By Jeff Childers
Good morning, C&C Army, and welcome to the weekend edition. We’re a week away from the big day, so get your orders in. Amazon Prime isn’t reliably overnighting lately, for some reason that is probably related to supply chains, diesel, or something else Joe Biden “fixed.”
The weekend roundup includes: Trump’s trump cards raised $4.5M in one day and I eat a crow sandwich; I debunk a defamatory lie against Governor DeSantis and explain Florida’s goofy quarantine law; the Department of Defense’s new alien agency holds a press conference to announce nothing; Twitter releases the FBI Files further staining that already-tarnished agency; Fed raises rates again; Goldman announces layoffs and loan closures; trial video teaches us more about how “experts” work; and a local doctor teaches the Orange County Commission about differential jab injuries.
🗞*WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 Yesterday I posted bemusedly about President Trump’s Major Announcement, suggesting it had misfired. I had the wrong take. He wound up selling out in less than 24 hours. People bought 45,000 of his NFT trading cards, generating $4.5 million in revenue.
Say what you want about the announcement, Trump just raised about five million bucks in one day. Since the buyers got something of “value,” the proceeds don’t count as “campaign donations,” and Trump isn’t limited by campaign finance rules. It’s brilliant, perfectly legal, and as far as I know, it’s never been done before.¹
Another Trump innovation. I should’ve considered maybe he knew what he was doing. Sorry for the hot take; lesson learned.
For many career conservative pundits, like Ben Shapiro, Trump’s major announcement completely cratered, because it seemed grubby and undignified. Well, it seemed that way to BEN. But not to more than 45,000 citizens who snapped up the virtual trading cards, gaining colorful images of Trump in spandex and accessing an extremely helpful feature of campaign finance law.
It was an out-of-the park home run that nobody thought of except Trump. This is a terrific example of Trump’s strength. This is why, despite everything, warts and all, he remains a viable candidate for 2024. He’s a fabulously creative out-of-the-box thinker, a genius in his own way, with a sense of humor. And he has an unparalleled connection with ordinary Americans.
I’m not taking sides. But it is something to think about.
🔥 I was asked by several C&C’ers in the comments yesterday about SB 2006. Those questions joined another half dozen similar ones from over the last two weeks. It appears the psyops machine is cranking against Governor DeSantis again.
Here’s the lie: When Governor DeSantis signed SB2006, containing the vaccine passport ban, he secretly snuck in a devious involuntary quarantine provision, allowing the state to lock up and force-vaccinate anybody deemed a “danger to the public.”
It’s amazing how persistent this lie has been. It must be working, because they’ve been peddling it for over a year.
Every good lie has an element of truth. In this case, the truth is the 42-page blockbuster SB2006 did contain the involuntary quarantine language. Here it is:
Okay, that’s outrageously super gross. You cannot imagine how many questions I got about that language back at the time the bill was being voted on. But just hang on for a second. Let’s look at the next part of the bill, just below the quarantine law, the part adding the ban on vaccine passports:
There’s a critical difference between the two parts. Do you see it? The section on quarantines isn’t underlined. The section on passports IS underlined.
Underlined text is what the bill added to the statute. Regular, non-underlined text is pre-existing statute. The quarantine provision was already a law in Florida when DeSantis became governor. You with me so far? DESANTIS DIDN’T SIGN THE QUARANTINE PROVISION INTO LAW. It was ALREADY law in Florida. It just happened to be included the bill because of how bills are drafted.
Some conservatives understand this, but still argue that DeSantis should have removed the quarantine law when he had the chance, in the same bill, SB2006. After all, they can just as easily remove stuff as add it. Removals in bills are shown using strikethrough, like this:
All they would have had to do was strike through the quarantine paragraph. But here’s the thing: Governor DeSantis doesn’t draft bills. He’s the governor. He only gets to sign or veto bills. The LEGISLATURE drafts the bills. And even that is not a straight line; they have to negotiate with each other to agree on bill language, to get the votes needed to pass the bill.
SB2006 was a blockbuster 42-page monster with TONS of good stuff in it including government mask mandate bans, requirements to re-open schools, limitations on local emergency orders (which ended local mask mandates and lockdowns), and, as mentioned, vaccine passport bans.
It was a good bill, the first of its kind in the entire country.
All DeSantis could do was sign the bill or veto it. He signed. Of course he did. He did the right thing. If he’d vetoed SB2006, the quarantine law would have remained in place anyway. At the time, I publicly argued with a clutch of hardcore medical-freedom conservatives who DID want the Governor to VETO the bill, BECAUSE it didn’t remove the quarantine provision, even though that wouldn’t have resolved anything, but they felt it would “send a message” to the Legislature.
Sending that “message” would have hurt millions of Floridians suffering under oppressive local democrat governments — especially kids — and so I argued for DeSantis to SIGN the bill. It wasn’t a perfect bill. There’s no such thing. SB2006 was a very, very, very good bill. It was the best bill anyone passed anywhere in the country.
Normally after I get this far in the explanation, conservatives separate into two camps: the larger group of people who understand the reality that DeSantis had nothing whatsoever to do with the quarantine law, and another, smaller group that I just can’t figure out — are they lefty moles or radical libertarians? — who will never, ever forgive the Governor for not vetoing SB2006.
The left has been pushing this story to hurt the Governor.
Let’s talk about Florida’s goofy quarantine law.
🔥 Florida’s quarantine law is arguably as bad as the one Kathy Hochul tried to setup in New York. My good friend and heroic small-firm lawyer Bobbie Ann Cox — who’s way more courageous than I was, because she lives and works in NEW YORK — single-handedly defeated that odious and over-reaching regulation in New York State court.
Bobbie has explained to me that New York’s STATUTORY quarantine law includes due process protections. This is NOT the same one Hochul tried to pass; Hochul wanted to remove all due process and streamline mass quarantines. Because it includes due process, New York’s original statutory law is probably a template for what Florida’s law SHOULD look like.
Florida’s quarantine law gives the “State Health Officer” the power to do various things in the face of a public health emergency. Once the state declares an emergency, the health officer can order an “individual” to be examined, tested, isolated or quarantined “for communicable diseases that have significant morbidity or mortality and present a severe danger to public health.”
The quarantine law includes religious and conscience exemptions for everything except isolation and quarantine. Prior to this year’s legislative session, the statute allowed the state health officer to “vaccinate” infected Floridians. The legislature fixed that part.
The big problem is, Florida’s quarantine law includes ZERO due process. Due process is a person’s ability to challenge a state official’s decision and have it reviewed by a court.
So far, so awful. It’s a rubbish law, and it needs to be significantly revised.
It is also completely unconstitutional, and should be thrown out the first time anyone challenges it. Here’s why.
🔥 I found the quarantine statute before anybody. I’m not exaggerating or bragging. I found it during my research in April 2020, when I was gearing up to fight the first county-wide mask mandate in Florida. I worried it was going to be a problem, and I thought about fighting it on the threshold grounds that covid was not a disease with “significant morbidity or mortality” nor did it “present a severe danger to public health.”
In my research, I learned that Florida’s quarantine law had been first passed in the early 2000’s after the Anthrax scares. I also found it had never ever been used, not one single time. There was zero case law. No court had ever had a chance to rule on it. I worried what the courts might do.
But not long after that, I discovered the key to beating the mask mandate in Florida: Article 23 of the Florida Constitution, the fundamental right to privacy, which includes a right to bodily autonomy. The Right to Privacy would also defeat this odious quarantine law, at least for covid. So I started legally disassembling mask mandates, keeping the Right to Privacy in my back pocket if I ever needed it against quarantines or forced vaccinations.
Part of my job as a lawyer is to fairly and accurately predict my opponents’ arguments. Typhoid Mary is the best argument FOR a state quarantine power. Typhoid Mary is a person with an asymptomatic communicable disease who defies multiple court orders to stop working in restaurant kitchens. You might disagree on libertarian grounds, but there IS a fair argument that Typhoid Mary might have to be restrained by the state’s police power — after everything else fails.
If you allow that SOME quarantine power is a legitimate use of state police power, the question becomes how strictly it should be limited. The Florida Constitution says it has to be VERY strictly limited, and it MUST provide due process. The current statute fails on both counts.
I would file a lawsuit in a New York minute if I could. But the law has never been used. Nobody has standing to challenge it yet. The courts can’t fix it, not yet. So at this point, all of us — including the Governor — depend on the Legislature to fix it, and the truth is, it hasn’t been high on their list of priorities. It’d be great if they could look into this in the next legislative session.
Maybe one of our Florida lawmaker readers could advance this extremely popular issue. Just saying. I’d give it lots of great attention in Coffee & Covid.
The bottom line is: claiming Governor DeSantis had anything to do with this law is just a lefty psyop smear. He didn’t have anything to do with it.
👽 I breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when the Washington Post ran a reassuring story headlined, “No Alien Life Discovered on Earth, Pentagon Says, but Search Deepens.” They obviously haven’t looked in Adam Schiff’s office yet. But I digress.
The news is there isn’t any news — obviously, since the headline was NO aliens have been discovered — but there were some interesting tidbits. Since the last time I reported on this story, the Department of Defense has created a new office to study UFO’s — the “Anomaly Resolution Office.” Officials at the new ARO held a news conference yesterday to announce … nothing.
Another peanut of interest was the deployment of the newly-minted term “trans-medium object,” which refers to craft that can travel seamlessly between water and air. Not that they’ve found any, but apparently they’re becoming suspicious that aliens might be hiding out in Earth’s vast oceans, which would be a perfect place for our extraterrestrial friends, since sailors have been claiming to see weird stuff for so long nobody believes them anymore.
If they want to find aliens, they might also have a look in Mark Zuckerberg’s apartment, the Pelosi’s San Francisco estate, and down at the U.S.’s southern border. Just saying.
🔥 Matt Taibbi released the next segment of the Twitter Files yesterday, which I’ll call The FBI Files. They show an extended and extensive pattern of regular and routine communication between Twitter employees and as many as 80 FBI agents, concerning tweets that were almost all either political or covid-related speech.
Before I start beating up the FBI again, for the record, I’ll allow that there are plenty of ‘good,’ law-abiding FBI agents who are suffering from the black eye earned by a lot of other lawless, politically-motivated activists in the disgraced law-enforcement agency. The problem is, there are a LOT of agents in that second group. Too many.
Taibbi neatly summarized the problem in this tweet:
Instead of chasing child sex predators or terrorists, the FBI has agents — lots of them — analyzing and mass-flagging social media posts. Not as part of any criminal investigation, but as a permanent, end-in-itself surveillance operation. People should not be okay with this.10:22 PM ∙ Dec 16, 2022128,605Likes37,613Retweets
As Taibbi said, instead of chasing criminals on Twitter, or anywhere else, a vast army of law-enforcement agents at the FBI were spending their time monitoring American’s political speech and telling Twitter who to censor.
I’m sure that lefty defenders will point out the majority of communications from FBI agents to Twitter were framed as “helpful” suggestions that a particular tweet “violated Twitter’s terms of service.” They’ll argue that FBI agents weren’t censoring people, they were just filing reports about potential TOS violations, and Twitter — a private company — took appropriate action. So it’s all okay.
False. The civil rights violation occurred the instant the FBI pressed send on any email reporting a Twitter user for violating Twitter’s TOS. Government officials have no business reporting Americans to anyone for speech-related violations. Unlike FBI agents, ordinary Americans had no access to Twitter employees to report violations of terms of service.
And that’s even before we get to the question of whether the ‘reports’ were merely a pretext, and were not actually suggestions at all, but were actually explicit directions from the FBI to censor Americans, directions dolled up in drag to look like ‘reports,’ reports that Twitter surely understood and cooperated with.
The FBI’s organized, abundantly-staffed covid censorship was bad enough, given that the government was the sole buyer of covid shots and was under intense political pressure to make its misbegotten vaccination scheme look like a success. But the political censorship was even worse.
Some examples of FBI-targeted tweets cited by Taibbi included jokes about the elections or about the former vice president. Someday I hope the FBI will have to explain how a joke about Biden’s hair sniffing could possibly be ‘dangerous misinformation.’
A couple dots to connect: First, this is the just tip of the titanic censorship iceberg. We’re only glimpsing a tiny part of what was happening inside Twitter. We can’t see all the phone calls, personal text messages, Signal chats, direct messages outside Twitter, and the myriad other ways FBI agents were surely communicating with Twitter’s employees.
And, how about Facebook, Instagram, and the others? How many more agents were assigned to those social media platforms?
Now connect Biden’s law-enforcement army with the Administration’s trillion-dollar media bribery scheme, where HHS paid corporate media, celebrities, and social media influencers to push its poisonous medicines. Now we can begin to see the outlines of a vast pincer movement, with historical bribes on one side and unparalleled threats on the other.
It’s been carrots and sticks all the way down. Every bit of it was illegal as Hades. You want to talk about domestic terrorism? I’ll see your bet, and raise you “GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED domestic terrorism.”
Imagine a plucky young cadet who finally landed that plum job at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They hit the big time, proudly texting their parents and friends about their accomplishment. They’re excited, raring to go, ready to bring down the next Al Capone. Imagine how they must have felt after getting their first assignment: “you’re reading twitter all day to find misinformation about vaccines and the election.”
In my mind’s eye, the naive young FBI agent eagerly asks, “what crimes are we looking for?” Her supervisor answers brusquely, “shut up and surf the internet. Your quota is 300 tweets a day.”
As it turned out, and as our plucky young cadet learned the hard way, it wasn’t Al Qaeda they were after. It wasn’t Al Capone. It wasn’t even Al Gore. It was Al Smith of Two Eggs, Florida, with 32 Twitter followers, mostly close relations, who’d tweeted that he would bet a 12-pack of Natural Light the election was stolen, and he wouldn’t jab his neighbor’s pig, either.
Thank goodness for the FBI.
🔥 The Fed raised interest rates again, this time by +0.50%, which was lower than the expected +0.75%. That said, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates more steeply this cycle than it ever has before in history:
Economists predict the Fed will raise rates to 4.5% by March, which will also make this the highest rate cycle in history, as well as the steepest.
I’ve often mused that the Carter Stagflation era is looking like a best-case scenario. But I’ve seen an alternative take, which is that the Fed’s quick moves — admittedly painful in the short term — will get us over the recession faster.
That take has merit. So, this could actually be good news.
🔥 Thanks, Joe Biden! Newsmax ran a story yesterday headlined, “Goldman Sachs to Lay Off up to 4,000,” which represents about 8% of the financial powerhouse’s global workforce.
The firm also announced it plans to stop funding unsecured consumer loans.
It might not be as dire as it sounds. According to CNBC, Goldman Sachs usually trims about 1% to 5% of headcount each year, targeting underperforming staff. The firm had paused annual reductions during the pandemic, so the current cuts may just represent a catchup.
Still, the news doesn’t suggest Goldman exactly has a bright outlook on the economy, does it?
Where are my Biden “I did that!” stickers?
🔥 In this unintentionally hilarious video, one of the five members of the “independent” vaccine Data Safety Monitoring Board admitted under oath she’s been paid by Pfizer for years, but don’t worry, the money didn’t affect her professional judgment about the safety of the jabs at all:
Brook Jackson 💜 @IamBrookJackson
🚨Turns out the independent Data Safety Monitoring Board in Pfizer’s Phase 3 COVID vaccine clinical trial (C4591001) was not so independent after all. @barnes_law @CovidLawCast
6:57 AM ∙ Dec 17, 20223,996Likes2,177Retweets
“Just trust me, all that money hasn’t affected my judgment at all.” Thanks experts! You want more evidence that ‘experts’ are just white coated pretenders grubbing for bucks? There you go.
This clip appears to be from Aaron Siri’s January trial to force the FDA to turn over the Pfizer clinical documents in fewer than 75 years. The Court ruled against the FDA. After watching that clip, I can see why.
It’s all trickling out.
🔥 Re-joining twitter yesterday were the following great Americans: Steve Kirsch, James O’Keefe, Mike Lindell, Emerald Robinson, Daniel Horowitz, and Stew Peters.
Thanks Elon! You don’t have to trust the prolific billionaire to appreciate what he’s up to at the moment.
A personal request in case Mr. Musk is a C&C reader: next, please bring back another one of favorites, Texas Lindsay!
🔥 Two weeks ago, Dr. Kevin Stillwagon updated Orange County, Florida’s Board of County Commissioners about why some people have adverse reactions to the jabs and others don’t.
The word is getting out.
Give that video a like.
Have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy this cold snap and another hot beverage. I’ll see you back here on Monday to kick off the pre-Christmas week the right way.
C&C is moving the needle and changing minds. If you can, I could use your help getting the truth out and spreading optimism and hope: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved-
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It’s not clear how Trump is connected with the company that sold the cards, but it’s none of our business anyway.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.