commented on Boehner Caves To the Tea Party on Obamacare
If only we were talking just a government shutdown. The House Republicans are talking about refusing to raise the debt ceiling and defaulting on the federal debt. Considering we just had the fifth anniversary of Lehman Bros., this would be the crash all over again, even though we haven't recovered from the last one. And there are some things--like the world trusting the dollar as the reserve currency of choice--which, once lost, can't be gotten back.
I caught last night's "Hardball" on MSNBC, and the Republican Alabama representative Chris Matthews had on tried to make it sound like it was Obama who was the one taking hostages and threatening default, at the same time he tried to downplay default. Because you know, if someone kidnaps your child and you refuse to give in to the kidnapper's demands, when it comes time for the kidnapper to kill your child, it might as well be you who pulled the trigger.
commented on Slog Poll: How Ugly Is This Building?
I realize I'm apparently in the minority here. But name me the recent high-end condo/apartment project whose aesthetics a Stranger writer not named Mudede did approve of. Me, personally--I love Olive 8. And I know there was a lot of griping about the Escala, and I'm not so crazy about its neo-classical base, but I always find myself admiring the addition it has made to Seattle's skyline. We'll see about this latest project. From the drawings, looks fine to me.
And I've seen enough mediocre high-rise residential buildings in downtown Vancouver to know Seattle's residential downtown buildings are so much nicer. Our only drawback is we don't have remotely as many such buildings as Vancouver, and if catching up means bringing in some not-so-nice buildings, then i say, bring 'em on. And I've seen enough old low-rise crap being preserved in San Francisco to know what a city would look like if all the whiners who believe any new construction is never good enough had the power to stop these projects.
And as long as I'm being a bit of a righteous jackass here, let me add that, if the choice is between affluent people living in "tasteless" towers downtown or "tasteless" mansions in the suburbs, then I say, please, despoil downtown as much as you can. Now, i can hear someone responding that I'm presenting a false choice--that the choice is really between tasteless towers and tasteful towers. But my point is that no such building could be tasteful enough; no architect could ever design a downtown residential building for rich folks that would meet the approval of the likes of Cienna here.
P.S. In my defense, at least I agree the facade of that new boutique hotel in Ballard is a travesty.
commented on Come Help Me Interview the Writing Staff of Parks and Recreation on Sunday
Two questions I'd love to hear answered:
How much of the show is improvised?
Why can't there be more shows like "Parks and Rec"? OK, I think I have the answer to that one. In the words of a comedian, "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."
(Confession. I own a Ron Swanson bobblehead. It's on display in my home.)
commented on How Will Self-Driving Cars Change the Urban Landscape?
Sargon Bighorn @7: Cars are the solution to all our problems.
I look forward to the day when 90% of America's GDP will be devoted to three things: automotive transportation, medical care, and military spending. And you know what? It's all worth it because it will make all our lives better.
commented on The Hyperloop, Explained
Thanks to Doctor Memory @11 and Cascadian @15 and (wow) @22 for laying this bare as the scam it is. This is all about throwing FUD at California's high-speed rail project. Whether it's light rail or monorail or high-speed intercity rail, whenever some real mass transit rail project begins to gain political momentum, somebody always pulls out a Trojan horse containing some newer, better transportation technology that will allegedly render the real rail project being planned obsolete.
I'm sure I'm getting some details wrong, but I remember reading how GM dreamed up a rocket-powered bus as part of the campaign to defeat the Forward Thrust rail project in the 1960s. And here we all are in 2013, still waiting for our rocket-powered buses to arrive.
Anyway, thank goodness for Jerry Brown and his dedication to high-speed rail. Once that line actually gets up and running, all the doubters will be shown for the fools they are. But in truth, they're not fools--they're only trying to take Californians for fools--because they know the only way to defeat high-speed rail is to prevent it. They hate it, they fear it so much not because they believe it will fail but because they know it will succeed.
commented on McGinn vs Murray: A Classic Battle Between a Progressive and a Liberal
Rhizome @23: @19 a regional approach makes sense for regional light rail lines. If we have to wait for people in Renton and Issaquah to approve intracity light rail lines we will not see light rail to Ballard/West Seattle in our life times.
I'd argue just the opposite. The regional approach is the best hope for the "Seattle subway" vision of building light rail along what had been the Green Line monorail corridor. The monorail's failure all but proved that, sadly. And it's not like people in Renton and Issaquah would be voting for or against Seattle in-city light rail. There would be Eastside projects they'd be more interested in. There would have to be Eastside projects per the subarea equity requirements.
commented on Seventy Percent of Primary Voters Cast Ballots Against Ed Murray
I look forward to three more months of new Slog commenter accounts crawling out of the woodwork to praise Ed Murray's leadership in Olympia, trash Mike McGinn as divisive, and avoid any mention of the tangible issues facing this city.
Not much different from this substance-less spin coming from Dwight Pelz.
commented on Jeff Bezos to Buy the Washington Post
My first thought at reading this was, "Is it April 1st?" My second thought was, "I wonder what (the Washington Post's) Wonkblog has to say about this." When I first checked, nothing. Now this post
Now that I've had a moment to ponder, I'm reminded of the Medieval and Renaissance royalty who were patrons of the arts. Is the only viable option for local news outlets like the Post to become vanity properties of billionaires? That's not exactly what I would call progress.
And I'm not sure what's the more "disruptive" prospect: Jeff Bezos, rich guy, owning the Washington Post or the Jeff Bezos who got rich owning the Washington Post.
commented on The History of Global Warming Since the 1960s in a Pretty, 14-Second Video That All But Forecasts Our Broiling Fate
Dominic's sharing this Wonkblog post gets me thinking about comparisons between the Keystone XL pipeline plan and the NW coal export terminals plan. Which is the bigger potential:
* climate disaster?
* risk for environmental disasters in its path?
* operation, just in economic and energy terms?
I wish I could see the two projects side-by-side because the Keystone XL is clearly the big national story while the coal export terminals have remained more a regional story. And yet, with the greenhouse gases and its enabling of China's coal addiction, those coal terminals' impact clearly extends well beyond the region.