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How the 'Let's Go, Brandon' Meme Became a Campaign Ad – The New York Times

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How an inside joke among Republicans became one candidate’s tactic for reaching the G.O.P. masses.
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Blake Hounshell and
It began last fall as an ironic, profane joke after a NASCAR race. Now, it’s showing up in campaign ads.
Jim Lamon, a Republican candidate for Senate in Arizona, has a new television advertisement that employs the slogan “Let’s go, Brandon.” His campaign says it is spending $1 million to air the ad, including during local broadcasts of Monday night’s college football championship.
As far as we can tell, it’s the first instance of this three-word catchphrase being used in a campaign spot, and that makes it worth unpacking. It says something important about what Republican politicians think animates their primary voters.
For those unfamiliar, “Let’s go, Brandon” is code for an insult to President Biden, in place of a four-letter expletive. Colleen Long of the A.P. wrote a good explainer on the phrase’s origins back in October, when it was becoming a widespread in-joke among Republicans.
The phrase was even used for a bit of Christmas Eve trolling of Mr. Biden and the first lady, while they fielded a few calls to the NORAD Santa Tracker in what has become an annual White House tradition.
At the end of an otherwise cordial call with a father of four from Oregon, President Biden said, “I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.”
“I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas as well,” replied the caller, later identified as Jared Schmeck, a Trump supporter. He added: “Merry Christmas and ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’”
In Arizona, Lamon, a businessman who is running in a crowded primary field, has pledged to spend $50 million of his money.
Even though money can purchase many things in politics — chartered jets, campaign staff, polling and data wizardry, yard signs — there’s one precious commodity it can’t buy: attention.
Thus the new ad. “If you are pissed off about the direction of our country, let’s go,” Lamon begins, as action-movie-style music plays in the background. “If you’re ready to secure the border and stop the invasion, let’s go. If you want to keep corrupt politicians from rigging elections, let’s go.”
“Let’s take the fight to Joe Biden, and show him we the people put America first,” Lamon continues, deadly serious in tone. “The time is now. Let’s go, Brandon. Are you with me?”
It’s a marked contrast from Lamon’s gauzy biography ad, which introduces him as a genial military veteran who was able to go to college thanks to an R.O.T.C. scholarship.
The new ad comes days ahead of a much-anticipated rally by Donald Trump in Florence, Ariz., a town of 25,000 people between Phoenix and Tucson.
Trump has yet to back a candidate, but his imprimatur could be decisive. He has all but made embracing his false claim that the 2020 election was stolen an explicit condition for his endorsement, and Saturday’s rally will feature a number of prominent election deniers.
“Everybody is running to the right and trying to express their fealty to Donald Trump,” Mike O’Neil, an Arizona political analyst, said of the new Lamon ad. “This is his attempt to break through.”
Lamon’s ad isn’t even the most striking video of the Senate primary in Arizona.
In mid-October, the state attorney general, Mark Brnovich, the closest thing to an establishment candidate in the Senate race, posted a video of himself twirling nunchucks. “People, you want more chucks, you got more chucks,” Brnovich says.
The display was widely ridiculed as a desperate plea for attention. Brnovich has struggled to capture the imagination of primary voters — many of whom fault him for not doing enough to prevent Biden’s win in Arizona in 2020 — leaving the race wide open.
In November, Blake Masters, a 35-year-old, Stanford-educated lawyer and venture capitalist backed by Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire close to Trump, introduced a video of his own that drew national attention for its unusually stark advocacy of Second Amendment rights.
In that ad, Masters squints into the camera while cradling a futuristic-looking gun called the “Honey Badger.” “This is a short-barreled rifle,” he intones. “It wasn’t designed for hunting. This is designed to kill people.”
Clad in a long-sleeve black T-shirt emblazoned with the word “DROPOUT,” Masters goes on to explain his reasoning, as ominous-sounding music plays in the background.
“If you’re not a bad guy, I support your right to own one,” he says. “The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting. It’s about protecting your family and your country.
“What’s the first thing the Taliban did when Joe Biden handed them Afghanistan?” Masters continues, before lowering his voice to barely more than a whisper. “They took away people’s guns. That’s how it works.”
The 50-second Masters spot did not run on TV, but was viewed at least 1.5 million times on Twitter, generating media coverage and buzz on the right for its unapologetic defense of a weapon that is seen as especially dangerous by gun control advocates.
“What was more interesting, in a way, was how much it freaks the left out,” Masters said in an interview, reflecting on the reaction to the ad among liberals. He said he welcomed the opprobrium: “Bring it on.”
He noted that when he was working on his biographical ad, introducing himself as an Arizona native, he decided not to lean too heavily on his record as an entrepreneur, and to talk about his values instead.
“Dude, nobody cares,” he said. “Nobody cares about your solar company.”
Senator Mark Kelly, the Democratic incumbent, will be a formidable and well-funded opponent for whoever wins the G.O.P. primary, which is not until August. And Trump’s support could become a liability in a general election.
O’Neil noted that many conservative women in the suburbs voted for Biden in 2020 but opted for Republican candidates elsewhere on the ballot.
But Masters argued that there’s no downside to running to the right.
“The way you win a swing state in Arizona is not by focus-grouping,” he said. “It’s by truly being conservative, and being bold by articulating conservative ideas.”
Mike Murphy, a prominent Trump critic and longtime adviser to John McCain, the deceased Arizona senator, said the Lamon ad was a “sign of the sad times in U.S. politics.”
But, he quipped, “in the G.O.P. primary electorate this year, who the Brandon knows.”
David McCormick, the former chief executive of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and a former Treasury Department official, has filed paperwork to enter the Pennsylvania Senate race.
The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol has asked Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House’s top Republican, for a voluntary interview, Luke Broadwater reports.
Consumer prices rose in December at the fastest rate since 1982, growing at a 7 percent clip in the last year, Ana Swanson reports. An AP-NORC poll published this week found that 68 percent of Americans ranked the economy as their top concern.
In a news analysis, Nate Cohn writes that Democrats “still seem nowhere close to enacting robust safeguards against another attempt to overturn a presidential election.”
Trump abruptly ended an interview with Steve Inskeep when the NPR host pressed him on his false claims of a stolen election in 2022. The radio network published a full transcript of the encounter, which ended with Inskeep saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, I have one more question. … He’s gone. OK.”
PULSE
Quinnipiac University released a poll today that showed President Biden’s approval rating at just 33 percent, while 53 percent of respondents gave him a negative rating. That’s down from 36 percent in November. It’s just one poll, but it’s a sign that Biden’s image isn’t on the rebound. The president’s average approval rating is higher, but still just 42.2 percent, according to 538.
Another finding that stood out from the Quinnipiac poll: 76 percent of respondents said that political instability within the United States posed a greater threat than the country’s adversaries. A majority, 58 percent, agreed that American democracy is “in danger of collapse.”
Is there anything you think we’re missing? Anything you want to see more of? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at onpolitics@nytimes.com.
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Business

Diamond Investment The Truth About Fancy Colored Diamonds.

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Movies and songs are filled with diamonds. Photographers love snaps of celebrities flashing diamond rings. Diamonds are beautiful and dazzling and often signify a commitment to love But the one thing they don’t give substantial returns as an investment in diamonds. This includes fancy and colored diamonds that originate from Canada.

Find answers to the following questions:

  • Where are fancy-colored diamonds from?
  • Are diamonds a wise investment?
  • Are diamonds scarce?
  • Colored diamonds are used as investment opportunities
  • How can you sell diamonds with confidence?
  • Where do Colored Diamonds Come From?

Specific colored diamonds can be found organically. Diamonds are formed at high pressure deep within the earth. When foreign particles and trace minerals are introduced into the process of crystallization, it alters the chemical process, which can result in a distinctively colored diamond. They are also known as naturally colored diamonds.

Color-treated diamonds are natural diamonds that have been colored to enhance their color. It is typically done through the process known as high pressure and temperature. (Conversely, this process could transform a diamond that is colored into a colorless diamond.)

Are Diamonds a Good Investment?

Making investments in physical goods, like diamonds in loose or gold, could be a lucrative option. However, is buying diamonds for investment purposes a good idea? Do all diamonds that are of the highest quality improve in value?

While they’re sought-after for their beauty and shine, diamonds aren’t scarce. They’re one of the most commonly used gems that can be found. The perception of value for diamonds, in general, may be related to the erroneous but widespread belief that diamonds are “scarcity.” The notion is the result of a clever marketing campaign of De Beers and because some diamonds have gained fame for their astronomical value, such as the infamous (and legend has it the cursed) Hope Diamond.

However, these diamonds tend to be huge or have extraordinary clarity. Diamond investments generally don’t make a profit. Greens, blues, pinks, and red diamonds have risen dramatically over the last 10-20 years. If you purchase the diamond for a significant wholesale price discount, you’ll require an incredible market movement to earn a profit.

A vehicle appreciates when you take away from the dealership up to 9 percent (per edmunds.com). The same is valid for diamonds. A diamond’s value decreases as you leave your jewelry shop or department, often up to 50% and at times even lower, down to 25% of the initial value of the diamond at the sale.

Do Not Forget My Beers A Myth of Diamond Scarcity

In 1888, following the discovery in the 1870s of diamonds in South Africa, the De Beers commercial mining company was in charge of the majority of diamante production and distribution. in 1902, that number exceeded 90 percent. It was for their benefit and continued profit to perpetuate and create the notion that diamonds were rare. From the 1930s onwards, De Beers also successfully advertised the notion that, in essence, diamonds equal love.

Diamonds are expensive at the time of initial purchase due to their price being dependent on demand from the market and supply.

Colored Diamonds and Fraudulent Victims

They are plentiful, and they often target vulnerable older people.

A boiler room operation operates under the brand name “No. 1. Gemstones” targeting elderly British expatriates in Spain. Cold calls were made to sell “rare” colorless diamonds. The scammers cheated victims out of one million dollars (about $1.3 million US) before the police arrested them.

In another scam involving colored diamonds, CDX Worldwide Ltd. made $1.2 million ($1.7 million US) by cold-calling. The company was registered with an online address in London; however, the website linked the customers to a company with a similar name within the United Arab Emirates.

A Toronto-based fake colored diamond business, Paragon International Wealth Management Inc., has racked up fraud on customers of approximately $1.7 million US and sent diamonds that didn’t meet the worth of their purchase.

In WP Diamonds, we have talked to a variety of clients from our clients in the UK, US, and Canada who have poured their savings and savings into “tremendous investments in diamonds” only to find out that the diamonds they purchased are, even years later – only worth an only a tiny fraction of what they that was invested. Some were even worthless.

How Can These Companies Get Through It?

There isn’t a cost-per-cart guide for diamonds of color as with the Blue Book. Each diamond is distinctive, and there is a lack of price information on the market for consumers to find, which is why it’s tough to conduct your due diligence. If a convincing salesperson offers you an investment opportunity worth your money, It is difficult to refuse.

How to Sell Diamonds and Diamond Jewelry Securely Online

WP Diamonds provides a safe and secure method of selling diamonds online. We offer transparent price estimates and quick payment. Our process could take as little as 24 hours, beginning to completion.

  • Experts in luxury: Our team of GIA-certified gemologists, possess the experience and knowledge in the field to provide you with an accurate price for your diamonds on the basis of the market for second-hand diamonds. We purchase various luxurious items, including diamond engagement rings, handbags, and watches.
  • FREE SERVICE: You can sell online or through an appointment (NYC, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and the UK). Our service is free, without fees or commissions taken from the final price you offer.
  • Reputation: We’re happy with the A+ BBB rating and more than 1,000 reviews from customers.

Where Can I Buy Sustainable, Fancy Colored Diamonds at the Lowest Cost?

The most eco-friendly and sustainable way to purchase fancy color diamonds would be to purchase recycled diamonds. They are not only greener because they don’t create the mining of diamonds for new and are less expensive.

Diamond mining is a burden on the environment due to the destruction of land and carbon emissions, the loss of water, the degradation of species diversity, and so on. Although Canada has the most stringent environmental standards concerning diamond mining and demands that the profits go to mining firms rather than groups that make money from forced labor, Canadian diamond mining still causes some environmental disruptions.

Diamonds that have been recycled offer the highest guarantee that the diamond you purchase is not mined or created at the cost of adults, children, and the environment. Explore a variety of recycled colored fancy diamonds and diamond jewelry pre-owned at my Emma without compromising on quality.

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