Coronavirus: Trump admits to slowing the testing rate, which allows unabated spread & more American deaths
Good morning everyone - I am posting this coronavirus-centric newsletter instead of the usual Lost in the Sauce because I am running behind after spending yesterday on Father’s Day activities. So tomorrow I will post Lost in the Sauce (covering the political and legal news that may have been overlooked last week). My apologies, I wanted to get something out to you guys today as promised. Housekeeping:
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The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the pandemic's largest single-day increase of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 183,000 cases reported in the previous 24 hours. Brazil and the United States contributed the most to the surge in cases.
Trump says he told his administration to test fewer people: “Testing is a double-edged sword… When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people, you’re gonna find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down, please. They test and they test.” (video)
The White House later tried to soften Trump's remark, saying he was joking. Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, points out a key aspect that is often overlooked: “The joke is on us. We stayed inside weeks on weeks with the unstated social contract that it was going to give the nation time to have alternatives to social distancing. And they didn’t do it. The nationwide testing plan never panned out like they said it would.”
Congressman Andy Kim (NJ): When I requested FEMA to stand up a Coronavirus test site in South Jersey they told me the White House said no. Now we know why.
EDIT TO UPDATE: A reporter asked Trump this morning if he actually ordered testing to be slowed down - Trump avoided answering the direct question but implied that he thinks we should do less testing. Trump says: "if it did slow down, frankly, I think we're way ahead of ourselves if you wanna know the truth. We've done too good of a job." (video) Just days earlier, Trump told the WSJ that testing for the coronavirus is "overrated," arguing that it has led to an increase in confirmed cases in the U.S. that "makes us look bad." Trump has made statements like this numerous times before.
Reminder: In March, Trump said he wanted to keep passengers and crew on an infected cruise ship so that coronavirus cases in the US don't "double." "I like the numbers being where they are. I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship."
Op-Ed: Trump Just Admitted to a Crime Against Humanity. No, He Wasn’t Joking.
Fact check: Controlling the spread of the pandemic demands finding the infected and isolating them until they can no longer spread the disease, alongside broader measures like social distancing. With an untold number of asymptomatic carriers, the only option to find out who truly has the virus is to test. Meanwhile, a lack of testing hampers the response to the virus. Health officials can’t preempt outbreaks in new regions. The threat then silently persists, infecting, killing, and draining resources. (Vox) The U.S is now conducting more than 3 million coronavirus tests a week, far short of the 30 million tests per week experts say is needed to safely reopen. These experts aren’t just worried about the number of tests that labs can process. They are concerned about the logistical challenges of testing so many people, and the lag in setting up adequate contact tracing to find who may have been exposed.
Cases continue to rise
Experts abroad: “It really does feel like the U.S. has given up.” Comparing the rolling average of new coronavirus cases in the EU (pop. 446 million) to the US (pop. 330 million), shows the stark difference in results: the US rate is climbing back to its high point of ~30,000 average cases while the EU has stabilized at only 4,000 cases.
Note that since that graph was made, the US has surpassed that number: The CDC reported over 32,000 new cases for both Friday and Saturday - the highest daily totals since April 25. [See a few paragraphs below for state details]
Germany’s success in responding to the coronavirus pandemic was based on U.S. research that was ignored or dismissed by the U.S. government. “A large portion of [Germany’s] measures that proved effective was based on studies by leading U.S. research institutes,” said Karl Lauterbach, a Harvard-educated epidemiologist who is a member of the German parliament for the Social Democrats. If the US had acted when other nations did, using the same information, 70%-99% of American covid deaths would have been avoided. The Oxford index shows that 14 days from the date of the 15th confirmed case in each country — a vital early window for action — the U.S. response to the outbreak lagged behind the others by miles...Due to exponential viral spread, our delay in action was devastating.
Meanwhile, at his Tulsa rally over the weekend, Trump boasted that “I have done a phenomenal job on it,” calling the coronavirus “the Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu.”
A dozen states have seen record highs of new COVID-19 cases since Friday… Those include Florida, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, California, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
Arizona’s coronavirus cases have nearly doubled in 14 days, from 26,989 on June 7 to 52,390 on June 21. Florida on Saturday reported 4,049 new coronavirus cases, another consecutive single-day record increase in cases. For the fourth time in five days, Texas reported a record number of new coronavirus cases Saturday.
Hundreds test positive at Tyson Foods plant in Arkansas… Of the 3,748 employees tested, 481 tested positive for COVID-19, and 455 were asymptomatic. [This asymptomatic number is surprising and raises the possibility that there may be contamination somewhere in the testing “chain.”]
Funding and equipment
Trump administration ends funding for new lung damage treatments… The coronavirus attacks the lungs, killing some and leaving others with severe lung ailments. Earlier this month, the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) abruptly notified companies and researchers that it was halting funding for treatments for this severe form of Covid-19. The new policy highlights how staunchly the Trump administration has placed its bet on vaccines. Instead of COVID testing supplies, FEMA sent the Washington State Health Dept. tiny plastic preforms that can be made into 2-liter soda bottles… The Department of Health received 300,000 vials, all of which were unlabeled, unusually packaged, and unusable. FEMA paid $7.3 million to a first-time federal contractor with a sketchy owner for these unusable mini soda bottles. The bottles are also contaminated, as employees did not wear masks and kept them in an unclean environment. FEMA reportedly sent them to all 50 states. A DHS review found that the CDC’s earliest coronavirus test kits were contaminated… Scientists did not thoroughly check the kits despite “anomalies” during manufacturing, according to the federal review. The CDC’s failure with the test added many weeks of delays to the rollout of widespread testing. One of Trump’s top fundraisers is cashing in on the pandemic… Brian Ballard uses his Trump connections to lobby the administration on behalf of companies seeking to market their health products or score federal relief money. “He’s playing the K Street lobbyist game, buying access to this administration and enjoying that access,” said Craig Holman, who works on ethics and lobbying issues for the watchdog group Public Citizen. FEMA can find no records of criteria it uses to make distributions to states from the Strategic National Stockpile to address the coronavirus pandemic… The claim is especially concerning because the president has made statements suggesting that states should get federal assistance based on how he feels about the states’ governors. TSA whistleblower alleges the agency endangered staff and passengers… TSA withheld N95 masks from staff and exhibited "gross mismanagement" in its response to the coronavirus crisis – leaving employees and travelers vulnerable during the most urgent days of the pandemic. Airports beg government to set face mask policy for passengers… “I can’t emphasize that enough – we would welcome regulations on a temporary basis that you should wear a mask in an airport when you’re transferring through it,” Airports Council International - North America President Kevin M. Burke said this past week. Concerns that Donald Trump’s inner circle might pressure the FDA to rush a coronavirus vaccine to market in time for the presidential election have risen after the White House attacked the agency for reversing itself on an experimental drug treatment. “And if you give it to people and they think ‘Wow, I’ve got the vaccine now,’ they’re likely not to physically distance, wear face masks. And then if it doesn’t actually work, Oh! We’ve got a disaster on our hands,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, a medical professor at the University of Pennsylvania and former Obama White House health policy adviser.
CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program
Senators find $14 billion in unspent funds Congress approved in April to expand coronavirus testing and tracing… "While it has been months since these funds were first appropriated, the administration has failed to disburse significant amounts of this funding, leaving communities without the resources they need to address the significant challenges presented by the virus," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Sunday. The pandemic is disproportionately hurting black-owned small businesses and the administration is not helping… Only 12 percent of black and Hispanic business owners polled between April 30 and May 12 received the funding they had requested. About one quarter received some funding. By contrast, half of all small businesses reported receiving from a single part of the stimulus packages — the Paycheck Protection Program — according to a census survey.
Only 2 percent of a $20 million city-wide small business loan program went to businesses in the Bronx, the New York City borough with the highest share of black people, according to a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Small Business Services, while 57 percent went to Manhattan businesses.
A coalition of civil rights groups including the ACLU sued the Trump administration for denying coronavirus relief loans to small business owners with criminal records, arguing the restrictive policy violates the law and perpetuates systemic racial injustices by discriminating against people of color. PPP failed to get money where it was most needed. 7 of the 10 states that received the smallest dollar amount of loans were among the 10 states with the highest number of people approved for unemployment claims as of May 23. South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Florida, and Nebraska received significantly more aid proportionally compared to states with higher covid-related unemployment rates like Nevada, Maine, Michigan, and Hawaii. A federal judge is once again ordering Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to release the full amount of stimulus funding Congress set aside for Native American tribes. “The Secretary has now taken more than twice as much time as Congress directed to distribute all CARES Act funds,” Mehta wrote. Mehta’s decision blocked so-called Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs), which have vast land holdings and secure significant profits from timber and oil sales, from receiving funds, as they are not government entities. The administration has so far failed to spend more than 75% of the American humanitarian aid that Congress provided three months ago to help overseas victims of the virus. Relief workers said they were alarmed and bewildered as to why the vast majority of the money was sitting unspent.
Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020
Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020
The current, and now previous, Beermoney Global list started nearly 5 years ago. It’s been updated and has grown over all that time, but it also became a hassle to keep current. It was time to build a new list from scratch based on my experience in the Beermoney world over all these years and all the contributions all of you have been making in this sub. The lists consist of opportunities that are available in at least one country that is not the US. This means there are sites which only work in Canada or the UK. There’s sites which are open to the whole world, but this does not mean everyone can really earn something on it. It’s all still very demographic and therefore location dependent. This list should give you a starting point to try out and find what works for you. I’m not using everything myself as I prefer to focus on a few, so not all are tested by me. They are found in this sub, other subreddits and other resources where people claim to have success. I’ve chosen the format of a simple table with the bare minimum of information to keep things clean. It includes a link, how you earn, personal payment proof if available and sign-up bonus codes if applicable. Some of these bonuses are also one-time use codes specifically made for this sub! For the ones I don’t have payment proof (yet) feel free to provide some as a comment or via modmail so others know it’s legit. I am working on detailed instructions for each method that I personally use which will include things like cashout minimum, cashout options, tips & tricks,... For now I’ve split things up based on the type of earning like passive or mobile. Because of this there’s sometimes an overlap as some are both passive and on mobile or both earning crypto and a GPT (Get Paid To) website. The lists are obviously not complete so I invite you to keep posting new ones in the sub, as a comment to this post, or in modmail. Especially if you have sites or apps which work for one single specific country I can start building a list, just like I did for The Netherlands and Belgium. If you recognize things which are in fact scams or not worth it let me know as well.
Get Paid To (Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, clicking links, play games, searching)
For The Netherlands there are a few very good options next to a bunch of ‘spaarprogramma’s. There ‘spaarprogramma’s are all the same where you receive and click a bunch of e-mails, advertisements, banners,... I advise you to create a separate e-mail address or use a good filter in your inbox as you will be spammed to death. I believe they can be a nice piece of beermoney but they take quite the effort.
I am a Mexican-American software engineer in the US & avocado farmer in Mexico. I'm here to bring TAQUITOS during these trying times. I have come with fresh research off the tortilla press for my amigos at Wall Street Bets I'm sitting here getting used to my NEW Gigabyte 17 with NVIDIA RTX that I bought with the TORO PLAY from my last DD on CDN infrastructure & serverless computing. It was quite successful, as Fastly rallied beyond the success of market favorites like Zoom. I need to get used to the keyboard and writing on non-Macs again so I figured to write about my next play. Kansas City Southern is a very uniquely positioned business that plays an important role in all of our lives. It is the rail the connects the US and Mexico and it will grow with the release of USMCA on July 1st and Trump's infrastructure bill. My style of investing is principled by exercising common sense and investing in deep market relationships - I am not generally interested in investing in only a product, but how the product fits and its impact on an economic model
Texas growing mastery in energy and supply-chain markets
Mexican need for increased energy effeciency & market regulation
The South Texas Basin & North Mexican potential for natural gas
The Gulf of Mexico Liquid Natural Gas pipeline
Laredo border, Houston, Monterrey position in world trade.
The undoing of economic bottlenecks in natural gas and digital trade
# What to Consider
- My calls are always an exercise of common sense. Mexico and the US have a tightly coupled trading relationship. The USMCA stands to invigorate that relationship and emphasize successes in energy production, manufacturing price parity, and tech-invoked trade access. The exercising of law will result in institutional confidence, resulting in reasonable profits from July-September. Mexico is Buy American as a nation. It has a tightly coupled relationship with American output. - NAFTA ends June 30th and the USMCA goes into effect July 1st. The US is the last nation ready to prepare the changes. - Trump will soon be under pressure for some form of economic stimulus. This may be in the form of an infrastructure bill by the time September or the election rolls around. - The USMCA modernizes up cross border digital trade and seeks to modernize some structural changes that have transformed in the energy industries invoking industrial surplus. This will increase the rate of exchange - These changes from Facebook (WhatsApp), Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Shopify, Cloudflare, Paypal, and other important supply chain players like SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS to supercharge trade between the two nations. - These changes also encourage energy production between US & Mexico, where Mexico has fallen behind and Texas has exceeded. - NO this DD is not about the obvious auto-manufacturing benefit. It is an important factor but there is plenty of evidence that only focuses on that element of the USMCA. - Kansas City Southern is one of the ten Class-I Railroads of the US. It is the ONLY Class-I Railroad that connects the US & Mexico and runs along the Gulf of Mexico. This results in streamlined cross-border energy and product trades. This also means that KSUstands to agnostically benefit from economic improvements in energy output and nation building from both the US & Mexico. - Mexico is an important bulwark nation for the US to bolster as a partner against Chinese economic threat. Its relationship with US is far different than international partners like Germany, India, and Japan. There is a far greater efficiency potential between the two nations across many industries related to logistics, mining, energy, manufacturing, telecom, and agriculture. - Mexico's higher education and English learners have rapidly increased as Mexico radically approaches middle incomes and its narcotics problem. By most accounts, the US is least behind in terms of social policy regarding The Drug War. The US stands to adapt and benefit most rapidly from the economic bottleneck the Drug War has produced. - Migration is complex between the two nations. It is arguably a symbiotic relationship regarding wages, education, crime, and currency parity with respects to US & Mexico. 1994, the signing of NAFTA was a consequential inflection point in economic history. Mexico serves as important trading vector and access point to increase global price efficiencies in auto markets, energy, materials, agriculture, and labor.
# The Product
Kansas City Southern is a relatively small railroad compared to other systems like Union Pacific. You can argue that this is beneficial as is allows the railroad to execute and iterate more rapidly to changes and optimize for efficiencies that larger railroads cannot. KSU does this with Precision Railroad Scheduling along with other Class-I railroads but to great effect. In simple terms, this means that railroads prioritize the scheduling of arrival and departures over the weight and output of each train run. This has resulted in
Greater flexibility to economic changes (Amazon, energy, etc)
I'm fairly conservative in my choice to purchase option or stock. I'm a software engineer that's passionate about education and have really enjoyed exercising my knowledge-base during this investment time. Usually i get really excited about a stock or two at best per year based on certain global developments. These stocks are selected based on powerful and consequential market relationships or competitions occurring in the arena and by simply just participating in the market as much as I can myself. I have made a fair amount of money with
REDACTEDcoin & AMD's computing relationship (Bought REDACTEDcoin at 2k, AMD at $11)
E-Commerce and Facebook's growing relationship with small businesses (my first options reached 20x on FB)
Privacy [CloudFlare, Big Tech, US, China, and global development]
Automation, manufacturing, and battery improvements [Panasonic, FANUC, Texas, Mexico and Japan]
Mexican-American trade [Kansas City Union, USMCA, and the Mexican economy]
Virtual Reality, gaming, AI with user-experience support, and fintech [Zoomers & you]
Hello dwellers, I’m a German guy who just recently got into the hobby, and spent a long time researching… well, a lot of stuff. The following is intended as a reference or perhaps a guide for newcomers who might find themselves lost. It is a long read, but I think it may save you a lot of “work” and touch topics that you might not have considered yet. Headlines are written in bold letters, so you could just scan through it or simply use Ctrl+F to see if something interests you. I mentioned my nationality so you can put some statements further down into perspective. I apologize in advance for any inconsistencies, I wrote this over a longer timespan. Anyway, here goes: Boardgamegeek Chances are you already heard about this infamous website. Its main purpose is to serve as a database for boardgames. All games (and many expansions) are assigned an individual score from 1 (bad) to 10 (good), one of which is the community rating, and the other a weighted rating that BGG implemented to prevent games with low review counts to reach unproportonally high ratings. As a rule of thumb, if a game you are considering to buy has a score of 6.5 or lower (which is still fine of course), you should think twice. Assigned to each game (by the community) are also: a “good” and a recommended number of players, the estimated length of the game and its “weight” on a scale from 1 (easy) to 5 (hard). There’s been some criticism regarding that simple weight score, because it does not differentiate between “difficulty to learn” and “difficulty to play”, but it is still a solid indicator of how heavy a game is. For starters, if you are trying to introduce new people to the hobby, games with weight < 2.5 might be a good starting point (for a brief list of recommendations as well as links to BGG sites, scroll all the way down). Another important part of each game’s site is the “Expansions” tab, but we will get to that later. BGG also hosts a market place that I have used twice so far, with great experience. You can directly access it by searching for the “Buy” button on your desired game’s BGG site. On the “Geek Market”, you’ll find listings of sellers, with their location next to their names. Make sure to read the description first, because not all listings are necessarily offering the full game. There is a lot more going on on BGG, but I want to finish off by mentioning the Top 100, which is led by Gloomhaven. There is a latent debate about how representative that list is, but most games in the Top 100 are widely considered excellent, and they cover many different “genres”. Kickstarter Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform for new ideas of all kinds, not only boardgames. Still, boardgames are introduced on Kickstarter frequently, and they require a certain amount of money from so-called “backers” (people who support the project financially) who pick a certain “pledge” (prices usually don’t contain shipping cost already, which is often fairly high for non-USAmericans). If enough money is collected, only then the product can actually be produced. Backers receive what they pledged for, usually 1 or even 2 years later. Most Kickstarter campaigns last for about 30 days, some are much shorter. Once the funding goal for a game has been reached, many projects will offer “stretch goals”, extra content that is unlocked gradually as more money is pledged. Again, there are some pros and cons, but remember: All that glitters is not gold, which is especially true for miniatures. You’ll run out of precious shelf space soon enough. Kickstarter projects toying with customers’ fear of missing out is a bad trend in my opinion. Some projects even offer Kickstarter Exclusive Content which is almost impossible to get your hands on later, for exmaple the “Unspeakable Box” that was part of the “Cthulhu: Death may die” Kickstarter. Dealing with that can be frustrating, so be warned. In general, a very important question you must ask yourself is, if that game you saw for 150$ + shipping with all those stretch goals and exclusives is worth more than the number of throughly reviewed, excellent games out there that you could get instead. If money is not an issue for you at all, and you have empty shelves to fill, these concerns become less relevant. One thing I want to mention is that for people with no credit or debit card, it may be hard to find a reliable and inexpensive way of payment. I spent days researching on that, and finally settled with the “boon” banking app. Setting it up may take a while, and since it’s a proper bank managing the whole thing, you’ll have to confirm identity for “boon+” which is highly recommended and free. It works like this: You use “SEPA” to send money to your virtual prepaid credit card (can’t go below 0), and are free to use it about 1 or 2 days later. Anyway, think carefully before entrusting someone with your personal data. To finish off this topic, here is a “calendar” of some upcoming boardgames on Kickstarter, maintained by u/Zelbinian . Props to him. Out-of-print (OOP) games Unfortunately, not all games are continued indefinitely. Contracts and licences expire, money has to be made. That includes games like Android Netrunner LCG (see section below), Forbidden Stars and Battlestar Galactica. Your best bet is to try and find these games second-hand (see section “buying used”) for somewhat reasonable prices, or maybe go for a different language (see section “Buying in other languages”). Even if an OOP base game is still affordable, the price of its better expansions will often increase rapidly. The Reign and Reverie expansion for Android Netrunner, which was released in 2018 at a price of about 30$, costs at least 200$ at the time I wrote this, and there are only 2 offers I could find. For some games, like Android Netrunner, you may be lucky enough to find so-called proxies, aka scans of all cards for you to print and use. Don’t waste your money, just print them on paper and sleeve them along with the others in matte sleeves (more under section “Sleeves”). Be careful not to break any laws. Especially games that are still printed and expanded are most likely not to be copied or custom printed. Living Card Games (LCGs) A Living Card Game like Arkham Horror LCG is any card game that receives (somewhat) regular expansions with fixed content, some of which may be part of a “cycle”, a set of expansions that is connected thematically or storywise. I want to make very clear that it makes little sense to buy expansions packs from different cycles in random order. As a newcomer, you should first try and get a brief overview. Resources such as the .pdf files in this BGG thread for the Arkham Horror LCG will be very useful. Of course, you should start with the base set / core game before going for expansions. While you should stick to the release order within cycles, whole cycles and deluxe / standalone expansions can usually be bought and played in any order. If you are unsure what expansions to go for first, I recommend minding three criteria: Age, Price and Rating on BGG. Age is important because older expansions may not be reprinted, so getting them first could make sense. Price is important because you will probably find complete cycles for a cheaper price later, rather than following along with the newest releases. BGG Rating is a great reference if you do not know where to start after the base game. Just make sure to check the number of ratings to put the rating into perspective. Famous and high-rated LCGs include Arkham Horror LCG, Marvel Champions LCG and Android Netrunner LCG, most of which are ideally or exclusively played with 2 players. Unfortunately, LCGs can become very expensive. A whole cycle of the Arkham Horror LCG, consisting of one “cycle core box” (Example here) and 6 mini-expansions costs anywhere between 80$ and 120$ if you buy new. Replayability may or may not be an issue, depending on the LCG. Most LCGs have very poor storage solutions (if any) by default. For more information, see section “Storage”. “Legacy” Games Legacy Games like Clank! Legacy: Aquisitions Incorporated and Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 are spinoffs of standalone games that make for a campaign-like, session-oriented playthrough of their respective base games (in this case: Clank! and Pandemic). You do not need to own the base game, but trying it first will give you an idea if you will like the Legacy game or not. In general, Legacy Games cannot be used to play the base game after you are done with them, because you will put stickers on the board, tear apart cards and so on. Think of them as huge EXIT games with a much better price/value ratio. Storage Kallax. Next! ...actually, ikea’s Kallax is a cheap, elegant and practical way of not only storing your boardgames, but also presenting them. A 2x4 shelf costs about 60 bucks here. Only but the most monstrous boardgame boxes such as Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition, Gloomhaven, Too many Bones or War of the Ring 2nd Edition will manage to escape a Kallax’ grasp, everything else will fit in there smoothly. For proof, just go through this sub and check some “[COMC]” posts (I think it means “Cast on my Collection”, but it could just as well be something completely different). 75% of them will be black Kallax shelves stuffed with boardgames, and organizing them is so fun all the time sometimes, haha! You can also try to store some of your games vertically rather than horizontally. Some boxes come with one side printed sideways for this very purpose. Just make sure to secure everything inside the box with rubber bands and ZIP bags. Now that we found one possible solution for storing the boxes as a whole, let’s now tackle the much-harder-to-solve issue of storing what’s INSIDE of them (section on sleeves is further down). If the only games you ever played were Wizard and Catan (which comes with an okay storage solution by default), know that this is not the norm. In this part of the section, we will look into several issues regarding component storage and solutions using specific games as examples.
Cards and Tokens: ZIP bags are useful for almost everything, and can be a cheap and solid workaround for several issues further down. I recommend buying them in bulk, e.g. from here (for Germans). Pick various sizes, preferrably small and medium, pick a thickness (50 or 90), then order a few hundred total for 20 bucks and you are set for a lifetime. I went for 90 and kind of regret it. They are sturdy but less flexible, and their extra colume adds up (you don’t wanna see my insert-less Gloomhaven box…). ZIP bags are useful for almost every game, and they are useful for other purposes, too (obviously).
Expansions: Once your shelf space starts melting away, you should consider getting rid of bulky expansion boxes, or repurpose them. For example, the Herb Witches expansion for Quacks of Quedlinburg and the Rise of the Empire expansion for Star Wars: Rebellion contain material that can easily be fit into the base game boxes, even without throwing the default inserts away (which imo you should not hesitate to do if it is necessary and if they are merely wobbly cardboard anyway). The now empty expansion boxes can then be used to hold cards for your LCGs or whatever else you have on the shelf while still looking good. Just make sure to keep base game and expansion content clearly seperated from another in the base game box (e.g. using ZIP bags) so you don’t mix things up and can effortlessly integrate AND SEPERATE expansion content.
(Living) Card Games: These were hard to find good storage solutions for. The core box won’t offer enough space for upcoming cycles even if you throw out the insert, and neither do the expansion boxes. I’ll tell you about my experience with Arkham Horror LCG and Android Netrunner LCG. The Arkham Horror LCG’s expansion boxes are very impractical. They are all paper and little more than a picture wrapped around your new content. If you did end up with a few empty expansion boxes of other games (see above, subsection “Expansions”), you could try and use them along with ZIP bags or self-made inserts. I’d throw away all expansion boxes for Arkham Horror LCG. Luckily, some of its recent expansions titled “Return to… (e.g. Path to Carcosa)” do not only add to the replayability of the named cycles with new cards and some changes, but also offer a storage solution, so you might want to get those right from the get-go. I’ll explain what I did as a somewhat temporary (and cheap!) solution after explaining why Android Netrunner LCG is a bit different: Its bigger expansion boxes are actual sturdy cardboard, so if you happen to get your hands on them, you might want to keep them. Also ensures resell value. Maybe don’t use them for storage (imo they are too small anyway), but do not throw them away. So, here is what I did: I own 2 cycles of the Arkham Horror LCG and 1 cycle of Android Netrunner, along with some deluxe expansions (standalone expansions that are not part of a cycle). I bought 2 BCW boxes from here, 1 for 2x800 cards (Arkham Horror LCG) and 1 for 1000 (Android Netrunner LCG). Unfortunately, the latter one was a bit too long for the Kallax, so I had to shorten it by hand. You could of course build your own storage box in a similar fashion. For the Arkham Horror LCG, the 2x800 box was a good fit. I moved ALL cards into the box, and only kept tokens and rulebooks from the “cycle core boxes” in the base game box. I cut out the front pictures of the cycle core boxes to mark the beginning of each cycle, then used the front picture with the rule/story set from the mini-expansions to seperate those as well (picture). The same works for Android Netrunner, but without cutting out anything from the cycle core boxes. If you decide to do the same, check the section on “Sleeves” first, because you may be able to buy those along with the BCW boxes to save shipping.
Inserts: Many boardgames, especially bigger ones like Gloomhaven and Mage Knight Ultimate will come with a whole stack of cardboard filled with tokens and tiles for you to “stance out” manually. Problem is, it often forbids good storage solutions by default due to all that now empty space at the top of the box. While Gloomhaven offers nothing, Mage Knight Ultimate at least provides you with a load of plastic along with that empty air inside its package. The main purposes of inserts are to fix that and heavily decrease setup time, which may otherwise reduce the table time (time the game is played) of your games. There are some cheap inserts from "Feldherr", and I bought one for Mage Knight Ultimate. Still on the fence about a Gloomhaven insert, because the one made by feldherr is actually so big that you can’t shut the box with it inside, and other inserts usually cost about 60+ bucks + shipping. My point is: Only buy if necessary, buy cheap (but not low quality) if possible, but do not underestimate its usefulness. The insert for Mage Knight Ultimate was a good choice I think, but I wouldn’t buy one for, say, 7 Wonders: Duel.
Gaming Mat After reading into it for a while, it became clear that there is no “best gaming mat”. So to keep it short and simple: Neoprene (material) is widely appreciated, but a cheap fitness mat from amazon (or, preferrably, anywhere else) may work very well, too. All I can say is, don’t put drinks on the table if you can’t live without the game that’s on the table. Sleeves There is a large variety of sellers and brands to choose from. You will find a lot of info in several threads such as this, so I will only give a very brief overview with 2 recommendations. First of all, why sleeve? It's not somethign you need to do with all your cards, I'd say you should only sleeve when necessary. After all, a pack of 100 acceptable sleeves can cost anywhere between 2 and 12 bucks (or more if you really want to). Sleeve the cards that you shuffle constantly and, most importantly, you might want to sleeve that card game which went OOP (out of print) like Android Netrunner. If you are unsure what size you need, check this thread. Many cards will have “standard” size, which means they have the same dimensions as “MtG” (Magic the Gathering) cards. Knowing this will make finding fitting sleeves a lot easier. Next, think if you want clear or matte sleeves. Clear sleeves may be cheaper, and you get to see the actual back of your cards. Matte sleeves on the other hand have 2 advantages: First, you can pick colours of your liking and second, you can make cheap and expensive proxies likewise indistinguishable from other card for playing. I’m doing this for Android Netrunner, and it works well if you use somewhat sturdy paper. A device like this will help. For affordable clear sleeves I re-recommend Swan Panasia, heard a lot of good things. For matte sleeves, I ordered a small number of Ultra Pro Eclipse Sleeves. They are pretty expensive tho, about 8 bucks for 100 sleeves. Buying This is a somewhat random list with bits of general advice. Do not buy expensive games that your friends already own. Try and try games before buying them, for example on Tabletop Simulator. Don’t buy complex games unless you are sure they will see table time. Before buying in other languages, make sure the game is either light on language or your potential players won’t mind it. Check BGG forums for a great number of resources, including rulebook translation into other languages. There’s been one for Brass: Birmingham years before it received a German edition. When ordering from another country, or just in general, try and buy in bulk to save shipping. Consider buying games as a group, for example Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 or Gloomhaven. Watch reviews by established Youtubers like Shut up & sit down or No Pun Included for ideas. If you are German, use the site brettspiel-angebote.de. If you are not, go and create a version of that site for your country. Refer to a game's BGG site to learn about ideal player count, length and complexity. Americans probably have a variety of options to choose from which I am not aware of, but one of them is this subreddit. You can use BGG as a reference to find what expansion may be the best for your core game. Hit the “Expansions” tab, then sort by average rating. Mind the number of reviews, if it’s too low, the rating may not be representative. If you are not buying English, consider if you should. Is the game light on language? Are the expansions out of print in your language? Then you may want to buy the English version. Stay away from unreviewed games on Kickstarter unless you are 100% sure the game is worth the price and will see table time. Do not forget about shipping, which may increase if material from stretch goals is included. The German “equivalent” and partner to Kickstarter is the spieleschmiede from spiele-offensive.de. If there is no particular order in which you want to buy the games on your wishlist, and there are no big sales, try and get the ones that are out of print (soon) first. Price will only go up, so you won’t lose much even if you end up not liking and reselling the game. Play a game at least 3 times with an open mind before deciding if you like it or not. Do not hesitate to buy used (especially for cheaper games), I had great experiences using the BGG marketplace and ebay. Make sure the seller is trustworthy, and always doublecheck the articles’s description and the game’s normal price. Often enough you’ll see offers where the seller wants more money than you’d pay new. Stay away from those guys. No matter where you buy, unless the seller has a good reputation and you do not mind breaking Paypal’s rules, do not pay by “send[ing] money to a friend”. Serious sellers will probably agree to take the proper Paypal route if you offer them to pay extra for the Paypal fee (0.35€ + 2.5% of the price in Europe). That way, you get Paypal’s buyer protection. The current pandemic may have you buy a lot more now that you are not playing. Don’t over do it, and make sure to coordinate your purchases with your gaming group if you have one. Buying can become a bad habit. From what I gathered so far, a lot of people people on here have made that experience (or are going to make it). Here’s a link to a relevant thread. Unfortunately, as I am writing this, the top commentor has deleted his post (or it was removed by a mod), but what he basically said is, get your finances and your dopamine under control (goddammit!). Last but not least, be patient! If your desired game is still available in large quantities, or seeing a reprint soon, there is no reason to rush it for a high price. Solo Gaming ...isn’t quite the same as “classic” boardgaming. Make sure you like the concept before buying that Mage Knight: Ultimated Edition for 80 bucks. I think your best bet is to get games which not only fit your taste, but also offer an optional and well working solo mode, like Terraforming Mars. For some games, you’ll find solo variations on the BGG forums. Perhaps check them out to see if you already own a solo-playable candidate? 2-player Games These can be hit or miss with your (playing) partner, so again you are well adviced to try games that are either cheap or come with an optional 2-player mode first (like, again, Terraforming Mars, Quacks of Quedlinburg, Castles of Burgundy, Race for the Galaxy, Hanabi (cooperative), Ticket to ride, Dominion, Spirit Island (heavy, cooperative), Marvel Champions LCG or Arkham Horror LCG (expensive). I bought most of my first 2-player games according to recommendation threads and BGG’s Top 100 list and wasn’t disappointed twice. Keyforge didn’t really work out well, and its resell value is horrible because people just assume you are trying to get rid of underwhelming decks. Anyway, for dedicated 2-player games you may want to start with cheaper, lighter games that you think fit your partner’s taste. A brief list of examples: Fox in the Forest, Patchwork, Hive or Hive Pocket, 7 Wonders: Duel, Air Land & Sea or Mandala. For dedicated cooperative 2-player games, check out Codenames: Duet or Aeon’s End. Arkham Horror LCG and Marvel Champions LCG will work best with 2 people as well. Make sure to read the rules and play a short test round first for heavier games if you think your partner may get bored or he/she is really impatient in general. Looking up rules in the middle of the game can become very annoying. I haven’t tried it yet, but maybe use a timer every turn if the issue comes up. That will also give you a chance to point out potential hypocrisy regarding percepted and actual turn length. Of course, this is kind of an extreme measure and may not lead anywhere really. Some people just are not blessed with patience, and to deal with that, either get more people to the table for inter-turn-conversation, actually reduce your turn time somehow or avoid heavier games. Real-time games may also do the trick, but I can’t think of any that are working for 2 players. “Niche” Games Niche games here refer to stuff like Captain Sonar, Gloomhaven or War of the Ring 2nd Edition. These may be hard to get to the table, either due to their (ideal) player count, their playing time or their complexity. Or a combination of these three (Twilight Imperium). As a general rule, as mentioned above, when you are considering to buy a game, do not listen to uncle dopamine who’s telling you that buying this 150$ game will get you and your friends the best time of your lives. Only buy them if you can actually see them being played. Make sure you know beforehand how a game is supposed to be played, if you need a dedicated group, how long it takes to read the rules, if they are well written and so on. The higher the price, the more careful you should be. 150$ (and everything close to it) is already crazy expensive, do not be fooled by current Kickstarter prices. There are cheaper, often better games waiting for you to be played as well. (Semi-)Cooperative Games There’s not much to say about cooperative games I guess, except that they are mostly “PvE” (Player versus Environment). Good and cheap starting options are Hanabi, The Crew, Magic Maze, 5-Minute-Dungeon, Pandemic & Pandemic: Legacy: Season 1 and, the game that I love with all my heart and that is the main reason I got into the hobby, Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition (expensive and requires an app). But there are also semi-cooperative games. These usually include at least the possibility of one of your “friends” being a betrayer… Semi-cooperative games come in different falvours, but they will often use hidden information of some sorts. Great options out there, like Insider, Human Punishment (ridiculous but I absolutely love it), the classic, player-elimination-featuring Werewolf, the new and different One-Night-Werewolf, the infamous but expensive (and player-elimination-featuring despite its long play-time) Nemesis with a currently ongoing Kickstarter campaign and Dead of Winter, which I haven’t tried myself yet, but seems great although it’s also hit or miss apparently. “Party” Games Party Games here refer to light games that are quick to teach and work well with large groups. Most of these are reasonably cheap. If you are interested, have a look at Just One, Insider, Wavelength ("Perfect Match" in German), Human Punishment, Decrypto & Codenames: Pictures and, of course, Twister (fight me). Print & Play (PnP) Print & Play – Games are, as the name suggests, games that you can print and play right away, at least theoretically. It my take some work to have the components look good, but many games do not require many components. For exmaple, I found a PnP version of Air, Land & Sea (legally of course) which usually costs about 15 bucks. If you do PnP card games, perhaps you could use some matte sleeves so your astounding works of craftsmanship are harder to tell apart. Some PnP games are only offered for a short time. Tabletop Simulator This is a Virtual Reality – compatible software which offers barely more than a playground for script kiddies (God bless them), who took the opportunity to imitate real games like Mage Knight and Wingspan almost flawlessly. I do not like It myself, but the software (on Steam) is rather cheap and offers tons of games for free. It is thus a great option to test games or just play them with your friends as a substitute in the ongoing pandemic. But be careful, I heard word that some “big” games are being taken down by Asmodee, and other publishers may follow. Which they have every right to do of course, but I doubt it ever hurt their sales, quite the opposite actually. But anyway. Games that got me into the Hobby This is what this post was going to be about before I decided to take the time and try to write a brief overview for newcomers. I played board and card games for as long as I can remember, like Yugioh and Catan. But It wasn’t until a friend showed me the Lovecraft-inspired Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition that I thought “Yeah, maybe this hobby is cool”. So props to him. I realized that what got me into the hobby was not just the fun I had playing boardgames.It’s theme. Theme is what makes a game interesting before you even look at the rules or components. Theme is what makes Human Punishment stand out for me, theme is what separates a classic card game from Fox in the Forest, and it’s theme that makes people like Battle for Hogwarts despite its numerous shortcomings. So when a game had weak theme and still managed to convince me, such as Codenames: Pictures or Just One, all the better. Until now, apart from a few games that were (soon) OOP, I focussed mostly on collecting games for any group, that means size and playtime + complexity, which are similar but do not always overlap. Here are my recommendations for games to start with, and their current estimated price in Germany (in €) according to brettspiel-angebote.de, which hopefully serves as a reference for buyers from other countries. You'll often pay much less when you are waiting for sales! If you can't wait, at least buy local if possible. 2 players: Fox in the Forest (~20€), Castles of Burgundy (~38€), Patchwotk (20€), Race for the Galaxy (~30€), Hanabi (~7€). 3&4 players: Quacks of Quedlinburg (~21€), Love Letter (~8€), Roll for the Galaxy (~39€), The Crew (~12€), Magic Maze (~21€), Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition (~80€), 7 Wonders (~36€), Terraforming Mars (~60€), Scythe (~66€), Brass: Birmingham (~60€). 5 players: Cosmic Encounter (34€), Quacks of Quedlinburg (~21€) with Herb Witches Expansion (~15€), Mysterium (~35€) or Dixit (~20€), Human Punishment (~27€), Just One (~16€). 6 players: Decrypto (~18€)or Codenames: Pictures (~18€), Wavelength ("Perfect Match" in German, 35€), Twilight Imperium (~116€), Just One (~16€), Human Punishment (~27€). 7+ players: Just check the “Party Games” section. If you are exactly 8 people, try Captain Sonar (~30€). This Subreddit ...is amazing. It’s beyond me how there’s over a million subscribers with so few posts over the day. But oh boy is the active community active. Everyone loves talking about boardgames, and I mean, that’s what this sub is forl. Just make sure to read the rules, even though they are not super specific, it’s important to understand that you should not ask for game recommendations outside of the dedicated daily thread. Anyway, I am looking forward to look backwards when I get to build my gaming table one day, and steal all the great ideas posted here over the years for myself. So keep them coming! Thanks for reading!
We have a wiki. It's been active for a long ass time. It has details on how to buy, sell, spot scammers, make a valid timestamp, etc. If you have a question not in the rules, it's here.
Hey mods, I may have spotted a scammer or have been scammed. Please, please, save us time by sending proof such as pm screenshots and/or PayPal receipts via a private imgur album in your initial message. We cannot ban based on your story, we need proof this happened.
Confirming trades. 2 parter.
A. Local trades where you meet the other person mask-to-mask/face-to-face do not count towards trade flair. Why? Because there is low risk with local sales. Worst case scenario is the other person doesn't show up (or you get James'd). No money lost. Flair is to add credibility to sellers who pack items correct, ship in a timely manner, and the item shows up just as it left the sellers house. It assures sellers that buyers have done this enough to pay on time. B. Don't confirm a trade before it arrives. I can't believe people do this. People equate trade flair to Instagram followers, and will confirm trades before the tracking link becomes active. How are you going to confirm a trade before you receive it? Y'all crazy.
How to do a traditional hardwareswap trade:
You goons place so much faith in random internet strangers. It's a good thing AOL casual encounter chatrooms are a thing of the past. Here's how to trade your item for someone elses: Buy each other's items via PayPal G&S for the amount you both are willing to potentially lose if someone doesn't deliver. Don't trade your 1080ti for a 2080 and PayPal each other $50. Treat each trade as if the other person will scam you. For this example, try $500. If you both keep your word, there's no money lost. If user A doesn't ship, user B disputes the transaction and can buy another similar GPU here.
If a deal is too good to be true, at the very least do your homework. Look for red flags, like a new account, asking for payments like cashapp or PayPal friends and family. Ask for timestamps. Do they look shopped? Did they comment on your post first? Are they on our scam list or the USL?
We've had so many people make trades with known scammers because they said "I was banned for a misunderstanding". Yes, they misunderstood that you need to actually send the item you sell, instead of whatever weird shit scammers do in their Mom's basement.
Time-dadgum-stamps. We cannot keep up with users who want their posts back up because they forgot to add timestamps. We try, but we got kids to feed and big boy work to do. Reddit still hasn't sent us a paycheck for this gig. Add em before you bag em.
If you don't have the item in your hot little hands by time you post, you can't sell it. Every component, no matter what condition or price you sell at, needs a timestamp. CPU timestamps: laptop, old PC, brand new iBuyPower PC, all of them need CPU timestamps. If we ask, you can use the mouth-breather method of removing the heatsink and cleaning the lid, or use big brain plays by taking a picture of your handwritten timestamp and bios/cpu-z/speccy/system info page in frame. No screenshots, need that handwritten goodness.
Be excellent to each other. Internet debates, woof, what a ride. I've been there, check my comment history.
This isn't the sub to offer suggestions of other components to potential buyers on a seller's thread. If you feel the brain-tingling to price police, you need to include links to the same item that isn't an auction or microcenter link. OP's, you don't need to defend your honor in the event of a threadcrap. Just let us know in modmail. Comment nuking should never need to happen in this sub.
We really appreciate the community here. I come off as condescending, that's just my personality. But you can bet your gosh darn boots that all the mods here love each and every one of you. We buy and sell here. We wrote a bunch of rules and wikis, and constantly moderate and sometimes infuriate you guys because we care about this sub. We want this sub to be professional and inspire confidence in this wild west we call Reddit's hardware marketplace.
The Grey Balls of the mod team have seen every scenario, and adjust the rules to combat the issues. If you love this sub, ping u/psikeiro on the hws discord with your food pics. Hisfetish,notmine Stay safe, read the rules, and Reddit Gold to the first person who guesses my favorite reptile, courtesy your favorite power-hungry mod. Still waiting for my favorite reptile to be named. Been named, been awarded.
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NOTE : WE ARE ONE OF THE MOST TRUSTED AND VOUCHED SELLERS ON REDDIT AND YOU MIGHT NOTICE MOST OF OUR POSTS WHICH INCLUDES VOUCHES OF OUR CUSTOMERS ON SUBREDDITS LIKE REDDITBAY/PREMIUMSELLERS/IPTVRESELLERS E.T.C ARE MISSED DUE TO THE BAN/CURRENTLY CLOSED OF THOSE PLATFORMS. WE HAVE CUSTOMERS ONLY LIMITED DISCORD SERVER AND IF YOU ARE OUR CUSTOMER THEN PLEASE DM US FOR SERVER INVITE.
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Q&A : 1. Who are we ? A. We were selling different products from 2016 and youtube premium services from 2017 on various platforms and why not reddit
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3. What do we need in order to upgrade your YouTube/pandora account ? A. All we need is your email and your account country 4. What is the procedure to upgrade YouTube and Pandora ? A. We'll send you a family invite to your email and once you accept it, premium kicks in 5. What sort of payment we accept ? A. We accept PayPal G&S with PayPal buyer protection too
When will I receive the product credentials ?A. You will receive credentials immediately in 1-3min once transaction's cleared from your end
7. Do I (Customer ) have to pay upfront for upgrades ? A. No, You don't have to pay up-front for upgrades, First we will upgrade your account and you can pay once upgraded 8. What if the credentials expires/dead after few days or dead on arrival ? A. First Thing "DON'T PANIC'. Whenever your account's down/dead, We suggest you to DM us and you will always get replacement with new one under warranty period 9. How much time would it take to replace or usual response time ? A. Please allow us 30minutes - 24hours max time to sort out the issue 10. What happens if we can't replace your account for unknown reasons ? A. We will issue refund once we confirm officially from our end
Lost in the Sauce: Trump Tower inflated profits to obtain larger loan...again
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. TOMORROW: I’m going to post a keep_track look at issues involved in police brutality, prosecution of cops, protests, etc. Housekeeping:
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Trump announced Saturday he is postponing the annual G7 summit, which was due to be hosted in the U.S. in June, until September — and plans to invite four additional non-member nations including Russia. Boris Johnson responded by saying that he will veto any push by Trump to readmit Russia to the G7 gathering. The U.S. National Security Agency says the same Russian military hacking group that interfered in the 2016 presidential election has been exploiting a major email server program since last August or earlier. The NSA might have issued an advisory to publicize the IP addresses and a domain name used by the Russian military group, known as Sandworm, in its hacking campaign — in hopes of thwarting their use for other means. A Russian oligarch is reportedly backing an effort to smear Biden and states he is working with the Trump administration to leak additional damaging material… The oligarch, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, gave tapes of Biden on a phone call with then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to pro-Russia Ukrainian politician Andriy Derkach, who then leaked the tapes. The audio consisted of edited fragments of phone conversations from years ago when Biden joined other leaders in pressing for the ouster of Ukraine’s corrupt prosecutor general.
Derkach met with Rudy Giuliani last year. Onyshchenko worked with another Giuliani associate, Pavel Fuchs (also a co-developer of Trump’s Moscow Tower), to launder hundreds of millions in frozen Yanukovych assets bought from a Russian tycoon. Now, this same group of oligarchs tied to Trump and Giuliani are leaking tapes of unknown provenance to try to undermine a US political campaign.
Pro-Trump One America News Network wanted Onyshchenko to come to the US to help with Rudy's disinformation campaign. OAN tried to help him get a visa to travel to the U.S.
Giuliani is also trying to raise $10 million to finance the production of a Biden-Ukraine documentary that can be released this year. Giuliani and his partners have considered the possibility of drawing in investors from overseas, raising the possibility that Giuliani is (again) attempting to orchestrate foreign involvement in the current presidential election.
Last week, the DNI office released the transcripts of the December 2016 calls between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak… The transcripts confirm that Flynn lied to the FBI when he claimed that he had not discussed the sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration in response to Vladimir Putin’s attack on the 2016 election. The transcripts show Flynn encouraged the Russians to not retaliate severely, suggesting that when Trump took office things between Moscow and Washington could be smoothed over… At no point does Flynn castigate Kislyak for Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election. As the Obama administration was trying to impose a punishment on Putin for that attack, Flynn, on behalf of the Trump gang, was sending an utterly different message: We don’t care about that.
In fact, Flynn was signaling to Putin that once Trump took office, Trump wouldn’t be pursuing the matter and, instead, would be reaching out to Russia as a partner. (A few months later, Trump, in the Oval Office, would tell Kislyak that directly.)
Kisylak argued that the Obama administration sanctions were aimed at damaging the incoming Trump administration just as much as they were the Kremlin… “I just wanted to tell you that we found that these actions have targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president elect,” said Kislyak, adding that he hopes “within two weeks we will be able to start working in [a] more constructive way. Tidbit: Mueller’s team asked Trump a series of questions about Flynn's calls with Kislyak; the president simply ignored them. Tidbit: Flynn told Kislyak in December 2016 that "the boss" (Trump) was aware of Russia's request to have a secure teleconference between Trump and Putin.
The FBI's top lawyer Dana Boente was asked to resign on Friday following criticism by Fox News for his role in the investigation of Flynn… Two sources familiar with the decision to dismiss Boente said it came from high levels of the Justice Department rather than directly from FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Before he moved to the FBI General Counsel job, Boente was the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia—the last US Attorney appointed by President Obama to leave office during the Trump era.
Trump’s given reason for firing the State Dept. Inspector General last month was proven to be a false pretense… Trump claimed he was fired for leaking to the media when, in fact, IG Steve Linick was cleared earlier this year by an independent investigation. Pompeo recommended Linick’s removal at a time when the office was investigating multiple instances of abuse of power by the Secretary of State. Members of three House and Senate committees will interview former State Department Inspector General Steve Linick on Wednesday, as part of an investigation into his abrupt firing. Linick will speak to members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee behind closed-doors.
The committees also plan to call Brian Bulatao, undersecretary of State for management; Lisa Kenna, Pompeo's executive secretary; senior adviser Toni Porter; Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper; former Deputy Assistant Secretary Marik String, a legal adviser to the department; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Political-Military Affairs Mike Miller; and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Charles Faulkner.
Mike Pompeo's CIA advisory board rankled agency veterans… As CIA director, Pompeo and his wife Susan organized an undisclosed board of outside advisers while he was director of CIA that some at the agency viewed as inappropriately weighted toward wealthy individuals and well-connected political figures. Op-Ed: Mike Pompeo Is the Worst Secretary of State Ever. The F.B.I. said a Saudi Air Force trainee who killed three U.S. sailors and wounded eight others at a Navy air base in Pensacola, Fla., on Dec. 6 was an act of foreign-planned “terrorism.” ...That sort of intelligence failure — the first foreign-planned terrorist attack on U.S. shores since 9/11 — is something you’d expect Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to be particularly upset about… He just smirks and marches on. But every American should care. The morale and effectiveness of our State Department — and our standing in the world — are both the worse for him. Last week we learned that the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general exaggerated his credentials… Joseph Cuffari’s official government bio claims “Dr. Cuffari earned a Ph.D. in philosophy,” but new reporting revealed that his degree is from an unaccredited “diploma mill” that required no classroom instruction and issued degrees for low flat fees. Additionally, the Ph.D. is in management, not philosophy.
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday about the origins of the Russia probe. "Mr. Rosenstein will testify about the new revelations contained in the Horowitz report concerning the FISA warrant applications and other matters," Chairman Lindsey Graham said in a statement. "This will be the first in a series of oversight hearings regarding all things Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation."
Reminder: After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein begged for his job, reportedly trying to assure President Trump that he was on his team. “I give the investigation credibility,” Rosenstein[said on a call with Trump. “I can land the plane.”
Top Republicans are suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over new proxy voting plans that will allow some members of the House to vote from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. The decision to allow proxy voting was approved by the House earlier this month, largely along party lines, and is only temporary. House Republican introduces bill to hold up members' pay if they vote by proxy… Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), who is leading the effort, said: “Outsourcing the duty of a member of Congress is unconstitutional and wrong. House members should not be allowed to send someone else to do their jobs for them.” Last week, Trump unexpectedly withdrew his support from a FISA reauthorization bill, leading Republicans to abandon the proposal and the House to pull a vote on the legislation. However, as Rep. Justin Amash pointed out, in 2018 Trump himself signed into law the long-contentious spying authority he recently began railing against.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham urges senior judges to step aside before the November election so Republicans can fill vacancies… Graham said:
“This is a historic opportunity. We’ve put over 200 federal judges on the bench. … If you can get four more years, I mean, it would change the judiciary for several generations. So if you’re a circuit judge in your mid-60s, late 60s, you can take senior status, now would be a good time to do that, if you want to make sure the judiciary is right of center…”
Op-Ed: Should Trump lose, you can bet that the day after, McConnell will be on the phone to the White House Counsel’s Office demanding that they nominate someone for every vacant seat, ASAP. It won’t matter who — somebody’s neighbor, somebody’s nephew (there isn’t even a requirement that judges be lawyers) — so long as they’re committed conservatives, and as young as possible so they can serve for decades
Democratic lawmakers are scrutinizing one of President Donald Trump’s outside advisors and his multimillion-dollar “dark money” network for rigging the judicial nomination process… The Senate Democrats’ report details how an interlocked group of anonymous donors has been directing the judicial nominations process through media and lobbying campaigns. Leading this effort is allegedly Leonard Leo and his conservative organization, the Federalist Society. The Supreme Court late Friday rejected a California church’s challenge of the state’s new pandemic-related rules on worship services, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s liberals in the 5-to-4 vote… Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s dissent falsely accused the state of religious discrimination in an extremely misleading opinion that omits the most important facts of the case. Roberts went out of his way to scold Kavanaugh’s dishonest vilification of the state.
DOJ memo offered to buy out immigration board members… The buyouts were only offered to Board of Immigration Appeals members hired before Trump took office. Critics view the move as an effort to push out the civil servants on the board and stack it with new hires who would align with the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration agenda. An immigrant woman sued a private prison company on Wednesday alleging she was raped inside an ICE detention center in Texas that resulted in her giving birth to her attacker's daughter. The woman, identified in the complaint as Jane Doe, was detained at the Houston Processing Center, operated by CoreCivic. The Trump administration is accelerating efforts to seize private property for Trump’s border wall, taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to survey land while its owners are confined indoors. However, landowners are largely fighting the effort in court. Since December, the administration has obtained only seven miles of land. Family separation returns under cover of the coronavirus… Citing the coronavirus to seal the border, the Trump administration is engaged in a pressure campaign against immigrant parents to get them to give up either their kids or their legal claims to protection in the U.S.
Trump Tower’s 2010 Profits Magically Grew By $3 Million In New Loan Filings. One set of reports listed the tower’s 2010 profits as $13.3 million; a second put them at $16.1 million. That helped the Trump Organization borrow $73 million more than it had before.
Last year, ProPublica revealed another set of income discrepancies at Trump Tower and other company-owned buildings, ones that seemed to hark to the testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified that Trump would inflate income figures when seeking a loan and deflate the figures when filing taxes. Other Trump Organization properties investigated by ProPublica reported higher profits in the CMBS filings than they did in tax filings. A Trump Organization spokesperson said at the time that “comparing the various reports is comparing apples to oranges” because reporting requirements differ.
Trump Towers Istanbul partner lobbied the president and White House cabinet to sizably boost trade with Turkey in response to the novel coronavirus. Asked whether the president performed favors for a business associate, a senior White House official emphasized the longstanding trade relationship with Turkey, a NATO ally. Lawmakers urge Trump to cancel DC's July 4 event… "Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans," the lawmakers wrote. "Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic," they added. The Republican National Committee held its winter meeting in January at Trump’s struggling Doral golf resort, giving Trump more than half a million dollars from the RNC and 13 state GOP committees. The state Republican party committees of West Virginia, Texas, Connecticut, Minnesota, Iowa, North Carolina, Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Georgia, and Wyoming all contributed to the massive tab. Trump’s Spent Nearly $20 Million on Lawyers to Carry Out His Political Vendettas… A large part of recent spending is aimed at curbing mail-in voting.
This was meant to be a review on the Steam Store Page, but it exceeded the maximum character count, so I’m posting it here. Maybe some of the 'suggestions' will be heard eventually, but as the title implies, I don’t give a crap anymore. So here it goes. 700+ hours on this game, so you can reasonably trust this review. Short version: Don’t buy this game, at least on full price. You will definitely become disappointed of it on the long run. It is an unfinished, underdeveloped and frustratingly unloved (sometimes unwanted) creation. The core of this review, or the source of my criticism, relies on the developers. Simply put, they don’t give a damn about the players. They will solely focus on how much they can milk this cow before its unavoidable doom. If you think this is an exaggeration, go read the Steam Discussion board to see unbiased critics and suggestions of the community for this game. There, you will be able to witness by yourself how the community is blatantly ignored by the people at NWI. Not only that, but you will also see how *certain* community managers go out of their way to censor and block people, some of them who have valid views and suggestions. You will see post after post with similar, if not the same suggestions, go completely ignored. I started playing the game little after it was officially released, so I can’t wave the alpha or beta-player flag. Nonetheless, I can safely say I played since the early stages of this game, mainly because just before I bought it, I was hooked with Ins2014, and later with DoD, so I thought this was going to be a sure bet, as well as a game I would remember forever, just like Modern Warfare was. In the beginning, I noticed some changes from the previous Insurgency right away, like the extended TTK. It shocked me a bit, since I was used to go for 1-shot kills on a regular basis, given that shot would land on the upper torso or higher. Not in this case, however, since the bare minimum required shots to kill are at least 2 (torso). Headshots are lethal as always, but this TTK alteration definitely changed the game pace for me. Like many of the points of this review (being entirely subjective), this opinion will vary from one person to another. This does not alter the need for aiming like in the previous game, but it demands more control for the almost-necessary follow-up shot, meaning that you will need to take into account the recoil (granted, it’s a given on this kind of game) and repositioning of the sight. Some things that this game implemented as an option became basic for me, such as the flash hider and the gas mask. For the flash hider, I feel like I have a Landing Zone beacon on my butt when I don’t use it, because whenever you fire, your muzzle flash will give your position away (along with the smoke and the sound your gun makes). This does not apply for Machine Guns, as they use tracer rounds, which you can’t change. Funny thing about this is that the Devs not only give you the option to use Flash Hiders, but also provide the option (which requires points, mind you) to use tracer rounds on almost every gun, which is basically begging the enemy to end your misery as fast as possible. Gas masks (free for insurgents, 1 point for security), on the other hand, not only prevent your character from coughing while inside a smoke cloud, or dying inside a chemical gas cloud, but also notoriously diminishes the sound your character does, as in calling enemy positions, requesting for support, or even crying or cursing under enemy fire, which provides an evident advantage over non-mask wearing players (insert COVID-19 related joke here) when it comes to using sound to determine player position. This is an easy way to spot pro-players from new-comers. By the way, sound is another issue on this game. 3D sound is off, and most of the time it won’t help you pinpoint where the enemy is. This actually took me a while to sort out when I started playing this game, since I couldn’t understand the fact that I was unable to trust my ears. It made me feel like I went deaf, which basically translated into losing a basic gameplay element. Another mayor issue of this game is balance, at least on certain subjects. First, commander support resources. There is simply no comparison. Granted, it’s a game focused somewhat on realism, but simply there is not even the intent to balance them. Security has access to A-10 gun runs, UH-60 Blackhawk minigun and AH-64 Apache gunship (how much god damn money does the company behind Security has?? As far as my limited knowledge goes, Academi, a big player in the Private Military market barely has Armored Personnel Carriers and Transport Airplanes), while the Insurgents get the Rocket Barrage (which used to be lesser rockets, being buffed only in recent updates) (also, where the hell do the insurgents get the damn rockets from, Iran?? Saudi Arabia?? Russia??) and Chemical Gas, both sides having access to the classic Explosive and Smoke Artillery. Even on writing it looks unbalanced, just wait until you experience it. If you hear the blades spinning, you better hide like a possum unless you got a big gun, an RPG and/or good aim. Second balance issue is party system. If you see a rainbow-array of rank colors on one team, and pure orange-brass on the other, you can be sure it’s a stacked game. That is because the game will always put people on a party together on a team, and they can fill the entire team (up to all the 14 slots). This will lead to what is known as a stacked team, and there is a huge chance you will get steamrolled if you’re on the opposing team. Of course, the positive note on this is that it encourages you to get friends or make them while you’re playing. Effective team playing can be deadlier than an experienced lone gamer. Also, rank on this game does not mean squat. It only means that you have spent time on this game, which isn’t, in any way, a synonym of skill. Perhaps it guarantees knowledge of choke points and camping spots, but that’s it, so don’t lose your mind if you see 500+ levels. There’s a good chance they won’t even play the objective. You will even see 1-100 level players being more effective and having better scores than those guys. I’ve gone on for a while on this, so I might as well toss in a personal rant: This is an objective-oriented game. There are different game modes for your liking, but I will rant about Push, since it’s mainly the only mode I’ve played: If you’re going to play this game, on Push, PLAY THE **ING OBJECTIVE. Seriously, either PTFO or GTFO. If you love padding your KD and raking those kills from a spot 100+ meters from the OBJ while it’s being taken, ** you. Go play firefight. If you’re in for a point-based gameplay, then focus on it. I’ve been through games in which at least 5 or 6 guys are sitting on their asses while the point is being capped (on defense), or while the rest of the team is fighting to cap it (on attack). Seriously, it’s infuriating. I get that both on defense and offense there is a purpose to camp and mow down the enemy waves, I truly get it. But there is no excuse or justification to persist on that strategy when your enemy has 0 waves to attack, or the point is being taken on defense. This last one might seem extreme, but the fact is that you will never know for certain if you have teammates on the point that are contesting or blocking the capture, even looking at the map, unless you have teammates that actually communicate, or you are playing with friends (wink). Anyways, the main reason I wrote this whole thing is because I played Rising Storm 2: Vienam yesterday for the first time. This is not a promotion for that game, but it brought tears to my eyes. For those of you who know some stuff about gaming, both games run on the Unreal 4 engine. From Ins2014 to Sandstorm, NWI made the leap from the Source engine to the aforementioned Unreal engine. It was dazzling to see the new features and all the cool things that engine has. And for all this time I thought that Sandstorm could pretty much give you all the possibilities and features that such engine could offer… Until I played RS2:V, and my heart broke. I won’t go into detail as for the differences, but I do have to mention a vital point here: RS2:V was released on May 2017, while Sandstorm did on December 2018. That’s quite more than a year later. And the actions and strategies that you can employ on RS2:V are just baffling. If you’re like me, and the main experience you’ve had on UE4 is Sandstorm, RS2:V will blow you away. On the other hand, if you come from a broader experience than Sandstorm, then you will absolutely feel the lack of features of the game. RS2:V has many things that I didn’t think it was possible to implement, and thought only possible on games like the ArmA franchise (on which I have my fair share of game time), but the one that immediately caught my eye was the possibility to stabilize your gun over or near an object. DUDE. MIND-BOGGLING. Another thing that proved me that Sandstorm is light years from what it could be (or should have been, since I don’t see that the devs care for the game), is how they balanced the command support resources. American and Australian forces get napalm strikes and minigun support. Commies? They get insta-spawn on their squad leader’s location (yes, US forces get insta-spawn too, but on default locations), and half-timer spawn for their dead players. Not balanced enough? They get ANTI-AIR SUPPORT. This is the 1960’s. You mean to tell me modern-day Insurgents can afford Rocket Barrages, but not one AA missile, let alone an AA gun? I would settle for a damned Stinger. But no, you get an RPG and a hail-mary shot. To wrap this up: I’m quitting this game. I spent a hefty amount of time on it that I won’t get back. And I regret it. Every game that I’ve played has left me with something to cherish, or a skill that I could hone for future games. Not this one. This game has left me bitter, chasing for something that I want to believe I can attain, but knowing that never will. Devs don’t care, the community can’t do anything because mod support is basic (that’s an euphemism), and every update and hotfix they release, almost every time screws something that was good or at least OK prior to it. If you like paying for mediocre gun skins and outfits in order to ‘support’ the team behind the game, go ahead. I would have rather donated to a PayPal account. That would have been more decent. But to charge for stuff you don’t need, while neglecting the fact that the game is broken and unfinished is just insulting. NWI, you had the chance to pioneer into a game genre that was otherwise undeveloped: That rare and appealing mix of realism and arcade. But you blew it, and still you have the nerve to pretend that you care and intend to make it the great game it could and should have been. From the bottom of my heart, go **** yourselves. PS: I thought about just posting this on the Steam Discussion forums instead, but I have a feeling *one* of the community managers would censor or ban this entirely. **** that person as well.
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