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Topics - Olde Hornet

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"Jaw-dropping": Experts stunned after report reveals new tape of Trump pressuring Georgia official

AFulton County grand jury heard a previously unreported recording of former President Donald Trump pressuring a top Georgia Republican to help overturn his election loss in the state, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The special grand jury investigated Trump's efforts to overturn his election in the state after District Attorney Fani Willis launched a probe into the former president's infamous phone call pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" enough votes to reverse his loss. But five grand jurors who spoke with AJC revealed that investigators also have an audio recording of Trump pressuring then-Georgia House Speaker David Ralston to push for a special session to reverse President Joe Biden's win.

Ralston proved to be an "amazing politician" on the call, a juror told AJC.

The speaker "basically cut the president off. He said, 'I will do everything in my power that I think is appropriate.' … He just basically took the wind out of the sails," the juror said. "'Well, thank you,' you know, is all the president could say."

Survivors Testify Against Bill Requiring ‘Proof’ of Rape to Get an Abortion: 'How Dare You?   :nono2: :nono2: :nono2:

Florida state House Republicans advanced a bill to ban abortion at six weeks on Thursday, but not before survivors and advocates offered an hour of especially impassioned, heartbreaking testimony against the bill (HB7) at its first public hearing. HB7 offers only narrow exceptions for threats to the life of the pregnant person, severe fetal conditions, incest, or rape—that is, if a person can prove they’ve been raped.

An abortion seeker would have to provide a “restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation” to “verify” that they’ve been raped and get care. Survivors and advocates have long pointed out that the process of obtaining this documentation is not just difficult but traumatic in and of itself.

“The amount of paperwork a woman has to go through to show that they are raped is re-traumatizing,” Rep. Robin Bartleman (D) said during the hearing. “Two out of three victims do not ever even report their rapes.”

After Rep. Kelly Skidmore (D) unsuccessfully introduced an amendment that would have loosened the requirements to access the rape exception by allowing a sworn legal statement from the victim to suffice, one Florida resident, Taylor Aguilar, testified about her experience becoming pregnant from rape. As the Tallahassee Democrat reported, Aguilar described a sexual encounter that had initially been consensual—until her partner removed the condom without her consent.

She was 10 weeks pregnant (well past Republicans’ proposed six-week cut off) when she learned she was pregnant, but still “got the choice” to have an abortion “because in 2015 we didn’t have these restrictions.” Aguilar, who left the committee room in tears, explained that she didn’t file a police report “because she wanted to get as far away from the situation as possible.” It’s a common sentiment, and reflects police officers’ history of dismissing and mistreating victims who seek help.

GOP lawmakers cringe over Trump’s effort to destroy DeSantis

Senate Republicans are wincing over former President Trump’s early barrage of attacks against his chief rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), fearing they’re seeing a preview of a brutal primary to come that could leave both candidates weakened heading into the general election.

GOP lawmakers acknowledge DeSantis needs to show he can take a punch and aren’t shocked Trump would take hard shots at a rival as the campaign heats up.

But some are surprised the former president is unloading such a heavy barrage before DeSantis is even in the race, and they worry that getting into a yearlong mudslinging battle with Trump isn’t good look for the party heading into 2024.

“I winced in 2016 and I’m wincing now,” said Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) when asked about Trump’s hardball tactics. “That’s just because that’s not my style.

“I don’t think you’ll ever take the New York style out of Donald Trump. It’s too much to ask, he’s a fully-baked cake,” she said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who won reelection in 2022 despite casting one of seven Republican votes to convict Trump of an impeachment charge in February 2021, signaled she’s not happy about the vitriol Trump is already unleashing in the primary.

This will piss off republicans.   :nod: :nod: :nod:

Oil prices crater as inventories build, fears ripple through global markets

As fears over the banking system weigh on markets worldwide, the price of oil has come under significant pressure in recent days with WTI crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, falling below $67 on Wednesday, its lowest price since November 2021.

On Wednesday, WTI was off nearly 7% to trade as low as $66.47 a barrel. As recently as March 6, WTI traded hands north of $80. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, traded as low as $72.60 a barrel on Wednesday.

This week's collapse in oil prices comes as the latest data on oil stockpiles in the U.S. show a steady build in inventories amid what Capital Economics' chief commodities economist Caroline Bain called "subdued domestic demand" in a note to clients on Wednesday.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute out Tuesday showed inventories rose for the 10th-straight week for the week ending March 10, while the Energy Information Administration's weekly petroleum report out Wednesday showed a build in crude oil inventories last week, noting inventories are running 7% higher than the five year average.

Plastic rocks found on remote island alarm scientists   :no: :no: :no:    :thefan:

STORY: This is the Brazilian island of Trindade.

Its geology has fascinated scientists for years.

But the latest discovery on this remote turtle refuge, has terrified them.

These rocks are made from plastic debris.

Melted plastic has become intertwined with rocks on the island - located more than 700 miles away from the mainland.

And scientists say it's proof of mankind's growing influence over earth's geological cycles.

Trindade Island is one of the world's most important conservation spots for green turtles - with thousands arriving each year to lay their eggs.

The island’s only human inhabitants are members of the Brazilian navy - which maintains a base on the island and protects the nesting turtles.

But its remoteness did not stop human activity from interfering.

Medicare identifies drug makers that will owe penalties for raising prices on 27 drugs faster than rate of inflation   :clap: :clap: :clap:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a list of 27 drugs whose Medicare Part B prices were raised faster than the of rate inflation, in violation of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The drug companies will owe penalties, in the form of rebates paid to Medicare, that will be deposited in the Medicare Trust Fund, which helps pay for health services. The companies will be billed for 2023 and 2024 no later than fall 2025, according to a statement from the government.

Pfizer (PFE) has five drugs listed, along with Seagen's (SGEN) Padcev — which will soon be part of Pfizer's portfolio. AbbVie's (ABBV) blockbuster Humira — which faces competition for the first time with biosimilars this month and Gilead's (GILD) Yescarta, also made the list.

The impact on each company appears to be mixed.

Of Pfizer's five drugs, a majority are not key sources of revenue. Only one, for example, accounted for $269 million in 2022 global sales revenue. AbbVie, by comparison, reported $21 billion of 2022 sales for Humira.

Minnesota Republican votes against free school meals bill because 'I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that is hungry   :nono2: :nono2: :nono2:

A Republican state senator voted against a bill to provide free school meals to Minnesota students.

Steve Drazkowski said it wasn't needed as he was "yet to meet a person in Minnesota that is hungry."

According to the nonprofit Feeding America, more than 300,000 Minnesotans are facing hunger.

A Republican state senator voted against a bill to feed schoolchildren, arguing that hunger wasn't a problem there because he hadn't met anyone without enough food.

Sen. Steve Drazkowski made the remarks on the floor of the Minnesota State Capitol on Tuesday before voting on HF 5, which would provide free school lunch and breakfast for students in the state.

"I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that is hungry," said Drazkowski. "I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that says they don't have access to enough food to eat."

The bill passed despite his opposition, and is now headed to the state's governor to be signed into law.

Trump is making Social Security one of the biggest issues on the 2024 campaign trail

Social Security has quickly become a huge 2024 campaign talking point.

It’s coming up again and again, most often from the mouth of Donald Trump. The former president was in Iowa earlier this week where he went on an extended riff on the topic during a campaign rally nominally intended to be about education. As in his video messages and other campaign trail mentions, Trump promised to preserve the program and criticized other Republicans like Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for considering cuts.

And he’s not alone. His rivals are putting forth the outlines of their own plans and presenting a clear choice for voters while outside groups organize to place the issue top of mind once voting begins next year.

And experts note that this is far from a theoretical debate. A possible insolvency in 10 years could lead to benefit cuts if Washington doesn’t act, and that conversation may need to occur during the next presidential administration.

GOP lawmaker changes subject to her house being spray-painted by vandals when asked about Jan. 6 videos   :snicker :snicker :snicker

During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) refused to condemn plans made by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) visit with accused Jan. 6 insurrectionists who are currently being held in jail and then, moments later, complained that law enforcement officials have failed to apprehend whoever it was that vandalized her home.

Speaking with fill-in host Kaitlan Collins, Mace asserted that visiting with accused rioters who stormed the nation's Capitol is a matter of "civil rights" before the CNN host asked about House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) handing over to Fox News tens of thousands of hours of Capitol footage on the day supporters of Donald Trump sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

According to Mace, she feels that all media outlets -- including CNN w should have access to all of the videos.

Kevin McCarthy struggles to respond when asked 'what have we learned' about the Capitol riots after his release of the Jan. 6 tapes    :nono2: :nono2: :nono2:

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy deflected when asked what new information was revealed about the Capitol riots by the stash of tapes he had given to Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures, McCarthy defended his decision to release 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from the January 6, 2021, riot.

"Do you have any regrets about that," Bartiromo asked McCarthy. "And what have we learned from these tapes that have been on Tucker Carlson Tonight?"

"My goal here is transparency, and we will slowly roll out to every individual news agency," McCarthy said.

"They can come see the tapes as well. The first thing I found is the January 6th Committee was not honest with us. That it's not 14,000 hours of tapes, there's 41,000 hours of tapes. Let everyone see them to bring their own judgment."

McCarthy then swerved to saying more of the protestors during the 2020 George Floyd demonstrations should have faced criminal charges.

"I think we should have equal justice across this country and we should have transparency," he said.

The January 6 riots, in which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election was being certified, has been the subject of several conspiracy theories.

Florida continues to be the land of fruits and nuts! 

Florida teacher who called a biracial student a 'mutt' has been abusing students for decades: report

A Florida teacher who has been harassing students with racist diatribes and personal attacks for decades is now being scrutinized as school administrators admit they have been unable to fire him while at the same time refusing to provide details about "specific incidents."

According to a report from the Tampa Bay Times, school administrators have an extensive file of complaints lodged against Todd Harvey, who has taught government studies at Wharton High in Tampa and who has even allegedly used a Nazi salute in class.

As The Times reports, Harvey, "is a tall, mercurial white man who has taught in Hillsborough County Public Schools since the late ‘90s, after working as a salesman and briefly pitching in the minor leagues for the Kansas City Royals. He’s spent the bulk of his career at Wharton High, which serves mostly students of color."

Reacting to a Tampa Bay Times report about sexual harassment at a local high school in Hillsborough County, one former student who is biracial contacted the paper about the teacher who mocked her family and claimed she should list herself on government forms as a "mutt."

Murdoch confirms Kimberly Guilfoyle's mysterious Fox exit was due to 'inappropriate' behavior   :o :o :o

Information leaked from Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Fox News seems to have confirmed news reports from 2018 alleging that Kimberly Guilfoyle's mysterious departure from the network was due to sexually inappropriate behavior, theEast Bay Times reported.

In an email cited in the lawsuit, Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch said after the 2020 elections that he wanted her gone due to the allegations, saying that he “insisted” Fox fire Guilfoyle “for inappropriate behavior.”

“Newsmax not good people!” Rupert wrote in the email. “Being advised by [Guilfoyle] who I insisted we fire for inappropriate behavior. Not one of our people will join her. Newsmax desperate for money. Scoured the world, so far without luck.”

As the East Bay Times points out, Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. have been dating since 2018.

Politics / Records in Fox defamation case show pressures on reporters
« on: March 11, 2023, 09:28:30 AM »
Records in Fox defamation case show pressures on reporters   :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:           :read: :read: :read:

Instead, the material offers insight into how Fox's stars and leadership responded at a time of high anxiety and how giving its audience what it wanted to hear took precedence over reporting uncomfortable truths.

The revelations have bolstered critics who say Fox News Channel should be considered a propaganda network rather than a news outlet.

Yet while Fox's news side has seen the prominent defections of Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace in recent years, it still employs many respected journalists — such as Jennifer Griffin, Greg Palkot, John Roberts, Shannon Bream, Bryan Llenas, Jacqui Heinrich and Chad Pergram.

They're left to wonder whether the raft of recent stories about Fox — from the Dominion documents and from Carlson's use of U.S. Capitol security video to craft his own narrative of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack — will make their jobs more difficult. Will fewer people want to work with them because of the dominance of Fox's opinion side?

Fox says it has increased its investment in journalism by more than 50% under Suzanne Scott, Fox News Media CEO, and usually leads its rivals in ratings during major breaking news stories.

“We are incredibly proud of our team of journalists who continue to deliver breaking news from around the world and will continue to fight for the preservation of the First Amendment,” the network said in a statement.

Anti-Russia guerrillas in Belarus take on 'two-headed enemy'   :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

After Russia invaded Ukraine, guerrillas from Belarus began carrying out acts of sabotage on their country's railways, including blowing up track equipment to paralyze the rails that Russian forces used to get troops and weapons into Ukraine.

In the most recent sabotage to make international headlines, they attacked a Russian warplane parked just outside the Belarusian capital.

“Belarusians will not allow the Russians to freely use our territory for the war with Ukraine, and we want to force them to leave,” Anton, a retired Belarusian serviceman who joined a group of saboteurs, told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

“The Russians must understand on whose side the Belarusians are actually fighting," he said, speaking on the condition that his last name be withheld for security reasons.

More than a year after Russia used the territory of its neighbor and ally to invade Ukraine, Belarus continues to host Russian troops, as well as warplanes, missiles and other weapons. The Belarusian opposition condemns the cooperation, and a guerrilla movement sprang up to disrupt the Kremlin's operations, both on the ground and online. Meanwhile, Belarus' authoritarian government is trying to crack down on saboteurs with threats of the death penalty and long prison terms.

Tennessee Republican 'Really Sorry' For Instagram Comments On Racy Photos  :snicker :snicker :snicker

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R) apologized to his family, friends and colleagues Thursday following allegations of hypocrisy for his comments on a gay man’s suggestive Instagram posts.

McNally had been leaving heart and fire emoji, along with occasional remarks like “Super look Finn,” beneath photographs of Franklyn “Finn” McClur, an aspiring performer often seen dressed only in tight underwear, as first reported by progressive news site The Tennessee Holler.

The politician’s social media activity drew criticism due to his history of backing anti-LGBTQ legislation.

In a new interview with WTVF, a local news station, McNally said he had recently gotten to know members of the LGBTQ community — some being a part of his family — and was trying to be more supportive. Asked for evidence of his support, McNally pointed to a 2020 bill seeking to let religious adoption agencies discriminate against gay couples. The lieutenant governor, who also serves as speaker for the state Senate, voted “present and not voting” on the legislation, which ultimately passed.

This year, he voted for a ban on gender-affirming care for Tennessee minors, which also passed.

Twenty-year-old McClur, who grew up in Knoxville, told The Tennessee Holler that he and McNally had initially become Facebook friends a few years ago, and that the lieutenant governor had since started using his verified government account on Instagram to leave the comments.

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