Sunday, April 27, 2014

And a still-unchallenged Andrew Johnson breathes a sigh of relief

This person was almost Vice-President of the United States.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Seattle Times strikes again

Proposition 1, a measure to ward off severe cuts to Seattle's bus system, seems on its way to losing. If it does, real harm will be done to people who are dependent on the Metro bus system — jobs will be lost, traffic will get worse and lives will be made harder.

There's plenty of blame to go around — putting two items on the same proposition strikes me as a poor choice in this case — but I wanted to specifically mention the Seattle Times' disingenuous editorial.

The Times ran an editorial opposing Prop 1. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but will summarize by saying the Times encourages voters to oppose the proposition because Metro is ineffective and opaque.

The Seattle Times continues to recommend voters reject Proposition 1 because the transit agency still has much more to do to right an unsustainable cost structure and management practices. Transit is vital to the region’s economy and quality of life — King County can and should do better. 

So, the Times is basically saying people dependent on Metro should suffer, but hey — only until Metro fixes its cost structure and management practices in unspecified ways that satisfy the Times' editorial board!

This has been a trope with the editorial board for a while. It expresses sympathy to the goals of progressive or semi-progressive legislation. Then, after a gaudy display of tongue-clucking and finger-wagging, it opposes the legislation until vague and unreachable benchmarks are met first.

Gosh, the Seattle Times wants bus service that isn't something out of a Mad Max movie, but Metro has to fix all its problems first. The Seattle Times wants adequately funded libraries, but the levy set to fund those libraries is not to the board's liking.  The Times agrees workers should generally make more, but housing and transportation costs should be addressed instead.

Note that last one: The Times opposed a minimum-wage increase because transportation problems for low-income workers should be addressed, then effectively supported a cut in affordable transportation for low-income workers.

I like the Seattle Times. A lot of hard-working people are employed there, and a lot of fine journalism is done there. But its editorials turned into three-card monte a long time ago. Readers should stop looking for the winning card.