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Who Wore It Better: White House South Lawn Edition

If you understand a high school cafeteria, you pretty much understand how government works at the highest level. 

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If you understand a high school cafeteria, you pretty much understand how government works at the highest level. 

This past week, President Joe Biden and a group of politicians, union leaders, and business executives gathered on the White House lawn to sign the president’s bipartisan infrastructure bill into law. It was a big win for Biden and the Democrats, as well as the handful of Republican lawmakers who risked their partisan bona fides to advocate for its passage. 

It was a big party, full of A-listers. And the gossip was thick. Let’s review. 

THE A-LIST GUESTS ARRIVE 

Spotted: 3 powerful legislators who control Congress, plus one random guy with gray hair. 

On the power chart: 

(1) SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-AZ, red dress), who is apparently running the Senate with her other intractably moderate Democratic colleague, Sen. Joe Manchin. We should note that there is at least a 99% chance that this photo op happened at dusk and in terrible light in order to accommodate the feisty Arizona Democrat. After all, the first flight from Phoenix lands at 4 PM, and powerful people do not commute on Sundays.  

(2) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), who is doing what the G.O.A.T. does: acting like she’s been there before. Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, multiple stimulus bills… Pelosi has plenty of championship rings on her fingers, and a swagger that matches. 

(3) SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH) who is the random guy in the red tie who looks like he was photoshopped in from George W. Bush’s campaign in 2004. Sen. Portman is in fact, a real person, and much like his home state of Ohio, he’s always in the middle of things but rarely worthy of mention. 

And of course, the random guy with gray hair… 

(4) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), who, despite being “the boss”… has basically been turned into a ball of yarn for Manchin and Sinema to bat around. 

AND YASSSSS… JOE MANCHIN WAS THERE TOO 

He seemed to be as non-committal about his mask as his party affiliation (Democratic, for now). 

THE PRESIDENT WAS VERY HAPPY TO RECEIVE HIS GUESTS 

No, this isn’t a birthday party for an old man with late-onset Alzheimer’s (though we are sure that Sean Hannity will devote a lot of time to saying it was)… it’s BIDEN unwrapping a $1T gift from the Congress to the American people. 

And while we’re at it, let’s wish the President a very happy soon-to-be birthday this Saturday, November 20. He’ll be 79 and still on top. That’s something we can all look up to. 

Also pictured… 

(1) SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV) hiding in Vice President Kamala Harris’s shadow and hoping that whatever dark money Super PAC is fueling Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn’s campaign can’t see her in this light. 

(2) SECRETARY OF LABOR MARTY WASLH, the former Boston Mayor’s, buzzcut (top left). Is it a coincidence that this guy looks exactly like Matt Damon, except with a real Boston accent? 

IT WAS A BIG, HAPPY DAY. AND THERE WAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.

What a moment in time… 

(1) SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION PETE BUTTIGIEG watches from the outside, wondering which personality upgrade he needs to install to get into Joe Biden’s chair. 

(2) VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS stares back at Mayor Pete, wondering if there are any ambassadorships open in Micronesia that she can re-assign him to. 

(3) SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI spreads 5-fingers, the same discount that Donald Trump claims those dirty Democrats used to STEAL the election. Sad! 

(4) SEN. ROB PORTMAN stands top-right, once again looking like a bad photoshop job from the 2000s. 

(5) SEN. TOM CARPER (D-DE) comb-over takes top billing. It’s a classic move from that other Delaware senator who’s famous for his work – and not his face.  

(6) SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DEB HAALAND (in blue) still can’t believe she’s here and is probably minutes away from asking Mayor Pete to take a selfie with her. 

And totally, in no way coincidentally, Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate (6) NAN WHALEY (purple) is standing right off VP Harris’s shoulder. 

Yes, they chase clout in politics too. 

Anyone seen Sinema or Manchin though? Or did they slip out the back again? 

We’ll see this next week, when the President’s “Build Back Better” spending plan is scheduled to hit Congress for a vote. 

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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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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