May 24, 2022 The Morning Sixpack

Posted on May 24, 2022

The Morning Sixpack is coming to an end…subscriber count is crap & growth is zero, so the only takeaway is that nobody likes it. I'd say it was a good run, but I'd be lying.

Friday will likely be the last day I publish The Morning Sixpack. Have a 🌮!

Top of the News

  1. White House: 78,000 Pounds of Infant Formula Heading to US
  2. The Secret Service Spent Nearly $2 Million at Trump Properties
  3. Henry Kissinger Warns Against the Defeat of Russia
  4. Seven Years Later, Still No Trial for Texas AG Ken Paxton
  5. Novak Djokovic Criticizes Wimbledon’s ‘Lose-Lose’ Ban on Russian and Belarusian Players
  6. House Ethics Committee Launches Investigation into Madison Cawthorn

White House: 78,000 Pounds of Infant Formula Heading to US

Enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles is expected to arrive Sunday in Indianapolis, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The formula, weighing 78,000 pounds (35,380 kilograms), is being transported by military plane, Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Joe Biden flew from South Korea to Japan.

It is the first of several flights carrying infant formula from Europe expected this weekend to relieve the deepening shortage in the U.S. The flights were authorized by Biden.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is expected to greet the arrival of the first shipment in Indianapolis.

The Biden administration — which has struggled to address a nationwide shortage of formula, particularly hypoallergenic varieties — has dubbed the effort “Operation Fly Formula.” The crisis follows the closure of the nation’s largest domestic manufacturing plant in Michigan in February due to safety issues.

The White House has said 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula was to leave Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the U.S. Another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula were expected to arrive in the coming days. Altogether, about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of the three formulas, which are hypoallergenic for children with cow’s milk protein allergy, are expected to arrive this week.

Indianapolis was chosen because it is a Nestle distribution hub. The formula will be offloaded into FedEx semitractor-trailers and taken to a Nestle distribution center about a mile away where the company will do a standard quality control check before distributing the supplies to hospitals, pharmacies and doctor’s offices, according to an administration official on site.

Air Force planes are transporting the initial batch of formula because no commercial flights were available this weekend.

AP

Obviously, this story already took place. But I wonder when the GOP will start crying about how Biden is mis-using the military?


The Secret Service Spent Nearly $2 Million at Trump Properties

The Secret Service has spent nearly $2 million of taxpayer money at Trump properties, literally paying Donald Trump for the right to protect him and his family, according to government records obtained and analyzed by CREW. Newly acquired records show roughly $1.75 million being paid to Trump’s businesses; however, these records appear to be incomplete. Previously published records, by CREW and others, which do not appear to be included in the documents, account for thousands more in Secret Service spending at Trump properties, bringing the likely grand total closer to $2 million.

One of the biggest sources of expenses was Mar-a-Lago, the so-called Winter White House. The documents, obtained by CREW through the Freedom of Information Act, show the Secret Service paying Trump’s private club more than $300,000 to protect him and his family there. Over his presidency, Trump made an astounding 146 visits to the Palm Beach club, which makes sense in the context of his inability to bill the government when he was staying at the actual White House. The records do not show any spending at Mar-a-Lago until 2018, despite the fact Trump visited that property many times the year before, and those visits are known to have resulted in tens of thousands of dollars of Secret Service spending. 

Citizens for Ethics

The grifter in chief keeps on griftin'!


Henry Kissinger Warns Against the Defeat of Russia

Veteran US statesman Henry Kissinger has urged the West to stop trying to inflict a crushing defeat on Russian forces in Ukraine, warning that it would have disastrous consequences for the long term stability of Europe.

The former US Secretary of State and architect of the Cold War rapprochement between the US and China told a gathering in Davos that it would be fatal for the West by the mood of the moment, forgetting the proper place of Russia in the European balance of power.

Dr Kissinger said the war must not be allowed to drag on for much longer, and came close to calling on the West to bully Ukraine into accepting negotiations on terms that fall very far short of its current war aims.

“Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante. Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself,” he said.

He told the World Economic Forum that Russia had been an essential part of Europe for 400 years and had been the guarantor of the European balance of power structure at critical times. European leaders should not lose sight of the longer term relationship, and nor should they risk pushing Russia into a permanent alliance with China.

“I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom,” he said, adding with his famous sense of realpolitik that the proper role for the country is to be a neutral buffer state rather than the frontier of Europe.

The comments came amid growing signs that the Western coalition against Vladimir Putin is fraying badly as the food and energy crisis deepens, and that sanctions may have reached their limits.

Yahoo

Why does anybody give a shit what this Elmer Fudd dumbass ever says about anything?

I'm happy that Christopher Hitchens agrees with me 🙂 Watch:

Read: The Trial of Henry Kissinger Kindle Edition

Kissinger is the most overrated political operative ever, by at least 10x.

COMING SOON: The January 6th Report


Seven Years Later, Still No Trial for Texas AG Ken Paxton

Not many people charged with felony crimes go seven years without ever standing trial. One of them is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The twists and turns of how the Republican, who is on the cusp of winning the GOP nomination for a third term Tuesday, has yet to have his day in court after being indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015 has little comparison in American politics. And along the way, it has upended what it means to be a compromised officeholder in Texas.

Four different judges have overseen his case at some point. Where a trial would happen — if it ever does — has ping-ponged from Dallas to Houston to Dallas again. All the while, other clouds have gathered over Paxton: the FBI is investigating him over separate accusations of corruption, and the State Bar of Texas is weighing possible reprimands over his attempts to baselessly overturn the 2020 election.

Once, nearly a year passed with no movement in the case at all.

No single reason explains the delays. But altogether, Paxton has become an example of how powerful allies and acts of God can drag out career-threatening criminal charges and allow a politician to rise above being written off as a political goner.

“I mean, this one is crazy,” said Andrew Wheat, a leader of the watchdog Texans For Public Justice. His group in 2014 filed a complaint with prosecutors over Paxton’s failure to register as a securities adviser, one of the criminal charges the Republican is battling.

Wheat is dubious that a trial will ever happen. “And by the time it does, if it ever does, will it have any significance left to it?” he said.

Paxton, who faces five to 99 years in prison if convicted, has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys point out that Paxton invoked his right to a speedy trial and blame the holdup on special prosecutors, who have spent years in a protracted battle over how much they’re getting paid and where the case should be tried.

How much the case matters is a question Texas Republicans have, arguably, already answered.

Paxton was reelected in 2018 when the felony charges were still making front pages. He is now in reach of winning the nomination again Tuesday in a runoff against Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who finished second in a four-way primary in March, but still 20 percentage points behind Paxton.

Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the last of his famous family still in office, has staked a comeback on TV ads that splash the indictments across the screen and call Paxton unfit for office. Paxton has mostly ignored the attacks while flaunting former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. Most top Texas Republicans have been restrained in voicing any concerns, but a rare exception came just days ahead of the runoff, when U.S. Sen. John Cornyn called the unresolved case an “embarrassment.”

“Obviously the voters will have access to that information,” Cornyn said last week. “They’ll make their own decision and I can’t predict what the outcome will be.”

The indictments accuse Paxton of defrauding investors in a Dallas-area tech startup by not disclosing he was being paid by the company, called Servergy, to recruit them. The indictments were handed up just months after Paxton was sworn in as Texas’ top law enforcement officer.

Not long after, allies of Paxton spearheaded attacks on special prosecutors’ $300 hourly rate, calling it an abuse of taxpayer money. Local leaders in Paxton’s hometown of Collin County, which is controlled by Republicans, agreed and voted to slash the pay.

Since then, the criminal case has inched along. A court system brought to a standstill by a 2017 hurricane and then the coronavirus pandemic slowed the pace even more. As it stands now, special prosecutors are waiting on Texas’ top criminal court to rule on an appeal to address payment issues and keep Paxton’s case in Houston.

“The trial’s extended delay was in no way attributable to improper influence of Mr. Paxton,” said Philip Hilder, one of Paxton’s attorneys, pointing the finger instead at prosecutors for challenging their pay and other pretrial rulings.

“In fact, Mr. Paxton invoked his right to speedy trial. Mr. Paxton is innocent of these charges and sought to have his day in a proper court long ago,” he said in a statement.

In the intervening years, Paxton has drawn new scrutiny after eight of this top deputies accused him in 2020 of allegedly abusing his office to help a wealthy donor, Nate Paul, resist an earlier FBI investigation of the developer.

Both federal probes continue, with investigators in recent months collecting Paul’s business records and asking how the developer might have been paying Paxton, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Paul, whose lawyers did not respond to requests for comment, has denied bribing Paxton. The attorney general has broadly denied wrongdoing and his lawyers declined to comment on the FBI investigation.

In New Jersey, a two-year corruption indictment against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat, ended with a hung jury in 2017. In Texas, attorneys and legal experts struggled to recall a case that has stretched as long as Paxton’s without a resolution.

State Rep. Gene Wu, a Democrat and attorney who spent three years as a prosecutor in Houston, described the delays as unheard of, saying even high-level cases in Texas’ largest county go to trial in two or three years.

“There is a legitimate criminal violation and justice is not being served because the people being charged have money and they have power,” Wu said.

There is no time limit in which the charges against Paxton would expire. “But as a practical matter, the courts are going to get concerned. People’s memories fade and the like,” said David Kwok, co-director of the Criminal Justice Institute at the University of Houston Law Center.

The case hasn’t outlasted Wheat’s watchdog group but they’ve scaled back: He says financial support for their nonprofit, which also filed the complaint that led to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s indictment in 2014, has been challenging in recent years.

After being forced into a runoff, Paxton’s campaign raised more than $2 million in about three months.

AP

Oh, boy, but Texas will elect this mofo at least one more time. Then the bastard will run for national office. Our politics is broken beyond repair. No overhauls…a complete rebuild is needed.


Novak Djokovic Criticizes Wimbledon’s ‘Lose-Lose’ Ban on Russian and Belarusian Players

Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “wrong,” world number one Novak Djokovic said on Monday.

Wimbledon, the third of the four grand slams on the tennis calendar, is arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world. But this year, the men’s and women’s professional tours, along with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), have opted to strip the grand slam of its ranking points following the decision from the tournament’s organizers to ban Russians and Belarusians from playing in this year’s event.

“Collectively, I am glad that players got together and showed to the grand slam that when there is a mistake happening we have to show there will be some consequences,” Djokovic told reporters on Monday.

The ban on Russian players will prevent several high ranked players from competing at the iconic grass court slam.

“I think it (Wimbledon’s ban) was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But at these times, it is a sensitive subject and whatever you decide will create a lot of conflict,” he added.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said in a statement Friday it stands by its decision. Wimbledon organizers said in April that Russians and Belarusians would not be allowed to compete at this year’s tournament.

In a statement, the AELTC said it remained “unwilling to accept success or participation at Wimbledon being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which, through its closely controlled State media, has an acknowledged history of using sporting success to support a triumphant narrative to the Russian people.

CNN

I hate that I agree with this jackass. But the players have nothing to do with Putin's war. I mean, if they are connected in a material way to Putin, then ban them. But I highly doubt tennis players give a rat's ass about war.


House Ethics Committee Launches Investigation into Madison Cawthorn

The House Committee on Ethics is launching an investigation into GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina to determine whether he was involved in financial improprieties or had an improper relationship with an individual on his staff, the committee announced Monday.

The committee voted unanimously on May 11 to establish an investigative subcommittee.

“The Investigative Subcommittee shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Representative Madison Cawthorn may have: improperly promoted a cryptocurrency in which he may have had an undisclosed financial interest, and engaged in an improper relationship with an individual employed on his congressional staff,” the release reads.

When asked to respond to the investigation's announcement, Cawthorn's chief of staff Blake Harp said the office welcomes “the opportunity to prove that Congressman Cawthorn committed no wrongdoing and that he was falsely accused by partisan adversaries for political gain.

“This inquiry is a formality,” Harp said in a statement. “Our office isn't deterred in the slightest from completing the job the patriots of Western North Carolina sent us to Washington to accomplish.”

Cawthorn lost his reelection bid in North Carolina last week after sparking uproar in the Republican Party for claiming that he had been invited to an orgy in Washington and had personally seen leaders in the effort to curb drug addiction doing cocaine.

In the runup to the North Carolina primary, Cawthorn faced a barrage of negative headlines many prompted by material put out by an opposition group actively looking to unseat the freshman Republican.

CNN

They're coming hard for this dude. He really pissed them off with his cocaine-fueled orgy talk.


Make it a great day!

Bill

🍺 PS – Buy me a beer


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