Welcome to today's The Morning Sixpack! TGIF! yay.
Top of the News
- Elon Musk Accused of Sexual Harassment, Reportedly Paid $250,000 Hush Money
- Three High School Graduations Across U.S. End with Gunfire in Less Than 24 Hours
- GOP Lawmaker Acknowledges Letting People into Capitol Complex Day Before Jan. 6 Attack
- Walmart and Amazon Both Reported Being Overstaffed in Q1
- Pentagon Inspector General Finds Alexander Vindman’s Brother ‘Likely’ Faced Retaliation by Trump Officials
- Even as Gas Prices Rattle Economy, Americans Will Not Stay off the Road
- Bottom of the News
Elon Musk Accused of Sexual Harassment, Reportedly Paid $250,000 Hush Money
A former SpaceX employee said Elon Musk exposed himself to her and propositioned her for sex in 2016.
SpaceX paid the woman a $250,000 settlement, which included a non-disclosure agreement, in 2018, Business Insider reported Thursday. The woman was working as a flight attendant for SpaceX at the time.
Musk, 50, denied the claims in the Insider report.
“If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light,” he told the outlet, saying there was “a lot more to this story.”
The woman’s friend spoke to Insider after filing a declaration in support of the woman. She was not bound by the NDA.
“He whipped out his penis, it was erect,” the friend told Insider about the incident.
She said Musk often received massages on his private flights and that her friend got a massage license so she could work with Musk more often, Insider reported. The woman massaged Musk on several flights prior to the incident, the friend said.
On one flight to London, the woman was giving Musk a massage when he disrobed and exposed himself, the friend told Insider. Musk offered to buy the woman, an avid horse rider, a horse in exchange for sexual favors, the friend said.
The woman turned Musk down and eventually left the room, the friend told Insider. She confided in the friend shortly afterward.
According to the friend’s account, the woman was essentially demoted at work after turning Musk down, Insider reported. She got a lawyer in 2018 and filed an HR complaint at SpaceX.Yahoo News
You know little elon will deny it. He's “Trump-lite.” And you know he's going to say it's a concerted political attack from the Left…I believe he knew this would come out and what he tweeted yesterday was a pre-emptive attempt to quash it.
Three High School Graduations Across U.S. End with Gunfire in Less Than 24 Hours
Three high school graduation ceremonies ended with shots fired in separate incidents in Louisiana, Michigan and Tennessee within the span of 24 hours, another sobering example of gun violence impacting everyday lives, including that of teenage students.
After students crossed stages to receive their diplomas, chaos ensued with gunfire.
At least one person was killed and seven others injured in collective shootings that resulted in the arrest of a 17-year-old gunman in Tennessee.
Shots were fired Thursday night around 8:15 p.m as graduates of Hammond High School were leaving their ceremony held on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University to meet with their families, police said.
Four people were injured in the gunfire, all with non-life-threatening injuries, Hammond PD Chief Edwin Bergeron Jr said in a Thursday night news conference. Three were transported to an area hospital.
A suspect was located after a short foot pursuit and taken into custody, Southeastern Louisiana University Police Chief Michael Beckner told NBC News Friday morning.
Charges are pending as the probe continues and all parties involved were adults, Beckner said.
Police said Thursday no Hammond High School students are believed to be involved in the shooting.
“At this time we do not believe that there were any students involved, we do not believe any juveniles were struck in this incident,” Bergeron said.
Police are asking for witnesses, or people with video footage of shooting to come forward.
There were Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies on site working security for the graduation who responded to the shooting and the “situation was taken under control very quickly,” officials said.
Tangipahoa Parish Superintendent of Schools, Melissa Martin Stilley, said Thursday, “We apologize to our families and to our students that this night, which should have been a very happy occasion for our graduates and their families, ended on such a sad note.”NBC News
Gun violence in the US is gross.
GOP Lawmaker Acknowledges Letting People into Capitol Complex Day Before Jan. 6 Attack
A House Republican lawmaker acknowledged on Thursday bringing a “constituent family” into the Capitol complex a day before rioters breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, after the select committee investigating the attack called on him to address evidence that he’d brought a group inside a Capitol office building.
Hours earlier on Thursday, the Jan. 6 select committee’s chair, Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), and vice chair, Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), requested an interview with Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) next week, contending that its review of evidence preceding the riot contradicted claims by him and other GOP lawmakers that no such tours had taken place.
Loudermilk did not explain why he didn’t disclose the tour over the past 16 months, nor did he indicate whether he would appear, but he emphasized, in a joint statement with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), that no member of the group he led “has been investigated or charged in connection to January 6th.”
“The facts speak for themselves,” Davis and Loudermilk said. “[N]o place that the family went on the 5th was breached on the 6th, the family did not enter the Capitol grounds on the 6th.”
Questions about whether GOP lawmakers or aides led tours of the Capitol complex the day before rioters breached it raised urgent alarms in the days after Jan. 6, when a group of Democrats contended they’d witnessed suspicious groups of visitors. The presence of unknown visitors would have been particularly notable at the time because the Capitol complex was closed to public tours as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the closure, some lawmakers and staff brought guests into the complex under the guise of “official business” anyway.
But no evidence had emerged to support the initial Democratic allegations since the early days after the breach of the Capitol.
The committee noted in its letter to Loudermilk that Republicans on the House Administration Committee, including the lawmaker, had previously reviewed security footage from that day and claimed there were no tours, but Thompson and Cheney said the committee’s review of the evidence “directly contradicts that denial” that there were no tours.
Loudermilk previously led a group of Republicans in criticizing Democrats for accusing them of leading “reconnaissance tours” through the Capitol and filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee against the group of Democratic lawmakers.
In their statement, Loudermilk and Davis also called on the U.S. Capitol Police to release surveillance footage from Jan. 5.
The Capitol Police said in a statement: “The USCP has cooperated extensively with the January 6th Select Committee and the Department of Justice by providing witnesses, documents, and 14,000 hours of security sensitive camera footage. We cannot make additional public statements or provide any of the materials while their work is still pending.”
The 14,000 hours of footage are limited to Jan. 6 itself, though, and it’s unclear whether the department has provided footage from the prior days.Politico
I certainly hope these “reconnaissance tours” are fully investigated. I doubt they will be.
COMING SOON: The January 6th Report
Walmart and Amazon Both Reported Being Overstaffed in Q1
After over a year of reports about companies struggling to find employees, Walmart and Amazon, America’s two largest retailers, have a problem you probably weren’t expecting: They have too many workers. It’s a pivot faster than the four days between “Dad doesn’t want a dog” and “Dad purchased a $400 thunder vest for Gwenny.”
In its earnings call this week, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said that due to a late 2021 hiring surge to cover Omicron-related staffing shortages, the company experienced weeks of overstaffing in the first quarter of this year. Along with higher fuel prices and an inventory glut, elevated labor costs led to a 24.8% profit decline from last year.
Amazon also reported earlier this month that employees returning from sick leave resulted in a quick transition from being understaffed to overstaffed. The company, which hired 270,000 workers in the second half of 2021, is unlikely to resort to layoffs due to its more than 100% turnover rate.
Zoom out: Big Retail isn’t the only industry deleting old tweets about how “nobody wants to work anymore.” In tech, Meta announced a hiring freeze across some departments, while Uber told employees it would be “deliberate” about adding to headcount. Robinhood, Peloton, Cameo, and Netflix have all announced layoffs.Morning Brew
This sounds bad because it is. Layoffs are coming. And when people lose their job, they lose their income. THAT causes a recession.
This interest rate push by the Fed will only exacerbate the problem. IOW, it isn't helping. In fact, it's accelerating the onset of this impending recession. And it may be worse than a recession…
Pentagon Inspector General Finds Alexander Vindman’s Brother ‘Likely’ Faced Retaliation by Trump Officials
The Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General has found that the brother of Retired Army Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in former President Trump’s first impeachment trial, likely faced retaliation from the then-president’s officials.
Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman accused administration officials, including Trump and then-national security adviser Robert O’Brien, of retaliating against him for reporting the infamous July 2019 call with Ukraine that led to Trump’s impeachment and raising complaints of inappropriate behavior.
In a 44-page report released Wednesday, the watchdog concluded that based on a “preponderance of the evidence,” it was “more likely than not” that Yevgeny Vindman experienced retaliation.
However, it made no recommendation on potential consequences in the case, as all the administration officials have since left the White House.
Alexander Vindman, who served as the NSC’s director of European affairs, gained national prominence when he testified about the call. Democrats alleged that during the call, Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in exchange for military aid.
Yevgeny Vindman was working on the NSC with his brother during this time as the deputy legal adviser and ethics counsel. According to the Pentagon’s report, Alexander Vindman first reported his concerns about the call to his brother, and the two then to reported the call to higher authorities.
The contents of the July 25 call was the basis for the House hearings and later impeachment.
Trump was charged in the lower chamber with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate later acquitted Trump of the charges in February 2020.The Hill
#TFG is a shitty person. He was even worse as POTUS. This kind of vengeful bullshit should never be a part of a President's “arsenal.” He has the bully pulpit, but this guy is just a bully of the worst kind.
Even as Gas Prices Rattle Economy, Americans Will Not Stay off the Road
School officials in Davenport, Iowa, expected that keeping the tanks of district buses filled would be a challenge in these days of high gas prices. What they were not prepared for was prices at the pump making it such a challenge to keep students fed.
As gas prices climbed past $4, snacks of rainbow carrots and other enticing fresh fruits and vegetables delivered as part of federal grant to promote healthy eating were suddenly in jeopardy. The grant got drained as the vendor tacked on extra charges to cover the high price of fuel, forcing some schools to end deliveries early.
Troubles with bread came next. The company delivering it first asked for hefty fuel surcharges before ultimately telling the district not to bother. It said it can’t afford to keep loaves coming to schools next year at all. The district has turned to another company, paying nearly double — $40,000 more — for less-frequent deliveries.
“It’s very stressful,” said Coni Dobbels, the Davenport school district’s food and nutrition services director. “People keep saying, ‘Aren’t things at schools better this year than they were last year?’ They’re not. I have never experienced anything like this.”WaPo
Now that employers are virtually forcing employees to come back to work, it's not exactly easy to say, “I am not coming into work today because I don't have gas money.”
Read Yesterday's Sixpack here.
Bottom of the News
- Former Attorney General William Barr tentatively agrees to give sworn testimony to January 6 committee – let's get Kamala Harris to cross examine him again.
- Exclusive: China quietly increases purchases of low-priced Russian oil – Time to get tough with China!
- Chicago police shoot unarmed 13-year-old boy, suspect in carjacking – Because, of course, you should always err on the side of shooting a teenager.
- U.S. CDC backs COVID boosters for children 5 to 11 – Finally!
- John Stockton writes letter supporting Capitol insurrectionist – This guy is a loon. I always thought the “Mailman” (Karl Malone) was the dummy on that team.
- Mercedes just sold the world's most expensive car for $142 million – WHOA!
Have a great weekend!
🍺 PS – Buy me a beer