Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis

Florida strongman Ron DeSantis is dispatching his army to the Mexican border. It’s the latest desperate publicity stunt designed to boost the governor’s sagging national polling numbers.

Since the Sunshine State lacks a national border, Ron is sending his troopers to Texas to protect the “sovereignty of our country and the rule of law,” according to a May 16 press release from the governor’s office.

The release refers to the Floridians unexpectedly bound to the Lone Star State as “over 1,100 assets.”

Those human assets are 800 national guard troops, 200 cops, 20 fish and wildlife officers and 20 emergency management personnel who are leaving loved ones behind so DeSantis can score cheap political points.

They will be joined by 17 drones, 10 airboats/shallow draft vessels, five aircraft and two mobile command vehicles

Florida taxpayers will pick up the tab for the PR caper to combat what authoritarian Ron calls the “impacts of Biden’s border crisis.”

What’s next? Will DeSantis order his army to New Hampshire to help maintain law and order in the Granite State ahead of the Republican presidential primary?

The governor’s view of law and order leans to vigilantism. He tweeted in defense of Daniel Penney, the former Marine who murdered a homeless man suffering from mental health issues on a New York subway.

“We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left's pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens. We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine... America’s got his back.”

It might be okay to choke somebody to death in the Sunshine State, Ron, but that’s not the way that we do things in New York. Penney has been charged with second-degree manslaughter related to the May 1 death of Jordan Neely.

He is innocent until a jury finds him guilty. We don’t do vigilante justice in New York.

DeSantis also should re-read the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Gospel of Luke’s Good Samaritan binds the wounds and takes care of a traveller who was beaten half to death by robbers.

He didn’t put a fellow traveller in a chokehold.

Matthew Myers, one of the good guys in the world of advocacy, is stepping down as president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids after a 23-year run.

He deserves the nation’s gratitude for battling Big Tobacco every step of the way and driving down smoking rates among young people.

During his tenure, Myers led the push for the 2009 law that gave the Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over tobacco products, helped enact the biggest federal tax on cigarettes in US history, supported state lawsuits that led to the 1998 tobacco settlement, and participated in the federal lawsuit that resulted in a racketeering verdict against cigarette companies.

Bill Novelli, chair of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said Myers and his team “have contributed enormously to driving down smoking rates to record lows among both youth and adults in the US and to reversing the tide of the global tobacco epidemic.”

The Porter Novelli co-founder gave Myers the ultimate compliment: “He played a central role in one of the greatest public health achievements of our time.”

Yolonda Richardson, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids executive VP for global programs, will succeed Myers when he steps down on July 1.

Myers will serve as a strategic advisor to Richardson.

Pernod Ricard seeks to recover from a corporate black eye. The French company, which is the world’s second-largest marketer of liquor, has dropped plans to resume exports to Russia.

The marketer of Beefeater gin, Jameson Irish whiskey, Chivas Regal Scotch whisky, Absolut vodka and Mumm champagne was the first company tracked by the Moral Rating Agency, the watchdog set up to monitor corporate activity in Russia in the aftermath of its invasion of Ukraine.

“It was an outrageous idea to restart exports to Russia,” said MRA’s Mark Dixon. “Pernod Ricard’s climbdown in the face of a public outcry is a lesson for other companies—no one should be tempted to do the same.”

Pernod Ricard said it stopped all exports of its international brands to Russia at the end of April.

It promised to end the distribution of its portfolio in Russia, a process that it claims could take months to complete.

The MRA is upset that Pernod Ricard has not given a concrete date to complete the pull-out from Russia. It plans to monitor the company's actions in Russia to see that it actually cuts ties there.

Let’s raise a glass to MRA.