It’s Election Day today, though you wouldn’t know it by reading the front page of the Seattle Times, which devotes its biggest chunk of column-inch real estate to telling us that 784 people are waiting for a copy of Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns” at the Seattle Public Library. (That the library has long waitlists for popular books, would only come as news to folks who don’t use it.)
Of course, library books are paid for with taxes, you know, those things the Times constantly rails against, but which voters here seem to constantly pass because they like things like library books… taxes that are more likely to pass in high turnout elections. Which may explain why the Times is so hush-hush about Election Day (shhh… don’t let the voters know,) whereas the P-I fills two-thirds of its front page with an article on controversial Prop 1. Hmm… trains, cars, bikes and buses… you mean all those commuters depend on public investment? Who knew?
Yup, even low-impacting biking requires building infrastructure, and both papers agree that Seattle’s new 10-year Bycycle Master Plan is front page news, calling for 118 miles of new bike lanes and 19 miles of trails.
David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, which worked with the city to develop the plan, said it isn’t perfect but deserves an “A.”
Not perfect, huh? Then I fully expect Hiller and his friends at the Sierra Club to dress up as polar bears and picket the council. In that spirit, I’ve decided to vehemently oppose the plan because despite its goal of tripling bicycling in Seattle by 2017, it won’t do anything to relieve congestion. Of course, nothing short of The Rapture™ would relieve congestion, and in Seattle, even then not so much.
And speaking of The Rapture™, the WA state Republican House Caucus is beginning to look like some pre-Tribulation prophesy come true, with yet another member leaving his stunned colleagues behind screaming “Jesus Christ!” Rep. Jim Dunn (R-Frat House Row) reportedly made an “explicit” and “inappropriate” remark to a young female staffer, prompting House minority leader Richard DeBolt to take the unusual step of asking Democratic speaker Frank Chopp to strip Dunn of all committee assignments and travel reimbursements. Wow. That must have been some remark. A pitcher of beer and a muckraking post against the political enemy of your choice to the first of the 30 or so witnesses to forward me a direct quote.
In other signs that the End Times are upon us, supposed fringe candidate Ron Paul raised a GOP record $4.3 million dollars in online contributions in one day, despite the fact that he is, you know, Ron Paul. Or, I suppose, because he is Ron Paul, and thus the only Republican presidential candidate running on an anti-war platform. The media and political establishment can try to dismiss this if they want, but this is historic. I’m not sure that Paul even knows what the Internet is, but his supporters sure do, and his burgeoning grassroots campaign is a sign of things to come. One of these days a not-batshit-crazy longshot will discover the magic formula, and turn national politics upside down.
But for the moment, I’d just settle for some really high voter turnout. It’s Election Day, so put down the Times, walk away from your computer… and VOTE!