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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A moment of sobriety in Salem

The Republicans in the state legislature are blocking any state funding of the proposed "sustainability center" in Portland -- an extravagant experiment that will result in nothing more than super-high-priced office space for government agencies. No private firm in its right mind is going to pay premium rent to have its personnel sitting in 64-degree temperatures (80 degrees in the summer) and drinking recycled wastewater amidst the faint smell of glorified pit toilets:

"There are a multitude of concerns," said House co-Speaker Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg. Top among them, he said, is that the building would require expensive lease rates and the Oregon University System plans to command two-thirds of the space.

"When parents come and say 'How come our tuition costs are so high?' one of the answers is, we're building an incredibly high-cost building and obligating the university to rent space there," Hanna said.

He said he wants university officials and developers to figure out a way to get commercial firms to rent the bulk of the space. "If this building is really as fascinating as it sounds, the private sector ought to want to rent there," Hanna said.

We all know that's never going to happen, barring some sort of quid pro quo scam. It will be interesting to see what the Wimmer and his bosom bud Sam the Tram come up with to address the latest concerns. But three cheers for sanity, however fleeting, on this one.

Comments (33)

From the article: The latest price tag is listed at $59 million, which is down from an earlier estimate of $75 million.

If this boondoggle ever gets off the ground, I'll bet you a two dollar bill that it will cost more than $59 million and even more than $75 million.

Sam will hold a "Blue/Green" press conference where he'll call the Republican legislators names and blather about what a fantastically sustainable green building & jobs magnet project he's been told it is, followed by him holding his breath until he turns blue instead of answering any non-shilled Q's. Then he'll scamper away in one of his banged-up autos to a tavern for a per diem pitcher of PBR. Meanwhile, Wimmer & The Gutless Portland Wonders will work the backdoor deals with Neil and The Gold$*it Kitzers (maybe with a privatized parking concession thrown in). Wonder what fine Oregonian's name they'll desecrate by newly attaching to their latest proposed addition to Simp City....

This shows the value -- despite all of its considerable flaws -- of our two-party system. Someone needed to puncture the groupthink, questionable numbers, and wishful thinking around this project. I've never voted for a Republican, and it would take a lot for me to do so now (particularly now that the GOP is in thrall to the Tea Party crazies), but in this case, anyway, I'm glad they're around to keep my fellow well-intentioned-but-fuzzy-thinking libs from driving us off a fiscal cliff.

Richardson still had the best comment, to paraphrase:

When parents ask them why tuition is so high and they see a Sustainability Center, what are they supposed to think?

"to see what the Wimmer"

I prefer Weevil.

"When parents come and say 'How come our tuition costs are so high?' one of the answers is, we're building an incredibly high-cost building and obligating the university to rent space there," Hanna said.

One more example of how the childish irresponsibility of Portland is so crystal clear from the outside. Any sane adult would reach the same conclusion as Hanna, but up here in the bubble everyone is 100% on board. The more Portland continues to lose its economic and political sway in this state, the better.

Needless to say, it's waaaaay past time to include "economic sustainability" in any assessment of a project's sustainability.

'I'm glad they're around to keep my fellow well-intentioned-but-fuzzy-thinking libs from driving us off a fiscal cliff. '

Eric - you should look past the mainstream-celebrity media's depiction of the Tea party - you will find that the above quote is the entire point of their endeavor and reason for existence.

Indy - I believe in fiscal responsibility more than most Tea Baggers (some of whose leaders believe in give-aways for oil companies, etc.). However, I also believe in separation of church and state and not legislating religious views onto those who don't share my beliefs (or being bound by religious beliefs that I don't share). When the Tea Baggers are truly serious about less government in all areas(and not just less government in some financial areas) then I'd be happy to entertain them as serious and not regard them as the fringe flakes I feel they are.

By falling into the follower trap of derogatory name calling shows me you have not looked any deeper into the issue.

It's precisely about less legislating of morality and government control, along with
the fiscal advocacy, not what you 'feel' they are.

I dont see what political parties or "tea baggers" have to do with this fiscal disaster.

If anything, the two parties at war here are those who can balance a checkbook and those who cant. That's as far as this analysis needs to go.

Indy - When Michelle Bachmann quits proclaiming her evangelical Christianity from her campaign stops, when Sarah Palin gives up her stance that church and state should not be separate, when opposition to abortion for rape and incest victims and opposition to gay marriage are not planks of the tea bag leaders, then I'd be inclined to listen. But the reality is that leadership of that movement is hand-cuffed to the religious right. And therefore fiscal conservatives who happen to be also be social liberals want no truck with people of that ilk. And this will end my discourse with you.


Is there anything the Republicans in our legislature have been doing this session that requires trashing all Republicans?

Have they been "Tea Baggers"? Whatever that is.
Have they been providing "give-aways for oil companies, etc."? Or have Democrats been providing give-aways to green companies?
Have they been legislating religious views?
Who are the Oregon "Tea Baggers" you are talking about? Do you have any names?

Because I don't think you can point to any Oregon Republic legislators doing any of those things.
Which means you should be happy to entertain them as serious and not regard them as fringe flakes.

A quick glance at the last dozen or so bojack threads shows the Republicans on the right side and opposing the local problems being discussed. While the Democrats are the perpetrators.

PSU President says "the Legislature expresses a lack of interest in supporting a marquis project.."

Actually Rep. Hanna seems quite interested in the project and wants to learn more as stated in the article:

"legislative leaders are demanding answers to more than a dozen questions, including who are the expected tenants and how will the bonds be repaid."

What a****les. They want to use the credit rating of the state and add it to the state's tab without explaining how they will pay back the loans?

I'm moving to Clackamas Co.

A large part of our local problems would be fixable if we [dems/repubs/teabaggers]
would end the WAR
stop spending 20 bil on AC in army tents in the 120DG desert
[can that be ? ]
and 1.2 mil on every
Cruise Missile

And what would Sam Adams, TriMet and Metro do with billions more?

Fix our problems?


Is there anything the Republicans in our legislature have been doing this session that requires trashing all Republicans?

Have they been "Tea Baggers"? Whatever that is.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
A tea bag is a sealed bag containing tea leaves for brewing tea.

Tea bag may also refer to:

* Tea bag (sexual act), a man placing his scrotum in the mouth of a sexual partner

LucsAdvo seems to enjoy that particular slur, but it speaks more about himself and his orientation than about those he is trying to slur.

I think LucsAdvo has it right. While the Tea Party has never claimed to be affiliated with the evangelical movement, the candidates almost always are in some way, making me very reluctant to consider the Tea Party viable.

Many of us strongly beleive in fiscally conservative, streamlined government, strong separation of church and state, and protecting personal freedoms...but in evaluating the candidates, the tea Party doesn't seem to be the proper venue.

What in the heck does the Tea Party have to do with the topic? Thanks George for the apt photo.

If the Portlander refers to "teabaggers" and when among familiars he begins statements w/ "that effing cxxx Sarah Palin" you're best to exit the conversation and not waste time talking to an idiot.

There is no "the" Tea Party.

There are tea party people.

It is non-member, unaffiliated collection and non-party loyalists who primarily want fiscal responsibility, better run goverment at a more managemable size with genuine efficiency and oversight.

The exact same things many around here would like to see with Planning/TriMet/Metro/PDC activities.

Nothing is off the table including the Pentagon. Bureaucracies of every kind at every level are now engaged in too many tasks leading to no or inadequate oversight and chronic waste, fraud and abuse.

There are a lot of people in Clackamas County who have no party allegiance getting in the way and it is tea party-like viewpoints that are feeding the rebellion. The rejection of the Portland-TriMet-Metro agenda is certaiinly in line with the tea party concept.

And I can't say that I have seen one shred of anyting remotely tea party getting into any social issues.


Isn't Michele Bachman creator and head of the House Tea Party caucus? The same Michele Bachman who claims she got a calling from God to run for president? The same one who was "Minnesota’s most famous advocate of the [state's] proposed same-sex marriage ban amendment"?

My guess is that if one looks very deeply at the financing behind Tea Party-supported candidates, it's just a different group of corporations spending money to get "their" candidates elected. And, not all Republicans are on the right side of fiscal sanity. The Sun Rail line in Florida will make WES or MLR look like a bastian of sanity. From the NYT today:

"With a price tag of $1.2 billion at completion, the rail line is expected to serve just 2,150 commuters a day when it starts operating in three years."

Ben - I'd say your vision is very selective when it comes to Repugs and politics.

LL - I have never referred to any woman as a c***, ever. Please refrain from putting words in my keyboard or mouth. Maybe you refer to women you dislike that way but I don't.

Larry - And you never have called someone a c**ks**ker or a d*****bag or a bitch or a b*llbuster or a SOB or some other sexual slur generally used by straight guys? Please!

How many laws or regulations have you broke today?

Most likely a good investigator could get you at least a year



See remarks above.

"Ben - I'd say your vision is very selective when it comes to Repugs and politics."


I'd say it's pretty clear that is your problem.

I know many at every level and not one of them even resembles the caricature painted by the left wing.

But I specifically asked about Oregon Republican legislators that you appeared to want to broad brush with some liberal taint despite their obvious fiscal responsibility.

This reminds me of the tarnishing and undermining of the Sam Adams recall effort just because Victoria Taft and other conservatives wanted to help.

Ben - Let's just look at what the Oregon Rep party says about itself:


"1.1) Our inalienable rights are granted to us by God"

Um, fails separation of church and state.

"1.3) No individual has special rights above another individual."

And yet the R party has been consistently in favor of special rights for married heterosexuals by creating laws that afford them special economic advantages and consistently being opposed to same sex marriage.

1.6 would take too long to show the incongruity of language versus actions.

3.1 seems to be in opposition to 1.3 because it implies that there be tax breaks for some but not for others.

And then of course, Ben, there is 6.3 "... marriage is between a man and a woman ... nor do we believe "same sex marriages" or "civil unions" any equivalency nor right to legal standing .." which again does not jibe with 1.3 or a few other things.

It's all pretty prima facie right there. And until the R party gives that stuff up and moves to a more center social position, a lot of us who are fiscal conservatives (more than you know)can never vote for a R.

So once again, I don't believe that engaging with you is productive.

So there's nothing Oregon Republican Legislators are actually doing.

You don't like their platform, or the Oregon Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence.

So you'll vote for Same Adams over any Republican.

It would depend on the Republican. I have voted for Norma Paulus (and maybe others) in the past and for certain Rs in the state I grew up in and first voted in.

As for what I don't like, that's pretty clear so don't play stupid games. I don't like that platform one.

The Oregon legislators on either side of the aisle are not doing much of anything really (deadlock, no money, and all that). If the Rs had the power, don't tell me that they wouldn't try to implement their platform. Otherwise, why even commit it to writing?

Now your time is up, Ben. Go play games with someone else. I am tired of having my time wasted.

Well thanks for admitting you'd vote for Adams (and alike) and continue selling Oregon down the rat hole just to feed that irrational chip on your shoulder.

The idea that these lunatics are preferable because of that litmus test of yours makes no sense.

The enormity of what you are willing to sacrifice in order to advance your particular demand is destructive.

As for you "allowing me time, games and your time wasted"? What a laughable deree.

You don't get to dictate responses or dialogue here. I can just imagine what this would be like if you did.

Best of luck with your tired time.

Ben, I didn't vote for Adams last time so why would I vote for him again? You are being a troll. And since you make-up inflammatory fictions rather than engage civilly about facts, we are done. Go worship your repug idols and leave me out of your whinging.

You know Ben, it hit me. You are projecting your stuff onto me. You'd never vote for a Democrat or a gay person so you are just trying to paint me as the opposite of you. Sorry dude, you've got it wrong. And as for litmus tests, isn't that some phrase from conservative think tanks to decide who is pure enough for conservative votes?

Yeah you've figured eveything out and your using "Tea Baggers" is civil?

Have a nice weekend.

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