Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We Did It Cheaply

One big mistake many American cities made too accommodate the car was to knock down buildings and build surface parking lots, and then later just surround any new building with giant surface parking lots (YMMV depending on precisely which city we're talking about). It isn't as if cities in Yurp didn't have to accommodate cars too, even if they didn't always do it quite as eagerly. A fairly standard feature of European cities are giant municipal underground parking lots. They're often built under big plazas and other attractions. They're neatly tucked away, with signs generously sprinkled around with displays informing you which lots have available spaces.

We spent a lot of money on automobile-related program activities, but we mostly screwed up the last step. Giant underground lots are expensive.

Bus Wankers

I don't know enough about Seattle politics or transportation, but service cuts are going to hurt and increase congestion.

Advanced Trolling

Controversy Unleashed

Lead story in the hometown paper.

Followed by a moose controversy.

There has been good Obamacare coverage. Tailor-made subject for local newspapers--anecdotal stories about people helped by the program.  Early on, of course, stories about people having trouble signing up. And, lately, coverage of Medicaid expansion, up to the governor's veto.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Late Night

Rock on.

Evening Thread


Younger Than Reagan '80

Not sure I'll ever get over Paul Begala (who I think is actually a good guy) playing nice with Erick son of Erick.

The Final Days Of Colbert Nation

I might be over-interpreting, but since the Letterman gig announcement I think he's been sticking the knife in just a little bit deeper and having fun doing it.

Generation Lead

A suggestion that Kevin (or somebody) should look specifically at domestic violence. That's probably a tough one as changing cultural norms (sadly) are going to impact actual data on that, but my take is that it isn't so much that lead turned people into "criminals," it's that it turned them into violence-prone assholes. Obviously violence is generally a criminal act and domestic violence is hopefully treated as a criminal act, but I guess the point I'm trying to make is that relative to the frequency other violent crimes it's probably a pretty direct measure of "violence-prone assholeness."

I Feel Fine

I'm weirdly an optimist about climate change, or specifically the degree to which it will usher in an era of global devastation. Don't get me wrong, I think it'll be serious and costly, but I also think the time frames generally given give us time to adapt. It's hard to resettle coastal city inhabitants in a 10 year time frame, it's less hard to do so in a 50 year time frame.

My optimism is only relative, of course, and I in no way claim it's correct or that I think we shouldn't be doing something about the issue.

The Worst Person In The World

Fred Hiatt.

Wealthy White People From Good Backgrounds Are Never Involved In Crime

And suburban high school students from good schools never take drugs! This WaPo article is a parody of the genre.

They called the operation the “Main Line take over project.” In terms of intricacy and ambition, it appears more suited for the business pages than the crime blotter.


In all, they look like everyday, if wealthy, teens and 20-somethings — perhaps characters out of “The Social Network,” the movie about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s birth. Not the sort to be caught with what investigators say they found: eight pounds of marijuana, 23 grams of cocaine, 11 grams of ecstasy, three grams of hash oil, $11,000 in cash, two AR-15 rifles, one handgun and loads of ammo.


“This is a huge story because of the prestige of the schools involved,” one of Brooks’s friends, who requested anonymity, told The Washington Post. “It’s not like this is the first time there has been a drug bust. It’s the uniqueness of the perpetrators.”


“The shoulder injury put him down the wrong path,” said the friend, who visited with Brooks at a January party after Brooks had learned prosecutors were investigating him. “His friends were off at college, and he was chilling at home and got bored. The idle mind is a dangerous one.”

And of course newspaper commenters are suddenly sympathetic.

Shit Is Fucked Up And Bullshit

It's a total mystery why people don't buy cars, houses, fancy clothes, or play golf anymore.
For students who borrow on the private market to pay for school, the death of a parent can come with an unexpected, added blow, a federal watchdog warns. Even borrowers who have good payment records can face sudden demands for full, early repayment of those loans, and can be forced into default.



Monday, April 21, 2014

And In The End

Trial balloons are floated to see who tries to pop them, but we can hope.

Whatever Pisses Off Liberals

The thing is, the reverse isn't true. I really don't see liberals supporting or opposing things because they imagine it'll piss off conservatives. Oh, sure, we all have a good laugh when Rusty freaks out about something, but I don't think any of us ever think,
"Increased MPG standards will sure piss off Limbaugh! Let's vote for that!"

It's somewhat unrelated, but I'm reminded of when the Last Honest Man In Washington, Joe Lieberman, briefly floated Medicare buy-in at 55 as a kind of compromise for the public option in the ACA. I pleaded with everyone I knew to STFU about it, because of course liberals would have taken that deal. I knew that the instant the greatest man who ever lived got wind of the fact that liberals would actually love that deal he'd back off supporting it, because liberals. And he did.

Afternoon Thread


It isn't too surprising that only "suckers" have been showing up for jury duty all this time, though I'm surprised that there aren't more suckers.

Of course I think people should report for jury duty when it's asked, though I admit I'm not entirely sure what the consequences for not reporting should be.