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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
October 12, 2021

Matt Amodio's Record 'Jeopardy!' Run Ends With $1.5M in Prize Money


Matt Amodio’s Record ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Ends With $1.5M in Prize Money
AJ McDougall
Breaking News Intern
Updated Oct. 12, 2021 5:38AM ET /
Published Oct. 11, 2021 11:43PM ET

The #AmodioRodeo had to come to a close at some point. After 38 straight wins and $1.5 million earned in prize money, Matt Amodio, 30, was beaten on Jeopardy! by another player, Jonathan Fisher. Amodio, a Yale Ph.D. student, missed out on both the game’s Daily Doubles, which were snatched up by Fisher, and answered Final Jeopardy! incorrectly. The mistakes cost Amodio, leaving him trailing in last place behind Fisher and contestant Jessica Stephens, who came in second.

But Amodio’s run was still one for the history books. The student became the third contestant in the game show’s history to break $1 million in non-tournament play, and reached second place on the all-time consecutive win list, behind only legendary contestant Ken Jennings, who swung a mind-boggling 74 straight wins in 2004. Amodio won’t be gone for long, however—he’ll be back for the next Tournament of Champions in 2022. “I loved every second of playing Jeopardy!,” he told The Boston Globe, “and wanted it to go on forever.”
October 11, 2021

The Far-Right John Birch Society Wants Anti-Mask Protests to Fuel Its Comeback

The Far-Right John Birch Society Wants Anti-Mask Protests to Fuel Its Comeback
The John Birch Society used to boost segregation. Now it’s back to attack schools over mask mandates.
Kelly Weill
Updated Oct. 11, 2021 9:49AM ET / Published Oct. 11, 2021 5:02AM ET

On a sunny Saturday in a Knoxville, Tennessee park, a man with a microphone told a crowd of parents to bar entry to their children’s schools.

“Starting Monday morning and until this is over, we need to bring Knox County schools to a screeching halt,” he said to applause. He called on parents, students, and staff to participate. “We have a moral obligation to our children’s future. Block the entrance to the school with your car. That’s my suggestion. Block the entrance to the drive—don’t even let a bus in your schools. If you can be that bold in your groups, do it.”

The event, “Parents In The Park” was billed as a meet-up for parents who objected to a mask mandate in Knox County schools. But the Sept. 26 gathering was more than just concerned caregivers. It was organized and hosted by the John Birch Society (JBS), a far-right organization that found the peak of its power in the 1960s and ’70s—when it fought civil rights legislation, attracted segregationists, and believed that communists were poisoning Americans with fluoride—before rejection by mainstream conservatives sent it into decline. But the organization has made efforts to rebuild since the 2010s. And in its opposition to COVID-19 restrictions, the once-fringe group is hoping to tap into a popular right-wing grievance.

A Facebook event for the “Parents In The Park” event described it as hosted by the JBS’s Tennessee chapter. That chapter’s “field director” Jon Schrock also spoke at a recent “Patriot Church” meeting about the need to demonstrate against Knox County school mask requirements.

Paul Dragu, a JBS spokesperson, confirmed that Shrock had hosted the Sept. 26 event, but said the JBS did not endorse an event speaker’s calls to block school doors with cars.


October 11, 2021

Cheney blasts Scalise for refusing to say Biden legitimately won election

Cheney blasts Scalise for refusing to say Biden legitimately won election
By Joseph Choi - 10/10/21 10:59 AM EDT

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) blasted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) after he refused to say if he believed the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from former President Trump.

Earlier on Sunday, Scalise was pressed by "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace on whether he believed the 2020 election had legitimately been won by President Biden. Scalise refused to directly answer the question, repeatedly pointing to constitutional rules and states' laws on elections.

"Millions of Americans have been sold a fraud that the election was stolen. Republicans have a duty to tell the American people that this is not true. Perpetuating the Big Lie is an attack on the core of our constitutional republic," Cheney tweeted.


October 10, 2021

'Absolutely False': Fox Slams Pence After He Lies About Jan. 6


'Absolutely False': Fox Slams Pence After He Lies About Jan. 6
A Fox News segment criticized former Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday after he referred to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as simply "one day in January."
By David

A Fox News segment criticized former Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday after he referred to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as simply "one day in January."

Pence made the remarks Monday on Sean Hannity's Fox News program but it took almost a week for anyone on the network to criticize the comments.

"Saying 'one day in January' is kind of like calling 9/11 one day in September," Fox News host Howard Kurtz noted on Sunday. "It was a pretty tragic day!"

Kurtz went on to ask Fox News contributor Mara Liasson if she agreed with Pence's assertion that the media is focusing on Jan. 6 to distract from President Joe Biden's challenges.

"No!" Liasson replied. "I think there has been tremendous coverage of Joe Biden's considerable woes. I think the media has been like a dog with a bone on that."

"The other thing that Mike Pence said which I think it's absolutely false is to say that by focusing on January 6, the most violent insurrection against the Capitol in over 100 years, somehow is denigrating the 74 million people who voted for Donald Trump," she added. "That's just completely false."

"Right," Kurtz agreed. "That had completely nothing to do with it."
October 10, 2021

Florida Veterinarian Who Shared Videos of Himself Sexually Abusing Dogs Gets 21 Years in Prison


Florida Veterinarian Who Shared Videos of Himself Sexually Abusing Dogs Gets 21 Years in Prison
Kana Ruhalter
Breaking News Intern
Published Oct. 09, 2021 8:51PM ET
via YouTube/CBS4 Miami

A Florida veterinarian who recorded videos of himself sexually abusing dogs and then shared them online was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison, the Department of Justice announced Friday. Prentiss Madden, the medical director of Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Aventura, was arrested in March and pleaded guilty in July to child porn and animal cruelty charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida. Prosecutors say Homeland Security agents discovered footage of the 40-year-old vet sexually abusing dogs and creating an “animal crush” video, along with multiple chats about bestiality on his cell phone. Some of the abuse allegedly occurred at the animal hospital where he worked. Prosecutors accuse Madden of having “thousands” of images, videos, and chats of child porn or discussions of sexually abusing children. Madden was sentenced to 272 months in prison.
October 10, 2021

Calls Grow For Independent DOJ Task Force To Investigate Trump


Posted on Sat, Oct 9th, 2021 by Jason Easley
Calls Grow For Independent DOJ Task Force To Investigate Trump
A collection of government watchdogs are calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to launch an independent DOJ task force to investigate Trump.

The non-partisan Hold Trump Accountable Campaign said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:

An expansive report by the Senate Judiciary Committee was released that detailed how former President Donald Trump, his associates and a lawyer within the Department of Justice attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. According to the results of the Committee’s report, Trump put pressure on the DOJ nine times to overturn the results of the 2020 election; his Chief of Staff, former Representative Mark Meadows, violated policy by applying pressure on DOJ lawyers to investigate false claims of election fraud; and Trump even considered replacing the acting attorney general with a lawyer from the Department of Justice who supported these fraudulent claims.

Months before this report was released, Americans began calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to create an independent task force to investigate the former president, members of his administration, or his campaign, business, or other associates, for any potential federal criminal or civil violations they may have committed. Over two hundred thousand people have joined the coalition call to Investigate Trump.
The details of this report make clear that there is more than sufficient basis to investigate clear abuses of power and potential federal crimes committed by Donald Trump and his associates.

Over 200,000 Americans have signed a petition calling on the DOJ to launch an independent task force to investigate Trump.

“Restoring the rule of law begins with restoring the Department of Justice and neither of those can be accomplished without holding Donald Trump and his accomplices accountable. To reestablish the bedrock principle that we are a nation of laws and that no one – not even the president – is above the law, it is essential that Attorney General Merrick Garland assign a task force to investigate and, where the evidence requires, prosecute, those who violated their oaths of office and violated our nation’s laws,” said Ben Clements, Board Chair and Senior Legal Advisor of Free Speech For People.

The evidence only continues to pile on top of itself that Donald Trump and his associates committed multiple crimes over the previous four years. The Trump years are both an unprecedented threat to democracy, and a never before seen crisis.

These are not normal times, so the DOJ must rise to the occasion and do its job of upholding the law.
October 9, 2021

What's In Biden's Reconciliation Bill, In Sixty Seconds


10/08/21 10:49am
What's In Biden's Reconciliation Bill, In Sixty Seconds
Mehdi Hasan flamed the media for failing miserably at doing its job: informing its audience, specifically with regard to anything about President Joe Biden's reconciliation bill, other than its price tag.
By Aliza Worthington

Mehdi Hasan flamed the media for failing miserably at doing its job: informing its audience, specifically with regard to anything about Pres. Joe Biden's reconciliation bill, other than its price tag.

"All we hear on the news is '3.5. 3.5. 3.5 trillion.' Not that Joe Biden's Build Back Better Budget Reconciliation Bill is money spent over ten years, nor do we hear much about what's IN the 3.5-trillion-dollar bill. We in the media have done a bad job of actually telling people what that money pays for. So let me have a try. Give me sixty seconds. Start the clock," he instructed, as a big timer appeared behind him.

He took a deep breath, and then...

"The Build Back Better Budget Reconciliation Bill

has an extended child tax credit to cut child poverty by nearly half.

Universal Pre-K for three- and four-year-olds.

Free school meals for an extra nine million kids.

New money to repair run-down schools.

Two free years of community college.

Twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave for the first time in American history.

New powers for Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which will bring down the costs of your prescriptions, which is a good thing, given that we often spend twice as much as people in other countries.

Expanding Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing aids, helping millions of seniors.

Lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60, again, helping millions of seniors.

Expanding home care, and paying higher wages for home care workers, again, helping millions of seniors.

Closing the Medicaid gap for low-income Americans and getting healthcare to four million uninsured people.

New money for housing choice vouchers to tackle homelessness.

New Justice Department grants for non-profits that work on reducing community violence.

And, of course, action on climate change, including a clean electricity performance program that will create nearly eight million new jobs and financial incentives to buy electric vehicles, to build charging stations for them, and for homeowners to weather-fit their homes, plus new forestry programs, flood control programs.

So stop focusing on the 3.5 trillion, and focus on the popular, necessary, and good stuff that is being invested in over — yeah! — ten years."

I didn't know whether to give him a standing ovation or an oxygen mask after that, but I can certainly give him props for doing what hardly any other outlet or politician is doing: focusing on the truly transformative changes this bill would have on tens of millions of people who are struggling with everything from housing to health care to schooling. And if you care about, you know, EXISTING HERE ON EARTH, it even helps encourage healthy ecological behavior.

But we're not hearing that information being hammered home in news segments, or interviews with politicians. We're mostly only hearing about the price tag, and whether or not some group or other is willing to go up or down in spending. You know who's not doing that? President Biden. He's the only one I hear consistently asking both the media and Congress to focus on what they want IN the bill, not what they want to spend ON the bill.

Now, thanks to Hasan, everyone has this handy guide to use if they're in a big hurry. All it takes is sixty seconds.

October 9, 2021

Los Angeles County sheriff won't enforce vaccine mandate

Fire him.


Los Angeles County sheriff won't enforce vaccine mandate
Associated Press
October 9, 2021, 10:44 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County sheriff says he will not enforce the county's vaccine mandate in his agency.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who oversees the largest sheriff's department in the country with roughly 18,000 employees, said Thursday in a Facebook Live event that he does not plan to carry out the county's mandate, under which Los Angeles County employees had to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.

The mandate was issued by executive order in August and allows only for religious and medical exemptions. Villanueva said his employees are willing to be terminated rather than get vaccinated.

“I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate,” the sheriff said.


Villanueva's announcement came a day after the city of Los Angeles approved one of the nation’s strictest vaccine mandates — a sweeping measure that requires the shots for everyone entering bars, restaurants, nail salons, gyms or even a Lakers game.

October 9, 2021

Unvaxxed Allen West Has COVID Symptoms, Takes Unproven Meds

womp womp

Unvaxxed Allen West Has COVID Symptoms, Takes Unproven Meds
A day before West’s vaccinated wife got the virus, the Texas gubernatorial candidate spoke to a packed indoor crowd of unmasked supporters.
Tracy Connor
Published Oct. 09, 2021 10:32AM ET

Right-winger Allen West has suspended in-person events for his Texas gubernatorial campaign because he developed COVID symptoms after his wife tested positive.

In a Saturday morning Twitter thread, the Trump-loving ex-congressman said he has not gotten the COVID vaccine but is “already taking Hydrochloroquine and Ivermectin protocols”—two unproven drugs popular with the anti-vaxxer crowd.

“After taking COVID and flu shots, Angela West tested positive for COVID yesterday, Friday,” the tweet said.

“Col. West is experiencing a low grade fever and light body aches. Out of concern for public health, Col. West is suspending in-person events until receiving an all-clear indication.”


October 9, 2021

Whistleblower: Capitol Police Leaders Acted 'With Intent and Malice' on Jan. 6


Whistleblower: Capitol Police Leaders Acted ‘With Intent and Malice’ on Jan. 6
Blake Montgomery
Published Oct. 08, 2021 8:30PM ET

A former senior member of the Capitol Police has written a blistering whistleblower letter to members of Congress accusing the force’s leadership of knowingly failing to help their own officers during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and then obfuscating the fact for personal gain. The former officer spent several hours with Yogananda Pittman, then the Capitol Police’s head of intelligence, and Sean Gallagher, its head of uniformed operations, the day of the attempted insurrection. The whistleblower wrote, “What I observed was them mostly sitting there, blankly looking at the TV screens showing real time footage of officers and officials fighting for the Congress and their lives… It is my allegation that these two with intent and malice opted to not try and assist the officers and officials, blame others for the failures, and chose to try and use this event for their own personal promotions.”

The letter also alleges Pittman lied to Congress about an intelligence report delivered just a day before the riot. Pittman served as acting chief of the force after the former chief resigned, but she returned to her role as head of intelligence in August following a vote of no confidence from rank-and-file officers. Gallagher handled Pittman’s job during her tenure as acting chief but returned to his former job when she did the same. The whistleblower left the Capitol Police six months after the Capitol riot.

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