Straddling the line between twisted and fascinating, “Squid Game” falls just enough on the right side to become a viral sensation. The Korean drama, which has taken Netflix by storm, follows 456 debt-riddled contestants competing in a series of children’s games with the equivalent of about $38 million on the line as a grand prize. The twist, though, is the brutality, starting with the first game, Red Light Green Light, during which losers are mercilessly gunned down where they stand. Among the contestants, who are promised death if they refuse to play along, are a North Korean defector, a corr...
Joe Manchin plotting exit strategy from Democratic Party if he doesn't get his way on infrastructure deal: report
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been privately discussing an exit plan from the Democratic Party, according to a new report.
The West Virginia senator has told associates he might leave the party if President Joe Biden and Democratic lawmakers don't agree to cut the social infrastructure bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion, sources told Mother Jones.
"Manchin has said that if this were to happen, he would declare himself an 'American Independent,'" reports the site's David Corn, "and he has devised a detailed exit strategy for his departure."
The senator would first send a letter to Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) removing himself from party leadership, then wait about a week to see whether that has any influence over negotiations -- and then change his voter registration from Democratic to independent.
It's not clear whether he would caucus with Democrats or side with Republicans -- which would tilt the balance of the Senate -- but the infrastructure bill would be doomed without his vote, and he's told Democratic colleagues to accept his $1.75 trillion cap or risk losing the legislation altogether.
Manchin told associates he almost went ahead with the exit plan this week and mentioned that possibility to the president, but had been encouraged by conversations with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and others to keep working on a deal.
Arizona Republicans fear ‘we’re going to shoot ourselves in the foot’ by chasing Trump ‘down the rabbit hole’
A slate full of conspiracy cranks and right-wing extremists is threatening to undermine the Republican Party's chances next year in Arizona, which has been tilting toward the left in recent elections.
The state's GOP-led Senate authorized a lengthy and widely criticized "audit" of Donald Trump's election loss, and former TV anchor Kari Lake and state Rep. Mark Finchem have made the former president's "fraud" conspiracies a centerpiece of their campaigns for statewide office -- and Arizona Republicans worry that will doom them in the midterms, reported Politico.
"The goalposts keep moving," said Bill Gates, a Republican Maricopa County supervisor. "It used to be that we got into genuine debates about whether you're more of a conservative or a moderate. We used to debate over ideology, and now it is how far you can go down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, and if you're unwilling to do it, it doesn't matter if you're pro-life, if you've never voted for a tax increase. It doesn't matter. It's all about going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, unfortunately."
The state's congressional delegation Rep. Paul Gosar and Rep. Andy Biggs, both of whom were implicated in the "Stop the Steal" rally by organizer Ali Alexander, and Ron Watkins, the purported head of the QAnon conspiracy movement, hopes to join them in Congress.
"I don't think anyone considers [Watkins] a serious candidate," said longtime GOP consultant and former state legislator Stan Barnes, who nonetheless finds the QAnon celebrity's campaign a bad omen. "The center is not holding in the political spectrum. You need to understand that among Republican primary voters, the concept that President Trump was done wrong in the Arizona election scores very high. It is a very popular opinion, majority opinion, among Republican voters who will turn out in the Republican primary."
But that's not the case outside of deeply conservative circles, and certainly not among independent voters.
"I think people are getting tired of hearing it," said Delos Bond, the GOP chair in Apache County, which Joe Biden won by 30 points. "I really think we're going to shoot ourselves in the foot if we just expound on 2020."
Items were discovered at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida on Wednesday.
"The Sarasota County Medical Examiner and a cadaver dog were called on Wednesday to a Florida park where authorities found several items belonging to Brian Laundrie, the missing fiancé of Gabby Petito," CNN reported. "Laundrie's parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie, informed the FBI and the North Port Police Department Tuesday night that they intended to come to the park on Wednesday morning to search for him, family attorney Steven Bertolino said. Law enforcement met them there Wednesday morning, he said."
Petito's remains were discovered in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
Brian Laundry www.youtube.com
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