Saturday, April 17, 2021

If You Live In Asotin Maybe You Might Should Vote Democratic

 This morning I was reading an article from The Hill by Jordain Carney:

GOP acknowledges struggle to bring down Biden

Even I was startled by the implications of that headline: I had heretofore just looked upon the republicans as a dangerous impediment to getting anything done for the people of the United States.

But assertions such as

"Republicans are struggling to land attacks against President Biden as they grapple with how to win back power in Washington next year."


"Biden is proving to be an elusive cipher for Republicans to successfully message against nearly 100 days into his administration, keeping a relatively low profile and refusing to engage in the day-to-day verbal sparring that has consumed Washington in recent years.

"It presents a challenge that, GOP senators acknowledge, they aren't hitting the mark on.

"We need to get better at it. I don't think sometimes our messaging is as sharp as it should be because a lot of the things they're doing are things that are popular-when you're spending money, you're popular," Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said about Republicans' success in defining Biden."

make me wonder whether we have a government or a High School Civics class.

A little farther down one finds

"Asked how his party was doing, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) replied: "Poorly."

"I don't think we've done a very good job because he's getting away with defining himself and rolling out this stuff that we're borrowing every penny for it, and the public is buying it," Braun said. "We've got to find ways to articulate and scuffle in a better way, and I don't know that we've found that.""

So if you live in Asotin Washington and would like to have gigabit internet you've got a wait on your hands.

(Actually, I have no idea whether you may have gigabit service right now; I'm just in the assertions business, not the facts business, just like the republicans.)

But I did do a little research before writing the just preceding sentence.

I found a web site that tells the tale of internet availability and speed in the state of Washington.

(Ephrata is near Quincy where there are massive server farms sucking electrical power from Wanapum Dam; Olympia is the state capital - all that government stuff requires bandwidth - College Park is a suburb of Olympia; Liberty Lake is close to Fairchild Air Force Base - blowing up the world requires bandwidth; and the best case, 86Mbps is hardly bandwidth, and by no means "broadband - except in the vastly inflated American Broadband Lite definition.)

Even that grim picture obscures the reality: those speeds are best case, in many cases probably after midnight; most of the time those connections muddle along at much less than the stated speeds; that's why streaming is such an exasperating experience for many Americans or a non existent experience for many more.

But anyway, there was a "find this information for your city" link; I clicked it; Asotin wasn't listed.

But Yakima was.

So I went there.

There were seven providers listed; their speeds ranged from 940 Mbps down to 3 Mbps.

Only one was 940; one was 20; two were 25; one was 50; one was 10; one was 3.

I was curious how an unknown to me provider with the fastest speed priced out.

About twenty years ago I read an article in Foreign Affairs.

At that time Korea had deployed 940 Gbps service widely at a monthly price of $20.

So in the 20 years since then the best the vaunted American free enterprise system can do is to offer in a few places the service Koreans had twenty years ago at a price that is five times more than Koreans were paying twenty years ago.

I wonder if that has anything to do with flood of Kia and Hyundai automobiles, LG washers and dryers and Samsung TV sets that one sees in America?

The history of that intervening twenty years has supported the general assertion that bandwidth, lots of bandwidth, fosters creativity and productivity; lack of bandwidth fosters unemployed coal miners.

I could probably go on ad nauseum, but I'll leave it off now.

So I'll get back to the point of this post - actually it's the implicit point of the article from The Hill.

President Joe wants to ASAP make cheap, fast internet ubiquitous.

And that is just one of a large array of traditional but also visionary muscular expansions of our infrastructure - an infrastructure we have either let languish for fifty years or have outright refused to upgrade to for fifty years, or have refused to acknowledge as a new and vital way of looking at the concept of infrastructure for fifty years: think child care, for example.

The republicans want to keep Joe from retaining legislative control after 2022 so they can totally cripple him for two years and, in the face of no significant action for four years retake the presidency in 2024.

(The major agenda item for that post Biden republican takeover is to install the Ku Klux Klan as the National Police Force of America - NPFAKKK. Watch for that acronym on your favorite white supremacist secret on line meeting room.)

The tactic they will use in support of the strategy will be to stifle any legislation for any improvement in the lives of  any Americans.

That, after all, has worked since 2009: working for one term presidencies has given the republicans the biggest executive disaster in American history, 2017 to 2020, and has given the American people third world health care, third world infrastructure and third world economic prospects; but Ol' Mitch and the Boys have had a lot of fun.

And all the other republicans have been in lock step for years, so it must be fair to surmise that the state of the lives, and economics and available internet speeds and prices in Asotin and in Yakima, after they have killed the infrastructure plan (I neglected to mention all the jobs with real living wages that will be the result of Joe's infrastructure plan) will be directly attributable to the actions or non actions of their elected national legislators, who are:

Asotin - Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican

Yakima: Dan Newhouse, Republican

Using the internet litmus test which I have just invented it seems reasonable to suggest that if you live in Asotin, or if you live in Yakima - or Wheeling, or Butte - or (there are so many) you might should vote Democratic.

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