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A less common mall: Developers want to convert the Ballston Common Mall into a more urban-form shopping center with sidewalk-facing retail and even add some housing to the development. (Post)

Nice bus stop: Some people have expressed befuddlement at Arlington's $1 million bus stop, but as a prototype the high cost is not a surprise and it's also OK to spend money on transit. (Post, RPUS)

A road with a view: Alexandria plans to spend $125,000 to build models of the Potomac Yard Metro Station to gauge the visual impact from the George Washington Parkway and assuage resident opposition. (The Arlandrian)

Silver delay?: The Silver Line may be delayed if a needed rail yard isn't completed. WMATA needs the extra space to store and maintain Silver Line trains. (Examiner)

MD gas tax on the move: The Maryland House has passed the gas sales tax bill, which now moves to the Senate. The increased revenue will help fund the Purple Line and complete streets in Maryland. (WashCycle)

SideCar arrives: SideCar, which allows any driver to pick up passengers for a suggested donation, launched in DC. This surprised the Taxicab Commission which, after talking with the company, thought SideCar was not going to open in DC. (Post, City Desk)

Transit land values do better: Real estate values in transit-accessible areas outperformed land in transit poor areas by more than 40% between 2006 and 2011. Does this show that people want to live near transit or were the transit-poor exurbs just more prone to the real estate bubble? (City Paper, Keeping the Rain Off)

And...: There's a new design for the Chuck Brown Park. (RIA Insider) ... Conservative bloggers flipped out over Matthew Yglesias buying a pricey condo. (Atlantic Wire) ... Serena Williams rode a bike to a match, and it was faster than driving in traffic. (Post)

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Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.  

Comments

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Resident opposition to Potomac Yard metro can never be "assuaged". They did the balloon tests, and now further money and time is going to be wasted when some computer modelling and digital renderings would have sufficed. As far as the GW Parkway "viewshed", thats another ridiculous complaint by a few of Alex's resident noisy "activists". Want to improve the view shed? Tear down Potomac Greens, Crystal City, and DCA. Its a ridiculous argument and just another typical stalling tactic. There is development within view of the Parkway the entire length of it north leaving city limits to 14th St and beyond. Big freaking deal.

by spookiness on Mar 25, 2013 8:41 am • linkreport

I stopped at the new super stop along Columbia Pike at Walter Reed Dr over the weekend. The design was nice and I have no problem with the investment Arlington County is making. However, I was surprised at how "non-shelter" this shelter really is -- the wind was blowing through the structure -- there does not seem to be any enclosure to sheild passengers from wind or blowing rain/snow.

by Transport. on Mar 25, 2013 9:02 am • linkreport

Ballston Mall: Exciting News; that entire area has a lot of potential given its establishment as a transit hub, and I'm glad the mall owners want to redevelop their property in a way to make Ballston a true destination. I'm looking forward to the proposal they create.

Bus Stop: I don't think anyone is complaining the money was spent on a bus stop. However, the $1,000,000 price tag is ridiculous. You could build several houses for less than that. How could it possibly be justified to spend that kind of money on a non-enclosed, glass and metal bus shelter w/ no plumbing, heating, or air conditioning needs? I do think transit should be appealing to the eye, and that long-lasting good-quality materials be chosen, but its just overboard to spend that much on a single structure.

If this is a prototype, then will the design cost eventually be spread out, to cover many bus stops?

Sidecar: NOTHING surprises me abou the DC Taxi Commision's ineptitude. There isn't a new development they don't like, and a public relations statement they cannot botch. "Not going to open in DC"? How could this mode of transport (ride sharing) EXCEPT in the densest areas of the region? I.e. DC. The lot of them should be fired.

by Adam on Mar 25, 2013 9:08 am • linkreport

$1 million for a bus stop isn't so bad when you compare it to $12 million for a new escalator in Dupont.

by Sam on Mar 25, 2013 9:26 am • linkreport

Developers want to convert the Ballston Common Mall into a more urban-form shopping center with sidewalk-facing retail and even add some housing to the development.

Good. The mall has always kinda mystified me. It looks good, seems to do well, but yet it somewhat feels out of place. I guess the issue is that it caters more to the Glebe Rd community than the Ballston community.

as a prototype the high cost is not a surprise and it's also OK to spend money on transit.

It is when it's a poorly designed shelter. The main problem of this one: it does not shelter. FAIL.

And from the link:
(1) transit riders deserve high quality amenities and infrastructure too, such shouldn't be the exclusive province of motor vehicle operators;

True. But the amenities should do what they're designer for. Otherwise, they're just another easy example of government waste.

models of the Potomac Yard Metro Station to gauge the visual impact from the George Washington Parkway

Oh puh-lease. Stop whining on the impact of a metro station on a traffic sewer.

Conservative bloggers flipped out over Matthew Yglesias buying a pricey condo.

Same people were angry that Kerry married a rich wife, and that Al Gore made a lot of money selling a crappy tv network. It's just shocking that you can get rich without screwing other people. Also, a M$1,2 home in downtown DC, not too expensive. Ask the founder of this blog, who isn't impecunious either.

by Jasper on Mar 25, 2013 9:40 am • linkreport

That "shelter" isn't really a shelter at all. I think it's a pretty poor design. The glass on top is going to magnify the sun in the summer and there isn't anything to prevent wind, rain or snow from coming in.

by thump on Mar 25, 2013 9:48 am • linkreport

Anyone else notice in the WaPo article that the estimated costs for the rest of the 23 bus stop along Columbia Pike will cost $904k? From what I can tell from the "prototype" I think this is very poor value.

by Fitz on Mar 25, 2013 9:50 am • linkreport

@transport

I agree with you about non-shelter shelters. If a shelter is not going to provide adequate sun/rain/wind protection then what is the point on spending the extra money for a roof and someone to design it?

I have the same problem with the current design trend (around here anyway) for clear glass roofs on shelters and other elements of transit stations. With summers as sunny and hot as ours the glass could serve to turn spaces like shelters or the new escalators on the SS Transit Center into greenhouses.

Perhaps we should be thinking less about the pretty and more about the practical - say what you will about the brutalist construction of the Metro - the roofs on outdoor stations tend to provide real shelter from the elements coupled with the clear walled waiting areas to get out of the wind.

by gooch on Mar 25, 2013 9:51 am • linkreport

The problem with bloggers buying million dollar houses is it is a vivid demostration of network effects. There is no way he is worth the alleged 250K a year to slate -- a constanly failing media site. In fact, overpaid wages to a few stars is what is killing the popular media. 14M a year to Matt Laurer?

Also, he just figured out the reason the rent is high right now isn't height regulations, but really cheap loans for rich people while everyone else with damanged credit is stuck in a lease or underwater out in PW County.

And yes the problem with the bus shelter is they forgot the SHADE part which is really really nice is the summer.

by charlie on Mar 25, 2013 9:52 am • linkreport

The problem with bloggers buying million dollar houses is it is a vivid demostration of network effects. There is no way he is worth the alleged 250K a year to slate

Where is this alleged?

Everyone commenting on this misses the most obvious point: Yglesias is married. As far as I know, he and his wife both work, both earn nice salaries, and they have no kids. Yglesias has also written about his previous condo that he owned, one that has probably appreciated decently. So, going into a new condo without mortgaging the full purchase price, with a payment spread across two earners? The whole thing is a giant nothing-burger.

by Alex B. on Mar 25, 2013 10:06 am • linkreport

Paul Krugman nailed it in the Yglesias "scandal": http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/23/attacking-success/

In brief:

"Anyway, Jonathan Chait informs us that the right-wing blogosphere is all-aTwitter over the fact that Matthew Yglesias just bought a nice condo. Apparently this is hypocritical because you can’t be a liberal and own private property, or something...notice how quickly a staple of right-wing outrage goes out the window if there’s possible political gains to be made by violating a supposed principle. All through the 2012 campaign we were lectured about the evils of “attacking success“, which was defined as any criticism of how a wealthy individual got that way. But as soon as they think they spot an opening, right-wingers go ahead and … attack success. And unlike Romney, who was criticized for his business practices rather than his wealth per se, Yglesias is under attack simply for doing well."

Congrats to Ygls for being paid so well.

by Nick on Mar 25, 2013 10:13 am • linkreport

@AlexB, actually he renting out his old condo.

I know two GS-14, married, both had previous condos (track record) and they barely qualified for a loan on a 900K condo.

Also, a useful question to be asking given the history of various banks extending credit terms to "people of influence" in this town.

You wonder why the Post doesn't have metro coverage? They are paying bloggers instead. Maybe that makes business sense -- although they aren't seeing it in the returns -- but it is what it is.

by charlie on Mar 25, 2013 10:21 am • linkreport

@Sam :

The proper metric for comparing the costs of bus stops and escalators is not $, but $/User. If anything, this should make $1m bus stops even more cost-ineffective.

by Chuck Coleman on Mar 25, 2013 10:22 am • linkreport

Its sometimes hard to make sense of what people earn in the market. But the point is, in some cases the right sees that value as sacrosanct, and any questioning of it as the worst form of envy. In other cases, not.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 25, 2013 10:27 am • linkreport

@charlie:
I know two GS-14, married, both had previous condos (track record) and they barely qualified for a loan on a 900K condo.
I'm somehow missing your point here. You know some people who got a mortgage?

by Gray on Mar 25, 2013 10:35 am • linkreport

@Chuck Coleman:
The proper metric for comparing the costs of bus stops and escalators is not $, but $/User.
While we're picking arbitrary metrics, how about $ per new user? Since a new elevator is unlikely to have an effect on usage, but a new bus shelter will likely attract new users, this one has the opposite effect!

Or we could just evaluate these things more holistically without getting hung up on arbitrary metrics.

by Gray on Mar 25, 2013 10:37 am • linkreport

Maybe Matt Y's moving into a $1.2M condo is part explanation for his recent "troll of the left" column disapproving of higher wages:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/03/08/left_s_big_mistake_about_real_wages_and_the_economy.html

In related news the price list for the District Apartments at 14th & S came out; $3K/mo for 757sq. foot 1BR, plus $50/mo for a pet, plus $225 for unreserved parking, plus, plus. 2br/2ba's are $4400/mo. Buzzuto now has them.

In more serious news NYT has an excellent article on how dependence on fossil fuels is absolutely not necessary in the US:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/sunday-review/life-after-oil-and-gas.html?hp&_r=0

by Tom Coumaris on Mar 25, 2013 10:42 am • linkreport

@Charlie: I cannot imagine how two GS-14s can afford a $900k mortgage. That is HUGE. Is the missing information that their two other condos were sold and they had a big ole down payment that brought the total mortgage down?

In other news: Interesting WaPo article on Sunday about the potential new FBI sites. Apparently the Springfield(?) GSA warehouse isn't just a warehouse? It's a CIA training site? Can't for the life of me find the story on WaPo's website.

by RDHD on Mar 25, 2013 10:50 am • linkreport

@RDHD: I have a lot of trouble finding articles on the WaPo site once they drop off of the front page, but here it is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/northern-virginia-officials-worry-cia-facility-may-scuttle-bid-to-land-fbi-headquarters/2013/03/23/867ce358-924a-11e2-bdea-e32ad90da239_story.html

by Gray on Mar 25, 2013 11:02 am • linkreport

This condo thing is such a non-issue its ridiculous. On the right, I think it baffles them that anyone who does well could be liberal, meanwhile, he isn't even doign *That* well.

If he puts down 20%, his mortgage payment is roughly $4500/month. Is that a lot, sure. Is it an absolute metric-ton of money, no...

by Kyle-W on Mar 25, 2013 11:08 am • linkreport

Matthew Yglesias starts off right, but then he loses me on his next logical step. The point of raising the minimum wage isn't to raise everyone's standard of living, it's to raise the standard of living of the people at the bottom. Yes that means the price of fast food and services will go up a dollar, but people who were making $16,000 a year will now be making $20,000, the price of hamburgers aside. It's a rectification of the income inequality spread over the past 30 years or so.

by Alan B. on Mar 25, 2013 11:11 am • linkreport

For apparently ridiculous reasons, I thought the above caption was the actual bus stop. Oh how wrong I very was!! Ok, let's be honest. There is absolutely no reason to spend 1 million on a sub-par, semi-functional bus stop. You've all gone through the various reasons why.

Real Estate is more expensive near transit? No, well that just makes no sense!

The Yglesias piece is silly.

by HogWash on Mar 25, 2013 11:17 am • linkreport

@Alan B. - Yep, we're getting a bit off topic here, but it's fun.

Yglesias got hammered pretty hard for that nonsense wage column. This was the best write-up I saw (which hits on exactly what you mention).

http://jacobinmag.com/2013/03/wage-and-productivity-effects-of-internet-trolling-by-matt-yglesias/

by Nick on Mar 25, 2013 11:18 am • linkreport

The problem with clandestine operations is that they stay out of sight. It looks like the CIA should be looking for a new clandestine site. Fairfax should not care. Clandestine sites are not in their interest. If the CIA needs clandestine operations, there is some space left in Nevada and New Mexico they can use. It is absolutely silly to run that in an urban surrounding. Or perhaps they can clandestinely move to the Mark building.

by Jasper on Mar 25, 2013 11:20 am • linkreport

@Gray & thump: thanks for the link. But I'm telling you, it does not show up on the front page on-line (or Local or Virginia) for me. Nada.

Anyway, apparently Sprinfield is out. And what's with the other sites mentioned that are nowhere within the bounds set by Congress (distance to Metro and Beltway)?

by RDHD on Mar 25, 2013 11:30 am • linkreport

Remember that a $1 million bus shelter is still only roughly equal to the capital cost of 2-3 buses (to say nothing of their lifetime operational costs including fuel, labor, and maintenance).

Buses are already crazy expensive, and it's nuts that we split hairs over any extra money that gets spent to provide amenities to encourage people to use the transit services that we're already investing in.

by andrew on Mar 25, 2013 11:30 am • linkreport

+1 everyone commenting that for $1M you would think they could build a bus shelter that provides some actual shelter. Also, instead of spending money on developing a new design (and shouldering the risk of a design fail), couldn't they just leverage some other city's existing design and pay a small royalty instead?

Re: Yglesias

It actually makes him less of a hypocrite to advocate for taxing the rich when he himself is rich. Sort of like Warren Buffet and the Buffet Rule.

by Falls Church on Mar 25, 2013 11:34 am • linkreport

conventional "enclosed" bus shelters generally don't have room for many people, and can get particularly bad when the hard plastic walls get scratched and difficult to see through. To me the important aspects are seating and information. Some modest protection from the elements (which this provides) is probably the best tradeoff, especially on a route where service will be frequent.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 25, 2013 11:35 am • linkreport

also, there was opportunity to comment on the design way back before this was built.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 25, 2013 11:36 am • linkreport

Ballston Common is basically a C grade-Mall and a holdover from a time when community shopping centers were unnecssarily converted into malls. overdue for redevelopment. It originally was an open plaza with Hechts & Penneys.

The Examiner's breathless prose for a delay of just a few months is one reason it won't be missed.

by Rich on Mar 25, 2013 11:36 am • linkreport

Looking at it another way, the first Honda Civic to roll off of the production line costs Honda $100 million to produce, which is a blatantly ridiculous price to pay for a Honda Civic.

However, if the second car rolls off of the line at a cost of $8,000, and the company can sell it for $16,000, Honda made a great investment.

by andrew on Mar 25, 2013 11:36 am • linkreport

@andrew: Right, but the article adds:
The county has budgeted $20.8 million for the remaining 23 stops, or about $904,000 for each one.
So it doesn't look like there were that many costs front-loaded in this $1 million figure, at least based on what's budgeted for the rest.

by Gray on Mar 25, 2013 11:41 am • linkreport

Exactly @andrew and AWITC.

The new shelter is long enough for two buses, serves a heavily used bus line (16k riders a day) and has the real time large transit screen (these should be everywhere). Not to mention that it will serve the upcoming Streetcar/light rail line, as well. Seems like a deal to me.

by H Street LL on Mar 25, 2013 11:42 am • linkreport

For me, the main take away on the stop is that the design can be improved and that the per unit price will almost certainly come down. I believe the reason a Columbia Pike stop location was chosen was the potential for enhanced transit e.g. streetcar in the near future. It's also a very high ridership corridor. I want to say current bus traffic is over 15,000 rides per day if I recall correctly.

by Alan B. on Mar 25, 2013 11:53 am • linkreport

It has long been known that the CIA had some activities in the warehouses, RDHD. Within the past few years it was revealed to mostly be training. I don't recall anyone implying there is an underground facility though.

by selxic on Mar 25, 2013 11:54 am • linkreport

I don't recall anyone implying there is an underground facility though.

The article says that explicitly. Also, from the article, this seems pretty damning:

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told several Northern Virginia officials that he has toured the site but could say little more.

“All he said was, ‘You guys need to understand that this is a major, major problem for you,’ ” a Northern Virginia official said. “And he went so far as to suggest that if it doesn’t happen in Springfield, it’s solely because of that. . . . His thing was, ‘If it stops, it’s going to be because somebody at the highest level says you can’t touch the CIA.’ ”
“You’ve got the right location. You’ve got all the right assets. You’re in the right county. But it will never happen, because of the CIA there,” Keith E. Eastin, who was then the assistant secretary of the Army for installations and environment, told local officials at a meeting in the Pentagon, according to an attendee.

by Falls Church on Mar 25, 2013 12:06 pm • linkreport

FACT: A $1 million bus stop is NOT OKAY

That's almost as ridiculous as a $100 million bus garage or a $7 billion train station.

by Just the FACTS on Mar 25, 2013 12:16 pm • linkreport

Paul Krugman can sometimes be a douche. He demonstrates that in the article where he wrongly misleads readers into believing that Romney's "business practices" were at the center of the ire against him rather than (as he suggests w/Kerry) simply because he'd done so well. Typical partisan spin.

Sorry but no amount of buses, streetcar or the like justifies spending 1million on a semi-enclosed bus stop w/computers. It's as wasteful as GSA 700k conference...complete w/clowns.

by HogWash on Mar 25, 2013 12:24 pm • linkreport

That's almost as ridiculous as a $100 million bus garage or a $7 billion train station.

What about Gov. McDonnell's $1.4B highway for nobody?

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-01-30/local/36646887_1_hampton-roads-bridge-tunnel-transportation-secretary-sean-connaughton-transportation-dollars

Or the governor's $250M bypass for trucks that trucks won't use?

http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2012/11/a-bypass-built-for-trucks-that-trucks-wont-use.html

by Falls Church on Mar 25, 2013 12:27 pm • linkreport

That's almost as ridiculous as a $100 million bus garage or a $7 billion train station.

How about the $700 million streetcorner at I-95 & the Beltway? Unlike the bus garage and the Union Station redevelopment, the streetcorner price doesn't include new office buildings, stores, or maintenance equipment. And you could argue it falls short of the average streetcorner, since there's no crosswalk.

by Ben Ross on Mar 25, 2013 12:29 pm • linkreport

Oh! And Seth Ackerman's response to Yglesias' article is as nonsensical as what he suggests about Yglesias' own.

by HogWash on Mar 25, 2013 12:33 pm • linkreport

What about Gov. McDonnell's $1.4B highway for nobody?

Does this somehow make the 1million bucks for a bus stop less egregious? Like, "well you did it too"?

by HogWash on Mar 25, 2013 12:34 pm • linkreport

I kind of like the idea of a $7b train station. Maybe it'd be as good as some of them I've used in Europe, with buses, streetcars, metro, inter-city high-speed rail, regional rail, etc. all meeting in one place. And it might look nice too.

by RDHD on Mar 25, 2013 1:00 pm • linkreport

@Hogwasher

What, exactly, was nonsense about Ackerman's note?

by Nick on Mar 25, 2013 1:05 pm • linkreport

How much do people think things cost to build?

$1M is a lot of money for a bus stop, if your criteria is "a shed," but if you want to restructure the roadbed to take standing loads, have some nice design so people enjoy it, wire it, and do so on an operating road. I bet there was inefficiency and waste, but sticker shock is not the same as reacting to a spreadsheet.

Also, I do not believe glass magnifies the sun if it is not fully enclosing a space, since the heat gained by radiation is not trapped.

by Neil Flanagan on Mar 25, 2013 1:17 pm • linkreport

Paul Krugman can sometimes be a douche. He demonstrates that in the article where he wrongly misleads readers into believing that Romney's "business practices" were at the center of the ire against him rather than (as he suggests w/Kerry) simply because he'd done so well. Typical partisan spin.

This is simply uninformed. Google "bain capital" or "romney vulture capitalist".

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/romneys-poor-image-dont-blame-that-on-obama/2012/11/07/dd985c9a-290d-11e2-bab2-eda299503684_blog.html

You may not *agree* that how Romney made is money was at issue, but that was certainly the topic of every negative campaign ad that ran against him.

by oboe on Mar 25, 2013 1:21 pm • linkreport

"but as a prototype the high cost is not a surprise"

In the end, the new stop cost $575,000 for construction and fabrication and $440,000 for construction management and inspections,

Overhead costs in excess of 40% is absolutely f----n ridiculous though. That's nearly Hamid Karzai levels of skimming off the top.

by Kolohe on Mar 25, 2013 1:30 pm • linkreport

In the past, Falls Church. My recollections were from the past and not the new revelations.

by selxic on Mar 25, 2013 1:33 pm • linkreport

If the bus line serves 16,000 riders a day, a $1,000,000 bus stop costs $62 per rider on the line.

It still seems higher than it should be (especially if it doesn't include offboard fare collection, IMO), but $62 doesn't strike me as completely unreasonable.

by andrew on Mar 25, 2013 1:35 pm • linkreport

This is simply uninformed. Google "bain capital" or "romney vulture capitalist".

No. It seems as if you're the uninformed one..which isn't unusual when discussing things related to me or what point I choose to make. Fact, I never said his business practices weren't an issue, I side that it was not the centre of the ire against him...rather, his wealth was..which tends to be the case for anyone w/money. John Kerry was painted as an out of touch elitist because of the money he had..not the way in which it was made. John Edwards was blasted for much of the same..even though the "trial/tort lawyer" was one of the memes used against him.

Very few people understood how Romney made his money and yes, liberals/democrats had a field day. But the essential gripe is that he had money. But if you think him building an "car elevator" and being considered "out of touch" and "the 1%" and "Olympic Equestrians" and others were really extensions of criticisms based on "business practices" than "class," then oh well. It won't be the first or the last time you'd be wrong.

by HogWash on Mar 25, 2013 1:57 pm • linkreport

I don't understand all the chatter about Yglesias' condo - at $1.2m it cost barely more than a bus shelter.

by Perspective on Mar 25, 2013 2:16 pm • linkreport

Mitt Romney was running for president, and holding out his business success as part of (if not his principle) qualification (had too, as he didnt want to talk much about his record as Governor). That made it rather different from Kerry, who ran on his record in the Senate (and to a lesser extent his record in VN). And totally different from Yglesias, who is a blogger, not a candidate for office, and puts nothing out there but his words.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 25, 2013 2:22 pm • linkreport

Doesn't seem the bus shelter million is just from being a prototype:

""“Our goal if at all possible is to do it for less,” Leach said. The county has budgeted $20.8 million for the remaining 23 stops, or about $904,000 for each one.""

(In WaPo story).

by Tom Coumaris on Mar 25, 2013 2:23 pm • linkreport

Some modest protection from the elements (which this provides)

Except it doesn't, not really. It's clear from the story that, at least on that day, it provided very little protection. I don't even need to go visit it to know that it doesn't provide protection, the pictures show that the slightest bit of wind will blow and water will enter from the front. At least put more over hang off the back or something that comes down in front a little.
...And does it REALLY need underground heating? In DC? For the how many days a year we have (truly) cold weather...

by thump on Mar 25, 2013 2:30 pm • linkreport

"models of the Potomac Yard Metro Station to gauge the visual impact from the George Washington Parkway"
-----

You can already see airplane hangers and an existing Metro station from the GW Parkway, so what's the big deal?

by ceefer66 on Mar 25, 2013 2:36 pm • linkreport

@Perspective

That wins comment of the day. Zing!

by Nick on Mar 25, 2013 2:46 pm • linkreport

There were two critiques that were effective in torpedoing Romney's candidacy. The first was the inversion of "Romney the successful businessman" by pointing out Bain Capital's shady business practices. The second was the video tape in which he claimed--on tape--that half the country were shiftless moochers who were essentially parasites on the bellies of "the producers".

Now I suppose from this one could round things down and say the critique was that "he had money", but that completely misses the point. Obviously not everyone understood the nuances of Bain, but those negative ads were in constant rotation in the midwest.

The attack on Kerry, on the other hand, was that he was an effete northeastern liberal whose wife was paying his way.

If you're going to say that these two types of attack boil down to "he has money", you may as well say they both were attacked for having hair.

by oboe on Mar 25, 2013 2:47 pm • linkreport

Mitt Romney was running for president, and holding out his business success as part of (if not his principle) qualification (had too, as he didnt want to talk much about his record as Governor)...And totally different from Yglesias, who is a blogger, not a candidate for office, and puts nothing out there but his words.

I need to go back and find what prompted this post. As of now, don't really understand the point.

by HogWash on Mar 25, 2013 2:49 pm • linkreport

Here y'go:

[Romney's] wealth was [the centre of the ire against him] which tends to be the case for anyone w/money. John Kerry was painted as an out of touch elitist because of the money he had..not the way in which it was made. John Edwards was blasted for much of the same..even though the "trial/tort lawyer" was one of the memes used against him.

No word on how Obama escaped this "centre of ire" against anyone with money.

by oboe on Mar 25, 2013 3:18 pm • linkreport

The first was the inversion of "Romney the successful businessman" by pointing out Bain Capital's shady business practices.

Except that Krugman argues that Bain was "sorta" the reason behind the attacks on Romney.

Obviously not everyone understood the nuances of Bain, but those negative ads were in constant rotation in the midwest.

You're correct. In fact, most people didn't understand the nuances which is why they were largely unable to answer "what did Bain do." Then again, many americans are ignorant to such things..rather taking on the opinions of their favorite media personality.

The attack on Kerry, on the other hand, was that he was an effete northeastern liberal whose wife was paying his way.

Yes, an effete WEALTHY liberal who parasailed on Nantucket. That's the same as the effete WEALTHY republican who had accounts in the Cayman's.

If you're going to say that these two types of attack boil down to "he has money", you may as well say they both were attacked for having hair.

Well er, sure. John Edwards also had hair but was attacked for spending $500 on a haircut.

by HogWash on Mar 25, 2013 3:25 pm • linkreport

No word on how Obama escaped this "centre of ire" against anyone with money.

Oh shucks..iono. Could be because no one considered him wealthy...and in comparison to all the others before him who had vacation homes...he wasn't.

by HogWash on Mar 25, 2013 3:34 pm • linkreport

The Examiner ran an article about the DC fire chief. Talk about "fiddling while Rome burns"! The Examiner's imminent demise is a tiny bit sad, but at least it's going out with a bang!

by Turnip on Mar 25, 2013 7:16 pm • linkreport

+1 Spookiness (at the beginning of the comments)

This small but very vocal subset of Old Town residents will stop at nothing to preserve the status quo, even if that means Old Town stews in traffic and nothing else gets done at Potomac Yard.

by Froggie on Mar 25, 2013 8:49 pm • linkreport

> I know two GS-14, married, both had previous condos (track record) and they barely qualified for a loan on a 900K condo.

Err, so you know a married couple who's combined income is roughly $50k than Yglesias' individual income (assuming his income is only $250k), and you can't figure out why he got a mortgage that was slightly larger than the one they were qualified for anyway?

by Matt on Mar 25, 2013 11:57 pm • linkreport

I've only been in there a couple times, but I'm pulling for you Ballston Mall. Fight the good fight.

by Chris S. on Mar 26, 2013 7:23 pm • linkreport

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