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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
March 10, 2020

Weinstein Appealed to Bezos and Bloomberg for Help, Documents Show

In the days following news reports about how he used his power to sexually assault women, Harvey Weinstein made a desperate plea for help in emails to two dozen influential people, including the billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Jeff Bezos.

That detail was revealed on Monday in a trove of previously sealed court documents that offered a look into the days and weeks that followed the Hollywood mogul’s downfall.

Mr. Weinstein and his public relations team scrambled to craft a response to the allegations in October 2017. He promised to enter into a counseling program for sex addicts, and he did. “Allow me to resurrect myself with a second chance,” he wrote in one email.

A month later, in a scathing letter, his brother, Bob Weinstein, called Mr. Weinstein a sexual predator and an abusive person who belonged in “hell.”


March 10, 2020

A common artificial sweetener might be making you fatter and sicker, a new study says

Source: Washington Post

A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism by a group of Yale researchers found that the consumption of the common artificial sweetener sucralose (which is found in Splenda, Zerocal, Sukrana, SucraPlus and other brands) in combination with carbohydrates can swiftly turn a healthy person into one with high blood sugar.

From whole grain English muffins to reduced-sugar ketchup, sucralose is found in thousands of baked goods, condiments, syrups and other consumer packaged goods — almost all of them containing carbs.

The finding, which researchers noted has yet to be replicated in other studies, raises new questions about the use of artificial sweeteners and their effects on weight gain and overall health.

In the Yale study, researchers took 60 healthy-weight individuals and separated them into three groups: A group that consumed a regular-size beverage containing the equivalent of two packets of sucralose sweetener, a second group that consumed a beverage sweetened with table sugar at the equivalent sweetness, and a third control group that had a beverage with the artificial sweetener as well as a carbohydrate called maltodextrin.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/10/common-artificial-sweetener-might-be-making-you-fatter-sicker-new-study-says/

March 7, 2020

Susan Collins Unable to Decide Whether to Wash Hands

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Senator Susan Collins, of Maine, has not decided whether she will wash her hands in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Collins confirmed on Friday.

Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, Collins said that she was “deeply troubled” by the behavior of the covid-19 virus.

“The behavior of the coronavirus is, to me, profoundly disturbing,” she said. “Whether it rises to the level of something I should respond to by washing my hands is a question I am devoting a great deal of thought to right now.”

Collins said that she had set “no timetable” for deciding whether to wash her hands, stressing that it was a decision “I do not take lightly.”

As of press time, Collins was spotted standing outside a Senate washroom, seemingly immobilized.


March 5, 2020

Democrats, a scorched-earth competition will only help Trump

Super Tuesday clarified the Democratic presidential race: The contest is now between former vice president Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I). Both candidates insist that their overriding goal is to beat President Trump. As the primary battle moves into a new phase, this commitment will be tested. The candidates should be judged on whether they avoid scorched-earth tactics that poison the chances of a Democratic victory in November.

There can — and should be — principled disagreement. In a Tuesday evening speech, Mr. Sanders previewed his line of attack on Mr. Biden, noting the former vice president’s vote for the Iraq War, positions on entitlement programs and support for past trade agreements. That’s fair: Mr. Biden should have to defend his support for the Iraq War, and the Democratic Party could use a vigorous debate on trade, particularly now that Mr. Trump has shown that the protectionist alternative is a dead end. Democrats should tangle over how to make entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare financially stable for another generation.

But intimating that Mr. Biden wants to take away Americans’ Social Security benefits would be a rank distortion. Likewise, it would be fair for Mr. Biden to challenge Mr. Sanders’s record on guns but not to make it seem as though Mr. Sanders is personally responsible for millions of gun deaths.

If the race were based only on policy, there would be clear distinctions between Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders but also substantial agreement on where the country should move — in a progressive direction. But the competition could turn very ugly if the candidates question each others’ motives and intentions.


March 4, 2020

I told my story about Chris Matthews. I'm celebrating that he no longer has a platform.

“Ugly horsefaced skank.” “Fat bitch.” “Die in a fire.” “Why would Chris Matthews hit on you? I thought he was straight.”

These are among the messages I’ve received from strangers since I wrote an article for GQ last week cataloguing some examples of the MSNBC anchor’s demeaning treatment of women over the decades, including his sexist comments to me. The piece seems to have been one of the catalysts for Matthews’s early retirement Monday night. I was surprised by this outcome, but I do not lament it.

The genesis for my column was Matthews’s grilling of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren after the Democratic debate last week. The anchor had pressed Warren about why she believes a woman’s (corroborated) accusation against Mike Bloomberg over the word of the former New York mayor.

When my editor emailed to ask if I’d like to write about the exchange, and Matthews’s long history of misogynist behavior, she didn’t know one important fact: I had had my own uncomfortable experiences with him. Indeed, I had written about them, without naming Matthews, in a 2017 essay about an older, famous TV host who made lascivious comments to me in the makeup room before I appeared on his show. I wrote the piece at the time not to have my own “#MeToo” moment but to spark a nuanced conversation about the gray areas of the movement — the behavior that doesn’t quite rise to the level of reportable sexual harassment, but still regularly undermines women in the workplace.


March 4, 2020

Campa-Najjar leads in early vote count for 50th District; Issa and DeMaio are neck-and-neck

Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar claimed an sizable lead in the race for the 50th Congressional District Tuesday night, while his top two Republican opponents, Darrell Issa and Carl DeMaio, appeared neck-and-neck.

The race was too early to call early Wednesday morning, with only 62 percent of precincts reporting as of 1:20 a.m. and many mail ballots and provisional ballots still outstanding.

Campa-Najjar led the way in the early tally of votes, garnering 34.4 percent of the vote. He was followed by Issa (24.7 percent) and DeMaio (21.1 percent).

Republican State Sen. Brian Jones appeared a distant fourth in early Wednesday morning, with 10.9 percent of the vote.


As despicable as Issa is, DeMaio is even more despicable with his outrageously bogus ads attacking Issa for supporting $1B in payments to the DoD for transgender operations.

March 4, 2020

Coronavirus Live Updates: Fatality Rate of Covid-19 Is Higher Than the Flu

Source: New York Times

The head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the global mortality rate for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, was 3.4 percent.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organization’s director general, said in a news conference in Geneva that Covid-19 was deadlier than the seasonal flu, but did not transmit as easily. “Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported Covid-19 cases have died,” Dr. Tedros said. “By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected.”

The estimate takes into account the growing number of infections being recorded outside China, mostly in Iran, Italy and South Korea. Dr. Margaret Harris, a W.H.O. spokeswoman, said the figure was a “crudely calculated” snapshot of the disease’s death rate globally, and is expected to “change over time, and vary from place to place.”

The announcement was the first time the organization confirmed a global mortality rate for the disease.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/04/world/coronavirus-news.html

March 4, 2020

The real winner of Super Tuesday is the Democratic Party itself

For months, establishment and center-left Democrats faced a seemingly intractable problem. Multiple moderate and establishment-friendly candidates were staying in the race, each hoping for the opportunity to try to beat Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a one-on-one primary fight. But by staying in the race, they were splitting up the moderate lane and allowing Sanders, a progressive outsider, to take the lead. It looked like a classic prisoner’s dilemma: by pursuing their individual goals of stopping Sanders and becoming president, they were helping Sanders on his way to victory.

Prisoners’ dilemmas are notoriously hard to resolve, because they require participants to coordinate and act collectively rather than pursue their narrow self-interests. But in the past week, Democrats seem to have solved theirs. Over the past 72 hours, culminating with Super Tuesday, much of the center-left lane coalesced around Biden, preventing an early and easy knockout win for Sanders. It was a surprising outcome, and one that suggests Democrats have learned some valuable lessons from the bruising interparty contests of recent presidential nominating contests.
Super Tuesday live updates

Biden’s resurgence started roughly a week ago in South Carolina. After the former vice president finished second in Nevada, African American voters in South Carolina started to rally around Biden, who had always seen the state as a bulwark. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, a legendary figure in South Carolina politics, endorsed Biden at precisely the moment when his intervention could do the most good.

After Biden’s blowout win in South Carolina, Democratic leaders across the country started endorsing Biden and two of his chief rivals — Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg — dropped out of the race and endorsed him. It’s not clear whether Buttigieg and Klobuchar dropped out for the good of their wing of the party, to ingratiate themselves with a potential future president or simply to spare themselves future losses. But the effect was the same: Voters across the nation continued to shift their support to Biden, and exit polls suggested that many of them decided whom to vote for only in recent days.


March 3, 2020

Tulsi Gabbard's Nine Supporters Urge Her to Drop Out of Race

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is under intense pressure to drop out of the 2020 race for the Democratic Presidential nomination, her nine supporters announced on Monday. The announcement from Gabbard’s nine followers surprised many Democrats, who had been unaware that the Hawaii congresswoman was still running.

In a conference call after the South Carolina primary, the nine members of Team Tulsi concluded that Gabbard’s path to the nomination had grown “dauntingly narrow.”

We believe that Tulsi would be an amazing President of the United States,” Harland Dorrinson, a spokesman for the other eight Gabbard supporters, said. “But we have regretfully come to the conclusion that this is not her time.”

Dorrinson had nothing but praise for the way Gabbard had conducted her campaign, noting, “By not appearing in the past two debates, she did much better than Mike Bloomberg.”

Reached at her office in Washington, a defiant Gabbard said that she was “in it to win it” and that she still had the strong support of her imaginary friends.


March 2, 2020

Trump has exposed a huge weakness. Democrats should pounce.

If President Trump and his propagandists get their way, no one will ever raise a peep of criticism over his handling of coronavirus — thus placing our government’s response to a looming public health emergency beyond scrutiny entirely. Protecting Trump, apparently, is a higher priority than protecting the country.

Fortunately, Democrats aren’t standing down. Over the weekend, the presidential candidates rolled out expansive new criticisms of Trump’s handling of the outbreak, each tailored to their own story. Billionaire Mike Bloomberg released a three-minute ad criticizing it.

But there’s still more that Democrats could be saying. That’s because Trump has exposed a major leadership weakness, one that goes well beyond just the coronavirus response.

The weakness in question: Trump’s chronic inability to admit that anything on his watch is less than stupendously wonderful. This pathology is deeply ingrained in this presidency. It infects everything from his depictions of the economy to his insane demands of border officials, in addition to (as we’re now seeing) the government’s handling of a public health crisis.


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