Jonathan Chait/New York:
Biden’s FDR-size Bet
Harry Hopkins, a close adviser to Franklin Roosevelt, is said to have summarized the administration’s political strategy like so: “We shall tax and tax, and spend and spend, and elect and elect.” It worked quite well for the Democrats, well past FDR’s time. But around the mid-1960s, as the taxes began to bite into middle-class wallets, and many white voters came to see the spending as benefiting people who didn’t look like them, the formula stopped working. At some point, “tax and spend” became a hackneyed insult of the Democratic agenda, with the third part — “elect” — dropped from the mantra.
Biden’s ambition for an FDR-size presidency died November 3, when the election delivered a narrow governing margin in Congress that seemed to bode a Clinton- or Carter-size presidency instead. But the goal of an FDR-style presidency — shaped along the same contours, though smaller in scale — remains very much alive.
Air-rage incidents are rising — for lots of reasons
So why are air-rage incidents taking off? Is it frustration with different ways people address — or ignore — covid-19 risk? Is the anger in American life and politics simply making its way into flight cabins? Does the absence of business travelers mean more seats are being filled by vacationers unused to mask mandates or other regulations?
Yes, yes and yes. As Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, told me, it’s all of the above and then some. “Flight attendants often will see the tip of the spear of whatever is happening politically or socially in our country.”
Nick Judin and Ashton Pittman/Mississippi Free Press:
Young Black Activists Helped Change The State Flag. They Intend To Change The State.
Maisie Brown has heard people argue that removing an emblem of the Confederacy from Mississippi’s state flag meant little—that, in a state still rife with systemic racism, it was nothing more than a symbolic change with no substance. She disagrees.
“I think the flag change matters, and if the flag change really didn’t matter, I don’t think they would have taken so long to change it,” the 19-year-old Black activist who, in June 2020, was one of the BLM Sip organizers who led a massive march on the governor’s mansion in Jackson. “This argument is kind of like when people say, ‘Oh, voting doesn’t matter.’ Then why do they make it so hard?”
The Confederate-themed banner that flew atop flagpoles and government buildings for 126 years had power, Brown said, and it communicated, “I’m a nobody.”
“The flag wasn’t changed because we thought it was ugly. The flag wasn’t changed because it got old. The flag was changed because it was racist. I don’t understand how much simpler we can make it,” she continued.
Ticket sales are moving slowly for the coming Trump-O’Reilly stadium tour
Time remains to sell out the stadiums. But those familiar with the current sales pace say it lags behind other acts.
The events are not until the end of the year, Trump’s camp notes. But so far, the pace of purchases has been slow compared to other acts, arena officials say.
In Orlando, where the duo is hosting an event at the 20,000-capacity Amway Center on Dec. 12, a box office employee for the arena said, “There’s still a lot of tickets open.” The person, who like others for this story insisted on anonymity to share confidential sales data, added: “We have concerts that are doing a lot better than this.” A Bad Bunny concert being held next March recently sold out within two days, for example, and the majority of seats for a Dec. 3 Kane Brown concert have been sold already.