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The Omicron “Scary-iant” & Football Funny Money | Political Drinking Games

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Animals,  

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year has just intersected with the most wonderful time of the week. 

By that I mean, it’s time to put a little Christmas spirit into Erupt’s political drinking games. 

On offer this week: 

  • The world has a new COVID variant. Congratulations, omicron! 
  • Twitter has a new CEO. Will he be as powerful as his predecessor, Jack Dorsey? 
  • CNN cancels Chris Cuomo (“suspends”) for using his anchorman powers to help embattled brother, Andrew 
  • The USA and EU cancel South Africa in COVID panic 
  • Trump’s top advisor sets a date with Congress to snitch on the Boss 
  • The NFL and College football continue to spend ridiculous amounts of money on truly ridiculous things.  
  • The term “Happy Holidays” gets put to rest. 

AND… A VERY SPECIAL GUEST JOINS: 

Curt Mills, contributing editor at The American Conservative and also a writer for Un-Herd. We’ll see how this silk-stocking Washington, D.C., columnist holds up in our chamber of pain.  

WATCH THIS WEEK’S POLITICAL DRINKING GAMES:

Alex “Keendawg” Keeney is a media personality whose work has been published widely. He has worked as a Congressional aide, TV writer, and marketing executive for the real Wolf of Wall Street. Follow him on Twitter @keendawg. 

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Why No One Is Truly Opposed to Dumb COVID Rules

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A staffer holds up a sign to advise fans of the mandatory mask rule in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Tennessee and Colorado Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Animals,

Let’s face it. We all work in customer service. If you sell car insurance, you better be ready to provide speedy payment to your clients when a tree falls onto their Prius.

And if you’re a doctor who wants to keep his patients, you’d better treat them with respect. That means short waiting room times and pretending that their questions (“Does this rash mean I have cancer”) aren’t as crazy as they sound.

Then there are professionals in 100% service-based industries like marketing, law, and — GASP – government. For them, customer service is arguably the most important part of the job.

In these industries, clients don’t really understand what you do for them, so appearing to be responsive, empathetic, and on-top of things is half the job.

Which brings us to Joe Biden’s COVID speech on Thursday, where he laid out his “Winter Plan” to stop COVID’s seasonal spike that happens whenever the weather gets cold.

President Biden speaks at the National Institutes of Health, Dec. 2, 2021, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Lurking in the background of Biden’s speech was the omicron variant, which some experts fear will bring new dangers to our shores.

The president proposed several interventions to dampen omicron and COVID’s winter spike, but if we’re being honest, his speech was really just a customer service exercise. It was President Joe Biden attempting to convince his clients – voters – that he’s responsive, empathetic, and on top of things.

As The Washington Post reported: “The president’s plan includes campaigns to increase vaccinations and booster shots, more stringent testing for international travelers and plans to make rapid at-home coronavirus testing free for more people.”

So basically… more of the same, plus an annoying COVID test if you travel internationally.

That doesn’t sound like much news at all.

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

By now, we know that COVID policies like mandatory masking and compulsory testing aren’t going to deliver great results, especially in an increasingly vaccinated America. Deep down, most of us probably agree that these policies are more about creating the appearance that our leaders are on top of things than actually yielding compelling public health benefits.

But is there another way for Joe Biden? Should he just sit in the White House and do nothing, as his critics in the Republican Party demand?

And would President Ron DeSantis or President Nikki Haley really act differently, if given the chance? Would they want to be on the hook personally for preventable death, even if it meant burdening Americans with dumb masking and testing rules that cut against their small government philosophy?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The national debate surrounding COVID boils down to risk. The president and many others believe that added COVID mandates, as onerous as they may be, are worth it because they’ll save lives. Critics see it the other way. They believe that continuing to disrupt American life is causing greater damage to the economy and the nation’s social fabric than whatever the public health benefits these mandates may hold.

Both arguments are true. And that’s why it stinks to be the president.

Joe Biden’s bully pulpit has enormous power when it comes to shaping the world’s opinion about any given issue. Unfortunately, the virus isn’t listening.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Alex “Keendawg” Keeney is a media personality whose work has been published widely. He has worked as a Congressional aide, TV writer, and marketing executive for the real Wolf of Wall Street. Follow him on Twitter @keendawg.

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Queen Nicki Leaves No Crumbs After Hosting the RHOP Reunion| The Tea

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Plus, Kanye’s Heartbreak, Celebrity Illness shockers and Jen Shah’s legal woes just got worse.

On this episode of “The Tea” Ashley, Blake and Brie dive into celebrity illness and heartbreak. To share, or not to share, that is the question. 

Keep reading and watch the episode below for fresh takes on the latest entertainment and celebrity news shot live from the Erupt studio in Hollywood.

RIP Virgil Abloh

On Sunday November 28, the fashion and entertainment community lost designer and fashion visionary Virgil Abloh.

He was the first African American artistic director at Louis Vuitton and founded the renowned culture and streetwear brand Off-White.

Abloh kept his 2-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer of the heart, hidden from most. He was 41.

“The Tea” hosts discuss Abloh’s decision to keep his diagnosis a secret like some stars including Chadwick Boseman and Robin Williams, versus stars who choose to share their battles publicly, like Selma Blair and Christina Applegate.

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Kanye Wants His Family Back

Kanye West, who was a close friend to Virgil Abloh, took to social media over the weekend expressing his intention to bring his family back together. Saying that doing so would influence millions of other families to reconcile too.

As reported in earlier episodes of The Tea, there is speculation Ye’s estranged wife, Kim Kardashian, is currently dating comedian Pete Davidson.

Could Kimye 2.0 be in our future? The Tea hosts discuss.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Jen Shah’s Right-Hand Man Pleads Guilty

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah along with her personal assistant Stuart Smith were charged with fraud back in March.

Initially, Smith gave a not guilty plea but recently flipped his plea to guilty.

Shah still maintains her innocence.

(Bravo TV)

Nicki Hosts RHOP Reunion

Nicki Minaj took over Andy Cohen’s chair to host episode 4 of the Real Housewives of Potomac reunion and we are here for it!

Nicki didn’t hold back and asked all the questions we’ve been dying to know. On top of that, no housewife was spared. 

They all got the smoke-equally.

Could celebrity reunion hosts bring new life to the housewives’ franchise? 

The hosts discuss who we’d love to see host next.

Watch The Tea get spilled here:

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Why Democrats Are Freaking Out For All the Wrong Reasons

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Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Animals,

Lots of people can spot a problem. But most don’t know how to fix it. That’s one reason why I hire someone to change my flat tires and patch the holes I put in my surfboard.

Perhaps nowhere is this issue more accute than in the political trade, where socially inept staffers give advice to politicians who spend their whole lives living on the taxpayers.

Simply put, politics tends to attract people who are out of touch with reality. That also includes the journalists who follow the action, and who have the predictable blindspots that come from worshipping government officials and thinking that normal people have spent more than 5 minutes of their life thinking about the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

I actually think that once a month, this conclave of dorks meets. All the reporters at The New York Times, Fox News, NPR, etc., sit at a big round table with politicians like Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy, and they decide what stories they are going to report. And once the “the narrative” is set, everyone keeps yapping about it regardless of whether or not it makes sense.

This months’s narrative goes like this:

Joe Biden’s agenda is absolutely toast thanks to his terrible approval ratings and the spanking that Democrats took in Virginia and New Jersey’s off-year elections.

And if Biden doesn’t make some big moves ASAP, the Democratic Party is going to be in a Tea Party-sized hole come 2022.

A lot of this is true. But a lot of it is phony too. One piece in The New York Times in particular has tons of Democrats wetting the bed and is a stand-in for the current liberal panic.

Let’s talk about what is right and wrong about it to get to the heart of what is actually happening in Washington.

Let’s review the Narrative to break it.

“JOE BIDEN’S BIG SQUEEZE” BY JONATHAN CHAIT

Basically, this piece is the definitive text on why Democrats are getting smoked.

The theory is: voters are annoyed that the Dems have adopted the cultural attitudes of Gender Studies professors at Vassar College. And moderate guys like Joe Biden have an impossible task at stemming the woke tide because the whole party is being financed by rich and guilty white people who expect them to stake-out unpopular positions on cultural issues.

Okay, problem identified.

But do they have any clue how to fix it?

Love it or hate it, the Woke Crisis is a textbook example of how the political class doesn’t understand basic elements of sales and persusaion, and is sailing right into the eye of the storm as they furiously try to avoid it.

Let’s remind ourselves of something important:

The first rule of sales is that you MUST create urgency to incite people to buy.

As in, if you don’t buy these chinos NOW, you’ll never get a better deal. (Check your Gmail for Black Friday offers that say this more deftly).

Here is the cause for urgency in Democratic Politics, according to author Chait:

Uhhh… psycho a little?

“It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the fate of American democracy may hinge on President Joe Biden’s success” is exactly the type of sentence that sounds like an exaggeration.

One man’s opinion: nothing has been more oversold to the American People than the grave threat that Donald Trump poses to the nation. Judging by the mixed results in 2020 (Joe Biden wins narrowly, Democrats almost lose the House), and the absolutely abysmal performance of Dems running on the Trump scare-mongering platform this fall (Ahem, Terry McAuliffe)… evidence suggest that this pitch is not working anymore.

Jeff Bezos gives all Amazon employees Four Pillars to live by. The first one is CUSTOMER OBSESSION. What do people want?

Unfortunately, Chait and Democrats are already headed down the wrong path if they that people want more Trump panic. That is clearly not creating urgency to act.

THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM IS TO… MUZZLE MODERATES?

Here’s how he lays it out.

Translation: a year into the Biden Presidency, voters are interested in different stuff, and moderates are undercutting the agenda that Democrats annointed in January.

Wut????

I’m going to go in reverse order here.

ARGUMENT 1: People really love us. So let’s give them what they love!

“Yet 58 percent registered support for a plan to spend $2 trillion to ‘address climate change and to create or expand preschool, health care and other social programs.’ Americans see infighting and gridlock but endorse Biden’s specific goals.

What did you say? 58 percent of random people who you read a boring survey to at some point in the past vaguely agreed with Joe Biden’s priorities? They’re generally cool with concepts they’ve dedicated less than 5 minutes of their life to learning about? Now that is a MANDATE!!

JK. It’s nothing. And honestly, politicians are not the only people who make this mistake.

Why is anyone who does market research ever shocked to learn that people don’t actually care about the stuff you spoon fed them in an especially boring 5 minutes of their lives?

And why would you think that after months or years, their views would stay the same?

Politicians and their ideas go in and out of style just like jeans vs. chinos vs. joggers. Faulty assumptions about unchanging consumer preferences are responsible for a lot of products that just bomb. It’s the same in government.

Not recognizing this is the #2 mistake that politicians of both parties make every year.

ARGUMENT 2: Voters are behaving hypocritcally. Let’s call them out on it!

“When Democrats were racing the $2 trillion, entirely deficit-financed American Rescue Plan to Biden’s desk in March, he was widely seen as both moderate and effective. Now that they are spending endless months bickering over a fully financed plan of roughly the same size, he is seen as liberal and ineffective.”

Again, let’s remember how sales works.

You need urgency to incite large numbers of people to buy whatever you are selling – khakis, cars, or ideas.

This is why LIMITED-TIME OFFERS… aka sales… are a critical retail strategy.

And yet here we are discussing Biden’s THIRD URGENT, MUST-PASS INFRASTRUCTURE bill.

So think about it in your own life. If Target sent you 3 URGENT, GREATEST SALE EVER promotions in a few short months, at what point would you stop taking these URGENT offers seriously?

The answer to that is why voters aren’t taking the embattled Build Back Better plan seriously. It’s not that…

“Because of centrist opposition, Democrats have been unable to sell to their constituents the popular things they planned to do.”

The reality is that political capital has diminishing marginal returns like everything else.

The problems Joe Biden and Democrats have today are not the kind you solve by doubling-down. They’re problems you solve by listening to your customers and changing course based on the information they provide.

Every bootstrapped company selling graphic t-shirts on Instagram understands this. So why can’t politicians and the people surrounding them?

KEENDAWG.

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