Two extreme responses to the disrupter known as Uber. In France, the solution is to just say Non. As David Jolly and Mark Scott of the New York Times report:
Just days after Uber survived a lawsuit here brought by taxi operators, the French government said on Monday that the American company’s low-cost ride-sharing service would be banned in the new year.
Meanwhile, in Washington, there will be an effort, by the city, to compete. As Colin Lecher at the Verge reports:
The capital's taxi commission announced on Friday that it will begin beta testing the "Universal D.C. TaxiApp" in March. Riders will be able to hail one of the city's 7,000 licensed taxis if they're in the area, but private services like Uber and Lyft will still be allowed.
One suspects that, somehow, both these efforts are headed for failure.
Today, the political class celebrates the long career of John Dingell. As of Friday nobody, not even Robert Byrd, will have served longer in either body of Congress. As the media fashions this story, we are expected not only to marvel but to feel gratitude. Whatta guy. Great public servant. Been doing it since Ike was president and a postage stamp cost three cents.
Vice President Joe Biden made a joke today at the memorial service for slain MIT police officer Sean Collier:
"One of my favorite poets is Seamus Heaney," said Biden, who is of Irish descent. "I know the congressman thinks I always quote Irish poets because I'm Irish. That's not the reason I do it. I quote Irish poets because they're the best poets and that's the reason why," Biden deadpanned. "And the Collier family knows that, right?"
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their families attended the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service today at the National Cathedral. There, the crowd of 2,200 heard Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh "voices," all part of the "interfaith service," according to the pool report.
A fair number of Americans would probably tell you that Memorial Day is held to celebrate the Indy 500. And, even those who are aware of why, actually, the day has been set aside tend to honor it in the breech, if at all. On my way, every year, to the service in our town, I am struck by how many more cars are parked near the golf course than in the church parking lot.
But that, of course, is one of the glories of America.
This may be the saddest passage you read about American culture this week. In a story from the New York Times headlined, "Once Stigmatized, Food Stamps Find Acceptance," we learn that the government has been using your tax dollars to market the giving away of your tax dollars in the form of food stamps to more and more people of higher and higher incomes.