Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In Brief - February 27th, 2007

Here is today's quick news digest:
  • The Project for Public Spaces, a group dedicated to promoting the idea of placemaking (and an organization we have a lot of respect for), has ranked Seattle's waterfront as one of the seven worst in the world. PPS advises that "Seattle could also make huge gains by taking down the Viaduct along the waterfront, and investing in transit service instead. The waterfront now feels disconnected from downtown, but the removal of the viaduct would open up new links between people and Puget Sound. Public destinations that are floundering today would flourish.". Seattleities, help the Emerald City reclaim its waterfront - vote NO on Measure 2.
  • Seattle's Drinking Liberally chapter is screening Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth tonight at the Montlake Ale House in honor of the film's two Oscar wins last weekend. Arrive before 8:15 PM to catch the whole thing.
  • As I predicted last night, it didn't take long for that Drudge garbage about Gore's electricity use to be picked up by the traditional media - it made it into CNN's The Situation Room this afternoon and was mentioned in the preview by the network's John King following the end of Lou Dobbs' program. It just goes to show that we have much work to do before the Republican Noise Machine's ability to spread filth is neutralized.
  • Yesterday, the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington (who are all Democrats, except for Arnold Schwarzenegger) announced the formation of the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative to implement a joint strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement directs each state to develop a regional target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions within six months. A "market-based" program will be implemented to reach the target (probably a load-based cap and trade program). The San Francisco Chronicle has an article which skeptically wonders if California's neighbors are really committed to cutting emissions.
Finally, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked 416 points today, while the NASDAQ lost 97 points. The losses for the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 all topped 3 percent for the day, and it was the Dow's worst day since September 17th, 2001. BusinessWeek has some solid analysis:
The slide may have awakened investors to the market's inherent risks, after weeks of growing complacency. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), a measure of investors' risk tolerance often classified as a "fear gauge," surged more than 60% Feb. 27, its biggest-ever increase. The VIX had fallen as low as 8.6 as recently as Dec. 18, 2006, down from a 52-week high of 23.81 set last June.

A sharp overnight drop in China's stock market helped jump-start Tuesday's sell-off. Still, analysts say a weak manufacturing report and broader economic worries were probably more to blame for U.S. losses. Now might be an opportune moment for investors to make sure their portfolios reflect their risk-tolerance levels, though market pros say it's no time to panic just yet.
If you have something to add, please leave a comment.

POSTSCRIPT: The Associated Press has joined the Gore-trashing game with a non story by reporter Kristin M. Hall. The headline? "Group: Gore a hypocrite over power bill." It's time to fight back against the media's legitimization of right wing nonsense.

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