[Newsletter] 11.09.23 | “We have no agenda,”

November 9, 2023

The BIMBO Memo got a makeover. Same tantalizing content. New name and look. Be on the lookout for a special edition from us soon with a big announcement. Enjoy this month’s blunders!

This month, most people were on good behavior but we have two great examples of the power of negatives. One from someone who doesn’t want to be a ‘trafficker,’ and another from Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) who pulled the fire alarm, of one of the words you can never use. Additionally, an ammo company comments inappropriately on Sen. Diane Feinstein’s death, a government request for proposal redefines “food,” and a conference call from CVS makes front-page news.


“We have no agenda,” insisted Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg about the long planned and highly awaited Synod on Synodality, which is basically a meeting on how to work together. This is the first where women could vote (on a few things) but looming over the sessions are differing world views and fears. So-called traditionalists, or conservatives being afraid that Pope Francis plans to further loosen Catholic theology on hot button issues and liberals fearing that he won’t. Hollerich is a Jesuit, the Pope’s clerical order, and in charge of the gathering he doubled down on the narrative insisting, “There was no conspiratorial meeting with some people to come up with how we could add some progressive points of the church.” Our take? When people insist there’s no agenda, there’s an agenda.

The New York Times, “Vatican Assembly Puts the Church’s Most Sensitive Issues on the Table,” October 2, 2023


Matt’s not pursuing any run for governor. He’s pushing forward tackling budget and spending problems in Washington and fighting for term limits,” said Don Gaetz, former president of the Florida Senate and father of Congressman Matt Gaetz. Don Gaetz recently announced that he would once again be running for the Florida Senate, but that his decision has nothing to do with rumors of his son, Matt Gaetz, weighing a bid for Florida governor in 2026. He also said that he has no intention of seeking higher office. Don’t fall into the “never say never” trap. We’ll be watching.

The Associated Press, “Matt Gaetz’s father seeking return to Florida Senate,” October 2, 2023

Just because law enforcement didn’t close the case doesn’t mean we didn’t feel we knew who the true culprits were,” said Allen Hughes, the director of rap legend, Tupac Shakur’s early music videos. This extremely mixed-up quote appears in a very long article about attempts to open the 1996 murder case. The article does a good job explaining the shifting loyalties of the various parties, many of whom have since died or were killed. Hughes’ quote is an illustration of why, despite new interest and an arrest, the whole incident may continue to be a mystery or at least a mess.

The New York Times, “How a Chain-Snatching and a Vegas Beatdown Led to Tupac’s Murder,” October 5, 2023

“We don’t see ourselves as traffickers,” said Edilberto Escobar as he escorted migrants through the infamous Darién Gap and treacherous route between Central and South American countries and the U.S. border. The article makes an interesting read because it shows the power of communication. Virtually all the migrants understand the program: cross the border, turn yourself in, claim fear and persecution. There’s even a price list from these “non-traffickers” for how many people there are, length of the route, family status, and number of belongings or luggage. Guess what word is used to describe them? Yup. Traffickers.

The Wall Street Journal, “Smuggling Migrants Toward the U.S. Border is a Booming Business,” October 26, 2023


The word “Nazi” is just one of those words that will get the speaker in trouble. “I just became aware that in our messaging guidance, there was inappropriate use of the term Nazi without my consent,” tweeted Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) after being caught on a security camera pulling the fire alarm in a widely assumed attempt to disrupt a vote on a congressional resolution to keep the government open. The Congressman’s office sent out talking points to urge other Democrats to defend him. He blamed “Nazi Republicans” for blowing the incident out of proportion. Doubling down, he continued, “I condemn the use of the term Nazi out of its precise definition. It is important to specify the term Nazi to refer to members of the Nazi party & neo-Nazis.” Bowman, a former school principal, claims he was confused by the signs, and it was an “accident.”

The Washington Post, “Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s office cites ‘Nazi’ Republicans in talking point,” October 2, 2023

“Good riddance” was the tweet from an ammunition maker paired with a discount on ammo upon the news of the death of Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) at age 90. Although she was an opponent of many Second Amendment specific issues, she was a long serving Senator and pioneer. Even— or especially— those who disagree with her policies owe Americans better manners than this.

Daily Caller, “Ammo Company ‘Celebrates’ Dianne Feinstein’s Death by Offering ‘Free Shipping’ to California,” September 29, 2023


A reminder that information easily spreads beyond its intended immediate audience, and for large companies, it’s important to make sure you are enlisting and rallying your employees in addition to conveying business goals. The headline in a USA Today article said it all: “Prescription for disaster: America’s broken pharmacy system in revolt over burnout and errors,” The story includes quotes from internal conference calls from 2020 which the article notes were “recorded and shared” with media. CVS District Leader, Khalil Haidar “threatened discipline and staff cuts unless pharmacists persuaded at least five customers to get flu shots” and flu season hadn’t officially started. He also said that many patients are ‘ignorant,’ and that it’s the pharmacist’s job to persuade them. Again, the lessons to be learned from this article are that communication tactics need to use several avenues and it’s risky to try to announce negative consequences over a conference or Zoom call. You must assume participants will record it.

USA Today, “Prescription for disaster: America’s broken pharmacy system in revolt over burnout and errors,” October 26, 2023

“You Don’t Say” is a reminder not to repeat and deny a negative word because of how the listener hears words. When you repeat and deny a negative word, the listener is likely to overlook the denial and hear the opposite of what the speaker is trying to say.