1. "End the Park Free Areas," Seattle Transit Blog editorializes. All we can add is that we concur.
2. The liberal Washington Budget and Policy Center's blog, Schmudget (Yiddish for budget), outlines the revenues and savings that would result from the passage of I-502, the initiative to legalize and tax marijuana. Among them: $533 million in new revenue for schools, public safety, health care and other public services, and $23 million in annual savings from marijuana law enforcement.
3. Meanwhile, the Tacoma News Tribune reports on a new study revealing that 240,000 people have been arrested in Washington state for pot possession over the last 25 years.
4. The Seattle Times reports on a speech by John Koster, the Republican candidate for Congress in Washington State's 1st District, in which Koster said government assistance encourages "laziness," "mediocrity," and "slothfulness" among beneficiaries. In the same speech, Koster mocked the term "social justice," saying it was code for "taxation and redistribution of wealth."
5. Sightline explains why the state department of transportation's predictions of ever-increasing car traffic have remained so incredibly inaccurate. Short version: They don't check models against reality.
6. As we head into tonight's vice-presidential debate, it's worth reading (or re-reading) the Sunday New York Times' somewhat incredulous piece on how the Republican Party became the anti-urban party.
Paul Ryan, of course, recently responded to a question about gun control with a racist dog-whistle blaming gun violence on "inner-city" residents who lack "character" and need "civic education" from charities, civic groups, and churches.
At a time when four-fifths of all Americans live in urban areas, the Times writes, "The only place that Amtrak turns a profit is the Northeast corridor — yet all Republicans can think to do is privatize it, along with the local rail lines on which millions of Americans have been commuting into cities to work for as long as a century and a half. Republicans promise to ban same-sex marriage, make it easier for anyone to get a gun, delegitimize and destroy what they mockingly call 'public employees’ unions,' and deport the immigrant workers performing so many thankless but vital tasks."