Money Buys Happiness in the Brilliant Equity


Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn) is a no-nonsense Wall Street banker. She has worked hard to get to the top of her profession, and the loads of money she makes from managing deals that involve the movement of millions and sometimes billions of dollars make her very happy. Early in the carefully structured but coolly shot film, she tells an audience of young women that she loves money. It's that plain and simple for her. And she is not ashamed to say it. Money buys her happiness. (Incidentally, my own mother—who, besides being a university lecturer, was a successful businesswoman—used to tell me something similar when I was a teenager: "Those who say money doesn't buy you happiness are lying.")

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The Morning News: Portland Bans Rap on School Buses, Seattle's Homeless Advocates Reject Murray, Vancouver's Housing Market Freezes

Vancouver B.C.s limitless luxury not so limitless for now.
For now, Vancouver B.C.'s limitless luxury is not so limitless. Charles Mudede

Foreign Buyer Tax In Vancouver B.C. Appears to Have Worked a Little Too Well: Though British Columbia's finance ministry still claims that foreign capital plays a very small role in Vancouver's property market, the high tax on foreign home buyers (15 percent on a purchase), which was imposed earlier this month, has "frozen" a market that was "ultrahot." The Vancouver Sun: "[An] indication of just how powerful a force offshore buying had become in the Lower Mainland, [Multiple Listing Service] figures shows that the high-priced areas with the highest percentages of foreign buyers — according to government statistics and real estate agents — are now suffering the steepest drop-offs."

The ugly numbers are freaking out realtors. Will this be the end of a dream? Will the tax really cut down for good the giant beanstalk that rises to the golden eggs? Will prices fall and fall? As for the claim in the Seattle Times that the market was already cooling, it's only saying this: The market and not government action has caused the sudden freeze. The market is, according to this old reading of all things economical, always one or two steps ahead of the government.

Sound Transit's Angle Lake Station to Open on September 24: The sad thing is that much of the talk about this new station, which extends south from the SeaTac/Airport Station and is expected to add 5,400 boardings a day during the working week, is not that it will help in the fight against global warming or improve the lives (physically and mentally) of thousands of people who have been stressed to their very bones by bad traffic but that it came $40 million under budget. But the truth of the matter is we shouldn't care so much about the cost of building this and future stations. In the long run, the benefits of this system will far surpass the value of the money we put into it.

Fire In Puyallup Destroys Dozens of School Buses: It is not known what caused the fire, but it burned 10 buses to their frames, damaged 26 other buses, exploded tires, and miraculously injured no one. The thick black smoke from the fires, which raged at a maintenance barn for the school district's buses, rose high into the afternoon sky.

Is Portland Public School Ban on Rap Music on School Buses Racist? This March, Portland Public Schools officials banned stations that play religious music, rap music, and talk shows. Not banned are stations that play pop, country, and jazz. The reason for banning rap is because of "profanity and violent lyrics." Yesterday, The Oregonian reported that some feel the ban is racist and that country music is no better than rap when it comes to decency. "Country music is offensive. It's about date rape, liquor and drugs—all kinds of things," said Ryan-Onken, a senior at Roosevelt High School. The Oregonian also pointed out that in 2012, Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" was popular with teens, but "beneath the veneer of bubblegum pop are unmistakably dark lyrics about a school shooting." The only thing I can agree with (and is uncomplicated in this complicated matter) is the ban on religious music and the promotion of jazz.

Advocates Propose Major Changes to Encampment Sweeps, New Protections for Homeless People: Heidi Groover reports that "several high-profile advocacy groups soundly rejected Murray's task force idea," chastised him "for the ongoing sweeps," and proposed "a more direct alternative" to the problem. That alternative consists of rules that would place restrictions on how the city sweeps homeless humans from its streets.

Death Toll From Earthquake in Italy Nearing 250: The earthquake occurred on Wednesday, had a magnitude of 6.2, rocked Rome, and devastated several towns. Many of the dead were asleep when their homes were reduced to rubble.

Blabbermouth Podcast Asks: WTF Is a "Neoliberal"? This is a very good question. Well, Hillary Clinton is one. So is Obama. And so was Jimmy Carter. Weirdly enough, Nixon wasn't a neoliberal. He was instead the last of the great New Deal presidents, which is why Bernie Sanders is in fact closer to him than to Hillary. Sanders is not a neoliberal. As for Trump, he is neoliberalism on crack.

University of Texas Students Wave Sex Toys at Rally Against State Law That Permits Concealed Guns On Campuses: Why? Because the law is obscene.

Miami Graffiti Artist to Rich Property Owners: "YOUR MILLION DOLLAR HOUSES WILL SOON BE UNDERWATER.” The Miami Herald, an excellent paper when it comes to covering Miami's overpriced property market and the realities of global warming, called it "a grim prediction."

Humans Still Dreaming of Another Earth When They Are Already On as Good an Earth as Any: Believe me, will not change our planet like we change our cars.

A Feel Bad Story in Disguise: Two Florida Hospitals Won't Bill Orlando Pulse Shooting Victims

From the Seattle vigil for victims of the Orlando shooting.
From the Seattle vigil for victims of the Orlando shooting. Kelly O

Orlando Sentinel:

Orlando Health and Florida Hospital will not bill survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre for out-of-pocket medical expenses, officials announced Wednesday. Instead, the hospitals will write off an estimated $5.5 million or more in care.

"The pulse shooting was a horrendous tragedy for the victims, their families and our entire community," Orlando Health President and CEO David Strong said. "During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward."

Its main hospital — Orlando Regional Medical Center — treated 44 of the more than 50 victims who needed immediate medical attention from the June 12 attack that killed 49 people. The nightclub is only a couple of blocks from the Level 1 trauma center.

This news is being celebrated — and it's welcome news, and I'm happy for the victims and their families — but let's not kid ourselves: this is a feel bad story disguised as a feel good story.

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This Week on the Blabbermouth Podcast: WTF Is a "Neoliberal"?

Also discussed on Episode 64: Whats wrong with this Donald Trump statue? And what did State Senator Reuven Carlyle get wrong on the show last week?
Also discussed on Episode 64: What's wrong with this Donald Trump statue? And was State Senator Reuven Carlyle wrong to raise concerns about light rail financing on last week's podcast? ASK

It’s one of the most common political insults on the left these days, usually uttered with dripping disdain: “NEOLIBERAL.” But what the fuck does the word actually mean? If you’ve been wondering, or if your secret shame is that you’ve been pretending not to wonder while regularly dropping “neoliberal” as a conversation-stopping bomb, you’re in luck! On this week’s show, at 9:42, an expert from the University of Washington, Dr. Nick Barr Clingan, is on to explain what a neoliberal actually is.

Then, at 18:40, we’ll hear from Washington State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon of West Seattle. He was listening to last week’s show and heard his colleague, Washington State Senator Reuven Carlyle of Ballard, express concern about the funding package for this region's proposed light rail expansion—an expansion of mass transit that, if we voters approve it this November, will bring light rail to Carlyle’s district, Fitzgibbon’s district, and many other places. Fitzgibbon supports the light rial funding package and has some strong disagreements with the things Carlyle said last week.

After that, at 31:55, the critics of The Stranger tell you what to do this weekend.

And!!! As a time-warping bonus! BEFORE all that, at 1:42, The Stranger’s Rich Smith explains what was so wrong with the naked Donald Trump statue that appeared not too long ago on Capitol Hill. Plus...

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Advocates Propose Major Changes to Encampment Sweeps, New Protections for Homeless People

Washington State Department of Transportation crews regularly clear encampments along highways, including this one in June.
Washington State Department of Transportation crews regularly clear encampments along highways, including this one in June. Ansel Herz

Late last week, Mayor Ed Murray did something he loves to do: He announced a task force to figure out what to do about a problem facing his administration. The problem in question: homeless encampment "sweeps," the process by which the city forces homeless people sleeping outside to leave their camping spots. The proposed task force: a group of homeless advocates, plus neighborhood and business groups, who would talk about "improving the city’s response to unsanctioned encampments."

Today, several high-profile advocacy groups soundly rejected Murray's task force idea, chastising the mayor for the ongoing sweeps and proposing a more direct alternative. In a letter to the mayor and city council today, representatives for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Columbia Legal Services, Real Change, the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, the Public Defender Association, and the Seattle Community Law Center introduced a sweeping piece of legislation that would overhaul the rules governing encampment sweeps. If passed, the ordinance would significantly narrow the instances in which the city could forcibly evict people living outside.

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EOD: Don't Worry, Hillary's Team Is Right On Top of This "Vagenda of Manocide" Thing

The talented pun-maker behind Gulf of Maine Gunsmithing's hysterical-to-the-point-of-glorious political signage clearly wants two things:

1) A job writing cover lines for the New York Post.

2) For you to go to and donate to the Hildabeast's presidential vagenda.

h/t The Daily Dot and the Internet hero who's been compiling a treasury of this company's bile for years.

EOD=End of Day. We're done. Go home. Hug a demarat.

Eat Shit, Hope Solo

Heres the Swedish team with their silver medals.
Here's the Swedish team with their silver medals. Stefan Holm /

Hometown hero Hope Solo, while a talented soccer goalkeeper, sometimes acts like a garbage person. Or, as Slate puts it, she has a "tendency to make brash and ill-informed statements."

The latest? After the U.S. women's national team was knocked out of the Rio Olympics by scrappy, tenacious Swedish, Solo called the Swedes a "bunch of cowards."

Her teammates, including fellow Seattle Reign player Megan Rapinoe, disagreed with her. Now this:


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Free Will Astrology For the Week of August 24

ARIES (March 21–April 19): In the coming weeks, I hope you won't scream curses at the rain, demanding that it stop falling on you. Similarly, I suggest you refrain from punching walls that seem to be hemming you in, and I beg you not to spit into the wind when it's blowing in your face. Here's an oracle about how to avoid counterproductive behavior like that: The near future will bring you useful challenges and uncanny blessings if you're willing to consider the possibility that everything coming your way will in some sense be an opportunity.

TAURUS (April 20–May 20): Oh how I wish you might receive the grace of being pampered and nurtured and entertained and prayed for. I'd love for you to assemble a throng of no-strings-attached caretakers who would devote themselves to stoking your healing and delight. Maybe they'd sing to you as they gave you a manicure and massaged your feet and paid your bills. Or perhaps they would cook you a gourmet meal and clean your house as they told you stories about how beautiful you are and all the great things you're going to do in the future. Is it possible to arrange something like that even on a modest scale, Taurus? You're in a phase of your astrological cycle when you most need this kind of doting attention—and when you have the greatest power to make it happen.

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Russell Wilson Responds To Question About Moving His Wedding From North Carolina

Helga Esteb /

Russell Wilson gave the perfect no-comment comment response today to Monday's news that the Seahawks quarterback and his then-fiancée Ciara had moved their July wedding from its original North Carolina location because of the state's transgender bathroom laws.

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The Coming Death of One of Seattle's Few Black-Loved Supermarkets

What remains of the long and certain death of Seattles hood.
What remains of the long and certain death of Seattle's 'hood. Charles Mudede

Gentrification is never a simple matter. The result, true, is that it simply removes poor people from a neighborhood and replaces them with those in the middle and upper classes. But the process itself is often motivated by good intentions or progressive ideas.

The future plans of the Promenade 23 shopping center offers an excellent example of just this kind of thing. When Paul Allen bought the shopping center this spring for $30.9 million, not a few people predicted that a good number of the businesses there, some are small and owned by black Americans, were going to go.

Six months later, it looks like one of those businesses will be the supermarket, Red Apple, which has served the black community for over 25 years.

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Gordito’s Reopens After Greenwood Explosion, But Residents Remain in Limbo

Greenwoods resident purveyor of baby-sized burritos reopened again on August 20.
Greenwood's purveyor of baby-sized burritos reopened on August 20. Hal Miller

Nearly six months after an explosion leveled three buildings in the heart of Greenwood, Gordito's Healthy Mexican Food is back up and running.

But restaurant-owner Shannon Ramirez says there won't be any grand-reopening celebrations or rallying the neighborhood to line up for sorely missed baby-sized burritos. After all, his work isn't done yet. Currently, 10 residents are waiting to move back into their apartments above the restaurant, but they are still in limbo thanks to city permitting delays, he says.

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Federal Bureau of Insults Downgrades "Asshat" from "Acceptable Internet Epithet" to "Not a Thing"


(WASHINGTON, DC) The government agency charged with assessing the relative value of insults made a rare unilateral decision this week when it issued a statement that "asshat" would no longer be listed on the Acceptable Internet Epithet Index. According to a statement from the Federal Bureau of Insults, "asshat" has been downgraded to "not a thing," effective immediately.

"Since the advent of social media," the statement read, "use of 'asshat' has proliferated wildly—particularly during presidential election years. Following the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, our monitors have detected an unprecedented surge in 'asshat' usage, prompting senior analysts to audit the term's effectiveness. A blue-ribbon commission was impaneled to adjudicate the matter. Its decision was swift and unanimous: 'Asshat' is unacceptable. Despite its syntactical relation to the evergreen 'asshole,' it has only the most tenuous connection to a literal correlative. To state it simply: It reflects more poorly on the user than it does on the subject."

Though the insult bureau is not typically a regulatory body, agency chair Donald Colough argued that the decision was well within his purview.

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Watch Federal Judge James Robart's Powerful Black Lives Matter Declaration

Last week, we reported on a momentous court hearing in which Western District federal judge James Robart, who oversees Department of Justice-mandated reforms of the Seattle police department, declared, "Black lives matter." He citied FBI statistics showing that African-Americans are 20 percent of the population, but 41 percent of police casualties in major cities. The judge also threatened to steamroll over Seattle's biggest police union if it resists reforms through its contract negotiation process with the city.

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Guest Editorial: 100 Years On, the National Parks Are Still Telling America's Story

The author, Seattle City Council member Lorena González, says, Watching the National Park Service join hands with those marching at this year’s Pride parade represented a critical moment, symbolizing the opportunity we have to continue telling America’s story through our National Parks.
The author, Seattle City Council member Lorena González, says, "Watching the National Park Service join hands with those marching at this year’s Pride parade represented a critical moment, symbolizing the opportunity we have to continue telling America’s story through our National Parks." Glynnis Jones/shutterstock

Tomorrow, August 25, marks the 100th birthday of our National Park System, a major milestone for one of America’s most popular and respected institutions. In a nation so often appearing to be divided, the national parks provide common ground and shared experiences.

In my first year as a citywide council member I am especially pleased to have participated in efforts to create America’s newest national park unit, the Stonewall National Monument in New York. In fact, Seattle was the first city on record to issue a joint mayor-city council resolution in support of this monument commemorating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights.

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Hey Bernie Bros, "Revolution" Is Not the Best Way to Structure a Political Movement

"My bros. C'mon. Why are you fighting?" Crush Rush /

If you go to Bernie Sanders's website right now, it says, in huge letters: "The political revolution continues." On the page where you can Pledge to Continue the Political Revolution, the first sentence is: "This movement of ours—this political revolution—must continue." But, uh, revolutions are always messier than expected, and there's currently a revolution within Bernie Sanders's campaign for revolution.

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