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Editorial: Short takes on bad restaurant and health-director choices

Editorial: Short takes on bad restaurant and health-director choices

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Texas doctor who defied state's new abortion ban is sued

Women protest against the six-week abortion ban at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 1.

(Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

May we suggest ...

A group of Texas tourists took offense when a hostess at a popular Manhattan restaurant, Carmine’s, insisted on seeing proof of vaccination before she could seat all of them at an indoor table, as required by New York law. Initial reporting made it appear that the hostess had denied seating to three Texas women. It turns out they did produce proof of vaccination and were seated indoors.

But then two men showed up to join them. They couldn’t produce proof and weren’t allowed inside. At that point, the three Texas women got up and attacked the employee. There’s still a lot of confusion and differing reports of what transpired, but videos make clear that the Texas women turned a verbal dispute into a violent confrontation.

It seems a smarter option might have been to patronize one of New York’s ga-zillion other fine dining establishments instead.

... another fine dining establishment?

A Texas couple decided to go out for dinner, leaving their 4-month-old, immuno-compromised baby, at home with his maternal grandmother. What the couple least expected was that they would be kicked out of the restaurant — for wearing masks. Natalie Wester and Jose Lopez wore their masks inside the Hang Time Sports Grill & Bar in Rowlett, near Dallas, as an extra precaution because of their baby’s health condition. He has cystic fibrosis.

It turns out that the restaurant has a dress code that bans — yes, bans — the wearing of masks. Owner Tom Blackmer refused to listen to the couple’s explanation and kicked them out when they insisted on their need to wear masks.

Now Blackmer’s phone is ringing off the hook with complaints from people who read about his callous reaction. He’s having trouble sleeping, as he should. As for anyone contemplating a night out at Hang Time, may we suggest the smarter option of patronizing one of Texas’s ga-zillion other fine dining establishments instead?

Not what the doctor ordered

Just when it seemed that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis couldn’t possibly do any more damage to his state, he has appointed as his new surgeon general a doctor who bemoans the “zealous pursuit of public mask wearing” and downplays the importance of getting vaccinated.

DeSantis this week appointed Dr. Joseph Ladapo as his state’s chief medical official. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ladapo criticized mainstream health officials for trying to “close the book” on alternate treatments like ivermectin — anti-parasite paste for horses that federal health officials say is ineffective and potentially dangerous in treating the coronavirus.

Ladapo is advocating exactly the opposite of what reputable doctors have ordered, but given DeSantis’ warped politics (he’s trying his hardest to mimic former President Donald Trump), Ladapo is exactly what the governor ordered.

Mess with Texas? Hmm. Maybe not.

When the North Carolina Legislature voted in 2017 to restrict bathroom use for transgender people, the national reaction was swift: Boycotts abounded. Major basketball tournaments fled the state. The backlash cost the state about $3.75 billion. North Carolina got the message and rescinded the bill.

So will Texas face a similar national movement over its harsh abortion ban? A new law bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy — including women who have been raped. The city of Portland, Oregon, decided to get the ball rolling, saying it would boycott Texas goods and services. But the city quickly reconsidered when someone pointed out that such a boycott might wind up hurting the very women it was trying to help.

Various Hollywood personalities also are calling for a boycott, suggesting rejection of rolls that involve filming in Texas. Major entertainers are being urged to cancel any shows they might have planned for Texas venues. But so far, the results have been lackluster. Despite more-than-ample motivation, nobody seems quite ready to mess with Texas.

Resisting the call of the extremes

One is a Bush on the far left. The other is a Bush on the right. Both took a big step away from the extremes in hopes that the machinery of moderation might, just might, get them the results they seek. Strange as it might seem given our criticism of both, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Missouri, and former President George W. Bush deserve applause for bold actions they took this week.

Cori Bush actually didn’t do anything extraordinary by House standards. She introduced a bill. But the bill, for a congressionally approved moratorium on evictions during national health crises like the current pandemic, is a far cry better than her previous, very short-term victory of camping out on the steps of the Capitol to pressure President Joe Biden into extending a moratorium by decree. The latter moratorium went nowhere because the Supreme Court made good on its threat to overturn a presidential decree lacking congressional authority. Now the onus is on Missouri’s only Black congresswomen to use her best debating skills to persuade her colleagues that this moratorium needs Congress’ stamp of approval.

As for President Bush, he says he’ll appear at a Dallas fundraiser supporting Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who faces a primary challenge because she dared to speak out against former President Donald Trump. President Bush had been reluctant until recently to take an overt public stand against Trump. But he apparently recognizes that the days of silent toleration must end.

Our guess is that the majority of Americans don’t want to see mass homelessness. Nor to they want to empower Trump. These are two worthy Bush efforts from opposite ends of the political spectrum.

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