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SAY WHAT? - After earning the adoration of the world at four straight Olympic Games, decorated champion diver Tom Daley has finally collected Olympic Gold. He and his partner, Matty Lee, won the 10-meter synchronized platform diving competition this morning in Tokyo.

“I feel incredibly proud to say I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion,” the out Briton said at a press conference after.

Daley, 27, has represented the U.K. at the Olympics since 2008, when he was 14. He is married to Oscar-winning filmmaker and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, and they have a son, Robbie, together.

Daley already had six World Champion medals, including three gold, eight European Champion medals, including five gold, four Commonwealth Games gold medals, and one silver. He also won three Olympic bronze medals, but until now the gold had eluded him.

These were Lee’s first Olympics, but he has won a gold medal in 10-meter platform at the 2015 European Games as well as the mixed 10-meter synchronized platform at the 2017 European Diving Championships. Lee was also the European junior champion on the three-meter springboard twice before.

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SAY WHAT? - Whew. On the scorching first day of the Congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 MAGA insurrection, four Capitol cops - for once in this nation's history the good guys, each more eloquent, honorable and traumatized than the last - offered consistently harrowing, often tearful testimony that outed once and for all the GOP's despicable gaslighting about that day's carnage. The ruthless rebuttals by Sgt. Aquilino Gonell and Pfc. Harry Dunn of the Capitol Police and Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the D.C. Police Department, all in their dress blues, repeatedly exposed what Fanone called "the worst that America has to offer," from MAGA goons screaming  "Fucking nigger!" at Dunn to the evil "hit-man " who sent them. Backing up their horrific accounts was video so devastating many lawmakers could barely watch; much of it came from the officers' own truth-telling body-cams that, in a twist of history, police departments had long opposed. Though the four cops each told different stories, they shared vital common threads. All four used the same terms: insurrectionists, terrorists, mob, MAGA. All four thought they and their colleagues were going to die. All four remain scarred, physically and mentally: Said Gonell, "That day continues to be a constant trauma for us." And all four knew who was to blame. "All of them - all of them were saying Trump sent us," said Gonell. "Nobody else - there was nobody else. It was not Antifa, it was not Black Lives Matter, it was not the FBI. It was his supporters that he sent over to the Capitol that day."

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SAY WHAT?-Amid rising COVID cases, falling vaccination rates and a persistent flood of crackpot hogwash a timid media terms "misinformation" - WE WILL NOT COMPLY! - its bone-headed perpetrators just keep spewing even when, as experts predict, by fall the surging Delta variant could kill 850 of their own irredeemable peeps a day in what has become "a pandemic of the unvaccinated."

In Alabama, which has the country's lowest vaccination rate, a doctor describes seeing young people dying. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine," she says. "I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.” Still, the idiot masses  head out to protest hospitals requiring vaccines for employees with balmy signs like "Medical Dictatorship," "I Call My Own Shots," "No to Socialism," and "Remember the Nuremberg Code." Umm.

They probably eat up Marjorie Taylor-Greene's online rants - COVID is a bio weapon, STOP MASKING CHILDREN!, Indict Pelosi! - or they did until she got suspended for saying vaccines don't work and COVID poses no threat to anyone under 65 and not obese, even as cases in Georgia are up 193%.

She was so mad at "COMMUNIST TWITTER" she held a presser where she refused to say if she'd been vaccinated, claimed the question "is a violation of my HIPAA rights" - not - and laughed, loudly braying like a demented horse, when a reporter noted kids have died of COVID. Actually, one just had, three days before, in her own district. His obituary said Wyatt, Gibson, five years old, liked to strum a toy guitar and sing, "I love donkeys and I love dogs." Declared his grieving father, "I feel like I've lost my best friend."

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SAY WHAT-California appellate court ruled that requiring elder care staff to use the correct pronouns for transgender and non-binary people is a violation of their free speech rights.

“The Court’s decision is disconnected from the reality facing transgender people,” said out state Sen. Scott Wiener (D), who sponsored a law passed in 2017 that required long-term care facilities to treat LGBTQ people equally.

“Deliberately misgendering a transgender person isn’t just a matter of opinion, and it’s not simply ‘disrespectful, discourteous, or insulting.’ Rather, it’s straight up harassment,” he continued. “And, it erases an individual’s fundamental humanity, particularly one as vulnerable as a trans senior in a nursing home. This misguided decision cannot be allowed to stand.”

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SAY WHAT?-California Republicans introduced a measure to honor former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s centennial birthday for an entire year. The feel-good measure would lionize Reagan and wallpaper over her glaring flaws.

Out Assemblyman Alex Lee (D) wasn’t on board with the measure and in a short blistering speech given before his colleagues voted, Lee let them know exactly why.

Related: Nancy Reagan, gay men & the end of an ugly era

“Republicans want to honor an entire year after Nancy Reagan. Completely absurd to praise someone who escalated the war on drugs & let the AIDS crisis ravage the LGBTQ+ community. Reagans deserve no commemoration,” Lee tweeted with a video of his speech. “I told the Assembly ‘Just say NO’.”

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SAY WHAT?-“If [Donald] Trump and [Bernie] Sanders take the same position on Big Tech censorship,” David Catron writes at The American Spectator, “the issue deserves serious attention.” 

He’s right, but in pretty much the opposite of the way he intends. When the mainstream “right” and “left” agree on anything, that’s almost always a blazing neon sign warning us that our freedoms are under threat. 

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SAY WHAT?-The World Health Organization calls the Delta variant of COVID-19 the “fastest and fittest,” a term suggesting that this strain of the virus both spreads more rapidly and picks off vulnerable people more efficiently than do its predecessors. California is about to experience Delta’s full force – and the state’s lagging vaccination efforts in low income neighborhoods will once again put those populations at unequal risk. 

Late last month, Delta became the dominant variant in the state, according to the California Department of Public Health. Its growth is accelerating rapidly: In the CDPH’s monthly report, the virus accounted for 35.6% of all genetically sequenced cases in the state in June, whereas in May that figure stood at just 5.6%. 

Health officials are quick to note that while all viruses mutate, not all of the mutations become more transmissible and efficient than previous versions, as Delta has. WHO officials last month said that Delta is becoming the dominant strain worldwide. Yale researcher Dr. Perry Wilson added that the variant “will certainly accelerate the pandemic” because of its rapid rate of spread. 

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SAY WHAT?-If you were eating tacos at MacArthur Park’s Guatemalan Night Market on the afternoon of June 11, you might never guess that street vending is supposed to be legal in Los Angeles. Officials from the Department of Public Health — with LAPD officers in tow — descended on the street food hub at 6th Street and Bonnie Brae, throwing food into trash bags without a word to the outraged entrepreneurs.  

As Los Angeles County reopens, enforcement of street vending regulations has spiked in recent weeks, with at least four raids of unpermitted vendors reported to L.A. Taco. The unannounced raids have startled vendors, who fear a return to a punishing old normal.  

Then, following organized efforts by advocacy groups, on June 29 the city council approved a motion to temporarily halt enforcement. 

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SAY WHAT?-Human memory is prone to error — and new research provides evidence that anger can increase these errors.

The new findings have been published in the scientific journal Experimental Psychology

“My interest in the impact of anger on misinformation came from both real-world experience and research,” said study author Michael Greenstein, an assistant professor at Framingham State University. 

“From the real-world side, there’s this phrase that people say — ‘don’t get emotional.’ That phrase is somewhat often used to describe anger and the idea that when you’re angry you’ll make poor decisions, which would also imply poor memory use.” 

“From the research side, anger is an interesting emotion because it somewhat defies traditional classifications in that it’s a ‘negative’ emotion, but it impacts cognition in a lot of ways that are more similar to ‘positive’ emotions.” 

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SAY WHAT?-This week, YouTube announced that Right Wing Watch, which monitors far-right disinformation, conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric, was inexplicably banned from the site for "violations of its community guidelines" because YouTube, or the robots who come up with their algorithms, evidently can't distinguish between exposing rabid extremism and championing it, which must be why they still allow all those white supremacists to spew their racist, hateful drivel on their righteous platform. Launched in 2007, RWW is run by the non-profit People For the American Way, founded in 1981 as a liberal counterpoint to the unholy bigots of the Moral Majority.

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SAY WHAT?-Britney Spears spoke before a Los Angeles court on Wednesday, giving a fervent speech on the details of her 13-year conservatorship

Britney Spears spoke before a Los Angeles court on Wednesday, giving a fervent speech on the details of her 13-year conservatorship.

In her nearly 30-minute virtual address before a Los Angeles court and Judge Brenda Penny, the singer, 39, spoke out against her father Jamie Spears and her management team, saying that she is "traumatized."

"I've lied and told the whole world I'm OK and I'm happy," she said, adding: "I'm not happy. I can't sleep. I'm depressed. I cry every day."

Shortly thereafter, the "Toxic" songstress asked to end the 13-year conservatorship. "I just want my life back. It's been 13 years and it's been enough," she said.

Jamie's attorney Vivian Lee Thoreen also the court to share a statement from her client, saying, "[Jamie] is sorry to see his daughter in so much pain. [He] loves his daughter and misses her very much.” 

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TikToker Meredith Steele appealed to her followers to Venmo her money to give the waiter the tip he deserved - and they came through with more than you could imagine.

A Maine-based TikTok star raised over $10,000 for the LGBTQ+ community in honor of a gay waiter who was discriminated against by people he was serving at a restaurant.

The waiter, who has chosen to remain anonymous, received a religious pamphlet in place of a tip from two different customers in the same day. When word of the incident reached TikToker Meredith Steele, whose friend works with the waiter, Steele appealed to her almost 500,000 followers to Venmo her money to give the waiter the tip he deserved.

“As a general life rule I try not to make videos when I’m angry,” she said in the June 7 video, “but if you can’t tell by my chest right now I’m fuming.”

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