Slog PM: A Tree-Napping, A Tree-Song, An Amazon Tax

Comments

1

"Ma’am, the biggest way to combat climate change is a dense, walkable city. "

No, not really.

2

I don't know why amazon can't just calculate the trajectory needed to sling the recipient's desired item(s) from a gigantic centrally located catapult. Locate that thing in, like rural Oklahoma or whatever, and get up to the minute forecast data from NOAA and they should be able to hit most mainland targets even quicker and at a fraction of the cost.

3

The reason a lot of us are concerned about Bernie getting the nomination is not that we are somehow a bunch of rich bastards who are about to fuck off to the Caymans, but because we're concerned that he'll lose in November. I get that a significant part of the Democratic electorate is super stoked about the revolution and how Bernie will help us to eat the rich so that we can all have free everything. But I very seriously doubt that a majority of the country feels the same way.

The "socialist" tag has been the kiss of death in American politics since FDR left office and it does not appear to have changed now. All the polls I have seen say that Americans would feel better about voting for a gay man (which a big chunk of the electorate hates) or an atheist (which possibly a bigger but overlapping chunk hates) than for a socialist.

Never mind that even if he were elected, there is no way he'd get enough taxes through Congress to pay for the promises he's made, and all those who were all fired up are just going to be pissed that they are not getting free tuition/health care/beer/whatever.

The sooner we admit that there is not going to be a glorious revolution (and you have to admit that glorious revolutions rarely turn out for the best), the sooner we can get on to figuring out how to realistically get rid of the orangutan in the White House.

4

3: All that and Sanders will be 79 years old in September with a heart attack in the last year. Ironically, Reagan and Hillary were too “old”.

5

@3 @4 Yeah, but both Buttigieg and Bloomberg are really short. Plus Buttigieg is full of shit and Bloomberg made his money on Wall Street. I think Bernie stands a better chance than both those guys.

6

Sorry, I just can't let this slide. You said, "Sawant’s plan would raise 75% of the funds necessary to adequately address the homelessness crisis in King County." So what do you think it will take? I'd say before we go out and tax people $300 million dollars more, we examine the effectiveness of the $196 million we spent last year. It's stupid to throw hundreds of millions of dollars at a problem, when you have no track record of effectively spending previous investments. Sure, it's really easy to get mad at Amazon as this big evil entity. But let's do a better job of demonstrating that you actually have a plan that is proven to work before you go get more money. Because that $196 million is about three times more than people were saying we needed to spend about 5 years ago. I'm thinking that they want $300 million now, and in a few years they will want $600 million a year. We have proof of this—just not proof that they know what they are doing.

7

Ted's comment on 'Centrist Democrats Want
to Stop Sanders. They’re Not Sure Who Can':

"Please stop describing the ideal electable Democrat as 'moderate.'
Moderate really means 'status quo' or 'business as usual.'

Moderate means acquiescence to the longstanding Republican agenda of helping the wealthiest persons (individual and corporate) acquire more wealth, while leaving everyone else ever further behind. Income inequality is not a problem, but a feature of how they believe our economy should function.

Moderate means reinforcing a medical-industrial complex devoted to wealth care for its executives and shareholders. It calls health care for patients 'medical loss,' and we pay billions of dollars for ceaseless efforts to reduce it. People who get sick, die, or go bankrupt because they can't afford health care are mere externalities, cost burdens those CEOs have successfully shifted to someone else.

Moderate means dismantling regulation that burdens greed. Boeing can regulate itself, so the 737Max can start creating shareholder value as soon as possible. If people die because of corner-cutting, that's just another externality. Thoughts and prayers don't cost shareholders anything.

Moderate means continuing to pollute the planet, so that the executives and shareholders of extractive industries can expand their wealth until there is no more to plunder.

Moderate is what big-money donors want in a candidate, as it means protecting and serving their interests. But based on 2016 and 2018, voters want something better for them than 'moderate.'" --Ted, from CA, 3pm today

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/us/politics/democrats-new-hampshire-sanders.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage#commentsContainer

8

One more comment on "Centrist Democrats Want
to Stop Sanders. They’re Not Sure Who Can":

"The authors of this piece go to some pains to point out that although Bernie Sanders WON the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, the vote totals of several Democratic candidates who LOST in New Hampshire, when taken together, are greater than his vote total.

This is a bit like saying that although the Yankees won the National League East in 2019, that the total wins of the Rays, Red Sox, and Blue Jays. when taken together, exceed the number of wins by the Yankees.

Sanders won, they lost."

9

@8 The real question is how many NH primary winners have gone on to get the nomination? And the follow-up question is how many have gone on to be president? Just looking at the most recent history, Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama but clearly did not get the nomination or become president. Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton but clearly did not get the nomination or become president. I am pissed right now because I can't find it after reading it somewhere yesterday, but it was a clear breakdown of every candidate (both parties) that won the NH primary and only a few, a handful at most, ever became president.

10

@9 -- "... of every candidate (both parties) that won the NH primary and only a few, a handful at most, ever became president."

History can be a predictor
but it's the Record Turnout
that's got Centrists concerned...

It's gonna take A Movement to get
Bernie AND a Democratic Senate and House
and if Sanders doesn't Inspire one, there won't be one.

Nevada is a better reflection of America today.
If the turnout in Nevada is strong, Bernie's Campaign
may Snowball beyond what even the politically-corrupt
'Democratic' National Committee can control ...

That'll leave it up to far right wing Shenanigans to decide it.
And Repubs're really really really Good at Shenanigans.
They gotta be -- they SUCK otherwise.

Which reminds me:
trump won New Hampshire.

11

Oh, but Ill Douche was already "prez."
So, nevermind....

12

trump won NH primary in 2016.
So maybe that means it's Bernie Time.

13

I find it distressing that so many people are either sufficiently stupid or sufficiently cynical to portray a President Sanders administration as a slide into Socialism. As my high school Civics teacher told us "The President proposes, but Congress disposes". Just like now with trump's budget which (thankfully) is dead on arrival.

If Senator Sanders gets the nomination and wins the election, we would at least have a president who would propose things like universal healthcare, making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, and curbing the wealth inequality. Couldn't we at least talk about it?

14

@13: What so terrible about wealth inequality anyway? Never bothered me, even when I was unemployed.

15

Seattle Tree preservation causes housing prices to go up in Seattle. Tree preservation is a very handy way to limit the development of low income or special needs housing. It preserves a few trees in a few scattered lots in Seattle which will never be good for real habitat, causing developers to bulldoze whole forests or pave whole farms out in the edge of the urban sprawl.

16

@15: Provided those whose forests and whole farms become available for sale contingent on the saving of urban trees.

17

The problem is not wealth inequality — that is a necessary feature of our economy — but the extreme, ever-growing gap between the wealthiest and the poorest that is hollowing out our middle class. When wealth is distributed more equitably it circulates more freely than when we allow it to concentrate in the hands of already-rich people, because they are more apt to sequester their money.

18

@14 for one, every macro analysis that's ever been done has clearly shown that more wealth equality in generally free societies correlates with better health, less violence, and more happiness and contentment, less hate. The relationship appears to be causal.

So there's that.

Or put in different terms, around when you were born the USA had the same GINI index as Canada does now. Our level of wealth equality was about the same as Canada is now. Today the US has essentially the same GINI index as Mexico. Which do you think is a better place to live?

19

To answer my own question, I'd prefer to be a middle-class Canadian over being a wealthy Mexican 7 days a week and if I had to live in that country.

20

@14
Per Forbes (5/22/2019) article CEO pay was 261 x average worker in 2018 in US (also see economic policy institute).
Per Canada, and most western European nations, the ratio is around 150 to 160.
It's the extreme wealth gap in the US that's in question.
A marginal billion dollars means little to a Bezos or Bill Gates, but has enormous effect anywhere else.

21

Actually the Forbes article showed a 361 difference, not 261.
Other sites, like Ststista showed a smaller ratio - about 265 for US CEO pay vs average worker - but still well above Canada or European nations.

22

Didn't expect the Stranger to be so anti-tree.

23

The aerial fulfillment center is actually a fleet of hydrogen filled zeppelins that our robot overlords will use to drop flaming trees onto Seattle.

The name of the fleet will be the First Screaming Trees Air Wing.

24

Raindrop dear, you're a compliant sort. The Little Mary Sunshine of Our Slog.

Wealth inequality leads to societal collapse and violence. It's happened countless times through history. It very well may happen here, and you wouldn't want violence, would you?

25

@3 all most every one of your "reasons" range from hyperbolic nonsense to grossly uninformed. The right has been painting EVERYTHING as socialism. The ACA, which was written by the fucking by for-profit health insurance lobbyists was "socialism." Well. Golly. I guess we just give up socialist post offices and police and roads next. Because that's where your stupid argument goes.

So. Let's say Sanders does get elected. If he wins it will be with an electoral victory AND a popular victory. Would you rather have a strong negotiating position or a weak one? Would you rather have Biden who goes to congress on his knees and still gets nothing? Or someone who tries to get what we need and MAYBE gets nothing?

When you go ask for a raise, assuming you are employed unlike 80% of the Slog loser trolls, do you just look at your feet and beg for the minimum raise? Or, do you ask for as much as you can and negotiate from there?

So what if we don't get a revolution. At least we'll get something. We've been electing democrats afraid to use their power. Afraid to actually even try. And that's what you're asking. Is to continue begging fro scraps. Fuck that. And fuck you AND your cowardice.

But aside from all that we have real problems to solve. Serious problems. Healthcare and Climate change for two. The only two candidates who have remotely addressed these problems have been Sanders and Warren. The rest just kind of shrug and offer platitudes we know will not work.

I'll vote for a sack of pennies with a D on it at this point. But I'd like one with a spine.

"All that and Sanders will be 79 years old in September"

Trump, Warren, Biden, and Bloomberg are all in their 70's. Trumps health is clearly poor. He's morbidly obese and likely suffering from dementia. Age is not a valid argument this election.

26

Companies get bigger and the CEO has more responsibility especially when major companies are global. Its like comparing McDonalds CEO to the guy that own Dicks.

27

@25 -- Very well put.
Thank you.

28

Updating the Seattle Tree ordinance is not going to stop housing being built. It is going to help keep the city more livable however. It doesn't stop developers removing trees in the building footprint. It urges more trees be saved outside the footprint by saying if they are removed they have to be replanted, either on site or pay the city a fee to replant the tree removed. The city can then plant the tree elsewhere like in South Seattle where there are fewer trees. This helps to deal with the race and social justice issue of lack of trees in certain areas. Right now trees are removed by developers and there is no replacement happening