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‘Asinine and absurd’: Trump Wants to Conduct the First U.S. Nuclear Test Explosion Since 1992

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nuclear blast, mushroom cloud

Despite a “decades-long moratorium” on blowing up nuclear weapons in the U.S., the administration of President Donald Trump has considered detonating one just to show Russia and China that we can, according to The Washington Post, something that could help raise nuclear tensions around the world.

The proposal apparently came up during a May 15 meeting of senior officials representing the top national security agencies. “Administration officials [said] that Russia and China are conducting low-yield nuclear tests — an assertion that has not been substantiated by publicly available evidence,” the Post writes.

The reasoning behind the proposal? The Trump administration wanted to use the show of might to put the U.S. in a better negotiating posiyion to regulate China and Russia’s nuclear arsenals. Trump’s top officials believe China is building up its nuclear arsenal and that Russia has conducted forbidden tests of intermediate-range missiles — both countries deny these claims.

While one anonymous official said the proposal is “very much an ongoing conversation,” another person said, “A decision was ultimately made to take other measures in response to threats posed by Russia and China and avoid a resumption of testing.”

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said that the U.S. detonating a nuclear weapon would basically signal to other countries that it’s okay to do the same thing. While over 184 nations have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the U.S. never has: Obama said he wanted to but never did, and the Trump administration doesn’t.

Right now the U.S. uses computer simulations to conduct hypothetical nuclear tests.

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'DANGEROUS FOOLS'

Republicans Think Bill Gates Is Using COVID-19 to Implant Tracking Devices Into People

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Bill Gates COVID-19

A new poll from Yahoo News and YouGov show that 44 percent of Trump-supporting Republicans think Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is using the coronavirus epidemic as a way to secretly implant microchips into billions of people so he can track their movements.

Additionally, 50 percent of Americans who primarily watch Fox News believe the conspiracy theory even though neither Fox nor Trump have ever repeated it.

The poll results are troubling because they suggest that even if a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, conservatives may reject it as a form of social control. In fact, the poll found that 56 percent of Trump voters say they’re either unsure about or likely to reject a COVID-19 vaccine, something that could cause the epidemic to continue killing people even after a preventative measure has been found.

This far-right conspiracy theory against Bill Gates has been pushed Rick Wiles on his TruNews platform and the pseudoscientific Natural News “alternative health” blog. It has also circulated on conservative social media groups as part of the right-wing’s growing hysteria against vaccinations and other government public health regulations.

While The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated millions towards COVID-19 research, Snopes points out the rumor started because in December 2019 the organization financed a pilot study to explore the possibility of an entirely hypothetical vaccine that would “impart an invisible mark” or a small infrared “quantum dot” tattoo allowing medical workers to use a smartphone or black light to determine who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t.

The rumor has also been propelled by Gates’s interest in “digital identity” technology which would give each person “a cloud-based storage of medical and/or personal-identification documents accessible only with the consent of the owner but available anywhere in the world.”

Gates has also publicly praised South Korea for its stringent contact tracing methods, using Bluetooth phone technology and public surveillance camera footage to help slow the spread of COVID-19. But neither Gates nor his foundation have ever discussed inserting microchips into people to track them.

Regardless, medical misinformation now seems to be a defining characteristic among a majority of Republicans. The poll also found 53 percent of Fox News viewers, 49 percent of Trump voters, and 44 percent of all Republicans think the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment against COVID-19 even though multiple studies have shown that to be untrue — in fact, it can even trigger fatal heart arrhythmia in patients.

Additionally, 65 percent of Fox News viewers, 58 percent of Trump voters, and 57 percent of Republicans believe “Chinese scientists engineered coronavirus in a lab, from which it accidentally escaped,” a conspiracy theory that has been denied by federal intelligence agencies.

Roughly 73 percent of Fox News viewers, 68 percent of Trump voters, and 63 percent of Republicans, say they’re more worried about COVID-19’s effect on the economy than its effect on people’s health. The same percentages also think the economy should reopen “as soon as possible to prevent further economic damage.”

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'DANGEROUS FOOLS'

Republican Hacks Paid 26-Year-Old Woman to Accuse Dr. Fauci of Sexual Assault

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Jacob Wohl,

A 26-year-old woman named Diana Andrade says that right-wing fraudsters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman paid her to accuse Dr. Anthony Fauci of sexual assault.

Dr. Fauci, of course, is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a notable member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force who actually contradicts the president’s numerous lies about COVID-19.

Around April 27, Andrade (using the name Diana Rodriguez) initially claimed that in 2014, when she was 20 years old, she met Fauci at the bar of the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“He looked rich and powerful, and I love smart men with grey hair,” she wrote. “He told me all about his fantastic career in medicine, so I went upstairs [to his room].”

After some sort of alleged “ineffective hotel bed wrestling” occurred, she claimed she managed “to flee with her honor intact,” adding, “Now, when I see him on TV touted as some kind of hero, I want the nation to know the truth. This is my truth. This is my story.”

Wohl and Burkman’s media wrangling to broadcast Rodriguez’s claims  reeked of amateur hour, according to Reason writer Nancy Rommelmann:

The rollout of their latest smear job was a fiasco, a series of “media alerts” announcing press conferences with no start times, never mind that neither the public relations contact nor the company she worked for appeared to exist, and a “statement” from Rodriguez so breathless it seemed intended to steam up the windows […]

It was all in a league of its own weirdness, a collision of Harlequin romance and #MeToo. Nevertheless, several journalists called into a conference call to hear Rodriguez’s story. We were treated, instead, to Wohl and Burkman on the line, stating they’d on the fly been invited to represent Rodriguez, who haltingly told a story that varied significantly from the media alert and, when questioned for clarification, was talked over by Wohl.

However, 10 days after telling her story, she came clean and admitted the entire thing was made up after Wohl and Burkman paid her to fake a story.

“The reality is that I’ve known Jacob since 2018 and that he charmed me into taking money to do this (see attached picture of us together),” she wrote one journalist, sending a picture of her sitting on Wohl’s lap.

But even after Andrade blew the whistle on the fraudsters, the men just dug up a new fake victim named Karen Draper.

When Andrade asked Burkman why he was bothering to target Dr. Fauci anyway, Burkam reportedly answered, “Let me tell you something, Diana. This guy shut the country down. He put 40 million people out of work. In a situation like that, you have to make up whatever you have to make up to stop that train and that’s the way life works, OK? That’s the way it goes.”

This is Wohl and Burkman’s schtick: Find a progressive pubic figure who is potentially damaging to U.S. President Donald Trump and then hire some rando to accuse them of sexual assault.

It always blows up in Wohl’s and Burkman’s faces, but they keep doing it. They tried it with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, they tried it with former Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren. They’ve also failed at making other fraudulent claims against Joe Biden, Ilhan Omar, and Kamala Harris.

Not only are the fraudsters repeatedly mocked for their ineptitude, Wohl was especially derided after Twitter permanently banned him in February 2019. He’s a laughingstock and any case with his fingerprints on it is ripe for implosion.

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'DANGEROUS FOOLS'

‘Heil, Pritzker’: Right-Wing Anti-Quarantine Protestors in Illinois Carry Nazi Signs Against the Jewish Governor

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neo-Nazi Illinois, Jackie Fletcher

Amongst the hundreds of Friday afternoon protestors opposing the extension of Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order were two with anti-Semitic ones: one sign read, “Heil, Pritzker” with a large swastika next to it, and another read, “Arbeit Macht Frei,” the German phrase for “Work Makes You Free,” which appeared over the entrance to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps.

These signs were all the more ominous seeing as Pritzker is Jewish.

Considering the far-right’s interest in white supremacy and nationalism — and President Donald Trump’s tacit approval of both — it’s not really surprising to see far-right protestors embracing Nazi slogans and symbols. Nor is it surprising to hear that yesterday’s protestors outside of the state’s capitol building in Springfield largely disregarded facial masks and social distancing guidelines meant to slow the spread of coronavirus.

That’s all the more troubling when you realize that Illinois is the fourth U.S. state with the highest number of coronavirus cases (56,055) and deaths (2,457). The state had its highest number of new cases (3,137) on Friday, the same day the protest occurred.

Jackie Fletcher, the woman holding the swastika sign, told her local NBC news affiliate that she had “Re-Open Illinois” written on the other side of her sign because “some people get touchy about swastikas.”

“I’m here to protest the loss of our rights,” she continued. “We’re protesting for our First Amendment and other things. Our speech isn’t really being prohibited, but our freedom is. We’re unable to leave the house and have to wear a mask.”

Yes, you know those Nazis and their love of facial masks and making people stay at home for public health reasons: apples to apples.

The Nazi signs are just the latest escalation in right-wing anti-quarantine protests. On Thursday, armed Michigan right-wing extremists carrying firearms took over the Michigan Statehouse in an armed occupation that largely lacked face masks and social distancing as well.

There are many reasons to want to re-open state businesses despite the pandemic.  Democratic and Republican governors alike have begun gradual re-openings of their states to stop the epidemic’s ongoing economic devastation. But the protestors are overwhelmingly white, and the Nazi symbols and firearms carry violent overtones meant to warn any “outsiders” who oppose their desire to “go back to normal” as quickly as possible, even if it kills us.

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