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Everybody vs. Lakers? Clippers Moves Fuel Conspiracy Theory

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Everybody vs. Lakers? Clippers Moves Fuel Conspiracy Theory

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The absence of Kawhi Leonard, at right, of the Clippers from Saturday's game sparked NBA conspiracy theories.


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The absence of Kawhi Leonard, at right, of the Clippers from Saturday’s game sparked NBA conspiracy theories.

It was an odd move by Clippers coach Doc Rivers, and Lakers fans took notice. With five minutes to play in Saturday’s game against the Blazers, he removed star Paul George, replacing him with rookie Terance Mann. This came after Rivers had decided to keep his other top star, Kawhi Leonard, out of the game altogether for rest.

The Clippers are in the midst of a back-to-back and it has been common, during the NBA restart in Orlando, to rest players in back-to-back situations. But generally, star players rest on the second part of the back-to-back and they do so against the worse team. Portland is a good team fighting for the West’s final playoff spot. Sunday’s opponent for the Clippers, the Nets, have been hammered by injuries and opt-outs.

Rivers also pulled supersub Lou Williams with a little more than nine minutes to play.

What was Rivers up to? Conspiracy theorists had the answer: He was trying to lose to Portland to help the Blazers’ chances of making the playoffs and facing the Lakers in the first round of the postseason.

Many around the league think the Blazers have a good shot at upsetting the top-seeded Lakers in a playoff matchup. With the Lakers as his team’s top rival to go to The Finals, Rivers appeared to be strategically setting up a Portland win.

Ultimately, Rivers’ bench group carried the day and the Clippers won. But Rivers was asked if he had been helping Portland by resting Leonard and pulling George.

“I don’t get involved in that,” Rivers said, according to the L.A. Times. “I honestly don’t look at it. I heard our guys talking about it, I’m like, ‘Listen, that’s their business. Our business is who we’re playing.’ We need to focus on that.”


Lakers Would Have a Tough Time With Portland

Still, suspicion reigns. Pulling George was an odd move in that situation, especially considering he had played 36 minutes in the team’s two previous games.

“We knew before the game the minutes we were going to play our guys,” Rivers said in his postgame press conference, “and once they got to those minutes, we took them out.”

Rivers was asked in his postgame press conference about the race for the No. 8 seed. He shrugged off any suggestions of a conspiracy to boost Portland, which has gotten key players Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins back from injuries during the NBA’s coronavirus hiatus.

“That’s not our problem,” Rivers said. “We said that before the game. They knew, guys we were going to play a certain amount of minutes. And I made a point, we are going to try to win the game. We’re not just out playing basketball. It’s a competition. It always is, it always will be.”

[NBA Restart] Doc Rivers Post-Game Press Conference, LAC vs POR, August 8, 2020NBA Los Angeles Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers Post-Game Press Conference, Los Angeles Clippers vs Portland Trail Blazers, August 8, 2020 Full Game Highlights link of Los Angeles Clippers vs Portland Trail Blazers, August 8, 2020: https://youtu.be/PTShlqDsuQ8 For more information, please subscribe for NBA League Pass. DISCLAIMER – For all clips related to NBA are property of the NBA. – No copyright infringement is intended. – Videos are edited to follow the fair use guidelines of YouTube at https://bit.ly/2HIGlml #NBA #Clippers #TrailBlazers2020-08-08T21:05:29Z


Lakers’ Vogel on Clippers’ Moves: ‘No Problem With It’

Lakers coach Frank Vogel was asked, before the Lakers played the Pacers on Saturday, about the possibility that Rivers had been trying to see that the Clippers would lose to Portland to set up a tough playoff matchup against purple-and-gold. He did not delve into thoughts of conspiracies, however.

“I was told about the ending of that game, I didn’t see it,” Vogel said. “My game days, I don’t really watch any other games. … So I just heard about that game, I didn’t see it. We’re still a few days away from it being clear in terms of it being narrowed down who are potential opponents could be. So I haven’t spent a lot of thought with that.”

Vogel was asked more specifically about Rivers’ machinations with resting Leonard and sitting George.

“I’ve got no problem with it,” he said. “Everybody’s got to manage their own team their own way. That’s all I have to say about it. I have no problem with it.”

The Lakers, who lost to the Pacers for their first three-game losing streak since December, have the top overall seed in the West but are just 2-4 in the NBA restart. The Clippers are currently the No. 2 seed.

READ NEXT: Devin Booker Wears Lakers Shirt, Trade Speculation Emerges




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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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