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demmiblue

demmiblue's Journal
demmiblue's Journal
February 11, 2021

McCarthy Attended Son's Maskless Wedding on Same Day He Mocked Newsom's Rule-Breach

On the morning of the wedding, the House minority leader very publicly mocked Gov. Gavin Newsom for attending his own maskless gathering.

If you were to very publicly ridicule someone for attending a maskless gathering during a pandemic, you would probably have a glance at your diary to see if you were imminently scheduled to make that exact same mistake. However, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) appears to have overlooked that crucial step.

On Thursday, McCarthy admitted attending his son’s largely maskless wedding during a coronavirus surge in California on Dec. 5—the same day he jabbed Gov. Gavin Newsom for attending his own maskless party.

The top California Republican owned up to attending the gathering after he was asked about it by the Los Angeles Times. Under the state’s coronavirus pandemic measures, wedding receptions are banned and wedding ceremonies, while allowed, require masks be worn at all times. Both rules appear to have been ignored at Connor McCarthy’s wedding.

According to the Times, videos of the wedding show that guests, including the Republican congressman, were not wearing masks at several points during the day. At one point, he can reportedly be seen addressing guests using a microphone. A dinner was held after the wedding that appears to flout the state rule banning wedding receptions or celebrations.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/kevin-mccarthy-attended-sons-maskless-wedding-on-same-day-he-mocked-newsoms-rule-breach
February 11, 2021

Thread Man: Seth Abramson's viral meta-journalism unreality

For four years, America has been ruled by the tyranny of tweets, and the news media has been tangled in threads. Twitter threads are a way for journalists to gather information and to promote their work; Virginia Heffernan wrote in Politico that they have become the “literary form of the Trump era.” In some ways, virality has enabled marginalized voices to be heard, but an ecosystem ruled by likes and retweets is one in which nothing really has to be true, everything is entirely possible, and notoriety confers legitimacy. Traditional news outlets, vying for attention, reward online popularity with op-eds and TV guest spots, an ecosystem that has, in turn, given rise to a new class of political pundit—those who use Twitter threads to offer cheap clarity amid chaos.

One of the most prominent Twitter-thread stars is Seth Abramson, who came to the fore around 2017, as the American press was choking on news about Russian interference in the presidential election. Every story was cloaked in subterfuge: The hacking of the Democratic National Committee. That time Ivanka Trump sat in Vladimir Putin’s chair. When Donald Trump grabbed an interpreter’s notes and crumpled them up. The Miss Universe pageant. Cable news anchors sputtered out names: Maria Butina, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort. What did it all mean? If the frenzy of scoops presented a vast evidence board of clues and suspects, we needed someone to connect all the pieces into some kind of meta-narrative. Enter Abramson, on Twitter, arguing that out in the open was all the proof required to see the truth about our wildest fears and hopes: crimes had been committed, and the evidence was already being reported on by major media outlets. He was the man uniquely capable of pulling the loose threads together.

Now in his mid-forties, Abramson is a lawyer turned poet turned professor turned journalist turned influencer. His follower count on Twitter is close to a million—which, to compare his reach with political analysts employed by reputable outlets, is more than twice that of the New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie, eight times that of The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen, and eighteen times that of WNYC’s Tanzina Vega. His platform is powerful. From his first viral tweet—about how media outlets should not have put Kellyanne Conway on air—Abramson gained thousands of followers. Soon, he was offered guest spots on cable news shows, where he expounded on Trump’s and Russia’s misdeeds. His analysis—strung together over threads that are sometimes a hundred tweets long—offered a pleasant assurance: no, our country hadn’t voted for a racist misogynist; instead, we’d been manipulated by sinister outside forces—Russia, China, the Middle East.

Abramson began writing a regular column for Newsweek. He churned out books in rapid succession: Proof of Collusion (2018), Proof of Conspiracy (2019), and Proof of Corruption (2020). The first two were best sellers. He also started a podcast called Proof: A Pre-Election Special, which was, according to Abramson’s website, a “top 10 ‘Government’ podcast on Apple Podcasts in over 30 countries.” In October, he was a guest on Under the Skin, a show hosted by Russell Brand, who called him “charming, informative, brilliant, and bright.”

https://www.cjr.org/special_report/seth-abramson-twitter.php
February 11, 2021

The next insurrection (Ammon Bundy related)

The January 6 siege of the United States Capitol was not an isolated incident. It is the latest in a series of attacks by violent extremists seeking to undermine federal and state governments. Now, a new organization called "People's Rights" seeks to bring more sophistication and efficiency to these anti-government efforts. And it is already having considerable success.

The leader of People's Rights, which was founded last March, is Ammon Bundy. He was the infamous "leader of the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon — a deadly 41-day standoff between federal agents and militants who rejected the federal government’s authority over public lands across the West. " Bundy and his heavily-armed associates seized the refuge to protest the conviction of two Oregon ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, who were "sentenced to prison for setting fires on federal lands." Bundy demanded "that the government relinquish ownership" of the refuge and "free the Hammonds."

The standoff ended when Bundy was arrested at a traffic stop outside the refuge. Bundy was tried in October 2016 on federal weapons and conspiracy charges but, astoundingly, was acquitted by a jury.

In 2018, Trump gave Bundy what he wanted, pardoning the Hammonds and releasing them from federal prison. "The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West," the White House said.

Bundy's new organization is even more ambitious. People's Rights wants to enable people to "call a militia like they’d call an Uber and stage a protest within minutes." Bundy claims People's Rights has 50,000 members in 35 states. The goal, according to Bundy, is to be able to "dispatch 10 protesters to a scene in 10 minutes, 100 in 100 minutes and 1,000 in 1,000 minutes."

https://popular.info/p/the-next-insurrection
February 11, 2021

The Vaccine Had to Be Used. He Used It. He Was Fired.

Ten doses of the Covid-19 vaccine would expire within hours, so a Houston doctor gave it to people with medical conditions, including his wife. What followed was “the lowest moment in my life,” Dr. Hasan Gokal said.

The Texas doctor had six hours. Now that a vial of Covid-19 vaccine had been opened on this late December night, he had to find 10 eligible people for its remaining doses before the precious medicine expired. In six hours.

Scrambling, the doctor made house calls and directed people to his home outside Houston. Some were acquaintances; others, strangers. A bed-bound nonagenarian. A woman in her 80s with dementia. A mother with a child who uses a ventilator.

After midnight, and with just minutes before the vaccine became unusable, the doctor, Hasan Gokal, gave the last dose to his wife, who has a pulmonary disease that leaves her short of breath.

For his actions, Dr. Gokal was fired from his government job and then charged with stealing 10 vaccine doses worth a total of $135 — a shun-worthy misdemeanor that sent his name and mug shot rocketing around the globe.

“It was my world coming down,” Dr. Gokal said in a telephone interview on Friday. “To have everything collapse on you. God, it was the lowest moment in my life.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/us/houston-doctor-fired-covid-vaccine.html


February 10, 2021

NBA Pushes Back On Dallas Mavericks' Plan To Omit National Anthem At Games

Source: NPR

The NBA says every team – including the Dallas Mavericks – must play the national anthem in their arenas, after news emerged that team owner Mark Cuban had ordered the Mavericks to discontinue the long-held practice.

"With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy," said NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass in a statement on Wednesday.

After the NBA issued its stance, a Mavericks representative told NPR, "The anthem will play before tonight's game."

Cuban also issued his own statement:

"We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. I have always stood for the anthem with the hand over my heart – no matter where I hear it played. But we also hear the voices of those who do not feel the anthem represents them. We feel they also need to be respected and heard, because they have not been heard. The hope is that those who feel passionate about the anthem being played will be just as passionate in listening to those who do not feel it represents them."

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2021/02/10/966350329/dallas-mavericks-stop-playing-national-anthem-before-games



"The NBA says every team – including the Dallas Mavericks – must play the national anthem in their arenas..."

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