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Bridges Falling Down

#DSOT was founded in Baltimore City.  Now, as often reported, there are partners/allies and folks not shopping on Tuesday everywhere/ in states throughout the country. It is a fact that this country needs infrastructure and repair.  In the 1950's/when the wealthy were taxed at more equitable levels, there was enough money to create an interstate highway system. Now too many towns and cities scrounge to fill potholes.  (But at least the uber rich can shoot themselves into space and try to sharply limit benefits for everyone else.) 


Yes there was an infrastructure bill that millionaire Senator Joe Manchin felt cost too much.  Or put people to work. Or had to be bipartisan. Or something...  Not clear what his objections were except he does what his donors order him to do. Thus, legislation with a reduced scope was finally passed.  Folks like Lauren Boebert/ Marge Greene/ et.al. voted against it. Then went swanning into their districts claiming credit for projects there.


As everyone probably knows/ the majestic Francis Scott Key Bridge was destroyed when a large container ship crashed into a support beam. Six hardworking family men who immigrated from Mexico and Central America were killed as they plunged into the water. They were doing repair work in the middle of the night. You can head south from Baltimore and avoid water. Drive out past the two stadiums or further west in the city.  But on the east, one needs to take one of the two tunnels or until recently, this bridge. It was opened in 1977 and provided routes for many, including those carrying substances prohibited in the tunnels.


Families are devastated.  Fathers and husbands drowned.  The busy port of Baltimore that had generated 1.5 million dollars a day in revenue has been vastly compromised.


What did not happen.  The duly elected mayor of the city did not cause this.  Yes, he is a man of color, who was elected and not a DEI hire. DEI is the new oh no word. Scary.  Like woke or actually governing.  By the way Mayor Scott was born in 1984 while construction on the bridge began in 1972 and was completed 5 years after that. So absent a time machine, Scott was not involved  It wasn't a terrorist attack since it happened in the dead of night and the ship sent out an SOS signal when the power failed.


What did happen is the previous governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, deserves a large part of the blame. Yes, many of the decisions he made during his 8 years of smash and grab were deadly, like cutting Medicaid after he battled cancer himself. He went into remission on our time and our dime.  Frankly, when he was absent from making executive decisions, the state fared better.


Hogan cancelled the Red Line which would have provided additional public transportation for countless city folks and help to reduce car usage.  By doing that, Hogan blew off billions of federal dollars. As for the hundreds of millions already spent on this project, oh well.  It is for Baltimore City- not his concern. (He also cut many existing bus routes.)


See if we can teach geography in the schools, then the governor of Maryland would know that the largest city in the state is yes, part of his constituency. Way too much Hogan horror to set forth here.


Back to the bridge.  Larry Hogan was advised by insurance companies and transportation experts to reduce the size of cargo ships passing below the FSK Bridge.  But wait, his corporate donors didn't want that. So vessels kept getting larger.


Now Hogan is running for US Senate to replace the Honorable Benjamin L Cardin.  Right after the tragedy, Hogan oozed onto Sunday talk shows to say the Federal Government has to step in and help.  He certainly didn't take any responsibility. 


Are you tired of elected officials only listening to their donors?  Creating the problems and then somehow being rewarded with re-election or higher office? Or folks who do nothing and then claim credit for bills they opposed?


 #DSOT is not a boycott.  It is a way for a rapidly growing group of people to use their consumer dollars to demand profound change.  Support local businesses.  And clearly demonstrate that elected officials have to be accountable.   Each week we prove that we are united/ understand the issues and wield a powerful economic cudgel.


 Together we win. 

 

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