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These Are the 5 Most Powerful People in the World This Week

Politics is like football: no one talks trash to the back-benchers. It’s the stars who get laid-out. 

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Animals,  

In your memory, has there ever been a week that started with as big of a bang as this one? 

  • Rich people and world leaders’ financial records leaked to The Washington Post 
  • Facebook gets iced by a former employee, then goes black   
  • Andrew Yang leaves the Democratic Party

And that’s just the start. Here is our list of the Top 5 most powerful people in the world this week. 

The Washington Post, for publishing “The Pandora Papers” 

What do Shakira, Tony Blair, King Adbullah, the President of Ecuador, and the prime ministers of Serbia and the Czech Republic have in common? 

Their private finances are listed in “The Pandora Papers”—a trove of information gathered by journalists worldwide that exposes how the wealthy and powerful shelter their assets from taxation.  

Are they doing anything illegal?  

In most cases, no.  

Everyone tries to dodge taxes, especially people with the most to lose. And they’re very good at it. 

But expect to see information surface about public servants and/or corporate executives who have illicit funds hidden in sketchy banks somewhere. 

The anticipation is literally killing us. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), for triggering Saturday Night Live’s cast into parodying her 

One thing that is true about all families, real or imagined, is that it is the people on the inside who are capable of doing the most harm to their loved ones.  

So it is with Sen. Sinema, the moderate Democrat who is being a serious stick-in-the-mud for the rest of her caucus.  

Sen. Sinema has become a one-woman force of obstruction to hardcore left wingers like AOC, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and the SNL writers’ room, all of whom apparently want Congress to authorize an extra $3.5T of social spending this fall. 

We think Sen. Sinema should take it as a compliment. After all, politics is like football: no one talks trash to the back-benchers. It’s the stars who get laid-out.   

On that note, congratulations to Sen. Sinema! 

The Davidson Fellows, for reclaiming the word “genius” 

Last week, we and most of the Fox News-adjacent media complex got a good laugh at the expense of The MacArthur Foundation, which makes yearly grants to “geniuses.”  

The reason: their criteria for “genius” has clearly drifted leftwards, and now mostly just comprises social justice activists who are anything but white. 

This week, the Davidson Institute awarded its genius grants.  

The recipients were adolescents age 18 or younger who have completed graduate-level research in a handful of fields.  

At a glance, there is no reason to believe that their politics or race had anything to do with their selection. They are geniuses – simple as that. 

The MacArthur Fellows may resent that America is a nation that embraces competition. But it does, so they’d better watch their back for true one-in-a-billion minds, like those that the Davidson Foundation is seeking to find.  

Frances Haugen, for blowing the whistle on Facebook’s imperfections 

Is there anything more entertaining than witnessing a powerful corporation, like Facebook, squirm under a public microscope? Of course not. It’s awesome. 

Which brings us to Frances Haugen. 

After leaking sensitive documents about her former employer’s morally ambiguous business practices that range from tolerating human trafficking on their network, to slow-walking changes that would dampen FB’s harmful affect on teens’ mental health, and enforcing platform rules universally regardless of your social status – Haugen is now a star witness for the Senate Commerce Committee, where she testified on Tuesday. 

Is this the beginning of the end for Facebook as we know it? 

Or is it the beginning of the end of Frances Haugen as we know it? 

Andrew Yang, for leaving the Democratic Party 

America’s most loveable politician, Andrew Yang, has left the Democratic Party. 

No, Andrew Yang isn’t trading his MATH hat for a MAGA hat. 

And it’s not some splashy Fox News divorce. 

Yang just thinks he can do more outside of a party than inside of it.  

Is he right?  

Or is Yang now destined to advocate from a lonely island of political independents? 

Watch the full conversation and decide for yourself: 

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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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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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