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No, Budweiser is NOT getting rid of the Clydesdales

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I saw a headline Sunday that Anheuscher-Busch was not using their iconic Clydesdales in Christmas ads this year. I didn’t think much of it until a bunch of other stories said they were getting rid of them altogether. I did see a piece debunking that yesterday as well. Now that the story is well on the way to virality, I wanted to stand athwart the landslide of outraged comments and get it corrected (and I personally think most of the beers made by Anheuscher-Busch taste like I imagine Clydesdale urine must taste like, so don’t call me, a craft beer guy, a fanboy for writing this.)

Here’s what a Yahoo blog noted about the original report:

Rest easy, Budweiser Clydesdales — you aren’t being put out to pasture just yet.

Contrary to an earlier report, the iconic horses, who have been an essential part of the Budweiser brand for nearly a century, will in fact be appearing in the beer company’s holiday advertising this year.

Horse fans and beer drinkers alike were alarmed by a Wall Street Journal story published Sunday claiming that the magnificent beasts were being phased out of Bud’s 2014 holiday advertising in an effort to appeal to younger consumers.

“The company has decided that persuading 21- to 27-year-olds to grab a Bud is the best chance to stop the free-fall. After years of developing advertising and marketing that appeals to all ages, AB InBev plans to concentrate future Budweiser promotions exclusively on that age bracket,”
The Journal’s story claimed. “That means it won’t trot out the traditional Budweiser Clydesdales for this year’s holiday advertising. It means February’s Super Bowl ads will feature something more current than last year’s Fleetwood Mac. It means less baseball and more raves with DJ group Cash Cash.”

Here’s the truth:

However, a spokesman for the company told TheWrap on Monday that the horses will continue the tradition of appearing in the brewer’s holiday advertising.

“The story this morning may have left a wrong impression – the Budweiser Clydesdales will, in fact, be featured in next year’s Super Bowl advertising and are also a part of upcoming holiday responsible drinking advertising,” a spokesman for the company said in a statement. “The Clydesdales play a strong role for the brand, representing Budweiser quality and care for more than 80 years. As icons of the brand — and relevant symbols of integrity, perfection and team spirit for all generations — they are important to the brand and our campaigns.”

The revered horses will even be galloping into the digital age this year, with a piece of content that will run digitally, featuring real people along with the Clydesdales.

The moral of the story is a continued reminder to be wary of what you read on the internet. The secondary sources who picked up the WSJ piece had time to find out what the Wrap blog at Yahoo found out, but going for the clickbait headlines that get shared more ruled the day (some of this may fall on the people who shared them as well – especially if they didn’t read the actual articles.)

Report: Former DC Mayor Marion Barry Dies at 78

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WUSA reports:

Sources close to the family tell WUSA 9 reporter Bruce Johnson that former DC Mayor Marion Barry has passed away.

Family and very close associates are gathering at this hour at United Medical Center in Southeast, DC as word spreads.

The 78-year-old Barry was just released from Howard University Hospital this evening where he had been admitted on Thursday.

Tweets about the situation by Johnson and others were confusing the situation because of earlier reports on his release and the newer ones that he was dead. WUSA posted this story at 2 a.m. EST.

UN blasts parental consent laws for abortion

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Catholic World News reports that:

The United Nations Population Fund has issued its annual State of World Population report.

The report decried barriers to adolescent “reproductive health” care, including laws that require parental consent for contraception or abortion. The report also lamented the influence of religious organizations in opposing “comprehensive sexuality education” and criticized religious leaders and parents for regulating “access to information and services.”

Parental consent laws in the U.S. Vary by state and leads to a situation where some states, like Maryland, require parental consent for a minor to use a tanning bed but not to have an abortion.

This story comes on the heels of reports that two other UN bodies, the World Health Organization and UNICEF, sterilized Kenyan women without their knowledge.

Watch Justin Berk’s Mobbies Meltdown

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Congratulations would all you’d expect to be in order to Justin Berk for winning Best Twitter Account and Best Facebook Page at Wednesday night’s Mobbies, sponsored by The Baltimore Sun. However, reports by people in attendance indicated a Berk meltdown when he got on stage to accept an award. Berk talked about the good things, like fundraising, he had accomplished via social media. He then talked about an “impostor” account that he said had said petulant and immature things. He claimed the person behind this “impostor” (really a parody account despite his claim of imitation) was in the room. He made other comments that basically said he was taking the high road but that he was sitting on a big story and could cause problems for people with it if he wanted. He then quoted Taylor Swift and grabbed his crotch before leaving the stage.

That parody account he was referring to is @notjustinberk on Twitter. Since it’s clearly a parody account and not someone trying to imitate him I suspect Berk taking the high road is because his lawyer told him he wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if he were to sue. (You can see videos including the full speech at various points below.) I’m not sure Berk is deserving of Best Twitter Account if he doesn’t understand parody accounts. He was able to get enough votes to win the award and talk about what a big deal he is, but he’s so thin-skinned he can’t handle a parody account – an account which wouldn’t exist if he wasn’t at least somewhat popular. Now, thanks to the same social media popularity that has made him since his abrupt departure from local television, he will be remembered for this meltdown more than for the awards.

One person who was there also had thoughts and comments – referring to Berk’s speech as “embarrassing”, “passive-aggressive”, and “ego-laced.” The comments there also included this:

Basically he went off on trolls who apparently upset him with a parody Twitter account. In the process he proclaimed that he “knew some of you here were helping them” and said he had evidence of that, and action by former employers, etc that he could use to “destroy careers” with if he hadn’t decided to “take the high road”. Then went on to laud himself for a bit longer. So… he had an opportunity to use this stage to discuss online abuse with a sympathetic audience, and instead melted down in his own self-aggrandizement. It was sort of sad, as much as it was somewhat entertaining in a slow-motion-train-wreck way. But it was a true downer in an otherwise upbeat evening.

Berk himself responded to one person’s criticism on Twitter and alcohol consumption was mentioned. Some other comments on Twitter are here.

City That Breeds posted this video – which clearly captures the audio of the entire speech


This video, posted Thursday morning, shows Berk quoting Taylor Swift and grabbing his crotch at the end of his speech:

 

ICYMI @justinweather just likes to shake shake shake it off #Mobbies

 

A video posted by Will C (@wheelsee) on

Baltimore Marxists plan #Ferguson protests

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WBAL.com reports:

Protests are being planned in Baltimore if a grand jury declines to return an indictment against the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.

In downtown Baltimore, the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly is planning an “emergency response protest” in McKeldin Square, either the day of the grand jury decision or the day after.

The demonstrations are both planned in protest of Brown’s shooting, but also of other fatal officer-involved shootings involving Hispanic and black people.

As I noted before, the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly has an office they call their Solidarity Center:

The Solidarity Center has opened its doors to a variety of different groups who have met and planned activities including Occupy Baltimore, SCLC, UPP, WWP, the Green Party and the families and victims of police violence.

The WWP, a.k.a. The Workers World Party, split from the Socialist Workers Party in 1959. The split was partly because of the SWP’s support of Henry Wallace in the 1948 election and because the SWP was supporting Mao Zedong in China. Since then the WWP has supported Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, and Kim Jong-Il. They also supported the Chinese crackdown on democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square in China in 1989. Additionally, WWP supported domestic terrorists including the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground.

The name of Steven Ceci consistently comes up as it relates to the PPA. He even included a comment on my original post confirming that he is a “communist” and the PPA is affiliated with the Workers World Party.

The local media generally doesn’t even name the PPA, let alone detail their connections. As I noted on a story about their anti-Israeli protest, they usually have signs for every single issue in the smorgasbord of progressive coalition issues.

American Power blog had this to say about the anti-Israel event and Ceci:

These groups are vehicles for the most vile eliminationist anti-Semitism. Mainstream media outlets do significant harm in omitting any mention of the ideological, anti-Semitic background of organizers like Baltimore’s Steven Ceci and his ilk.

Report: WHO/UNICEF sterilized Kenyan women without their knowledge

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Catholic World News:

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have revealed that young women have been sterilized without their knowledge as part of a vaccination campaign sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Over 2 million young women in Kenya have been vaccinated as part of the international campaign, which was promoted as a drive against tetanus. However, in October the Kenyan bishops expressed fears that the vaccine being administered to young women also contained a sterilizing agent. The bishops told the Fides news agency that “we are convinced it is a masked program of population control.”

Now tests has confirmed that the vaccine contains HCG, a hormone ordinarily produced by women during pregnancy. When HCG is taken prior to pregnancy, it causes the woman’s body to manufacture antibodies that will cause miscarriage in future pregnancies.

Testing multiple samples of the tetanus vaccine, Catholic health-care workers found HCG contained in every one. The tests were taken after health-care workers noticed that the vaccine was being administered differently to women of child-bearing age.

Of course, Kenyan officials deny it.

Baltimore, DC named to Top 10 Cities for rats

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Fast Company

Earlier this month, the pest control company Orkin released a ranking of the top rattiest cities–the places that sent out the most rodent-elimination requests in the year 2013. Here are the top 10 winners:

Chicago
Los Angeles
Washington, D.C.-Hagerstown
New York
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
Seattle-Tacoma
Detroit
Cleveland-Akron-Canton
Baltimore
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
Rats are well-suited to carry lots of different diseases that are harmful to humans. Hantavirus, the bubonic plague, and Leptospirosis (a disease causing liver damage) are just a few. Some research suggests that rat infestation problems could be worsened by climate change, as rats tend to breed in warmer and wetter weather. If rising sea levels mean increased flooding, that could mean more ideal habitats for rats to raise families.

Of course this is only counting rats with four legs or DC would likely rank at the top. Earlier this year, Baltimore ranked 3rd internationally for rats in an Animal Planet ranking.

Desperate Democrats Play Race Card in Maryland

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(Via the Maryland Daily Record)

Democrats have already sent racially-tinged mail in Georgia and North Carolina that evoked lynchings and the specter of Michael Brown’s death. Now they’ve sent the above mailer targeting Black voters in Charles and Princes George’s County.

Bryan Sears has more at The Daily Record:

The glossy mailings, sent out in the days before the beginning of early voting, target black voters in key areas in support of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown. Samples obtained by The Daily Record were sent to voters in Charles and Prince George’s Counties.

“They’ve placed a lot of roadblocks in our path at every turn,” reads the flier over segregationist images from the Civil Rights era as well as more recent photos relating to voter ID laws and real estate mogul Donald Trump and his views on President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

[…]

In addition to the message that evokes racial tension, the mailing urges voters to come out for the early voting period and reminds voters that Brown would be the first black governor in Maryland history—a designation from which Brown has shied away.

Sears also reports no one at the Maryland Democratic Party would comment.

Sears also talked to two political observers about the mailer:

Political observers say the mailings are yet another sign that the race for governor between Brown, the Democrat, and Republican Larry Hogan is closer than the Democratic Party would like.

“I’m not saying they’re scared but the race is definitely tighter,” said John Bullock, assistant professor of political science at Towson University.

Bullock added that the mailing attempts to paint Hogan in a racially derogatory light without using his name or image.

“It doesn’t specifically say Hogan is this person but it definitely goes there,” Bullock said. “It’s making a direct appeal to race and clearly targeting black voters.”

[…]

Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College, said the mailing is similar to others in North Carolina and in Georgia that highlight racial division to evoke emotional responses in order to turn out black voters.

“This mailing really seems to suggest that some people in Maryland want to take someone else’s rights away,” Eberly said. It’s not a claim that can be substantiated nor defended.”

“The implied ‘they’ has to be Republicans—who else can it be?” Eberly said. “If this is what the Democratic Party has to do to get people to vote then they should probably take a look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves why they don’t have a positive message to get people to the polls.”

Democrats packed a gym in Prince George’s County Sunday to see President Obama but news reports indicated they weren’t that excited about the Brown campaign. In fact, many of them left during the middle of Obama’s speech. Instead of admitting people left, they tried spinning it in various directions and it blew up in their face.

The fact the Democrats only have this tactic to go to right now shows the race is tighter than they expected and all their other attack ads aren’t work as well as they’d hoped. It’s a desperate tactic whether the situation is desperate for them or not.

The Washington Post ignored crowd streaming out of Obama speech


(Reuters Photo)

I noted last night that Reuters and Politico (including the White House pool report by a reporter from that paper) reported on a stream of people leaving after President Barack Obama started speaking last night at an event for Lt. Governor Anthony Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Democrats tried to spin the reports, including one in The Baltimore Sun, by saying that the people leaving were from an overflow room that the president spoke to first. There was pushback by reporters on this (and pictures were tweeted proving it) and I’ll have more on that in a minute. There were even some Obama supporters on Twitter, when they weren’t calling reporters names, who were claiming the people who left were Republican plants.

The story in the Washington Post made no mention of people leaving at all, whatever the explanation. That story was written by Jenna Johnson and Arelis R. Hernandez (and John Wagner contributed to it.)

Excerpts from WaPo:

President Obama stood before thousands of Marylanders in a high school gym in Prince George’s County on Sunday and urged them to vote for Democrats who fight for the working class — such as gubernatorial candidate Anthony G. Brown.

The president told the largely African American, and wildly enthusiastic, crowd that Republicans want voters to become so cynical that they don’t vote.

[…]

Although Obama has seen his popularity fade in many parts of the county, he was welcomed with raucous applause at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro. At times, the crowd punctuated each of his sentences with cheers. It also defended him with boos when a heckler challenged Obama on immigration.

It was a level of enthusiasm that Brown has yet to see as he campaigns to become the state’s first African American governor and the nation’s third to be popularly elected.Some in the crowd said they waited in line for hours to see Obama, not Brown.

I noted last night that news reports indicated that a “steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke” and that “once the president started speaking, the crowd began streaming out, a few at first, but then by the dozen once Obama was about 10 minutes into his talk.”

Other reports indicated there was a “traffic jam” of people trying to leave.

Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis called the Politico report a “lie” and crappy reporting. She also castigated Reuters and Yahoo for reporting it. She claimed that the people leaving were coming from an overflow room that Obama already spoke to prior to an event. She also had confusing versions of that spin, including saying the people in the overflow were leaving but then claiming they weren’t allowed to leave.

The reporter from Politico engaged with her on Twitter and corrected her and pointed out that the people were in the main room. Obama supporters and Democrats in Maryland and nationally took to Twitter to attack the reports who wrote about people leaving. These included claims of the reporters being “Obama-haters”, “racists”, “liars”, and other attacks. One person on Twitter even claimed that the people who walked out were GOP plants.

Here’s what Jeff Mason of Reuters told one of the Obama supporters (one who also engaged with me last night) on Twitter after she accused him of being a “dumb ass” and a “jealous hater”:

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Twitchy also wrote about it and included tweets with details and pictures.

Other links:
Legal Insurrection
The Political Insider
Liberty News

Anthony Brown’s Gaffe: Refers to “Frederickstown” not Frederick

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In Saturday’s gubernatorial debate, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown contributed to the perception that he’s out of touch, especially when it comes to the western part of Maryland.

Near the end of the 10/18 debate, Brown was talking about his travels around the state and recited a number of cities, including “Frederickstown.”

As a response, the campaign of Larry Hogan changed the name of their Frederick page on Facebook to Frederickstown for Hogan-Rutherford.
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The complete debate video is below (go to the 53:34 mark for Brown’s embarassing gaffe):

Here’s a quick transcript of the Brown gaffe in question:

When I travel around the state of Maryland… whether I’m in Oakland… whether I’m in Cumberland… whether I’m in Frostsburg, Hagerstown, Frederickstown, families want the same thing….

UPDATE
A parody has already popped up, set to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Allentown”: