• Scott Atlas quits Trump White House coronavirus team, was 'herd immunity' proponent

    • Scott Atlas has resigned from his position in the White House as Donald Trump's special adviser on COVID-19, multiple news agencies report

    Mister 'Herd Immunity' has resigned, reports CNN:

    Dr. Scott Atlas, a highly controversial member of the White House's coronavirus task force, has resigned from his post in the Trump administration, according to a person who works with the task force. Another source close to the task force said on Monday that Atlas' departure comes as welcome news, as his discredited theories will no longer have a seat at the table.The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • Arizona's Gov. Ducey will get back to you

    HE'LL GET BACK TO YOU

    Reporter Brahm Resnik of Phoenix, AZ NBC 12 News/KPNX TV tweeted this incredible video of Arizona's Republican governor Greg Ducey seeming to blow off an incoming call from the Trump-Pence White House, while the governor is in the process of certifying Arizona's election results for a Biden win, earlier today.

    Back in July, Gov. Ducey said he changed his White House ringtone to "Hail to The Chief" so he wouldn't miss a call from Trump/Pence. Guess who called while Ducey was certifying Arizona's election? (7 secs in)

  • Russian Cyberpunk Farm

    "They say that Russia is a technically backward country, there are no roads, robotics do not develop, rockets do not fly, and mail goes too long. It's a bullshit."

    Video. (Written and directed by: Sergey Vasiliev Acting: Sergei Chikhachev Olga Zhevakina)

  • Workers climb a building to rescue brave dog holding on to life from 3-story window (VIDEO)

    The dog is fine!

    "This brave furbaby was hanging for almost 20 minutes. He kept holding on to the wall so he didn't get strangled. He had been alone in the apartment. Maybe he was afraid and missed his furparents, that's why he tried to jump out of the window. Luckily he was chained as he would have fallen from the third floor of the building. The staff of Urban Deca homes climbed up and saved him."

    This incident happened on November 25, 2020, in the Tondo area of Manila, capital city of the Philippines.

    [via ViralHog]

  • Despite COVID risk, 1.2 million people passed through U.S. airports Sunday, highest air travel day since pandemic began

    What coronavirus? About 1.2 million people passed through U.S. airports on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the greatest single-day air travel numbers since the pandemic hit America in March. And this was after all the pleading from health experts for everyone to stay home over Thanksgiving, or expect ICUs and funerals by Christmas.

    From AP:

    The Transportation Security Administration screened at least 1 million people on four of the last 10 days through Sunday. That's still half the crowd recorded last year at airports, when more than 2 million people were counted per day.

    With new reported cases of coronavirus spiking across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a warning against Thanksgiving travel just a week before the holiday.

    More at the Associated Press.

    Below, the TSA's "Stay Healthy, Stay Secure" coronavirus video. [IMAGE at top of this post is a still from this video]

  • IRS admits it sent some $1,200 stimulus checks to non-Americans, and probably will again

    The United States Internal Revenue Service now acknowledges that its own mistakes caused some foreign citizens to receive $1,200 coronavirus relief payments they weren't entitled to (the aid was for US citizens only) — and the IRS says the error will probably happen again if the federal government sends out more stimulus money.

    From NPR:

    When reports of the mistake first surfaced, the U.S government placed the blame on those non-Americans, saying that many noncitizens erroneously received stimulus checks because they had filed incorrect tax returns that made them appear to be American.

    But many non-Americans who received stimulus money do not file U.S. tax returns. One of them is Susanne Wigforss, a 78-year-old Swedish citizen who lives in Stockholm.

    Wigforss was surprised in July to get a $1,200 check in the mail from the U.S. Treasury. It was followed by a letter from the White House signed by President Trump, addressed to "My Fellow American" and informing her that "your economic impact payment has arrived."

    Only U.S. citizens and U.S. "resident aliens" are eligible for stimulus money — "resident alien" is a federal tax classification, and to qualify an individual needs a green card or must have been in the U.S. for a certain amount of time — and Wigforss is neither.

    More at NPR News.

  • Federal judge advances lawsuit accusing Felix Sater of laundering money through Trump Organization properties

    Adam Klasfeld of Law and Crime News reports that a federal judge on Monday partially advanced a lawsuit accusing Felix Sater of laundering millions stolen from Kazakhstan's BTA Bank through Trump Organization properties.

    Donald Trump is not personally accused of wrongdoing by the plaintiffs.

    Here's his story, and Klasfeld adds:

    "The ruling itself does not mention Trump properties, but the lawsuit that it advances does. Those details have been added to the story. Attorneys for neither of the parties immediately responded to emails. I will add their comments if and when they respond."

    Excerpt:

    "In this case, Kazakhstan's largest city and a Kazakhstani bank seek to recover millions of dollars in stolen funds from those who allegedly helped the culprits launder them," U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan summarized in a 25-page opinion dismissing only two counts of a six-count complaint. "Felix Sater—the alleged ringleader of the money-laundering operation—along with his associate Daniel Ridloff and several business entities they control, move to dismiss."

    Like Sater, Ridloff was also formerly associated with the Trump Organization. The lawsuit stems from allegations of the systematic looting of Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty and its bank in 2009.

    "The Court emphasizes that the Kazakh entities will need to adduce evidence showing the Sater defendants' deceptive conduct and their justifiable reliance on that conduct in significantly greater detail to meet their burdens of production and of proof as the case progresses," Nathan wrote. "However, at this stage, the Court concludes that it is not clear on the face of the complaint that their claims are untimely, and so declines to dismiss any claims on that basis."

    (…) The ruling itself does not mention Trump or his properties, but the lawsuit that it advances accuses Sater of helping the Almaty mayor's son Ilyas Khrapunov launder stolen funds in at least five schemes throughout the United States, including through Trump Soho.

    Read the full story here.

  • Arizona certifies election, affirming Joe Biden's victory and granting him state's 11 electoral votes

    The state of Arizona today certified results of the 2020 presidential election, affirming Joe Biden's victory and granting him the state's 11 electoral votes.

    This also clears the way for Senator-elect Mark Kelly to be sworn in Wednesday.

    Congratulations to Joe Biden on winning the 2020 election for the 22nd time this month.

    [ABC News, CNN]

    Previously on Boing Boing:

  • Matt Gaetz: Trump should pardon Michael Flynn, and himself

    Florida GOP representative Matt Gaetz said tonight on Fox News that outgoing crimelord president Donald Trump should pardon Michael Flynn. He should pardon the Thanksgiving turkey. He should pardon everyone from himself to administration officials to Joe Exotic if he has to..

    Previously:

  • Trump plans to pardon Michael Flynn

    Late Tuesday night, Axios reported that outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn, citing "two sources with direct knowledge."

    Fox News has confirmed.

    Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his work with Russian individuals.

    More at Axios.

    Below, from Twitter — observations on Tuesday night as the news breaks, from reporters and analysts whose opinions I find interesting.

  • Raptors, up close and in focus – bald eagle, owl, vulture, more [VIDEO]

    Animal lover and videographer chibudgielvr says,

    I got the chance to get up close and personal with some cool birds of prey from the Raptor Program at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee, WI! Animals in order of appearance: Bald Eagle, Eastern Screech Owl, American Kestrel, Great Horned Owl, Turkey Vulture.

    For more animal videos, find chibudgielvr on TikTok and YouTube.

  • Donald Trump, loser of presidential election, is reduced to citing online web polls in desperate bid to escape prison

    Mr. Donald Trump, loser of the recent presidential election, is now citing online polls.

    That's it.

    That's the whole post.

    Joe Biden won.

    Here is the tweet.

  • Parents of Seth Rich reach undisclosed settlement with Fox News, lawsuit charged cable newser with exploiting 27 year old DNC staffer's death

    Fox News and the parents of slain Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich confirm they have reached a settlement today.

    No public apology and no financial or other details offered.

    The parents of 27-year-old Seth Rich said in their lawsuit against Fox News that the cable news company exploited their son's death.

    From the Associated Press:

    Rich was shot and killed in 2016 in Washington, D.C., in what authorities described as a botched robbery attempt. His parents, Joel and Mary Rich, had objected to a Fox article and commentary falsely suggesting their son had leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the presidential campaign.

    Internet theories that Rich had been assassinated for leaking emails were contradicted by U.S. intelligence reports.

    A lower court had thrown out the lawsuit, but the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan last year reinstated it. The court said that the family had plausibly alleged what amounted to a campaign of emotional torture.

    Rich's parents, in a statement, said the settlement closed another chapter in their efforts to mourn their son, who was 27 when he was killed.

    More from media reporters who have been following the story, below.

  • Two women detained for speaking Spanish in Montana convenience store settle border patrol lawsuit

    Two women, both U.S. citizens, who were detained for speaking Spanish while shopping at a northern Montana convenience store by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have reached a monetary settlement in their lawsuit against the agency, the ACLU of Montana announced Tuesday.

    "Ma'am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here," said a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent in the 2018 video of the racial profiling incident that led to the lawsuit.

    "We stood up to the government because speaking Spanish is not a reason to be racially profile and harassed," said co-plaintiff Ana Suda in a statement provided by the ACLU.

    "I am proud to be bilingual, and I hope that as a result of this case CBP takes a hard look at its policies and practices. No one else should ever have to go through this again."

    Excerpt from the Associated Press report:

    Ana Suda and Martha "Mimi" Hernandez, both U.S. citizens, said their constitutional rights were violated when they were detained in the parking lot outside a the store in the city of Havre for 40 minutes after an agent demanded their identifications.

    In settling the case, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it did not admit liability and added in a statement that "the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe."

    The case emerged after Suda took a video of the May 2018 interaction in which she asked Agent Paul O'Neill why he was questioning them.

    "Ma'am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here," O'Neill said in the video. Suda and Hernandez had valid Montana drivers licenses.

    O'Neill, and a supervisor who arrived later made it clear through words and actions that the women were not free to leave the convenience store parking lot, ACLU attorney Alex Rate wrote in the lawsuit.

    Read more: 2 detained for speaking Spanish settle border patrol lawsuit

  • OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pleads guilty on criminal charges including anti-kickback law, and defrauding the U.S.

    The makers of the highly addictive prescription painkiller Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma LP, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminal charges in part of a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve an investigation into the drugmaker's role in the U.S. opioid crisis.

    Of three total criminal counts against Purdue, two were for violating a federal anti-kickback law, and another charged them with defrauding the United States and violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

    From Reuters:

    During a court hearing conducted remotely on Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in New Jersey, Purdue pleaded guilty to three felonies covering widespread misconduct.

    The criminal violations included conspiring to defraud U.S. officials and pay illegal kickbacks to both doctors and an electronic healthcare records vendor called Practice Fusion here, all to help keep opioid prescriptions flowing.

    Members of the billionaire Sackler family who own Purdue and previously sat on the company's board were not part of Tuesday's court proceedings and have not been criminally charged. They agreed in October to pay a separate $225 million civil penalty for allegedly causing false claims for OxyContin to be made to government healthcare programs such as Medicare. They have denied the allegations.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Stephen Ferketic said officials reserved the right to prosecute individuals associated with Purdue, including owners, officers and directors. Sackler family members have said they acted ethically and responsibly while serving on Purdue's board and were assured the company's sales and marketing practices complied with legal and regulatory requirements.

    Read the rest at Reuters: OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to criminal charges