Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Fantasies of Cuban exiles getting their property back should have ended decades ago, so our stupid treatment of Cuba was basically "we'll be mean...just because." We didn't bring down Castro and we contributed to the economic woes of the population, certainly after the fall of the Soviet Union. Still we'll get politicians bleating about our arbitrary human rights concerns because really we just cared deeply about the poor people of Cuba and their treatment by the government because that's always what motivates our policies.
by Atrios at 12:08
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
While basically a local story, my beloved readers might remember Philly's recent gaybashing case, in which a bunch of (presumably) drunk suburban yahoos out for the night in the urban theme park decided that their night wouldn't be complete without (allegedly) beating the crap out of someone.
Going to trial.
Going to trial.
by Atrios at 15:09
Dave Roberts explains it well.
In short: There is no plan to resolve the dispute over cost overruns, which are ubiquitous on projects like this; at $4.2 billion, it’s the most expensive transportation project in state history. The tunnel will have no exits — no ingress or egress — throughout the entire downtown core (which makes the support of downtown businesses all the more mystifying). It won’t allow transit, only cars. It will be tolled, highly enough, by the state’s own estimates, to drive nearly half its traffic onto the aforementioned side streets. It will be a precarious engineering feat, the widest deep-bore tunnel in history, digging right between a) Puget Sound and b) the oldest part of Seattle, with vulnerable buildings and God-knows-what buried infrastructure. Also: Pollution. Climate change. It’s the 21st f’ing century. On and on. People said all this and more, in real time, to no avail.
by Atrios at 11:21
The charter system (#notallcharters) is a license to steal.
The district is concerned that ASPIRA is improperly shuffling money around those various subsidiaries and the parent organization. Thum said the district has many questions about the "management agreements" that guide the way money flows among these subsidiaries.
ASPIRA of Pennsylvania "can dictate the content of those agreements, and the amount of money that flows to ASPIRA, and then what they do with that money," Thum said. "And we have concerns about how much money is being sent up to ASPIRA, and then our ability to effectively know what they do with those dollars."
In a letter sent to ASPIRA officials last July, the charter office's Peng Chao spelled out some of the district's concerns in detail. The five charters "cannot be operated as if they are subsidiaries," he wrote. The "intercompany" payments between schools are "not a permissible use of charter school funds," and the practice of using one school to guarantee a bank loan for another school is likewise "not permissible," he wrote.
by Atrios at 11:06
Replacing a water main isn't that big of a deal, but what's causing it is...
In another snafu for the Highway 99 tunnel project, Seattle utility managers said Monday that soil settlement near the job site may force them to dig up First Avenue South and replace a water main at state expense.
The 16-inch-diameter line moves water through downtown along First Avenue South, where survey readings by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) showed the soil settled as much as 1.4 inches in November.
by Atrios at 10:01