas and the Papas, Medicine, Mitch McConnell, Music, National Day of Reason, Native Americans, The Onion, Tom Cruise, YouTube


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More insanity
(permalink)

Published Wednesday, June 27, 2018 @ 8:51 AM EDT
Jun 27 2018


Categories: Donald Trump, Seth Meyers, Supreme Court, Video, YouTube


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KGB Report on YouTube
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Published Friday, November 04, 2016 @ 7:56 PM EDT
Nov 04 2016

We're off until Monday, but it occurs to me I neglected to point out here that there's now a video version of KGB Report on YouTube. Below are the entries for this week.


Categories: YouTube


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Speaking of television...
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Published Tuesday, June 21, 2016 @ 8:28 AM EDT
Jun 21 2016

The series finale of CBS' Person of Interest airs tonight at 10 pm EDT.

Ending after an abbreviated 13-episode fifth season, this well-produced and prescient show is worth watching. The first four seasons are on Netflix, and CBS has this year's episodes on line.

If you've never seen the show, skip tonight's finale and indulge yourself by binge watching the entire series this summer. It's worth it.


Categories: Person of Interest, Video, YouTube


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BrainDead is the best show of the summer season....
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Published Monday, June 20, 2016 @ 11:24 PM EDT
Jun 20 2016

...although you can't tell from the ratings that, inexplicably, suck. Which is a shame, because it's the funniest, cleverest show to air on network television in quite a while.

A scifi/political thriller/comedy from the creators of The Good Wife and Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Thelma and Louise, Blade Runner, Alien), the pilot episode began with background tvs playing Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump and the superimposed caption, “In the year 2016 there was a growing sense that people were losing their minds… and no one knew why… until now.”

Here's the gist: insects from outer space are eating the brains of American politicians, which, when you think about it, explains a lot.

A really off-the-wall production, it features West Wing-like dialogue, deadly satire, and, of course, brain-eating insects from outer space.

One particulary charming feature of the show is that the eecond and succeeding episodes begin with a concise recap of the previous week's show, set to music and quick-cut scenes.

Here's the one from last night's episide:

Talk about your ear worms...

You can watch episodes here on the show's CBS website

I don't recommend much telvision, but this one's a winner.


Categories: BrainDead, Video, YouTube


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Libertarians aren't really an option
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Published Wednesday, June 15, 2016 @ 8:56 AM EDT
Jun 15 2016


Categories: Full Frontal, Libertarians, Samantha Bee, Video, YouTube


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In lieu of Jon Stewart...
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Published Tuesday, June 14, 2016 @ 8:28 PM EDT
Jun 14 2016

Some NSFW (but appropriate) language.


Categories: Full Frontal, Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Second Amendment, Video, YouTube


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Trump's linguistic genius
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Published Wednesday, January 27, 2016 @ 11:48 PM EST
Jan 27 2016


Categories: Donald Trump, Video, YouTube


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"We'll marry our fortunes together..."
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Published Thursday, January 21, 2016 @ 1:44 PM EST
Jan 21 2016

This could be the equivalent of Reagan's "Morning in America."

Interestingly enough, Bernie Sanders, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are all 74 years old.


Categories: Art Garfunkel, Bernie Sanders, Paul Simon, Politics, YouTube


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A real toe tapper
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Published Wednesday, January 20, 2016 @ 11:58 PM EST
Jan 20 2016

In observance of Star Trek's 50th anniversary, a concert event, Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage, is now booked in over 100 cities and will stop in Pittsburgh at the Benedum Center on March 1. The video above features a clip from the show at Royal Albert Hall, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

To be honest, my dream Trek musical experience would be a live orchestra playing to a presentation of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but this should do.

The official PR release says "This lavish production includes an impressive live symphony orchestra and international solo instruments. People of all ages and backgrounds will experience the franchise’s groundbreaking and wildly popular musical achievements while the most iconic Star Trek film and TV footage is simultaneously beamed in high definition to a 40-foot wide screen.

"The concert will feature some of the greatest music written for the franchise including music from Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and much more. This never-before-seen concert event is perfect for music lovers, filmgoers, science-fiction fans and anyone looking for an exciting and unique concert experience."

Reviews have been good; the two-hour concert has one intermission and features 29 themes from the various Trek series, films, and video games.

Speaking of space music, notice the similarities between James Horner's main title for Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) and for Wrath of Khan (1982).

The BBTS score has been called "unplayable" by those musicians unfortunate enough to have been tasked to perform it in concert. Since the movie was produced by Roger Corman, the orchestra only had two takes, and the brass section is noticeably ragged and somewhat breathless by the end.

Such problems aren't apparent in TWOK- more rehearsal and studio time, one supposes, as well as Horner shifting some of the more complex parts to string instruments.


Categories: Battle Beyond the Stars, James Horner, Music, Roger Corman, Star Trek, Video, YouTube


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A matter of taste
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Published Friday, January 15, 2016 @ 9:04 PM EST
Jan 15 2016

The Oscar nominations are out and, oddly, I've actually seen four of the eight pictures up for the prize.

I haven't seen, and probably will not see, The Revenant, Room, or Brooklym. I'd like to see Spotlight, but it's already out of local theaters. I'll have to catch that one on cable.

Of the four I've seen:

Bridge of Spies was a solid entry with an interesting story and great acting. And, of course, Tom Hanks.

The Big Short was both entertaining and enlightening, documenting the greed and stupdity of Wall Street.

The Martian is my favorite. It takes place in a refreshingly non-apocalyptic future, where nations cooperate and problems are resolved by smart people using their intelligence, not brute force and firearms.

While I admire the photography, stuntwork, and computer-generated effects of Mad Max: Fury Road, I'm at somewhat of a loss as to why it's a best picture nominee. I caught it on cable today at the urging of my son, who said its production values would overcome my innate distaste for post-apocalyptic fare.

From a technical standpoint, it probably is the best film. I have no doubt it was the most difficult to shoot, and the images and sound were superb. But otherwise, it's just another guns and motor vehicle orgy with the barest of plots. Think Smokey and the Bandit on steroids and bath salts.

I have no clue who the winner might be, even though I'm edging toward the demographics of the average Academy voter: white, male, age 63. (Two more years to go.) Were it my choice, of the pictures I've seen, it would be The Martian. But then I thought The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension should have won Best Picture in 1985, and it wasn't even nominated.

Speaking of which...


Categories: Academy Awards, YouTube


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The origin of the Presidential Turkey Pardon
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Published Thursday, November 26, 2015 @ 9:38 AM EST
Nov 26 2015

You can thank Sam Donaldson and Reagan's evasion of Iran-Contra scandal questions.


Categories: Iran-Contra Scandal, Rachel Maddow, Ronald Reagan, Sam Donaldson, Television, Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon, YouTube


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This almost makes the music tolerable
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Published Friday, November 20, 2015 @ 4:50 PM EST
Nov 20 2015


Categories: Dance, Music, Video, YouTube


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Quotes of the day: Irving Berlin
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Published Sunday, May 10, 2015 @ 8:11 PM EDT
May 10 2015

Irving Berlin (born Israel Isidore Beilin, May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was a Russian-born Jewish-American composer and lyricist. Widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history, his music forms a great part of the Great American Songbook. He published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy", in 1907, receiving 37 cents for the publishing rights, and had his first major international hit, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in 1911. Composer George Gershwin called him "the greatest songwriter that has ever lived," and composer Jerome Kern concluded that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music- he is American music." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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After you get what you want you don't want it.

Everybody ought to have a lower East Side in their life.

I got lost but look what I found.

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.

Music is so important. It changes thinking, it influences everybody, whether they know it or not. Music knows no boundary lines.

Never hate a song that's sold a half million copies.

Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.

Talent is only a starting point.

The mob is always right.

The reason American composers have done nothing highly significant is because they won't write American music.

The toughest thing about success is that you've got to keep on being a success.

The world would not be in such a snarl,
Had Marx been Groucho instead of Karl.

There is an element of truth in every idea that lasts long enough to be called corny.

There's no business like show business.

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(May 11 is also the birthday of Salvador Dali.)


Categories: Irving Berlin, Music, Quotes of the day, YouTube


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Send in the clowns
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Published Monday, January 05, 2015 @ 6:31 AM EST
Jan 05 2015

The 114th United States Congress begins today. To prepare you for the inevitable onslaught of political rhetoric, here's the master of language and comedy, George Carlin, airing his complaints.

"They speak, of course, with great caution, because they must take care not to actually say anything."

Taken from a May 19, 1999 appearance before the National Press Club, Carlin's observations are free of profanity, which make them shareable. Pass along the link: http://youtu.be/UJRSHqeu_WM

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(January 5 is also the birthday of Konrad Adenour.)


Categories: Congress, George Carlin, Video, YouTube


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Quotes of the day: Steve Allen
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Published Friday, December 26, 2014 @ 6:36 AM EST
Dec 26 2014

Stephen Valentine Patrick William "Steve" Allen (December 26, 1921 – October 30, 2000) was an American television personality, musician, composer, actor, comedian, and writer. Though he got his start in radio, Allen is best known for his television career. He first gained national attention as a guest host on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. He graduated to become the first host of The Tonight Show, where he was instrumental in innovating the concept of the television talk show. Thereafter, he hosted numerous game and variety shows, including The Steve Allen Show, I've Got a Secret, and The New Steve Allen Show, and was a regular panel member on CBS' What's My Line? Allen was a credible pianist and a prolific composer, having penned over 14,000 songs, one of which was recorded by Perry Como and Margaret Whiting, others by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Les Brown, and Gloria Lynne. Allen won a Grammy award in 1963 for best jazz composition, with his song The Gravy Waltz. Allen wrote more than 50 books, has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Hollywood theater named in his honor. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Asthma doesn't seem to bother me any more unless I'm around cigars or dogs. The thing that would bother me most would be a dog smoking a cigar.

God is by definition the holder of all possible knowledge, it would be impossible for him to have faith in anything. Faith, then, is built upon ignorance and hope.

Humor is a social lubricant that helps us get over some of the bad spots.

I do not understand those who take little or no interest in the subject of religion. If religion embodies a truth, it is certainly the most important truth of human existence. If it is largely error, then it is one of monumentally tragic proportions- and should be vigorously opposed.

I used to be a heavy gambler. But now I just make mental bets. That's how I lost my mind.

Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences.

If God exists, his unlimited power can certainly redress imbalances in the scale of human justice. But if there is no God, then it is up to man to be as moral as he can.

If the Old Testament were a reliable guide in the matter of capital punishment, half the people in the United States would have to be killed tomorrow.

If there is a God, the phrase that must disgust him is- holy war.

If you pray for rain long enough, it eventually does fall. If you pray for floodwaters to abate, they eventually do. The same happens in the absence of prayers.

In a rational society we would want our presidents to be teachers. In our actual society we insist they be cheerleaders.

Is it bigger than a breadbox?

It is not hardness of heart or evil passions that drive certain individuals to atheism, but rather a scrupulous intellectual honesty.

No actual tyrant known to history has ever been guilty of one- hundredth of the crimes, massacres, and other atrocities attributed to the Deity in the Bible.

Old men miss many dogs.

One of the nice things about problems is that a good many of them do not exist except in our imaginations.

One social evil for which the New Testament is clearly in part responsible is anti-Semitism.

Ours is a government of checks and balances. The Mafia and crooked businessmen make out checks, and the politicians and other compromised officials improve their bank balances.

Religious believers of the world, you are free to continue to debate the simple, narrow question that divides you from atheists, but you have no right, in so doing, to treat the Humanists of the world with contempt. You owe them a deep debt of gratitude, for not only have they shed much light on a naturally dark world but they have very probably helped civilize your own specific religion.

The Bible has been interpreted to justify such evil practices as, for example, slavery, the slaughter of prisoners of war, the sadistic murders of women believed to be witches, capital punishment for hundreds of offenses, polygamy, and cruelty to animals. It has been used to encourage belief in the grossest superstition and to discourage the free teaching of scientific truths. We must never forget that both good and evil flow from the Bible. It is therefore not above criticism.

There are hundreds of millions who believe the Messiah has come. If he did, then it is unfortunately the case that his heroic sacrifice and death have had no effect whatsoever on the very problem his coming might have been expected to address, for history demonstrates, beyond question, that we Christians have been just as dangerous, singly and en masse, as non-Christians.

To those who wish to punish others- or at least to see them punished, if the avengers are too cowardly to take matters in to their own hands- the belief in a fiery, hideous hell appears to be a great source of comfort.

Totalitarianism is patriotism institutionalized.

We are entitled to make almost any reasonable assumption, but should resist making conclusions until evidence requires that we do so.

Without laughter life on our planet would be intolerable. So important is laughter to us that humanity highly rewards members of one of the most unusual professions on earth, those who make a living by inducing laughter in others. This is very strange if you stop to think of it: that otherwise sane and responsible citizens should devote their professional energies to causing others to make sharp, explosive barking-like exhalations.

"I want to give you the bad news first- this program is going to go on forever."
-Steve Allen on the first episode of "Tonight" (later, "The Tonight Show"), September 27, 1954.

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(December 26 is also the birthday of Henry Miller )


Categories: Quotes of the day, Steve Allen, The Tonight Show, YouTube


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Merry Christmas from Sir Patrick Stewart. Includes facepalm.
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Published Thursday, December 25, 2014 @ 11:57 AM EST
Dec 25 2014


Categories: Holidays, Patrick Stewart, Video, YouTube


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