This Tuesday has 3 red states with Senate primaries: Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia. All the Republicans running are horrible almost beyond imaginable and the Democrats running in Alabama and Arkansas might as well not bother unless they are dedicated to party-building and plan to concentrate their efforts in that much-needed direction. In Georgia, Raphael Warnock's renomination is a foregone conclusion and the fatally-flawed random celebrity candidate recruited by Trump will be his November opponent.
It's all pretty dismal and on Sundays I know we always need to look on the bright side of life, right? So what's something really good to look forward to? How about a red state, Missouri, with an open Senate seat, and a purple state, Wisconsin, with arguably the worst senator, both not just going blue with GOP-lite candidates with no spines but instead two better Democrats with such an abundance of political courage that Schumer fears them as much as McConnell does. Yes, I'm talking about electing working class populists Tom Nelson in Wisconsin and Lucas Kunce in Missouri. [You can contribute to both their campaigns here.]
Let's face it, if Democratic Party priorities Val Demings (FL), Tim Ryan (OH) and Cheri Beasley (NC) win their race-- which they won't-- nothing will fundamentally change except that we'll have more Manchins and Sinemas to make us feel suicidal-- and to drive more voters towards the GOP. Evan McMullin (UT) figures into that equation as well-- only worse.
If you live in Joplin, Missouri and read The Globe, you may have read Lucas Kunce's latest lock 'em up and throw away the key admonition to Missouri voters, this one about baby formula. "Parents," he wrote, "are rationing food for their babies because of a crippling baby formula shortage. In my state of Missouri, more than half of the baby formula supplies are sold out. This is a national emergency, and the people responsible should be in jail." Wow! I hadn't heard anyone else advocating that before. You? But it very much fits in with Kunce's signature no nonsense law and order approach to oligarchs and corporate criminals.
The baby formula industry is run by a corporate cartel-- just four companies make nearly all the formula that Americans buy. If we had a real functioning market, we wouldn’t be in this situation. But in America, industry lobbyists and government bureaucrats have put just a handful of giant corporations in control of the price and supply of formula.
Their fancy public relations teams are trying to blame the current shortage on supply chains, but the truth is way more screwed up.
It is the direct result of Abbott Nutrition negligently killing two babies with contaminated formula and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s failure to respond.
In October 2021, a whistleblower from Abbott’s Sturgis, Michigan, plant sent the FDA a 34-page document outlining potential concerns, including contamination and sanitary issues. The FDA sat on the allegations until Jan. 31 before starting an investigation. Three months. By then, the bureaucrats were too late. Two babies who drank the contaminated formula had already died, and more were hospitalized.
After the FDA finally warned parents about the products in February, Abbott “voluntarily” recalled the contaminated baby formula-- a move that gutted the baby formula supply across the country.
So why did the FDA wait so long to do something?
Because the FDA is captured by the very industries it’s supposed to protect us from. According to one survey, 40% of FDA employees are afraid to publicly voice safety concerns. And nearly 20% of FDA scientists had “been asked, for non-scientific reasons, to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information or their conclusions in a FDA scientific document.” The corruption runs deep, with drug companies seducing FDA employees by frequently hiring the same “agency staffers who managed their successful drug reviews.” The agency that’s supposed to protect us from getting killed by these giant corporations is literally owned by those same giant corporations.
It’s criminal, and our babies are paying the price. Here’s how we fight back.
First, we break up the baby formula cartel. The Department of Justice needs to actually enforce the Sherman Antitrust Act and break up the baby formula cartel so that it’s a functioning market, not just a few giant companies. Political elites won’t act because Abbott Nutrition’s corporate PAC has spent over $700,000 in campaign donations to Democrats and Republicans (nearly evenly split) in the last election. A classic American tale-- bought-off politicians keeping their donors happy.
Next, we prosecute everyone at Abbott who helped hide the unsanitary plant conditions from the FDA. They killed two babies.
The Department of Justice must conduct a federal investigation, working with the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, into the whistleblower’s allegations, and real justice must be served-- those found responsible should be prosecuted and jailed. This is corporate manslaughter.
Finally, we need to go after the FDA for failing to protect us. It is clear that FDA did not act with the urgency demanded by a threat to our babies’ food supply, and there must be accountability both for the individuals who dragged their feet while babies’ lives were at risk and for the system that let this happen. Fire anyone asleep at the FDA wheel. Redesign inspection processes to swiftly respond to real-world threats to food safety.
Crimes have consequences. And the criminals have to feel them. We everyday people have to stand up and demand justice. Especially when our feckless political class won’t.
Schumer and the Democratic establishment are so frightened of Kunce winning that they recruited a random heiress, with no shot whatsoever of winning a general election, to drain Kunce's resources in the primary even if she can't beat him. She stands for nothing and means nothing, but wouldn't it be nice to run for the U.S., having never achieved anything in life either than being crowned Queen of Love and Beauty at St Louis' whites-only Veiled Prophet Ball, with an mc dressed as a KKK member.