Progressive Sweeping XXXI

Other than in my head there are two places I keep notes for this column. I noticed one of them had a lot of material. Let’s see if I can cover it all today.

A Dying Joke

There is an old adage among stand up comics that if you find yourself just dying on stage tell a fart joke. Fart jokes always get laughs. American right wing extremists are starting to ban fart books. Could that mean that other than among the lowest common denominator the book banning thing isn’t working?

A How Bad Is It?  Q & A

Setting: Two Americans meet on the street.

Q: Did you hear about the mass shooting?

A: Which one?

Think about that for a minute

Can It Save Her?

Fairly or unfairly, I won’t comment on today but Vice President Kamala Harris’ political stock hasn’t exactly risen during her term in the number two slot. Could the abortion issue change that?

Abortion and the related issues are largely (and I contend inaccurately) considered women’s issues. Harris is a woman and has been outspoken on them. Republicans used to use abortion ballot initiatives (different terms are used in different states) to get out the vote. In the wake of Dobbs, the shoe is now on the other foot and the issue of women’s rights is a driver for Democratic turnout. In fact, Republicans are hard at work trying to amend the applicable rules/laws. Harris is locked in for the Veep spot for 2024 but can she turn her gender and the issues into what makes her a lock for the 2028 Democratic nod regardless of the 2024 outcome?

A Depressing Thought

I publish five times a week or 260 times a year. If all I did was report on a single American mass shooting per article, I couldn’t cover them all. It’s simple arithmetic.

Let that sink in.

One Sign Of Intelligent Life

Democratic Senator Jon Tester hails from Montana. He seems to be a very bright guy with good common sense.

Openly transgender Democratic State Representative Zooey Zephyr spoke on the Montana State House floor and her Republican colleagues didn’t like what she said so they have prohibited Representative Zephyr from speaking on the floor on any bill or measure for the remainder of the term. Maybe Montana isn’t really that far from Tennessee.

Makes you wonder if Tester is more of an anomaly than just an exception.

My Real World Experience

Mostly during the fifteen years I coached I saw over 10,000 basketball games in person. Almost all of them were played at the high school or college level or at least by players of those age groups. During those events I spoke to coaches, players, parents, school officials certainly including athletic directors and reporters. Never once did the issue of transgender athletes come up. Impactful transgender athletes are very, very rare and are far from a huge issue. It’s really that simple.

Thinking Florida

Ron DeSantis’ campaign appears to be imploding before it ever really starts. The majority of Florida’s Congressional delegation has already endorsed Donald Trump. At this point it appears that DeSantis couldn’t win the Florida GOP primary (scheduled for March 19, 2024).

The general perception of the Republican party is that it is business friendly. I don’t want to knock Orlando but if it weren’t for Disney, it would be a rest stop on I-4. Disney is the state’s largest employer and one, if not its biggest, political contributors over the years. DeSantis is escalating his war on Disney now threatening to build a prison next to it. Other than giving joke writers fodder what world does this make sense in? How desperate is DeSantis?

The 2024 Senate elections look like friendly turf for Republicans. The most vulnerable among them is Rick Scott and with Florida having moved from a purple to a red state he really didn’t look that vulnerable coming into 2023. Considering his missteps and past marginal victories if you can somehow tie him to DeSantis he may well be beatable. It will be interesting to see who the Democrats run against him. Assuming a viable Democratic candidate the next thing to watch is how much money the Democrats can put into that race considering all the vulnerable seats they will need to vigorously defend.

Will DeSantis be the Jeb of 2024. I lived in Florida under Jeb Bush and he was a much better governor. I’d still like someone to write an inside story style book about his failed 2016 campaign.

Require Reading Not Ban Books

Arkansas’ “genius” Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee-Sanders led the charge with the Youth Hiring Act and now several other states are joining the rush to the bottom. They are loosening child labor laws. If you think for a moment this actually dovetails well with the three pillars holding up the modern GOP. The promotion of ignorance – if kids are working, they are not in school. Greed – young, non-organized laborers are easy to exploit and, in the process, make large profits off of. Racism/bigotry – this is a bit less obvious. The most exploited will be children of color and/or undocumented status.

While it mainly dealt with industrial abuses other than child labor, I’d suggest we make Upton Sinclair’s 1906 book, The Jungle, required reading. It tells what unregulated labor actually looked like in America.

Respect For Women In The Military

Republicans, led by Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville (and joined by,  among others, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin) are trying to amend the military’s and VA’s women’s health care policy.

Basically the DOD allows females to obtain an abortion in cases or rape, incest and the life of the mother. Commanders can allow a servicewoman travel to another state if the state they are based in doesn’t provide that health care service. Tuberville is against that. It’s a longer story but I’ve sufficiently conveyed the basic outrage. Tuberville is famous for some things; his intellect is not among them.

Well, that’s it for today and my notes are cleaned out a bit.

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One thought on “Progressive Sweeping XXXI”

  1. I read The Jungle in ninth grade. It was required. Is it still required anywhere?

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