, , ,

The effort to eliminate cash marches on, into America’s biggest and bestest house of bread and circuses.

Arthur Blank hopes to revolutionize the stadium experience yet again. AMB Group, which owns Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, announced Monday it will become the first pro sports stadium to implement a completely cashless model.

This will apply to all sporting events and nearly every concert, effective Sunday, March 10.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United and was the home for Super Bowl LIII last month.

Whether fans are buying a $1.50 hot dog, purchasing merchandise or even a game ticket — cash will no longer be accepted. The goal is to dramatically speed up transactions to keep fans from spending unnecessary time waiting in lines.

Making the trade of freedom for ever-valued convenience. And, all in a stadium built for a team mathematically incapable of winning. The Falcons are the GOP of sports.

Speaking of the professional losers: the GOP just can’t find enough issues to cave on.

Last month, in a turnabout, the Illinois Republican signed onto a letter with the top Republican of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that said “prudent steps should be taken to address current and future climate risks.”

“It’s just not worth the fight anymore,” Shimkus said in an interview when asked about his changing stance on climate change. “Let’s just see what we can do to address it and not hurt the economy.”

Shimkus is among a number of Republicans who — after years of sowing doubt about climate change or ignoring it altogether — are scrambling to confront the science they once rejected. They are holding hearings on the issue, beginning with one Tuesday. And they have pledged to invest in technologies to mitigate its impact and are openly talking about the need for taking action.

The shift in posture follows the public’s growing anxiety after catastrophic hurricanes, flooding and wildfires linked to global warming. Fully 74 percent of registered voters think global warming is happening and 67 percent said they are worried it, according to polling conducted by Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Among conservative Republicans, just 42 percent think global warming is happening but that is up five percentage points since a poll taken in 2017.

Stupid is as stupid votes. And polls.