☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Friday, July 8, 2022 ☙ PAIN RX 🦠
Another Trump ally assassinated; Twitter hires feds, fires recruiters; 20 states ban Zuckerbucks; Uruguay judge halts jabs for kids; Fed forecasts ‘some pain’; bad polls for Dems; much more ...
Good morning and Happy Friday, C&C! Another week, in the can. In today’s roundup: another Trump ally assassinated; Twitter lays off recruiting staff while on a fed hiring spree; Berenson is back; states ban Zuckerbucks; Uruguay judge halts jabs for kids; Fed forecasts ‘some pain’; more Monkeypox nonsense; Dems mad at Biden; and polling shows the Dobbs decision won’t save Dems this November.
☕️ Coffee & Covid 2022 🦠 is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 67, was assassinated with a home-made shotgun during a campaign speech supporting a local candidate. Abe died in the hospital after the shooting.
According to police, Abe’s killer confessed. Ex-military member Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, told cops he wanted to kill Abe because he was ‘dissatisfied’ with him. Dissatisfied.
Japan’s current Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, called the shooting an attack on “the foundation of democracy”, describing it as “heinous,” “barbaric and malicious,” and “absolutely unforgivable.” “I would like to use the most extreme words available to condemn this act,” the Prime Minister added.
Abe, who retired in 2020 for health reasons after setting the record as Japan’s longest-serving and most-popular Prime Minister, was a well-known ally to President Trump. Just like Boris Johnson. It’s odd, isn’t it, that in the same week, two of Trump’s close political allies were assassinated? Abe was literally assassinated, and Johnson was politically assassinated.
One is a coincidence. Two is … what?
That’s Abe in the picture standing beside Trump. Off topic, I just can’t get enough of the look on John Bolton’s face as he considers Angela Merkel, like he’s trying to figure out what to do about some kind of grotesque parasite that just skittered out from under the refrigerator.
📉 SFGate magazine ran an article yesterday headlined, “Twitter, Headquartered in San Francisco, Announces Mass Layoffs Amid Alleged Elon Musk Crisis.” Apparently, the deal with Musk is on hold, if not on life support, and meanwhile the social media giant seems to be having trouble making ends meet.
The news is that Twitter laid off a third of its “talent recruitment team,” which I think is just a fun way of describing the human resources department. This follows news of a hiring freeze announced back in May. A company spokesperson told SFGATE that the newest layoffs are just a way for the company to “refocus its business needs” during a “lean period.”
One possible read is that Twitter was already on the ropes back when Musk made his offer, and its board saw the deal as a lifeline, so they could dump a crashing company on the next sucker, but the canny billionaire figured it out after reviewing their financials before taking possession. Maybe.
But I can’t help but think of another article I saw recently in Blaze Media, headlined, “Exposé Reveals Twitter, Other Social Media Platforms Routinely Hire Former Feds: It’s a ‘Revolving Door.’”
The story explains that tiny MintPress News has just released an investigative report on hiring practices in Silicon Valley, particularly at Twitter, finding that many social media companies have filled some of their most influential positions with former members of federal agencies, especially the intelligence services, including the FBI, CIA, and the military.
Former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley told Mintpress that there’s now a “revolving door” between federal agents and the companies they are supposed to be policing. And it’s not just the U.S.’s federal government. In 2019, news broke that Gordon Macmillan, Twitter’s editorial head for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, was a current member of the British Army’s notorious 77th Brigade, which is “dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations.”
Gosh. Who could have predicted this unlikely turn of events?
So, another read on the shrinking “talent team” is that Twitter doesn’t NEED recruiters anymore. They have so many CIA, FBI, NSA, and foreign intelligence agents wanting to work there, they don’t even have to advertise, much less do interviews and stuff.
We need to come up with a new, more descriptive name for Twitter. Or maybe a different logo. Instead of the little bluebird, think about a stool pigeon or something. Maybe one of our graphic artists can come up with something good for them.
And we need a better term than “regulatory capture.” This trend is a kind of reverse regulatory capture, where government agencies capture businesses.
🔥 Former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson, one of the first influencers to begin questioning the covid narrative, was reinstated on Twitter this week to resolve his defamation lawsuit against the social media giant. The settlement also required Twitter to admit that Berenson’s tweets should NOT have gotten him suspended at that time. In other words, Twitter has to admit they were wrong.
Berenson can’t say much more about the settlement that that, since the terms are confidential. I’m guessing that Twitter settled to avoid participating in discovery. And wouldn’t THAT have been fun?
🔥 According to reports, through the first half of 2022, at least 20 states have passed laws banning private funding of state and local elections operations. These types of funds are colloquially called “Zuckerbucks.” In short, during the 2020 elections, creepy Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dumped $350 million into a sleepy nonprofit, the Center for Technology and Civic Life, which promptly forwarded the funds to hundreds of county and city elections officials in 47 states and the District of Columbia.
Another word for all that is money laundering, but who’s counting? Anyway, a lot of states are now shutting that nasty little loophole down.
💉 The Washington Post reported some great news yesterday, in an article headlined, “Uruguay Suspends COVID Vaccination for Children Under 13.”
The suspension is the result of the work of a Uruguayan anti-vaccine group, which convinced a judge to freeze juvenile vaccinations until government officials hand over vaccine contracts. The government says a confidentiality clause stops it from sharing the contracts, and plans to appeal.
Among other things, the judge wants to know whether the contracts provide civil and criminal immunity for adverse effects from the vaccines, as well as more information about the chemical composition of the drugs. So.
As of yesterday, 44% of Uruguayan children aged 5 — 11, and 75% of kids aged 12 — 14, have received at least two doses.
They REALLY don’t want to turn over those contracts, do they? So far, we have not seen a single one. It will come out at some point. Just wait.
🔥 Despite Joe Biden’s insistence that there is no inflation, that we are only seeing “Putin’s price hikes,” whatever that is, the Federal Reserve sees it differently. The Financial Times ran a story this week headlined, “Federal Reserve Officials Warn Entrenched Inflation Poses ‘Significant Risk’.”
Not JUST risk. Significant risk.
In June, the Fed raised interest rates by 0.75%. Minutes from that meeting, now disclosed, noted “Many participants judged that a significant risk now facing the committee was that elevated inflation could become entrenched if the public began to question the resolve of the committee to adjust the stance of policy as warranted.”
The Times described “the alarm spreading through the top ranks of the US central bank over inflation.” You don’t say. They just noticed, I guess. Industry insiders predict the Fed will raise interest rates another +0.75% at this month’s meeting, which would considered a very aggressive shift. The concern seems to be that consumers might start to EXPECT inflation.
For example, Kathy Bostjancic, chief US economist at Oxford Economics explained, “If inflation becomes entrenched in consumer and business psyches, it will be much more difficult to lower it over the medium term. That is the breaking point for [the Fed], and they really want to do their best to ensure that it doesn’t happen.”
IF it becomes entrenched? Where do the Fed officials live? Chalet’s in Davos? I’m thinking it is probably too late to avoid consumers expecting inflation. Have they been to a grocery store lately? Or, who don’t you try reading Twitter for ten minutes? If it’s okay with the FBI, that is.
The Fed’s forecast: MORE PAIN. Fed chair Jeremy Powell, in remarks last week, said “The process is highly likely to involve some pain, but the worst pain would be from failing to address this high inflation and allowing it to become persistent.”
The article wonders about whether we’re “headed for” a recession. Headed for? Really?
Experts! What would we do without them? I mean, really, what would we do without them. Maybe be happy and allowed to mind our own business or something?
🔥 Monkeypox! You knew this was coming. The Washington Post published an editorial yesterday by covid ‘expert’ Eric Dingle-Fingle or Fiegl-Ding, or whatever his name is, titled “Let’s Call Monkeypox What It Is: A Pandemic.”
Hahahaha! That was SO predictable.
Ding misses the old days. He strongly suggests in his op-ed that “Governments and health authorities worldwide should alert the public regarding protection measures and provide support for mitigation, rapid case identification, early diagnostics, contact tracing, and isolation.”
I’m starting to think that maybe Ding really, really wants to attend some European festivals or something. But I digress.
Want to know what was missing from his article? Any actual definition of what a pandemic is. It’s not just anytime you’re scared, doc. Anyway, Ding doesn’t seem to know that there are actual metrics and stuff, mostly relating to infection rates, that have to be met before you can formally label a bug as being a “pandemic.”
But hey, suit yourself, doc. If you want to call it a pandemic at home and wear masks and stick yourself with needles, knock yourself out. But be private about it. Don’t expect us to ride along with you.
📉 The Hill ran a moronic article this week headlined, “Frustrated Democrats Express Alarm Over Biden’s Powerlessness.” Well, I don’t know about that. Joe is sure causing a lot of damage for somebody “powerless.” I suppose that’s not what they meant, though.
According to the Hill, the Dems’ main complaints seem to be: Biden didn’t stop the Supreme Court from overturning Roe, he didn’t ban guns after recent shootings, and he can’t seem to stop skyrocketing gas prices by passing more green laws and shuttering oil leases.
Dems are FURIOUS about it. “It’s infuriating,” complained one top Democratic strategist. “Our house is on fire and it seems like they’re doing nothing to put the fire out. They’re just watching it with the rest of us.”
Polls aren’t helping. A Gallup survey this week found only 23% of Americans say they have confidence in the presidency, down -15% from a year ago. A Monmouth University poll found 88% of Americans think we’re on the wrong track, with a paltry 10% saying we are headed in the right direction. Those must be the Chinese sleeper agents.
Even worse, a recent poll showed Biden’s approval rating at only 30%, and critically, scraping the bottom at a paltry 20% among independents. Biden is setting new records at this point, bad ones. Given that presidential approval polls are usually gamed to favor Democrats, the real numbers are probably lower, maybe much lower.
Biden does not intend to change course. At a White House press briefing Tuesday, reporters peppered extra-diverse press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre multiple times about complaints from Democratic lawmakers, activists and pundits that Biden has shown a lack of urgency and fire on certain issues. “I can’t speak for them, I can only speak to what we’re trying to do,” Jean-Pierre allowed.
Joe did that!
📈 In yet more bad news for Dems, the National Review ran a story this week with the completely uninformative headline, “Harvard-Harris: Americans Don’t Know What Roe Did.”
The actual news is that a Harvard-Harris poll showed that the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, hasn’t moved the political needle much, shattering Dem hopes it would become a litmus-test issue for the November elections.
In the poll, only 55% said they disagreed with the Dobbs decision, while 45% said they were all for it. Furthermore, 72% — a clear majority — said they supported a 15-week limit, and half (49%) said they preferred only six weeks. This is consistent with what most red states are doing, such as Florida, which recently passed a 15-week limit on termination.
The worst news for Democrat hopes was that the poll found 63% percent of Americans still believe the Court is “legitimate,” and 59% think the Democrats are wrong to say otherwise. When folks were asked whether Dobbs would affect their vote in the November midterms, the results were a wash. 36% said it would make them more likely to vote for a Democrat, 36% said it would make them more likely to vote for a Republican, and 29% said it would have no effect on their vote at all.
So it looks like there won’t be a backlash against Dobbs after all. Maybe — just maybe — people think there are bigger fish to fry right now. In other words, Americans are sane and we’re NOT stupid. We see what’s going on. Go peddle your manipulative psyops somewhere else.
Have a fabulous Friday! I’ll see you back here tomorrow for the weekend edition.
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This is a prayer I wrote back in 2016:
We lift up to you all the people in our government. You know every detail, every thought, and every intention of every heart, and can direct them however you wish. Sweet Jesus, draw them to you, open their eyes to the truth, and give them a desire to honor you. Give wisdom where there is foolishness and clarity where there is confusion. And where there is rejection of truth, refusal to do the right thing, and desire to do evil, I pray that you intervene and foil their plans. We believe that you command all of creation and that all things are your servants, Lord. Make your presence and power known among your people and among those who shake their fists at you. You are God alone and we trust that you have all the power to accomplish your purposes perfectly and completely. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
"Stool pigeon" would be good. Can one of you graphic design wizards put wings on a turd? Instead of Twitter we could call it Shi**er. Tagline: "Stinking it up Since 2006."