Archive for category Politics

Sam Adams Policies are anti-family

Reading this editorial I realized one thing:  Sam Adams doesn’t live a life with kids.  Of course, I already knew that given the public airing of his dirty laundry, but having been a vicitim of these “Green Streets” projects, it is pretty clear to me.  We live off of Hawthorne in a relatively busy neighborhood, which tends to have a lot of families with kids.  One common element with those  families is that they all have to drive their kids to various activities and locations.  Biking is really not an option, most of the destination are spread throughout Southeast Portland, and carrying twenty pounds of baseball gear on a bike just isn’t a good idea.   As a result of this need to drive, we have cars.  Cars have to be parked somewhere.  One of the charms of the neighborhood is that many of the houses don’t have driveways.  They didn’t really need them when the houses were built, so people park their cars on the street.  In addition, we have had two condos constructed in our neighborhood in the last five years.  One of them has three offstreet parking places for the twelve units, and the other has no offstreet parking for the twenty-four units.  The City’s policy is that since the condos were built within 100 feet of a bus stop, they don’t require offstreet parking.  The unfortunate thing is that every single person that has moved into the 24 unit condo has two cars.  The available parking in the neighborhood has disappeared.  These condos are a direct push for “high density housing”, which is another Adams policy of note. 

Back to the “Green Streets” project:  The parking study for it was done prior to the construction of the condos.  These curb extensions eat up many of the preexisting parking spaces, which makes the parking all the worse.  In the early stages of the project, various families in the neighborhood tried to point this out to the group in charge of the project.  They made small allowances, but nothing significant.   In personal experience my family has  lost two parking spaces in front of our house.  For what?  The argument is that it reduces stormwater backup, and provides filtering.  Well, with yesterday’s rain, ALL of these additions  in our neighborhood were full of water by 7 AM, and our street was  flooded.  We had a little over an inch of rain yesterday in our neighborhood according to my weather station.  Big help they were. 

His argument in the editorial is that these extensions are going to somehow make things safer to bicycles.  Given that our street is barely wide enough for one lane of traffic with cars parked on both sides of the street, all the extensions do is force the bikes into the middle of the street.  How does that make anything safer?  It does slow traffic down a lot.  Several times a day,  we have people backing up a half a block to the intersection because there is only enough room for one car on the street at a time.  Prior to the condos, and green streets project, there were often room for two at a time.

The city also has the nerve to expect that the home owners are going to make efforts to clean and maintain these curb extensions.  If by “clean and maintain”, they really mean “ignore”, then I’m all for it.

Back to my initial premise:  These projects are anti-family.  Increased traffic in our neighborhood due to high density housing makes it dangerous for kids to play outside,  no parking near our homes makes it difficult to deal with children (ever had to carry your groceries an extra block in the rain from your car while managing a 3-year old?),  and storm water facilities that don’t really work and just compound the traffic problem.


An odd similiarity…

A coworker and I made an observation that there is a behavior pattern that is similar in both three-year-olds and members of Congress:

1. Choose a meaningless event that has recently occurred
2. Take the opposite position of whomever talked last
3. Throw a tantrum

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Eliminate Executive Restrooms

I have heard people say that CEO compensation isn’t really out of balance with their responsibilities.  Really?  Take a typical S&P 500 CEO.  If they earn 1.5 million in salary, that is equivalent to 1,500,000/52/5/8 = $721.15 per hour.    Considering minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour.  Ok, so a typical CEO makes 100 times that of a minimum wage worker in salary.  The reality, though is that only a fraction of the typical CEO’s compensation comes in as salary.  The AFL-CIO database of CEO compensation lists the average compensation for S&P 500 executives at $10,836,843 a year.  In other words:  $10,836,843/52/5/8 = $5210 per hour.

I think we should eliminate executive restrooms.  Here is my reasoning:  Let’s say the typical S&P CEO visits the restroom three times a day during normal business hours, at five minutes a trip this adds up to 15 minutes a day.  $5210/hour equates to $86 a minute, thus the CEO costs the company $1290 a day in bathroom trips.  If this is a daily occurrence,  $1290*5*52 = $335,400 a year to go to the bathroom.

Considering the President of the United States is compensated $400K a year, well, I’ll let you make the leap.

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Slackers are people too

While reading the summary of Oregon’s benefits from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, I was amused to see that “slackers” are now a Targetted Group that can be used by a business as a tax credit:

“Under current law, businesses are allowed to claim a work opportunity tax credit equal to 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages paid to employees of one of nine targeted groups … The bill creates two new targeted groups of prospective employees: unemployed veterans and disconnected youth. … An individual qualifies as a disconnected youth if they are between the ages of 16 and 25 and have not been regularly employed or attended school in the past 6 months.”  

Does that mean that we will now see signs outside businesses that say “Slackers Wanted”? 🙂

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Obama pushes for stimulus legislation

Obama wrote this article in the Washington Post to make the case for his stimulus package.  I’ve been watching the Senate debate on C-SPANduring the day.  It is absolutely amazing to me how inefficient the Senate is.  Hours and hours of yammering, with no real “progress”.  Do the floor speeches really convince the Senators one way or another?  Watching the presentations, it is obvious that McCain wouldn’t have made a good President.  He can’t keep his facts straight, and seems to be intent on derailing the legislation.  I think Obama’s lead comments in his article need to be said a bit more loudly:

“By now, it’s clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs that Americans relied on just a year ago are gone; millions more of the nest eggs families worked so hard to build have vanished. People everywhere are worried about what tomorrow will bring.”

Knowing how the economy is impacting various members of my own family, something needs to happen now.  Senator DeMint’s proposal is just another reguritation of the same trickle down economic policies that won’t help.  This wrong headed thinking comes from the notion that the New Deal did not positively impact unemployment.  It is simply not true.


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Transition Website for President Elect Obama

A website “” has been set up by the transition team.  It clearly outlines the plans of the administration, and has lots of other useful information.  If you aren’t sure what their plans are, it is a great place to look.

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The Changing Of the Seasons…

Halloween trick-or-treating was a relatively warm and dry one this year (dry when we actually went out).   Yesterday was our first real rain storm in a while.  In fact, between yesterday and today, we got almost as much rain as the entire month of October.  Did I mention I’m enjoying the weather station?

Sometimes in movies and television, a rainstorm is used as a literary device to indicate a change, a cleansing.   Seems appropriate that the storm arrived last night considering today is Election Day in the United States.

It is an odd season all around.  Normally, the trees across the street lose their leaves first, followed by all the other ash trees in the neighborhood.  This year, the ash trees turned about the same time, and have been dropping leaves all over the place.  It seems unusually warm to me.

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Someone who didn't vote for Obama today…

Good read.  I Didn’t Vote For Obama Today

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Some Truth on Obama's Tax Plan recently posted an article revealing untruths in a recent McCain web ad.

As we’ve said any number of times, what Obama proposes would not raise taxes on any “hard-working families” unless they make more than $250,000 a year, a very small fraction of families. Independent analysis has shown than 95 percent of families with children would see federal income taxes go down.


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The Irony Grows More Ironic…

More news on the previous post from today.  It appears that McCain was complaining about robocalls against him only nine months ago.  If the calls were making factual statements, it would be one thing, but the claims made aren’t.

… the calls exaggerate Mr. Obama’s ties to Bill Ayers, the former member of the Weather Underground, question the candidate’s patriotism by accusing him of “putting Hollywood above America,’’ and say that he opposed a bill “requiring doctors to care for babies born alive after surviving attempted abortions.’’


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