October 13, 2021
By Andrew Squibley and Arthur Bushwhacker, Spell-Checked Jon Gruden’s Emails
“Democracy Dies in Darkness…and Nearly Flatlined in Trump’s DOJ”
WASHINGTON (Rueters) – The Republican National Committee has contributed $15 million to scientific research into bringing back the extinct woolly mammoth who disappeared from the planet some 4,000 years ago, Rueters has learned.
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel confirmed to Rueters the effort to “de-extinct” the mammoth, led by start-up bio-tech firm Colossal Laboratories & Biosciences of Boston, is being funded directly by the national GOP committee and outside wealthy donors.
“This is a perfect marketing opportunity for us,” McDaniel told Rueters. “What symbol better conveys old-fashioned values while holding the promise of a strong future than the once-extinct mighty mammoth who will be free to roam the Earth again? We’ve already worked up a new logo.”
McDaniel said she expected RNC board members to “enthusiastically” endorse the work of geneticists and other scientists who are pioneering the new field of “de-extinction.”
Criticism of “de-extinction” from Democrats has been harsh, however. One senior party official who asked to remain anonymous told Rueters the resurrected woolly mammoth as the GOP’s new symbol “tells us more about what’s been lost than what’s possible to revive.”
Colossal Labs, with GOP money, has set out to edit the Asian elephant’s DNA, inserting traits from the woolly mammoth. Then, using the same process that created Romey the sheep, the first male mammal successfully cloned from an adult cell, scientists aim to create a hybrid woolly mammoth-Asian elephant embryo, a company spokesman told Rueters.
A surrogate African elephant would carry the embryo for a gestation period of nearly two years. No African elephants have stepped forward to volunteer, however, according to the spokesman. “Most of them would rather take their chances with poachers than with birthing a fucking dinosaur,” said a source at the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. “Elephants are smart — and naturally suspicious.”
The company is also working on the possibility of creating artificial wombs, said the spokesman, adding Colossal Labs hopes to have something similar to a woolly mammoth roaming upstate New York — “a perfect environment” — in six years. The nearly extinct town of Clarence Center, NY, has been selected by a GOP panel as the creature’s future home, at least until it is released into the Arctic.
The research has generated fierce ethical debates throughout the scientific community, Rueters has learned. “Is this a case where scientists were so preoccupied,” said one geneticist at Johns Hopkins University, “with whether they could (de-extinct an entire species) that they didn’t stop to think if they should? Helloooo. Has anyone bothered to watch ‘Jurassic Park?'”
Ben Lamm, CEO of Colossal Labs, told Rueters, however, the extinction of the woolly mammoth left an ecological void in the Arctic tundra that Colossal aims to fill. The eventual goal, he said, is to return the species to the region so that they can reestablish grasslands and protect the permafrost, keeping it from releasing greenhouse gases at such a high rate.
“We believe our work will restore this degraded ecosystem to a richer one, similar to the tundra that existed as recently as 10,000 years ago,” he said. But an EPA critic insisted, “We have enough trouble dealing with the effects of billions of tons of cow dung on the planet. Now we want to add mammoth shit to that pile?”
Regardless of the scientific debate, politics are politics and Republican party leadership is committed to funding the project and promoting what it sees as the symbol of “the GOP of the future,” Ms. McDaniel said.
The GOP committee chair told Rueters she thought the new party symbol would send “a powerful message to all US citizens that the GOP can look backwards and forwards at the same time. And a ‘mastadon’ will lead the way.”
To which a Democratic official responded, “That’s all well and good. Maybe the GOP could bring back the do-do bird, too. Another appropriate symbol for a party that is lost.”
FREED OF EUROPEAN RULES AND REGS, BREXITEERS PLAN TO BRING BACK IMPERIAL WEIGHTS AND MEASURES….AND SOME NON-CURRENT CURRENCY
LONDON (Rueters) – The British government said it was taking steps to return to its traditional system of imperial weights and measures, allowing shops and market stalls to sell fruits and vegetables labeled in pounds and ounces alone, rather than in the metric system’s grams and kilograms used by virtually every other country on the planet with the notable exception of the US.
Leading Brexiteers also have decided to take the reversion to the imperial system a step further, reintroducing the British currency scheme that pre-dated today’s decimal system. Tory leaders, who said they favored Brexit but probably really didn’t, are now on record proclaiming these reversals “to the olde days and ways” should be hailed as examples of the country’s new post-Brexit freedoms.
The plans, announced by David Frost, the minister overseeing Brexit, not the guy who interviewed Nixon, were cheered by Brexit supporters, many of whom had argued the switch to the metric system over the decades was a sign of unwelcome European Union interference in daily life in Britain. “Plus, they were hard to remember,” said one former London engineer who has since retired to Dorset. “Take measuring alcohol, for example. We don’t need any bloody liters. This is what we used in the pre-metric days, butts. One butt for wine, another for ale. Perfect and easy to remember.”
Forces behind the re-introduction of imperial weights and measures have a variety of units in store for the British public. “These are nostalgic as well as practical measures,” said Frost the Brexit minister, still not the guy who interviewed Nixon. That Frost is dead. “Sure, maybe the younger generation will take some time getting used to the new scheme. But, what else are granddads and nans good for, if not teaching the new generation how to measure their whisky?”
Britain’s imperial system of weights and measures has its roots in the 16th century, said Prof. BJ May, chairman of the University of London Department of Trivia and Stuff. “We take things like the length of a foot or the weight of a stone for granted,” May told Rueters in an interview. But they have interesting and clever origins. For example, King Henry VIII declared the official length of a foot to be the exact length of his right foot. That became the standard measurement for length throughout the country. That was a tremendous step forward, so to speak.”
May continued: “Now the history behind the country’s standard measurement of weight is kind of gross. Henry had a poor diet and was prone to kidney stones. Yes, you guessed it. His majesty passed a record-breaking kidney stone that tipped the scales at 14 pounds. Thus you had it, a stone was officially declared the equivalent of 14 pounds throughout the kingdom. Buggered if I know where the pound came from, though.”
A critical voice of support in the prime minister’s cabinet has come out forcefully for the move. “We absolutely defend this move (to imperial weights and measures) and don’t think either our children or businesses in countries that trade with Britain will have any issues adopting to the new old system,” said Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer.
Opposition politicians, while arguing vehemently against the retro move to the imperial system of weights and measures, reportedly are further enraged by another policy of reversion by the Johnson government, its announced intention to step back more than a generation to the pre-decimal currency that was replaced in the early 1970s.
As part of its exit from the European Union, the British government is now reviewing thousands of E.U. rules that it retained and determining whether they best serve the national interest. Those rules include the E.U. ban on sales in imperial units, to which the British government said it would legislate changes “in due course.”
“We don’t have enough fuel for the winter, crops are left rotting in their fields, fish are rotting on the docks, there aren’t enough truck drivers to haul goods between the UK and the EU, and these gits are fighting against the metric system? Who says Brexit is working?” ranted London Mayor Sadiq Kahn.
NEWSMAKERBLOG EXCLUSIVE: AARP, DoorDash Team Up to Feed America
WASHINGTON (Rueters) – American consumers in every region of the country are facing Covid-caused shortages in hundreds of household goods and groceries as well as lengthy delays in the delivery of everything from appliances to electronics to patio furniture.
But one company which can thank the pandemic for quadrupling its business — San Francisco-based DoorDash, the food-delivery phenomenon — promises its customers they won’t have to wait any longer for their dinners because of a shortage of delivery personnel.
In an historic agreement announced today in Washington, DoorDash initially will employ 25,000 members of AARP to deliver meals around the clock for the firm’s estimated 500,000 restaurants across the US. The number is expected to double in the next three years. AARP members will be trained in major cities starting within a month, according to a DoorDash spokesman.
Like so many other corporations and small businesses throughout the US, DoorDash has been hit hard by a shortage of staff, often leaving hungry, home-bound restaurant customers waiting — and seething — an hour or more for their no-longer-hot meals. But the linkup of DoorDash and AARP allows the nation’s leading food-delivery service to tap into a vast potential army of aging would-be “Dashers.”
In a joint statement from the two organizations, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu and AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said, “Americans have learned to be patient in the face of shortages in items such as toilet paper, chicken breasts, ground beef, and sometimes even gasoline. But they won’t accept failures or delays in the delivery of their meals because there aren’t enough people to bring them their food. They can wait for a new cordless drill, but not their bacon cheeseburger with homemade chips on the side.”
The chief executives’ statement continued, “AARP has a membership of 38 million men and women and a lot of them ride bikes. It’s a work force waiting to be tapped. We think this partnership with DoorDash is just the beginning of AARP meeting the needs of other delivery firms who also are being hit hard by staff shortages.”
“OLD, BOLD AND NEVER COLD!”
In an interview, Xu told Rueters exclusively he expected the first wave of AARP delivery staff to serve primarily urban areas where bicycle transportation is common and generally safe for the elderly. “They’ll be using their own bikes, so they’ll be on familiar wheels,” Xu said.
AARP planners said the organization is looking at other industries who depend on reliable home delivery to serve their customers. “We’re talking to Amazon and Home Depot, among other companies, who could use thousands of retired old bikers to assist their deliveries,” Jenkins told Rueters. “Of course, we’re talking smaller items like hand tools, or smart phones, that sort of thing, maybe small bags of weed.”
One source inside AARP said conversations with FTD, the international flower delivery service, “are well advanced” and another major US partnership could be announced by Thanksgiving. FTD, however, is carefully reviewing its requirement for delivery personnel. “Retired or not, some of our members may not exactly fit the mold of a flower deliveryman,” the AARP source said.