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TGIF: Swifties Save the Economy

Skims save lives. Bipartisan psychedelics. California’s war against algebra. Queer water (yep). And much more.

Hello and welcome back to the week with me. 

→ Good economic vibes: ’Merica’s got problems, sure, but a major recession isn’t one of them. Our beloved vampire squids at Goldman Sachs released a report putting the chance at recession at 20 percent with the bank’s chief economist, Jan Hatzius, saying: “The probability of a U.S. recession has fallen further as both recent data and ongoing fundamentals point to rapid—and mostly painless—disinflation from here.” We’ll take it! Although as usual, my libertarians over at Reason have something contrarian to say about this with the headline: “ ‘Bidenomics,’ Like All Industrial Policy, Sucks.” I’m sure they’re right. But all I know is that I personally feel good about my index funds right now. 

In other financial news: if you live in a city, your downtown was just saved by a woman named Taylor Swift. Here’s what the Philadelphia Federal Reserve says:

Despite the slowing recovery in tourism in the region overall, one contact highlighted that May was the strongest month for hotel revenue in Philadelphia since the onset of the pandemic, in large part due to an influx of guests for the Taylor Swift concerts in the city.

Thank you, Swifties. It is on your delicate shoulders, along with several overstuffed purses, that our nation’s economy rests; your shrill cries are the sound of our financial freedom. Libertarians, don’t even try to come at TayTay. 

→ DeSantis staff slims down: Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign shed a handful of staffers this week. His charming wife, Casey, has been deployed to shore up supporter energy. The Atlantic’s Helen Lewis has a send-up of the campaign: “The Florida governor isn’t Trump plus competence; he’s Trump minus jokes.” He’s also Trump but legitimately right-wing, like that time he signed a six-week abortion bill. And his weird hyper-online-trad campaign is not comforting to your average suburban mom who is, sure, not thrilled with school board leftists, but also doesn’t want her son’s gamer buddies running the White House. As for Pence: in the most recent quarter, he raised only $1.2 million, and there’s an open question about whether he can even qualify for the debates with such low support. Which brings us back to:

I see you Vivek! Go get ’em!

→ Funny how Jews don’t catch Covid: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has some thoughts. One is that China and the U.S. are working on making diseases that target only certain ethnicities. Second is that Covid doesn’t seem to impact Jewish and Chinese people as much. But no, no, he’s not putting those statements together! He’s just pointing things out. Here are his words: “Covid-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.” He added: “We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted or not.”

There is a video of RFK saying this and the best part is that sitting to his right is New York Post reporter Jon Levine, friend of TGIF and member of the Ashkenazi people, and you can watch it slowly dawn on Jon what exactly RFK is implying. Over at the New York Daily News, a onetime RFK supporter / current Ashkenazi who was at the dinner also wrote it up

Here’s RFK pushing back: “The @nypost story is mistaken. I have never, ever suggested that the Covid-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews.” 

What you heard him suggest is not what he suggested, not at all. In fact, people who hear it that way tend to be or know Ashkenazi Jews, which is odd, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, Kerry Kennedy condemned her brother’s comments. 

→ Trump indicted again, again, again. I’ve lost count: I genuinely can’t keep up. Trump has apparently received another letter from the special counsel indicating that he will be indicted again. Part of the graduation requirement for Yale Law is indicting Trump. Before George Soros and his son agree to fund your campaign for progressive prosecutor, you have to promise that the only crimes you will prosecute are Trump’s. CNN has bravely announced that now, in the year 2023, with this third indictment, Trump’s previously unblemished legacy is truly, finally, and irrevocably stained. 

→ The IRS only makes bad people pay taxes: Two IRS whistleblowers testified on Wednesday about how they were blocked from investigating Hunter Biden’s financial crimes—in particular any crimes that may have implicated other members of the Biden family. 

Joseph Ziegler, a 13-year veteran of the IRS and a gay Democrat, revealed himself to be Whistleblower #2, saying he saw “corrosion of ethical standards and the abuse of power that threaten our nation.” He said that prosecutors “did not follow the ordinary process, slow-walked the investigation, and put in place unnecessary approvals and roadblocks from effectively and efficiently investigating the case.”

Just imagine for a moment if this were a Trump financial crimes scandal. Just imagine the rending of garments and the seven-figure book deals these IRS workers would get. All I want is a world where both sides get those book deals. Or even—and I know this is reckless—no book deals. Just everyone paying taxes, and IRS workers remaining nameless and faceless. 

Also, now that we know the IRS is run by petty partisans, I’m sorry to say that every TGIF commenter is getting audited this year. 

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