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Archives for 09/11/2005 - 09/17/2005

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Asterisk on Nickels’s Neighborhood Spending

posted by on September 17 at 6:15 PM

In our Nickels endorsement last week we wrote that Nickels slated $159 million for over 190 neighborhood projects last year. I should clarify: The $159 million was slated in last year’s 2004-2005 budget, meaning the money was spread over two years. Second, the money comes from a mix of general fund sources and voter-approved levy money.

This information raises legitimate questions about our claim that Nickels “prioritized neighborhood spending.” I could take a stab at addressing those questions, but I’ll leave them hanging instead. I’m not wasting my time defending Mayor Greg “I’ll Build a Baseball Stadium After the Public Votes Against It, but I’ll Pull the Plug on Rapid Mass Transit After the Public Votes For It” Nickels.


posted by on September 17 at 2:30 PM

Over on the Stranger reader forums, a reader (R.V. Murphy) points out that our municipal endorsements seem schizoid because we endorsed Nickels, but we also endorsed council candidates who oppose Nickels’s policies. It’s a good point. However, we addressed it directly in our Nickels endorsement. Here’s what we wrote:

While we’re fans of Nickels’s big-city vision, we’ve had to call bullshit on Nickels a few times. We busted him on the South Lake Union trolley plan, the Vulcan giveaway at Westlake Avenue Park, his cave to Harbor Properties, the KeyArena plan, and his exaggerated numbers about the wonders of biotech. But his biggest shortcoming is not forcing neighborhoods to accept more density. A whopping 75 percent of Seattle’s residential land is zoned single-family and unless that changes, his urban-center density plan will backfire. Instead of driving housing prices down through increased development, he will drive them up by creating unaffordable yuppie enclaves. Nickels’s agenda needs to be fine-tuned, and that’s why we want a watchdog council that would include dissidents like Richard Conlin and Linda Averill, and not sniveling, Team Nickels butt-boys like Casey Corr.

I should add, however, that we’re not feeling so great about our Nickels endorsement now—not after Nickels’s anti-monorail press conference. Both Dan S. and I posted about that yesterday. Scroll down to read those posts.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Not Voting for Nickels

posted by on September 16 at 10:02 PM

For what it’s worth—and it ain’t worth much, since he’s running unopposed—the Stranger is probably gonna yank our Nickels endorsement on Monday. So if you’re filling out your absentee ballot this weekend and you’re consulting a Stranger cheat sheet, you might wanna write in someone else.

Oh, and I want my money back. I made a $300 contribution to Nickels’ campaign based in large part on his support—despite how perfunctory it always seemed—for bringing elevated rapid transit to Seattle. At his campaign kick-off breakfast, Nickels promised to build the monorail. That promise is now inoperative, it seems, or it was a lie to begin with. So I want my money back, Greg. I’m not going to do anything idiotic with the money—I’m not going to give it to any of the dopes running against you (but I might give it to whoever winds up facing Casey Corr in the general election)—but the money ain’t yours anymore.

Yeah, yeah: We’re not single-issue voters around here, and we still dig your urban growth agenda, your density vision, etc. But your dishonest, cowardly, kick-`em-when-they’re-down Monorail Double Cross is a deal breaker, Greg. We’ll go into it at length in this week’s paper, but I wanted to get this up on the Slog now.

Vote for someone else, readers.

Give my money back, Greg.

And grow a sack, Greg. That Newsweek from the 1960s with Mayor Daley on the cover that you pulled out at our endorsement interview at College Inn Pub? That was cute, we got it—you wanna be Seattle’s Daley, you wanna build things, you wanna make this a city that works. But Daley, corrupt as he was, knew something about making a city work. Doing something as vital as building urban rapid transit requires vision and guts and nerve—the kind of vision, guts and nerve that Daley had. The kind of vision, guts, and nerve that you wanted us to believe you had. But you ain’t got it, Greg. The going got tough and you pussed out. Are you sure you’re from Chicago?

Nickels Pulls Plug On Monorail Before Public Gets A Chance to Vote

posted by on September 16 at 5:35 PM

So, at his press conference this afternoon the Mayor said, “the people of Seattle have the final say in this project.” However he also said, “I’m withdrawing city support for the Seattle Monorail Project.”

So, which is it?

Well, I just got off the phone with Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis who said, “We’ve made our decision. We’re pulling the plug.”

So, if the city is pulling the plug—Nickels is canceling the project’s Transit Way Agreement—what exactly are the people deciding? Well, Nickels—having killed the transit way agreement—is asking the council to send an advisory measure to the people asking them if the city should stop supporting the monorail. It’s like taking the wheels off a car and asking people if they still want to buy it.

(And this from a guy who really respects the will of the people. Remember, Nickels was one of the County Council members who voted to approve the baseball stadium despite the vote of the people against it.)

The other problem here is the double standard. Consider: Back in 2000, Sound Transit— $1.1 billion over budget, with its federal money in limbo—had a year and a half to come up with a new plan. Why did the city give the monorail agency a month?

Forget the Monorail

posted by on September 16 at 4:43 PM

Here’s a real solution to Seattle’s transportation problems.


More Corr-Nickels disconnect

posted by on September 16 at 4:10 PM

Just a few hours ago, Mayor Nickels commended Jan Drago for her work overseeing the monorail. (He knows it wasn’t her fault the finance plan sucks.)

This just in from Drago’s opponent, Casey Corr. Apparently he didn’t get the mayor’s press release:

“For more than a year, Council President Jan Drago ignored warnings of a Monorail debacle in the making. She ignored calls to protect taxpayers that came from the State Treasurer, the State Auditor, four former mayors and many others. She resisted calls for a vote and provided no leadership to resolve this crisis. Today, after weeks of refusing to do so, she finally agreed with me that it’s time for a vote on the Monorail’s future.”

Undone Dandys

posted by on September 16 at 3:00 PM

Pitchfork can be unfairly harsh sometimes. Other times, their harshness nails a couple excellent points with great sarcasm. They did the latter today with a review of the new Dandy Warhols.

Death Cab/Harvey Danger tickets!

posted by on September 16 at 2:57 PM

So, the Death Cab for Cutie/Harvey Danger benefit show at the Showbox sold out in like, minutes, leaving many fans empty handed and heartbroken. But all hope’s not lost, because you now have a chance to put pen to paper and WIN some FREE tickets to the Sept 21st show in an essay contest!

All the important details can be found here (or below), and submissions must be received by this coming Sunday, September 18th, which is the very same day Harvey Danger just so happens to be playing an in-store performance at Sonic Boom Records in Ballard at 6 pm.

Good luck everyone!

Continue reading "Death Cab/Harvey Danger tickets!" »

Casey “Nickels” Corr v. Jan Drago

posted by on September 16 at 2:11 PM


Now, I’m not the monorail reporter—or the city hall reporter—but this line from Mayor Nickels’ press release announcing his withdrawn support of the Monorail seems to undermine Casey Corr’s continued criticism of his opponent, Jan Drago.

“Jan Drago has shown fiscal accountability, integrity and leadership in her handling of the monorail,” Nickels said. “She understands the public confidence is critical to making progress on transportation.”

So perhaps Corr—who claims Drago’s “failed oversight of the Monorail” is her main shortcoming—isn’t Nickels’ bitch after all? (Or vice-versa.)

Go Roughriders!

posted by on September 16 at 1:37 PM

Miramax just acquired rights to distribute Ward Serrill’s The Heart of the Game, a documentary about the girls’ basketball team at Roosevelt High School in Seattle—the story comes complete with a “maverick tax professor” as coach and a star player who gets knocked up. The film had its premiere yesterday at the Toronto Film Festival. (Thanks to Shannon Gee for the tip.)

Why We Fight

posted by on September 16 at 1:10 PM

After reading this story from the Times-Union in Jacksonville, Florida I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s about a high school senior who wore a blatantly racist t-shirt to school, then was surprised when someone decked him in the melon.

Here’s a description of the shirt:

The undershirt the white student wore had a confederate flag on the front with the words “Keep it flying.” On the back, a cartoon depicted a group of hooded Klansmen standing outside a church, waving to two others who had just pulled away in a car reading “Just married.” Two black men in nooses were being dragged behind.

And here’s his explanation of why he wore it:

He said he put the shirt on in the morning because he planned to wear it to a party that night with others who, like him, had enlisted in the Marines.

Ah, yes. America’s finest.

Generation Deaf

posted by on September 16 at 12:45 PM

As someone who spends about eight hours a day listening to music on headphones, I found this report to be a real day-darkener, for there are few more pleasurable activities known to humanity than blocking out the rest of the godforsaken world with glorious music.

AP’s Martha Irvine reports in an article titled “Headphone Use May Worsen Hearing Loss”: “One telltale sign that you’ve done damage to your ears is when you leave a loud venue with ringing ears. If you rest your ears, they might recover, at least partially, doctors say. But with repeated exposure comes more damage to the hair cells in the inner ear, which are key to good hearing.”

To counter this problem, one local music aficionado recommends these earplugs. What what?

Re: Sick of Bush

posted by on September 16 at 11:57 AM

I had Bush on the car radio during the speech. My main reaction: It’s perfect comeuppance for a tax slashing Republican like George Bush to be forced to embrace FDR alphabet soup politics. He even felt compelled to reference FDR’s heroics during the Great Depression—while outlining his own federal government rescue mission. (Norquist must have been fuming.) It was a perfect ending to the Gingrich thru Bush era. They came face to face with the failure of their policies. And there’s Bush singing the praises of big government. HYPOCRITE!!!

However, immediately after the speech this beautiful thing happened that will stand forever for me as a memory of this whole Katrina era. In honor of Kanye West’s zeitgeist moment on TV (“George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People”), I bought West’s new CD yesterday. (I want it to be #1). I hadn’t listened to it yet, and so, immediately after Bush was done, I put on the CD and drove around listening to that. And it turns out, there’s even a line about Bush in one of the songs: “Who gave Saddam anthrax? George Bush got the answers.”

Re: Sick of Bush

posted by on September 16 at 11:47 AM

The other thing that’s notable about Sullivan’s post is that he echoes a theme I heard repeatedly from television commentators last night, after the president’s address ended.

…sick of the glib arrogance and excuses for failure that dot the landscape from Biloxi to Basra.

The failure in New Orleans is starting to merge in people’s minds with the failure in Iraq. As Cindy Sheehan told me for my story this week on the Gold Star mom phenomenon, this is exactly what the Gold Star moms are hoping will happen as they prepare for a huge march on Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24. (There will be a companion action here in Seattle on the same day.)

“People are still dying every day in Iraq and we still have a war going on,” Sheehan told me. “We need to link them together, and they’re connected. It’s just another example of failure by this administration. Since the media’s not merging them together it’s going to be hard, but we’ll keep trying.”

Sullivan often talks about the hot memes of the moment — so often that I had to go figure out the meaning of the word “meme.” A meme is an idea that’s spreading rapidly in a culture, and if this is the meme that’s spreading ten days out from the march on D.C., that’s a very good sign for the Gold Star moms. (Remember them? They’re the ones who were camped out at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, getting all kinds of media attention before Hurricane Katrina bumped them off the TV screens.) The spreading of the “failure from Biloxi to Basra” meme indicates there will probably be a strong appetite among media people for flipping straight from unhappiness with New Orleans back to unhappiness with Iraq, and the march on D.C. next week will be their obvious news peg.

Only in Seattle

posted by on September 16 at 11:46 AM

Here’s the text of a cringe-worthy poem displayed on ten signs along the Burke-Gilman Trail to notify bicyclists that a portion of the trail will be closed through Fremont for the next two years. The city’s transportation department wrote the signs with the help of a PR consultant.

We all love the Burke-Gilman Trail
Wending by hill and through dale,
But not far ahead
The trail you must shed
And along 34th you will sail!

You’ve followed the signs without fail
With nary a whine or a wail.
The path’s yours again
For a run or a spin
Viva la Burke-Gilman Trail!

Sick of Bush

posted by on September 16 at 10:52 AM

According to Andrew Sullivan, not many bloggers bothered to live-blog the president’s speech last night. Amy and Eli had it all to themselves, apparently. This morning Andrew explains why he couldn’t be bothered to watch POTUS blow us:

I guess I wasn’t the only one who decided to skip watching the president live last night. Across the blogosphere, it seems as if many others decided to catch it later, or on the web, or just read the transcript. Why? Because I knew what was coming: an attempt at spiritual uplift, greased by billions and billions that we don’t have, organized by a federal government that, under Bush, cannot seem to organize anything competently. I’m not saying we don’t need to spend money on the reconstruction of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. I’m saying I don’t want to hear it from this guy. As a friend of mine commented last night over a drink, I don’t hate this president and never have. I’m just sick of him. Sick of the naked politicization of everything (Karl Rove over-seeing reconstruction?); sick of the utter refusal to acknowledge that there is a limit to what the federal government can borrow from this and the next generation; sick of the hijacking of the conservative tradition for a vast increase in the power and size of government, with only a feigned attempt at making it more effective; sick of the glib arrogance and excuses for failure that dot the landscape from Biloxi to Basra.

In Our Neighborhood

posted by on September 16 at 10:48 AM

Pike/Pine updates:
This neighborhood of coffee shops, bars, auto dealerships, boutiques, and salons is about to welcome… another fistful of the same. 517 E Pike, a lovely airy space which was a Halloween superstore this time last year and has been vacant since, is becoming an auto showroom. The former auto-repair shop that abuts the Eagle will soon be home to Victrola’s coffee roasting operations. The empty disco at 916 E Pike (once Spintron) has a liquor license application notice on the door bearing the cringe-inducing name “Bad Boys Club.” And the husk of the Bad JuJu (1518 11th Ave) is being transformed into Barbie’s, a lounge named after the owner who’s also a partner in Manray.

Nickels’s Lackey

posted by on September 16 at 10:25 AM

The Mayor’s Boy, Casey Corr, sent out a suspicious press release this morning.

He writes: “Today, I am once again calling on Council President Jan Drago to follow my leadership and put the Monorail on the ballot. In today’s Post-Intelligencer, Jan Drago is once again missing in action on this question. As council president, she shouldn’t wait for the mayor to propose a solution.”

Funny. Corr’s press release, hyping his call for a re-vote, came about 20 minutes in advance of the Mayor’s press release. (Nickels press release announced a 2pm press conference, where he’ll make a statement about the monorail.)

Do you think Corr got a little briefing from the mayor last night, and so knew exactly what the mayor was going to say today, and was able to send out a coordinated press release that would make Casey look like a bold leader…rather than what he is: Team Nickels’s class pet and lackey.

If a Stripper Strips…

posted by on September 16 at 10:18 AM

If a stripper strips and there’s no one there to look at her tits, did she get naked?

That’s a philosophical debate we can avoid if we get our asses down to New Orleans ASAP after the French Quarter re-opens—and that’s going to happen sooner than folks were predicting a week ago. Check out this story, which was originally headlined “French Quarter Races to Reopen.” Here’s an uplifting quote from a respectable New Orleans businessman:

“It’ll be better than ever,” said Jason Mohney, the owner of four strip clubs on Bourbon Street, the bawdy and tacky haven for tourists in the heart of the French Quarter. “A lot of federal money will be coming in here. Big-time developers will come, too,” he said late on Thursday as he and a team or workers cleaned up at one of the clubs, hoping to open as early as the weekend.

The President of the United States is quoted in the story too—after the heroic strip club owner.

“There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again,” Bush said in a televised prime-time speech from the French Quarter’s historic Jackson Square on Thursday night.

Yes, Mr. President, the great city of New Orleans will rise again—plenty of things will surely rise again in New Orleans—thanks to the efforts of Mr. Mohney and his crew.

Katrina was a tragedy, and if I had the power to retroactively prevent a hurricane, I’d do it. But in a way you’ve got to love a natural disaster that result in the thoughts of strip club owners taking precedence over those of the president.

Drunk & Disorderly & Desperately Needed

posted by on September 16 at 9:53 AM

Some funny Will Durst quotes are up on Daily Kos this AM, including this one:

“As soon as New Orleans gets back to normal, I plan on volunteering to go down there and help drink their economy back on its feet.”

I couldn’t agree more. There have been tons of benefits in Seattle for Hurricane Relief and the Red Cross, and we organized a little benefit here at The Stranger to raise money for the employees of the Gambit, the alt weekly in New Orleans. But if we really want to follow through—if we really want to make New Orleans whole—then we’ve got down there and drink just as soon as the city re-opens for business. I think a group of Seattle’s hard-drinking do-gooders should start working on a package tour to New Orleans once it’s booze & boobs & business as usual. Let’s charter a couple of flights to New Orleans, book a couple of floors of a hotel, and head down there with money to spend, livers to abuse, and tits to flash.

Members of the American Taliban—members in good standing, not cranks—are running around telling their Christian Jihadists that God destroyed New Orleans to snuff out the rampant hedonism on display in that city every night of the week. That’s bullshit, as I pointed out in an earlier post. God destroyed Biloxi’s casinos utterly and completely, but He left the French Quarter relatively unharmed. The French Quarter, of course, is the atmospheric magnet that draws hedonists to New Orleans. If God wanted to put a stop to foot-long margaritas and flashed tits, He would have destroyed the French Quarter and left everything else standing. But He didn’t do that, did He?

The French Quarter survived. If we want to help put New Orleans back on its feet, we need to do our part not just for the refugees and the Red Cross, but for the bartenders, club owners, cocktail waitresses, strippers, hookers, and the guys who hose the vomit off the streets of the French Quarter in the AM. I’m completely serious: Let’s book a flight, sell tickets, and go!


posted by on September 16 at 9:40 AM

A clarification on something we wrote in our endorsement of mayor Nickels. We said: “His biggest shortcoming is not forcing neighborhoods to accept more density. A whopping 75 percent of Seattle is zoned single family and unless that changes his urban-center density plan will backfire. Instead of driving housing prices down through increased development, he will drive them up by creating unaffordable yuppie enclaves.”

We should have said—as we do in the on-line version: “A whopping 75 percent of Seattle’s residential land is zoned single-family and unless that changes, his urban-center density plan will backfire. Instead of driving housing prices down through increased development, he will drive them up by creating unaffordable yuppie enclaves.”

The President’s Top Button

posted by on September 16 at 7:53 AM

Last night, I criticized the President’s fashion choices. Specifically, his top button, which he left undone during a serious, extremely important national address.

Now, in our Forums, astute reader Rone points us to Daily Kos, where photographic evidence shows that the president mis-buttoned his shirt (as in, he was off by a button) and left the top one open to disguise his ineptitude.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Live-Slogging the Presidential Address

posted by on September 15 at 5:53 PM

(With Amy Jenniges)

ELI 5:57 PM: Pre-speech show, and Paula Zahn is channeling Kayne West. She asks Howard Dean if he thinks the president doesn’t care about black people. Dean’s answer is essentially: Well, if you look at Bush’s policies, it’s hard to escape that conclusion.

ELI 5:59 PM: A graphic shows the president’s poll numbers. Four different polls show his job approval rating in the low 40s. I repeat: The man is drowning.

ELI 6:00 PM: Ah, hearing Bush mispronounce Lake Pontchartrain is a pleasure.

ELI 6:04 PM: The anchors have prepped me to be looking for a bullhorn moment. Not seeing one. The camera frame makes it look like the statue of a horse is trampling Bush’s head.

ELI 6:07 PM: Bush says it is impossible to imagine the United States without imagining New Orleans. He looks frightened, as if what’s really impossible is for him to imagine poll numbers this low.

AMY 6:08 PM: It’s really bothering me that he didn’t bother to button his top button.

AMY 6:10 PM: Man, the piped in audiences from shelters look like they don’t believe a word.

AMY 6:14 PM: He’s starting to smirk.

ELI 6:15 PM: My friend calls the toll-free number Bush has offered. He made it seem as if the federal government was offering this hotline, but really it’s run by the Red Cross.

AMY 6:18 PM: The urban homesteading act, a lottery for low income citizens, to get free federal property… That sounds greatBush’s first real ideabut how much surplus property can there really be? Moreover, why not do that nationwide for low income families, not just in the Gulf?

ELI 6:20 PM: Zoning laws, building codes, zzzz. He’s giving a list of things to do and things already done, but he’s not connecting. No sweeping vision, no big emotion. Nothing but hesitation in his eyes.

ELI 6:22 PM: Understatement of the evening: “As some of us saw on television, there’s also some deep, persistent poverty in this area as well.”

ELI 6:23 PM: Bush will take “the side of entrepreneurs” in the recovery effort (i.e., not workers, whose guarantee of a minimum wage he has waved because of the disaster).

ELI 6:24 PM: Ok, all Americans will be needed in the recovery effort, he says. Is this… a call for actual sacrifice? Nah. We just all need to feel a little more compassionate, he says.

AMY 6:24 PM: “The Armies of Compassion” sheesh.

AMY 6:25 PM: “Everyone should find their role, and do their part.” Everything he’s suggestingthat groups contact their counterparts in the Gulf region, and offer to pitch in, Americans have been doing. FOR FIFTEEN DAYS. Points like that just underscore how little he and his administration have done in the past two weeks.

ELI 6:25 PM: “I consider emergency planning to be a national security priority.” But only when my polls are down.

ELI 6:26 PM: On his failure: “I as president am responsible for the problem. And the solution.” Ouch. Having to say that in the fifth year of a presidency built around preparing the nation for catastrophe is pretty damning.

ELI 6:27 PM: But he stops short of calling for an independent investigation into the failures. Of course.

AMY 6:27 PM: “Americans have never left their destiny to the whims of nature.” We have, however, left our destiny to the whims of a bumbling idiot.

AMY 6:27 PM: “We were looking for a bullhorn moment. I don’t think we got it,” says Mark Whitaker on CNN. Moreover, “Why are we hearing it weeks after the event, rather than days?”

The Compton Report

posted by on September 15 at 5:35 PM

Has anyone seen this man?

Former newscaster and current city council member Jim Compton is missing in action. If you walk by his office on a day when his committee isn’t in session (like yesterday, for example), you’ll find his door shut and his office dark. (I called today, but no one was there to answer.) Admittedly, Compton’s responsibilities as chairman of the council’s Utilities and Technology Committee aren’t exactly arduous (on last week’s agenda: an update on drainage rates and a briefing on the Cedar River Treatment Plant Awards). But you’d think a guy who makes $97,000 a year could at least be bothered to show up to work.

Stripping for Katrina Survivors, Tonight at the Eagle

posted by on September 15 at 5:35 PM

I’m participating in Phil Picken’s t-shirt auction benefit at the Eagle tonight. I’m auctioning off a white wife beater emblazoned with the memorable slogan “The only bush I trust is my own”, made by Periel Aschenbrand, the rad NYC artist/designer who also wrote the book of the same name.

Naturally, my big fear is that no one will bid on my ass, so please come down, save me from such embarrassment and help raise money for hurricane Katrina survivors. The event kicks off at 10pm and also includes a slew of other local musicians and industry-types.

It’s worth noting that we actually have to take off our shirt and give it to the winning bidder, so there’s another incentive for the perverts among you.

Jeanne E. Dixon Does Exist

posted by on September 15 at 4:52 PM

The mysterious mayoral candidate sent me a package today. The enclosed letterfive pages, handwritten in prim school-teacher cursiveis addressed to Mr. Wayne Barnett, executive director of the city’s Department of Ethics and Elections. (In it, she refers to herself as the “1905 MAYORAL CANDIDATE”perhaps that explains why her election filing doesn’t list a phone number?)

Mr Barnett:

I am forwarding my answer here to the news media weeklys in the hope you will end the long series of oppressive threats to my campaign to cover up more of this office’s 2005 election frauds still before the publicThe Very Reason for which I determined at the last Minute to Campaign for the Mayoral position.

Her complaint? It seems to stem from a September 9 letter from the city, admonishing her for ignoring earlier city requests to file the proper campaign paperwork. “As of today, you have not responded to our request. The [filings] originally due on August 12, 2005, are now twenty-seven days late,” executive director Barnett wrote. “Therefore we are compelled to impose late filing penalties of $540.”

I’m sure somewhere in Ms. Dixon’s five-page retort, she explains where she’s coming from, and why the city’s wrong. (I can somewhat make out that she claims she did file the paperwork…) But the cursive is giving me a headache. I’m going to leave this one to the experts at the PDCMs. Dixon cc’d them, tooto sort out.

Flowers are never out of style

posted by on September 15 at 4:16 PM

While I was in a meeting just now someone left a mysterious and fantastic bouquet on my desk. Awesome.

Re: You Didn’t Leave a Number

posted by on September 15 at 1:47 PM

Absentee voters don’t have to vote the second their ballot appears in the mail, either. You know the Stranger’s going to release endorsementswhy not wait until we do? Or call us beforehand, to ask when they’ll be out?

You Didn’t Leave a Number

posted by on September 15 at 1:46 PM

To the Woman Who Called in to Complain About Our Endorsement Issue Because You Wanted to See Our Picks Sooner,

You complain that we always run our endorsements one week out from election day instead of two weeks out because most people vote by mail nowadays, and so, they’ve already voted. This is true, which is exactly why we’ve run our endorsements two weeks out from election day every year for the last five years.

The reason we published them a week out this year is because we hosted an all-candidates debate for the public last week (two weeks out), and we didn’t think it would be appropriate to have our endorsements on the street while we had a debate going on. (And, even though our Ed board had already spent the month of August interviewing the candidates at our offices, the public debate ended up dramatically influencing some of our picks.)

Why didn’t we do our debate three weeks out, so we could have published two weeks out? Cuz, that would have put our debate in August, and no one is paying attention to elections in August, and we wanted the candidates to have a big audiencewhich they got: 200 people and media coverage in the Seattle Times. You should have been there.

Per usual, our endorsements for the general election will come out two weeks in advance.

I fucked up

posted by on September 15 at 1:32 PM

The Suggests I wrote for Monday Sept. 19th about the Director’s Label Preview at the Triple Door actually happened last Monday the 12th. Unless you have a time machine, please strike this listing from your calendar/memory. Thanks, and my apologies.

Get your rocks off

posted by on September 15 at 11:18 AM

Attention drinkers: Drunk of the Week columnist Kelly O and I will be DJing (or, let’s be honest, playing the booty hiphop, rock, and techno CDs we like in a nice order) tonight at Neumo’s newly renovated back bar from 10pm until 2am. The place has some new decor from the old Bad Juju and it’s free to come in and have a drink. So we say come on in and have a drink, keep Kelly and I company—and you never know, you could end up the next DotW yourself.

A funny thing happened on the way to the printer

posted by on September 15 at 10:25 AM

A very annoying and prominent error appears in Dave Eggers’s audience review in this week’s printed issue. You will find it at the end of the second paragraph. What’s missing is half of the last sentence of the second paragraph, and then the entire third paragraph. It’s a short paragraph, but it’s necessary.

This is my fault. I’m the editor who signs off on this page. But in case you’re curious, here’s what happened: somewhere in the process of getting the page ready to go to the printer, a chunk of text was highlighted, and then someone — who knows — typed the letter z. As the page went off to be committed to history, no one saw this (and at least six eyes looked).

This is especially embarrassing because Eggers is a great writer who’s never written for The Stranger before, and we are thrilled to have him in this issue. Check out the correct piece here. It’s a great piece. It made another one of the editors here almost cry.

Whatever happened to my rock and roll

posted by on September 15 at 8:33 AM

Last night was the perfect setting for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to come through town. The weather’s getting a bit chilly, people are pulling their fall clothes out the closet…it’s a good time to sip wine and wrap yourself in some stylish music. And BRMC is stylish music—the handsome musicians, all that reverb, the lyrics about rock ‘n’ roll—but there’s still much substance there as well. I’ve seen the band play from the time they were still very much in San Francisco through their swings through Seattle and I’ve yet to see a bad show. Last night was no different. I will say the stripped back, bluesier songs off the new record don’t hold a candle to the feedback drenched enormity of the older songs, but still those guys put on a great live show, even when it’s just one guy, his harmonica, and a guitar. It’s nice when the crowd is so into it too, save for the one drunk idiot who kept yelling “Tragically hip” repeatedly between songs.

Good God

posted by on September 15 at 8:09 AM

I just received the harshest direct mail solicitation ever.

It came from Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund. The group mailed me a nickel, and the envelope carrying the nickel read: “This nickel could save a child’s life!” I sat here wondering: What am I going to do, keep the nickel?

I wasn’t going to keep the nickel. I was ready to make a guilt-induced donation. Until I read the even harsher P.P.S. at the end of the letter. It was written, of course, in an electronic rendering of a child’s cursive:

P.P.S. In the time it took you to read this letter, dozens of young children died painful, preventable deaths.

Now I’m putting the nickel toward therapy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The President, Like, Thinks?

posted by on September 14 at 5:22 PM

Spotted this on Sullivan & Americablog, but apparently Atrios caught it first…

Reuters took this photo of Bush writing Condi a note during a meeting. (Yes, it’s real.)


The note reads, in part, “I think I may need a bathroom break?”

He thinks he needs to piss? Isn’t that something a person should know for sure?

Drunk Uncles!

posted by on September 14 at 3:19 PM

Thanks so much to Drunk of the Week columnist Kelly O for sending along the URL for a Shrine to Drunk Uncles. Currently their collection of sauced relatives numbers only one, but if your mother’s/father’s brother fits the description, send a photo their way,

Oh, shit…

posted by on September 14 at 3:10 PM

Is the big one about to hit us? Some folks think so

Brian Jonestown Massacre

posted by on September 14 at 2:54 PM

I’m curious to hear from the masses who hit the Brian Jonestown Massacre show last Friday. I was on the tail end of being sick with a sick one in tow so I couldn’t do more than pop my head into Neumo’s that night, but the place was packed. So I’m curious a) what brought so many of you out to the show (the spectacle or the music) and b) how the show went (the spectacle and the music). If you hit that show, please post something here. Thanks.

Massachusetts Marriages

posted by on September 14 at 1:58 PM

The amendment that would ban same-sex marriages in Massachusettswhere it has been legal for a yearfailed in their state legislature, 157-39. (It passed last year, but needed to pass for a second consecutive year to go on the ballot.)

This year, the crowds were tamer and some legislators who had initially supported the proposed change to the state constitution said they no longer felt right about denying the rights of marriage to same-sex couples.

Gay marriage has begun, and life has not changed for the citizens of the commonwealth, with the exception of those who can now marry,” said state Sen. Brian Lees, an East Longmeadow Republican who had been a co-sponsor of the amendment. “This amendment which was an appropriate measure or compromise a year ago, is no longer, I feel, a compromise today.”

More Strip Clubs? Bring ‘Em On, P-I Readers Say

posted by on September 14 at 12:28 PM

The P-I’s editorial board weighs in today on the mayor’s proposed new strip-club regulations, which virtually ensure the demise of Seattle’s four remaining strip clubs by banning lap dances, requiring supermarket-bright lighting in all clubs, and requiring customers to hand tips to a manager or deposit them in tip jars. Mayor Nickels drafted the new rules in anticipation of yesterday’s ruling overturning Seattle’s 17-year strip-club moratorium:

Seattle’s lax rules on conduct, which allow up-close contact between dancers and customers, and the ban on new competitors are a perfect business environment, for the existing clubs. With the judge’s decision, it’s time for the council to approve Mayor Greg Nickels’ better-late-than-never proposal for tightening club regulations. Anything less than concerted action by the mayor and council will invite a flood of new clubs, making the city the undisputed sleaze capital of the state.

Seems like the P-I’s readers are OK with that: According to the online poll that accompanies the editorial, nearly three-quarters of readers don’t want the new regulations, and believe “city government [should] allow Seattle strip clubs to enjoy a competitive advantage over those in nearby cities.”

Voice your opinion on the mayor’s proposed strip-club regulations here.

Re: Come Home, America

posted by on September 14 at 12:07 PM

George McGovern’s “Come Home, America” speech also included cheesy lines like this:

And let us be joyful in the homecoming. For: “This land is your land, this land is my land. From California to the New York Island. From the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. This land was made for you and me.”

I’m not suggesting the Democrats engage in this kind of dumb kumbaya politics. Read Byrd’s speech. He’s talking about real issues Iraq, Katrina through the prism of a return to fundamental American values. And here’s the best part. If you want to read “Come Home, America” as a call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, you can. That will make the far left happy. If you want to read it as a call for a return to reality-based leadership, but a call that stops short of demanding total immediate withdrawal from Iraq, you can do that too. That reading will make the rest of the left happy.

This far-left, center-left divide is one Democrats have been struggling to straddle, and this kind of rhetoric allows them to do it.

Re: Come Home America

posted by on September 14 at 12:06 PM

Um, Eli, on July 13, 1972, George McGovern accepted the Democratic nomination for President at the Miami convention with his infamous “Come Home America” speech….and well…McGovern lost to Nixon 37.5% to 60.7%

Come Home, America

posted by on September 14 at 12:03 PM

Senator Robert Byrd, in a speech on the floor of the Senate yesterday, may have found the Democrats’ campaign theme for 2006: “Come Home, America.”

It is time to come home, America.  Time to look within our own borders and within our own souls.  There are many questions to be answered and many missions to accomplish right here on our own soil.  We have neglected too much for too long in our own backyard.

Taken literally, it’s a little too isolationist for my taste, but it could work. And it could work even better if Democrats make it not a literal but a metaphorical homecoming  a promise of a return to better days, to fiscal sanity, to an America not bogged down in a war launched on falsehoods, to a government that can help its citizens after natural disasters.

Seattle’s Smaller Weekly Watch

posted by on September 14 at 11:23 AM

For the week of September 15-21, 2005:

The Stranger: 124 pages.

Seattle Weekly: 140 pages.

Score one for Seattle Weekly? Not so fast…

The Weekly has a 16 page insert from from Washington State University/King County Extensiona paid insert (thanks Ron Sims!)that they credit toward their total page count, which is just a touch dishonest. When the Stranger has an advertising insert/pullout, we don’t include those pages in our total page count. We don’t, as the Weekly does this week, skip from page 62 to 79 in the middle of the paper. It’s irregular and it demonstrates the Weekly’s insecurity about their size.

An honest page count for this week’s “special” issue of SW puts it at the same size of this week’s regular issue of the Stranger, or 124 pages.

Jacko Dons Full-Body Lycra

posted by on September 14 at 11:15 AM informs the world of a most terrifying Michael Jackson sighting .

Apparently, during his ongoing vacation in Dubai, Jackson rented out an entire water park so the region’s children could have a free day of funwhich is creepy enough, but then comes this detail:

The reclusive superstar, now based in the middle east, baffled onlookers at the Wild Wadi park, wearing a white lycra body suit that exposed just his nose and eyes.

A lifeguard tells British newspaper the Daily Express, “He looked even stranger than usual. His body is very skinny and lycra does him no favours.”

Sightings like this are the only things that makes me mildly grateful that freak isn’t in prison.

Nice Try, Robert.

posted by on September 14 at 10:59 AM

Robert Jamieson wrote a column yesterday attacking the Stranger. He accused us of “flip-flopping” on the monorailgoing from cheerleaders to critics and then back to cheerleaders.

The flip-flopping editors of The Stranger — they became the monorail’s biggest pompom squad. The hip alternative weekly got a reality check, and a brief change of heart, when the P-I revealed that a single 14-mile line of the monorail network would cost $11 billion. Dude, the paper quickly reverted back to its old cheerleading ways.

Of course our position on the project changed when the $11 billion finance plan came to light. (By the way, the news of the $11 billion finance plan and the damning finance documents were first reported by Erica C. Barnett on our web siteone day before the PI reported its story.)
But as we made clear in the wake of the $11 billion news, we still dug the monorail system, but we couldn’t accept the junk finance plan. We were humbled, and called for a revote. Well, nothing’s changed. We still dig the monorail system. And we still do not dig the finance plan. (A new finance plan is coming tonight, and we’ll see what we think.) We’ve remained consistent on this.

Speaking of consistency, consider this: When Sound Transitwhich we hatedwent belly up, we called for a revote. When the monorailwhich we lovedwent belly up, we called for a revote. If only everybody else in this town were as consistent when considering these two important projects.

And I’m glad Jamieson brought up the concept of “flip-flopping.” Here’s Jamieson on Aug. 27, 2004 defending Christine Gregoire’s record on race relations as a sorority leader in the ’60s. Jamieson wrote:

“Gregoire deserves credit for recognizing her sorority’s backward policy as a student, and for raising the issue with the sorority’s body. She spoke up when many around her maintained echoing silence.”

Just five days later, on Sept. 1, 2004, Jamieson seems to have changed his mind. First he quotes Gregoire: “You know what frustrates me about this?” Gregoire said. “I chose to be the first [in my sorority] to stand up at a national convention and say, ‘Stop it.’ Somehow that’s just dismissed.”

And then Jamison weighs in:

“It is dismissed because the Greek systemthen and nowis considered by outsiders to be an incubator of ignorance. It is dismissed because Gregoire was slow to give the kind of heartfelt response that comes without political calculation. It is dismissed when people perceive you aren’t taking ownership of your past.”

Hey, Robert, how about taking ownership of a column you wrote five days earlier?

151 to 160

posted by on September 14 at 10:00 AM

Today at the UN, Bush Urges the World to Crack Down on Terror. He addressed 160 world leaders, almost exactly the number of people killed by insurgents in Iraq today.

RIP Timberline

posted by on September 14 at 9:03 AM

The End of an era.

After a long run the Timberline will be closing.
Final night will be Sunday September 11, 2005
Please don’t forget those that lost their lives on 9-11.
Thank you all for the great run… Jim & Jeff

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


posted by on September 13 at 4:51 PM

The Seattle International Film Festival has announced its new leadershipor at least half of it. With former director Helen Loveridge having departed back to her homeland of England, longtime SIFF man Carl Spence (who happens to be fluent in Japanese) has been promoted to the position of Artistic Director.

It’s a new position, essentially dividing the previous Executive Director post into two equal positions: Spence’s position and a Managing Director, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the festival.

The fest is still on the hunt for a Managing Director.

Thanks Linda & Darlene!

posted by on September 13 at 4:20 PM

Linda Averill is running as a Freedom Socialist for Seattle City Council Position 4 (Jan Drago is the incumbent). Darlene Madenwald is running for Seattle City Council Position 2 (Richard Conlin is the incumbent).

Averill and Madenwald are the only candidates, so far, who have responded to the audience questions from our Sept. 7 Candidate Forum, which we posted here a few days ago.

Linda and Darlene’s answers are below. Linda’s answers are first.

Continue reading "Thanks Linda & Darlene!" »

The Republican War on Science

posted by on September 13 at 2:44 PM

Tonight I will interview journalist Chris Mooney about his new and important book, The Republican War on Science. The event will take place at the Town Hall (1119 Eighth Ave) and start at 7:30 pm. I may or may not read this introduction, which I composed this morning to organize my waking thoughts:


The recent resignation of FEMA’s head Michael Brown, due to the full-blown exposure of his inexperience and gross incompetence, was a significant event for two immediately apparent reasons. One, for the first time in five years, Karl Rove could not save one of the president’s guilty men. No genius, now matter what size or how evil, could spin the human (or social) element out of this huge natural disaster. Second, it is (if the reports on Michael Brown’s replacement are correctBush is selecting a man with actual experience in emergency management) the turning point (the first reversal) of a seemingly relentless trend that began its career in the early ’70s and was accelerated by the present administration: the politicization of every part, every organ of America’s governing body.

Continue reading "The Republican War on Science" »

Shaq Attacks

posted by on September 13 at 2:37 PM

Pro basketball player Shaquille O’Neal chased down and helped catch a gay basher in Miami Beachbut that’s not the weird part of the story. Apparently Shaquille wants to be a policeman when he grows up. Who knew?

Re: Idiot on the Idiot Box

posted by on September 13 at 2:28 PM

From the forums, Jizosh has this prediction:

Number of times using the word progress:12.

Surely there are more…

Quiet Riot Indeed

posted by on September 13 at 2:13 PM

It’s too late to get this info in the paper, as the music section and calendar have already gone to print, but it was just announced that the Quiet Riot show on Friday, Sept 16th has been canceled. Refunds are available at point of purchase.

FEMA Party Money

posted by on September 13 at 2:12 PM

Just before the tight 2004 presidential election, FEMA, then run by Bush’s buddy (and horse judge) Michael Brown, inappropriately gave nearly $30 million dollars to thousands of people in Miami who were not affected by Hurricane Frances—”[it] made landfall more than 100 miles away.” Now that the election is a thing of the past, the government wants the money back. Is there a bottom to all of this corruption and deception?

Local Benefits Listings

posted by on September 13 at 1:57 PM

Instead of plugging every local Hurricane Katrina relief show on the Slog, we’ve listed all the benefit shows from now through the end of September here.

Re: Idiot on the Idiot Box

posted by on September 13 at 1:28 PM

# of times he’ll use his administration’s new catch phrases, “play the blame game” or “point fingers” (as in “now is not the time to…”): 3

Idiot on the Idiot Box

posted by on September 13 at 1:17 PM

President Bush will address the nation from Louisiana this Thursday at 6 pm (PT). Here are some predictions:

# of times he’ll claim to be “working hard” as our President: 3.

# of times he’ll bring up Iraq: 2.

# of times he’ll mention prayer and/or God: 5.

# of times he’ll admit he was a major fuckwad for rushing back from vacation to “save” Terri Schiavo, yet took his own sweet time leaving Crawford when one of America’s cities was being destroyed: 0.

Any more predictions?

Tear Down The Wall

posted by on September 13 at 12:49 PM

Courtesy of Northwest Environment Watch: The city of San Francisco just opened a six-lane boulevard that replaces the Central Freeway, a double-decker viaduct that once cut through the Hayes Valley neighborhood. That freeway, like the waterfront Embarcadero (which was also torn down and replaced with a boulevard, revitalizing the city’s formerly blighted waterfront), was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the old elevated roadway “served as a haven for drug dealers and prostitutes and casting unwelcoming shadows over the area.” The new road will distribute traffic onto surface streets and includes a “linear park” with bike and pedestrian lanes, plus up to 900 units of new housing, half of it affordable.

San Francisco’s experience should be a valuable lesson for highway proponents who predict disaster if the Alaskan Way Viaduct is torn down - and a model for what to do instead. The People’s Waterfront Coalition has proposed tearing down the viaduct and replacing it with fixes to surface streets downtown - a smart solution that would save millions of dollars, revitalize the west end of downtown, and open up the waterfront for bikers, pedestrians, and new downtown residents.

The Gay Meth Problem From The Inside

posted by on September 13 at 12:29 PM

Following the summer’s mass media blitz on the meth epidemicthe good folks at Gawker (who did the Lexis-Nexis work and the math) determined that July 2005 saw an average of 8.87 stories about meth published every day in America the new issue of the national gay & lesbian newsmagazine The Advocate devotes itself to the problem of meth and gays from the inside.

It’s not pretty. Of course there are the requisite user horror stories, which are beginning to form a literature all their own, drawing on experiences from across the social spectrum but following the same basic narrative arc: “It was fun at first, the sex was great, and then I came to realize everyone on earth was secretly using their brain waves to kill me.” For the record: I love drugs, but I hate meth. I’ve never even done itwhich I guess makes me a meth bigot, and I’m fine with that. If you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything, including sexy poisons that leave you friendless, toothless, and insane.

Continue reading "The Gay Meth Problem From The Inside" »


posted by on September 13 at 11:45 AM

I don’t know how long this will last, but as an alert Stranger staffer just pointed out, if you Google the word “failure,” the official White House biography of George W. Bush appears at the top of the list.

Or, at least, it does as of 11:45 a.m. today.

Video “Too Intelligent” for BET

posted by on September 13 at 11:18 AM

Little Brother’s video for “Lovin’ It” (off the group’s forthcoming The Minstrel Show) has caused a stir in some hiphop circles for being denied air time on BET because it’s “too intelligent.” Read the description below from and decide for yourself:

The video begins with a delivery truck dropping boxes labeled “gangsta,” “backpackers,” “earthy” and “icy” onto a street. The rest of the clip mostly sees LB and Joe Scudda, who is also featured on the song, performing in front of a capacity crowd. The clip also pokes fun at the Hip-Hop subgenres by depicting overly exaggerated backpacker and gangsta characters in the audience. “Lovin’ It” also jokingly features typical scenes with Big Pooh sitting next to champagne-sipping models in the venue’s VIP section while LB’s entourage pop bottles. The video concludes with a car running through the boxes dropped on the street earlier.

Pat Robertson Blames Ellen Degeneres for Katrina…

posted by on September 13 at 10:51 AM

An alert reader sent me this story from Dateline Hollywood:

Robertson Blames Hurricane On Choice Of Ellen DeGeneres To Host Emmys

Lesbian is New Orleans native

HollywoodPat Robertson on Sunday said that Hurricane Katrina was God’s way of expressing HIS anger at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for its selection of Ellen Degeneres to host this year‚s Emmy Awards. “By choosing an avowed lesbian for this national event, these Hollywood elites
have clearly invited God‚s wrath,” Robertson said on “The 700 Club” on Sunday. “Is it any surprise that the Almighty chose to strike at Miss Degeneres’ hometown?” (Yeah, but he missed Ellen, didn’t he?)

Robertson also noted that the last time Degeneres hosted the Emmys, in 2001, the September 11 terrorism attacks took place shortly before the ceremony.

“This is the second time in a row that God has invoked a disaster shortly before lesbian Ellen Degeneres hosted the Emmy Awards,” Robertson explained to his approximately one million viewers. “America is waiting for her to apologize for the death and destruction that her sexual deviance has brought onto this great nation.”

Robertson added that other tragedies of the past several years can be linked to Degeneres‚ growing national prominence. September, 2003, for example, is both the month that her talk show debuted and when insurgents first gained a foothold in Iraq following the successful March invasion. “Now we know why things took a turn for the worse,” he explained.

In order to avoid further tragedy, Robertson called not only for the Television Academy to find a new heterosexual host, but to bar all homosexuals and bisexuals from taking part in the ceremony.

He said employees at the Christian Broadcasting Network had put together a list of 283 nominees, presenters, and invited guests at the Emmys known to be of sexually deviant persuasions.

Sounds completely plausibleafter all, Robertson has warned people that God would sic hurricanes on cities that hosted gay pride events, and other right-wing Christians are running around blaming the gays for Katrina.

Now personally I think what God hates is gamblingall those barge casinos in Biloxi, Mississippi, took a direct hit, while God, in His wisdom, spared New Orlean’s French Quarter, site of the city’s gay bars, gay parades, Southern Decadence, flashed titties, and drunk middle-aged tourists of all sexual orientations. No one is going to be gambling in Mississippi for years, but Bourbon Street will be back in business by spring. The message from on high? God loves sluts, but hates slots.

Back to Robertson vs. Ellen…

Any sensible reader who makes it to the end of the piece before they forward it on to their friends will realize that it has to be a paradoy:

“God already allows one awards show to promote the homosexual agenda,” Robertson declared. “But clearly He will not tolerate such sinful behavior to spread beyond the Tonys.”

Robertson making jokes about the Tonys? That’ll happen the day after Rosie O’Donnell sits on his face. A quick visit to Dateline Hollywood’s homepage reveals it to be a parody site.

Better Late Than Never

posted by on September 13 at 9:27 AM

It took five years, but President Bush has finally sorta-kinda admitted a mistake. From the Associated Press (courtesy of the Boston Globe):

“Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government,” Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq.

“To the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility,” Bush said.

A New Low

posted by on September 13 at 8:03 AM

The post-Katrina polls are starting to come in, and Bush’s approval rating is sinking to record lows. The man is drowning.

The bungled response to the hurricane has helped drag down Bush’s job-approval rating, which now stands at 42 percent — the lowest of his presidency — in the Post-ABC poll and down three points since the hurricane hit two weeks ago. Fifty-seven percent disapprove of Bush’s performance, a double-digit increase since January.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Sound of Domes Cracking

posted by on September 12 at 5:11 PM

I attended two nights of >Wooden Octopus Skull Experimental Musick Pfest, and from my perspective and based on reports from those who caught more of it, the event was an eardrum-smashing success.

Continue reading "The Sound of Domes Cracking" »

All You Can Eat

posted by on September 12 at 4:17 PM

Media Matters offers up both a transcript and an audio clip of putrid conservative radio blowhard Glenn Beck telling his listeners (3 million of them, apparentlyand of course Clear Channel owns the syndication company) just what he thinks of the New Orleans survivors. Choice quote:

Yesterday, when I saw the ATM cards being handed out, the $2,000 ATM cards, and they were being handed out at the Astrodome. And they actually had to close the Astrodome and seal it off for a while because there was a near-riot trying to get to these ATM cards. My first thought was, it’s not like they’re going to run out of the $2,000 ATM cards. You can wait! You know, stand in line. Maybe it’s because I’m the kind of guy, when I go to a buffet, I either have to be first in line, or I’m the very last. Because I know there’s going to be extra food, and I just won’t stand in the line. I’ll wait until all the suckers go get their food, and then I’ll go get mine. Or if I’m really hungry, I hate to admit thisand really, I don’t even have to be really hungry. If I’m really being a pig, I will kind of, like, hang out around the buffet table before the line isyou know, chat with people right around the table: “Oh, they just opened the line! Let’s go!” And then you’re first in line.

Why can’t the survivors of America’s worst natural disaster in history, survivors who’ve had to endure extremely tardy rescue efforts and hellish days/nights in a pitch black Superdome while rape and murder were occurring around themwhy oh why can’t they act as civilized as Beck does in the buffet line?

Beck also has unkind words for 9/11 families, just to make sure we know he’s a complete asswipe.

Christal Wood Gets the Lowdown on Mystery Mayoral Candidate Jeanne Dixon

posted by on September 12 at 3:53 PM

The Stranger just received a fascinating email from mayoral candidate Christal Wood, all about ANOTHER mayoral candidate, Jeanne Dixon. For weeks, people have been musing about Ms. Dixon, who has no phone, has turned in no official campaign literature, and is still polling at 8 percent in the Mayor’s race. Well, Christal Wood gamely decided to get to the bottom of the mystery, and her firsthand report is posted below. Enjoy!

Jeanne Dixon, Mystery Woman by Christal Wood

Jeanne Dixon is polling at 8% in the Mayor’s race, and has so far all but avoided the press and any inquiries into her campaign. She has no phone, no e-mail address, no website, no financial reports, no picture, no statements, no nothing.

Dammit, no one’s gonna’ whup me based on name-recognition alone without accounting for it somehow. I had no choice. I had to seek this woman out. What would I find? Was it even her true address, or some convenience store, or um, “facility?” Would she run me off with her shotgun? Should I tell her who I am, or should I pretend to be a Jehovah’s Witness?

King County Elections lists Jeanne’s address as 2416 S.W. Cloverdale Street, in West Seattle, barely north of Seattle’s southern border. It’s a one-story, pale blue house with an intricately manicured lawn, with this year’s gardening perfectly aligned alongside their holes, waiting to be planted. I stepped through the opened chained link fence, walked up the stone path and knocked on her door.

Continue reading "Christal Wood Gets the Lowdown on Mystery Mayoral Candidate Jeanne Dixon" »

Moratorium No More

posted by on September 12 at 3:28 PM

The city of Seattle’s 17-year-old “temporary” moratorium on new strip-club licenses was ruled unconstitutional by US District Judge James L. Robart today, ending a de facto ban on new strip clubs that has lasted for nearly two decades.

In his ruling, Robart agrees with plaintiff (and aspiring strip-club owner) Bob Davis that the indefinite moratorium constitutes “an unconstitutional prior restraint on free expression because it fails to provide adequate procedural safeguards,” such as a reasonable time frame to issue or deny strip-club licenses and the ability to appeal if a license is mistakenly denied. “The City not only fails to provide a specified time for rendering a licensing decision in its adult entertainment regulations, but it goes a step further in suppressing protected speech and prohibiting any new adult cabarets from opening.”

“Although the Mayor’s office recently committed to new legislative proposals regulating the location of adult cabarets, this promise rings hollow in light of the [city’s] continued failure to draft such proposals.”

An appeal from the city is sure to follow. So, undoubtedly, will speedy adoption of the mayor’s onerous new regulations on strip clubs, which include a “four-foot rule” prohibiting lap dances and a requirement that all strip clubs be brightly lit. Every member of the current city council supports the rules, which will come to a council vote one day after the September primary election.

Continue reading "Moratorium No More" »

Can I Get a Goddamn Caption Contest?

posted by on September 12 at 3:23 PM


Bush and Mayor Nagin.

This event is officially unofficial

posted by on September 12 at 3:16 PM

From a utility pole at Broadway and Denny:


(Click here for a bigger, more readable version.)

I think it speaks for itself.

Pine Street blood and guts

posted by on September 12 at 3:07 PM

There was a stabbing last night near Kincora, according to a scary eye-witness account in our forums. Don’t read it while eating.

Nudity News

posted by on September 12 at 2:40 PM

Great news on the strip club front - more soon from Erica C. Barnett, who’s all over it. Hopefully we’ll have a male strip club in Seattle by the weekend.


posted by on September 12 at 12:32 PM

Nabakov somewhere claims that his novel Lotita was inspired by the story of a caged chimpanzee that, when given a pen (or chalk) and piece of paper (or canvas), drew three very rough lines—the bars of its prison. This news report, which is mostly sad but has a hilarious penultimate paragraph, also echoes the doomed story of Lolita.

The Boot

posted by on September 12 at 12:10 PM

Brown is down and out!


posted by on September 12 at 11:46 AM

Sue Rahr, a candidate for King County Sheriff, should have hired an editor for her voter’s pamphlet statement. Specifically, someone should have flagged this line:

I am a former domestic violence advocate…

Yowsa. I hope she means she was a victim’s advocate.

Now Who’s the Closer?

posted by on September 12 at 10:30 AM

Remember when John Kerry was the guy with a rep for only taking things seriously when it was the fourth quarter and he was down? This “closer” image of Kerry was hyped during the presidential race by Kerry’s supporters, but it mainly served to make him seem like a lazy son of privilege who would only come back from windsurfing off Nantucket if it really, really, really seemed like he had to. Bush, in contrast, had a rep as a hands-on manager always ready for a fight, and he rode it to victory. How times have changed.

These two articles on Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina, one in Time and one in Newsweek, are getting a lot of buzz today in the blogosphere because they show a Bush that his advisers have long tried to hide, a Bush who is much like the caricature of Kerry: A man more concerned with maintaining his sense of comfort than with leading, and so aloof he doesn’t sense political danger until it’s almost too late.

Longtime Bush watchers say they are not shocked that he missed his momentone of his most trusted confidants calls him “a better third- and fourth-quarter player,” who focuses and delivers when he sees the stakes.

One doubts Bush underwent a radical change in personality and management style in the ten months since the election. What’s changing, finally, is the media’s willingness to participate in the Bush myth-making machine.

Salon offers an enjoyable roundup of highlights from the television side of this change here, in a feature it calls “Reporters Gone Wild.”

Congratulations to Kanye West

posted by on September 12 at 9:45 AM

Billboard breaks the news: Kanye West wraps up his post-Bush-bashing week of praise/scrutiny/hype/derision with his first #1 album and, simultaneously, his first #1 song, with both Late Registration and its second single “Gold Digger” claiming the respective top spots on the pop album and pop singles charts.

The #1 album is a given: West’s first album entered the charts at #2, he made the cover of Time and a number of splashy TV performances the week before his new record’s release, and then there was all that “Grammy-winning savior of hip-hop!” hype. But the single is something else: After hanging around the middle of the charts for eight weeks, this week “Gold Digger” jumped from #19 straight to #1a leap I can’t help attributing in part to West’s Bush-bashing. Everyone horrified by the Katrina fiasco could appreciate what West said, and wanting to hear what he does when he’s not calling bullshit on the president on live television is a natural next step. (It takes a lot of radio play to make a song move from 19 to 1.)

Plus, “Gold Digger” is awesome. I saw West perform it this summer at the Sasqautch Festival and didn’t care for it at all. It seemed dumb and repetitive and one of the least interesting lyrics he’d ever written. Then I heard the version on Late Registration and fell in love. Like every other track on the obsessively brilliant Late Registration, “Gold Digger“‘s music is amazingpacked with intricate little twists (thanks, Jon Brion!) and grand pop ambition. Plus, with its sample of Ray Charleswhich is actually Jamie Foxx pretending to be Ray Charles”Gold Digger” is some new peak in post-postmodernism.

Hurrah for Kanye, and while I’m assessing Billboard victories, congrats as well to Death Cab for Cutie, whose new album Plans debuted on this week’s Pop Album chart at a freakish #4.

No Katrina Media Ban

posted by on September 12 at 9:37 AM

The U.S. government decided not to ban the media from showing images of the dead after CNN threatened a lawsuit.

“All the President’s Friends”

posted by on September 12 at 9:35 AM

Be sure to read Paul Krugman in today’s New York Times. He shows that FEMA head TK Brownor “Brownie,” if you prefer to use Bush’s nickname for the incompeent ; “Drownie” if you prefer to use John Aravosis’ nicknameis just the tip of the corrupt, crony iceberg.