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Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Saturday Morning News

Posted by on Sat, Jan 4, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Workers Concede Benefits to Profit-Hungry Corporation: Late last night, the Boeing machinists union approved a slightly less worse contract extension than what the company had previously offered, meaning the 777X plane assembly line is here to stay in Puget Sound.

The Skinny on Bertha: Long story short, it's a catastrophuck. Here's an idea: Cancel the tunnel.

Seattle, We Must Do This: Mexico City's anti-graffiti unit has transformed into a graffiti unit, ferrying artists around to make art in public spaces instead of chasing down and jailing them.

$15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Takes Two Strides Forward: Mayor Murray (Mayor Ed has a nice ring to it, actually) issued an executive order raising wages for some city employees, while Kshama Sawant praised the move and launched

Ugh. Private Prison Corporations: Fuckers. The state of Idaho, after years of documented mismanagement and abuses, is finally taking over a prison south of Boise from Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison firm in the country. Also, Thurgood Marshall's son is on CCA's board. Go figure.

While We Celebrated the Holidays: Al-Qaeda went and took over Fallujah, Iraq, where the US military once used white phosphorous and cluster munitions. For what?

Lawsuit Says Man Was Jailed Over a Turn Signal: A Skagit Valley man is suing the Border Patrol after what he says was a routine traffic stop turned into a ten-week stint in an immigration detention center, during which he lost his job.

Bad to Worse in Egypt: Egypt's military coupsters declared the popular Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, and now they're killing protesters who identify with the Brotherhood.

Bang: The Obama administration inches forward with gun control reforms.

Why Did They Mummify His Dick? Religion!


Comments (21) RSS

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Pope Peabrain 1
To all the proponents of the boondoggle tunnel project, I dip my cookie in your tears.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 4, 2014 at 8:21 AM · Report this
Right, cancel the entire tunnel project because the digger encountered the casing of a groundwater monitoring well?
Some people don't get out much.
Posted by Toe Tag on January 4, 2014 at 8:24 AM · Report this
Banna 3
We haven't solved joblessness, better cancel the entire unemployment program.
Posted by Banna on January 4, 2014 at 8:48 AM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 4
If you experience an erection lasting more than 400 years, call a doctor immediately.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on January 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 5
God bless the machinists and God bless Boeing.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on January 4, 2014 at 8:51 AM · Report this
McGinn for Mayor in 2017.
Campaign slogan: "I told you bitches so!"
Posted by DOUG. on January 4, 2014 at 8:53 AM · Report this
What? No Gun Nuts, so far?

Frothing over the possibility their insanity might keep them from their phallic toys?
Posted by judybrowni on January 4, 2014 at 8:56 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 8
@7, no, it's basically a good idea, but it needs to be done correctly. As Obamacare has amply demonstrated, a good idea can still be a disaster. The devil is in the details. I think most of us have adopted a "wait and see" stance until those details are fully known.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on January 4, 2014 at 9:19 AM · Report this
cressona 9
I'm reminded of the great economist John Maynard Keynes' thought experiment that, during a depression, a make-work project consisting entirely of people digging holes and then filling them back up would work just fine as a form of economic stimulus.

I dare say digging the Alaskan Way tunnel hole as far as we've dug it, leaving Big Bertha just stuck there, and then filling it back up would deliver 75% of the civic value of a completed tunnel project. The great value of the tunnel project is restoring, reconnecting, and re-imagining Seattle's waterfront after the anachronistic scourge that was the viaduct. (One could make the case that the surface-level thoroughfare going up in its place will be too big and too fast not to continue to be a barrier to the waterfront.)

The simple fact we're not just tearing down the viaduct and not replacing it with any highway is a testament to the reality that, in our representative democracy, you can't take anything away from anybody at any time, no matter how ill-conceived and undeserved and unsustainable that something was to begin with.
Posted by cressona on January 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 10
@8The ACA is a resounding success. (Remember the Challenger explosion? That was a disaster. Even that didn't stop the shuttle program.)
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM · Report this
cressona 11
In my previous comment @9, I kinda sympathized with the sentiment expressed by The Seattle Star (BTW, never heard of 'em before this) to just cancel the tunnel project now. It's one thing to be sympathetic to an idea; it's another thing to support it. And really, I'm totally opposed to cancelling this project now.

There is some tangible economic and practical benefit to having a tolled highway cutting north-south through the hourglass of downtown Seattle.

The fact that the highway will be tolled also establishes another precedent for sane transportation management. The fact that we have made freeways free has created a "tragedy of the commons" that doesn't help anybody other than traffic jam fetishists.

And relative to just about any other highway project WashDOT could spend its gas-tax dollars on, this project does far less damage to the environment and to the state's long-term economic viability. Think I-405 expansion or some of the freeways they wanted to build into the exurbs. Call me cynical, but WashDOT could do worse things than bury our tax dollars in this (Keynesian) pit.

One last point. As a transit support, there's a reason I dearly want to see this tunnel project come in on budget, even if it's not a transit project. Because the only way you're going to do light rail to Ballard and possibly West Seattle and points beyond--and do it right--is to build a second north-south transit tunnel through downtown, somewhere between the existing bus tunnel and the new highway tunnel. See Seattle Subway. Seeing the SR-99 tunnel project turn into a massive boondoggle isn't exactly going to whet our region's voters appetites for yet another tunnel project, even though that other tunnel project may be an infinitely better idea, environmentally and economically.
Posted by cressona on January 4, 2014 at 9:42 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 12
how about we panic AFTER they burn through the 100 million in contingency and the 40 million in repair funds?
Posted by Max Solomon on January 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 13
@12 Chump change.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 4, 2014 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Fnarf 14
Not a word here or on Lineout about the passing of the great Phil Everly, who with his brother Don created a new kind of vocal harmony sound (liberally flavored with the Delmore Brothers, but new) that is a frequently ignored component of the singing of The Beatles and other sixties and seventies pop revolutionaries? He was 74. He was a giant of pop. The Everlys deserve another listen, not just for their early chart hits but for their frequently very interesting later efforts, trying to chase trends perhaps, but always creating a magic sound -- check out their 1967 LP "The Everly Brothers Sing", with its fabulous yearning light-psych invocation of every Stranger writer's favorite healing herb, "Mary Jane". Beautiful. Here's Richie Unterberger's take:…

Here's "Mary Jane":…
Posted by Fnarf on January 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM · Report this
See, if Saddam Hussein were around, none of this Al Qaeda-in-Iraq stuff would be happening.

The Everly Brothers were legends, absolutely. Their classic songs sound great even to the recent generations. You can't ask more from an artist than stuff that stands the test of time.
Posted by floater on January 4, 2014 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 16
@13: you're saying that the contingency percentage in the contract is inadequate? what should it have been?
Posted by Max Solomon on January 4, 2014 at 11:22 AM · Report this
MrBaker 17
The state was ultimately responsible for leaving the pipe. They are ultimately responsible for its removal, and the cost of its removal.

This is Seattle's opportunity to put the costs of the pipe removal, and ultimately any cost overrun, on the state where it belongs, through legal action.

Once the state puts its right of way below ground its right and authority of what we choose to do on the surface is diminished. I'm always puzzled by people that are proponents of having a state highway cutting through the city on its surface, or on stilts. The only way to actually get rid of that section of the state's highway is to have them bury it.
Their leaving a pipe behind allows the city to force the state to admit that it is responsible for all cost for its highway. The city has a vehicle for forcing this point now, rather than an abstract argument later.

The only way for the state to add capacity after it is built is with transit.
Posted by MrBaker on January 4, 2014 at 11:36 AM · Report this
MrBaker 18
@ 12, 13, 16, the cost of removing the pipe should not be paid for with funds from the project. The state was responsible for removing the pipe and the cost of doing so back in 2002. They were negligent. The city, should force the state to eat that cost with funds separately from the current project.

The city might as well sue the state now, and force the cost issue back on the state now.
Posted by MrBaker on January 4, 2014 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 19
@16 No, I'm saying there never should have been a dig in the first place because anybody with a brain could see this was going to cost so much money, it would be impossible.
The Boston big dig was a clear warning this is a concoction of money hungry construction companies.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 20
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 4, 2014 at 2:33 PM · Report this
I bet Mexico City also happens to have graffiti artists who can do more than tag unintelligible squiggles. The ones we have here are more akin to stray dogs marking their territory than anything resembling art.
Posted by treehugger on January 5, 2014 at 8:10 AM · Report this

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