Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Last Call For A Smart Formula

President Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to get baby formula manufacturers everything they need to immediately ramp up production in response to the national shortage of formula.

The announcement means the federal government will prioritize key ingredients for formula production and compel suppliers to provide the needed resources to formula manufacturers.

In addition to invoking the 1950 law, which allows the government to direct manufacturing production for national defense, Biden also launched a program that will use U.S. military aircraft to import formula from abroad.

The move comes after a bipartisan group of lawmakers called on Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to bolster formula production amid the worsening shortage and as parents scramble to secure formula.

The Food and Drug Administration in February began warning consumers against purchasing certain baby formula as it investigated a string of bacterial infections in four infants tied to an Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan.

Abbott Nutrition, which has denied any wrongdoing, said Monday it had agreed to terms set by the FDA to resume operations at the company’s Michigan plant, but the shortage has frenzied parents.

Biden on Wednesday also initiated a program that will use U.S. military aircraft to import formula from abroad. The program, called "Operation Fly Formula," directs the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture to use Defense Department commercial aircraft to fly in approved formula from other countries.
Lawmakers: Hey Joe, do the thing
Biden: OK
Really is that simple sometimes.  
Oh, the reasons there's a shortage are 1) Abbott Nutrition made a crapton of pandemic profit and used those billions in stock buybacks to boost their stock prices and executive bonuses rather than repairing machinery in their Michigan factory that was allowing bacteria to infect formula production lines, 2) pandemic supply chain meltdowns and 3) Donald Trump's trade policies protected Abbott's oligopoly on baby formula.

The argument here is when America's manufacturing is concentrated among a few brands, that indispensable product always becomes an oligopoly as government raises barriers to entry to keep newer, "less trustworthy" companies out. That certainly describes what happened with baby formula.

Now parents are paying the price, quite literally.

The Road To Gilead, Con't

Homeland Security is making it very clear that they are expecting violence over the end of Roe and that last week's near light-speed vote to extend protections to SCOTUS justices and their families was an unfortunately necessary call.

In the wake of the Supreme Court's majority draft opinion leak, the U.S. Supreme Court Police reported a "significant increase in violent threats," including a series of social media posts directed at certain sitting justices as well as the Supreme Court building. The Department of Homeland Security said it has registered an uptick in threats against "reproductive healthcare personnel and facilities."

The threats were outlined in an intelligence bulletin the DHS issued to state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide. The memo, titled "Potential for Threats to Public Safety in Response to Abortion Debate" and dated May 13, was published by DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

The DHS said federal law enforcement agencies have opened investigations into several of the online threats.

The National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium — the Washington, D.C., regional intelligence hub charged with tracking domestic terrorism threats — has referred at least 25 violent online posts to partner agencies for further investigation. According to the bulletin, some of the social media threats discussed "burning down or storming the U.S. Supreme Court and murdering Justices and their clerks, members of Congress, and lawful demonstrators."

The bulletin warned of an emerging "threat to government, religious, and reproductive healthcare personnel and facilities and ideological opponents" and marks the first intelligence bulletin explicitly issued to state and local law enforcement regarding abortion-related extremism in the wake of the opinion draft leak.

"The volume of violent threats targeting Supreme Court Justices, members of Congress, other public officials, clergy, healthcare officials and providers, and others associated with the abortion debate are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court's official ruling," the bulletin added.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its final ruling on the Mississippi abortion case next month.

Since July 2021, at least four incidents of violence occurred between "ideological opponents" at abortion-related protests in Oregon and California, where demonstrators deployed "smoke grenades, paintball guns, batons, chemical irritants, and bats, according to press reporting," the memo reads.

Historically, a Justice Department task force has registered at least 10 murders committed by pro-abortion violent extremists, as well as dozens of bombings and arsons, all targeting abortion providers and facilities. However, the Supreme Court leak could lead to threats from both pro and anti-abortion supporters.

The DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis said in its bulletin that "grievances related to restricting abortion access could fuel violence by pro-choice abortion-related violent extremists and other [domestic violent extremists.]"
Protecting SCOTUS is, frankly, vital.
The problem I have is equating and conflating the pro-choice side here to the side that kills abortion providers in their church pews

They are not the same, folks. One is much, much more likely to commit actual violence, and it's not the side that wants folks to have bodily autonomy over their own uteri.

God I hate this timeline, I really do. If there were still somehow doubts that the draft decision on Roe was leaked by conservatives (and quite possibly by Ginni Thomas herself) this report should put it to rest.

The (Burned) Bridges Of Madison Cawthorn, Con't

Being a screaming racist, a junior Neo-Nazi youth director, and a horrible boss were all fine wit Republican voters in NC-11. What cost Rep. Madison Cawthorn his primary and his career last night however was spilling the beans on Capitol Hill GOP coke orgies.
In 2020, Madison Cawthorn became the youngest Republican elected to Congress in American history. In 2022, he became the youngest Republican to lose reelection to Congress in American history.

A spokesperson for Cawthorn said he conceded the Republican race for his North Carolina congressional seat Tuesday night. The 26-year-old Cawthorn lost after a series of self-imposed scandals, controversies, and gaffes. He was repeatedly pulled over for speeding while driving without a license, twice took a firearm through airport security, faced allegations of sexual misconduct and insider trading, and baselessly accused colleagues of participating in cocaine-fueled orgies, and then there was the weird video of him humping another man.

It didn’t help that Cawthorn had an inflated view of his own political stock. He released his own personal policy program for House Republicans, an unusual step for any individual member let alone a freshman backbencher. And he angered his home state’s Republicans by announcing a bid in a newly drawn district meant for the state House Speaker only to see the gerrymander thrown out in court and forcing him to return, chastened, to run in the district he currently represents.

Cawthorn’s maneuver especially angered Senator Thom Tillis, who had been attacked by Cawthorn. Tillis endorsed State Senator Chuck Edwards, who defeated Cawthorn on Tuesday, and actively campaigned against him. A Tillis-tied super-PAC ran ads explicitly attacking Cawthorn as “a liar.” When asked by a reporter Tuesday whether Cawthorn deserved a second chance, the Republican senator jibed, “I believe everybody deserves second chances. That’s why I voted for a lot of the criminal justice reform bills.”

Republican discontent stretched beyond traditional figures such as Tillis. “No one from the Freedom Caucus guys to people in MAGA world are happy with how he conducted himself,” said one ally of Donald Trump. There is a sense he had behaved even worse than controversial figures such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, who, for all inflammatory rhetoric, was not viewed as “super-conceited and cocky.” Another plugged-in Republican strategist put it more bluntly: “The guy is just a total fuckup and shows the limits of patience and tolerance that the MAGA movement has for complete and utter idiots. It’s breaking laws and recklessness in personal behavior.”

The result was Cawthorn did not get the full and effusive emailed statement of endorsement on the eve of the election that Trump has given to scores of other Republicans. Instead, Trump simply posted a statement on his flailing new social-media platform, Truth Social, where he described Cawthorn as making “some foolish mistakes” but insisted the freshman Republican deserved “a second chance.”

Even such tepid praise marked a major fall from glory for Cawthorn, who took office just four months after his 25th birthday and was an immediate Republican star. On the strength of his youth — and what turned out to be a fabricated backstory about the obstacles he had to overcome after being paralyzed in a car accident at the age of 19 — he had not only won an open Republican primary without Trump’s endorsement but had then gone on to be a featured speaker at the 2020 Republican convention.
Sadly, Cawthorn will remain in the House as a lame duck for the next seven months, so there's still a lot of damage he can do to both parties before the inevitable FOX, Newsmax, or OANN job next year. I'd love to say that we'll never hear from this clown again, but he's going to be around for decades. The best outcome would be him naming names on the way out, but we won't be that lucky.

No, by all accounts, this little carbuncle is going to be around long after I'm gone, he's only 26. He's has a half-century long career of riding the Right-Wing Gravy Train ahead of him.

Unless he burns that final bridge too.
Related Posts with Thumbnails