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Republicans who supported infrastructure were right. Plus, don't blame the ball for bad shooting
By Gary Abernathy
Infrastructure bill an overdue investment in the country
Even though the bill contains pork on things that most conservatives abhor, the infrastructure bill that was finally passed by the House last week was much needed and long overdue. It’s $1.2 trillion price tag isn’t as much as it seems when you factor in how many years we’ve neglected making a substantial investment in our roads, bridges, etc. The money should have been spent every few years, which wouldn’t make this price tag seem so high now.
The bill received bipartisan support in the Senate — and by that I don’t mean just one or two Republican votes, which is not my definition of bipartisanship. It annoys me when only one or two people from the minority party support a bill from the majority but many in the media use that fact to refer to a bill as having “bipartisan support.” No — one or two votes does not qualify as something going from partisan to bipartisan.
But in the Senate, the infrastructure bill garnered support from 19 Republicans, spanning the ideological and regional spectrum from Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) to Rob Portman (Ohio) to Lindsey Graham (S.C.). When it finally passed the House, it was supported in that chamber by 13 Republicans, whose votes were crucial since six Democrats from the far-left and socialist contingent of the party voted against the bill, upset that it was no longer tethered to the “Build Back Better” boondoggle they desperately want.
The bill would have been doomed without Republican support, so other Republicans — including former president Donald Trump — are ripping the Republicans who supported the bill for giving President Biden a victory. That’s ridiculous. When something is as needed and overdue for the nation as basic infrastructure upgrades, it should be supported by everyone, no matter who gets the credit.
As for the progressive wish list known as “Build Back Better,” every Republican would be wise to sit it out, and Democrats would be smart to pay more attention to Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia.
A reminder that the internet is not the real world
David Byler, Washington Post stats guru, tweeted the following, making the point that Google search items on critical race theory, immigration, inflation and unemployment are “low” or “very low,” yet polls show that people are concerned about such topics.
It’s more evidence that the internet world is much different from the real world. Internet stats from search engines, along with social media reaction to various events, are not substitutes for scientific opinion polls of people living in the real world.
NBA players are blaming the ball for poor shooting?
A story from NPR says that NBA players are blaming a new basketball for poor shooting percentages so far this season. After nearly three decades with Spalding as the official game ball, the NBA has switched back to Wilson, which says its ball is basically identical to the Spalding ball.
Anyone who has ever played basketball knows that it takes very little time to adjust to different basketballs. From top line professional balls to cheap “balloon” balls, it only takes 10 or 15 minutes of shooting and dribbling to get the feel of a different basketball.
If what players were saying is true, every player coming out of college into the NBA would spend weeks or months unable to play well because of the change in basketballs. Everyone would have a terrible rookie season.
Hey guys, no excuses, okay?
A dose of poetic justice for Major League Baseball
After Major League Baseball caved to political pressure and pulled its all-star game out of Atlanta because Georgia’s legislature passed new voting laws, it was poetic justice that the Atlanta Braves won the World Series, forcing the MLB and national spotlight onto Atlanta and Georgia after all. Congratulations, Braves.
Individual athletes should speak out and support political causes and candidates if they want — outside of game time, when all Americans from every political stripe and walk of life should be able to focus on the sport itself. But it’s always a bad decision when sports leagues allow themselves to be used as political pawns to make political statements for either end of the spectrum.
How much for J.D. Vance to make a special video?
That man of the people, “conservative outsider,” best-selling author and Republican Senate candidate from Ohio, J.D. Vance, recently issued a tweet inviting people to dine with him for the bargain price of just $10,800.
The actual size of the “small group” will undoubtedly be determined by the number of people offering $10,800.
The “next tweet,” targeted to the more common folk, offered participation in a Zoom discussion with Vance “and other conservative leaders” for just $250. No word on the cost of a video from Vance wishing your loved one a Happy Birthday.
Reviewing the Nov. 2 election results on ‘NewsHour’
I enjoyed subbing for the New York Times’ David Brooks on Friday opposite Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart for the “PBS NewsHour’s” weekly politics discussion, moderated by host Judy Woodruff. We talked about the Nov. 2 election results, including the role of critical race theory, as well as the legacy of the late Colin Powell. Jonathan’s comments on Powell were quite moving.
On politics, we had a lively but courteous discussion. You can watch “Capehart & Abernathy” below. I’m scheduled to be back the next two Fridays.
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