BartCop Entertainment Archives - Tuesday, 10 December, 2019


10 December, 2019

(Updated Daily)

[501 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Did President Trump Decry Babies Being 'Born in the Ninth Month'? [YES, HE DID!] (Snopes)
The president raised some eyebrows, however, when he proclaimed that "Right now, a number of state laws allow a baby to be born from his or her mother's womb in the ninth month. It is wrong. It has to change."

Paul Waldman: The Trump administration decides not enough Americans are hungry (Washington Post)
An all-out assault on people who receive food stamps. … As I've argued, the difference between a liberal and a conservative is that a liberal gets angry when a child goes hungry, and a conservative gets angry when someone gets a benefit who might not deserve it. But the Trump administration has been particularly aggressive even for Republicans in going after food stamps. And something tells me this is just the beginning.

Alexandra Petri: The Trump family Christmas update letter (Washington Post)
Donald's year has been a little ruff, as Conan would say.

Alexandra Petri: State legislators, stop being cowards. Mandate funerals for all spermatozoa. (Washington Post)
Pennsylvania's legislature has pushed a bill mandating death certificates and the offering of funerals for fertilized ova. How inequitable! In Ohio, lawmakers have suggested a bill to rescue fertilized ova that have wound up outside the womb, even when this is literally medically impossible. But all right-minded citizens must ask the question: Why such concern for these fertilizing spermatozoa, more than others? Those spermatozoa have passed into the beyond after making connections that elude millions of their brethren. Why honor them? Why reward further those who have already achieved a so-called reward?

Al Horner: "Juice WRLD: the unapologetic rapper who helped define a new sound" (The Guardian)
The rapper and singer reached millions by filling a void in hip-hop: tackling depression, addiction and heartbreak in anthems trembling with trauma

Rachel Coke: The best graphic novels of 2019 (The Guardian)
A heartbreaking wartime tale of a Korean 'comfort woman' stands out in an excellent year in which stalwarts Seth and Chris Ware continued to expand the horizons of the form.

Dana Stevens: The 10 Best Movies of 2019, Plus the best of the decade. (Slate)
Varda by Agnès. The loss of Agnès Varda this spring was a hard one. She had been a brilliant filmmaker for so long, and then a brilliant old filmmaker for so long, that it seemed like she would keep making movies on into her 100s, like the late Portuguese master Manoel de Oliveira. This last of her films, released this fall to little fanfare, is essentially a master class, in which she addresses audiences, or sometimes the camera directly, talking about her art and art in general as she interweaves clips from her six decades of filmmaking-fiction, documentary, and whatever genre it is that she invented in between the two, a genre that dies with her.

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Michael Egan

Michael Egan


Editorial and Political Cartoons


Trivia Question of the Day

Rolling Stone referred to this English model as a "legendary rock muse" for her role in inspiring both George Harrison ("Something" and "For You Blue") and Eric Clapton ("Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight"). What is her name?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

Venice, Italy, is situated on a group of small islands. How many small islands sit under the city of Venice?

       118                                                      Source

Venice (Italian: Venezia) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers (more exactly between the Brenta and the Sile). In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice (centro storico). Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC. The city was historically the capital of the Republic of Venice for a millennium and more, from 697 to 1797. It was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important center of commerce-especially silk, grain, and spice, and of art from the 13th century to the end of the 17th. The city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial center, emerging in the 9th century and reaching its greatest prominence in the 14th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, following a referendum held as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence.        Source

Mark. was first, and correct, with:

Randall wrote:

Dave said:
   117 islands. With rising sea levels, it is estimated that Venice will have to be abandoned and surrendered to the Adriatic by 2100 if not sooner. There is a long term project to build a system of gates to keep the sea out of the town, but it seems to be an impractical Rube Goldberg style boondoggle that can't work.
  Photos: Venice, Italy | Venetian casino in Las Vegas

Mac Mac said:

Alan J answered:
   118 islands.

Cal in Vermont replied:
   Venice is built on 118 small islands separated by canals but connected by over 400 bridges.

zorch responded:
   Venice has 118 islands and over 400 bridges.

Jim from CA, retired to ID, said:
   It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges.

Adam answered:
   118 small islands

Billy in Cypress U$A wrote:
   There are 118 islands, 416 bridges, 177 canals and also 127 squares in Venice per "45 Interesting Facts About Venice".

Deborah took the day off.
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James of Alhambra took the day off.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  December 10 Birthdays - Celebrities Born December 10 | Famous Birthdays

Sally has retired.

MAM     In memory.




Middle Class Political Economist






Song: "Treat Me Right" from the album WRONG GENERATION

Artist: The Blendours

Artist Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Info: Songs about love and broken hearts sung by a very good singer.

Price: $7 (USD) for song; $7 (USD) for ten-track album

Genre: Pop

The Blendours at Bandcamp

Wrong Generation by The Blendours

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Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

'An outright lie': Ohio lawmaker shown to be linked to group pushing rightwing Christian bills | US news | The Guardian

1.9 billion people at risk from water supply problems, study shows | Environment | The Guardian

'Now I have to check your hymen': the shocking persistence of virginity tests | Life and style | The Guardian

The no-flush movement: the unexpected rise of the composting toilet | Global | The Guardian

Sesame Street receives Kennedy Center Honors to rare bipartisan cheer | Television & radio | The Guardian

Trump's trade war creates 'nightmare before Christmas' for US toy-makers | Life and style | The Guardian

Amid the wasteland of the Salton Sea, a miraculous but challenging oasis is born - Los Angeles Times

Fox News names Bill Hemmer to succeed Shepard Smith - Los Angeles Times

Spice seller spends $700,000 on anti-Trump Facebook ads - Los Angeles Times

Washington Post: U.S. officials relentlessly 'misled the public' about progress of Afghanistan war

Hunter Biden appointed -- by Pres. GW Bush -- to Board of Directors, of Amtrak, in 2006.

The conservatives are killing this poll

Impeachment could make life miserable for GOP Senate majority (opinion) - CNN

The GOP: If it looks, swims and quacks like a duck, it's an avocado - The Washington Post

Most new tech jobs concentrated in just five U.S. metropolitan areas - The Washington Post

Trump's Mental Disabilities Prevent Him from Understanding the Inspector General's Report

Amazon Unveils New Grounds For Impeachment In New Lawsuit [Updated With Link To Unsealed Complaint]

Factless Fox cancels interview with James Comey after report on FBI probe bucks Trump's narrative

Yes, Everything is Awful, But at Least We Can All Enjoy Watching Ted Cruz Dissolve Into Nothingness

Thanks, Michelle!



New Venture

Michael Egan

A Cartoon Page for Non-Cartoonists

Michael Egan


Editorial and Political Cartoons



from Bruce



• Comedian Jackie Gleason was a big spender, even if he had to borrow money to spend. He once borrowed $500 from friend and bartender Toots Shor, then ordered a limousine to drive him and Frank Sinatra fewer than 100 feet to a nightclub where one-armed trumpet player Wingy Malone was playing. Jackie kept giving Wingy $100 bills to play "That's a Plenty."

• Comedian Lewis Black had a chance to perform at Villanova University, provided that he did not mock the Catholic Church. He replied that if Villanova would pay him $10,000, he would believe that the pope was infallible and anything else that Villanova wanted him to believe. Unfortunately, Villanova turned down his proposal.


• Comedian Adam Sandler had a good relationship with his mother as he was growing up. In the first grade, he would sometimes ask the teacher to excuse him, but instead of going to the restroom, he would go home. His mother never criticized him; she would simply make him a sandwich, and then walk him back to school. When Adam was eight years old, he entered and won a Punt, Pass, and Kick football tournament. However, because he wanted his mother to be proud of him, he waited for over 20 years to tell her how he won - he was the only competitor in his age group. Later, after he became a class clown and started getting poor grades, his mother yelled at him, "Why don't you ever try?" Adam recorded her, and then played the recording back to her. He says, "She laughed for half an hour."

• Early in his life, Bernie Mac knew that he wanted to be a comedian. His mother was crying one day, the television was on, and comedian Bill Cosby made an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Bernie was present, hoping that his mother would stop crying, and soon he saw that she was laughing at Bill Cosby even though her tears were still on her cheeks. A little later, she was laughing hard, and no one could tell that she had been crying. Although Bernie was only about four years old, he told his mother, "Mama, that's what I'm going to be. I'm going to be a comedian - so I don't ever have to see you cry."

• Lesbian comedian Judy Gold is a mother who is very happy that children today are growing up with less prejudice toward homosexuals than their parents had. One day, a child had a play date with her young son. After going home, the child complained, "Why can't I have two moms?"

• Comedian Bill Hicks discovered that he could get away with a lot on stage if he had the right comeback line. For example, he would do a joke about cunnilingus, shocking nearly everyone, then say, "My mother wrote that joke."

• Comedian Bob Hope's mother was funny, too. One of the jokes his family told was that when Bob was born, his mother shouted to her husband, "William, get the doctor back. He's taken the baby and left the stork."


• Buster Keaton came up with good gags, but he had to throw some of them out of his movies. For example, in The Navigator, he had a gag in which he had to repair his ship underwater, and a school of fish came near him. A big fish had trouble getting through the school of fish, so Buster acted like an underwater traffic cop. He took a starfish and let it attach itself to his clothing like a badge, and he then stopped the school of fish to let the big fish go on its way. (The gag took three days to film, and it took 1,500 rubber fish attached to violin string.) Unfortunately, the audience did not laugh at the gag because it occurred at a place in the movie where the audience thought that Buster ought to be serious - he had to fix the ship in order to rescue the heroine. Because the gag did not get a laugh when he previewed the movie, Buster deleted it from the movie. Don't feel bad for Buster, however - he put the gag in a trailer for the movie, and the gag got a big laugh.

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Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

Senate trial will be a s**tshow: Can Democrats beat Trump's disinformation machine? | Salon | Digby

Trump Extorted Ukraine in 2017 and 2018 Before Getting Caught This Year | NY Mag

The Trump-Ukraine scandal, explained in one minute | Vox

Read House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler's opening statement | Politico

Read Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman's opening statement | Politico

What the IG report found | Vox

AG Barr Made Last-Minute, 'Highly Unusual' Decision to Alter OIG Russia Report | Law & Crime

Pro-Trump protester disrupts impeachment hearing, accuses Nadler of treason | The Hill

What Trump has done to the courts, explained | Vox

Chris Wallace: DOJ IG Report 'Didn't Find the Things' Trump and Barr Think It Did | Daily Beast

Chris Wallace Schools Ken Starr: Trump Impeachment 'Much Bigger' Than Clinton's Sex Lies Were | Daily Beast

The Supreme Court Lets Kentucky's Anti-Abortion Transvaginal Ultrasound Law Stand | Slate

Finland's new parliament is dominated by women under 35 | Vox

'Rocket Man' and 'The Dotard,' redux | The Hill

Devin Nunes's explanations for his Parnas phone calls are getting increasingly outlandish | Vox

Senate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller | The Hill

Epic Sunday: Trump goes all-in on the tweets | Politico

Author of Steele dossier had 'cordial' relationship with Ivanka Trump: report | The Hill

The Missing Stories: Three Big Issues the Media Is Missing | Smirking Chimp

Marianne Williamson roasted for claim Trump pardoned Charles Manson | The Hill

Richard Jewell Turns a True Story Into a Libertarian Fable | Slate

Broadcast TV Shows And Actors Were Completely Shut Out Of The Golden Globes For The First Time Ever | BuzzFeed

2020 Golden Globes nominations: the full list | Vox



Reader Comment

Current Events

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Selected Readings

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In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Came across this today - Accidental shootings raise questions about arming teachers

Here's my armed teacher story (it's all true, but the names have been changed).

I was raised in a gun culture community.

Nearly 50 years later, it's just as gun-centric - the first day of deer season remains a legal school holiday.

The local paper still adds extra pages for pictures of dead deer and beaming children posed with long guns.

But one incident, way back when, defined the limit.

When I was in 8th grade a teacher pulled a gun on a student.

It was April 1st, April Fool's Day, and Harvey, the class cut-up, was called up to the math teacher's desk for some infraction.

Harve kinda loped up, and with one fluid movement, pulled a pair of scissors out of his back pocket and cut off Mr. Christian's necktie, just under the knot.

Mr. Christian sat there, stunned for a moment, and then bent down to pick up and open his briefcase.

Seems Mr. Christian was packing something special, a .38 special, which he trained at Harve's head.

Everyone froze.

Mr. French, the teacher in the next classroom, hearing the odd quiet, came in to see what was going on.

He talked Mr. Christian into dropping the gun.

Because pulling a gun on a student was such an egregious violation of local norms, Harve's punishment was tempered to a couple days off, and Mr. Christian 'retired' that day.

No charges were filed and Mr. French was never celebrated as a hero.

The story never appeared in any newspaper and the incident is still only whispered about.

So, yeah, I have a definite opinion about arming teachers.

No fucking way.

Tonight, Tuesday:

CBS begins the night with a RERUN 'NCIS', followed by a RERUN 'FBI', then a RERUN 'NCIS: The 3rd One'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert are Clive Owen, Florence Pugh, and Jon Batiste.
Scheduled on a FRESH James Corden, OBE,, with guest host Harry Styles are Kendall Jenner and Tracee Ellis Ross.

NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'Ellen's Greatest Night Of Giveaways', followed by a FRESH 'The Voice', then a FRESH 'Making It'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon is Charlie Puth.
Scheduled on a FRESH Seth Meyers are Saoirse Ronan, Alex Borstein, Dan Soder, and Coady Willis.
Scheduled on a FRESH Lilly Singh are Tom Lennon and Aisling Bea.

ABC opens the night with a FRESH 'The Conners', followed by a FRESH 'Bless This Mess', then a FRESH 'mixed-ish', followed by a FRESH 'black-ish', then a FRESH 'Emergence'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Dwayne Johnson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and She & Him.

The CW offers a FRESH 'The Flash', followed by a FRESH 'Crisis Aftermath'.

Faux has a FRESH 'The Masked Singer', followed by a FRESH 'The Moodys'.

MY recycles an old 'Chicago PD', followed by another old 'Chicago PD'.

A&E has 'The First 48', another 'The First 48', followed by a FRESH 'Behind Bars: Women Inside', then another FRESH 'Behind Bars: Women Inside'.

AMC offers the movie 'The Polar Express', followed by the movie 'Elf', then the movie 'The Polar Express'.

BBC  -   
 [7:00AM]   STAR TREK: VOYAGER - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 16-Learning Curve
 [9:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 2-Where Silence Has Lease
 [10:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 3-Elementary, Dear Data
 [11:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 4-The Outrageous Okona
 [12:00PM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 5-Loud as a Whisper
 [2:00PM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 7-Unnatural Selection
 [4:00PM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 9-The Measure of a Man
 [8:00PM]   MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)
 [10:30PM]   FRED CLAUS (2007)
 [1:00AM]   MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)
 [3:30AM]   FRED CLAUS (2007)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of OC', followed by a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of OC', then another FRESH 'Real Housewives Of OC', 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', followed by a FRESH 'Watch What Happens Live'.

Comedy Central has all old 'The Office' all night.
Scheduled on a FRESH The Daily Show are Alfre Woodard and Aldis Hodge.
Scheduled on a FRESH Lights Out with David Spade are Bert Kreischer, Steve Ranazzisi, and Candice Thompson.

FX has the movie 'War For The Planet Of The Apes', followed by the movie 'War For The Planet Of The Apes'.

History has 'The Curse Of Oak Island', followed by a FRESH 'The Curse Of Oak Island: Digging Deeper', then a FRESH 'The Curse Of Oak Island', followed by a FRESH 'Kings Of Pain'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00A]   Stan Against Evil - The Hex Files
 [6:30A]   Stan Against Evil - Larva My Life
 [7:00A]   Stan Against Evil - The Demon Who Came in From the Heat
 [7:30A]   The Three Stooges - Boobs in Arms
 [7:45A]   The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
 [10:00A]   Star Trek Generations
 [12:45P]   Star Trek: Insurrection
 [3:00P]   Star Trek: Nemesis
 [5:30P]   Galaxy Quest
 [8:00P]   Tommy Boy
 [10:15P]   Tommy Boy
 [12:30A]   Galaxy Quest
 [3:00A]   Star Trek: First Contact
 [5:30A]   The Three Stooges - Boobs in Arms
 [5:35A]   The Three Stooges - A-Ducking They Did Go    (ALL TIMES EST)

Sundance  -   
 [6:20am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [6:55am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [7:30am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [8:00am]   Criminal Minds
 [9:00am]   Criminal Minds
 [10:00am]   Criminal Minds
 [11:00am]   The Sum of All Fears
 [1:30pm]   Pulp Fiction
 [4:30pm]   A Bronx Tale
 [7:00pm]   GoodFellas
 [10:00pm]   GoodFellas
 [1:00am]   Pulp Fiction
 [4:00am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [4:35am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [5:10am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [5:45am]   The Andy Griffith Show     (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'The Edge Of Tomorrow', followed by the movie 'Pitch Black', then the movie 'The Chronicles Of Riddick'.

Scheduled on a FRESH Conan are Rory Scovel and Valerie Tosi.

 [6:00 AM]      Easy to Wed (1946)
 [8:00 AM]      Gildersleeve on Broadway (1943)
 [9:15 AM]      Listen, Darling (1938)
 [10:45 AM]      Bachelor Bait (1934)
 [12:15 PM]      Luxury Liner (1948)
 [2:00 PM]      Make Way for a Lady (1936)
 [3:15 PM]      Village of Daughters (1962)
 [4:45 PM]      Unexpected Uncle (1941)
 [6:00 PM]      Crossing Delancey (1988)
 [8:00 PM]      The Pink Panther (1964)
 [10:15 PM]      A Shot in the Dark (1964)
 [12:15 AM]      The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
 [2:30 AM]      The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
 [4:30 AM]      Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)    (ALL TIMES EST)

Wednesday   -  12/11/19

 [6:15 AM]      Colleen (1936)
 [8:00 AM]      So Long Letty (1929)
 [9:15 AM]      Holiday (1938)
 [11:00 AM]      The Merry Frinks (1934)
 [12:15 PM]      Loose Ankles (1930)
 [1:30 PM]      Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
 [3:30 PM]      Travels With My Aunt (1972)
 [5:30 PM]      Auntie Mame (1958)
 [8:00 PM]      Bell Book and Candle (1958)
 [10:00 PM]      Harry and Tonto (1974)
 [12:15 AM]      The Black Stallion (1979)
 [2:30 AM]      Run Wild, Run Free (1969)
 [4:15 AM]      National Velvet (1944)    (ALL TIMES EST)

USA has a FRESH 'The Purge', followed by a FRESH 'Treadstone'.

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from 12/09/88) - Danny DeVito and Richard Benjamin.

Bounce TV



Comet TV

Cozi TV


Decades TV Network


Find Justice - Justice Network

FNX - First Nations Experience

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Heroes and Icons

ION Television - Positively Entertaining

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

Quest Television Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

Start TV

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The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts


Former US first lady Michelle Obama and Hollywood A-lister Julia Roberts toured a high school in rural Vietnam on Monday, urging a classroom of teenage girls to stay focused on their education to transform their lives.

The promotion of girls' schooling has been the cornerstone of Obama's charitable work since her husband Barack Obama left office in 2017 after two terms as US president.

"When you educate a girl you give them power and a voice and an opportunity to improve their lives and the lives of their family and the lives of their community," Obama said at Can Giuoc high school in southern Long An province in the Mekong Delta.

Accompanied by Roberts and Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former US president George W. Bush, Obama encouraged the girls to stay the course of schooling.




SNL Environment

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Julia Louis-Dreyfus' time at Saturday Night Live wasn't all laughs.

Although there were plenty of "incredibly funny" people on the show, the Veep star told Stephen Colbert on Saturday that it was also a "very sexist" environment during her three-year tenure.

"I was unbelievably naive and I didn't really understand how the dynamics of the place worked," she revealed. "It was very sexist, very sexist. People were doing crazy drugs at the time. I was oblivious. I just thought, 'Oh wow. He's got a lot of energy.'"

The two comedians took part in a Q&A during the Montclair Film Festival held in Montclair, N.J., where they discussed Louis-Dreyfus' career from SNL to Seinfeld to her most recent work on HBO's Veep.

Joining the NBC variety show in 1982, Louis-Dreyfus became SNL's youngest female cast member at that time, and went on to share the stage with the likes of Eddie Murphy, Martin Short, and Billy Crystal.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus


Newhead News


Defamation Suit

'Richard Jewell'

Richard Jewell opens wide this week, but the Clint Eastwood-directed film could find itself in court soon afterward facing defamation charges if Atlanta's leading newspaper doesn't get the results it wants.

"It is highly ironic that a film purporting to tell a tragic story of how the reputation of an FBI suspect was grievously tarnished appears bent on a path to severely tarnish the reputation of the AJC, a newspaper with a respected 150-year-old publishing legacy," declares an explosive letter from attorney Marty Singer sent to Warner Bros and Oscar winner Eastwood on behalf of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today.

Fueled by controversy the past two weeks over the film's depiction of the Olivia Wilde-portrayed Kathy Scruggs allegingly trading sex with an FBI agent for information that security guard Jewell was their lead suspect in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, the correspondence sent today makes no bones about the next step being a "defamation lawsuit in various jurisdictions."

This escalation follows AJC Editor-in-Chief Kevin Riley insisting in public statements and past letters that the now-deceased Scruggs never traded sex for tips in the widely covered story. That story flooded newspapers and cable news with banners identifying Jewell as the FBI's top suspect. Heroically having helped get hundreds of civilians out of harm's way just before the July 1996 bombing in Centennial Olympic Park, the AT&T security guard later was cleared by the Bureau and the media after about three heavily scrutinized months as virtually public enemy No. 1.

Coming the same day that Richard Jewell essentially was snubbed in the Golden Globes nominations, Riley's insistence on what Scruggs seemingly didn't do and the role that the AJC played in eventually exonerating Jewell is what Monday's letter reiterates with blunt force.

'Richard Jewell'



Most-Tweeted-About Show


In what comes as a shock to probably no one, "Game of Thrones" was the most-tweeted-about TV show of 2019, according to Twitter's year-in-review data, which was released Monday. What might surprise you, however, is that "Saturday Night Live," the show that came in at No. 1 on 2018's list, was completely absent from this year's Top 10 rankings.

Aside from HBO's now-ended fantasy epic - which still managed to land in ninth place last year, without airing any new episodes - 2019's most-tweeted about series also include, in order, "Stranger Things,"* "The Simpsons,"* "La Casa de Papel,"* "Grey's Anatomy," "Love Island,"* "Catfish: The TV Show,"* "Family Guy,"* "The Walking Dead" and "Narcos,"* according to Twitter data measured from Jan. 1 - Nov. 15.

(Note: We used an asterisk above to note the shows that made the Top 10 this year that did not have that honor last year.)

Along with "SNL," 2018's most-tweeted-about TV series that didn't make the cut for 2019 include the now-canceled "Roseanne" (which ABC replaced with the Roseanne Barr-less spinoff, "The Conners"), as well as "Big Brother," "The Voice," "Live PD," "Supernatural" and "Riverdale."



Digby's Hullabaloo


Despite Evidence


Senior US officials insisted that progress was being made in Afghanistan despite clear evidence the war there had become unwinnable, The Washington Post reported on Monday after obtaining thousands of US government documents on the conflict.

The Post said it had collected more than 2,000 pages of notes of interviews with top US military officers and diplomats, aid workers, Afghan officials and others who played a direct role in the nearly two-decade-old war.

The documents, the newspaper said, "contradict a long chorus of public statements from US presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting."

"The interviews make clear that officials issued rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hid unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable," the Post said.

The newspaper dubbed the trove of documents "The Afghanistan Papers," a reference to the Pentagon Papers which detailed the secret history of US involvement in Vietnam and helped turn public opinion against the war.




It's Called Entrapment

Fake School

Federal agencies have pushed back against criticism that they entrapped hundreds of foreigners who enrolled in a fake school the agencies opened in an effort to fight visa fraud, saying those who enrolled knew they weren't signing up for a real school and that they only wanted a way to stay in the U.S.

The undercover operation that targeted students at the University of Farmington in Farmington Hills was legal and helped combat visa fraud, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan and head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's investigative division in Detroit said Friday in statements to the Detroit Free Press.

"HSI special agents, as part of this undercover operation, made it abundantly clear in their interactions with potential University of Farmington enrollees that the school did not offer academic or vocational programs of any kind. The individuals who enrolled in the University of Farmington did so intentionally," said Vance Callender, special agent in charge of the Detroit office of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI.

The students arrived in the U.S. legally, primarily from India, and were on F-1 student visa programs when they enrolled at the university that was covertly staffed by undercover agents and had a fake website. Nearly 80% of the 250 students who were arrested have voluntarily left the country, according to ICE.

The Free Press reported in November that the number of students who had been arrested on immigration infractions in the case had jumped to 250. The story drew widespread attention and several political leaders criticized or raised questions about the sting. Among the critics were several congressional Democrats, including Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is running for president .

Fake School


This Is Totally Normal


A host on the far-right US conspiracy and disinformation website InfoWars has been removed from the latest impeachment hearing by police, after interrupting House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler with pro-Donald Trump (R-Fake Tan) messages.

The interruption came from a host on the fringe conservative website who led a racist call earlier this year for the lynching of Barack Obama, America's first African American president.

The host was seen being led out by Capitol Police after the interruption on Monday, shortly after the start of the hearings in which politicians are to question the counsels hired by the House Intelligence Committee to spearhead questioning during earlier impeachment hearings.

"Americans are sick of your impeachment scam! Trump is innocent!" said the protester, Owen Shroyer.

Mr Shroyer had attracted attention to himself earlier this year with a racist call to lynch Mr Obama, whom he called "treasonous" during an interview with the far-right website Breitbart. He cited a conspiracy theory that has been pushed with no evidence by far-right actors as proof of the former president's alleged misdeeds.




Created in China

Pig-Monkey Chimeras

Two piglets recently born in China look like average swine on the outside, but on the inside, they are (a very small) part monkey.

A team of researchers generated the pig-primate creatures by injecting monkey stem cells into fertilized pig embryos and then implanting them into surrogate sows, according to a piece by New Scientist. Two of the resulting piglets developed into interspecies animals known as chimeras, meaning that they contained DNA from two distinct individuals - in this case, a pig and a monkey.

"This is the first report of full-term pig-monkey chimeras," co-author Tang Hai, a researcher at the State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology in Beijing, told New Scientist. Eventually, Hai and his colleagues aim to grow human organs in animals for use in transplant procedures. For now, the team plans to stick with monkey cells, as developing human-animal chimeras presents a slew of "ethical issues," the authors noted in a report published Nov. 28 in the journal Protein & Cell.

To create pig-primate chimeras, Hai and his co-authors first grew cells from cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) in lab dishes. The team then altered the cells' DNA by inserting instructions to build a fluorescent protein, which caused the cells to glow a bright green. These luminescent cells gave rise to equally radiant embryonic stem cells, which the researchers then injected into prepared pig embryos. These glowing spots allowed the researchers to track the monkey cells as the embryos grew into piglets.

In total, 4,000 embryos received an injection of monkey cells and were implanted in surrogate sows. The pigs bore 10 piglets as a result of the procedure, but only two of the offspring grew both pig and monkey cells. By scanning for spots of fluorescent green, the team found monkey cells scattered throughout multiple organs, including the heart, liver, spleen, lungs and skin.

Pig-Monkey Chimeras


Trigger Strong Memories


The delicious scent of baking bread wafting out from the open doors of a nearby bakery can act like a time portal, instantly sweeping you from a busy street in New York to a tiny cafe in Paris that you visited years ago. Scent particles, in general, can revive memories that have been long forgotten.

But why do smells sometimes trigger powerful memories, especially emotional ones?

The short answer is that the brain regions that juggle smells, memories and emotions are very much intertwined. In fact, the way that your sense of smell is wired to your brain is unique among your senses.

A scent is a chemical particle that floats in through the nose and into the brain's olfactory bulbs, where the sensation is first processed into a form that's readable by the brain. Brain cells then carry that information to a tiny area of the brain called the amygdala, where emotions are processed, and then to the adjoining hippocampus, where learning and memory formation take place.

Scents are the only sensations that travel such a direct path to the emotional and memory centers of the brain. All other senses first travel to a brain region called the thalamus, which acts like a "switchboard," relaying information about the things we see, hear or feel to the rest of the brain, said John McGann, an associate professor in the psychology department of Rutgers University in New Jersey. But scents bypass the thalamus and reach the amygdala and the hippocampus in a "synapse or two," he said.







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