Dumb & Dumber Part 1: Drag Queen Mania
Fall is in the air, as in the Fall of the American Empire.
I write Dumb & Dumber each month as a cautionary tale, because any one of us could end up vaping during a “Beetlejuice” performance. It’s best to learn the potential consequences now, before you paint the town red and end up red-faced.
But there’s so much to talk about in this month’s D&D that I’ve broken it up into two snackable parts.
Today’s Wells $treet highlights a few quick hits from September to warm you up. The actual list will be posted this weekend.
— First, we recognize the distinguished gentlelady from Colorado, who treated a packed theater watching a musical like the back seat of a car. Rep. Lauren Boebert denied she was vaping and groping during “Beetlejuice the Musical,” then apologized, then broke up with the guy — a bar owner and Democrat who’s hosted drag queen shows. His bar has since received a slew of fake reviews, like, “Order the Impeach Mint Margarita - it comes with actual evidence!!”
(On the other hand, Boebert’s husband says he cheated on her, she’s getting divorced, and sometimes a girl just needs to flip the bird.)
— Or how about the oft-investigated-never-convicted Senator from the great state of New Jersey, who happened to have $480,000 cash and gold bars in the home he shares with his new(ish) wife, because who doesn’t? Sen. Bob Menendez claims he’s been hoarding cash for decades, the result of being raised by parents who fled Castro’s Cuba, where bank accounts were confiscated. He also claims he’s the victim of a “smear campaign” because he’s Latino. (Extra credit for playing the race card as both the reason he has all that cash AND why he’s being investigated.)
(On the other hand, he’s presumed innocent. Again.)
— Then there’s the Senator from Pennsylvania whose work attire is a step down from that of a high school wrestling coach. Sen. John Fetterman’s fellow Democrats say it’s no big deal, what’s the problem? I wonder if Dems would feel the same had the new dress code been instituted because Sen. Lindsey Graham wanted to wear Aloha Friday shirts. (Now, if Graham dressed in drag… there’d be no judgment from across the aisle.)
Update: the Senate has now adopted a formal dress code for the floor of the chamber. Business attire is mandatory. Fetterman reacted with this:
(On the other hand, Fetterman had a serious stroke and suffered from depression, so putting on a shirt, any shirt, is a win.)
— Down in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a candidate for the House of Delegates is up in arms because she live-streamed sex acts with her husband while asking for money and everyone found out about it. She regrets the live sex. Oh wait. No, she doesn’t. She’s just ticked off that word got out.
(On the other hand, it’s a free country, and the voters of Virginia can decide whether to elect her.)
— Meantime, we have a Supreme Court Justice who can’t turn down a freebie.
(On the other hand… I’ve run out of hands.)
— The son of the President is less popular than his father, and that’s no small feat. So perhaps to engender sympathy, Hunter Biden is going after the only entity that Americans like even less: the IRS. He’s suing the tax man, claiming agents made his confidential tax information public in order to embarrass him. Yes, his tax information is the embarrassing part, not the other stuff.
— Accused fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried is complaining about conditions in jail. His lawyers say he lacks internet access to prepare for trial, and he’s accusing authorities of not providing him with a healthy vegan diet, “forcing him to subsist on bread, water and peanut butter.” SBF, WTF. Sounds like Sam doesn’t need an Impossible Burger. He needs friends, and we learned this month that friendship behind bars is possible. Blood-testing fraudster Elizabeth Holmes is reportedly prison pals with “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” alum Jen Shah, who’s serving time for ripping off old people in a telemarketing scam. Orange is the new Blechhhh.
— On the healthcare front: Covid fraud was even higher than previously thought, to the surprise of no one, except the federal government. Fraud in unemployment insurance (UI) is estimated between $100 billion and $135 billion. That’s quite a range, which tells you everything you need to know about Covid bookkeeping. The Government Accountability Office says the amount represents “11% to 15% of the total UI benefits paid out during the pandemic.” I suspect that most of the remaining 85% to 89% was also fraudulent. Stand by for news.
— Several decongestants I’ve bought over the years don’t work, never worked, and a lot of people knew it, but they never told me.
— On the cannabis front: The federal government is often out of touch with the American people, but when it comes to marijuana, Congress is absolutely living in another century. A Pew study found that nearly 90% of Americans support the legalization of pot, but state-legal cannabis businesses are forced to handle billions of dollars in cash each year because they can’t get bank accounts at federally regulated banks (unless they lie about what they do.)
No matter what you think about marijuana, voters in dozens of states have spoken. The feds have created a situation that is both dumb and dangerous. However, it may finally improve. This week the Senate Banking Committee sent to the full Senate a bill to allow banking for licensed cannabis operations in states where pot is legal.
— On the stock market front: New IPOs continue to get smacked down, including TKO, the parent company of WWE and UFC. TKO has lost almost 20% of its value since going public September 12th, especially after announcing that WWE was leaving Fox for USA Network. With a government shutdown looming, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler suggests companies wanting to go public should IPO “before Friday if they’re ready to. If not, they might be in a sort of subliminal state where they can’t access the markets.” Um, I vote for the subliminal state until investors start caring.
— And the mayor of Burbank, California, home to many Hollywood studios, is under fire for being spanked by a drag queen at a Democratic fundraising event. The national drag-queens-are-a-threat-to-society-except-for-RuPaul drumbeat has finally reached the West Coast.
Find out who really needs a spanking when I reveal September’s official Dumb, Dumber, and and Dumberererererer, this weekend.