Let’s start with something that needs to be top-of-mind this week, and after: Joel Pett makes the excellent point that floods like the ones happening in Eastern Kentucky can be harder on the poor. This starts with the idea that the rich folks who live in the big house on the hill won’t have nearly as much flooding as those in floodplains and bottom lands.
And, of course, the poor have fewer resources with which to deal with a natural disaster. They not only can’t start repairs and wait for FEMA money to compensate them, but they also can’t just flash a credit card and check into a motel until things are back to normal.
The flooding this time is big enough to reach into middleclass neighborhoods as well, so it’s not just the poor, but how many middleclass families are prepared to deal with displacement?
I don’t know how this compares to the devastation of Katrina on the Gulf Coast or Harvey in Houston, but I would suggest that we can’t count on fundraisers to keep bailing us out of these things, because they’re not going to be rare events.
And I’d add that, if you are one of those people who thinks it’s all cyclical, so what? If it only goes on like this for two or three hundred years, how is that different than having it become permanent?
First Dog on the Moon is a rock-solid champion of fighting climate change, but Brenda the Uncivil Disobedience Penguin seems a bit conflicted by the uproar over Taylor Swift’s private plane topping the list of celebrity carbon dumpers.
The pushback on this has been somewhat flimsy, according to Rolling Stone: Swift’s people point out that she isn’t always on the jet; they loan it out to other people. And Drake points out that some of the short trips his plane takes are simply moving it to wherever it is stored.
Which is as close to “let them eat cake” as you can get, since it evades the question of why you even have a private jet in the first place?
The answer is “Because I can,” which is the same answer you’d get to “Why are you serving spotted owl at your luncheon?”
First Dog points out that Taylor Swift and her fellow celebrities aren’t the only ones zooming around like this, but I’d defend the story based on the notion that celebrities may be more vulnerable to bad publicity.
If you point out that the CEO of FatCat Industries flies his jet regularly, it won’t make much of a bump, because nobody has ever heard of him and he doesn’t give a damn what anybody thinks of him anyway.
Meanwhile, those people the public knows and cares about have got to come up with a better answer than “Oh, I wasn’t on board.”
Point is, they’ve got to get on board.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Both cartoonists address what I would agree is a crisis in our national system, which is that the current generation of leadership is not exactly current, and has seemingly failed to mentor and develop a credible group of successors.
A lot of people cheered and joined the Peace Corps or went South to register voters when JFK said “that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans,” but we kinda thought it would then be passed along again sometime.
Kal does well to point to the Democrats, because they seem most lacking in anyone older than 35 and younger than 112, not that I’m naming names. The Republicans have done a better job of — if you’ll pardon the expression — grooming a new generation of leaders.
Or maybe they’ve just done a better job of letting them become known. People like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and Ron Destantis say more headline-grabbing things than Corey Booker, Katie Porter or even Elizabeth Warren.
In any case, it’s farcical for a party contemplating giving Donald Trump another grab at the brass ring to contend that Joe Biden is too old and neither physically or mentally able anymore.
Juxtaposition of the Day #2
The notion of a third party is both attractive and, as both cartoonists suggest, pretty difficult to get behind.
The Founders hoped to form a system that would not be prey to political parties, but just the opposite happened: We are more in the thrall of a two-party system than we would be in a parliamentary government, in which a third party can grab enough seats that the major parties are forced to take them seriously.
Andrew Yang’s pipe dream has, buried somewhere in its FAQ, a pledge to start by running for local and state seats, which is logical and practical, but they then mess it up by adding the potential for getting into federal House and Senate races, which puts them back into the spoiler role.
Tim Miller writes well of the problem, his central point being that a third party has to draw from both sides to be anything more than a spoiler:
If Yang’s party stays true to their pledge and avoids federal elections, it may grow into something that matters. Like Koterba, I’d love to believe it.
But, like Miller, I’d want to see how they plan to draw from both sides.
Juxtaposition of the Day #3
This Juxtaposition demonstrates the biggest barrier to that: As Wuerker suggests, the MAGAts are impervious not just to logic but to facts.
The more election fraud theories are disproven, the more it proves to them that the investigations are fixed. They went ballistic over Biden’s fist-bump in Jedda, but have no problem with Trump hosting the Saudi’s sportswashing golf tournament.
And Lester joins Hannity and Carlson and others in dismissing the Jan 6 hearings as political posturing, and inviting people to, at best, ignore the evidence, if not dismiss it as lies.
Face it: Should Trump be indicted and convicted, they wouldn’t turn from him in disillusionment. They’d see it as confirmation of their paranoid world view.
Yang’s plan to grow his party into a third force is like digging a well at the scene of a five-alarm fire.