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US Politics: Biden Hood - Prince of Plebs

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Giuliani cuts down his entourage
It's the latest sign that the former New York mayor's legal woes are taking their toll on his lifestyle.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/06/giuliani-cuts-down-his-entourage-485504

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Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for ex-president Donald Trump, has reduced the size of his personal entourage, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Giuliani laid off several staffers and independent contractors in the last few weeks, according to one of the people, who said the ousted employees had been told that the former New York mayor was seeking to cut costs.


Giuliani has enlisted a part-time driver, Eric Ryan, the son of his friend Maria Ryan, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. But he no longer moves around Manhattan with the full complement of as many as five people he has kept around him in recent years. (Ryan didn’t respond to a request for comment.)


The news of Giuliani’s shrinking entourage comes after years of stories suggesting he might be having financial difficulties — or is at least seeking creative ways to make money as he manages his growing legal woes.

 

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10 minutes ago, Prince of the North said:

I always strap in and keep my head on a swivel in front of my computer, too!  You just never know:P

Who turns their head that much while driving though?

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The vote count circus in Arizona continues.  The process is apparently so badly flawed the Arizona Secretary of State and the Justice Department are sounding concerns.  In the comments, Conservative posters appear genuinely baffled by the criticism.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/arizona-review-of-2020-vote-is-riddled-with-flaws-says-secretary-of-state/ar-BB1grC2w?ocid=ob-fb-enus-580&fbclid=IwAR35Ou3QICMv64q--S0XupatyJojrDdgjWBzkpjh_DdLehHx-aIxVgN4whk

Untrained citizens are trying to find traces of bamboo on last year’s ballots, seemingly trying to prove a conspiracy theory that the election was tainted by fake votes from Asia. Thousands of ballots are left unattended and unsecured. People with open partisan bias, including a man who was photographed on the Capitol steps during the Jan. 6 riot, are doing the recounting.

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Who turns their head that much while driving though?

Anyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle 

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17 minutes ago, ThinkerX said:

The vote count circus in Arizona continues.  The process is apparently so badly flawed the Arizona Secretary of State and the Justice Department are sounding concerns.  In the comments, Conservative posters appear genuinely baffled by the criticism.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/arizona-review-of-2020-vote-is-riddled-with-flaws-says-secretary-of-state/ar-BB1grC2w?ocid=ob-fb-enus-580&fbclid=IwAR35Ou3QICMv64q--S0XupatyJojrDdgjWBzkpjh_DdLehHx-aIxVgN4whk

 

 

It’ll be interesting if they do this and still don’t find anything, but I’m not hopeful for that outcome considering the participants.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, S John said:

Anyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle 

I didn't advanced beyond a dirt bike as an 8th grader after quickly driving one into a curb, but I still never do that while biking in busy areas.

Edited by Tywin et al.

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3 hours ago, S John said:

It’ll be interesting if they do this and still don’t find anything, but I’m not hopeful for that outcome considering the participants.

purportedly, the group doing the counting released their final report before starting - maybe.  I have seen contradictory claims here.  What intrigues me is -

 

1 - the possibility these fool counters will screw up so badly they get arrested; and

 

2 - that despite their best efforts this new count does not significantly alter the results.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

April jobs report is in and it's a massive disappointment. Shocking not shocking that low wage jobs aren't being filled. I wonder why....

in my field (restaurants and hospitality) it is a few factors that have kept people i know away.

wages.  some people are just simply not interested in returning to the old ways of life and getting a shit wage....unless of course you are a lot of front of house staff who are not returning because of wages for a different reason. with lowered occupancy levels, fewer people going out, some states not doing bar seating their jobs which used to be reliant but often very lucrative because of tips just aren't what they were so they are sitting out.

safety. there are still a whole lot of people who haven't been vaccinated as patrons and as coworkers. workers don't have faith in the overall safety of their places of work. add the stress of dealing with asshole guests who don't want to follow guidelines and it isn't hard for me to understand. 

stability. many states have no real plan or metric in place stating when they will enter the next phase of reopening. why come back to a job when you don't know when things are slated to be in better shape?

empowerment. this last year has given many hospitality workers pause to think. the entire transition from being 'the help' to 'essential' to 'entitled lazy parasites feasting on unemployment benefits' has really brought being in the industry into focus for a lot of us. let's just see how well the industry does without the people who make it run? is there something else i can do with my life?

i don't want things to ever go back to the way they were pre-covid in my industry. i want wages to rise,  workers to help guide their places of work vs being replaceable cogs, owners and operators to keep treating us as essential,  work-life balance not just to be on the recruiting poster, wage discrepancy between back of house and front of house employees be mitigated, guests to be educated on the importance of what we bring to society. i could go on and on.

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13 hours ago, Prince of the North said:

I always strap in and keep my head on a swivel in front of my computer, too!  You just never know:P

Flight Simulator enthusiast?

Seriously, some people really go to extreme lengths to make it as realistic as possible. Seriously, you should try to look for some of their set ups on youtube.

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

April jobs report is in and it's a massive disappointment. Shocking not shocking that low wage jobs aren't being filled. I wonder why....

Low wages are definitely part of it, especially in some industries. In others, I think supply shortages are meaning that employers simply aren't hiring as much as previously expected. Plus I think in some areas there's still the issues around schools and day cares not being fully open, leading to some parents staying home more. And there's issues around some people not feeling safe yet for some kinds of in-person work.

Lots of competing issues going on. And I think this report will put additional pressure on Democrats to get the infrastructure bill passed quickly.

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40 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Flight Simulator enthusiast?

Seriously, some people really go to extreme lengths to make it as realistic as possible. Seriously, you should try to look for some of their set ups on youtube.

Nah, I was just taking the piss about that spectacularly lame attempt at subterfuge.  But I definitely believe it about flight simulator enthusiasts!

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52 minutes ago, Fez said:

Low wages are definitely part of it, especially in some industries. In others, I think supply shortages are meaning that employers simply aren't hiring as much as previously expected. Plus I think in some areas there's still the issues around schools and day cares not being fully open, leading to some parents staying home more. And there's issues around some people not feeling safe yet for some kinds of in-person work.

Lots of competing issues going on. And I think this report will put additional pressure on Democrats to get the infrastructure bill passed quickly.

I think a big issue has been the fact that hundreds of thousands of small businesses disappeared in the last year. In a normal recession businesses lay off workers and then pick up employees as business picks up, and while some businesses fail during a normal recession, they don’t fail in the numbers we’ve seen during the pandemic. Small business drives employment in North America, and those missing businesses aren’t hiring anyone. 
 

I’m pretty confident that new businesses will open as the year continues, but that will take time. Employment will pick up along the way. I think too many people were thinking the world would re-open the way flowers all burst into bloom in the spring without thinking of the ones that died over winter.

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9 hours ago, ThinkerX said:

...purportedly, the group doing the counting released their final report before starting - maybe.  I have seen contradictory claims here.  What intrigues me is -

1 - the possibility these fool counters will screw up so badly they get arrested; and

2 - that despite their best efforts this new count does not significantly alter the results.

Any and every time the subject arises in news report, on Nextdoor, in discussions with neighbors, the whole clown show boils down to the question, "Are these guys educationally subnormal or just hypocrites?"

The AZ State Senators who demanded the count didn't actually take any practical steps to make it happen.  When they finally got around to reserving the Madhouse on McDowell (Veterans Memorial Coliseum, owned by the state), they didn't reserve it for a period long enough to actually do a compete recount.  The Phoenix School District graduation ceremonies have put a 20-day hard stop date on the process, and there is literally no way for the "audit" process to finish within that 20-day graduation window.

The state owns the Madhouse, so while they don't have to pay any rent, they do have to fully operate the place to the tune of $1,000 a day to start, but not actually ever finish, the process.

The charlatans that the Senate hired, "Cybers Ninjas", are a group of Trump loyalists with no particular, evident expertise in ballot audits.  They have excellent skills in latching onto the government teat and extracting taxpayer dollars, however.  Also, they are subject matter experts in making assertions about how the process will work, who will participate, etc. and then immediately violating the assertions and making exceptions to the stated controls.

The Senate took custody of the ballots, but then didn't have the knowledge or ability to maintain ballot security or integrity once they had custody.  Then the Cyber Ninjas took custody, and news reports indicate that they lost control of the container sequence, so they may not actually know what ballots are in what boxes at this point.

The Senate insulted and offended Maricopa County Elections officials by their wild statements to the press about, basically saying that the MC elections officials were corrupt, incompetent, or both.  Thus county elections officials (many of whom are, duh, Republicans - this is Arizona) told the Senate Republicans to piss up a rope.  Elections officials are complying with the letter of the subpoena, but otherwise providing zero assistance to the Senate Republicans.  That is why the Senate has to use the Madhouse rather than the Maricopa County Elections facilities.  Also, the long-time County Republicans who have served the public in this roles have basically told the current Trumpkin Senate Republicans to eat shit and die, and donations to the State Republican organization, controlled by these Senate Republicans, have dried up completely.

The Senate hired Cyber Ninjas without a contractual payment amount.  Most estimates are that the state will end up paying Cyber Ninjas $3 million for the work this month.  Maybe Cyber Ninjas will get more time on the government teat later, too, after the graduation exercises!

Cyber Ninjas had trouble staffing their project, so news reporters volunteered to staff the audit, as Cyber Ninjas had prevented news institutions from entry.  It didn't take long for Cyber Ninjas to start ejecting reporters working as staff, because the reporters reported on how disorganized and confused the process was.

Cyber Ninjas filed an audit process document with the courts, detailing how they would perform their ballot audits.  Unfortunately they don't seem to have read any of the Arizona state regulations for performing a ballot audit, so their process isn't actually permitted.  Cyber Ninjas originally asked for the Maricopa County Election officials help, and Elections officials, in a spirit of Republican solidarity, told them to go read the law and also jump off a cliff.  In addition, Elections officials told Cyber Ninjas that any future communications would have to go through the Maricopa County Attorney, who is a Republican, and who seems to have made it her personal goal to crap on Cyber Ninjas.  Furthermore, the cameras on the floor reveal that they are not following the Arizona regulations OR their own documented process.  Also, the proposed plan can't be completed prior to graduation, even by Cyber Ninjas own optimistic procedures filed with the court.

Cyber Ninjas set up live camera feeds of the Madhouse count, but failed to take any steps to maintain voter privacy.  So ballot information was on display on some camera feeds, and confusion, indolence, and general lack of effort was on display in other feeds.  So basically an extension of the Trump administration writ small.

Cyber Ninjas then had on their staff a guy who was part of the January 6 insurrection.  Nice.  Cyber Ninjas' procedures have no plans for bipartisan observers, which might have made it possible for them to get enough audit staff without resorting to using news reporters.  So basically they made their own sharp stick and jumped immediately onto it.

One part of the Cyber Ninjas plan was to verify voters by going out and knocking on doors to ensure that the voter on the ballot was in fact registered to vote, lived in Maricopa County, and was an American citizen.  Reports state that Cyber Ninja staff assigned to this task didn't show up on on several days, which shouldn't be a surprise, as I can't think of a better way of learning whether or not a homeowner is armed and insulted than by knocking on his or her door and asking those specific questions.  A Phoenix fireman I know, a Trump guy, mentioned that there was already one such confrontation.  I just laughed when I heard this.

The plan to go out and canvas voters also violates the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prevents voter intimidation, and it also calls into question the existing process Maricopa County has to update and refresh voter rolls, linked to such activities as Motor Voter, Obituary Tracking, etc.  Unsurprisingly, insulted attorneys for the state and county are gearing up to sue over this, and various political organizations, ranging from La Raza to the Libertarian Party, also expressed plans to sue Cyber Ninjas on this one.  Only a company from Florida (Dumbest State in the Union, TM) could be so ignorant of Arizona history to think that this was a good idea.  Maybe they will also announce plans to sink some unlicensed ground water wells to really stir up a stink.

Local Republican leaders who pre-date Trump have come out of the woodwork to dump upon the Senate Republicans and Cyber Ninjas from a great height.  Past County Recorders have been unanimous in calling the Cyber Ninjas plan "unworkable" and "pointless" and "ridiculous".  Even past Republican leaders who offered to help out have recoiled after reading the Cyber Ninjas' plan and meeting with them.  Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett jumped out to act as liaison between Senate and Cyber Ninjas, but now he is quoted as saying things like, "I’m going to be giving my input as to whether they’ve thought of all the things they need to think of".

Arizona Democratic Party have called the process a sham, but I think that is a misprint of "shambles".

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Trump's legacy is to at least highlight, and perhaps create, a massive chasm between two types of Republicans in Arizona.

The Trumpkin Republicans controlling the Senate are big Culture Warriors.  They love to talk about Abortion and Immigration and Liberal Influence on Education, but they don't put much energy into actually governing the state.  A lot of them are inheritors of wealth and recent arrivals in the state, and their focus on Newsy National issues means that they get a lot of play in the media for their positions.

The Leftover Republicans are the ones serving in low-profile state and county roles.  They want to deal with how much water to sell to California, how to enforce development requirements like water provisions and infrastructure build-out, how to attract and maintain the semiconductor industry, funding sources for schools and roads, and regulation of Arizona's main power sources (nuclear, coal, and solar).  This sort of stuff is dull to even type out, so politicians engaged in these sorts of issues get very little media play.

I have met both types socially, and I have coached their kids.  The Trumpkins seem divorced or insulated from reality, and the Leftovers seem to possess the charisma of damp napkins.  It is as if the Dumb, Rich Jocks from high school became Trumpkins and the Chess Club members formed the Leftovers.

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My company is one of those out there consistently whining about not being able to find enough workers. I know they are completely full of bs with this though as I know of several people that have applied there and received no response at all from human resources.

It really sounds like it's more of a human resource incompetence issue than any actual worker shortages for a lot of these employers.

No-one ever guaranteed them a worker, they may have to compete for their employees if they want them.

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1 hour ago, Prince of the North said:

Nah, I was just taking the piss about that spectacularly lame attempt at subterfuge.  But I definitely believe it about flight simulator enthusiasts!

I know, was poking some fun at the Flight Sim corwd, who really go to extreme lengths to make their virtual cockpit experience as real as possible. So them sitting strapped into an actual pilot seat wouldn't surprise me in the slightest,  and neither would them to check for other air traffick in the area on other screens to their sides.

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Hunger rates plummet after two rounds of stimulus
Republicans have long sought to shrink government aid, but Democrats see the data as proof that the direct payments are working as intended.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/07/hunger-rates-plummet-after-stimulus-485604

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Last year, the Census Bureau found that the vast majority of adults — 80 percent — who got a stimulus check in the spring spent it on food. The next most common expense: rent, mortgage and/or utilities bills.

A recent analysis by Bankrate.com found more than a third of Americans planned to spend their most recent stimulus check on day-to-day necessities like food and other supplies. Just 13 percent of Americans planned to spend the money on discretionary items like dining out or vacations.

Along with improvements in food security, aid from Washington has also lifted millions of people out of poverty, or kept them from falling into poverty.

One of the most striking things that’s come from having all this near real time data, according to Jim Sullivan, an economist at the University of Notre Dame, is seeing just how much of an effect government aid had on reducing poverty.

Sullivan and his colleagues recently estimated that poverty declined slightly during the first few months of the pandemic after Washington spent trillions on two early aid packages that stepped up unemployment benefits and sent $1,200 checks to millions of Americans, among many other forms of aid. When some of the initial unemployment benefits expired over the summer, poverty rose sharply, even though unemployment fell dramatically.

“There’s a real success story here,” Sullivan said. “The federal response went a really long way to prevent a massive increase in hardship. That’s not to say there weren’t hardships, but it could have been so much worse.”

 

 

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