Discover more from ☕️ Coffee & Covid 2023 🦠
☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Thursday, June 23, 2022 ☙ PRACTICAL RESPONSE 🦠
Operation Multiplier breaks records; Publix takes a tentative stand; Van Jones says something true on CNN; Biden bans nicotine; Gillum indicted; a kooky conspiracy theory; Lithuanian update; and more.
Good morning C&C! It’s Thursday, and I have a great roundup for you today: Operation Multiplier breaks records; Publix takes a tentative stand; Van Jones says something true on CNN; Andrew Gillum indicted on corruption charges; the White House moves to ban nicotine; more sudden and unexpected celebrity deaths; Arizona gets closer to passing a revolutionary educational freedom law; a kooky conspiracy theory about Russian saboteurs; and an update on the Lithuanian situation.
🗞 *THE C&C ARMY POST* 🗞
🪖 OPERATION MULTIPLIER UPDATES: The C&C Army’s multiplier for Dr. McCullough yesterday was a staggering success. When I made the very first C&C donation early yesterday morning, his GiveSendGo stood at just over $378,000. This morning it’s up to $652,303. In other words, we’ve raised nearly +$275,000 in a 24-hour period.
GiveSendGo provides no easy way to analyze the donations, but you can scroll through the feed, and it is obvious that 95% of the donations are the work of the C&C Army — if not all of them. (Some folks ran into trouble entering the digits, but a lot of the even-numbered donations include C&C-related comments.)
I think it’s higher than 95%. I reckon nearly all the donations made in the last 24 hours were by the C&C army. Plus, I love GiveSendGo’s comments feature; I hope Dr. McCullough will be invigorated by all the encouraging notes that so many C&C soldiers included with their donations.
We totally crushed it, the Operation was a thundering blowout. It would now be journalistic malpractice to omit McCullough’s grassroots support from any article about his licensure battle. I hope the doctor feels free to mention his grassroots support anytime he’s interviewed. And if they keep after him, we can just multiply him again.
I also have news on the Harriet Hageman multiplier from last week: As of the week’s end, we’d raised nearly +$100,000 in more than 4,000 individual donations. That’s a terrific message! (Don’t compare Hageman to McCullough; the doctor’s individual donations were extremely generous, which is self-evidently appropriate.)
Think about it this way: between Hageman and McCullough, we’ve fueled +$375,000 focused dollars to work for freedom over just two days, needing only seconds of effort from each of us, and via totally affordable individual contributions that we’d probably have made anyway if we ever got around to thinking about it.
That’s the power of the Army. Working together, each doing their part, we’re punching with billionaire weight.
Finally, Ms. Hageman made us a very nice little thank-you video. Enjoy: https://tinyurl.com/bdcw8rrt.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
💉 It looks like grocery-giant Publix read the room and took a stand, even if just a little one. Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times ran a story headlined, “Publix Won’t Give COVID Vaccine to Children Under 5.” The sub-headline complained darkly, “The Lakeland grocery chain said it will not explain its decision ‘at this time.’”
For those of you who don’t live in Florida, Publix dominates grocery stores. We LOVE Publix. If you live in Florida, chances are there’s always a Publix within a few blocks, and chances are you’re in a Publix daily. They’re super-clean, well organized, friendly, and give great customer service. In addition to groceries, Publix offers bakery, deli, meats, sushi, pharmacy, you name it, plus some of the best fried chicken you can get anywhere.
It IS the South, after all.
From the beginning, Publix participated full-on in the vaccine campaign, even to the extent that Florida dems accused the Governor of favoring Publix with jab contracts, since the Lakeland grocery chain is perceived as “skewing towards” conservative political candidates, although I’m not sure that’s actually true.
According to the Times, Publix announced yesterday that its pharmacies will NOT be vaccinating very young children aged four and under. Publix’s website offers jabs only for kids five and up. And the chain offers flu shots to kids aged 6 months and up.
But not mRNA jabs, not for toddlers and infants.
Publix clearly frustrated the Times by passing on the chance to explain to reporters exactly WHY it won’t jab the littles. But do you blame it? Whatever its reasoning, there is nothing Publix could say about this without creating a conflagration of controversy with one caterwauling group or another. Publix doesn’t have to explain its policy, and, for now, it isn’t.
This may be the first large American corporation to buck the narrative. It’s the first one to feature media coverage, at least.
I think I’ll pick up some soft, warm Publix donuts for my team on the way into the office this morning.
🔥 I don’t usually agree with Clinton loyalist Van Jones, but in an interview on CNN yesterday, he nailed it. Jones told two anchors, faces frozen in terrified confusion, that elites were ruining the Democrat party: “Those people talk funny. ‘Latinx’? I’ve never met a Latinx. I’ve never met a ‘BIPOC’ … All this weird stuff that these highly-educated people say … It’s bizarre … Nobody talks that way at the nail salon or barbershop or grocery store or community center.”
Jones says the Democrats ‘talk weird’ to appeal to highly-educated elites, and they pander to the lowest economic groups by over-promising things like “reparations.” Meanwhile the middle class is walking away.
There’s a lot here. First, it is spellbinding watching CNN evolve under new management. True, Van Jones is not Sean Hannity or anything. But there he was, on air, saying common-sense things that CNN’s thought police would have promptly bleach-bit two months ago. The biggest question to me is, WHY do Democrat elites like to ‘talk weird’ when nobody else wants them to? Is it as simple as virtue signaling?
🔥 Former Democrat darling and gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was indicted yesterday on federal corruption charges. For those of you who are not from Florida, Governor DeSantis narrowly beat popular democrat Gillum by just a handful of votes in 2018. A few months later, Gillum was arrested in a sordid and shameful scandal involving crack cocaine, male prostitutes, and details that I can’t describe in a family blog.
As bad as those optics were politically, the new charges are more serious and more substantial. Gillum is accused of a long list of complicated bribery schemes involving his private PAC, fake FBI real-estate developers, and pay-for-play politics while Gillum was mayor of Tallahassee.
The former mayor and failed gubernatorial candidate remains popular with Florida democrats, who see him as some kind of Robin-hood-style rascal or something. For his part, Gillum says he looks forward to having his day in court to prove his, um, technical innocence. Good luck!
🔥 Always on the alert for ways to help the American people, and with his usual impeccable timing, hair-sniffing White House resident Joe Biden said his Administration plans to fight the horrible problem of smoking by regulating 95% of the nicotine out of cigarettes, making them completely useless for their intended purpose.
The Wall Street Journal’s article yesterday was headlined, “Biden Administration Targets Removal of Most Nicotine From Cigarettes.” The Journal grudgingly admits that smoking rates have been “declining for years,” with a small pandemic bump, and that the regulatory changes could take years to implement.
The Administration claims the move is part of its anti-cancer initiative. Now we see how it will work. Instead of CURING cancer, they’ll just ban everything that “thuh Science” says causes cancer. Problem solved!
I will note without comment that dozens and dozens of studies have shown nicotine protects people from covid and — especially — spike protein injury:
— BMJ comment, Jan 2020, “Nicotine and COVID-19,” concluding “the evidence suggests that nicotine or other nicotinic agonists could have beneficial effects against severe COVID-19.”
— Jerusalem Post, June 2020, “Israeli study points to nicotine as a potential therapeutic for COVID-19.”
— Medical News, July 2020, “Involvement of nicotine receptors in COVID-19” (nicotine interferes with spike protein).
— Cureus Journal, October 2020, “Does Nicotine Prevent Cytokine Storms in COVID-19?” (Nicotine may act as an anti-inflammatory that prevents cytokine storms caused by spike protein).
— American Council on Health and Science, June 2020, “Does Smoking Prevent COVID-19? We Don’t Know, But Some Journalists Don’t Want To Find Out.”
— Journal of Biophysics, February 2021, “A potential interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors” (nicotine interferes with spike protein).
— GLP, October 2021, “Smokers are less likely to get COVID: French researchers explore whether nicotine might prevent transmission.”
— Medical Hypotheses, January 2022, “Nicotinic receptors as SARS-CoV-2 spike co-receptors?” (nicotine interferes with spike protein).
… and there are MANY, MANY more. I could do this all day. Just saying.
💉 Two more sudden and unexpected celebrity deaths yesterday:
— Tony Siragusa, 55, former Ravens NFL star nicknamed “the Goose,” died “unexpectedly” in his sleep yesterday. No cause of death has been reported.
— Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, 26, died unexpectedly yesterday. No cause of death reported.
🔥 The Arizona House just passed House Bill 2853 on party lines. The bill would create the most expansive school choice system in the country, allowing parents to basically take their part of the education budget to any school they choose, including private or religious schools, and also use the money for transportation, tutoring, and computers.
Governor Ducey is an advocate for educational freedom and is expected to sign the bill into law, if it is approved in the Arizona senate, which recently passed a similar bill.
More progress! Progress that would not have been possible without the pandemic.
🔥 I’m out of time this morning; I’ll round this up for you soon. But it’s so interesting that I have to at least mention the latest conspiracy theory. You may have noticed all the recent reports of food processing plant fires and explosions in natural gas terminals and oil refineries. Some people wonder if the government is up to something.
But there’s a simpler possibility, if you want to attribute human agency to the apparent rash of problems with food and energy producers. The most recent refinery explosion triggered online speculation about RUSSIAN involvement, suggesting that — perhaps — the Russians are sabotaging domestic U.S. food and energy production in retaliation for sanctions and all the nasty business we’ve been getting up to over in Ukraine.
This speculation was fueled by some circumstantial evidence linking Russian activity to the latest refinery explosion. But are these speculations really just a false-flag psyop, to fuel anger toward Russia, like how German saboteurs were blamed for everything that went wrong during World War II? Or, could it be true — a relatively easy and unaccountable way for Russia to pressure the U.S. into getting out of Russia’s hair? Or is it all just coincidence?
Who knows! But it IS an interesting thought experiment. Let me know what you think in the comments.
🚀 *THE MINORITY REPORT* 🚀
🚀 CBS News ran a story yesterday headlined, “Moscow threatens NATO member Lithuania over transit ban on goods to Russia’s European exclave Kaliningrad.”
The story is about Lithuania’s weekend announcement that it was breaking its treaty with Russia, a treaty requiring it to allow overland transportation between mainland Russia and its outpost on the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad. Russia promptly and unsurprisingly responded with fury. Now, a few days later, there are some developments.
First, Russia has escalated its warnings. On Tuesday, Russia’s top security minister Nikolai Patrushev opined darkly to Russian media that, ”Russia will certainly respond to such hostile actions. The consequences will have a serious negative impact on the population of Lithuania.”
Whoops. That doesn’t sound too good for the Lithuanians.
Next, Lithuania seemed to pull back a little, clarifying that its embargo was ONLY related to sanctioned goods. It explained any passengers and goods not under sanctions can still travel through its territory pursuant to the treaty. But that still halves the amount of goods normally sent to Kaliningrad.
Monday, the US stuck its oar in, when State Department spokesman Ned Price warned, “We support our NATO allies, we support Lithuania. Our commitment to NATO’s Article 5 is unbreakable.” So take that.
Finally, the EU chimed in, sticking up for little Lithuania explaining it was just complying with international sanctions against Russia, on account of Russia’s military adventurism in Ukraine. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell loquaciously said, “Lithuania is not guilty. It is not implementing national [unilateral] sanctions. It is not implementing their will. Whatever they are doing has been the consequence of the previous consultation with the [European] Commission.”
In other words, pick on someone your own size.
War isn’t inevitable yet. The Russians showed they have non-military leverage. Lithuania largely depends on Russia for power. Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky said yesterday that Moscow could maybe just unplug Lithuania from the regional power grid. Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told media yesterday that its response to the crisis will be “practical,” not “diplomatic.”
I think “practical” means it’s going to hurt.
CBS’ article explained that the West thinks Russia has been using Kaliningrad’s Baltic seaport to evade sanctions, so this is clearly a tactic to put more sanctions pressure on Russia. It seems certain that SOMEoNE is going to have to back down. The question is: will it be Russia or the West?
Have a terrific Thursday, and I’ll be back tomorrow morning as usual, with more warm Coffee and Covid.
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