Midday Scan: Tacoma scores Seattle's port business; could 'Hawks score Peyton?

Expansion at the Port of Tacoma is good news there, and bad news in Seattle. Tacoma, Seattle, and sports fans all over the Northwest may be united in hoping Peyton Manning would want to come here. But why would the QB want to come here?

Crosscut archive image.

Peyton Manning during a 2009 game for Indianapolis in Phoenix

Expansion at the Port of Tacoma is good news there, and bad news in Seattle. Tacoma, Seattle, and sports fans all over the Northwest may be united in hoping Peyton Manning would want to come here. But why would the QB want to come here?

In the words of the great LL Cool J, "Don't call it a comeback," because Tacoma's been here for years. And it's no joke, because the city just swiped some major swag in three major shipping lines — NYK Lines, OOCL, and Hapag-Lloyd — from the Emerald City itself, according to News Tribune staff writer John Gillie. Larger estimates say this could mean as many as 400,000 container units per year moving to Tacoma, writes Gillie.

While longshore workers in Tacoma are cheering, the Port of Seattle says the move could cost jobs in the city. It issued a statement urging Puget Sound ports not to compete with one another.

Seattle has always viewed Tacoma as a little brother, picking on the smaller city and giving it metaphorical noogies. But Tacoma has always been the scrappier of the two, and if cities could settle disputes in the boxing ring, it's likely Tacoma would deliver a southpaw that would knock out the frail, soft-skinned older brother in one blow. And maybe that's what this latest port move is: a K.O. that could result in Tacoma regaining, as Gillie notes, the crown for "largest container port in the Puget Sound."

Tacoma must really be channeling LL Cool J's, "Momma Said Knock You Out."

Peyton Manning is something close to the real-life version of Captain America: An all-American with supernatural physical capabilities (at least when it comes to football), a love for his family, and a genuine passion for football that isn't hampered by greed for money — though he makes a lot — or an overinflated ego. It's easy to see why, then, so many here in Washington have come down with a bad case of Manning fever after his release from the Indianapolis Colts, even when taking into account his age (he turns 36 this month) and his three — count them: three — neck surgeries. Possibly adding to the Captain America theory, reports show him regaining his throwing strength, countering earlier fears of prolonged post-surgery "noodle arm."

So why should he come to Seattle, anyways? It's cold and damp and cloudy up here, and the Seahawks don't have the best reputation in the NFL. And though speculators have created a thousand-and-one reasons as to why he should come here, there really is no reason to believe any of it, Seattle Times NFL reporter Danny O'Neill writes.

"And after two days of news, speculation and according-to-sources updates, I have no better idea of where Manning will actually end up than I did before he was released Wednesday. None. In fact, I might actually be more confused as to what the resolution might be, which strikes me as a surprising contradiction of the Internet age."

In the end, O'Neill writes, Manning will go where he wants to go. The rest is "navel-gazing."

If special sessions were surprises, well, we might be more surprised at the news we're having a special session this year. But alas, there's nothing special about the extension that has become a part of our state's routine, as rote and common as brushing teeth.

Is there any sign of collaboration or of healing inflicted wounds? Maybe not. Seattle Times reporter Andrew Garber writes that Republicans and Democrats were both playing yet another round of the "blame game," and he quotes a seemingly tired and hopeless Gov. Chris Gregoire before midnight: "I hope they will be able to finish it next week." She also said she sees no end in sight until some compromise is made between the the two parties.

In other words: "Don't hold your breath."

By now, everyone in the social media world has seen, or at least have been begged to see, Kony 2012, Invisible Children's new thirty-minute video demanding the capture and death of Joseph Kony, leader of the child-napping Lord's Resistance Army. The video, while in part an exercise in the "White Man's Burden" — starring the filmmakers and a cute Aryan boy more than the Ugandans or the victims themselves — is also an extraordinary example of social media's power. At the time of writing, the video has almost 30 million plays on YouTube and 15 million views on Vimeo, and 2.5 million people "like" the organization's group on Facebook. Wowsers. (If Crosscut had that many likes in its history, we would really be in business.)

Reuters writer Sharon Waxman reminds us how social media was in large part responsible for the election of President Obama, the Egyptian revolution, and the end of the SOPA bill. And it appears that the powers of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will have their say about Kony as well, she says. 

"Without a doubt, Joseph Kony is a very bad guy. The International Criminal Court hasn't gotten him. The Ugandan army hasn't gotten him. But my bet is in the age of social media, he doesn't stand a chance."

If you're thinking of something to do this weekend, you can probably skip out on John Carter, which stars the very forgettable Taylor Kitsch. The movie is so bad that Seattle Times film critic Soren Anderson can't even bring himself to give a serious review. More damning, though, is that the John Carters of the world won't even see John Carter. Moviefone writer Mike Ryan took it upon himself to call John Carters all over the country to get their opinion.

John Carter of Nevada: "No, I'm not going to see it. Why the hell would I want to see John Carter? Someone else will go see it and tell me about it. I'm not spending $15 to see no damn movie."

Enough said.

Links summary

News Tribune, "Port of Tacoma lands three major shipping lines"

Seattle Times, "Frenzy over Peyton Manning is just making a dust cloud so far"

Seattle Times, "No agreement on budget; special session is called"

Reuters, "Kony: Can a YouTube video stop an international killer?"

Moviefone, "'John Carter': Will the John Carters of Earth see sci-fi epic?"


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