Jan 9 Ross commented on Today, in Things Donald Trump Is Wrong About.
>> Nobody "hacked" the DNC -- somebody was able to guess the password.

And you are worried about semantics. Guessing the password is a very common -- probably the most common -- form of hacking. The Russians broke into various "genuine" sources of data in an effort to sway the election. It really doesn't make much difference how they did it. Like the remarkably similar Watergate break in, it is illegal. Whether Trump, or any of his minions knew about it -- and when they knew about it -- will probably be the big question in a couple years when the impeachment hearings begin.
Jan 7 Ross commented on After Buyouts and Layoffs, Nearly Two Dozen People Will Leave the Seattle Times Newsroom.
The customers still want their product, they just want it for free. It is no different than music. Except in this case what hit the newspaper business the hardest was the loss of classified ad revenue. Of course the balkanization and trivialization of news doesn't help. When an increasingly cynical, ignorant populace only wants information that fits their own world view, mainstream newspapers are bound to have trouble maintaining quality.
Jan 7 Ross commented on Can Portlandia Be Funny In the Age of Trump?.
@13 I had found out about Evergreen from a billboard on I-5 down by Centralia and Chehalis, maintained by some right wing political crank that changed the slogan each day to some form of liberal-bashing screed.

A friend of mine used to call him the fascist farmer. It wouldn't surprise me if that is mentioned in the show at some point. I could imagine a character getting rather offended by the billboard, then making the drive to say something about it (because, after all -- the man has no idea how offensive his words are). He is a man of the earth -- he has a kinship with the soil -- I'm sure after a brief discussion (perhaps with some fine micro-brew) we could all reach an understanding.

Jan 6 Ross commented on The Only Washington Republican Who Voted on Gutting the Ethics Office Voted Yes.
Someone decent needs to run against Reichert. He is a ridiculously weak candidate. All you need to do is point out the horrible votes he has made in support of his party's radical agenda to destroy the idea that he is a moderate. But it takes a half way decent candidate. Since you don't have to live in the district to run, there really is no shortage of decent candidates out there. One just has to step up.
Jan 6 Ross commented on Hillary Clinton To Run For President of New York City?.
It makes way more sense for her to be a Senator again. Being a mayor or governor means you have to deal with day to day bullshit, and make big compromises all the time. She is probably tired as hell of making compromises. Being in the Senate means she can simply move to the left and vote that way. Make symbolic votes and statements as the party of opposition.

But she is probably tired of running for office, too. So running for the Senate wouldn't happen for at least four years -- assuming a Democrat gets elected and one of New York's Senators gets an appointment for something. It is a long shot. The situation is dramatically different than when her husband left office or when Obama leaves office. Obama is 55. Hillary Clinton is 69. Chances are she won't hold a political office ever again.

Besides, I don't see anything gained from a political standpoint if she holds office. I really like her, but America doesn't give a shit about experience. Quite the opposite. America loves people who haven't done anything. The last three elections that didn't involve an incumbent went to the less experienced candidate (Bush beat Gore, Obama beat McCain, Trump beat Clinton). I have no doubt that if Clinton had won the nomination 16 years ago, she would have beat McCain as well. America wants a fresh face, and the Democrats should give them one. If anything, the most disappointing part of this article is that De Blasio (at least at this point) isn't it. Too bad. He has a lot going for him (tall, white, Italian ancestry, married to a black woman). But it isn't easy being mayor of New York.
Jan 5 Ross commented on Link's Ridership Continues to Surge.
Hmmm, so let me get this straight. By adding only two -- just two! -- stops in the most urban part of Seattle, Link managed to increase ridership dramatically. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that maybe -- just maybe -- Seattle is like every other city in the world, in that subway ridership is largely tied to population density. Maybe if we built a metro that was focused on the city -- you know, tied together various urban neighborhoods -- we might have something even more successful! Crazy, huh. We could build something for the Central Area, connecting it to Capitol Hill and then directly to South Lake Union and Lower Queen Anne. I know, call it the Metro 8 subway, after the bus line of the same name. Oh, how about this: What if we connected the entire north end of Seattle via a small rail line, from Ballard to the UW. That would mean that Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford and the UW would all be connected, and each one of those neighborhoods would have a fast ride to one another, as well as Capitol Hill, downtown, Roosevelt and Northgate. Oh, oh, and maybe -- like our neighbors to the north, we could make sure that the trains work well with the buses; that would mean that areas like Phinney Ridge, Greenwood and Crown Hill would very fast service to those spots as well.

No, that's crazy. Just because that sort of thing works in Vancouver, BC, and every other city that has tried it, doesn't mean it will work here. No, we shouldn't focus on the city or on the buses. Fuck the city. Fuck the buses. It is all about the suburbs and the handful of locations lucky enough to get a train stop. Just like BART screwed over Oakland so that it could serve areas like Pleasanton (an appropriate name if I ever heard one) the Central Area is being screwed so that we can serve places like Fife.

Honestly, Charles, I understand why you like subways, but I would think a man who likes cities even more would realize the importance of placing them in the most urban parts of town.
Jan 3 Ross commented on Before Greatness: Barry Is About an Obama Who Has No Future.
Great review, Charles. It sounds like a good John Sayles/Wayne Wang type movie, except one of the characters happens to be a guy who one day becomes President of the United States. At least that is what I hope it is. If it gives a strong portrayal of what life was like in NYC back then, along with a handful of interesting quotes and more interesting characters, it is my kind of movie.
Dec 31, 2016 Ross commented on Huskies Lose To Alabama With Dignity, But We All Lose Anyway.
Great stuff, Spike. Excellent assessment of the game and I agree completely. I also agree with most of what you said about the NCAA. I would say that the college system is unfair and sorely in need of major reform, but it does have a silver lining. There are a lot of athletes (especially in money losing sports) who wouldn't get a scholarship if it was simply a normal free market system. So it isn't all bad (just mostly bad).

Anyway, from a cultural standpoint, while 2016 will go down as a sad year in music, the big stories involved sports. The Cubs win a championship for the first time in over a 100 years and the Cavs won their first championship. Not just any championship, but a championship lead by a prodigal son, in a "this would be way too sappy if it were a movie" situation. He returns, leads his team to a championship playing a team that won the most games in a regular season ever. The series goes to 7 games and he makes not only the game deciding (and completely fantastic) block, but hits the second of his two free throws (while injured) to seal the victory.

Meanwhile, while the music world lost some greats, there are simply lots of great musicians to be lost. For example, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger and Stevie Wonder are still around. It is quite possible that 2016 will just seem like a normal year in a few years when it comes to musical greats passing away. Meanwhile, hockey lost one one of the best ever, but that is nothing compared to losing Ali. Not only was he the greatest boxer ever, but a man named the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, and arguably the greatest sports figure of all time. This was a huge year in the world of sports.
Dec 22, 2016 Ross commented on Bill O'Reilly: Abolishing the Electoral College Is The Left Taking Power From Whites.
@15 -- Exactly. That is why I started my long comment by saying that is some crazy shit.

God, I miss Jon Stewart. He would have had so much fun with this. Hopefully someone (Samantha B.?) will pick up on what is really an amazing, incredible statement. But then again everyone seems to be gone for the holidays. So it is quite likely that a shocking statement by one of the most powerful men -- arguably the leader -- of the right wing media will get swept aside while the world focuses on some crazier shit that our new President says.
Dec 22, 2016 Ross commented on Bill O'Reilly: Abolishing the Electoral College Is The Left Taking Power From Whites.
@10 -- Right. Except (as I explained) the problem is not that one chamber of government gives extra special treatment to living in rural and suburban areas, but all three! I would be OK with the way we elect the Senate, if the House was elected by majority vote. I would be OK with the House if we elected the President by a simple majority. But all three! That is fucking ridiculous, and it is simply antiquated. Just as this country refuses to adopt the metric system, it refuses to change to a more modern, better system. Except now the rational for keeping the system is not that it "balances the rights of the rural with the urban; the few with the many" but simply that white people would have less power. Like converting to the metric system, the main reason we don't do it is the old stand by: Oh, that sounds hard.