Recently at The Bulwark:
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
Trump has kinda sorta disputed this version of events via fax, though it’s unclear why his own former chief of staff, a toadying supplicant, would be peddling fake news. It seems much more likely that Trump is using weasel words and Meadows is such a moron that he thought relaying this story made his old boss look like a Strong Fighting Man for all the poorly endowed super fans in need of a big daddy. Trump is so alpha that he beat Sleepy Joe in a debate while he had COVID!
The Meadows claim that Trump had tested positive for COVID pre-debate is further supported by the following facts:
Two days after the test, Trump and Pence held a joint event during which they were unusually distant from one another
Trump refused to take the required COVID test at the debate site, claiming that he had arrived too late to take a test.
The White House refused to answer whether it had submitted negative tests to the Cleveland Clinic as required by debate organizers.
During an onanistic post-election interview with the Trump fluffer-in-chief Mollie Hemingway, the former president only refused to answer one of her questions: Whether he had COVID during the first debate.
These are all the actions of someone who knew he had COVID and wanted to debate anyway. Just as Meadows wrote.
Just as we thought we were turning the corner on Covid, a new variant is bringing travel restrictions and heightening anxiety about the future. Is Biden in a no-win situation? The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
Reading this story early in the morning, every line was better than the last. I’m sure you’ll agree:
Oz could be at the pinnacle of America’s professional class—respected, well-compensated, privileged to devote his career to caring for others, and teaching rising generations to do the same.
But that wasn’t enough for Oz. He wanted to be a TV star. With a boost from Oprah, that’s what he became, and before you could say ka-ching, he was hawking “miracle” weight loss drugs. There was green coffee extract: “You may think magic is make-believe, but this little bean has scientists saying they’ve found the magic weight-loss cure for every body type.” And raspberry ketones: “the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat.”
He also touted umckaloabo root extract as a cure for cold symptoms (it doesn’t work), and lavender soap for leg cramps (don’t bother). A 2014 study by Canadian researchers found that only 46 percent of the advice dispensed on the Dr. Oz show was based on science. The following year 1000 physicians signed a letter calling upon Oz to resign from the Columbia faculty. “He’s a quack and a fake and a charlatan,” wrote Dr. Henry Miller of Stanford.
Maybe prostituting your professional credibility for fraudulent products is nothing to get too exercised about. It certainly isn’t new—though the snake oil peddled in the 19th century was at least laced with cocaine or sometimes heroin. But Oz did more than abuse the trust of his audience by selling trash, he veered into outright harm when COVID arrived, advising viewers about a “self-reported hydroxychloroquine study” that showed great results. The con man didn’t bother to add that the study had not been peer-reviewed and its subjects consisted only of patients who were already near death.
Dr. Oz abuses every privilege life has handed him. He preys upon people with less knowledge and sophistication. He misleads even when it can cause harm. So naturally, Sean Hannity is ready to help launch his political career.
Read the whole thing. (And share it!)
From me, an item on the GOP’s cynical forever war on Christmas. It’s only being fought from one side: theirs. Since Bill O’Reilly invented it in 2004.
“We’ve lost a number of Santas over the last year and a half,” Allen said.
Why the Santa shortage? Two options seem relatively likely:
(1) Statistically speaking, COVID has almost certainly reduced the pool of available seasonal Santas. I mean, we’re talking about older men with comorbidities here.
And (2), the remaining potential Santa employment base might be a little leery of a part-time hourly gig that involves potentially hundreds of unvaccinated kids hopping on and off the jolly old lap. Regardless of whether the Santa in question is vaccinated, it’s a big ask of anyone who is even remotely concerned about a virus that has killed more than three-quarters of a million people in this country alone.
How Joe Biden figures into all this isn’t clear, exactly—wouldn’t it make as much sense to give him kudos for the high demand for Santas this year as to blame him for the reduced supply?—except for the fact that there’s a War on Christmas to be won and any good war needs a proper villain. As William Randolph Hearst supposedly told his man in Cuba, “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Fox is happy to furnish the Santa Shortage so long as the RNC foments the War on Christmas.
Happy Wednesday! I have some British-inspired Matt Labash for you. We all need more time.
Well, it’s December First… And it’s time to look back on one of the most horrible ads in history.
Charlie Baker calls it quits. The question is… why?
That’s it for me. We’ll see you tomorrow. Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Reply to this email.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.