Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottlePlease join us tonight for the start of fall and some politics under the influence at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday evening at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. The starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks show up before that for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle? Check out another Washington state DL over the next week. The Tri-Cities chapter also meets tonight and every Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the Bellingham and Burien chapters meet. And on Thursday, the Woodinville chapter meets.

With 203 chapters of Living Liberally, including seventeen in Washington state, three in Oregon and three in Idaho, chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.

Yet Another Incredibly Dishonest (and/or Incredibly Stupid) Seattle Times Editorial

Honestly, what a bunch of assholes:

Unfortunately for King County taxpayers, Metro’s focus on efficiency has also been like a teenager’s — wavering.

Until now.

Voters’ rejection of the $1.6 billion, 10-year King County Proposition 1 in April has forced Metro to do some soul-searching. Rather than cutting 600,000 hours of bus service, as was initially threatened if Proposition 1 failed, Metro this week said the real number is now 400,000 hours, due, in part, to suddenly found efficiencies.

It’s amazing that after a few months of budget-scrubbing, the agency can find $123 million in savings within its two-year, $1.4 billion operating budget.

Are you fucking kidding me? Do they honestly believe that these sort of savings happen overnight? The bulk of the savings in this budget come from cost-cutting efforts that have been ongoing for years—and take years to pay off. Other savings aren’t really savings at all, but rather shifts from capital spending to operations—shifts that will accumulate their own costs over time.

But even with these savings, a 400,000-hour cut in bus service is nothing to celebrate when it comes at a time when we should be adding 500,000 hours of service just to meet current demand! That’s a 900,000-hour shortfall! Almost a third of total bus service!

This is an austerity budget, pure and simple, and it is strangling our region’s ability to sustain economic growth.

Fuck the Seattle Times editorial board and its dishonest efforts to dis any proposed tax increase at any time for any purpose under any circumstances.

Open Thread 9/22

- I don’t care. I’m still linking to those silly lists of cities when Seattle tops them.

– The Seattle Women’s Commission is looking for new people. If you know someone who would be good, including yourself the info is here. [h/t]

When I was growing up, I remember wondering why my grandma always insisted on walking and busing to get around, even when others were willing—would, in fact, have preferred—to give her a ride. Now, I am in her shoes: trying to explain that yes, I really do want to take the bus, and no, it’s not (usually) a hardship or an inconvenience; it is part of who I am.

A Feel Good War

– A 15 cent minimum wage increase is better than nothing, Oregon. Still not great.

– Being the specific type of nerd I am, I’m surprised it took me as long as it did to check out the Pink Elephant’s Graveyard podcast, the K Records podcast. Quite great if you’re into that sort of thing.

HA Bible Study: Exodus 32:24-29

Exodus 32:24-29
Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.

Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’ ” The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”


Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Maddow: New polls show mid-term elections tilting toward Democrats.

White House: West Wing Week.

Scotland Votes to Remain in UK:

Ann Telnaes: Hillary’s back.

Thom: GOPer admits that Obamacare is working.

Mental Floss: 35 jobs that no longer exist.

Drums of War:

James Rustad: What would Richard Nixon Do?

WaPo: Rick Perry 2.0.

Debate: Rand Paul v. Rand Paul.:

Thom: The Good, The Bad, and The Very, Very Ugly.

Bush League:

Bill Maher’s dirty little secret.

Thom: Both the evangelical movement and ISIS are anti-evolution extremists.

Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot:

Sam Seder: School privatization leads to rats and feces.

Maddow: Mid-term troubles. Republicans panic as Senate candidates slip.

Liberal Viewer: James Baker admits George W Bush caused chaos in Middle East.


Sam Seder: Chris Hayes BUSTED for un-PC talk.

Thom with more Good, Bad, and Very, Very Ugly.

“No Evidence of Wrongdoing”:

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

Less Terrible

Well, good news.

Yesterday Metro announced a series of new savings that will reduce the overall service cut from 550,000 annual service hours to 400,000, or about 11%.

That’s still going to be a tough hit. It also won’t save the cuts coming later this month. But that combined with if Seattle votes yes on Prop 1 in November maybe within Seattle city limits, we’ll still be able to get around OK. And it’s sad that OK in the places we need it most is the best we can hope for, but I guess that’s what happens when the voters reject transit.

In the long run, trying to fill the gap with more and more concessions from transit workers is not going to work. The more you go the less fat there is to cut. These big important things are expensive and we can’t do them on the cheap. If we want good transit, we have to pay for good transit.

Seattle Times Figured Voters Didn’t Need to Know About KC Council Member Reagan Dunn’s Drinking Problem. You Know, Because.

I genuinely feel sorry for Republican King County Council member Reagan Dunn. He’s had a couple tough years. His political ambitions suffered a major blow when he lost his race for Attorney General. He’s recently divorced with two young children, and that totally sucks. And now we learn of his struggle with alcohol addiction and his guilty plea to a drunk driving charge.

I feel for him. And I sincerely hope he manages to stay dry and get everything but his political ambitions back on track. But I gotta say, I’m pretty stunned by this admission from the Seattle Times:

In discussing the plea, Dunn said he had voluntarily completed an inpatient alcohol-treatment program in the Los Angeles area in 2011.

(The Times learned of the treatment just before the August 2013 primary race for his seat, but after investigating it chose not to publish the information because it was two years old, Dunn had not committed a crime and there was no evidence that alcohol was affecting his job.)

So, I’ve got two problems with that decision. First, I think it’s just plain wrong. Voters deserved to know that Dunn had an alcohol problem so severe that it drove him to seek treatment (and anybody who has dealt with alcoholism and/or alcoholics knows how severe the problem must get before an alcoholic is generally willing to take that step). Maybe there was no evidence that Dunn had committed a crime or that his drinking was affecting his job, but drunks with cars tend to drive drunk. They just usually don’t get caught. And it’s hard to believe that an addiction so severe that it drove Dunn to seek treatment, hadn’t affected his job. So yeah, voters deserved to know.

And I gotta wonder if the editors would have been so protective had they possessed such devastating information about Dunn’s Democratic opponent?

But my second problem is: Who the fuck do they think they are to take it upon themselves to make this decision in the first place? The only daily newspaper in town, that’s who. And so they play the role of gatekeeper, however poorly, just because they can.

I’ve raked my fair share of mud over the years. And I don’t always enjoy it. But this was legitimate news, goddammit, and as a newspaper, the Seattle Times had an obligation to report it.

The Post-Trickle Down Era

Looks like my new boss’s “middle out” message is beginning to gain traction with political candidates:

That’s former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, Jason Carter, running for governor of Georgia: “The best way to have a strong economy is to have middle class people with money in their pockets.”

And the other day, an AP news report made this matter of fact statement: “That report ties the slowed [sales tax revenue] growth to rising income inequality, which appears to stunt overall economic growth.”

This is the new conventional wisdom (as it should be) that income inequality is bad for the economy. Welcome to the dawning of the post-Trickle Down era.

Open Thread 9-18-2014

- Even when Rand Paul is probably right on policy and making fun of John McCain, he’s still such a problem.

– It was pretty nice out last week, but still no surprise that better biking infrastructure brings out more bikes.

You cannot defend abusing a child just because you like to cosplay on Sundays and eat yourself into a nacho coma

We have the power to shape our online experiences, and this is my vote for yours to be beautiful. Have a wonderful day.

– Wait, am I going to have to start reading GQ?

70 years is pretty great.

– Random fact that I learned from too much Wikipeding instead of actually writing: Ambrose Bierce’s middle name was Gwinnett.

Seattle Times Labels Imaginary Seattle Municipal Broadband Network a “Failure”

There goes the Seattle Times editorial board just making shit up again:

As efforts to develop publicly owned networks have failed, competition between multiple providers seems the best way to improve service.

Um, what effort to develop publicly owned networks? We’ve had no effort here in Seattle. There was an effort in Tacoma, and that’s been up and running and providing reliable service for years. And recent municipal broadband networks using more advanced technologies have proven even more successful—for example, the affordable gigabit Internet the residents of Chattanooga now enjoy.

But while there has certainly been chatter about developing a municipal broadband network here in Seattle, and there have been a couple of studies over the years, there has been no actual effort to build one. None. Zero. Zilch. So please, stop lying to your readers, Seattle Times, in defense your inflexible pro-corporate/anti-government ideology.

Open Thread 9/16

- On the one hand, you have to admire the audacity of street dealers trying to poach pot shops. On the other hand, I’d think that would be the worst place to sell. Maybe it’s like when there’s a Wendy’s next to a Burger King? Also, don’t threaten people.

How Not to Manage Parking

– A couple different takes on Danny Westneat not having a car for a little while. You can read the column here, but there isn’t much to add.

– I’m glad that Maria Cantwell is leading the charge to get the Washington NFL team to change their name.

– Waiting periods for abortion really are just calling women uninformed about their own bodies.

The guide to e-holes

New Report: Over-Dependence on Sales Tax Is Stunting Washington’s Economic Growth

If the fairness issue can’t move the serious people to start the conversation on tax restructuring (and Washington State does have the most regressive tax structure in the nation), perhaps the negative economic impact of our current tax structure will?

Washington is among the states that depend most heavily on sales taxes for revenue, and a new report links a decline in growth of such funds to the rising concentration of wealth for the richest U.S. households.

The study by credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor’s shows a significant decline in annual average state tax growth among the 10 most sales tax-dependent states, which includes Washington.

That report ties the slowed growth to rising income inequality, which appears to stunt overall economic growth. S&P also links it to a slowdown in average yearly gains in state tax revenues.

Washington is in fact the most sales-tax-dependent state in the nation, and it is crippling our ability to make the human and physical infrastructure investments we need. Our state’s inability to fund McCleary? Blame the sales tax. King County Metro’s 400,000 hours of service cuts? Blame the sales tax.

Seriously, serious people, we need to add some sort of tax on income and/or wealth into the mix.

Drinking Liberally — Seattle


Please join us tonight for an evening of politics over a pint at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday evening at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. The starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks show up before that for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? Check out one of the other DL meetings this week. Tonight the Tri-Cities and Shelton chapters meet. The Lakewood chapter meets this Wednesday. And for Thursday, the Tacoma chapter meets.

With 204 chapters of Living Liberally, including seventeen in Washington state, three in Oregon and three in Idaho, chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.