In other news, the withdrawal from Afghanistan is now formally underway as about 100 out of 2,500 service members have been sent home with no plan to return. The withdrawal will be completed by September.
Meanwhile, the FDA is planning to ban menthol cigarettes because they're most directly marketed to minorities.
Menthol is the last allowable flavor for cigarettes. According to the FDA, menthol cigarettes have been disproportionately used by youth, people of color and low-income communities. The vast majority of Black smokers favor menthol cigarette brands, and Black men currently have the highest rates of lung cancer in the country.
“With these actions, the FDA will help significantly reduce youth initiation, increase the chances of smoking cessation among current smokers, and address health disparities experienced by communities of color, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom are far more likely to use these tobacco products,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, in a press release.
Finally, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the man behind "papers please" anti-immigration law among other things, is running for office yet again.
Laura Tawater, the person reportedly listed as Kobach’s campaign treasurer in the paperwork, went to ex-president Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6 that led to the Capitol insurrection.
The campaign is Kobach’s third attempt at a comeback after he was defeated in the Kansas GOP primary for Senate in 2020, which came after the former secretary of state lost to Democrat Laura Kelly in the gubernatorial race in 2018.
Kobach’s bid for attorney general also strike a note of irony given how he’d successfully pushed for a law that allowed secretaries of state to bypass the authority of the attorney general to independently open the kind of bogus voter fraud investigations that Kobach pursued relentlessly while in office.
I ran out of my allergy meds yesterday so I felt like dogshit when I got up today and had a lot of trouble focusing to write. But thankfully I have secured more of them!