Thursday, January 29, 2015

Money Well Spent

Just a reminder that the LA-SF SUPERTRAIN is some crazy unaffordable hippie plan.
The threats that Afghan and American troops face in Afghanistan remain all too real. But it strains credulity to believe that insurgents would become more proficient fighters by poring over lengthy inspector general reports about an increasingly forgotten war. Classifying that information unreasonably prevents American taxpayers from drawing informed conclusions about the returns on a $107.5 billion reconstruction investment that, adjusted for inflation, has surpassed the price tag of the Marshall Plan.


So blogging might be extra sucky today.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Late Night

Rock on.

Welcome To The Club

I always thought Tim Ryan was kind of full of shit about his anti-abortion stance, though I thought that, unlike some people, he was full of shit in a sort of good way. He tried doing the "can't we find common ground" schtick by getting pro-life movement members to get on board with things which would reduce (the need for) abortions, instead of just trying to criminalize it. Then he figured out they were actually just anti-sex weirdos who were also against contraception. Glad to see he's totally repudiated his former public position.

He's on the very short list of "members of Congress I've had a drink with." Seemed to be nice enough.


I have an odd fondness for brutalism and also agree with the idea that there's some value in preserving representative bits of architecture, even horrible bits, from all eras, but I'm really not seeing the masterpiece in this one...


I certainly can relate to the notion that blogging (mostly) all day every day is stressful. Yes it's a privileged and easy life for the most part, but it still has its own unique stresses that take their toll. As soon as I hit the publish button, my next thought is "ok, what do I post about next..." And running this blog isn't just about my brilliant thoughts or mad aggregation skills, it's also about trying to gently manage a (fortunately mostly well-behaved) community. This thing is running even when I sleep.

Tear Down This Garage

They were supposed to be saviors of downtown, drawing people by offering parking as plentiful as at any suburban shopping mall.

But decades after cities tore down buildings and replaced them with parking structures, communities across the country are demolishing the garages and putting up buildings again, confident that more people will be drawn to lively offices, hotels and housing.

We can compete with the suburbs by trying to be like them but worse (in the sense of not being able to compete with their specific advantages) was never a good plan.

Bloggers Begin

Glennzilla has a good piece.

I usually don't scream quite as loudly as I used to, because I don't have to. Back in the early days you had to make noise to be heard. Now that the internet is much more all linked up, one doesn't have to be quite as noisy. If you have a good point you can probably get an audience for it. I'm not making an internet-as-meritocracy argument, I'm simply saying that stuff can be linked and relinked and twittered and facebooked in a way which didn't happen back in the "old days."

The Great Grift

It's amazing that CNN never gave this man a job. Oh, wait...

Soak The Rich

Sometimes I want to be in the room at the White House when they discuss these things. Yes the cost of this tax benefit (in terms of lost revenue) is mostly due to relatively wealthy people benefiting from it, though it matters more to the less wealthy people who benefit from it. So, instead, increase the top tax bracket rate by one percentage point. Lower the rest by one percentage point (someone else can do The Math to make this work).

Morning Thread

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Late Night

Rock amongst yourselves.

Wanker of the Day

Jon Chait.

America's Worst Humans

Mike Huckabee.

Love Affairs

One of the goofier unchallenged phrases is "American love affair with cars." Cars are useful things! We built infrastructure to accommodate them, and then places that required them. People in other countries have cars too! They also, sometimes to a lesser extent, built infrastructure to accommodate them and places that required them.

Afternoon Thread


The Great Grift

I'm not going to claim that everyone working in dem-leaning politics is a saint. We have our own mercenaries and grifters. But the Great Grift of conservative politics is quite stunning in its scope.

Wanker of the Day

Andrew Cuomo