The Internet

GoDaddy Gives Employees Christmas Bonus, It Is 'F*ck You'

You’re a mean one, Mr. GoDaddy.

GoDaddy, the web hosting company with the worst name ever, broke news to its employees a while back that they wouldn't receive Christmas bonuses. In June, the Arizona-based company had laid off 400 employees. It was a tough year. But a couple weeks ago, it seemed like a Christmas miracle had occurred.

On December 14, about 500 employees received an email informing them that they would receive a $650 holiday bonus.

Happy Holiday GoDaddy! 2020 has been a record year for GoDaddy, thanks to you!

Yay! It feels good to be appreciated.

Though we cannot celebrate together during our annual Holiday Party, we want to show our appreciation and share a $650 one-time Holiday bonus! To ensure that you receive your one-time bonus in time for the Holidays, please select your location and fill in the details by Friday, December 18th.

It turned out, though, that the Grinchy Claus wasn't taking the Christmas tree back to his workshop to fix a busted light, and the Cindy Lou Whos who responded to the email received another, less pleasant one a couple days later.

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Big Tough Gym Guy Reenacts 'Love Actually' Scene To Protest COVID Restrictions

What ... what is this?

If you had a million dollars, what would you spend it on? I would buy me a green dress (but not a real green dress, that's cruel). Also, your love. And probably other things, too, I don't really know, and I can't remember the rest of the lyrics to that song. I do really want these rhinestone combat boots and have yet to find a way to justify purchasing them when I can't even go anywhere, so maybe that?

I can tell you what I would not spend it on, though — fines for keeping a gym open during a pandemic. That is far less useful than rhinestone combat boots, if you ask me.

And yet, over the past year, New Jersey gym owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti have incurred over $1.2 million in fines for remaining open during the pandemic. While we all obviously feel for people who can't keep their businesses open right now and are quite furious at the fact that our government can't get it together to get money to people so that they can survive this shit, I am also pretty sure that a gym in New Jersey — even in non-COVID times — probably does not make enough to cover that comfortably. So odds are they are spending way more than they are taking in, in order to be dicks about the lockdown orders.

It's also not just that they're staying open in spite of the lockdowns, but also that they're not requiring people to wear masks while inside or following any other safety protocols either, because of how super tough they are. Also, because they are super tough, co-owner Ian Smith went viral this weekend — among right-wing trolls and the kind of people who comment on, anyway — by doing the world's worst Love Actually reenactment in order to drum up support for his gym.

It was real awkward and involved a lot of finger licking.

Here are his various slides, which I have written out for you like a lovely poem:

Welcome to the Atillis Gym Bellmawr
We have over $1 million in fines
We have had our business license stripped
We have had our doors locked and barricaded
We have been arrested and have over 60 citations
Today we will pass 84,000 visits to our facility
We don't mandate masks. We never will.
Gov. Murphy will see this video and fine us $15K for it
But … free men don't ask permission
Or for forgiveness
No science. No shutdown.

It seems fair to wonder what else Ian Smith applies this "free men don't ask permission" philosophy to. Because it seems like there are a lot of things "free men" might have to ask permission for.

He's not kidding about that $15K fine, though. The state is actually pretty goddamned sick of Ian Smith and his social media shenanigans and will be fining them $15K for every day they stay open in defiance of orders.

Via Law 360:

In a letter brief Thursday, Deputy New Jersey Attorney General Stephen Slocum detailed 13 videos and one photo posted online by Atilis Gym co-owner Ian Smith throughout November in which he and patrons appeared to be eschewing masks, social distancing and other safety protocols. Smith frequently stated his intention to defy the orders in the videos, one of which was titled "Freedom Doesn't Require Permission" in all capital letters.

The postings came in the wake of an October court order to adhere to modified business operations, such as outfitting the Bellmawr gym with plastic dividers and 6-foot demarcations to facilitate social distancing. The state wants to enforce the roughly $15,500-a-day fine provision of the order for each of the eight days it claims the gym defied the order in November.

The social media posts depict Atilis and Smith "affirmatively and openly mocking this court's authority, engaging in wanton contempt, and encouraging others to undermine this court's authority, demonstrating willful and intentional contempt," Slocum wrote in the letter brief.

At this point, what Smith is doing is making a mockery of the financial hardship that other small businesses are dealing with right now. I'm sure a lot of them would love to be open and making money (in a way that is safe!), I'm sure a lot of owners are scared, but they're not out there incurring fines up the wazoo because they don't actually give a shit about anything other than the adulation of angry Trump voters on the internets.

Also, he is a douchebag and his beard looks like it probably smells terrible.

Anyway, this is your open thread, sorry you have to look at his dumb face!

[Law 360]

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The Internet

On Clickbait: When People Tell You They Just Want To Read Headlines, Believe Them

'Just reading the headlines' is part of the way disinformation spreads.

I think it was around 2014 when the internet truly started freaking out about "clickbait." As with anything that people feel free to be righteously but non-controversially outraged about, some people took it a little too far. Soon, it didn't just describe headlines or images promising exciting information you couldn't get to without clicking through 80,000 slides (and sometimes never got to), or headlines that promised "and what happened will shock you!" and were then not particularly shocking, but practically any headline that did not give away everything that was pertinent to know in the article itself.

Being that I wrote on the internet for a living, it was a criticism I was particularly tuned in to. I'm not gonna lie — it absolutely annoyed the shit out of me. It was right up there with people commenting "Why don't you just give us the facts and let us make up our own minds!" on op-eds or the ever-present "Who?" or "And I should care why?" I'd see comments like "Oh I see what they're doing! They just want to get us to click so we'll read the entire article!" and I would get so mad. For one, if headlines contained all the information one needed to know on a subject, they would be ridiculously long. For another, it was just weird to see people complaining on social media that I — or anyone else — was trying to "manipulate" them into reading the whole article and giving away one of their precious clicks, as if they were giving away a piece of their soul rather than simply opening a new tab in their browser.

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Conspiracy Theories

Trump And The MAGA Crowd Go Off The Deep End After SCOTUS Refuses To Undo The Election

And yet they're still holding on to hope.

On Friday, a heavily conservative Supreme Court that currently includes three justices personally appointed by Donald Trump, rejected a lawsuit from the state of Texas asking for the court to throw out the results of four battleground states that, very rudely, did not vote for Donald Trump — even though he really wanted them to. In an unsigned order, the court said that Texas "has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections."

Justices Alito and Thomas, unsurprisingly, made it known that if it were up to them, they would have granted the motion to file the bill of complaint, but would not have done anything else:

The State of Texas's motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.

Statement of Justice Alito, with whom Justice Thomas joins: In my view, we do not have discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case that falls within our original jurisdiction. See Arizona v. California, 589 U. S. ___ (Feb. 24, 2020) (Thomas, J., dissenting). I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint but would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue.


As you might imagine, Trump is handling this latest disappointment incredibly well.

It appears that perhaps he is now turning to the Proud Boys — whom he previously told to "stand back and stand by" — for ... something, I guess. I don't know. Maybe a hug? He invited Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio to the White House for some reason.

The Proud Boys, along with many other idiots, are currently protesting in DC in a "March for Trump," in hopes of getting the Supreme Court to change their mind or for something else to happen that will allow them to enjoy 4 more years of Trump tweets. You may recall that the last time the Proud Boys were there, they stabbed three people. So this should be pleasant for all involved.

And Alex Jones is there, to boot. Being protected by the Proud Boys because apparently he is too weak to take on any potential attackers himself. Guess those magic beans he sells don't work so well after all!

The MyPillow guy was there, calling us "little mini piranhas" trying to take their rights away one bite at a time and yelling about Jesus.

Over on Parler, Milo Yiannopoulos wailed into the night, calling for secession and talking about how he "lost everything helping to put Trump in office" and now feels "utterly betrayed."

Milo isn't the only one on Parler talking about a civil war, either.

And even on Twitter "Marshall Law" was trending.

Marshall's Law, I believe, is where you spend three hours staring at things in Marshall's, try super hard to like a weird dress from Free People that doesn't look great but also it's like 70 percent off so maybe you could make it work, and then come out with only a candle and some facial serum. Not sure how that is relevant, but okay!

Here is one thing I would like to know. Why are there no op-eds about these people living in a bubble? I mean, in 2016, we never heard the end of how liberals were blindsided by the election because we all live in liberal bubbles and don't know anyone from Real America (despite how very many of us ran screaming away from Real America in our youths). Surely, conservatives have long been living in a bubble of their own — one in which, by the way, they are constantly reassured that they are the Real Americans and the Patriots and that the Second Amendment guarantees them the right to overthrow the government if they don't like it. And that's not a healthy bubble like the one where you'd be surprised that people would vote for a man who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy, or the one that protected John Travolta from all of the things in the air that could kill him. That's a scary bubble.

Anyway, Sidney Powell is gonna drop some more lawsuits, because she's still not giving up. She is now hoping to get to the Supreme Court herself, which will almost definitely not happen. They may not have yet "begun to fight," but that doesn't really matter so much when the fight is over and no one really cares if you want to try to throw a few more punches, because you're the only one standing in the ring.

I'm ... not good at sports analogies. But you get what I'm saying. They're welcome to keep trying and keep trying, they're welcome to keep trying, but at the end of the day, they aren't gonna eke out a win here. Which, frankly, is quite a relief.

[New York Times]

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