May 25, 2022 The Morning Sixpack

Posted on May 25, 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 🌮! Yeah, I know, it's not Tuesday. You can ALWAYS get a taco.

And of course, there's been yet another school mass shooting, this time in small town Uvalde, Texas, where twenty-one people were shot to death yesterday, including nineteen fourth graders, by an eighteen-year-old assailant.

When will it stop? NEVER.

Top of the News

  1. Gunman Kills 19 Children, 2 Adults in Texas School Rampage
  2. Opinion: Why the Fed Didn’t Act Faster to Rein in Inflation
  3. North Korea Fires Three Ballistic Missiles Hours After Biden Leaves Asia
  4. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Easily Defeats George P. Bush in GOP Primary Runoff
  5. Southern Baptist Convention Sex Abuse Report: 44 Women Made Allegations Against Jacksonville Pastor
  6. Crews Remove Last Functioning Pay Phone in New York City

May 25, 2022 The Morning Sixpack 1
21 people were murdered at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school on May 24, 2022

Gunman Kills 19 Children, 2 Adults in Texas School Rampage

An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children as he went from classroom to classroom at a Texas elementary school in a rampage that also left two adults dead, officials said, adding to a gruesome, yearslong series of mass killings at churches, schools and stores.

The attacker was killed by a Border Patrol agent who rushed into the school without waiting for backup, according to a law enforcement official.

Tuesday’s assault at Robb Elementary School in the heavily Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

Hours after the attack, families were still awaiting word on their children. At the town civic center where some gathered, the silence was broken repeatedly by screams and wailing. “No! Please, no!” one man yelled as he embraced another man.

“My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harrell, the school district superintendent. “We’re a small community, and we’re going to need your prayers to get through this.”

Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two adults killed was a teacher.

Adolfo Cruz, a 69-year-old air conditioning repairman, was still outside the school as the sun set, seeking word on his 10-year-old great-granddaughter, Eliajha Cruz Torres.

He drove to the scene after receiving a terrifying call from his daughter shortly following the first reports of the shooting. He said other relatives were at the hospital and the civic center.

Waiting, he said, was the heaviest moment of his life.

“I hope she is alive,” Cruz said.

The attack was the latest grim moment for a country scarred by a string of massacres, coming just 10 days after a deadly, racist rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. And the prospects for any reform of the nation’s gun regulations seemed as dim, if not dimmer, than in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook deaths.

But President Joe Biden appeared ready for a fight, calling for new gun restrictions in an address to the nation hours after the attack.

“As a nation we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done?” Biden asked. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”


I don't know what to say any more. I think the only thing that may change things is if many multiple senators' children are gunned down. I'm NOT condoning that or suggesting that. All I'm saying is nothing will ever change until they are directly affected by this nonsense.

And even then, they may not budge. Remember Steve Scalise? Dude got shot and nearly died and yet nothing in Congress has changed. By the way, Scalise is a real peach. Read the wiki page; he's a fucking goon.

One more thing and then I'M DONE: Guns may not kill people (you know, people kill people) but they sure make it really easy. Maybe it shouldn't be so easy to end the life of a child. Perhaps those “pro life” people should give this some thought. Maybe COMPROMISE: We'll make abortions rare – you make mass shootings rare.

How ‘bou' that?

Watch this: Steve Kerr on the shooting yesterday. He says it all.

Opinion: Why the Fed Didn’t Act Faster to Rein in Inflation

About the author: Ben S. Bernanke was chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from February 2006 through January 2014.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has a new term in office but no time for a victory lap. The highly unusual recovery from the pandemic recession, including a sharp increase in inflation, has raised the question of whether the Fed’s new monetary policy framework is right for the times.

Powell announced the new framework, called flexible average inflation targeting, or FAIT, in August 2020. The new framework kept the Fed’s 2% inflation target but made two key changes.

First, the Federal Open Market Committee agreed to try to make up for past undershoots (though not overshoots) of the inflation target. If inflation had been below 2% for a while, as had been the case for much of the past decade, the FOMC would compensate by allowing inflation to run “moderately above 2% for some time.” The goal was to demonstrate that the target is truly symmetric, with no tendency for inflation to remain either below or above target for long periods. In contrast, under the traditional approach, policy makers ignored the size or duration of past misses and simply tried to reach the target over time, letting bygones be bygones.

Second, the FOMC would no longer, as it had at times in the past, try to forestall possible inflation pressures by tightening policy in response to improving labor market conditions, even in the absence of actual increases in inflation. In the new framework, the FOMC forswore such “pre-emptive strikes” on inflation. Instead, to avoid inadvertently snuffing out nascent job-market recoveries, it said that an improving labor market would not in itself be sufficient reason to tighten, so long as inflation seemed controlled.

However, last year and this year, too-high rather than too-low inflation became the FOMC’s main problem. Some influential economists, including former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, Olivier Blanchard (former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund), and Jason Furman (a former top adviser to President Obama), were early in voicing concerns that powerful fiscal stimulus and easy monetary policy would overheat the economy, leading either to a 1970s-style inflation or to a hasty tightening by the Fed that would disrupt the economy and markets. Inflation did pick up much faster than Fed policy makers had expected. By March 2022, the 12-month increase in the prices of personal consumption expenditures, excluding the volatile food and energy categories, reached 5.2%, well above the Fed’s target. As measured by the better-known consumer price index, including food and energy prices, inflation that month reached a shocking 40-year high of 8.6%.

How did this happen? Over the course of last year, the FOMC had become increasingly worried about inflation. But policy makers did not announce an end to their securities-purchase program until November, and the first rate hike—of a quarter point—did not come until this March. In May, the FOMC raised its policy rate an additional half-percentage point and announced a plan to reduce the size of its securities holdings. With the Fed now focused on inflation, a serious tightening campaign is underway. But, in retrospect at least, some Fed policy makers and many outside economists agree that earlier action against inflation would have been desirable.

Was the new FAIT framework responsible for the delay in acting? On the margin, FAIT put more emphasis on achieving a strong labor market—which the FOMC had (correctly) characterized as providing “broad-based and inclusive” benefits. It thus may have made policy makers a little more patient about responding to the first signs of inflation. However, the more important reason the FOMC did not act earlier was not the policy framework but the unusual effects of the pandemic, which made the situation more difficult to diagnose.


North Korea Fires Three Ballistic Missiles Hours After Biden Leaves Asia

North Korea fired three ballistic missiles off its east coast on Wednesday, Seoul's military said, just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden left the region following a trip in which he agreed to boost measures to deter the nuclear-armed state.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the three ballistic missile launches were fired in the space of less than an hour from the Sunan area of the North's capital Pyongyang.

North Korea has conducted a flurry of missile launches this year, from hypersonic weapons to test firing its largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) for the first time in nearly five years. It also appears to be preparing to test a nuclear weapon for the first time since 2017.

U.S. and South Korean officials had recently warned that North Korea appeared ready for another weapons test, possibly during Biden's visit, which was his first trip to Asia as president.

A White House official said that Biden, who departed Japan on Tuesday evening, had been briefed on the launches and would continue to receive updates.

Japan reported at least two launches, but acknowledged that there may have been more. One of the missiles flew a distance of about 750 km (465 miles) to a maximum altitude of 50 km and appeared to be capable of shifting its trajectory in flight, Japan's defence minister said. Another missile flew about 300 km and reached a maximum altitude of 550 km, he said.

Japanese broadcaster NHK said the missiles appeared to have fallen outside Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The U.S. military's Indo-Pacific Command said it was aware of “multiple” launches. They highlighted the “destabilising impact of the DPRK's illicit weapons programme” but did not pose an immediate threat, it said in a statement, using the initials of North Korea's official name.

In Seoul over the weekend, Biden and his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk-yeol agreed to hold bigger military drills and deploy more U.S. strategic assets if necessary to deter North Korea's intensifying weapons tests.

But they also offered to send COVID-19 vaccines to North Korea as the isolated country battles its first confirmed outbreak and called on Pyongyang to return to diplomacy.

There had been no response from Pyongyang to the diplomatic overtures or offers of aid, Biden said at the time.

The waning hours of Biden's visit to the region also saw Russian and Chinese bombers flying joint patrols near Japanese and South Korea air defense zones on Tuesday in a pointed farewell.


Hell, why not just let them? The world is fucked anyway.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Easily Defeats George P. Bush in GOP Primary Runoff

Embattled incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton beat out Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Tuesday in the Republican primary runoff as Texas GOP voters picked a beleaguered candidate with legal and personal scandals over the last remaining Bush to serve in public office. Decision Desk called the race early for Paxton, about 40 minutes after polls closed.

Paxton has faced a securities fraud indictment for seven years. More recently, the FBI began investigating him for abuse of office after eight of his former top deputies accused him of bribery. He also reportedly had an extramarital affair. Paxton denies all wrongdoing.

Bush, who has served for seven years as the state’s land commissioner, campaigned on restoring integrity to the attorney general’s office and hit Paxton for his legal and ethical troubles. He also criticized Paxton’s legal acumen, saying some of his lawsuits were frivolous, including one that he filed to overturn the 2020 results in four battleground states where former President Donald Trump lost.

But none of Bush’s attacks gained traction with socially conservative voters in the runoff, who said they preferred Paxton’s combative style to Bush’s more civil and polished approach. Voters cited Paxton’s frequent lawsuits against the Biden administration on immigration and COVID-19 policies, as well as his efforts on hot-button social issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights.

While Bush had supporters who embraced his vision of a more diverse Republican Party that welcomed people of different viewpoints, a majority of voters tied him to his family’s center-right, pro-business politics. That approach is not conservative enough for today’s Texas GOP, which has largely turned against establishment candidates. His opponents rallied around a call to “end the Bush dynasty” and lambasted Bush for his rightward shift during the campaign.

In the lead-up to the runoff, Bush said he supported state investigations into families that provided gender-affirming health care to transgender children, and he made border security a priority issue.

Paxton hit Bush for his change of tone, resurfacing 2014 comments from Bush in which he expressed support for the Texas Dream Act, a 2001 law that allows undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition at public universities. Bush now says he supports the Republican Party of Texas’ platform to repeal the law.

The race was also noteworthy for its negative campaigning. Paxton’s camp created an attack website titled that denounced him as a “RINO establishment darling who has sold out Texas” and hit him for his office’s management of Hurricane Harvey relief funds and its handling of the redevelopment of the Alamo.

Bush struck back with, which proclaimed “it’s time to fire Ken Paxton” and detailed several legal and ethical issues that have plagued Paxton, including the FBI investigation, his securities fraud case and his reported extramarital affair.

But none of the attacks stuck to Paxton, who continued campaigning with socially conservative groups while avoiding head-to-head encounters with Bush where he could expose himself to attack.

Bush, who had challenged Paxton to five debates in the runoff and pledged to take the battle to the incumbent, was frustrated in his attempts to draw out Paxton. He also received no help from the two defeated candidates in the Republican primary, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, who refused to endorse in the race.

Things got worse for Bush as a slew of GOP officeholders, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, released their endorsements of Paxton. Bush had been fighting an uphill battle since last year, when Trump rebuffed his request for an endorsement and instead sided with Paxton.

Texas Tribune

Yeah, THIS guy won: Seven Years Later, Still No Trial for Texas AG Ken Paxton

More: Ken Paxton Proposes Guns in Schools After Texas Shooting Horror and more: Texas AG Ken Paxton Suggests Laws Are Pointless by Arguing Gun Restrictions Would Not Have Prevented Uvalde Shooting

Southern Baptist Convention Sex Abuse Report: 44 Women Made Allegations Against Jacksonville Pastor

Top administrative leaders for the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America, said Tuesday that they will release a secret list of hundreds of pastors and other church-affiliated personnel accused of sexual abuse.

An attorney for the SBC’s Executive Committee announced the decision during a virtual meeting called in response to a scathing investigative report detailing how the committee mishandled allegations of sex abuse and stonewalled numerous survivors. The committee anticipates releasing the list Thursday.

During the meeting, top leaders and several committee members vowed to work toward changing the culture of the denomination and to listen more attentively to survivors’ voices and stories.

The report is expected to contain new details about former Jacksonville Pastor Darrell Gilyard. He was a pastor at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville in 2007.

He was convicted of having lewd contact with two teenage girls, sentenced to three years in prison and added to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s sex offenders list.

On Tuesday, News4JAX learned that the report includes allegations by a woman that she fought off an attempted rape in 1991 at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. According to the report. Gilyard was working there when the Jacksonville woman, Tiffany Thigpen, says she was attacked. She said she was terrified and traumatized.

The report shows Dr. Jerry Vines, then-pastor of First Baptist, “was dismissive of her report” and told her “it would be embarrassing for her if others knew about it.”

And, according to the report, after that, Gilyard worked at a church in Texas, where other women accused him of abuse.

The SBC Executive Committee said it became aware that “44 women had reported being victims of sexually inappropriate conduct” by Gilyard. The letter on page 146 says, “In almost every case, they were reportedly shamed for it and left feeling they were not believed.”

News 4 Jax

Gross. Religion is a disease.

Crews Remove Last Functioning Pay Phone in New York City

Officials held a ceremony Monday for removal of the last public pay phone stall in New York City.

The pay phone was removed with a crane from a sidewalk on 7th Ave. and 50th St. in Midtown Manhattan, just south of Times Square, marking what officials called “the end of the pay phone era.”

Officials said it was the last public pay phone in the city, but there are still privately owned pay phones and four permanent, full-length “Superman” phone booths.

The city began removing the pay phones in 2015 as they became obsolete and replacing them with public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Since then, the city has removed thousands of pay phones across all five boroughs.

In 2014, there were more than 6,000 active public pay telephones on city sidewalks, according to the city website. They were originally slated to be removed by 2020, but the process took longer than expected.

City officials said on the website that the public pay phones, which provided free access to 911 and 311 non-emergency city services, were still used for regular calls and long-distance calls, but their usage had gone way down.


I know, who cares, right? But it's interesting to me how these once ubiquitous devices have now disappeared.

Hug your children & loved ones today and every day; you never know whether it will be your last time.


🍺 PS – Buy me a beer

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