Texas Dems, Bezos' gratitude, Vance's reputation and Bucks old-fashioned NBA championship

By Gary Abernathy

Where would congressional lawmakers run away to?

Just wondering… Texas Democrats flee their state to Washington D.C. and the warm and welcoming arms of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to avoid doing their jobs. If they were in Congress, to which foreign country would they flee to avoid voting on legislation they disliked?

Even when you say thanks, you’re targeted for it

The Blue Origin space trip this week orchestrated by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (disclosure: Bezos is owner of the Washington Post, where I contribute columns) was interesting, but from the “You Just Can’t Win” file, there was criticism from many, including Paris Marx, a tech podcaster writing in USA Today. Marx wrote:

“In a news conference after the launch, Bezos made a special dedication. "I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer," Bezos said, "because you paid for all of this." Bezos is worth over $200 billion. It's a fortune amassed thanks in large part to the very hard work of thousands and thousands of workers. And many of those same workers have spent the past few years arguing that they aren't paid the equivalent of the value they produce.

There are other jobs outside of Amazon. At Amazon, you can ask for a raise. If the raise is refused, you can go back to work, or you can apply for a job somewhere else. That’s how the free market works.

This is how bad J.D. Vance’s Senate campaign is going

Another example of how badly J.D. Vance’s Senate campaign is going after just a couple of weeks is found in this New York Times profile of actress Riley Keough (who is Elvis’ granddaughter, which is why I was reading it):

In movies like “American Honey” and “Logan Lucky,” about hustlers just trying to get by, her characters feel real and lived-in rather than condescended to. Or, as a recent tweet put it, “Riley Keough understands the white working class way better than J.D. Vance.” Was it glib to compare her to the “Hillbilly Elegy” author turned struggling Senate candidate? Perhaps, but the tweet still got more than 1,000 likes: Keough’s brand is strong.

When you have morphed into a metaphor for something inauthentic — in an article that has nothing to do with politics — you’re in trouble.

On another Vance note, it’s amusing when his supporters take such criticism and try to spin it as, “You can tell how scared everyone is of J.D. by how much they attack him!” Uh, no.

Bucks’ NBA crown built the old-fashioned way

Congratulations to the Milwaukee Bucks for winning the NBA Finals Tuesday night. It was nice seeing a couple of teams play for the championship apart from the usual suspects like the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Heat, Warriors etc. The Bucks and Phoenix Suns entered the league as expansion teams together in 1968. The Bucks won a championship in 1971 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson. The Suns have never won.

What’s particularly great about the Bucks is that they are not a “super team” put together by stars rigging the system to play together. They did it by building a team the old-fashioned way. The Washington Post has a nice story detailing how.

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