Thursday, April 22, 2021

At the Bulwark

In this (Apr 22) morning’s Bulwark Charlie Sykes features The GOP Attacks the 1st Amendment Plus, he adds, see the Update on a boondoggle.

Please stop what you are doing and go read Sarah Longwell’s piece in this morning’s Bulwark, “Did We Forget Our Democracy Is Still Under Threat?” While you are there, you also need to read Olivia Troye’s essay, “How the GOP Absorbed Far-Right Extremists”.

Here’s a snippet (or 2 or 3).

… despite all the fulsome rhetoric about protecting free speech from the cancel culture, the GOP is waging a two-front war on the First Amendment.

The party that formerly believed in private property rights is now rallying around proposals that would compel private companies to engage in certain kinds of speech; and calling for retaliation against ideological miscreants. Some on the far right openly reject the idea of a “marketplace of ideas.”

But this is merely one front. With even less subtlety, GOP legislatures and governors are moving hard to vitiate the rights of protesters; even going so far as to create protections for motorists who run into them

The Foxconn Boondoggle.

Who could have seen this coming, apart from just about everyone?

Remember when Donald Trump and Scott Walker touted the massive Foxconn plant in Wisconsin as the “the eighth wonder of the world”? Or the lavish promises of massive investments and an army of new jobs? Or the gargantuan taxpayer subsidies that made the whole deal into a poster child for unrestrained corporate welfare?

This is worth your time for a read.

Taiwan electronics manufacturer Foxconn is drastically scaling back a planned $10 billion factory in Wisconsin, confirming its retreat from a project that former U.S. President Donald Trump once called “the eighth wonder of the world.”

Manufacturing LCDs in Wisconsin never made economic sense, yet abandoning the plan risked incurring Trump’s wrath. Instead, the company spent years pivoting wildly from idea to idea. The enormous “Gen 10.5” LCD factory specified in the contract became a far smaller Gen 6, then was canceled, then came back. The company announced it was building something called “the AI+8K+5G ecosystem,” to be developed in a network of “innovation centers,” buildings that the company purchased only to leave empty. It looked into building fish farms, exporting ice cream, storing boats. It announced plans to build coffee kiosks and ventilators that never moved forward. Most recently, it said it would build electric cars — though maybe, the company acknowledged, that will happen in Mexico.

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