Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Last Call For Maximum Godwin

What happens when Daily Caller founder and bowtie enthusiast Tucker Carlson gets together with America's favorite conspiracy theorist, Infowars radio host Alex Jones? Obama the eugenics loving Nazi, that's what!

During a bizarre appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Fox News host Tucker Carlson suggested the Obama administration is engaging in "Nazi stuff" by using ethnic politics, and wants to confiscate all the country's firearms and put people "in jail for even having them." 
Jones, America's leading conspiracy theorist, believes the government perpetrated mass catastrophes like the September 11 attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, the Boston Marathon bombing, and several mass shootings. Jones has recently been pushing the conspiracy theory that a military training exercise, Jade Helm, is an attempt to create martial law in the United States (it isn't). Jones is an ally of Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul and helped launch his political career. 
Fox News executive vice president Bill Shine has dismissed Jones, saying he "wishes he had a platform on Fox News ... That's not going to happen, so he should stick with trying to locate the black helicopters." Some of Carlson's colleagues have dismissed Jones as a "nut job radio guy" who owns a "radical far-right Web site." 
Despite Fox's disapproval of Jones, Carlson appeared on his May 19 program to commiserate about the downfall of America under President Obama. (Carlson has previously appeared on the program.)

Carlson, who is also the founder and editor in chief of The Daily Caller, claimed during the appearance that progressives use ethnic politics and identity politics to divert attention from their "policy failures." He said the strategy is "really dangerous," comparing it to countries where there is a violent ethnic divide. He said of the Obama administration: "They categorize people by race in a way that, you know, you can't even imagine -- 30 years ago you would have said, 'Wait a second, that's like Nazi stuff.'"

Of course we go from zero to genocide in under 60 seconds here, which is a painful reminder that is there is anything that unites the lunatic fringe of the left with the most odious operatives of the right, it's comparing President Obama to Hitler.

It's amazing stuff.  These guys are insane, but they're both laughing all the way to the bank.

Grifters Are Indeed Going To Grift

320 million Americans or so, and yes, some of them are horrible, horrible people.

A Tennessee man and his family used much of the $187 million it collected for cancer patients to buy themselves cars, gym memberships and take luxury cruise vacations, pay for college tuition and employ family members with six-figure salaries, federal officials alleged Tuesday in one of the largest charity fraud cases ever, involving all 50 states. 
The joint action by the Federal Trade Commission and the states says James T. Reynolds Sr., his ex-wife and son raised the money through their various charities: The Cancer Fund of America in Knoxville, Tennessee, and its affiliated Cancer Support Services; The Breast Cancer Society in Mesa, Arizona; and the Children's Cancer Fund of America in Powell, Tennessee. 
The charities hired telemarketers to collect $20 donations from people across the country, telling consumers that they provided financial aid and other support to cancer patients, including pain medication, transportation to chemotherapy visits and hospice care. 
But little money made it to cancer patients, as the groups "operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation" with none of the controls used by bona fide charities, the FTC said Tuesday. 
Anyone who donated money to these groups shouldn't expect a refund anytime soon. While litigation against Reynolds Sr. and the Cancer Fund of America is ongoing, the settlement agreements with Reynolds' son, ex-wife and a long-time associate of the family — Kyle Effler — notes that much of the money has already been spent. The agreement bans the three from fundraising and shuttered their organizations. 
"The money is mostly gone," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. Rich declined to say whether a separate criminal investigation might be underway, noting only that the regulatory agency doesn't have that authority.

$187 million bucks worth of fraud.  Why, those are almost Bank of America numbers if you add a couple of zeroes or so.

Seriously, you scammed people for cancer patients, twenty bucks at a time, and made that much off of it. Amazing stuff, frankly. And of course, the money's all but gone.  Oh well.

Perhaps we should cut the FTC's budget.  I'm sure that would solve the problem, right Republicans?

Thanks, O-Bee-Ma!

The White House has released a strategy this week to help the country's honeybee supply, which has seen sharp drops every winter for the last ten years or so. For now, the nation's beekeepers have been able to breed enough honeybees to cover losses, but that's not a sustainable practice.  It's good to see some help coming for them.

The White House strategy lays out a goal to reduce winter losses of managed honeybees to no more than 15 percent in the next 10 years. Winter losses of managed honeybees for the 2014-2015 season topped 23.1 percent, according to a survey released last week. Beekeepers say that the maximum level of losses they can experience and still remain economically viable is 18.7 percent. Part of the White House’s strategy to reduce bee losses will be ramping up research and surveying efforts on honeybees, in an attempt to determine what stressors are most dangerous to bees and what are the best ways to manage bees’ habitat. 
The strategy, which grew out of a pollinator task force created by executive order last year, doesn’t just tackle managed honeybees — bees that are kept by beekeepers to pollinate crops around the country. It also singles out monarch butterflies, another pollinator that has been facing serious declines over the last several years. 
Over the last two decades, monarch populations have declined by 90 percent, a drop that has been precipitated in part by removal of milkweed — a key food source for monarch larvae — along with changing weather patterns, and deforestation. The White House wants to increase the eastern monarch butterfly population to 225 million butterflies by 2020, a goal it aims to accomplish through public-private partnerships and actions in both the U.S. and Mexico, where the butterflies spend the winter. 
The strategy also spells out a goal to “restore or enhance” seven million acres of pollinator-friendly habitat over the next five years. That goal will help native pollinators, such as wild bees and butterflies, as well as managed honeybees. Last year, summer losses for managed honeybees exceeded winter losses for the first time, and Dennis VanEngelsdorp, assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, told ThinkProgress that poor bee nutrition due to meadows being plowed under for crops might have contributed to the summer losses.

Not only is this good for the environment and the ecosystem, but it's good business too. Pollinated crops are worth billions of dollars every year, from blueberries to okra to watermelon to sunflowers to cabbage and a whole range more. We'd be in a hell of a fix without honeybees, and it's excellent that the White House is taking this seriously.


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