Biden’s Broadband Initiative: A Costly Misstep or Innovative Strategy? Assessing the Outcome and Opinions

Libertarian: Biden’s Broadband Boondoggle

“When the Biden administration promised ‘internet for all’ it didn’t specify that it meant ‘at all cost,’” grumbles Reason’s J.D. Tuccille. Subsidies are “guaranteed to incentivize providers to raise prices” — indeed, “some acts of government broadband largesse cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per hookup.” Costs of laying fiber-optic cable “rise dramatically in rural areas.” The “internet services that naturally evolved to serve more sparsely settled areas are paid for by customers without passing big bills to people living elsewhere.” But politicians like President Biden “prefer to make everybody pay.” “Americans are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves where and how to live and which services they need or can do without”: “They don’t need taxpayers subsidizing their choices.”

From the left: A Telling Walk-Off

Racket News’ Matt Taibbi comments on a recent “Live at the Table” podcast, where host Noam Dworman debated The Washington Post’s Philip Bump on the Hunter Biden story — and Bump “left abruptly after conceding Hunter’s line, ‘unlike pop, I won’t make you give me half your salary’ was evidence.” Before that, “Bump repeatedly tells Noam his problem is that he’s not accepting his, Bump’s, versions of things,” arguing he’s already “debunked” Dworman’s claims in print. Overall, “Bump acts like he and his paper haven’t gotten all sorts of things wrong in recent years, implicitly rejecting the notion that people like Noam have reason to question anything ‘already addressed’ by papers like the Post. If you need an explanation for declining ratings and circulation of mainstream press outlets, this vibe is it.”

Foreign desk: A New Armenian Genocide?

“Leading human rights experts this week urged President Biden and other top U.S. officials to do more to stop the starvation of more than 120,000 ethnic Armenians or risk becoming complicit in a second genocide of this long-persecuted West Asian and mainly Christian population,” reports RealClearPolitics’ Susan Crabtree. It centers on “the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh,” which “is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but Armenians have governed it since 1994.” Long weeks ago, the Azeris “completely blocked” the only “road from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, sealing it off from any outside food, water, medicine, and fuel.” Starvation beckons, warns Luis Moreno Ocampo, former International Criminal Court chief prosecutor: “Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks.”

Culture critic: Goodbye to a Trailblazer 

“Edith Grossman, who elevated the art of translation,” died last week at 87, Rebecca Chace eulogizes in The New York Times. “An earthy, tough New Yorker who was known as ‘Edie,’” Grossman “dedicated herself to translating Latin American and Spanish authors” when “literary translation was not considered a serious academic discipline or career.” Publishers didn’t commission enough translations, she thought, “ignoring a global conversation that builds mutual understanding through the exchange of ideas, culture and a shared love of literature.” She was most acclaimed for her translations of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” and Gabriel García Márquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera.” Translating Márquez, she told Chace in an interview for the obituary, “was like doing an intense crossword puzzle.” He told her, “You are my voice in English.”

Elex expert: It’s Too Soon To Obsess

“Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of the end of election season, the turn to the final stretch where the news cycle becomes subsumed by the campaign,” observes Nate Silver at his Silver Bulletin — except that applies to the actual election year: This was “Labor Day, 2023. The election is 58 days — and one year — away. It is way, way, way too early for” things like “scrutinizing the minutiae of polls. Most voters aren’t paying attention yet, and it will be nine months to a year before they do.” So “pace yourself. Read about other news topics. Hang out with your friends and family. Go for a hike or watch NFL opening weekend. The polls will still be there when you get back.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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