☕️ EMBARGOS ☙ Wednesday, July 26, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
Hunter Biden's lawyers try to trick the judge and get caught; Bronny James collapse; Reuters truthfully describes trans treatments; and a funny vaccine regret clip to start your day.
Good morning C&C, it’s Wednesday! Today we cover Hunter Biden, Bronny James, an honest Reuters story on trans treatments, and a hard-hitting comedy clip about jab regret.
Note: the Childers family is still on its annual summer vacation this week and next, so posts may be shorter and later than usual. If it doesn’t show up on time, don’t panic! We’ll return to normal scheduling week after next.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 Like most lawyers seeing this story, I can only say, “wow.” Yesterday, the UK Daily Mail ran the story with the headline, “Hunter Biden's lawyers face SANCTIONS after being accused of lying to the clerk in his criminal tax case as judge orders First Son's attorneys to explain themselves by tonight.”
Commercial-grade legal fireworks illuminated Hunter’s plea deal case yesterday. It began as the Court was considering whether to approve the sweetheart deal that the Biden DOJ proposed to clear Hunter’s criminal record. On Monday, House Republican Jason Smith filed a legal brief that suggested Judge Noreika should flush the proposed deal, due to claims of preferential law enforcement. The brief, filed on behalf of the House Ways and Means Committee, included lots of helpful data from the democrat IRS whistleblower who has been testifying to Congress over the last couple weeks.
Shortly after the Committee’s brief and its attached materials were filed, the Court abruptly took them down and sealed them from public view on the electronic docket. Through some miracle, the Committee’s lawyer noticed the document had been withdrawn and promptly called the Court clerk. The clerk said wait a minute, you guys just called us and told us to take it down because you filed it by mistake.
But they hadn’t. That’s when the fireworks started.
The Committee’s’ lawyer wrote a testy letter to Judge Noreika making the outrageous accusation that someone, probably Hunter’s lawyers, did the dirty, lied to the Court, impersonated them, and got the Court involved in a fraud by tricking the Court into deleting the Committee’s IRS whistleblower brief.
Hunters’ lawyers fired back, filing an equally-outraged response letter, first of all denying they would ever do something like that, how dare you, and then insisting that the Court punish the Committee’s lawyers for even suggesting such a thing. Imagine! The nerve.
Then the Committee’s lawyers found the court clerk who took the mystery call, and the clerk isn’t stupid. Clerk Samantha Grimes wrote them a succinct email laying out the facts, which were that someone named Jessica Bengels had called, said she worked with the Republican lawyer’s office (Theodore Kittila) and asked that the brief be immediately removed. The clerk even included Jessica’s phone number.
The phone number was from Hunter’s lawyers’ offices.
That email resolved the battle of the letters and who’d made the call. Judge Noreika then issued a testy “order to show cause” why it shouldn’t sanction Hunter’s lawyers. An “order to show cause,” or “OSC”, is a type of order where the court says, hey, I’m about to do this thing here, and you’re probably not going to like it very much, so I’m giving you a last, short chance to talk me out of it. When potential “sanctions” are involved, especially sanctions for something like lying to the Court — which could reasonably result in eventual disbarment — an OSC is considered all-hands-on-deck, deadly serious, emergency type legal situation.
The Judge gave Hunter’s lawyers till 9pm last night to respond, and they filed a well-drafted, very thoughtful and courteous letter explaining that the whole thing had just been a giant misunderstanding. According to the letter, one of Hunter’s attorneys’ staffers — not a lawyer — noticed some of Hunter’s personal tax information in the Republicans’ brief and thought it should be taken down or something until it could be properly redacted.
Somehow, explained Hunter’s lawyers, the clerk got the wrong idea about who was calling. Not from anything they said.
In other words, the extremely carefully and well-written letter politely blamed the whole “misunderstanding” on the Court. In essence, Hunter’s lawyers accused Clerk Samantha Grimes of lying, or at least, being a silly, confused young lady.
Nor did Hunter’s lawyers apologize at all to the Committee’s lawyers, who they’d just finished unfairly accusing of lying, right before the clerk’s email cleared things up.
At the end of the day, I’m guessing that Hunter’s lawyers will get away with it, this time. They aren’t smart, but they are cunning. They pulled their trick this way knowing that it could blow up in their face, and so they had a non-lawyer make the call, and they put nothing incriminating in writing. So they have a bunch of plausible deniability, such as an unbelievable “misunderstanding” in a high-profile case unlike anything that has ever happened before in the Court’s history.
A cunning lawyer might get away with something like this to the point he evades sanctions, because at the end of the day the judge just doesn’t have enough evidence to drop the hammer. But — and this is a big but — the judge still isn’t very happy about things. I tell clients that a move like this often “poisons the well,” and puts the trickster sideways with the judge, who is just waiting for a chance to get them for something.
We’ll see how this works out for Hunter’s lawyers. Depending on what the clerk remembers from the call, they could get hammered.
💉 Now, I don’t want you people over-reacting again on this next story, because I know how you think. Among wide media coverage, NBC ran the story yesterday headlined, “LeBron James' son rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest.” The sub-headline explained, “Bronny James is now in stable condition and no longer in the ICU, his family said.”
Son of basketball icon LeBron James and USC Trojans basketball guard Bronny James, 18, suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed from a heart attack yesterday while practicing in Los Angeles. Medical staff immediately began treating him for cardiac arrest. “We ask for respect and privacy for the James family,” some kind of official statement said. Uh-huh.
Bronny almost certainly got the jabs. In 2021, his father LeBron James told CBS that getting the COVID-19 vaccine was “best suited for not only me but my family and for my friends.”
Yesterday, on news of Bronny’s collapse, Elon Musk chimed in with a mild reaction tweet, simply asking the question most people are wondering about. But of course it massively triggered jab defenders all over the world:
So you have another high-profile heart-related sporting injury, right after everyone saw Damar Hamlin keel over, and now a high-profile celebrity (Musk) asking questions about it, and the narrative-spinners are panicking.
I realize Musk’s tweet seems commonsense, barely criticizes the jabs at all, and only asks an obvious question, but to jab-lovers, you must never question the vaccines, not directly or indirectly, not in any way. Instead, you must enthusiastically agree the covid vaccines were the most incredible, most miraculous medical treatments ever devised by Man, a more important healthcare invention than penicillin or even those nasal strips that stop snoring. And, if you don’t wholeheartedly agree, you are a mealy-mouthed disinformer and somebody should do something about you.
Don’t worry, corporate media was all over the pushback. Yesterday afternoon, Forbes reacted to Musk’s tepid tweet by labeling him a fringe conspiracy theorist:
(The Forbes article itself was disinformation. The lead sentence, above, claimed a ‘fact-check’ was removed linking Bronny’s heart attack to the vaccines. But a few paragraphs later, the article explained the recently removed community note — not ‘fact check’ after all — linked Bronny’s heart attack to covid, not the vaccines. Forbes’ story was internally inconsistent.)
Never question the jabs!
We are grateful Bronny seems to be stable and on the mend. But his basketball career remains in limbo. Speaking of which, I can’t wait to see Damar Hamlin back on the field soon!
🔥 Yesterday, Reuters ran a completely unexpected and remarkably honest story headlined, “As more transgender children seek medical care, families confront many unknowns.”
Don’t get me wrong. The long-form article included plenty of pro-trans psychobabble. What was remarkable though was how balanced it actually was. Reuters didn’t sugar coat the potential problems. After finishing the story, one is left with a troubling sense of confusion about how any parents could possibly elect these risks for their own children. The inescapable conclusion is that the “science” of trans treatment is based more on crossed-fingers hope of avoiding long-term consequences than on any kind of medical reality.
The article is framed around a personal-interest anecdote about a “successful” trans girl (i.e. boy) named Ryace from Belpre, Ohio. Reuters explained how Ryace, 14, originally learned how to be trans from television and the internet.
Reuters explained in detail how television and the internet persuaded Ryace that being trans was a valid option at a young age:
Television and the internet had opened Ryace’s eyes to new possibilities. watched “I Am Jazz,” the reality TV show about Jazz Jennings, a transgender girl who socially transitioned at an early age and went on to take puberty blockers and hormones and have surgery. watched young people on YouTube discuss gender dysphoria and their transitions and saw the before-and-after images they shared. On Instagram, followed Nikita Dragun, a makeup artist and model who came out as transgender as a teenager and now has 9 million followers.
“This is actually a thing,” Ryace recalled thinking at the time. “I can actually do this.”
Ryace’s parents didn’t supervise his TV or internet use, but they took him to the “gender experts.” The doctor’s boilerplate threat of suicide allegedly convinced Ryace’s mom, Danielle, to move forward with the puberty blockers that 11-year-old Ryace had learned to be so keenly interested in taking. Danielle approved the hormones for her son despite the risks, because the doctor convinced her that Ryace’s diagnosis was terminal without treatment:
The doctor at the Akron clinic told Danielle and Ryace that puberty blockers could weaken Ryace’s bones. The effects on brain development and fertility weren’t well-understood. The risk of inaction was even more alarming: Without treatment, the doctor said, Ryace would remain at increased risk of suicide.
Thanks experts! No credible study has ever found any improvement in suicide rates for trans children who receive treatment compared with those who don’t. But on the other hand, some studies link increased rates of suicide attempts and successful self-harm to “affirming” treatments.
Science can be very flexible when it wants to.
But that paragraph above was the first sign of trouble to intrude into the Ryace’s narrative, the listing of the horrifying side effects that Danielle was willing to accept on behalf of her 11-year-old son. That wasn’t all. Next, Reuters noted there was another “side,” a side that isn’t so sure it’s a great idea to slap kids on hormones after one visit to a so-called gender clinic, like happened to Ryace:
A growing number of gender-care professionals say that in the rush to meet surging demand, too many of their peers are pushing too many families to pursue treatment for their children before they undergo the comprehensive assessments recommended in professional guidelines.
That’s not all. Reuters actually did its own research on VAERS — real journalism! — and frankly reported that the data suggests puberty blockers themselves could cause suicidal ideation:
Reuters found 72 adverse event reports submitted to the FDA from 2013 through 2021 of children on puberty blockers who showed suicidal, self-injurious, or depressive behavior. The children were taking the drug for central precocious puberty or gender dysphoria or were simply identified as under 18.
So much for stopping suicide. Dummies. And then, elegantly encased in its personal interest story, Reuters casually mentioned the potential problems with Ryace’s future brain development:
At their first meeting at the Akron clinic, Dr Cole was blunt with the Boyers about the unknowns related to puberty blockers and brain development. “We don’t know the long-term effects on cognitive function. It could make it better, worse. We have no idea,” Cole told them. But she said she wouldn’t recommend treatment “if I didn’t see the positive effect on patients.”
Haha, it “could make it better.” More science! If hormone blockers were mRNA shots, then science would know all about them. But since it’s not mRNA, they can only shrug.
The article got even more discouraging before the end. Late in the article, Reuters disclosed the truth that serious complications from “bottom surgery” are not rare, not at all. In fact, serious complications are common:
Complications from genital surgeries are common. A California study found that a quarter of 869 vaginoplasty patients, with a mean age of 39, had a surgical complication so severe that they had to be hospitalized again. Among those patients, 44% needed additional surgery to address the complication, which included bleeding and bowel injuries.
Sounds great! Where do I sign up?
It’s too early to flag a narrative shift, but the Reuters article was very interesting. It has seemed for all the world that media has been embargoed from criticizing trans treatment, just like everyone is embargoed from criticizing the covid shots. But this article actually included real journalism, independent research, and asked the doctors some hard questions.
Could it be a trend? Let’s hope it is.
💉 Finally, enjoy this vaccine-regret sketch from Australian comedian James McCann. You won’t believe how real it is. It’s almost too real, but isn’t that what comedy is for, when it’s at its best, to speak the unspeakable and give people a way to process a difficult reality without immediately shutting down their minds?
What do you think?
Have a wonderful Wednesday! Tomorrow morning will bring a delightful new C&C roundup for you, with no long-term side effects, except maybe happiness and optimism.
Consider joining with C&C to help move the nation’s needle and change minds. I could use your help getting the truth out and spreading optimism and hope, if you can: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved-