You can do Vegas or you can do Vegas. This weekend I did Vegas. Friday night I got acquainted with “The Strip.” Saturday night I was back down there for UFC 272, where I got to see Colby Covington dominate Jorge Masvidal and Greg Hardy get beat like he was back in Dallas (You #StillDemBoyz?). Sunday it was a trip up north to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to watch Alex Bowman win the Pennzoil 400. UFC and NASCAR are both high adrenaline sports that play way up in person. It was definitely high excitement.
The big thing I’m learning out here is the food situation. My Lyft driver set me straight on finding good food Sunday, as we drove back down Las Vegas Blvd. through North Las Vegas. He showed me some small casinos that are just about giving food away. One was advertising a T-Bone or Prime Rib for $10.49! It turns out they’ll give you a meal for a king for close to nothing to get you in the door, in the hopes that you’ll gamble your money away. Then I had a friend tell me there’s a place down on The Strip selling a steak and lobster tail combo for $19. I will definitely report back how this goes.
Why did I get into politics? Perhaps it’s in part because I live in the most swing region of the most swing state in a narrowly divided country. Joe Biden edged Donald Trump by .6% in the newly redrawn 7th Congressional District, which encompasses Northampton, Lehigh, Carbon, and a slice of Monroe Counties. If you want to know how an election is going to go, just watch the Lehigh Valley.
How is it going to go? Not great for Democrats. Their agenda is stalled in Congress because some folks don’t understand the “art of the possible.” Inflation is wiping out what would be historic wage growth, which is to be expected post-pandemic. Gas prices are jumping astronomically with the war in Ukraine and it’s side effects. Are these things a result of government policy? Only in a very small part. That’s not going to matter at the ballot box. Amazingly you still have some DC Democrats who want to have ideological battles right now, when they need to be seen as razor focused on being responsive to these “pocket book” issues. There will be a price for that.
MLB and the MLBPA are agreeing to a bunch of rule changes to the game that are both not ending the lockout and not changing the trajectory of the game, but are altering the sport. Moving the bases and speeding up the time between pitches are utterly pointless and won’t appease people not watching baseball right now. Banning shifts I’m more open to, but not overly enthusiastic about. If baseball wants broader appeal, they need to end a third of their league tanking every season. A salary floor, a higher luxury tax threshold, and an international draft are the keys in a deal. Obviously I’m hopeful they reach a deal today, but my sense right now is that Manfred and the owners are wasting our time. I’m not mad at the Phillies for four hour games, I’m mad at them for putting a decade of slop teams on the field, even when they do spend money. I bet Baltimore fans feel the same.
Until next time…