Weekend Quick Takes

Only in Washington would a lawmaker be angry that he got to vote on his own bill. Yet that’s part of the news of this week-that and more in this edition of ‘Quick Takes’.

Senator Doesn’t Want a Vote on His Own Bill

Sen. Ed Markey is angry at the Senate Majority Leader for bringing a bill that he sponsored to a vote. What?!Markey was a co-sponsor of the radical, so called ‘Green New Deal’ that promised among other things, to end use of fossil fuels in ten years and to also rebuild or modify every building in the country-homes, offices, restaurants, arenas-to meet new energy standards.

The bill has found a welcome audience in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. In other places, it has been roundly derided. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would hold a vote on the bill. Oddly, Markey was angry and didn’t want a vote on his own bill. He accused McConnell of bringing the bill to a vote in order to keep supporters of the bill from having time to gain support.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t quite understand that. You aren’t alone. But the bottom line is that one of the bill’s sponsors is upset that his own bill is being considered. Only in the world of Washington would that make any sense…which, of course, is why the rest of the country has such a problem with Washington.

Panera Bread’s Social Experiment

In 2010, Panera Bread started an experiment with a small number of stores. The chain launched Panera Cares, where customers could pay a voluntary amount or nothing at all for a meal. Customers could come in and get something to eat, pay the suggested donation amount or pay anything they felt appropriate.

The company announced this week that the experiment was coming to an end. “During its six years in operation, we served meals with dignity to everyone who walked through our doors,” the company said in a statement. “Despite our commitment to this mission, it’s become clear that continued operation of the Panera Cares is no longer viable.”

A truly worthy goal:  to provide food to those who may not be able to afford it, while potentially getting other customers to pay a little more to cover the costs. It relied on universal honesty of its customers-pay what you can afford, and on the experiment in socialism that the better off would give to those in need and anyone else who didn’t want to pay. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

Kaepernick Turns Down Offer to Play

Colin Kaepernick, the former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, evokes strong emotions-generally people love him or hate him. Among his fans, the narrative has grown to be almost an unspoken truth that he isn’t playing professional football because he of his controversial stand against the national anthem.

There is no doubt that made him unpopular in a large segment of the public. But we are reminded, in part, this week of the reasons he is no longer playing professional football.  The upstart Alliance for American Football league reached out to see if he would be interested in playing, with the implied understanding that he could showcase his talent to prospective NFL teams. The league pays players an average of $225,000, much below what Kaepernick last made. However, several media outlets said that Kaepernick wanted $20 M, more than what most of the NFL’s starting quarterbacks make. This of course follows the story of a year ago that the Denver Broncos offered him a contract when he got cut from the 49ers (after losing his starting job to Blaine Gabbert, who later lost the job himself). Kaepernick turned it down because it was going to be a pay cut and he didn’t want to take less money.

For whatever you may think of Kaepernick, he’s not in professional football because he lost his starting job to a guy who has been a career backup and who was later cut himself. And then Kaepernick turned down what offers he did get because he wanted more money. There’s no big mystery, and no big conspiracy.


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