Who Won the Week — 9/26/ 2021

The idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

My Who Won The Week pick for this week is comeuppance. In this case it’s the comeuppance of the Republican Party, in particular the GOP in Arizona.

You may recall that in April of this year, an audit of ballots cast in Maricopa County, Arizona during the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in which Joe Biden beat Donald Trump, was initiated by Arizona Senate Republicans and carried out by private firms, led by Cyber Ninjas, a company without experience reviewing elections.

The reason that the Republican-led Senate in Arizona conducted the audit was because they bought into Trump’s Big lie that the election was stolen from him due to widespread voter fraud and that Trump should have won the state.

The audit stirred controversy due to extensive previous efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the election and due to assertions of rule violations and irregularities in the conduct of the count, leading to claims that the audit was essentially a disinformation campaign.

The final report of the spurious audit, which was originally suppose to take only three weeks to complete, was released on Friday. And guess what? The results of the “audit” — a haphazard GOP review of ballots in Arizona’s Maricopa County, with no legal force behind it — found the vote totals barely changed from the actual election results, which were certified by Arizona officials in November of last year. In fact, the hand recount of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots says that Joe Biden won the state by 360 more votes than originally reported. Kind of ironic, huh?

One would think after suffering this comeuppance, Republicans would finally admit that Trump lost fair and square. Unfortunately, the GOP’s bogus effort in Arizona to overturn the 2020 election results is already serving as a model for Republicans looking to promulgate election fraud conspiracies. As of this week, Republican legislators in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin have all embarked on a mission to implement recounts or investigations of their own, though the election is long over and certified.

When will this bullshit end? How sad is this?

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

By the Numbers

From midnight Monday until noon on today. That’s 36 hours. That’s 2,160 minutes.

And in that 36 hour — 2,160 minute — period, my blog received 1,000 spam comments and 232 comments that went directly to trash. For a grand total of 1,232 bogus comments.

That’s an average of 34.2 spam and trash comments an hour, or more than 1.2 bogus comments every other minute for 36 straight hours.

There’s no way I can manually go through that many spam and trash comments manually. So I am mass deleting the comments in both my spam and trash folders. I apologize to any of you whose legitimate comments got caught up in these folders that were deleted.

I’m tired of this shit.

Checking In

I usually check my spam and trash comments daily. First, I want to make sure that some legit comments didn’t inadvertently get swept up into my spam folder or bypassed spam and went directly to trash. And second, because I’m anal and I want to keep my blog neat and tidy, free of spam and trash.

But I somehow missed doing my spam/trash cleanup yesterday and when I went to tidy up today, this is what I found:

Between spam and trash, there were 129 bogus comments in 24 hours. And within 30 minutes of taking the above screenshots, I received three more comments in my spam folder and one more in trash. Do these spammers really think they’re fooling anyone when they say something like “You guys are doing a great job.” What guys? Anyone who has read my blog knows that I’m a sole practitioner.

Or how about “My bother found your weblog on MSN and strongly recommend it to me.” My weblog? Really? On MSN? Seriously?

And then there are the spammers who ask what blogging platform I use, if I created my own theme, or if I have trouble with spammers.

Oh well, while annoying, these spammers are, so far anyway, harmless. I just need to remember to check my spam at least daily so I don’t end up with spam and trash by the hundreds.

How often to you check and clean out your spam and/or trash folders?

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 29

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 29th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on January 29, 2018

Real Fake News

I remember reading a story awhile back about a Harvard University researcher who had the good fortune of having a paper he wrote accepted for publication by 17 medical journals. I thought was pretty impressive.

The paper was titled “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?” I thought that was an impressive title for an article being published in 17 medical journals.

Some of the reviews of his article called his methods “novel and  innovative.”

And that is, indeed, quite impressive. Because, you see, this Harvard researcher’s paper was created entirely by using an online random text generator. It was total gibberish.

Still, 17 “respected” medical journals accepted it for publication. Well, 17 journals accepted it. And they would publish it once the researcher paid the $500 “processing fees” to each “journal.”

Upon further analysis, most of these so called medical journals turned out — surprise, surprise — to be bogus.

Many of these publications sounded legitimate. The paper’s author, Mark Shrime, now an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and of Global Health and Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, pointed out, “To someone who is not well-versed in a particular subfield of medicine — a journalist, for instance — it would be easy to mistake them as valid journals. As scientists, we’re aware of the top-tier journals in our specific sub-field, but even we cannot always pinpoint if a journal in another field is real or not.”

When Shrime looked up the physical locations of these publications that accepted his paper, he discovered that many had very suspicious addresses; one was actually inside a strip club.

But hey, just think about the how great this will look on Shrime’s CV. He wrote an “academic paper” that was accepted for publication by 17 medical journals.

Not too shabby.

Sweet Home Alabama

F6C376A4-0FDD-44D8-87E9-16AC1B5DB833Donald Trump is so insecure that when he is caught saying something wrong, he goes to extreme lengths to make it seem like he didn’t make a mistake.

Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that, in addition to Florida, “South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”

Trump suggested the same thing about Alabama in comments to reporters on Sunday on the White House South Lawn. “We don’t know where it’s going to hit, seems to be going to Florida, now it should be going to Georgia, the Carolinas. Alabama to get a bit of a beat down. You’ll be learning more probably over the course of the next 24 hours.”

In fact, even after forecasters predicted Dorian would make a northward turn over the weekend, Trump insisted three times on Sunday that the hurricane would hit Alabama (and Mar-a-Lago).

In an unprecedented move, the National Weather Service tweeted out a correction to Trump’s misinformation about Alabama. “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian, We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”

But rather than admitting that he misspoke, Trump did something extraordinary. At a hurricane briefing earlier today, Trump, determined to prove himself right, showed an outdated forecast for Hurricane Dorian that seemingly corresponded with his incorrect prediction about Alabama getting hit by the hurricane that he had made several days before.

“We had an original chart that it was going to be hitting Florida directly, maybe I could just see that,” Trump instructed one of the officials before showing the chart to the camera. The chart he displayed (see the photo at the top of this post) indicated that it was made around 11 a.m. ET last Thursday, making it about six days old.

But when I looked closely at the chart he showed, something jumped out at me.AFD1FA3B-EB1E-4C16-92C0-4C89288F55E1It looks as if someone took a black Sharpie and extended the NWS track to reach into southeast Alabama. Look closely. It does, doesn’t it?

You know who likes to use a Sharpie? Trump does. He seems to sign every one of his executive orders with one. And he autographs his supporters’ MAGA hats with a Sharpie.

So I don’t know this for sure, but I think someone (Trump?) took a Sharpie and manually drew a semicircle extending the NWS storm track into Alabama in order to prove that he didn’t get it wrong when he tweeted and repeated that Alabama was going to get “a beat down” from Hurricane Dorian.

Did Trump just show a bogus, altered map to support his misstatements? As I said, I don’t know for sure. I’m just sayin’.