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CSotD: They know. They just don’t care.

Stuart Carlson (AMS) leads off today with a commentary on the Republicans who are dropping mask mandates around the country.

The weakness in his examples being that it took a lot of effort on the part of liberals to get companies to stop dumping toxins in our water and to even recognize the dangers of smoking, much less control it.

I suppose conservatives were on board with stop signs, but they never leapt with joy over requirements to make the automobiles themselves safer.

They have great faith in the wisdom of the American people to make intelligent choices.

Except in November.

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Steve Sack – Star Tribune)

(Bill Bramhall – NYDN)

Perhaps it depends on your definition of “the American people,” because they sure don’t trust anyone to vote who didn’t have easy access to the polls back when (they claim) America was great.

Trump may be out of office, but the Big Lie of voter fraud is alive and well, and whether Republicans actually believe that the 2020 election was stolen is as pointless a question as whether they truly believed the Tobacco Institute’s “proof” that smoking was safe.

“I don’t feel the Law of Gravity is constitutional” seems a weak defense for having pushed people off a cliff, but it’s as plausible as pretending you are suppressing the votes of poor and minorities in order to prevent fraud.

And they don’t all bother even with that fig leaf.

As Mother Jones reports, an Arizona GOP attorney told SCOTUS exactly why they were attempting to suppress the vote:

Justice Amy Coney Barrett had a simple question for the lawyer defending the GOP-backed laws: “What’s the interest of the Arizona RNC here in keeping, say, the out-of-precinct ballot disqualification rules on the books?”

“Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats,” the lawyer, Michael Carvin, responded. “Politics is a zero-sum game.”

Which would be outrageous if the new voting rights act had a chance in hell of passage in the Senate, but there’s no way any Republican will vote in favor of it, and Democratic Senators Manchin and Sinema are on record as opposing elimination of the filibuster rule.

 

So, as Pat Bagley (Cagle) demonstrates, why should the GOP even pretend they are doing anything but attempting to keep people they don’t like from being able to vote?

Nice choice of paint color, BTW.

 

Scott Stantis has little to exaggerate in Prickly City (UFS) these days, except for the central conceit of a person of color playing the role of the Republican in his strip.

But Carmen has been censured for her disloyalty to the party, and perhaps the comic exaggeration is in imagining that others might follow her principled example.

 

Meanwhile, Clay Jones packs a lot of commentary into a single panel here, but most of the central issue he addresses is being fought on the other side of the aisle.

The Senate Parliamentarian having ruled that raising the minimum wage could not be justified as fitting under the exception to the filibuster rule, it was scheduled to be dropped from their version of the stimulus bill until Bernie Sanders offered it as an amendment.

It would surely have tanked the entire measure, and so several Democrats joined Republicans in rejecting the amendment, which has caused them to be attacked as opposing the concept.

This All-or-Nothing approach being the Democrat’s equivalent of the GOP’s censure of wandering members: It’s better to propose an ideal law that cannot possibly pass than to compromise and take what’s possible.

I’m reminded of Wanda Sykes’ comment when newly-elected President Obama was not able to do absolutely everything his most progressive supporters wanted: “He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts.”

The difference this time around being that Obama wasted his majorities attempting to reach across the aisle to find unity. Biden speaks of unity, but, once burned is twice shy, and he’s taking what he can get.

Purity is nice, but it doesn’t put a lot of meat on the table.

 

Speaking of how you can’t always get what you want to, Greg Kearney offers this thought about cable television. 

The notion of a la carte cable offerings is one of those things that’s complicated enough that it’s hard to come up with an assessment of what’s possible.

And, BTW, the less you like TV, the more programming choices you need. With all due respect to TV-tee-totallers, a well-stocked wine cellar doesn’t make you a drunkard.

Cable companies need enough subscribers to get top flight services like ESPN at a reasonable per-household price, and, of course, they simply need enough subscribers to stay in business.

A lot of services are free — beyond the cost of housing them — but even movie channels like AMC and TCM come at a cost, and, again, economies of scale make it desirable to make them part of the basic package.

There used to be a package called “broadcast basic,” but I think it was a local legal requirement that’s been dropped. Most people would at least want a news service or two anyway, and those aren’t free, except for C-SPAN.

Even local broadcasters want a taste, which seems a bit like the Facebook/News issue: If we’re watching the commercials, what does it matter whether we see them because of a stick in the air or because of a wire in the back?

But there you have it.

People in major cities have a choice of providers, plus the ability to get free broadcast TV, but, for those of us in the hinterlands (where Kearney’s cartoons appear), receiving broadcast TV often requires not just rabbit ears but a mast.

And cable companies sign exclusive contracts with towns, giving them a monopoly. It’s a situation that doesn’t argue in favor of competitive pricing.

So Kearney’s metaphor might also be “Imagine what food would cost if, by law, you had to shop at the only grocery store for 60 miles?”

But it’s worth hoping for a combination of FCC deregulation and independent streaming services.

After all, some of us remember when Ma Bell had the grip cable still does.

 

(Try to explain this song to anyone under 30)

Community Comments

#1 Mark Jackson
March/6/2021
@ 8:16 am

The minimum wage in DC has been $15/hr since last July 1, so either there’s a Congressional exception (possible) or the Republican representative is engaged in payroll fraud (likely).

#2 Mike Peterson
March/6/2021
@ 11:26 am

… and elephants rarely wear T-shirts. ;-)

#3 mark allen johnson
March/6/2021
@ 12:23 pm

Note to Mike
I remember when Sylvia’s Mother came out and thought it a bit sappy. Decades later I connected with a grade school friend ( Fred Kohler) who collaborated with Shel Silverstein on this song ( couldn’t see attribution to him on this one but on some others with Silverstein for sure). Turns out there was a Sylvia who of course had a mother and she lived in my hometown, Homewood. I know the house. Shel was indeed enamored with Sylvia but was a starving artist at the time doing things like suggesting she hop a plane and join him in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, he couldn’t afford the ticket, nor could she and she ultimately moved on. So , instead of a song pandering to teenage emotions, I recognized it as a sincere plea. Easy to play on the guitar and it has, if I may say ,a musical hook , as the Dr offered

#4 Mike Peterson
March/6/2021
@ 4:26 pm

Here ya go, Mark:

https://youtu.be/qZMUx2CfpXI

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