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Thread: Election 2020-get your popcorn ready!

  1. #101
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/202...after-n1233346

    'Compassionless': Lawsuit says Bernie Sanders campaign demoted staffer day after cancer surgery
    The former California political director says the campaign that championed workers' rights ignored her complaints of harassment and discrimination.

    The former California political director for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign says she was demoted a day after undergoing cancer surgery and forced to quit after the campaign ignored her harassment and discrimination complaints.

    In a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Susie Shannon said it was the Sanders' campaign's "outrageous and compassionless conduct" that "resulted in her forced resignation solely because she had the misfortune of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer that required major surgery to treat the disease."

    The campaign then tried to get her to sign a non-disclosure agreement in return for money, the suit says. Shannon's lawyer, Micha Star Liberty, told NBC News the campaign also offered her client two months of health insurance if she signed. Shannon refused.

    "It's so disappointing that a political campaign that purported to stand for so much, including access to healthcare and workers' rights, would behave this way," Liberty said.
    Susie Shannon.
    Susie Shannon.Courtesy Susie Shannon

    A spokesman for the Sanders campaign, Mike Casca, said, "We've not received this lawsuit and we don't comment on litigation."

    The campaign official accused of demoting her, Rafael Navar, called the allegation "completely false," and said Shannon's "position never changed." The suit says Navar brought on a second political director and assigned her Shannon's work.

    A spokesman for the Sanders campaign, Mike Casca, said, "We've not received this lawsuit and we don't comment on litigation."

    Shannon, a homeless advocate who was a Sanders delegate in 2016, was named the campaign's California political director in May of 2019, the suit says. That September, she was diagnosed with cancer, and told campaign brass she needed to undergo surgery and would be on medical leave for two to six weeks, the court papers say.

    Shannon had "approximately 15 inches of tumors from the ovaries that extended into her abdominal area" that were removed in the Oct. 7th operation, the filing says.

    The day after the surgery, the suit says, Shannon got a phone call in her hospital room from Rafael Navar, the campaign's state director, telling her she was being demoted. "Navar bluntly stated that he had no confidence in her ability to do her job given her cancer and surgery and that he was bringing in someone else to do her job," the suit says.

    Shannon said she was "devastated" and reached out to campaign adviser Chuck Rocha, Navar's supervisor. He "casually responded that he supported Navar in whatever decision he decided to make," the suit says. It does not name Rocha as a defendant.

    Fearing "losing her health insurance," Shannon said she felt she had to get back to work. She was released from the hospital on Oct. 10th, and began working that morning, the suit says.

    "Because Shannon had open surgery, she had hundreds of stitches inside and outside the abdominal cavity. She was not able to pick up anything, not even pots or pans. Shannon’s friends and family took shifts helping to prepare food, clean the house, and take her daughter to and from school," and had to help her move her laptop around and get to and from work events, the suit says.

    Shannon reported Navar to the campaign's human resources director, who said she would address her complaints but "never did," the suit says.

    An emboldened Navar "continuously scolded, undermined," criticized and ostracized Shannon, despite her continuing to perform her duties "fully and successfully," the suit says.

    After further complaints about his behavior were ignored, Shannon "felt that she had no other choice but to resign" in December, the suit says.

    The suit seeks unspecified money damages.

  2. #102
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://ktla.com/news/nationworld/to...itings-online/

    Tucker Carlson’s top writer has resigned from Fox News after secretly posting racist and sexist remarks online.

    CNN reported Friday that writer Blake Neff used a pseudonym to write bigoted comments about Black and Asian people, as well as women, on the online forum AutoAdmit.

    Neff began working on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in 2016 and was known as Carlson’s top writer. Neff previously worked as a reporter for the right-wing news outlet The Daily Caller, which Carlson co-founded.

    Fox News executives on Saturday said they condemned Neff’s “horrendous and deeply offensive” comments.

    “We want to make abundantly clear that Fox News Media strongly condemns this horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace said in a memo to staffers.

    “Neff’s abhorrent conduct on this forum was never divulged to the show or the network until Friday, at which point we swiftly accepted his resignation. Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force,” they wrote.

    Scott and Wallace said Carlson would address Neff’s conduct on his show Monday.

  3. #103
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.insider.com/kim-kardashi...ampaign-2020-7

    Never Did I think this would happen

    Kim Kardashian-West is one of the only celebrities to publicly demonstrate her pro-vaccine stance, despite her husband Kanye West's anti-vaxx opinions.

    West recently announced he was running for president on an anti-vaccine and pro-life platform, and told Forbes in February that he is skeptical of vaccines, including a not-yet-existing vaccine to treat COVID-19.

    "It's so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed… So when they say the way we're going to fix COVID is with a vaccine, I'm extremely cautious," West, 43, told Forbes. He also said that he had COVID-19 and took hot showers and watched instructional videos to treat himself.

    There's no scientific evidence to back up West's claims, as Insider's Connor Perrett previously reported.

    What's more, West's stance differs greatly from his wife's, who has long been held up as one of the few celebrities to openly champion vaccines by taking their first child, North West, and the rest of her family, to get a vaccine in an episode of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."

    Kardashian-West publicly required her entire family get the whooping cough vaccine
    In October 2013, a KUWTK episode showed Kardashian-West and her family getting Tdap vaccines, which are used to protect against whooping cough.

    In 2014, there was a whooping cough epidemic in California where the Kardashians live.

    Whooping cough or pertussis is a respiratory illness that's extremely contagious because it spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. If a baby gets whooping cough it can be deadly, so having any family members or friends who may be around a baby get the vaccine can protect the little one.

    Kardashian-West appeared to take this stance.

    At one point in the episode, one of Kardashian-West's sisters said she was unsure if she wanted the vaccine, and the doctor said if she refused she couldn't be around baby North, as per the mother's request. The sister then got the vaccine along with the rest of the family.

    It's unclear whether West has received any vaccines himself, or if he's an exception to his wife's rule.

    But Kardashian-West remains one of a handful of celebrities who have demonstrated their pro-vaccine stances. Actress Kristin Bell has also said that she wouldn't let loved ones be around her child if they weren't vaccinated, and "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" star Sarah Michelle Gellar has also been vocally pro-vaccine.

  4. #104
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    now being Pro-Vax or talking about legit concerns over COVID-19 is now considered a Kim Kardashian Conspiracy as Kanye West runs for president comes into play. I had no idea that was at play here prior to this. I had no idea Kardashian is a George Conway (Lincoln Project Leader) type person here. Apparently this is going to end up a conspiracy theory and not about public health? And Prior to this Kardashian was being judged over how she babysits Kanye West when he acts like a loose cannon in public.

  5. #105
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West-2 more people that the world would be better off without.

  6. #106
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West-2 more people that the world would be better off without.
    Not Gonna Happen as much as we think after the 2020 elections.

  7. #107
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    The Governor of Oklahoma has been tested Positive for COVID-19

  8. #108
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://kfor.com/news/local/oklahoma...-for-covid-19/

    KFOR asked Stitt’s staff to confirm when the picture was taken, but they said they do not comment on the governor’s personal schedule.

    Walmart issued a new policy on Wednesday requiring all shoppers to wear a mask in their stores beginning on Monday, July 20.

    OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One day after Oklahoma saw its largest spike in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announced that he has tested positive for the virus.

    He says he doesn’t feel very ill, but is a little achy.

    Health department: 1,000+ new COVID-19 cases reported across the state in 24 hours
    Stitt says that he is quarantining himself and will be working from home for the next two weeks.

    “We have to adjust our behaviors,” Stitt said.

    Stitt says he thinks he is the first governor to test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic.

    “I want to use my story to remind Oklahomans that if you’re not feeling well, we want you to get tested,” Stitt said.

    So far, he says he doesn’t know where he contracted the virus but doesn’t believe that he was contagious before Saturday.

    Timeline
    KFOR received a tip on Tuesday night, saying the governor had tested positive for COVID-19. KFOR immediately contacted the governor’s office to confirm that tip. After 40 minutes of no response, we submitted another request for comment.

    At that time, Charlie Hannema, Stitt’s Chief of Communications, responded by thanking us for not reporting anything based on ‘assumptions’ and assured us that he had just talked to the governor and that governor was feeling “great.”

    However, Stitt says that he is tested regularly for COVID-19, and received a positive result during his test on Tuesday afternoon around 12:30 p.m.

    Stitt says that he doesn’t believe that going back through the reopening process is necessary, saying that Oklahoma has already flattened the curve.

    At this point, he says he is not considering a mask mandate for the state.

    Stitt did attend the President’s rally in Tulsa several weeks ago but he and the Oklahoma State Department of Health Commissioner say it was too long ago for that to be where Stitt contracted the illness. Stitt also attended a funeral for a fallen Tulsa police officer on July 9 where hundreds were in attendance.

    On Tuesday morning, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health showed that the state has had 21,738 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March.

    That’s an increase of 993 cases over the past 24 hours.

    Officials say four additional people have died, bringing the total to 428 deaths connected to COVID-19.

    Currently, officials say there are 546 people who are hospitalized with confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19.

    Oklahoma Interim Commissioner of Health Lance Frye says the state currently has plenty of personal protective equipment for hospitals across the state, and that the positive rate of those tested for COVID-19 is lower than the national average.

    Right now, Frye says the state has more than 240 hospital beds available for patients.

    However, officials say the majority of the cases are in the 18 to 35-year-old age range, and most of those patients do not need to be hospitalized.

    “We went from a crisis mode to a risk management mode” Frye said.

    Although state leaders say they are watching the data closely, Gov. Kevin Stitt says Oklahomans should take precautions and learn from him.

    Alicia Andrews, chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, released the following statement:

    “This is a horrible disease that is impacting the lives of every Oklahoman, whether by personal loss of family members, loss of jobs, or other economic challenges. I am truly sorry that our Governor did not take the necessary precautions to protect himself and his family from this potentially fatal illness.

    Frankly, I was concerned for the Governor when it was announced that Herman Cain was hospitalized with COVID-19. They were standing side-by-side, neither wearing masks or social distancing, at the Trump rally in Tulsa.

    At a meeting just yesterday, the Governor sat at a table with the Lieutenant Governor and the Secretary of Agriculture. Even knowing he has the virus, none of these state officials were wearing masks. It is my sincere hope that the Governor will now step up to be the leader we all need in Oklahoma. If he mandates wearing masks in all public places in our state—and leads by example—it will certainly help to protect the lives of every Oklahoman.

    While we will continue to pray for our Governor, we must also encourage him to do the right thing for all Oklahomans.”

  9. #109
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.kron4.com/news/national/...on-mask-rules/

    God Damn it Politics keeps interfering with COVID-19 Pandemic

    ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is suing Atlanta to block the city from enforcing its mandate to wear a mask in public and other rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Kemp and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, in a suit filed in state court late Thursday, argued that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has overstepped her authority and must obey Kemp’s executive orders under state law.

    The suit comes a day after Kemp clarified his executive orders to expressly block Atlanta and at least 14 other local governments across the state from requiring people to wear face coverings.

    Kemp’s order was met with defiance Thursday by Bottoms and some other mayors, who said they would continue enforcing the order and were prepared to go to court. The lawsuit will force that showdown, resolving what had been an ambiguous situation with Kemp denying local governments could order masks, but local governments arguing it was within their power.

    Bottoms last week issued what initially appeared to be orders that people had to return to sheltering at home and forcing restaurants to return to only offering takeout and delivery. Kemp quickly swatted that down in public statements, and Bottoms on Thursday described them as guidelines. But Kemp’s lawsuit says the court should set Bottoms straight on those orders as well.

    This is a breaking news update. See AP’s earlier story below.

    Mayors in Atlanta and other Georgia cities deepened their defiance of Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday, saying their requirements for people to wear face coverings will remain in place, even after the Republican governor explicitly forbade cities and counties from mandating masks.

    Several mayors said Thursday they are ready to go to court to defend their orders.

    “I am not afraid of the city being sued and I’ll put our policies up against anyone’s, any day of the week,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Thursday during a video news conference, telling reporters the city’s order is still in effect.

    Officials in at least 15 Georgia cities and counties had ordered masks during the coronavirus pandemic, and many were angry at Kemp for swatting down their efforts.

    Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, who wrote Wednesday night on Twitter that Kemp “doesn’t give a damn about us,” admitted Thursday that he had been “so angry” when he wrote the comments. But he said Kemp is “overstepping his authority” and citied multiple national retailers who had mandated masks in recent days.

    “How can we take care of our local needs when our state ties our hands behind our back and then says ‘Ignore the advice of experts?’” Johnson asked in a news conference, later saying “If you don’t want to protect us, then allow us the opportunity to protect ourselves.”

    Kemp says he strongly supports mask-wearing to combat the spread of COVID-19 infections. He traveled the state this month to encourage face coverings. But he has maintained for weeks that cities and counties can’t require masks in public places, saying local actions can’t be more or less restrictive than his statewide orders.

    Full Coverage: Virus Outbreak

    That didn’t stop local governments from enacting their own mandates, so Wednesday, in an otherwise routine renewal of rules governing business operations and ordering medically vulnerably people to stay home, Kemp made that prohibition explicit. He went so far as to say local governments could not order masks on their own property, which would include Atlanta’s massive airport.

    The first-term governor made no mention of the decision Thursday as he cut the ribbon on an expanded emergency room at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in suburban Marietta, where everyone in sight was wearing a mask and the hospital was taking temperatures before people could enter. Kemp said hospital networks in Georgia have been thoughtful about expansion which will serve the state during current uncertain times and in the future. Kemp also signed some health care bills from the recent legislative session, but ignored questions shouted by reporters as he exited.

    Although national health officials have called on people to use masks, President Donald Trump’s administration has not issued any nationwide guidance. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia now require masks.

    Kemp’s stance — not only shying away from a statewide order but trying to bar local governments from instituting their own — leaves him standing virtually alone. In the South, Republican governors in Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida have resisted statewide mandates but allow local jurisdictions to implement them. Republican governors in Alabama and Texas and Democrats in Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina have issued statewide mask requirements.

    Some Georgia residents are caught in the crossfire. At Rosie’s Cafe, across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the Atlanta Falcons play, manager Mykle Osborne said the cafe offers masks to customers but does not force people to wear one.

    “Some people are offended that we ask them to wear masks,” the 40-year-old Osborne said. “I’m all for everyone putting a mask on. I think that will help.”

    Outside Zoo Atlanta, Latanya Grover of suburban Mableton said she wants local officials to be able to order residents to wear masks. The zoo requires people to wear them in enclosed spaces and was selling them for $1 at the entrance.

    “I think it’s important, just for the safety of the people around us,” Grover said.

    Thursday’s numbers showed more than 2,800 people hospitalized statewide with the COVID-19 respiratory illness, the highest on record. The state reported that 84% of hospitals’ critical beds were filled, although some hospitals say they have opened up more space.

    Georgia overall had more than 131,000 confirmed infections and more than 3,100 deaths overall as of Thursday, although experts say many more people contract the illness but are never tested. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. Most recover, but some can become severely ill or die.

    Johnson had announced Savannah would start fining businesses that did not comply, but penalties haven’t begun.

    Some business groups are supporting Kemp. Georgia Restaurant Association Executive Director Kelly Bremer said Thursday that Kemp has done a “remarkable job” in leading Georgia. She said a statewide mandate isn’t appropriate considering Georgia’s size and diversity. But she also said local rules would be confusing and businesses should make their own decisions about requiring customers to wear masks. A group of businesses are backing a voluntary compliance program called Georgia Safety Promise.

    “For businesses to grapple with 535 different municipal ordinances and 159 different county ordinances is madness,” Bremer said. “Having one set of guidelines is very important.”

  10. #110
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news...ounty/2469477/

    Update Governor Wolf yanks COVID-19 recovery Funding to Lebanon County, PA for not complying with state orders.

    Gov. Tom Wolf followed through on his threat to yank COVID-19 funding from a county that defied his shutdown orders, while his administration targeted bars, restaurants and large gatherings statewide Thursday in an effort to prevent a wider resurgence of the virus that officials say could jeopardize students' return to school.

    The state's largest teachers union, meanwhile, asked Wolf to order schools to plan for online-only instruction, citing mounting concern among educators and parents about the “significant health risks” posed by sending kids back to the classroom.

    “It is extremely important for Pennsylvania’s public schools to plan for the distinct possibility that further increases in COVID-19 cases will make it impossible to safely reopen Pennsylvania’s schools for in-person instruction,” wrote Rich Askey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

    Wolf withheld nearly $13 million in funding from Lebanon County, where local Republican leaders voted in mid-May to lift pandemic restrictions in defiance of the Democratic governor. Wolf's decision left Lebanon as the only Pennsylvania county to have been cut off from a $625 million pot of federal coronavirus relief money distributed by the state.

    Asked about it at a news conference Thursday, Wolf blamed the county's GOP-controlled Board of Commissioners and suggested that Lebanon residents should kick them out of office.

    “Don't come and say you want something from the state when you haven't followed the rules. There are consequences. These are the consequences,” he said.

    The region's congressman, GOP Rep. Dan Meuser, said Wolf lacked the legal authority to withhold the money and implored him to release it, writing to the governor: “Lives and livelihoods are at stake.” The local chamber of commerce called it an “unacceptable exclusion of just one county” and said Wolf's decision unfairly punishes small businesses, nonprofits and others.

    Lebanon County Commissioner Robert Phillips, the board's chairperson, declined to respond directly to Wolf's comments, saying he didn't want to “add fuel to the fire ... and put that money at further risk.”

    Amid the partisan fight over funding, Pennsylvania reimposed statewide restrictions Thursday on bars, restaurants, and larger indoor gatherings — now limited to 25 people, down from 250 — in response to what Wolf has called an “unsettling climb” in virus infections.

    Under Wolf's order, nightclubs are shut down, bars are closed unless they also offer dine-in meals, and bars and restaurants are limited to 25% capacity.

    Critics questioned the need for statewide restrictions when only a few areas of the state have been seeing rising case numbers, and confusion reigned among some bar and restaurant owners over what exactly constitutes a "meal" — do french fries count?

    Businesses impacted by the order said they're barely hanging on.

    “I don’t know what to do. Do you close your doors? Do you keep them open? It can’t keep going on like this," said Suzie Domasky, an owner of Ferrante’s Lakeview in Westmoreland County.

    Ferrante's, which hosts weddings and other big events and was shuttered for three months in the spring because of pandemic restrictions, immediately lost another big booking — a Christmas party — in the wake of Wolf's latest business shutdown.

    “Every time the governor announces something, I lose more money by the day,” Domasky said.

    Wolf has warned of increased viral spread and said the new restrictions are needed to help keep Pennsylvania's numbers manageable, especially with schools planning to reopen for the fall. Disease modelingfrom PolicyLab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia shows infections rising sharply in Philadelphia and the suburbs in coming weeks.

    In other coronavirus-related developments in Pennsylvania on Thursday:

    Reopening Pennsylvania Schools
    With the teachers union expressing alarm over the state's virus hot spots, Pennsylvania released a set of best practicesfor schools planning to bring students back to the classroom for the first time since March.

    Staggered class times, reduced classroom occupancy, the elimination of buffet-style cafeteria meals and desks turned in the same direction are among the suggestions offered to schools to help minimize the risk of viral spread.

    The state health secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, had previously ordered students and staff to wear masks at school and on the bus.

    State officials said they expect schools to offer at least some classroom instruction in the fall, though that decision rests with the state's 500 school districts. The Department of Education told school districts last month they may restart in-person instruction with a plan that’s approved by the local school board, made public and provided to the state.

    Levine and the state education secretary, Pedro Rivera, would not offer a direct answer Thursday when asked to describe the circumstances under which they might reverse course and scuttle in-person instruction.

    “It's very hard, obviously, for me to predict what things will be like in the fall," Levine said on a conference call with reporters. “What I like to emphasize is the things we need to do now. ... What we absolutely need to do now is everything we possibly can so that schools can reopen safely in the fall."

    Askey, the union president, called on the state to ensure that every school's reopening plan includes vigorous protocols to reduce risk.

    Hazard Pay
    Supermarket cashiers, bus drivers, custodians, health care workers and other workers on the front lines of the pandemic could get a temporary, $3-an-hour pay raise under a $50 million grant program touted by the Wolf administration Thursday.

    The program is available to employers for the purpose of offering hazard pay to front-line workers. The application period opened Thursday and will run through July 31.

    Workers making less than $20 an hour are eligible for up to $1,200 in hazard pay over a 10-week period between Aug. 16 and Oct. 24.

    Funding comes from Pennsylvania’s share of the federal coronavirus relief package.

    Cases
    Pennsylvania reported 781 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the statewide total to more than 98,000.

    The state Department of Health said there were 16 additional deaths for a new statewide toll of 6,973.

    Allegheny County, which has figured in a recent surge in virus cases, reported 140 new cases from tests conducted between June 30 and July 14. Philadelphia reported 132 new infections.

  11. #111
    What do you care? Boston Babe 73's Avatar
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    So what do you think 45 is going to do after he's not elected again? I think they're going to have to take him out of there by force and he'll try to burn the White House down.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller22 View Post
    I thought the exact same thing. Poor Brennen Tammons.
    Oh well, back to gum.
    ....or exchanging Puke's wang for spicy nuts.
    Quote Originally Posted by animosity View Post
    I know, right? What the fuck, puke? Willing to take in Boston, an Irish dude and like, 17 dogs but not Ron? poor Ron.

  12. #112
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Babe 73 View Post
    So what do you think 45 is going to do after he's not elected again? I think they're going to have to take him out of there by force and he'll try to burn the White House down.
    Come on here the Trumpies will get their Hydroxychloroquine like its the Right wing version of Drinking the Kool-Aid. You Have Del Bigtree and Trump try to be this generations Jim Jones though.



    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/hyd...-and-covid-19/

    In recent weeks an obscure drug has become the subject of much attention and debate in the public arena. The drug is called hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine and a closely relative drug, chloroquine, are members of a class of chemicals known as quinolines. These drugs were long-ago recognized as anti-malarials. Chloroquine, in particular, was used extensively during WWI for the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria.
    Chloroquine_300

    Later, these drugs were recognized to be effective against certain autoimmune diseases, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Patients with these chronic diseases are often on these medications for many years, much longer than typically required for malaria. With prolonged exposure a new adverse effect was recognized: a potentially blinding retinal toxicity. The first cases of retinal damage attributed to chloroquine was reported in 1957. Due to a superior safety profile, hydroxychloroquine has largely replaced chloroquine for treatment of autoimmune disease, but can produce retinal injury identical to chloroquine.
    Retinal injury from hydroxychloroquine

    Early detection is desirable because continued treatment can result in significant disability. The damage is often progressive long after the medication is stopped, probably because chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have a strong affinity for pigmented tissues and remain sequestered for years after the medication is discontinued. The classic pattern of retinal toxicity is often referred to as bull’s-eye retinopathy (or bull’s-eye maculopathy) because the retina displays a concentric zone of decreased pigment surrounding the center of the retina (the macula, see image below). With conscientious monitoring, toxicity from hydroxychloroquine is usually recognizable before the patient becomes symptomatic.

    Photo of the retina of the right eye of a patient with hydroxychloroquine retinopathy. The paler concentric ring (near the center of the photo) is characteristic, and the reason hydroxychloroquine toxicity is frequently classified as “bull’s-eye” retinopathy. Loss of visual function accompanies the anatomic change.

    An expert panel from the American Academy of Ophthalmology has issued recommendations for the hydroxychloroquine treatment and monitoring. The upper limit of the recommended dose was recently decreased to 5 mg/kg/day. If dosing guidelines are followed, the risk of toxicity is estimated to be <1% in the first 5 years, <2% up to 10 years. After 10 years the risk rises more steeply, up to 20% after 20 years. Higher doses confer a higher risk of toxicity. Baseline eye examination is recommended within 1 year of initiating therapy and annual screening exams beginning after 5 years of treatment. There are a couple of case reports of what appears to be hydroxychloroquine toxicity after only a couple of months of exposure, but these are very rare events.
    Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “hydroxychloroquine” has become a household word. Based on some intriguing laboratory data and very preliminary clinical reports, hydroxychloroquine has emerged as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus, prompting some high level government officials and other high profile personalities to advocate for widespread use. David Gorski has written several detailed analyses of the state of evidence (or lack thereof) for the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, and I have nothing to add to his excellent review of the evidence. I agree that based on very thin data there is irrational exuberance among some prominent opinion-makers.

    At this moment, there is no shortage of clinical trials looking at hydroxychloroquine in the context of COVID-19. A search on clinicaltrials.gov had 117 hits (as of 4/21/2020). The studies are from all around the world and have variable designs. Investigators are exploring intervention with hydroxychloroquine at various stages of infection, and some are looking at prophylaxis for known exposures and high-risk individuals. Many doses and schedules of treatment are being explored. I did not do a detailed review of all 117 studies, but I reviewed a sample. Most of the studies are looking at doses in excess of the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommended upper limit of 5 mg/kg/day sometimes by several multiples. Duration of treatment ranges from a few days to a few weeks.

    Even at these high doses I suspect the risk of retinal toxicity with short-term exposure is low. There are, however, caveats to this conclusion. Patients with COVID may be critically ill and are likely to be on multiple medications. The potential retinal toxicity of hydroxychloroquine in critically ill, metabolically compromised, multiply-medicated patients is unknown. Considering the devastation seen due to COVID-19, the risk seems justified in the context of clinical trials. We can be hopeful that data from clinical trials will be responsibly collected, collated, and reported. I look forward to these data to inform us about the safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.

    Outside clinical trials, hydroxychloroquine is also being used, largely based on encouragement of a few high profile opinion-makers. I fear that some people, desperate to protect themselves, may take the medication at doses and durations sufficient to put them at risk for retinal damage (or even worse, die after drinking the wrong substance based on a misunderstanding). Meanwhile, patients with disabling diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are sometimes having difficulty filling their prescriptions.
    Conclusion: Low short-term risk, but completely uncertain efficacy

    The world desperately needs effective treatments for COVID-19. We can only hope that effective strategies will be discovered. This can only happen by using a science-based, systematic approach. Unless good data supporting the safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine emerge, there are many reasons to be cautious adopting it for widespread use. Fortunately, current knowledge suggests that the risk retinal toxicity from short-term exposure to hydroxychloroquine is low.

  13. #113
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    https://www.kitv.com/story/42383754/...lection-ballot

    It looks like rapper Kanye West is still running for President after all.

    On July 4 West tweeted that he was running.

    A few days later he told Forbes magazine he was starting a new political party called the "Birthday Party."

    However, earlier this week one of his advisers told New York Magazine that West was out of the race.

    So far West has not made any more comments about his campaign.  

  14. #114
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    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...na-ballot-2020

    Here is more on Kanye West

    Kanye West has asked fans to sign a petition calling for him to be added to the presidential election ballot in South Carolina.
    Kanye West will appear on Oklahoma presidential election ballot
    Read more

    The rap superstar announced he was running for the White House on 4 July, tweeting: “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States.”

    But doubts persist over how seriously to take his bid.

    West, who has both expressed support for Donald Trump and said he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, has said he will model his White House on a fictional land in the Black Panther superhero film, saying: “Let’s get back to Wakanda.”

    This week it emerged he has qualified to appear on the presidential ballot in Oklahoma after making Wednesday’s deadline to register as an independent candidate. But it appears he missed the cut-off to run in South Carolina. According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), that state also had a deadline of Wednesday.

    Apparently hoping public opinion can sway officials, he tweeted: “If you’re a voter in South Carolina, please sign this petition to place me on the ballot Sponsored by Ye 2020.”
    The online petition is paid for by the Kanye 2020 political committee, which filed paperwork with the FEC this week, indicating West, who is married to the reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, is serious about running.


    Ben Jacobs, a former Guardian reporter now filing for New York Magazine who has followed West’s moves closely, reported that the rapper started to make moves to get on the ballot in Florida before pulling back.

    After missing the ballot deadline in the Sunshine state, West did file to be on the ballot in Oklahoma, which simply requires a check.

    On Saturday, Jacobs reported that petitions were available to be signed in nine locations across South Carolina. One host told the magazine people had been coming in “off and on” to sign the petition for West.

    The Kanye 2020 committee has filed a statement organisation form, also known as FEC Form 1. The next step would be filing a statement of candidacy, or FEC Form 2.

    That is filed when an individual has raised or spent more than $5,000 on campaign activity, triggering candidacy status. No record of a Kanye 2020 FEC Form 2 appeared online as of Friday.

  15. #115
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    https://www.clickorlando.com/news/lo...ectors-office/

    Update on Florida Tax Collector Joel Greenberg now the FBI has him for Identity theft allegations . Originally Joel Greenberg was being investigated for making false rape allegations on a political opponent for Tax Collector now thats been changed to include this new allegation.

    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – During his time as Seminole County tax collector, Joel Greenberg used information from surrendered driver’s licenses to make fake IDs with his picture on it, according to a federal indictment.

    The document filed Wednesday includes earlier allegations against Greenberg in which he’s accused of making fake social media accounts in order to start rumors about his political opponent and paint the victim as a white supremacist, as well as the new allegations.

    Greenberg resigned from his position as Seminole County tax collector in June, shortly after his arrest on federal stalking charges.

    The report claims that some customers came to Greenberg’s office to surrender their driver’s license -- for instance, when they were receiving a replacement or renewal -- with the understanding that their old ID would be shredded.

    Instead, federal prosecutors allege that Greenberg used the information from at least two IDs, one from Florida and one from Puerto Rico, to create a fake driver’s license that would have his picture on it along with the victims’ names, date of birth and other pertinent information.

    “Joel Micah Greenberg used the surrendered drivers licenses that he had taken to cause fake driver licenses to be produced that had his photograph but the personal information of the victims whose driver licenses he had taken,” prosecutors wrote.

    The first fake ID was made between Sept. 21, 2018 and June 23 while the second was made between Dec. 4, 2019 and June 23, according to the indictment.

    Greenberg is facing additional charges of production of identification and false identification documents and aggravated identity theft.

    In the federal stalking case, Greenberg has already entered a plea of not guilty. He was granted a conditional release last month.

  16. #116
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    https://fox5sandiego.com/entertainme...-as-candidate/

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, ranted against historical figure Harriet Tubman on Sunday, saying the Underground Railroad conductor “never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,” comments that drew shouts of opposition from some in the crowd.

    West delivered a lengthy monologue, touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals, before a crowd in North Charleston, South Carolina. Whether he is actually seeking the nation’s highest office remains a question.

    Tubman is one of the most respected figures of 19th century America. An African American who escaped slavery, she helped enslaved Black men and women travel north to freedom and fought for the Union during the Civil War. She later became a supporter of women’s suffrage.

    On abortion, West said that while he believes it should be legal, financial incentives to help struggling mothers could be a way to discourage the practice.

    “Everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars,” he said as an example.

    Wearing a protective vest and with “2020” shaved into his head, the entertainer appeared on a livestream of the event. Several hundred people gathered in a venue, where gospel music played before West’s appearance.

    The event was reportedly for registered guests only, although a campaign website had no registration or RSVP information.

    Speaking without a microphone, West became tearful at one point while talking about his mother, who died following plastic surgery complications in 2007.

    West missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and it was unclear if he was willing or able to collect enough signatures required to qualify in others. Last week, he qualified to appear on Oklahoma’s presidential ballot, the first state where he met the requirements before the filing deadline.

    West needed to collect 10,000 signatures by noon Monday to appear on the South Carolina ballot, according to state law. The entertainer tweeted out a list of locations around the Charleston area where petitions could be signed. Email to an address purportedly associated with the campaign was not returned Sunday afternoon.

    West, who is married to reality television star Kim Kardashian West, initially announced his candidacy on July 4.

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    Here is a Video of Kanye West Ranting about Harriet Tubman. But wait if Kanye West was there to promote an album Donda why would he put himself in a position where he and his label are the targets of a Boycott?


  18. #118
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    This is not the first time Kanye West used slavery in a rant. Go back to this clip.

  19. #119
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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...arriet-tubman/

    Here is more on the Kanye West Fallout

    When Toni Fulton and her sister jumped in the car Sunday for a roughly two-hour road trip through South Carolina to attend Kanye West’s first campaign event since the rapper declared he was running for president earlier this month, neither could predict what would await them at the venue in North Charleston.

    But the last thing the Fultons expected was to find themselves angrily marching out of the event after being there for only 20 minutes.

    The cause of their sudden exit? West declaring onstage that famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who has been called “the Moses of her people,” “never actually freed the slaves.”

    “She just had the slaves go work for other white people,” West said. Loud groans and unintelligible murmuring immediately erupted from the large crowd of several hundred people who had gathered at the Exquis Event Center. “Come on, man,” a voice shouted out.

    Meanwhile, the Fulton sisters, who are black, decided they had seen enough. In a now-viral video capturing West’s comment, Toni Fulton made her exasperation with the Grammy Award-winning artist clear in a single statement. “Yo, we leavin’ right now,” she could be heard saying in the background of the short clip as it abruptly cut off.

    “We’re young, black women and there weren’t a lot of us in the room,” Fulton, 30, told The Washington Post. “We know better than to be in a space that we’re not uplifted in. While he was saying a lot of crazy things that didn’t directly offend us, that was offensive and it wasn’t appropriate for us to be there anymore.”

    West, who is trying to get on the ballot in South Carolina, spoke for about an hour during Sunday’s freewheeling campaign rally, bouncing between a variety of subjects ranging from abortion and religion to international trade. But his claim about Tubman swiftly became the most-talked-about moment from the event. Video clips circulated widely online, prompting critics and historians to share facts about Tubman’s storied legacy and urge West, who faced intense backlash in 2018 for saying 400 years of African American enslavement sounded “like a choice,” to educate himself.
    By early Monday, “Kanye” and Tubman’s name were still top trending terms on Twitter as social media exploded with reactions to his remarks, which one prominent Tubman scholar decried as “completely irrational” in an interview with The Washington Post.

    “There’s something about that little, petite, black woman, who did so much, that seems to bother him,” said Kate Clifford Larson, author of the 2003 biography “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.” Larson noted that West has referenced the abolitionist critically in past years.

    “She put up with a lot of abuse her whole life,” Larson said of Tubman. “She’s getting the attention and accolades that she deserves. Why tear her down now? It’s just ridiculous.”

    Representatives for West did not respond to requests for comment late Sunday.

    The renewed backlash over West’s interpretation of history comes as he is attempting to collect the 10,000 signatures needed by noon Monday to appear on the South Carolina ballot, the Associated Press reported. West, 43, announced July 4 on Twitter that he was mounting a long-shot bid for the presidency, even though the deadline to get his name on ballots in several states had already passed. Still, West recently managed to qualify for the general election ballot in Oklahoma — and political experts have warned that it would be a mistake to ignore the hitmaker, citing the influence third-party candidates have had on past elections, The Post’s Helena Andrews-Dyer reported.
    “People want to dismiss the irrational,” pollster Terrance Woodbury told Andrews-Dyer. “It sounded irrational five years [ago] that Donald Trump would be president. It’s only crazy until someone pulls it off.”

    For Fulton, West’s fledgling presidential run bears marked similarities to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, and the Columbia, S.C., native told The Post on Sunday that she and her sister, both Democrats, felt the North Charleston rally “just seemed like a moment that we shouldn’t miss.”

    “She sent a text that said, ‘Hey, do you want to see the circus?’” Fulton said.

    It didn’t take Fulton long to determine that West’s rally wouldn’t be like any other standard campaign event. First, she said she noticed that the crowd was mostly young people and “sneakerheads,” sporting their distinctive pricey footwear, while other attendees arrived wearing concert T-shirts.


    Perhaps, she thought, West would perform a few of his songs during his first official introduction as a presidential candidate. She anticipated that the event, albeit not a typical rally, would “introduce the world to the professional, presidential side of Kanye West.”

    Instead, the rapper strode onstage a few minutes after 5 p.m. wearing a protective vest that had “SECURITY” emblazoned across the front. “2020” was shaved into his head.

    “In this Black Lives Matter spirit, to have a militarized outfit was, I don’t know, read the room,” said Fulton, noting the protests over racism and police brutality that have consumed the nation for weeks. “It was weird.”

    And things only proceeded to get weirder, according to live-streamed footage of the event.

    Speaking without a microphone, West brought members of the crowd onstage, appearing to use their thoughts on current events to drive the conversation. He addressed his past support of Trump and his days of wearing a Make America Great Again hat, acknowledging that it was a “very, very hurtful moment” for fans. West went on to argue that “Democrats ain’t did s--- for blacks” and disputed criticism that his candidacy would split black votes, calling the idea “the most racist thing that’s ever been said out loud.”

    Then, he appeared to abruptly shift gears to Tubman. Ignoring the crowd’s audible reaction to his comments about Tubman’s efforts to free enslaved people, West segued into criticizing economic equality.

    “National Basketball Association is not owned by any blacks. Universal Music is not owned by any blacks,” he said. “Any celebrity that you see talking is not the real power because the real power … you don’t see them.”

    But at that point, Fulton and her sister were already headed for the door.

    “We just left,” she said. “We didn’t want to be there any longer because it’s a joke. That’s what it felt like.”

    She described West’s comments as an attempt to “totally take away everything that Harriet Tubman did” for African Americans, adding, “I don’t even think I’ve heard white people say that.”

    On social media, the brief remark was met with similar criticism led by prominent black voices and historians.

    “You, Mr. West are a jerk and not worthy of uttering Tubman’s name,” Larson, the Tubman scholar, tweeted. “You have not freed anyone.”

    Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump wrote in a tweet addressed to West that “a Black history textbook is in the mail.”

    “Read it, then learn to respect Harriet Tubman’s legacy,” Crump added.

    In a statement to The Post, Erica Armstrong Dunbar, a Rutgers University professor who specializes in African American women’s history, echoed calls for West to become better educated.

    “Kanye West is in desperate need of a crash course in American History. His comments were erroneous and serve as a pathetic attempt to stimulate public attention,” Dunbar said, calling Tubman a “hero.”

    Regarded as “the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s ‘conductors,’” Tubman made more than a dozen trips to the South over the course of a decade, escorting hundreds of enslaved people to freedom, according to PBS. During the Civil War, Tubman worked as a nurse and a scout for the Union, and became the first woman to lead an armed and successful military attack at the time, Dunbar told The Post. Later in her life, Tubman was also an advocate for women’s suffrage.
    There is now an ongoing effort to get Tubman on the $20 bill, in place of former president Andrew Jackson, who was an enslaver.

    “Tubman was one of the most important social justice activists in our nation’s history and West’s words will never erase this fact,” Dunbar said. “He’s a distraction and I suggest we move along and pay him no mind.”

    But though Brenda E. Stevenson, a professor of history and African American studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, agreed that West’s comments were “woefully uninformed,” she stressed that his influence should not be entirely discounted.

    “He’s a celebrity and he has a great following of young people in particular,” Stevenson told The Post. “Some may be as uninformed as he is and believe that what he says is true, so that’s what’s disturbing to me.


    “This country has a real problem with knowing African American history,” she continued. “So when you have someone who has a great following say something that really is not based in fact, then it really distorts the history even more.”

    Instead, she urged people to do their own research.

    “Question what you read on social media. Question it deeply,” she said, “All the information is available to us, literally at our fingertips. All you have to do is Google Harriet Tubman, you will see.”

  20. #120
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    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/roger-s...mo-kelly-show/

    Roger Stone under fire for a rant

    Washington — Republican operative Roger Stone, who was relieved of a 40-month prison sentence by longtime ally President Trump this month, is coming under fire for using a racial slur during a radio interview Saturday, though he denies doing so.


    Stone appeared on the Mr. Mo'Kelly Show, broadcast on KFI-AM in Los Angeles, on Saturday evening, during which he and radio host Morris O'Kelly discussed Mr. Trump's decision to commute his prison sentence days before he was set to report to federal prison in Georgia.

    During the phone interview, O'Kelly, who is Black, told Stone, "There are thousands of people treated unfairly daily. How your number just happened to come up in the lottery, I'm guessing it was more than just luck, Roger, right?" A man who sounds like Stone is then heard saying, "I don't really feel like arguing with this Negro," though the audio is muffled.

    After attempting to reconnect with Stone and nearly a minute of silence from the GOP operative, he then reappears, saying, "You there? Hello?"

    O'Kelly confronted Stone about the remark, though he denied making such a comment.

    "I did not," Stone responded. "You're out of your mind."

    In a statement to the Associated Press, Stone again denied using the slur, saying "Mr. O'Kelly needs a good peroxide cleaning of the wax in his ears because at no time did I call him a negro."

    "That said, Mr. O'Kelly needs to spend a little more time studying black history and institutions," he continued. "The word negro is far from a slur."

    Stone was convicted in November of seven charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering in a case that stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

    Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison in February, but day before he was set to surrender, Mr. Trump wiped clean the entirety of his sentence and his two years of supervised release, but declined to issue a full pardon.

  21. #121
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    https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/20/busin...ock/index.html

    New York (CNN Business)Kanye West's threat to walk away from his fashion company's fledgling partnership with the Gap has sent shares sharply lower.
    Gap's stock fell nearly 6% Monday following West's comments he made at a public event Sunday. Videos taken at the event show the rapper criticizing Gap and Adidas, another apparel company his Yeezy brand partnered with.
    West noted he was not on either company's board. "That has to change today or I walk away," he said.
    Adidas declined to comment and Gap didn't immediately respond to CNN Business' request for comment.

    Gap, which has been struggling lately, announced a 10-year partnership with Yeezy last month for a new line of clothes that are "modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points" due out next year. It's unclear if he's even allowed to walk away from the deal.
    The initial announcement sent Gap's shares soaring nearly 19% on June 26. The stock has lost half of those gains since then.

    The Yeezy deal could give Gap a much-needed financial and creative boost. Gap (GPS) has been struggling: Sales plunged 43% in the quarter that ended May 2, but online sales for May were double what they were a year ago.
    Gap also didn't pay rent in April because of the temporary closures. It said cash-saving measures taken during the quarter left it with $1 billion in cash on hand as of May 2, a bit more than it had a year ago.

    West has had great success in the fashion space. He became the first non-athlete to launch a full collaboration with Nike (NKE) for the original Air Yeezy sneakers in 2009, and the brand's sneakers often go for several hundred dollars. His major partnership with Adidas (ADDDF) that began in 2013 earned him raves.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...vorce-him.html

    The Updates get crazy

    Kanye's plea for help: Star claims wife Kim 'tried to lock me up with a doctor' as the star launches into a distressing Twitter rant hours after it was claimed his reality star wife will 'divorce' him if he doesn't seek drop his 'presidential bid'

    A source said Kim Kardashian is 'furious' about Kanye West's revelation that the couple considered aborting their eldest daughter
    West made the statement public during his first presidential campaign rally
    West said at one point in the speech Kardashian 'had the pills in her hand'
    The source said West later told Kardashian he needed 'something big' to get attention for his campaign



    Kim Kardashian West is said to be so furious with husband Kanye West's public revelation that they almost aborted their seven-year-old daughter, that she wants him to drop out of the presidential race or she may divorce him.

    West, 43, made the private revelation about the couple's first child, North, during his debut, presidential campaign political rally in Charleston, South Carolina, Sunday.

    'Kim wants Kanye to drop out of this race now and she told him if he does not she may drop him!' a Kardashian source told The Sun.

    The source said that Kardashian 'lost her s**t' when West stood on stage and tearfully screamed about the abortion discussion the couple had had prior to deciding to keep their daughter.

    According to the source, West later told Kardashian and her mother, Kris, that 'the only reason he said that was because he knew that he needed something big to get the attention on his campaign.'

    West also allegedly told Kardashian that 'she should know the game by now.'

    The source said that West said that it was still 'so embarrassing to her' in light of the fact that she has 'built up the image of being so devoted to her children.'

    Kardashian, according to the source, has now 'had it' with West and 'does not believe that he is well enough to be running for president.'

    West has been open about his struggle with bipolar disorder and, in 2016, he spent time in hospital after a 'psychiatric emergency' that forced him to cancel 21 concert dates.

    West 'is an embarrassment to himself and to her family and Kim does not want this charade to go on any longer,' the source told The Sun.

    Among the surprising statements West made during the rally Sunday, was that after Kardashian called him 'crying' that she was pregnant, 'We talked about her not having this child. She had the pills in her hand! I almost killed my daughter!'

    He also noted that while he was considering what to do about the pregnancy, he received what he interpreted as a sign from God while he was working on his laptop in Paris.

    'My screen went black and white. And God said, if you f**k with my vision I f**k with yours,' West yelled during the rally. 'And I called my girlfriend and said we're going to have this child.'

    Later in the unscripted speech, West said: 'Even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into this world, when I did not want to.'

    Beyond the shocking abortion revelations, the Kardashian sisters are also 'horrified' that West did not engage in any coronavirus social distancing measures during the rally, according to the Kardashian source.

    To see 'Kanye interacting indoors with people without a mask on and that alone was enough to make her freak the f**k out,' the source said about Kardashian.

    Kardashian matriarch, Kris, has apparently told Kanye that he needs to self-quarantine for two weeks before he can see his wife or his children, the source said.

    OOOF things I never thought I would even say though. I feel bad for the Kardashian's having to babysit Kanye West during his run for the presidency.

  22. #122
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    This is only getting crazy from here though.

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    Damn from Kanye West going after George W. Bush over Hurricane Katrina to this. I remember this went down back then over his fallout.

  24. #124
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    https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/07...litical-rally/

    CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Chicago native, rapper, and now presidential candidate Kanye West has enough signatures to make it onto the Illinois ballot.

    On Monday night, the Illinois Board of Elections confirmed with CBS 2 that West filed 412 petition sheets around 5 p.m.
    West needed 2,500 Illinois registered voters’ signatures. In a typical year, 25,000 signatures are needed, but because of the pandemic, independent and new-party candidates need fewer signatures this year.

    So if all the signatures are valid, you will see Kanye West as an independent candidate on the ballot come November.

    Meanwhile, there were new questions Monday about West’s readiness for a presidential run.

    He tweeted a flurry of bizarre statements Monday night, including something about what could be a possible intervention staged by his family.

    West even mentioned Bill Cosby in one of his tweets.

    On Sunday, West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, ranted against historical figure Harriet Tubman, saying the Underground Railroad conductor “never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,” comments that drew shouts of opposition from some in the crowd.

    West delivered a lengthy monologue, touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals, before a crowd in North Charleston, South Carolina. Whether he is actually seeking the nation’s highest office remains a question.

    Tubman is one of the most respected figures of 19th century America. An African American who escaped slavery, she helped enslaved Black men and women travel north to freedom and fought for the Union during the Civil War. She later became a supporter of women’s suffrage.

    On abortion, West said that while he believes it should be legal, financial incentives to help struggling mothers could be a way to discourage the practice.

    “Everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars,” he said as an example.
    Wearing a protective vest and with “2020” shaved into his head, the entertainer appeared on a livestream of the event. Several hundred people gathered in a venue, where gospel music played before West’s appearance.

    The event was reportedly for registered guests only, although a campaign website had no registration or RSVP information.

    Speaking without a microphone, West became tearful at one point while talking about his mother, who died following plastic surgery complications in 2007.

    West missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and it was unclear if he was willing or able to collect enough signatures required to qualify in others. Last week, he qualified to appear on Oklahoma’s presidential ballot, the first state where he met the requirements before the filing deadline.

    West needed to collect 10,000 signatures by noon Monday to appear on the South Carolina ballot, according to state law. The entertainer tweeted out a list of locations around the Charleston area where petitions could be signed. Email to an address purportedly associated with the campaign was not returned Sunday afternoon.

    West, who is married to reality television star Kim Kardashian West, initially announced his candidacy on July 4.

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    https://www.npr.org/2020/07/21/89349...bribery-scheme

    FBI agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on Tuesday morning at his rural farm. Householder was taken into custody in connection with a $60 million bribery scheme allegedly involving state officials and associates.

    Four others were also arrested: former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes.

    The charges are linked to a controversial law passed last year that bailed out two nuclear power plants in the state while gutting subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    The federal complaint describes a years-long bribery campaign to build support for Householder's bid to become House speaker and then pass the nuclear bailout law with his help. Householder won the speakership in January 2019, and the bailout passed in July 2019. It went into effect in October.

    Householder, a Republican, represents a district east of Columbus. He first began serving in the Ohio House in 1997 and was speaker from 2001 to 2004, when he stepped down because of term limits. He then worked as Perry County auditor before returning to the House in 2017.

    Householder, Longstreth, Clark, Borges and Cespedes were each charged with "conspiracy to participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of an enterprise's affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity." The charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

    The criminal complaint also charges Generation Now, which it describes as "a 501(c)(4) entity secretly controlled by Householder."

    Federal prosecutors say that between March 2017 and March 2020, entities related to an unnamed company ? but that would appear to be nuclear power company FirstEnergy Solutions ? paid approximately $60 million to Householder's Generation Now.

    "Make no mistake, this is Larry Householder's 501 (c)(4)," U.S. Attorney David DeVillers told reporters on Tuesday. The money from the scheme was spent to the detriment of other political candidates and the people of Ohio, DeVillers said.

    Members of Householder's enterprise used those payments for their own personal benefit and to gain support for Householder's bid to become speaker, prosecutors say.

    "In the Spring and Fall of 2018, the Enterprise spent millions in Company A money to support House candidates involved in primary and general elections whom the Enterprise believed both would vote for Householder as Speaker and, ultimately, would follow his lead as Speaker and vote for bailout legislation for Company A," the complaint states.

    In exchange for payments, prosecutors say, Householder and his associates helped pass House Bill 6, then worked to ensure it went into effect by defeating a ballot initiative.

    The plan worked. The complaint says Householder-backed candidates that benefited from money from Generation Now helped to elect Householder as the Speaker. House Bill 6 was introduced three months into his term ? legislation worth $1.3 billion to Company A.

    Regular payments to Householder's secret company from Company A began in March 2017, a couple months after he took a trip on Company A's private jet, according to the federal complaint. But the payments got much bigger after the legislation was introduced: In May 2019, while the bill was pending before lawmakers, Company A allegedly wired $8 million to Generation Now.

    Householder and his associates used some of the money on mailers and advertising to support the legislation, and some of it for their own benefit, prosecutors say.

    The bill was passed by a vote of 51-38. After the bill was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine, a campaign began to organize a ballot initiative to overturn the law. Company A-controlled accounts responded by wiring $38 million to Householder's company between July and October 2019.

    In total, Company A allegedly paid the Householder enterprise $60 million over a three-year period, in exchange for the billion-dollar-bailout.

    Prosecutors say the payments were "akin to bags of cash ? unlike campaign or PAC contributions, they were not regulated, not reported, not subject to public scrutiny?and the Enterprise freely spent the bribe payments to further the Enterprise's political interests and to enrich themselves."

    Prosecutors say that while there are no charges yet against Company A, the investigation is ongoing.

    FirstEnergy Solutions, the nuclear power plant company, was renamed Energy Harbor after it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The Akron-based company employs about 2,600 people, according to financial disclosures from February.

    "We are reviewing the complaint and will cooperate fully with the government's investigation," Energy Harbor said in a statement to NPR.

    At a Tuesday court hearing, the defendants were ordered to surrender any firearms and to remain within the Southern District of Ohio. They are barred from communicating with anyone who may become a witness in the trial, including the other men charged Tuesday. Those with passports were ordered to surrender them. Preliminary hearings are set for early August.

    Householder has faced scrutiny before. In 2004, there were reports of his engaging in alleged corrupt activity, though he was never charged.

    Gov. Mike DeWine called for Householder's resignation after the charges were announced on Tuesday afternoon.

    "I am deeply concerned about the allegations of wrongdoing issued today by the U.S. Attorney's Office," DeWine tweeted. "Because of the nature of these charges, it will be impossible for Speaker Householder to effectively lead the Ohio House of Representatives; therefore, I am calling on Speaker Householder to resign immediately. This is a sad day for Ohio."

    Last year's nuclear bailout law tacked on a charge to residents' power bills, sending $150 million a year to the nuclear power plants. They are owned by the company Energy Harbor, which was previously known as FirstEnergy Solutions.

    The law also included a subsidy for two coal plants.

    NPR member station WOSU reported that FirstEnergy contributed more than $150,000 to Ohio House Republicans in the run-up to the 2018 election ? including over $25,000 in donations to Householder's campaign.

    "According to the state lobbyist database, Energy Harbor is the only client listed for Cespedes," WOSU reported. "Borges also worked as a lobbyist for FirstEnergy Solutions, while Longstreth is connected to Generation Now, which campaigned against the bailout referendum."

    The American Wind Energy Association called for an inquiry into the circumstances of House Bill 6's passage.

    "It now appears that the passage of this bill was not just against the will of the people, but also may have involved serious and possibly criminal impropriety," said Andrew Gohn, the association's Eastern State Affairs Director, in a statement. "We call for a full examination of the circumstances surrounding this attack on clean energy and for Gov. DeWine and the legislature to pause implementation of HB 6 and ultimately repeal this harmful and regressive legislation."


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