Few Americans know why there is a baby formula shortage in the U.S., and Governor Greg Abbott, along with many in the Republican Party, is taking the problem and pinning it on President Joe Biden, who has very little to do with what some parents see as a crisis.
Thursday afternoon the Texas Republican issued a statement blasting the Biden administration after one Florida Congresswoman tweeted out a photo of baby formula in a Texas immigrant detention center, which was mostly apple sauce. Republicans have been demanding the Biden administration end what they call “catch and release,” and instead detain immigrants who cross into America illegally. Sometimes those immigrants have babies, and those babies need to be fed.
But not according to Governor Abbott, apparently, whose press release says “Children are our most vulnerable, precious Texans and deserve to be put first.”
Abbott blasts the Biden administration for being, it says, “happy to provide baby formula to illegal immigrants coming across our southern border,” and calls feeding babies in detention, “yet another one in a long line of reckless, out-of-touch priorities from the Biden Administration when it comes to securing our border and protecting Americans.”
What no Republican is telling anyone is that the baby formula shortage came after the Food and Drug Administration found bacteria in baby formula. Two infants died, and batches from that manufacturer, ironically also named Abbott, were recalled. (Abbott denies any link between the bacteria found in its facility and the bacteria that killed the two infants.) Also, thanks to then-President Donald Trump, there is now a high tax on foreign baby formula, making it more expensive to import. The federal government does not manufacture or distribute baby formula, so it’s unclear why the Governor of Texas thinks the Biden administration made a decision to send baby formula to a detention center in McCallen Texas, but not to, say, Costco, or a local grocery store. The federal government bought baby formula because it had to.
As many on social media noted, the obvious conclusion is that Governor Abbott wants to take formula from immigrant detention centers and starve the children there.
Just monstrous and deeply, deeply immoral.
— Dan Lavoie (@djlavoie) May 12, 2022
Saying it’s okay to starve children as long as they’re immigrants is a strange way of showing one’s Christian values.
— Ian (@IanMCohen) May 12, 2022
Babies can’t decide where they are. This should not be political. Feeding children shouldn’t be a discussion.
— Josh Powers (@powersj_tx) May 12, 2022
This is…a choice.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”-Matthew 25:35
— nikki sumrow (@nikki_sumrow) May 12, 2022
These babies are in US custody at the border. All these ‘pro-life’ politicians think we should withhold food from them? https://t.co/cknQJFejFZ
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) May 12, 2022
Abbott supports letting babies starve. There is no other interpretation. https://t.co/GJ54Um7qfm
— Grace Lidia Suárez (@gracels) May 12, 2022
Gov. Abbott and NBPC are literally demanding that the government lock babies in cages and then starve them of the sustenance they need to survive.
I just… I can't come up with the words to describe how despicable and inhumane this is. https://t.co/5jtGu2rp9o
— Carl Takei (@carltakei) May 12, 2022
Abbott is far from the only Republican trying to blame the baby formula mess on President Biden. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy did earlier in the week, but one astute observer noted Abbott is actually more culpable than Biden:
I remember the Abbott truck fiasco at the border delaying goods hitting shelves for weeks including baby formula, diapers, food and auto parts.
— Fired Up, Ready to Go 🌻 (@hlphoenix) May 9, 2022
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GOP’s New ‘Bizarre Obsession’ Shows It Has ‘Gone Crazy’: Morning Joe
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough ripped the Republican Party for focusing on a “bizarre obsession” to stoke a culture war that targets vulnerable teenagers.
A proposed draft of a Florida physical education form would require all high school athletes to provide information on their menstrual cycle to state athletic officials, which the “Morning Joe” host bashed as an unnecessary and cruel attack on a minuscule number of transgender teens who play sports.
“The percentage is so small that they’re doing this to every girl in Florida schools?” Scarborough said. “Talk about overkill. Just stop already.”
“I mean, let’s talk about that Florida law,” Scarborough continued. “Can you imagine doing that as a young girl when you were, like, in high school, middle school? Come on, talk about, again, the obsession over 0.003 percent of the population, and then the unbelievably small number of transgender students who are playing sports. The Florida Republican Party has gone crazy. They sent out tons of mailers on this, the obsession, and now they’re making young girls self-report on menstrual cycles because of this bizarre obsession?”
“This is stupid,” he added. “This is another stupid extension of a culture war where he’s trying to create a culture war around something where there is not a war.”
‘Absolutely Repulsive’: Some House Republicans Are Now Wearing an Assault Weapon Lapel Pin
At least three House Republicans this week began wearing pins in the shape of an assault weapon on their clothing. U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) were all caught on camera with the pins, leading some to express outrage.
U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) was among the first to circulate images of the two Republicans wearing the pins.
“Where are these assault weapon pins coming from? Who is passing these out?” he asked.
Where are these assault weapon pins coming from? Who is passing these out? pic.twitter.com/CVtzNHX9k2
— Rep. Jimmy Gomez (@RepJimmyGomez) February 1, 2023
Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), captured an image of Congressman Clyde wearing the pin on his tie.
they’re not sending their best pic.twitter.com/q7uO6MZHbH
— Aaron Fritschner (@Fritschner) February 1, 2023
“Absolutely repulsive,” Duke University Professor of Global Health and Public Policy, Gavin Yamey said in response to the assault weapon pins. “We have mass shootings almost daily, and the Republicans are wearing assault weapon pins FFS.”
One of the Members wearing the pins, Congresswoman Luna, on Wednesday also participated in a House Natural Resources panel debate to push back on Democrats’ attempt to ban firearms inside the Committee’s hearing room.
She tweeted later, “The same Democrats who are voting to send firearms to Ukraine are telling me I can’t carry one.”
Politico reports the meeting (video below) was “raucous.”
Sociology professor and author Samuel Perry observed, “Republican members of congress are wearing AR-15 lapel pins. That’s not just tone deaf. We find Republicans value gun rights more than any other right, including freedom of speech or religion. No need for a flag or cross pin. The gun is both their patriotic & religious symbol.”
READ MORE: Hunter Biden Is Fighting Back
U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) also pointed to National Gun Violence Survivors Week.
“While gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death for children in our country,
@GOP members are wearing assault rifle pins during #GVSurvivorsWeek. Shameful.”
American historian of Christianity Diana Butler Bass did not mince words: “Always said it was just a matter of time before the GOP replaced the cross with an assault rifle. Guns are their god.”
Democratic Texas state Rep. Gene Wu said the GOP “has stopped playing coy and is now openly and unabashedly praising mass shooters. Will there be special versions to celebrate specific mass shootings?”
Professor of International Relations Nicholas Grossman said: “Legislators from party that defends recent coup attempt by their up-til-recently—and possibly still—party leader replace traditional patriotic flag pin with a pin depicting a rifle.”
California state Sen. Dave Min weighed in, saying, “The debate over 2A [the Second Amendment] has never been about 2A. It’s about ‘disrupting’ civilized society as we know it, and trolling the ordinary Americans concerned about our insane levels of gun violence. That’s why it’s the biggest assholes who are most loudly touting irresponsible gun access.”
The addition of the assault weapon pins to Republican Members’ clothing comes on the heels of U.S. Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) distributing grenades to fellow Members last week. In a note he declared they are “inert.”
— Morgan Phillips (@_phillipsmorgan) January 26, 2023
See video and photos above or at this link.
‘Ran a Bribery Center Blocks From the White House’: Comer Mocked for Claiming No Evidence of Trump Influence Peddling
The powerful Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, James Comer (R-KY) is being highly mocked after declaring he will investigate President Joe Biden for “influence peddling” despite admitting there’s little if any evidence President Biden has engaged in influence peddling.
When pressed, he pointed to Biden’s classified documents and one alleged email from Hunter Biden’s laptop.
But when pressed again by a frustrated CNN host, asking why he’s not investigating ex-president Donald Trump, he couldn’t offer a valid reason, except to claim there no evidence of it.
Here’s Chairman Comer with CNN’s Pamela Brown on Sunday. While the transcript is a bit simplified, it’s not far off.
JAMES COMER: We’re investigating the Biden family for influence peddling
CNN’S PAMELA BROWN: But why not investigate the Trump family for the same?
COMER: We have no evidence
BROWN: What evidence do you have for Biden?
COMER: That’s what we’re investigating pic.twitter.com/NpvpD3MDx7
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 30, 2023
“What’s different with Joe Biden is we’re investigating the Biden family for influence peddling,” Comer said on CNN Sunday evening. “We have a strong suspicion that people around Joe Biden, mainly in his family, have been peddling access to the Biden family, with our adversaries around the world, and when we find out that they have multiple classified documents scattered throughout multiple residences and office buildings across the East Coast, then this raises a huge red flag for us. We want to make sure that those documents in the possession of Joe Biden weren’t somehow sent to our adversaries and didn’t somehow compromise our national security.”
CNN’s Pamela Brown pushed back.
“But you’ve also talked about how you worried about the same situation with the Trump family. Trump had 300-plus documents at Mar-a-Lago, why don’t you have that same concern?” Brown asked. “I mean, there are visitors going in and out of Mar-a-Lago from different countries, including China, there’s been a Chinese spy who was arrested at Mar-a-Lago and it was in an unsecure location at Mar-a-Lago. So would you apply that same concern evenly across the board?
Comer was unimpressed with the facts she presented.
“If someone can show me evidence that there was influence peddling with those classified documents that were in the possession of President Trump, then we would certainly expect it.”
His defense for the Chinese spy? It’s a public place – making all the more dangerous for unsecured classified documents.
“Do you have evidence of influence peddling with the classified documents that was for Biden?” Brown asked. “It sounds like you don’t – you’re looking into it, but why wouldn’t you look into it in the same way for Trump?”
“We have evidence that the Biden family has been very cozy with people from the Chinese Communist Party. We have evidence that Hunter Biden was receiving payments that were that were linked directly to the Chinese Communist Party through those Chinese energy companies. We’re very concerned about all the money connected to Ukraine.”
“How is that connected to classified documents?” Brown again pushed.
“We don’t know we want to look. We see there’s one email that’s been identified that is suspicious that we want to look into. We want to make sure that there’s one email that was on Hunter Biden’s laptop wasn’t one of the classified documents. So I think there’s ample reason to be concerned.”
Comer revealed he has no evidence against President Biden or the Biden family.
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) called it a “a politically-driven fishing expedition.”
“Republican hypocrisy on full display,” Gomez tweeted in response. “How can you launch an investigation without any evidence? This is a politically-driven fishing expedition — full stop. Lots of political stunts, not a lot of problem-solving.”
But, as several people noted, there is plenty of apparent evidence against Donald Trump.
HuffPost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte called Comer out: “Trump ran a bribery center five blocks from The White House,” he shouted, referring to the Trump D.C. Hotel, while tweeting in all-caps.
“Just a stunning dereliction of duty,” charged Robert Maguire, the research director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “Trump brought in tens of millions of dollars as president from businesses he refused to divest, which were used by special interests and foreign governments to enrich him while currying favor with him and his administration.”
Telling Chairman Comer he is “happy to chat,” Mother Jones’ David Corn tweeted, “I know of 2 billion reasons Comer and the House Republicans should look at the Trump family regarding influence peddling and overseas dealings.”
Corn is likely referring to the $2 billion “investment” Trump son-in-law and senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner received.
“Six months after leaving the White House,” The New York Times reported last April, “Jared Kushner secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi crown prince, a close ally during the Trump administration, despite objections from the fund’s advisers about the merits of the deal.”
MSNBC’s Steve Benen likened Comer’s interview to “watching a snake eat its own tail.” Benen also pointed to Comer’s second attempt, Monday morning, which did not go well.
Bloomberg’s Emily Wilkins, the Vice President of the National Press Club, apparently mistakenly, said to Comer: “So you are asking questions about Trump.”
He made clear he is not.
Comer says he’s not interested in investigating Trump because there’s already a special counsel doing that (who wants to tell him?) pic.twitter.com/D1q2wu2QtN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 30, 2023
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