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North Korea fires two missiles in fourth test in month

For the fourth time in the last month, North Korea has reportedly conducted a missile test, firing two suspected short-range ballistic missiles from the airport in Pyongyang on Monday, the Guardian reports.

South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff reported the missile launch, saying the missiles flew east.  Japanese maritime officials warned vessels sailing around the Korean peninsula to watch for objects falling from the sky.

Two days previously, the North Korea military reportedly fired a similar missile from a railroad car, apparently as a demonstration of the nation’s ingenuity in concealing their armaments.

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One of last surviving Tuskegee Airmen dies at age of 102

One of the last surviving members of the all-Black World War II Army Air Corps unit known as the Tuskegee Airmen, retired Brigadier General Charles McGee passed away Sunday at his home in Bethesda, Maryland at the age of 102, Reuters reports.

McGee stayed in the Air Force after World War II, flying a total of 409 combat missions in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.  He retired in 1973 after a 31-year military career.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross three times and the Bronze Star.

“Today, we lost an America hero,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Twitter. “While I am saddened by his loss, I’m also incredibly grateful for his sacrifice, his legacy and his character. Rest in Peace, General.”

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Oath Keepers planned actions at Capitol for weeks in advance

Even before Joe Biden was declared the winner of the November 2020 election, the Oath Keepers planned some sort of violent act to try to prevent Donald Trump from leaving office in January 2021, and they took advantage of the January 6th protest to undertake their plan, the Associated Press reports in an in-depth report.

The Oath Keepers communications include text messages and social media posts through some applications that may have been encrypted, according to a review of documents by the Associated Press.  These communications and other evidence is what prompted the Department of Justice to charge 11 members of the group, including its leader Stewart Rhodes, with seditious conspiracy.

Rhodes and the Oath Keepers planned their travel to Washington, DC, as well as the staging of weapons and “Quick Response Teams” in the Virginia suburbs to get guns and bodies into the Capitol quickly. 

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Seen and heard from Trump fans at the MAGA cult ritual in Arizona

This Trump fan telling RSBN that Gavin Newsom has been executed and replaced by a clone is somehow not the most unhinged one from the Saturday Arizona rally. Some other choice quotes:

🤪 “I hope states decertify the election. I want to hear him say it’s over, we are ready to move on and hold a new election. I do think it’s possible, very possible” – Trump fan Ray Kallatsa, via Politico.

💔 “I want Trump back now. I can’t do another three years of this” – Amy Stohldrier, via The Atlanic.

😈 “It’s my persuasion that it’s clearly the apocalypse and that the vaccine is made of aborted children. So it’s literally the mark of the beast” – Khayree Billingslea, via The Daily Beast.

🚸 “He’s bringing us into a new positive world” – Unidentified homeschooled kid, who looks to be about 8 or 9 years old, telling RSBN reporter why he loves Trump, via Patriot Takes.

👽 “I saw Trump. It’s not a body double. It’s actually him” – Ron Watkins, aka “The Real Q” and a current GOP Congressional candidate, via Steve Monacelli on assignment with Rolling Stone.

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Orange Pharaoh ripping DeSantis as too boring to beat him: report

Trump has been privately calling Florida Governor DeSantis “too dull” of a personality to beat him for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, Axios reports. The two have been throwing shade at each other publicly recently without naming names. On Monday Trump said in an OAN interview that GOP leaders who refuse to say whether they’ve been given a vaccine booster (DeSantis is one of them) are “gutless”, while DeSantis said in a Thursday podcast interview he regretted not speaking out “much louder” against what little the federal government did to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. “In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,” a Trump minion told Axios, signaling it could only be a matter of time before the tension between the two becomes an all out open war.

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Suspect in synagogue hostage event named

ABC News is reporting that Malik Faisal Akram, 44, a British citizen, was killed when police stormed the Synagogue. One hostage had been released earlier in the day and the other three all survived the event.

The incident began at around 10:40am on Saturday. Many are thankful that hostage negotiators were able to negotiate with the man and keep him from killing anyone, and that it wasn’t another attack by a right-wing extremist like the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting where a heavily armed white nationalist murdered nine people.

Republican trolls on social media are already trying to capitalize on the event by reviving memes about Muslim extremism. Many are begin dragged viciously by other social media users as those GOP trolls pretend to be oblivious to rampant anti-Semitism among Trump supporters in the US.

Failed Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott has still not explained whether the suspect was taken out by Police forces or by a space laser.

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Former Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller met with January 6th committee

Miller, who was acting Secretary of Defense and the top official at the Pentagon on the day the events happened has testified before the committee. The panel previously met with Kash Patel, who was Miller’s Chief of Staff at the Pentagon at the time, reports NBC News.

The filing of seditious conspiracy charges against Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhoades by the Justice Department is seen as a dramatic acceleration in the progress of the January 6th investigation. At this point in the investigation, the January 6th investigators likely have a highly detailed timeline of what Trump sycophants did that day, and how they coordinated their activities to try to overthrow the government.  Additional testimony at this point is for the purpose of gathering additional information that can be presented to a jury.

Those lawmakers who have claimed the investigation is “illegitimate” are likely to be individuals who were deeply involved in the planning of the attack, and fully intended to be elevated to greater positions of authority as a result of overthrowing the government and declaring Trump “President for Life”.

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UK PM Boris Johnson tries to cancel BBC by having conservative MPs freeze licensing fees

Nadine Dorries, a crony of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is attacking the BBC in a move that has shocked the world with it’s brazen “Trumpishness”. The plan is to eliminate the BBC License Fee that is paid by British taxpayers to support public broadcasting. The move mirrors past efforts by far right nationalists in the US who have tried to cancel funding for National Public Radio.

The move is seen as a clear act of retribution by the Johnson administration over BBC coverage that has been critical of his far right pro-Brexit administration. Eliminating BBC News coverage could substantially improve the profitability of media outlets owned by right-wing publisher Rupert Murdoch, whose Sky News openly supports the Johnson Administration.

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An assymetric understanding of time: the GOP long game versus Twitter-speed retail politics

This essay is a rough sketch of a topic that will be discussed in my upcoming book Death by Populism. One of the key differences between the Republican and Democratic parties is how the two groups regard issues of expectations of political achievement and time. The years of the Trump administration represented the fulfillment of a four decades long plot by the Republican Party to secure control of the United States government. That plot began in the early 1980s when a variety of conservative organizations started organizing to support conservative candidates. Those organizations would eventually turn into fundraising behemoths like the Heritage Foundation and the State Policy Network.

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Restock alert Twitter accounts for hard-to-find gaming consoles now also sharing info on at-home Coronavirus test kit restocks

Since they debuted in November of 2020, the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 game consoles have been extremely hard to find for gamers at retail price for a combination of factors – high demand for video games to fill time once occupied by social interaction, low production caused by supply chain crunches, and greedy scalpers deploying bots to suck up inventory to resell at a markup. These same problems also apply to the high end graphics cards PC gamers need to upgrade their rigs to play games at the highest possible visual quality. To fight back and help gamers upgrade, some enterprising Twitter users take their time to pass along insider info to others telling them the exact time the consoles and graphics cards will be going on sale at online retailers.

And now they’re also sharing info on COVID at-home test kits. Kind of a sad statement on the situation, that a test for fucking Coronavirus is just as hard to find as a $500 game console at its actual retail price of $500. Good on these accounts for telling followers where to find them, but why are we at the point where its a test and not the goddamned vaccine that’s impossible to get? Why are both America and the world so disorganized that simply to find out whether or not you have this cocksucking virus is such demand? At least the Biden Administration are trying – yeah, one of the bigger accounts shared that news too about the free at-home test kit website launching on Wednesday – but other institutions, both public and private, have failed abysmally.

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Congregants being held hostage at Texas synagogue: final update

UPDATE 1/15/22 11:30pm EST: CNN reports that failed Republican Governor Greg Abbott is claiming that all four hostages are alive and free, and the suspect is dead. CNN reports that: “About 20 minutes before Abbott said the hostages were out, a CNN team on the ground heard a loud bang, and a short blast of rapid gunfire from the direction of the synagogue.” Abbott’s tweet claiming all were out “alive and free” appeared at 10:33pm.

Given that no rational person trusts Abbott, we’ll all be waiting for news coverage proving the hostages really are alive and free, and that they weren’t killed by friendly fire during the police action, which is more in line with what you would expect from Texas.

UPDATE 1/15/22 7:46pm EST: CNN just reported that one of the hostages from inside the synagogue has been released. Also, the LAPD has increased surveillance of Synagogues in the Los Angeles area, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced that the NYPD is doing the same.

UPDATE 1/15/22 7:26pm EST: This 2009 story published by The Guardian offers background on the Siddiqui story. The story is so bizarre, and there are so many conflicting accounts that one can’t help but wonder if Siddiqui suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition that is often characterized by manipulative behaviors and facility with lying.

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Defeated Former Guy’s Arizona temper tantrum likely to be a catastrophic ratings flop

The defeated former guy is holding one of his narcissism rallies in Arizona on the evening of Saturday, January 15th, and the catastrophic ratings failure is likely to end up as another nail in the coffin of his political aspirations. Right now it looks like the only network that has any broadcast capacity that will be airing the event is Newsmax. A search of the foxnews.com webpage on the afternoon of January 15th found no headlines related to the defeated former guy’s campaign event, suggesting that FOX will not be interrupting their usual weekend propaganda to broadcast the Arizona shitshow. With only creepy, fringy right-wing Youtube channels like OANN and Right Side Broadcasting carrying the event, ratings will basically just be a measure of Russian botnet activity. 

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Is Russian pressure on Ukraine a business decision?

Russia’s economy is largely based on exports of oil and natural gas. A recent report referenced in The Moscow Times suggested that Russia could see up to $2 Trillion in oil and gas assets “stranded” as a result of a worldwide push towards renewable energy. The Ukraine is said to be interested in becoming a leader in the production of Green Hydrogen, and is seeking international funding to help develop the infrastructure needed to make that happen. Could Russia’s interest in Ukraine be motivated by a desire to preserve the value of their own hydrocarbon assets by destroying a potential green energy competitor?

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Tsunami advisory closes Southern California beaches

The ongoing eruption of the undersea Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano north of Tonga in the Southwestern Pacific ocean has prompted authorities to close beaches in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, Fox 11 Los Angeles reports. The height of wave activity from the initial eruption was expected to pass at 7:45 AM Pacific on Saturday, per the National Weather Surface, however dangerous and unpredictable current activity could still persist after the first hit.

Unlike a megathrust earthquake such as the 2011 Tohoku quake in Japan, or the 2004 quake off of Banda Aceh in Indonesia – both of which caused apocalyptic tsunamis that killed tens and hundreds of thousands of people respectively – the Hunga Tonga eruption is not a one-and-done situation. That fucker is still raging and will stop on its own time. West Coast residents living near the shore should keep an eye on the situation, as even if the first wave to hit was relatively mild that doesn’t mean the next one will be. They’ll have plenty of head start, might as well use it.

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Taliban continues to demonstrate gross incompetence in Afghanistan

The famine in Afghanistan continues to get worse as the Taliban government flounders in their relations with foreign nations. Government workers in Afghanistan have gone months without having their salaries paid, and a run on Afghan banks has left many unable to feed their families. The United Nations is asking countries to provide up to $5 Billion in aid to help feed the Afghan people.

The United States has donated $782 Million in aid to Afghanistan since October of 2021. That aid has been strictly limited to basic shelter, food items and medical supplies, and is channeled through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

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FEC tosses MAGA “think tank” complaint against Omar

This week the Federal Elections Commission unanimously voted to dismiss a complaint from a right wing “think tank” alleging that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar had used campaign funds to pay for an affair she had with a Dem consultant she eventually married, the Daily Beat reports. “If Ilhan for Congress reimbursed Mynett’s LLC for travel so that Rep. Omar would have the benefit of Mynett’s romantic companionship, the expenses must be considered personal in nature,” said the National Legal and Policy Center’s bitchy 2019 complaint, one which was surely greeted with “LOL OMAR IS SO SCREWED” from the MAGA trolls when it was first filed. Like her fellow “Squad” member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Black Muslim liberal congresswoman’s private life has been an obsession of sexually frustrated right wingers since she was first elected. The MAGA scumbags continue to claim falsely that Omar married her brother to secure a green card, despite Omar becoming a naturalized US citizen in 2000, two years prior to her first marriage in 2002.

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MAGA dumbasses reportedly called Nancy Pelosi’s office to ask if they had found items left behind on January 6th

In an interview with Business Insider, House Rep Jamie Raskin, D-Md, reported that some rioters called Nancy Pelosi’s office,  “asking whether there was a lost and found because they forgot their phone there, or they left their purse or what have you.”

“The officers quickly got on the phone and said, yeah, just give us your name, your address, your social, you know, and we’ll tie up those loose ends,” Raskin said.

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WHO recommends two new treatments for COVID-19

The World Health Organization has recommended two new drugs for treating Covid19. The first drug, Baricitinib, was originally developed to treat rheumatoid arthritis and works by blocking the production of inflammatory compounds in lung tissues. The other drug, Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody cocktail. Two other drugs, ruxolitinib and tofacitinib, are currently under review, and the WHO has recommended against their use without further study. The WHO does not recommend purchasing drugs from veterinary supply stores on the recommendation of right-wing conspiracy theorists, nor do they recommend shoving a mag-light up your ass, or taking powerful laxatives so you can try to “shit your Covid out” (although the last remedy is recommended by some NationalZero contributors because although it may not be effective, it is still hilarious).

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More than 1,300 Trump voters die of COVID every day: analysis

Former New York Times health reporter Donald McNeil ran the numbers and figures that if, on average since May, 1,800 Americans have died of COVID-19 and at a small-c conservative estimate 75% of those are unvaccinated Trump voters, then he’s losing at least 1,300 voters a day. Drilling down into 2020 swing states Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Wisconsin, McNeil estimates that Trump is losing 103 voters each day between the four states that he lost by a combined 76,514 votes in 2020. McNeil speculates Trump minions told him to push for booster shots – even in spite of being booed twice by his fans in person over the extra shots and vaccines in general – knowing that his would-be 2024 voter base is shrinking at an alarmingly rapid pace.

* And yes, we’re aware of why Donald McNeil isn’t with the New York Times anymore. The story sounds way more like him being an insensitive asshole than an outright racist – and even the reporting seems to focus more on the internal staff blowback than the incident itself. But sometimes heads have to roll, especially when those heads don’t apologize sincerely the first time. Either way, the relative ignominy of the author doesn’t make this analysis any less valid.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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