Weekly Open Thread (2015-06-29)

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Here is your open thread for the week of June 29th, 2015. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

45 comments:

  1. 1
    redmondjp says:

    Pretty dead in here today . . . maybe everybody has heat exhaustion from the weekend?

    Or are we all glued to our wi-fi-enabled devices, watching the new movie My Big Fat Greek Default (will the evil banksters leave Princess Grecia standing at the altar, or will they remarry and live happily ever after, or until they reach the oft-kicked can, whichever comes first)?

  2. 2
    Blurtman says:

    RE: redmondjp @ 1 – It’s summer time. The Washingtonians are out and about in the rare sunshine. I myself saw the Dead in Santa Clara and wish I bought tickets to more shows. Life is more than work, RE, blogs or the stock market.

  3. 3
    redmondjp says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 2 – Oh don’t I know it! I’ve been spending every night outside as much as possible, enjoying this un-seattle-like weather. Played frisbee with my kids tonight after work – actually it’s pretty darn fun, especially now that they are good enough to actually throw it in my general direction.

    I’ve got a bit of personal interest in Greece right now as my wife’s coworker is now there on vacation. I’m wondering if she will be able to get out of there, and if she can get cash out of the ATMs or not (supposedly foreign bank accounts are not being withdrawal-limited, but that is a moot point if the machine physically is out of bank notes).

  4. 4

    RE: redmondjp @ 3 – I heard on the news last night that places are not even taking credit cards, but when I heard that I did wonder if that included foreign credit cards. I suppose it might since the retailer’s source of funds is likely through their bank.

  5. 5

    It having been a long time since I’ve been an hourly worker, and even then being under union contract, I didn’t realize there was a limit at which employers didn’t have to pay overtime.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-to-update-overtime-pay-threshold/

    Anyway, I don’t know if Obama has the power to do this, or if it’s yet another thing he’s doing that he doesn’t really have the power to do, but it is something I like. Our tax and regulatory system is really set up so that it dissuades employers from hiring new employees, and this will help counter that. It’s sort of an obvious thing to do, and if I’d known about it earlier I would have suggested it years ago as a way of lowering unemployment and raising wages.

    BTW, my last hourly employee job I got overtime after 5 hours in a day. Quite a bit different than having to work 40 hours in a week.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    pfft says:

    Does anyone care if Seattle gets a hockey team?

  8. 8
    Blurtman says:

    Bernie Sanders is the only hope left.

    Chelsea Clinton demands $65,000 for 10-minute speech at public university after staff refuse to pay her mother’s $275,000 fee

    Chelsea Clinton demanded $65,000 to make a 10-minute speech at a public university after they balked at her mother’s appearance fee, it has been revealed.
    The University of Missouri at Kansas City was looking for a celebrity to open their women’s hall of fame in February 2014.
    Their initial choice was former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
    But when they were told how much it would cost – $275,000 – they turned it down and went to what they thought was the next best thing.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3144664/Hillary-2-0-Chelsea-Clinton-demands-65-000-10-minute-speech-public-university-staff-refuse-pay-mother-s-275-000-fee.html

  9. 9

    RE: Blurtman @ 8 – The problem with Bernie Sanders is he is like Sawant. Most the crap he spouts off is just populist nonsense. The main exception would be universal healthcare. Sometimes though he just takes things too far. For example, tuition is too expensive, but that doesn’t mean tuition should be free.

  10. 10

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9
    Lots of public colleges used to be free, or at least very inexpensive. I believe at one time(50 years ago?) all California state schools had no tuition, as well as City College of New York, and others. We live in an age where people only think about their own needs, and don’t think about the long term consequences of not helping others. There were a lot of successful graduates when states had free tuition. While we are seeing more rich people, the number of people in poverty is also growing. Giving people in poverty more opportunity doesn’t simply help poor people.

  11. 11
    redmondjp says:

    By pfft @ 7:

    Does anyone care if Seattle gets a hockey team?

    No.

    And most of our recent arrivals to this country prefer other sports, such as soccer or cricket (which I see being played all the time at my nearby city park).

  12. 12
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 9:

    RE: Blurtman @ 8 – The problem with Bernie Sanders is he is like Sawant. Most the crap he spouts off is just populist nonsense. The main exception would be universal healthcare. Sometimes though he just takes things too far. For example, tuition is too expensive, but that doesn’t mean tuition should be free.

    yes, yes it should be free. high school is free, why not college? would we benefit if high school weren’t free anymore? an educated workforce is a better workforce. it also helps with inequality.

    “Most the crap he spouts off is just populist nonsense.”

    like what? also, have you heard the absolutely moronic response by republicans to the SC decisions? it’s a total clown show. they are actually dumber than bush. dumber! how is the that possible?

  13. 13

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 10:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9
    Lots of public colleges used to be free, or at least very inexpensive. I believe at one time(50 years ago?) all California state schools had no tuition, as well as City College of New York, and others. .

    Yes, I remember at least the CA schools being free. But my point is that by being free they are going too far the other way. I realize tuition isn’t the only cost of going to school, but my making it free you’ll have people with little real interest in education going. Something in the range of $500-$1,000 a quarter would probably be better. Still heavily subsidized, but not free.

  14. 14

    By pfft @ 12:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 9:

    RE: Blurtman @ 8 – The problem with Bernie Sanders is he is like Sawant. Most the crap he spouts off is just populist nonsense. The main exception would be universal healthcare. Sometimes though he just takes things too far. For example, tuition is too expensive, but that doesn’t mean tuition should be free.

    yes, yes it should be free. high school is free, why not college?

    One of the nice things about going to a highly subsidized university (UW) in the late 70s was the students actually wanted to get an education. It made going to class much more enjoyable, and the students who wanted to learn got a lot more out of it. If tuition were free that benefit would be lost.

  15. 15
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 8:

    Bernie Sanders is the only hope left.

    Chelsea Clinton demands $65,000 for 10-minute speech at public university after staff refuse to pay her mother’s $275,000 fee

    Chelsea Clinton demanded $65,000 to make a 10-minute speech at a public university after they balked at her mother’s appearance fee, it has been revealed.
    The University of Missouri at Kansas City was looking for a celebrity to open their women’s hall of fame in February 2014.
    Their initial choice was former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
    But when they were told how much it would cost – $275,000 – they turned it down and went to what they thought was the next best thing.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3144664/Hillary-2-0-Chelsea-Clinton-demands-65-000-10-minute-speech-public-university-staff-refuse-pay-mother-s-275-000-fee.html

    the money goes to charity mr clueless.

    She has made the Clinton Foundation $800,000 in speeches in recent years

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3144664/Hillary-2-0-Chelsea-Clinton-demands-65-000-10-minute-speech-public-university-staff-refuse-pay-mother-s-275-000-fee.html#ixzz3eZnOVmW1
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_Foundation

  16. 16
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 13:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 10:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9
    Lots of public colleges used to be free, or at least very inexpensive. I believe at one time(50 years ago?) all California state schools had no tuition, as well as City College of New York, and others. .

    Yes, I remember at least the CA schools being free. But my point is that by being free they are going too far the other way. I realize tuition isn’t the only cost of going to school, but my making it free you’ll have people with little real interest in education going. Something in the range of $500-$1,000 a quarter would probably be better. Still heavily subsidized, but not free.

    that happens now. rich kids or upper middle class kids just going to party and because their parents expected them to go. My freshman roommate told me nobody goes to school to learn they just want to party.

  17. 17

    By pfft @ 12:

    “Most the crap he spouts off is just populist nonsense.”

    like what? also, have you heard the absolutely moronic response by republicans to the SC decisions? it’s a total clown show. they are actually dumber than bush. dumber! how is the that possible?

    As to Bernie: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/agenda/

    As to the Republicans, it’s not like we have a lot of really good candidates to choose from in either party. It’s pretty sad really that the leading candidates are named Bush and Clinton, and that most all the rest of the choices very poor.

  18. 18
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 17:

    By pfft @ 12:

    “Most the crap he spouts off is just populist nonsense.”

    like what? also, have you heard the absolutely moronic response by republicans to the SC decisions? it’s a total clown show. they are actually dumber than bush. dumber! how is the that possible?

    As to Bernie: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/agenda/

    As to the Republicans, it’s not like we have a lot of really good candidates to choose from in either party. It’s pretty sad really that the leading candidates are named Bush and Clinton, and that most all the rest of the choices very poor.

    first of all, what is wrong with populism? also, what is wrong with his agenda? most of american would agree with that.

    you disagree with what specifically?

    equal pay?

    climate change?

    crumbling infrastructure?

    taking on wall street?

    Rebuilding Our Crumbling Infrastructure
    Reversing Climate Change
    Creating Worker Co-ops
    Growing the Trade Union Movement
    Raising the Minimum Wage
    Pay Equity for Women Workers
    Trade Policies that Benefit American Workers
    Making College Affordable for All
    Taking on Wall Street
    Health Care as a Right for All
    Protecting the Most Vulnerable Americans
    Real Tax Reform

  19. 19

    RE: pfft @ 18 – It’s hard to disagree with things that are not specific. The only thing he has that is specific is universal health care, and I would agree with that position, but that is hardly populist. The rest of it is just populist nonsense.

    The one thing I would specifically disagree with is his position on campaign funding, because I support the First Amendment. It’s sad that liberals are not the ones attacking it. When I was younger it was conservatives (flag burning). It’s not like the liberals are trying to take the money out of campaigning. They just want to take certain money out of campaigning.

  20. 20
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 19:

    RE: pfft @ 18 – It’s hard to disagree with things that are not specific. The only thing he has that is specific is universal health care, and I would agree with that position, but that is hardly populist. The rest of it is just populist nonsense.

    The one thing I would specifically disagree with is his position on campaign funding, because I support the First Amendment. It’s sad that liberals are not the ones attacking it. When I was younger it was conservatives (flag burning). It’s not like the liberals are trying to take the money out of campaigning. They just want to take certain money out of campaigning.

    pay equity. fix our infrastructure. reverse climate change. are those things really that ambiguous? there is more of an explanation further down.

    5. Raising the Minimum Wage
    The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. No one in this country who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty.

  21. 21
    Blurtman says:

    “first of all, what is wrong with populism?”

    Indeed. Populism can mean to some pandering to the general public who are assumed to be naive, with promises that cannot possibly be kept, but I would argue that is not necessarily the case. It is entirely possible to espouse positions that are popular with a large part of the voting public that can in fact be delivered once elected.

  22. 22
    redmondjp says:

    Wow, this thread was really dead, but then we got our weekly webisode of “If I Were King”, starring Kary and Pfft.

    Come on, guys, mix it up a bit here! There are now FOURTEEN Republicrat presidential candidates (possibly up to 16 in another month or so) – feature one of them in your next what-if session.

    Hearing about Obama, Sanders, and Billary gets really old and repetitive after awhile . . . At least Trump has wind-blasted a few other combovers out there. And I hear that Chris Christie is going to start a new donut franchise and call it Christie Cremes. It’s the HEAT people, not the humidity!

  23. 23

    RE: pfft @ 20 – Yes, “reversing climate change” is ambiguous when he doesn’t say exactly what he’s going to do to accomplish that goal.

    I’ve covered minimum wage and infrastructure enough in the past. You should know I’m opposed to a $15 minimum wage and additional borrowing to continue the rather massive investment made in infrastructure. Now if he has maybe a plan to pay for that, I’d listen. But he’s just throwing out some government benefits as a plan to be a populist.

  24. 24

    RE: redmondjp @ 22 – Complaining about the quality of the 16 candidates currently in the race is hardly “if I were king.” But if you think one of them is so fantastic, go ahead and say why. It amazes me that anyone gives money to any of them.

  25. 25
    redmondjp says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24 – It’s all Kabuki theater. Jebillary will be president. So it’s absolutely pointless to discuss as it distracts from the important issues. We only maintain a poor sembelance of a functioning democracy any longer. The unconstitutional, globalist-power-strengthening TPP proves this.

    Heck, even our state government can’t formulate a budget. After an all-night session, one of our state congress-critters called in to KIRO FM this morning and stated that we still have a $2B hole in the budget that has to be filled – here is all that KOMO reported on this:

    “Lawmakers also started to address a voter-approved initiative to reduce class sizes that would cost $2 billion over the next two years if implemented.”

    Started to address. Meaning that they have no fricking clue where they are going to get this $2B from. Budget passed my arse!

    Whoops!!!

    $2B here, $2B there, it’sallgood, right?

  26. 26

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 13:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 10:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9
    Lots of public colleges used to be free, or at least very inexpensive. I believe at one time(50 years ago?) all California state schools had no tuition, as well as City College of New York, and others. .

    Yes, I remember at least the CA schools being free. But my point is that by being free they are going too far the other way. I realize tuition isn’t the only cost of going to school, but my making it free you’ll have people with little real interest in education going. Something in the range of $500-$1,000 a quarter would probably be better. Still heavily subsidized, but not free.

    Just because a college is free doesn’t mean that there are no admission standards. Lots of colleges reject prospective students because they don’t have the grades or test scores to get in. We are seeing fairly large numbers of people below the poverty line, and huge college debt. If admission standards are high, and you can be kicked out for not maintaining grades, why is free college bad?

  27. 27
    Blurtman says:

    RE: redmondjp @ 25 – I’d suggest that the gubbernor fire those tools who are mismanaging the tunnel project which seems to be a big black hole in more ways than one.

  28. 28

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 26 – It probably would undoubtedly be better than the student loan BS we have today. I’m just saying it’s going a bit too far. But yes, admission standards would help.

  29. 29

    I was wondering what would happen to GET account if tuition became free. Apparently they’re considering doing something in reaction to the reduction in tuition in Washington State.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/historic-tuition-cut-sets-state-apart-from-rest-of-us/

  30. 30
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 28:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 26 – It probably would undoubtedly be better than the student loan BS we have today. I’m just saying it’s going a bit too far. But yes, admission standards would help.

    why is it a bit too far? should we charge each HS student $500 over and above what they may pay in property taxes?

    why is free high school good but not free college? Wouldn’t students in HS be more focused if we charged them?

  31. 31
    pfft says:

    By redmondjp @ 25:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24 – It’s all Kabuki theater. Jebillary will be president.

    Jeb and HIllary are two very different candidates. you seem to confuse two people agreeing on some issues with them agreeing on everything. Hillary was a very liberal Senator.

  32. 32
    redmondjp says:

    By pfft @ 31:

    By redmondjp @ 25:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24 – It’s all Kabuki theater. Jebillary will be president.

    Jeb and HIllary are two very different candidates. you seem to confuse two people agreeing on some issues with them agreeing on everything. Hillary was a very liberal Senator.

    Yes, and that’s EXACTLY what they want you to think! Congratulations for being one of the sheeple. News flash: If Romney were president right now, we’d still have healthcare reform (just like he did as governor), and we’d still have the TPP fast-tracked through. Different candidates, but the outcome is the same. How hard is it for you to see this?

    Either Hillary or Jeb is a perfectly-acceptable puppet for those in power, so they will be happy regardless of which one wins. In the mean time, I’ve got to get into my gas-guzzling SUV with my oil-based boat on the roof and go chain myself to something to convince myself that I’m making a difference . . .

  33. 33
    pfft says:

    By redmondjp @ 32:

    By pfft @ 31:

    By redmondjp @ 25:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24 – It’s all Kabuki theater. Jebillary will be president.

    Jeb and HIllary are two very different candidates. you seem to confuse two people agreeing on some issues with them agreeing on everything. Hillary was a very liberal Senator.

    Yes, and that’s EXACTLY what they want you to think!

    no, the data says that.

    According to an analysis of roll call votes by Voteview, Clinton’s record was more liberal than 70 percent of Democrats in her final term in the Senate.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/hillary-clinton-was-liberal-hillary-clinton-is-liberal/

    Jeb is a middle of the road conservative. He’s slightly less conservative than the average republican in congress. the average republican these days is very conservative.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/jeb-bush-president-republican-primary-2016/

  34. 34
    DrRick says:

    By redmondjp @ 25:

    $2B here, $2B there, it’sallgood, right?

    $2B here, $2B there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

  35. 35
    The Tim says:

    Apparently I broke commenting when I updated a plugin last night. Sorry about that! Should be fixed now.

  36. 36
    Blurtman says:

    Yahoo!! We are the up and coming San Diego. Yippee!

    “As a native Seattleite, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in a place where it’s sunny every day. Now that I’m experiencing something close to that, I feel out of sorts in a strange land. Wildfires burn today in the Olympic Mountains west of Seattle, a forest zone that is typically one of the rainiest places on earth.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/04/opinion/seattle-on-the-mediterranean.html

  37. 37
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 36

    That’s a small step toward my proposal for apolitical compromise solution to reverse climate change. The real problem is that our carbon emissions are too clean and they trap heat from the sun. To combat this, we need to pay Russia a few billion each year to light large areas of Siberia on fire. If the fires are big enough and push ash and smoke high enough, it will simulate nuclear winter for a fraction of the cost of other remedies like carbon crap and trade. The real problem with carbon emissions is that we need them to be dirty enough and high enough to block out the sun to mimic a mild nuclear winter. Being as oil revenues are down, Russia should be willing to light up for a few billion rather than watch the world try to limit carbon emissions and its future oil revenue. Who says nuclear winter is a bad thing?

  38. 38

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 37 – Sort of the Woody Allen “Sleeper” theory of carbon emissions. By making the internal combustion engine cleaner we have made things worse! ;-)

  39. 39
    Blurtman says:

    Climate change is bullish for western Washington RE, except, perhaps, current waterfront properties.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 40 – Indeed. Better get the drachma presses ready. Will they stay or will they go? And China intervening to buy shares in their stock markets. The whole system is whack.

  42. 42
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 41:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 40 – Indeed. Better get the drachma presses ready. Will they stay or will they go? And China intervening to buy shares in their stock markets. The whole system is whack.

    does anyone care if China is buying their own shares? I don’t. probably getting them on the cheap.

  43. 43
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 40:

    Greece votes no. Next week should be interesting.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/greece-votes-no-on/2015/07/05/id/653519/#ixzz3f2xd8eG4

    you read newsmax? now that is interesting.

  44. 44

    RE: pfft @ 43 – Google News link.

  45. 45
    pfft says:

    best article on greece ever.

    GREECE JUST TAUGHT CAPITALISTS A LESSON ABOUT WHAT CAPITALISM REALLY MEANS

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/greece-referendum-result-and-the-meaning-of-debt-2015-7#ixzz3f4REd84g

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