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‘Unhinged conspiracy-monger’ Trump and the GOP are mired in a ‘cesspool’ of paranoia: conservative

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On Saturday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Max Boot outlined key reasons why the spread of conspiracy theories has become more dangerous than ever in modern America.

One of the most important reasons: They are being amplified and promoted by the man in the Oval Office.

“Every great disaster of the past century has brought forth conspiracy-mongers. They claimed that World War I was started by arms manufacturers, a.k.a. ‘merchants of death’; that Franklin D. Roosevelt goaded Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor and knew all about it in advance; that homegrown traitors ‘lost’ Eastern Europe and China to communism; that the military industrial complex assassinated John F. Kennedy; that the crack cocaine epidemic was started by the CIA; that 9/11 was an ‘inside job’; and that George W. Bush invaded Iraq to help Halliburton,” wrote Boot.

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“The impulse to ‘conspiracize’ is as old as the human race. Often that means blaming despised minorities for larger ills,” wrote Boot. “Plagues have been a particularly rich breeding ground for conspiracy theories. In 14th century Europe, Jews were massacred after being accused of spreading the bubonic plague by poisoning wells. So it is no surprise that there is now an epidemic of coronavirus conspiracy theories.”

“The virus was said to have been started by a Chinese biological warfare laboratory, the U.S. Army, Bill Gates or a ‘globalist conspiracy to establish sweeping population control’ — and it is said to be spread by 5G towers,” wrote Boot. “A movie called ‘Plandemic’ alleges that masks make you sick, that bleach can heal you and that a vaccine may kill you; it has been viewed at least 8 million times online. Naturally, the novel coronavirus has been subsumed into the all-encompassing QAnon conspiracy theory that has become a quasi-religion among some Trump supporters. They think that the virus was created by the ‘deep state’ to bring down their hero.”

All of this is worse, Boot wrote, because “we now have an unhinged conspiracy-monger in the White House.”

“When he is not ranting about a vast, nebulous plot perpetrated by the prior administration (‘Obamagate’) or about how Joe Scarborough supposedly murdered an aide, Trump is opining that the virus started in a Chinese lab, that hydroxychloroquine is an effective prophylactic, and that injections of bleach can treat the disease,” wrote Boot. “His son, Eric, recently said that the coronavirus has been hyped by Democrats eager to stop his dad from holding rallies, and that ‘after Nov. 3, coronavirus, will magically all of a sudden go away.'”

“This is nuts, but it gains credence by being promulgated by authority figures,” wrote Boot. “In fact, the entire GOP — which just nominated a QAnon believer as its Senate candidate in Oregon — is becoming a modern-day Know Nothing Party, a cesspool of prejudice and irrationality. What was once the fringe has now moved into the mainstream — and will become even more prominent as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Let’s hope that people can find saner and safer ways to make sense of this terrible time, because if they give in to irrationality, our current predicament will only get worse.”

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New Zealand may postpone general election after 4 test positive for COVID-19: PM Jacinda Ardern

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New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.

Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.

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2020 Election

Android phones to get ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warnings — and phones may double as tremor detectors

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Android phones will receive warnings triggered by a "ShakeAlert" earthquake early-warning system implemented on the West Coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.

ShakeAlert uses signals from hundreds of seismometers across the state to trigger warning messages that "an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent," according to the system's website.

"We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed," principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said in a blog post.

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2020 Election

‘Don’t talk about racism, racist’: Trump scorched after claiming Biden-Harris campaign has a ‘racism problem’

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President Donald Trump continued to lash out at Kamala Harris after the California Democrat was chosen to join the 2020 Democratic Party ticket as presumptive nominee Joe Biden's running mate.

At a news conference following the selection, Trump complained about Harris being "nasty."

After 10 p.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted out an attack ad claiming "Joe Biden has a racism problem."

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's line of attack:

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