By Jeff Childers
Good morning, C&C team, it’s the Weekend Edition! Your coffee-accompanying roundup includes: congressman files articles of impeachment against Joe Biden, but did it make a sound?; Grandma Garland appoints special prosecutor presumably to investigate Joe Biden; Sam Bankman-Fried is back, and his just sent him straight to jail; new media narrative on the democrats’ controlled demolition of the inner city; FDA shocks everyone when it admits doctors may prescribe ivermectin for covid treatment; update on the Littell case; Florida designing new program to help families get autopsies when they suspect vaccine involvement; and some very bad news for woke Budweiser at key South Dakota motorcycle rally.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 Yesterday, House Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) filed articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden for his involvement in Hunter’s corrupt foreign business dealings.
Representative Steube’s articles included four charges: abuse of power, obstruction of justice, fraud, and financial involvement in drugs and prostitution. (Drugs and prostitution?) Each charge listed facts developed by House Republicans evidencing Biden’s corrupt behavior.
In the U.S.’s 247-year history, there have only been four presidential impeachments — and three of them happened just in the last 24 years.
It is not yet clear whether House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will allow Steube’s articles to move forward, but McCarthy has recently expressed openness to an “impeachment inquiry” to give the House more leverage to fully investigate the Biden Bribery scandal.
Still, even if House Republicans do take up the charge, Biden’s impeachment appears doomed in the democrat-controlled Senate. Even Republicans are squishy. Last weekend, Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell, who has lately been tumbling down hotel stairways and robotically freezing up during media statements, said he opposes impeachment. “Impeachment ought to be rare,” McConnell explained. “This is not good for the country.”
Given how they minutely covered every single second of the Trump impeachment stories, you’d think corporate media would be interested in articles of impeachment having been filed against Biden. But so far there is a corporate media blackout on Representative Steube’s recently-filed articles. Neither the New York Times, the Washington Post, nor the Wall Street Journal covered the story yesterday or today.
For some reason.
Fox and Friends interviewed legal commentator Jonathan Turley, who explained why the media’s cover for Biden probably isn’t going to work. Corporate media has been witlessly reduced to arguing, “you can’t prove Joe actually got the money,” but as Turley explains, doing it to help your family is also bribery. The media fell into a trap.
Was Steube acting alone, a rogue ultra-conservative Congressman wildly firing off at Biden? Or are the articles part of a coordinated plan to get the impeachment ball rolling? I’d feel more comfortable saying it could be the latter if the drug and prostitution count had been omitted. But still, it’s progress.
🔥 Also yesterday, and totally coincidentally, in another story ignored by corporate media, U.S. Attorney General “Grandma” Garland announced he was finally appointing special counsel to review the Biden Bribery allegations and the latest allegations that Hunter was selling U.S. government access to wealthy criminals all around the world. Presumably it would include investigating Joe Biden as well.
Garland curtly announced the appointment in a short press conference in which he did not take any questions, because he was late to knit night.
It sounds like progress, but there was a catch.
The catch was, the special counsel Garland appointed is the exact same U.S. Attorney who just tried to slip a sweetheart plea deal past the judge in Hunter’s tax case: Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss. The plea deal would have exonerated Hunter for his involvement in the bribery transactions as well as anything else, although opinions on that differ.
So nobody is expecting Attorney Weiss to develop any criminal charges against Joe Biden. The democrats don’t care about whatever Joe did, and the Republicans don’t believe Weiss is a serious investigator.
After Garland’s press statement, the House Oversight Committee immediately tweeted its indignant response, angrily pointing out that Weiss’s appointment was obviously a pathetic attempt to whitewash the White House. Among other sharp comments, the Committee’s tweet said, “The Biden Justice Department is trying to stonewall congressional oversight as we have presented evidence to the American people about the Biden family’s corruption.”
One side effect of opening a special counsel investigation is that the Justice Department will almost certainly start refusing to provide any more information about the Biden Bribery cases citing its “ongoing investigation.” It’s political chess.
🔥 The Wall Street Journal did run a very surprising story yesterday, headlined “Judge Sends FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried to Jail Ahead of Fraud Trial.” The sub-headline added, “Onetime crypto entrepreneur handed personal effects to his lawyers before U.S. Marshals handcuffed him.”
According to the Journal, before revoking Sam’s pretrial release agreement and sending him off to jail, the federal judge explained that Sam had repeatedly “pushed the limits” of his bail conditions, and that “there is probable cause to believe that the defendant has attempted to tamper with witnesses at least twice.”
Specifically, Sam had been feeding New York Times reporters private emails and texts from his polyamorous girlfriend Caroline Ellison, and the judge believed he did it to pressure her and get her to testify a certain way: “even if in modest part, to influence those people, to have them back off, to have them hedge their cooperation with the government.”
Mess around and find out. Sam’s lawyers pledged to appeal, citing Sam’s freedom of speech rights and the difficulty of planning his defense while Sam sits in jail. My guess is Sam and his lawyers took an (unethical) calculated risk trying to influence his trial, and the judge spotted it. Whether or not they accomplished their objective is impossible to say at this point.
🔥 Yesterday ABC 7 Washington ran an unfortunately all too common story headlined, “Shoplifting threatens closure of SE DC grocery store, creating potential food desert.”
Shoplifting threatens to close the store. Remember that line.
I could’ve used any of the many stories from San Francisco, where retailers are fleeing faster than Joe Biden sprinting out of a French Laundry dinner with some Ukrainian oligarchs when a reporter shows up. Walgreens, for one example, has closed half a dozen stores in San Fran, leaving only one highly-abused retail location.
But this DC story gave me everything I needed to expose the media’s latest shell game.
ABC reported on the Giant Food grocery store on Alabama Avenue, which is experiencing 20% inventory shrinkage due to shoplifting, and says it has lost over $500,000 in product this year. If that weren’t enough, Giant Food was recently forced to hire its own security, for some reason, at an annual cost of $300,000. So its DC location is costing over a million dollars more than other locations every year.
It’s pretty hard to raise prices enough to overcome those kinds of additional costs.
Local officials expressed fake concern. Diverse D.C. Councilman Trayon White spoke to Giant’s management after the grocery announced it was considering closing the location, and Councilman White told ABC, “enough is enough.”
Is it though?
ABC followed up by asking DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, hey, what is the plan? The Mayor’s office responded with a stiff, formal statement of word salad with ranch dressing:
“Mayor Bowser continues to lead conversations with a variety of stakeholders across our city to discuss public safety, and more specifically to ask the question of how we can partner to reduce crime and increase conditions so that everyone in our city can thrive,” the mayor’s office told 7News in a statement. “The District is committed to ensuring every resident has safe access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.”
But it’s unclear what precise actions are being taken by the city to ensure grocery stores in Ward 8 will stay in business.
In other words, Mayor Bowser claims she doesn’t know what to do, and is asking “a variety of stakeholders” for advice. So … if Bowser is baffled, maybe the stakeholders should be the mayor? Just asking.
ABC, which ultimately was too cowardly to actually name the real problem, still gets partial credit for including some pretty strong hints in its story. For example, the affiliate reported that it asked the District Attorney about shoplifting prosecutions:
7News also asked Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano what is he doing to hold shoplifters accountable for stealing merchandise and what is he doing to address this crime trend. More than a month later, Descano still hasn’t answered 7News’ questions.
The District Attorney’s non-answer was the answer: Descano is doing nothing about shoplifting prosecution, that’s what. In other words, he’s not prosecuting them, at all.
So let’s go back to our analysis of the media narrative. Look at the headline again:
What causes store closures? Shoplifting does! This is the same way they word all the recent headlines about leftist cities hemorrhaging small businesses because of crime: as though “shoplifting” itself were the problem.
But shoplifting isn’t the root problem. Shoplifting is only a symptom of the problem.
The obvious root problem, hinted at but not named by ABC’s DC affiliate, is that the cops aren’t arresting shoplifters. And why should they, when one man, woke District Attorney Descano, won’t prosecute the ne’er-do-wells. Here’s what the headline should have said:
Non-Enforcement of Shoplifting threatens closure of SE DC grocery store, creating potential food desert
That honest headline would’ve given away the game, so don’t expect to see anything like that anytime soon. But the loss of retailers is getting a little too obvious, so corporate media is testing out a new narrative: that armies of cunning shoplifters are driving away the hapless, defenseless small businesses.
But … who is supposed to defend them?
This odious trend began with the “defund police” movement. According to woke theory, black folks are disproportionately arrested for so-called “property crimes,” like shoplifting, and that isn’t fair. So a raft of woke criminal justice reforms were trotted out, like reducing police budgets and eliminating bail. That destructive experiment has now devolved into phase two, where in leftist-controlled areas they simply don’t arrest the criminals anymore. Easy peasy.
For social justice.
But, “food deserts” hurt the whole inner-city neighborhood, which is mostly black folks. So the woke criminal justice policies are now hurting the people they was supposed to help, just like they always do. And that harm to inner city residents is becoming so undeniable, the media has to shift back to blaming the criminals instead of the the woke officials preventing prosecution of these types of crimes.
This might move them closer towards the real problem, but don’t get your hopes up. Recognizing “shoplifters” doesn’t mean they have any plans to fix the system they broke. There won’t be more arrests. The retailers are on their own, forced to hire private security. And you’d better believe the District Attorney will vigorously prosecute Giant Food if a shoplifter ever gets hurt when security tries to stop them.
If we had a free media in this country, they’d be running stories about the real reasons that marxist DA’s are allowing crime to run rampant in Blue cities. Who benefits? The answer is: billionaires benefit, because they can buy up expensive downtown real estate on the cheap as property values plummet, and big delivery-based corporations like Amazon benefit, because they fill in the gaps when smaller businesses are forced to close up shop.
In other words, it’s the literal, textbook definition of fascism.
💉 This week, Epoch Times ran a surprising story headlined, “Doctors Can Prescribe Ivermectin for COVID-19: FDA Lawyer.”
The shocking statements arose during a hearing in a lawsuit against the FDA brought by Drs. Mary Talley Bowden, Paul Marik, and Robert Apter. The doctors allege that the FDA interfered with their free speech rights and their medical ability to prescribe ivermectin for covid treatment. “We’re suing the FDA for lying to the public about ivermectin,” explained Dr. Bowden.
Under U.S. law, the FDA “may not interfere with the authority of a health care provider to prescribe or administer any legally marked device to a patient for any condition or disease within a legitimate health care practitioner-patient relationship.”
But in various statements, the FDA repeatedly told Americans that ivermectin “isn’t authorized or approved to treat COVID-19,” and on its website’s Q&A, warned against such use: “Q: Should I take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19? A: No.”
On Tuesday, skeptical appellate panel judges grilled the FDA’s lawyer about this now-infamous tweet:
Saddled with the obvious bad optics, the FDA’s lawyer spiritedly tried to characterize the folksy instructions in that dumb-as-horse-paste tweet as just a “quip,” that did nothing more than explain the FDA’s position on taking ivermectin for your covid. But the judges didn’t seem convinced. “What about when it said, ‘No, stop it’?” Judge Jennifer Elrod asked. “Why isn’t that a command? If you were in English class, they would say that was a command.”
As a partial answer, causing everyone in the area to suddenly drop their phones and pens in shock and surprise as though an actual horse had just trotted into the courtroom, the FDA’s lawyer glibly explained, the “FDA explicitly recognizes that doctors do have the authority to prescribe ivermectin to treat COVID.”
Oh. Do they. Unfortunately, that information might have been very useful to a lot of people a couple years ago. But I suppose it’s progress. This new FDA statement will be particularly helpful to heterodox doctors whose licenses and certifications are still being challenged for their positions on covid over the last three years.
In a Fox interview about the story with Maria Bartiromo, Senator Ron Johnson pointed out the biggest problem with the FDA’s belated admission: thousands of people’s lives might have been saved if the FDA weren’t undermining ivermectin the whole time.
People are dead now because of what the FDA did. But the needle just moved a little in the right direction. The ivermectin horse is out of the barn. The FDA looks like a jackass.
We may not have any prosecutions yet, but we’re that much closer.
🔥 Good news! I usually don’t comment on our pending cases, but I am pleased to report that my firm’s defense of courageous early-treatment advocate and Florida doctor John Littell resulted in the American Board of Family Medicine reinstating his certification. We had a little help from the State of Florida, which passed a new law this year forbidding medical certification boards from punishing doctors for exercising their free speech rights.
💉 Speaking of progress in Florida, former Fox reporter Emerald Robinson interviewed Florida’s Surgeon General yesterday, and Dr. Joe Ladapo gave Emerald an update on Florida’s efforts to bring covid accountability. First of all, Florida’s grand jury on pharmaceutical misrepresentations continues its work (in secret, per the rules). Second, Florida is developing a program to help families who believe a loved one died from a vaccine injury to get an autopsy:
Depending on what the ultimate autopsy program looks like, it could be a game-changer. The mere threat has probably already made waves in some boardrooms.
I’ll keep you posted.
🔥 Last week’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an annual event held not coincidentally held in Sturgis, South Dakota. It’s one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world, drawing half a million motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world. The week-long rally features events including motorcycle races, concerts, bike shows, and more.
According to this roving report from the rally, basically nobody at this year’s event wanted to go into the vast, empty Budweiser beer garden. And that’s even after they took down all the posters of girly-man Dylan Mulvaney suggestively straddling Harleys in a star-spangled bikini. The non-existent crowd was what they would have expected if, instead of free beer, they were only serving hot exhaust.
In this video clip, the reporter tries his best to ignore the problem, and to give beleaguered Budweiser reps a little turbo boost of encouragement, but the awful optics keep drawing him back. Looking at that ghost town of a beer garden is just like the hypnotic effect of watching twenty parked motorcycles falling over like dominoes in slow motion. You can feel the reporter’s dawning realization that whoa, this might not just be a speed bump for Bud Light, but might be a disaster for the whole storied American beer brand worse than Evil Knievel coming up short on his jump across the Grand Canyon.
In a hundred years, college marketing classes will still be examining the great Budweiser Brand Suicide of 2023. So.
Have a wonderful weekend! Gather ‘round again Monday morning for another delectable C&C roundup. I’ll see you then.
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© 2022, Jeff Childers, all rights reserved
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.