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Archives for 11/05/2006 - 11/11/2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Finale to an Uncanny Week.

posted by on November 11 at 7:26 PM

The Stranger just made True Hoop —one of the best NBA blogs on the Internets.

Ha! This gay paper says:

Ladies leave your man at home
The club is full of ballers and their pockets full grown
And all you fellas leave your girl with her friends
Cause it’s eleven thirty and the club is jumpin’, jumpin’

Iraq in Fragments: Yet Another Reason to Go

posted by on November 11 at 6:17 PM

Director James Longley will be introducing his film—and doing a post-show Q&A—after all four of this weekend’s evening shows. Catch him at the Varsity tonight and tomorrow at 7 and 9:10 pm. This is an unusual chance to talk to someone who spent two years living in post-invasion Iraq; and besides, he’s a certified Genius filmmaker.

All Children Need a Mother and a Father—Especially Britney’s Children

posted by on November 11 at 5:07 PM


Hey, Rick Santorum! Do something productive during your final days in the U.S. Senate! Defend traditional marriage and the American family—well, an American family—and introduce the Defense of Britney’s Marriage Act!

One of the arguments opponents of gay marriage make is that every child needs exactly one mother and one father to grow up to be a healthy adult. Isn’t it clear that Britney’s and K-Fed’s children also need a mother and a father? They need a mother who can provide them with all of the material goods they require, which their father can’t provide, and they need a father who can pick them up without dropping them. I think it is clear that neither of them alone can provide the care essential to the well-being of these children.

If Republicans really want to protect the institution of marriage, and were not simply trying to ban gay marriage to use it as a wedge issue in the campaign, then they should prove their dedication to this cause by introducing the Defense of Britney’s Marriage Act as the first order of business in the lame-duck session of Congress and President Bush should sign it. I am sure that Britney would have no problem with the Federal government intervening to stop her divorce since she once said, as depicted in Michael Moore’s film Farenheit 9/11, “Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.” So please write to your Congressmen and Senators and ask them to save Britney’s and K-Fed’s marriage now—before it is too late.

Thanks to Slog tipper Sachi.

Bolt For Your Life

posted by on November 11 at 5:00 PM

A great bolt of lightning struck Seattle a moment ago. The flash and roar of it filled this Pioneer Square cafe. But how harmless lightning is in this city of clouds. It never really kills or injures. Its roar is the roar of a toothless lion. Lightning here is reduced to nothing more than fireworks. Back home in Zimbabwe, even in the city of Harare, lightning was a real killer. You feared it like the folks in the Old Testament feared the fury of God. Particularly in the Inyangas, the Highlands (Zimbabwe’s mountain region), the location of my tribe, the Chimanicas, and my tribe’s capital city, Mutare: when you suddenly saw a bright flash, you were happy you saw that bright flash because if you didn’t see it—yaahwee!—that brief crack of light was your exit from life.

Headline of the Day

posted by on November 11 at 4:32 PM

“Bush Talks of Change, Car Bombs Kill 8”

Gaying Up Slog on a Saturday Afternoon

posted by on November 11 at 2:35 PM

Josh complained last weekend that I was gaying up the Slog too much with my relentless Haggard posts—Haggard seems like ancient history now, huh?—but I’m going to risk Josh’s righteous heterowrath and post a link to the latest news about Haggard.

It seems that Haggard’s buddies in the evangelical movement knew for years that Haggard was a faggot. What gave Haggard away? Besides his flaming church and his flaming co-pastors and the way Haggard spoke, preached, looked, and wore his Dockers? Take it away Lou Sheldon:

Seldon disclosed that he and “a lot” of others knew about Haggard’s homosexuality “for awhile … but we weren’t sure just how to deal with it.”

Months before a male prostitute publicly revealed Haggard’s secret relationship with him, and the reverend’s drug use as well, “Ted and I had a discussion,” explained Sheldon, who said Haggard gave him a telltale signal then: “He said homosexuality is genetic. I said, no it isn’t. But I just knew he was covering up. They need to say that.”

Actually, Lou, we don’t need to say anything. Genetic, a choice—what difference does it make? What difference should it make? Consenting adults can choose to fuck what they like, whether they’re doing it in the thrall of a genetically determined sexual orientation or a kooky, impulsive choice.

It seems a little silly to me to regard sexual orientation as just another consumer choice—Coke or Pepsi? Cock or Pussy?—but that’s what the Sheldons and Dobsons have to say in order to justify their bigotry. It’s what they need to say. So what if all the scientific evidence and the personal experience of all gays and lesbians everywhere—would any of the gay men being hung in Iran or butchered in Iraq really choose to be gay if they could just as easily choose to be straight?—points at homosexuality being a genetic, inborn characteristic? Remember, we’re dealing here with people who believe the earth is six thousand years old and that Satan hid those dinosaur bones to trick us.

But you know what? If they’re sincere—if this is what the Sheldons and Dobsons and Falwells truly believe—I have wonder about their sexual orientations. I don’t like wondering about their sexual orientations. But I have to wonder about any man who regards homosexuality as a just another choice we humans make. No straight men I know could “choose” to be gay. What Sheldon and Dobson and Falwell all seem to be saying about their heterosexuality is this: They could choose cock over pussy and be gay. They could love men’s junk, men’s backs, men’s pits, men’s muscles, men’s asses—all of it, the whole man thing. But they choose not to. Why? The implication is clear: It’s not because women are irresistible, but because their scary God wants them to fuck women. If God got a bug (a plug?) up his ass one day and ordered them all to go forth and suck cock, they would do it. Because they don’t really have sexual orientations, per se, just divine marching (munching?) orders.

You gotta wonder about “straight” guys who feel that way about women and pussy and tits. It’s just another choice, albeit divinely ordained, but certainly not a passion. They could go for cock just as easily as they go for pussy. But they’re all over pussy because that’s what Jesus wants. Not what they want.

They don’t sound like any straight guys I know.

Tonight in Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 11 at 12:55 PM

‘Waiting for Godot’ (TRAGICOMEDY) Samuel Beckett was obviously awesome: He was once stabbed in the chest by, and subsequently forgave, a Parisian pimp named Prudent. Waiting for Godot is obviously one of the great plays of the 20th century: an improbably funny two-act free fall into despair, futility, suicide, and vaudeville. This is obviously one of the great productions of this play: an Irish company with seasoned Godot actors and a director who knew Beckett and assisted the old playwright when he directed Godot in Berlin in 1975. (Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave, 292-2787. 2 and 8 pm, $38.50—$43.50 before Ticketmaster’s egregious service charges.) BRENDAN KILEY

Truth Today

posted by on November 11 at 10:14 AM

From the LA Times.

This is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger expressing a truth (the truth here being a match between what he is saying and what he is feeling):

“I think it’s good that there are new ideas and new blood, because Washington was stuck,” the governor said after a meeting with Mexican President Vicente Fox at Los Pinos, Mexico’s equivalent of the White House. “They could not move forward. Not much was accomplished. I think it was terrible…So I think the people have spoken in America, all over the United States,” the governor told a roomful of California and Mexican journalists. “And they’ve sent a very clear message to Washington: We are not happy about the way things were going. And I think we want to see a new way of going, and we want to see bipartisanship.”

This is the governor’s communication director, Adam Mendelsohn, dislocating the match between what the governor said and what the governor feels:

After the governor spoke, his communications director, Adam Mendelsohn, hastened to tell reporters that Schwarzenegger was not saying he was necessarily pleased to see Congress under Democratic control. Rather, he was making the point that “it’s good there is an infusion of new ideas and desire for bipartisanship…”

But it all comes down to this: For reasons that have nothing to do with reality, Schwarzenegger conintues to call himself a Republican.


posted by on November 11 at 9:59 AM

Bush’s approval rating hits new low. So why are Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi promising not to impeach this man?

President Bush’s job approval rating has fallen to just 31 percent, according to the new NEWSWEEK Poll. Bill Clinton’s lowest rating during his presidency was 36 percent; Bush’s father’s was 29 percent, and Ronald Reagan’s was 35 percent. Jimmy Carter’s and Richard Nixon’s lows were 28 and 23 percent, respectively.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rock and TAM

posted by on November 10 at 7:07 PM

Congratulations, Rock.

Since 2001, when Rock Hushka joined the Tacoma Art Museum, he has been a champion of contemporary and regional art, having stewarded some 900 works of art into the collection, including the museum’s first video pieces, of which TAM now holds 16.

I’ve also enjoyed the ballsiness that lurks behind his bottled-up-businessman’s appearance. His shows have been some of the most daring, socially progressive, and intellectually expansive on the museum’s schedule.

Every time I heard about a TAM patron being annoyed or jangled, it seemed like Hushka was the cause—in a good way. I remember the ashamed hush of the audience while he talked about ACT UP during the weekly series of lectures on political art that accompanied his small but crackling show, The New York School: The Politics of Abstraction. A visitor to his Lewis & Clark Territory: Contemporary Artists Revisit Place, Race, and Memory was so mortified at a photographer’s series of idyllic forests where murders had taken place, she demanded it be taken down. Of course, it wasn’t. But the art had clearly moved her.

Not all his experiments have been successful, but they’ve all been worth doing. He turned the museum’s largest gallery into a carving studio for an entire summer for the young Puyallup artist Shaun Peterson, and the result was to have been a large figure that would stand outdoors across from the museum in perpetuity. But the log was wrong, and a replacement couldn’t be found until late, and, well, who knows where that project is now. At least Peterson convinced a few people that Indians still exist, and still make art. He told me he had challenging conversations with visitors almost every day about tradition and progress.

For months after former chief curator Patricia McDonnell left, I kept hearing that TAM wouldn’t hire another chief, that Hushka would be in charge of curatorial administration, that he would be first among equals, or something like that. Sounded like hooey to me. According to the press release, Hushka will “take on the responsibilities of senior curator at the museum, and will retain his former title of Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art.” That just sounds like a way of folding two jobs together, and I hate to see curatorial jobs dwindle. But maybe this is TAM’s way of saying it only needs one curator, and we’ll see what comes of it.

What’s unfortunate is that Hushka’s promotion comes at a time when the museum is doing some of the least interesting shows I’ve seen there. The art of Eric Carle, the children’s book illustrator? Symphonic Poem: Aminah Brenda Robinson? Yuck. In both cases, the museum looks like it is pandering to a demographic rather than exploring fresh questions about art and life.

I’d like to see an expansion instead of the TAM model that goes all the way back to 1990s chief curator Barbara Johns—the one where a sense of strict discrimination is pleasantly shot through with slyness.

New Burner-Reichert Numbers

posted by on November 10 at 6:20 PM

Yesterday Burner was behind Reichert by 3,237 votes. Today she’s behind him by 3,120 votes.

So Burner has narrowed Reichert’s lead, but only by a very small amount—about 100 votes.

The current spread in percentage terms is basically the same: Burner’s at 49.09 percent, while Reichert’s at 50.91 percent.

And keep in mind, only King County was counting votes today. Pierce County took the day off. So if the Burner campaign was counting on blue King County (which it was) to help Burner pull ahead, it doesn’t look like King County has come through—yet. More results tomorrow evening.

UPDATE: Whoops! Looks like I didn’t use the latest, latest, super-latest numbers for my post. Not to be surly, but since the only skills necessary for keeping up with this race are A) the ability to use an Internet browser in a timely manner and B) the ability to employ some basic high school math, y’all can do it yourself and I’ll get back on top of this tomorrow. Click here, grab a calculator, and go crazy!

The Brain Knows Me Too Well

posted by on November 10 at 5:36 PM

Currently freaking me out more than a little bit…


Likebetter. It knows.

Tonight in Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 10 at 5:08 PM

‘Iraq in Fragments’
Iraq in Fragments is the best movie made yet about the Iraq war, and it’s likely to remain so, given the current security situation there. It’s beautiful and painful—delicately observed and viscerally intense. We gave local filmmaker James Longley a Genius Award, and he continues to rack up laurels from Sundance to Thessaloniki and beyond. So why’s the movie only playing in his hometown for a week? Buy your tickets early and often, and make Iraq in Fragments the surprise hit it deserves to be. (Varsity Theatre, 4329 University Way NE, 781-5755. See Movie Times.) ANNIE WAGNER

Bi-Colored Good Looks

posted by on November 10 at 4:53 PM


My boyfriend wanted to weigh in on the raging apple debate: Ambrosia is the new Honeycrisp. Please make a note of it. From some website or other:

Developed purely by nature as a chance seedling about 10 years ago in a Cawston, BC orchard, Ambrosia apples are one of the newest top quality varieties adding diversity to produce displays in grocery stores across the province.

When it comes to apples, robust red has traditionally been the attractive favourite sought by consumers. However, Ambrosia, whose apt meaning is “food of the gods,” is breaking the red-is-best barrier with its bi-coloured good looks. Ambrosia apples are smooth-skinned stunners with a bright, almost iridescent reddish blush over a creamy yellow background.

The End Of The End

posted by on November 10 at 4:51 PM

Look at this! What do you see? The walking corpse of hiphop.
c9c968fe39df.jpg Hip Hop Weekly is formatted like a supermarket tabloid! It’s only a matter of time before the headline reads: “The Game Sees The Figure Of Jesus On The Head 0f His Dented Microphone.”

This Week at the Movies

posted by on November 10 at 3:51 PM

Today Iraq in Fragments, the new film by The Stranger’s 2006 Film Genius James Longley, gets its hometown theatrical premiere. You can read my ecstatic review here. I’ll be seeing it—for the fourth time—tonight with my parents. It’s that good. At the Varsity: 4:40, 7, 9:10 pm.


More in my profile of James Longley and my my interview with him in March. More about Seattleite John Sinno, the film’s producer and distributor, in a Greencine interview by Shannon Gee.

Also recommended:

Deliver Us From Evil, Amy Berg’s documentary about pedophilia in the Catholic Church. Andrew Wright’s review appears in this week’s paper, and his interview is an online exclusive here.

See our updated Movie Times listings for more information.

Crunchgear, Zune, and the Secret Machines Breakfast/Concert Contest

posted by on November 10 at 3:14 PM

Ô, man!

The esteemed gear and gadgets blog Crunchgear is holding a contest for Seattle-area readers in which two persons will win:

  • a brand new Zune
  • a Belkin leather case
  • a special breakfast at Minnie’s in Belltown with the Secret Machines and Crunchgear’s Matt Hickey
  • entry to a special Secret Machines show at Westlake Center
  • entry to a formerly-secret Blonde Redhead show at the War Room that evening
  • drinks therein, presumably

What do you have to do to win?

We want you to show us how much you love CrunchGear and Zune. We want you to print out this document. Then we want you to have a photograph taken of you holding this document with four places around Seattle in the background: the Freemont [sic] Troll, the arrow over the Cha Cha, Safeco Field, and the Experience Music Project building-blob-thing. Once you’ve got all four photos, email them to matt at crunchgear dot com with the subject “Seattle Zune Contest.” We’ll randomly pick two winners from the pack. Make sure to include your name and a phone number. Your deadline is Sunday at Noon, got it?

The catch is that you have to have Monday open and be at the breakfast to receive the Zune and Belkin. Personally, I think that “Zune” is such a stupid name and “Belkin” sounds like a hairpiece for your choad. So this contest is all you, reader. Get on it.

A Bite From the Bitter Fruit of Death

posted by on November 10 at 3:05 PM

Jack Palance died today at age 87. In other, more shocking news: until today, Jack Palance was still alive.
And I like my apples sticky and sour.

Have Breakfast With the Secret Machines

posted by on November 10 at 2:45 PM

Want to eat eggs and bacon with these fine young men?


Then head over to Line Out to find out how!

The Final Word[!/?]

posted by on November 10 at 2:23 PM

People, this has got to stop. There is only one way to enjoy apples:


The Path to Publication, Part 2

posted by on November 10 at 2:22 PM


Last week I got an email from a local high school student who wanted to know what she needed to do to get published…

My name is XXXXX XXXXX and I am a student at Meadowdale High School. As a senior you are required to complete a final project of your choice. I have chosen to see how a student writer can become published. I have always enjoyed your paper and I was curious if you publish any amateur essays or work? I’m sure you are very busy but if you have any information of help you could give me i would greatly appreciate it.

I responded on the Slog…

Does The Stranger publish amateur essays or work? Every damn week, XXXXXX. Shit, do we publish any other kind?

As for seeing how a student writer can “become published,” well, there are lots of ways to make that happen. You haven’t taken any abstinence pledges, have you? That could make your path to publication more complicated—not at The Stranger, of course, where we absolutely, positively do not have sex with 1. high school students, 2. wannabe freelancers, and 3. high school students. But the annals of literary history are packed to the rafters with stories by and about young people—male, female, intersexed—who gave their careers an early boost by putting out.

I never responded personally to XXXXX, figuring she would see the Slog post and figure her pitch was a non-starter. The path to publication in The Stranger doesn’t wind through homework assignments. But this morning I got another email from XXXXX. She’s upset that she hasn’t heard from me. Things are getting dire. She needs my help.

Dear Editor, I hate to keep bothering you, but I must. At the end of this project I have to present in front of a bunch of younger students. If I end up finishing this project without getting anything published then honestly I look like a complete idiot. I have 2 different essays completed already. The first one is about my worst fear which is living a normal life. Here is a little excerpt:
My worst fear is living a normal life. A normal good guy husband whose sensitivity or thoughtfulness is show rarely with a bouquet of 14 dollar roses and a box of chocolates from QFC. Who comes home from his 9-5 job that he hates, tired, frustrated and heading straight for the fridge to grab a beer. He retires for the night watching ESPN while I sit alone, ignored waiting for something more….

It is about a four page long essay.

The second essay I have is like a word play essay. It is a little off the wall and not really even a real essay at all. An excerpt:

Give me what I want forgetting what I need. The two are never the same and the result is deep unfulfillment but shallow gratification. I long for something which eats at my insides and exudes on my outside as a hollow being of un-reached expectations.
Okay listen if you think these both sound lame then it is fine and I completely understand. But if by some miracle you actually want to give me a chance then I am more then willing to do anything. You could even give me a topic of your choice and I would write about it. Thank you again, XXXXX

Some thoughts…

While XXXXX’s writing samples aren’t bad—I see worse submissions every day—it’s not the kind of writing we generally publish in The Stranger. But by tossing up XXXXX’s original letter I was, in a sense, publishing her work—on our blog. Wasn’t that enough?

I suppose not, because here she is again.

I’m really not sure, as an editor, what to do about this second letter from XXXXX. (Besides tossing it up on the blog as well, of course.) We get a lot of pitches from writers that want their work to appear in the paper. But when writers tell us why we should print their stuff, their pitches usually mention the alleged brilliance of the writing or the originality of the idea. Never before have I had been confronted with a pitch like this, a pitch grounded in my apparent obligation to prevent this particular writer from appearing foolish in front of her classmates.

If we do publish XXXXX now, what will she have learned about the “path to publication”? When in doubt, resort to emotional blackmail? That non-school papers have a responsibility to publish student work? That her homework assignments are somehow the responsibility of every newspaper editor town? That she was owed this?

And yet… XXXXX is persistent, and that can move a writer a step down the path to publication. But being persistently annoying, however, can move a writer two steps back. We have, nevertheless, decided to give XXXXX a chance. We are assigning her something—the assignment was Schmader’s idea—and if she can turn the assignment around, XXXXX’s work will appear in next week’s paper.

Santorum for Sale!

posted by on November 10 at 2:17 PM


As Wonkette reported and several Slog readers wrote in to celebrate,
Rick Santorum’s office furniture is up for sale on Craigslist.

And while it seems like some cubicle walls exposed to so much Santorum would make a dandy companion to Savage’s beloved Ann Landers desk, he’s not interested. He won’t even laugh at the hilarious jokes I continue to make about Santorum’s crybaby daughter. He used to be cool, but he changed.


posted by on November 10 at 2:16 PM

Yay! Honeycrisp!


Boo! Grannysmith and all the boring others!


Re: Apples: You’re All Stupid

posted by on November 10 at 2:06 PM

But Granny Smith can bust a move in my mouth anytime.

Braeburn Apples Are Grainy and Disgusting

posted by on November 10 at 2:05 PM

Just saying.

Honeycrisp apples, on the other hand…

Re: Braeburn Apples Are the Best Kind

posted by on November 10 at 2:02 PM

Except for Honeycrisps. And Jonagolds eaten right off the tree.

Braeburn Apples Are the Best Kind

posted by on November 10 at 1:59 PM

Just saying.

I’m eating one now that tastes a little like Sweet-Tarts (the yellow ones).

Back to Issues of Much Greater Importance

posted by on November 10 at 1:46 PM

The Britney Spears sex tape was a fake. Bummer.

Suburban Archipelago

posted by on November 10 at 1:44 PM

Earlier this year, I did a story on the Washington State Democrats’ hope to win all the state house and senate races on the Eastside. The Democrats have been claiming for years, ever since 1998 when Laura Ruderman established a D beachhead on the Eastside, that the suburban districts were trending their way. They also pointed to Kerry’s 56 percent on the Eastside and things like the I-912 transportation tax repeal going down by 66 percent.

Well, 2006 was indeed a revolution at the state level. On the Eastside—the 48th
(Bellevue/Kirkland/Redmond/Sammamish); the 45th (Woodinville/Duvall/Kirkland/Redmond/Carnation); the 41st (Mercer Is./Parts of Bellevue/Issaquah/Renton); and even the 47th (South Central King County/Auburn/Covington)—11 of the 12 seats are now in Democratic hands. Fred Jarrett, one of the two Reps in the 41st, is now the only GOP member of the state house from Seattle’s Eastside suburbs.

There were 5 Democratic pick-ups all in all. I’ll bold each one below.
Here’s the rundown:

In the 47th: Claudia Kauffman (now the first female Native American in the state senate) won the open senate seat 52 to 47 (the incumbent had been a Republican). Geoff Simpson won his house seat 59 to 40. Pat Sullivan won the other 47th house seat, 59 to 40.

In the 48th: Rodney Tom (former Republican state house member turned Democrat) beat incumbent GOP state senator Luke Esser 53 to 46. Chris Gregorich, executive director of the Washington State Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, boasts that this is the first time the Democrats have ever held the senate seat in the 48th. (The seat has existed since 1957.) Ross Hunter won his house seat 66 to 33. And Deb Eddy won the open house seat 57 to 42. (This had also been in GOP hands.)

In the 45th: Eric Oemig won the open senate seat 53 to 46 (this had been in GOP hands); Larry Springer retained his house seat 59 to 40; and drug reform advocate Roger Goodman (who got little help from the party) won 54 to 46. (This was another open seat that had been in GOP hands.)

In the 41st: D senator Brian Weinstein wasn’t up for reelection; Democratic house member Judy Clibborn kept her seat 64 to 35; and the lone GOPer, Fred Jarrett won 53 to 46.

Gregorich says the Dems are now eyeing the the 5th District, east central King County, which is still controlled by the GOP.

Re: Conservative? No and Yes a little.

posted by on November 10 at 1:30 PM

Gotcha, Josh. Today you’re for “conservative Democrats” blurring the distinction between themselves and moderate Republicans, and for Dems hyping their “down-home values,” if that’s what it takes to win the Senate.

But back in May, in a post that stuck in my mind because of this line…

Well, Democrats, I still agree w/ myself!

…you had some different advice for Democrats. You were encouraging them to strongly differentiate themselves from Republicans by coming up with a “Contract With America”-style promise for what they’d do if voters gave them control of Congress. You wanted clear, programmatic alternatives to the conservative agenda and a Democratic message that wasn’t simply, “Vote for us, we’re not the Republicans.”

It’s not so much that the Democrats need to have a 5-second message, but as the AP article points out, Democrats need to give voters a popular alternative. Democrats should be nervous that they’re six months out and they still don’t have a message beyond “Culture of Corruption” (um, hello Rep. Jefferson, D-LA)… And again, that message is about the Republicans.

A lot of people were saying this back then. The argument was that standing back and giving the Republicans enough rope to hang themselves with wouldn’t work, that Democrats needed to nationalize the election by articulating a unified set of Democratic values and promising a few specific changes that every Democrat in the country could run on.

Because of arguments like this the Democrats did come up with a “Contract With America”-like promise, something they called “Six in 06.” If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. The Democrats did little to promote it, and they didn’t force every candidate everywhere to run on its agenda.

Instead, Democrats did exactly what many people were advising them not to do. They gave the Republcans enough rope to hang themselves with; they remained vague about their programmatic alternative on the biggest issue of the day, Iraq; they let candidates tailor themselves to their districts rather than imposing a one-size-fits all ideological framework; and they essentially said to a public increasingly unhappy with the direction of the country: “Vote for us, we’re not the Republicans.”

They nationalized the election, but by talking about their opponents more than they talked about themselves, thus making it a referendum on the party in power.

And, well, it worked. It worked because the relative programmatic silence from Democrats left the Republicans with nothing to attack except the same old straw men and boogeymen (supposedly unpatriotic Democrats, scary taxes, Michael J. Fox, and gays).

The country had seen this before, and basically responded with a yawn. Additionally, every time the Republicans attacked Democrats, Democrats threw the Republicans’ manifest failures back in their faces, forcing them to defend a record that was, essentially, indefensible. (And, that catchy phrase “Culture of Corruption” clearly had some resonance; exit polls showed voters citing “Corruption in Washington” as one of their prime concerns.)

I do think a party as established as the Democrats should be able to define itself at a national level in terms broader than simply “change.” But in this election, that probably would have backfired and anyway was unnecessary to the primary Democratic goal: Taking back the House and Senate.

So What Do We Think of This?

posted by on November 10 at 12:25 PM

New York City considers spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ambulances to accommodate the morbidly obese.

The idea for the ambulances - which can easily transport people over 500 pounds - has languished in the council for years, but now lawmakers plan to hold a hearing on the issue on Tuesday.

It was spurred by the plight of labor leader, 420-pound Mark Rosenthal, who suffered a stroke in 2003.

The District Council 37 representative was forced to lie strapped on an ambulance floor, because the stretcher couldn’t fit him.

The ambulances would cost about $50,000 more than an average $75,000-$100,000 ambulance.


Via Gawker.

Cook Ding

posted by on November 10 at 12:03 PM

No other story in human history gets as close to the heart of what art is about than the story of Cook Ding from The Way of Chuang Tzu. Burton Watson’s translation:

Cook Ding was cutting up an ox for Lord Wen-Hui. At every touch of his hand, every heave of his shoulder, every move of his feet, every thrust of his knee-zip! Zoop! He slithered the knife along with a zing, and all was in perfect rhythm, as though he were performing the dance of the Mulberry Grove or keeping time to the Ching-shou music.

“Ah, this is marvelous!” said Lord Wen-Hui. “Imagine skill reaching such heights!”

Cook Ting laid down his knife and replied, “What I care about is the [way], which goes beyond skill. When I first began cutting up oxen, all I could see was the ox itself. After three years I no longer saw the whole ox. And now—now I go at it by spirit and don’t look with my eyes. Perception and understanding have come to a stop and spirit moves where it wants. I go along with the natural makeup, strike in the big hollows, guide the knife through the big openings, and follow things as they are. So I never touch the smallest ligament or tendon, much less a main joint.

“A good cook changes his knife once a year—because he cuts. A mediocre cook changes his knife once a month—because he hacks. I’ve had this knife of mine for nineteen years and I’ve cut up thousands of oxen with it, and yet the blade is as good as though it had just come from the grindstone. There are spaces between the joints, and the blade of the knife has really no thickness. If you insert what has no thickness into such spaces, then there’s plenty of room—more than enough for the blade to play about it. That’s why after nineteen years the blade of my knife is still as good as when it first came from the grindstone….”

Lord Wen-Hui said, “This is it! My cook has shown me how I ought to live my own life!”

Two things: The importantance of this story is in the image of Cook Ding dancing as he cuts up the dead ox. At bottom, this is all art can ever be: a set of moves, steps, slides, sways, taps around death. Death is always there but art, the dance, has for a moment defeated it. And we, the audience, stand in amazement and say: `Ah, this is marvelous!’

The other point has to do with how Cook Ding cuts the ox. It is not in the Chinese manner of democratic hacks that don’t privilege any part of the animal’s body. It is, instead, a western way of cutting an animal—according to joints, limbs, the shape of the thing.

Finally, Cook Ding recalls in my memory the poem “The Thrashing Doves” by Jack Kerouac. He describes the sound of butchers cutting up chickens in “the back of [a] dark Chinese store” as “ching, ching, jazz.”

More Cities Adopt Seattle’s Marijuana Reforms

posted by on November 10 at 11:47 AM

This Slog post was written by Dominic Holden.—DS

Since Seattle passed Initiative 75, which made marijuana possession the city’s lowest law enforcement priority back in 2003, other cities, including Oakland and West Hollywood, have adopted similar laws. On Tuesday voters in four other cities adopted Seattle’s progressive pot laws.

From Missoula County to St. Nick’s strongholds—Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Santa Cruz—voters gave the thumbs up to four new laws like I-75 and became part of an urban movement born in Seattle.

Meanwhile, statewide attempts to reform pot weren’t so successful. Colorado’s Amendment 44, which would have removed penalties for possession, and Nevada’s Question 7, which would have regulated pot like alcohol, went up in smoke.

Pundit in a nutshell: State measures are being spoiled by rural voters, while cities are pushing the buggies of reform. Folks who lay off the dummy pipe might remember Urban Archipelago, The Stranger’s 2004 proclamation that spells out the inherent power for progress held in the womb of urbanized areas. The proliferation of I-75’s siblings confirms that cities hold the key constituents that drive pot reform. And measures like I-75 dodge the state/city conflict by de-prioritizing enforcement rather than actually changing the law.

Wait—if these city initiatives aren’t “actually changing the law” are they merely gestures, or do they keep stoners out of jail? In Seattle, arrests and prosecutions plummetted after I-75 passed, thanks in large part to the scrutinizing oversight of the Marijuana Policy Review Panel. But in other cities without accountability written into their initiative, police could easily tell voters to fuck off and keep arresting people anyway.

The ultimate test, though, is whether these local measures will lead to reforms on a state level.

Here’s how that would work: Drug warriors have long insisted that if pot were legalized or decriminalized or whatever, it would send the wrong message to the children and other crap. But if government-conducted studies, such as the one coming about I-75, shows it didn’t send the wrong message and kids weren’t getting hooked on chronic, then states will have the armor to rebut the claims of reefer madness and prove that reform works—look, right here in our own state—and decriminalize marijuana.

“None of the negative outcomes our opponents predicted will come true,” Angela Goodhope told The Missoulan after their measure passed Tuesday. “We know that for a fact,” she assured. Let’s hope Goodhope’s got good instincts.

The final verdict on I-75’s efficacy or fallout will come in January when Seattle’s pot panel issues its final report. And then—assuming the report is favorable—more initiatives like I-75 will plop their fuzzy green butts down on the ballots of cities surrounded by big red counties. Whether the trend will ultimately translate to statewide reforms remains to be seen.

Tiptoeing Out of the Cornfield

posted by on November 10 at 11:39 AM

Archer Daniels Midland, a colossus among the world’s agricultural giants, has announced that it will consider crops other than corn for ethanol production.

This is huge news, but ADM is being cagey about what that actually means. Are they going to promote crops that require little fertilizer and can be grown on U.S. soil? Or are they going to import cheap Brazilian sugarcane?

First of all, weaning America off oil means weaning America off corn. Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma has a fantastic section tracing the path of industrial corn from the field to processed foods to the plate. (Soon after reading it, I ate a piece of candy shaped like an ear of corn, tasting vaguely like the buttered popcorn flavor of Jelly Bellies, and presumably composed primarily of high fructose corn syrup. It was a meta meta meta moment.) As he points out, “When you add together the natural gas in the fertilizer to the fossil fuels it takes to make the pesticides, drive the tractors, and harvest, dry, and transport the corn, you find that every bushel of industrial corn requires the equivalent of between a quarter and a third of a gallon of oil to grow it—or around fifty gallons of oil per acre of corn.”

One alternative to ethanol made with corn is so-called “cellulosic ethanol,” whose advantages and disadvantages are laid out pretty well in this wire article. Cellulosic ethanol is made from woody crops (like switchgrass) or industrial byproducts like wood chips.

Fans of switchgrass include such unlikely allies as:

George W. Bush:

To achieve greater use of “homegrown” renewable fuels in the United States, advanced technologies need to be perfected to make fuel ethanol from cellulosic (plant fiber) biomass, which is now discarded as waste. The President’s 2007 Budget will include $150 million—a $59 million increase over FY06—to help develop bio-based transportation fuels from agricultural waste products, such as wood chips, stalks, or switch grass. Research scientists say that accelerating research into “cellulosic ethanol” can make it cost-competitive by 2012, offering the potential to displace up to 30% of the Nation’s current fuel use.

And Al Gore:

Also, the building of an infrastructure for cellulosic ethanol, where you don’t need petroleum for the processing of it so the energy balance is completely positive. Then you can have truly renewable transportation fuels. And we’re not far off from a new generation of fuel cells that can also burn cellulosic ethanol, so you can grow your own electricity.

But that expends energy as well.

Growing it?


It depends. If it’s material like switchgrass and sawgrass [native North American crops], you can have no-till agriculture without the chemically intensive techniques that are used commonly for corn and wheat now. Corn may play a role in this, but it’s not the way to go. In Oakridge National Laboratory, near my home in Tennessee, they have the nation’s top research center on alcohol fuels, and they have these detailed maps of soil types and climate conditions everywhere in the country that can be used to decide exactly which kind of plant in which region gives the most efficient yield, and how you can use the waste product from that plant as a source of energy for the processing. So a lot has happened since the old gasohol debates of the ’70s and ’80s.

Sounds good, right? So how should the government encourage companies like ADM to tiptoe out of the cornfield and make the switch?


posted by on November 10 at 11:34 AM

I don’t give a damn hell about BeyoncĂ© or Eva Longoria, but

Beyonce Knowles and Eva Longoria will play lesbian lovers in a new movie. The gorgeous stars have revealed they are set to star in sexy Victorian drama ‘Tipping The Velvet’.

Eva, 31, said: “Yes it’s true. We are talking about doing the movie together. It’s such a wonderful novel, a beautiful love story.”

Director Sofia Coppola is hoping to bring Sarah Water’s novel about sexual repression to the big screen and is desperate for Beyonce and Eva to take the roles of a 1890s music hall star, Kitty Butler, and her lesbian lover Nan Astley.

Fuck this. Fuck Sofia Coppola and her shallow-assed period dramas. Fuck gorgeous straight people playing gay. Fuck “sexy” anything.

Can someone please get a zaftig (or Rubenesqe—or whatever!) black woman—let’s say Melissa “Missy” Elliot—to star in a film about Gladys Bentley, the Bulldagger Who Sang the Blues.


Now that’s a lesbian I could really get behind (and be well hidden, no doubt)!


Gymnast Pipi


Copying Beethoven Better

posted by on November 10 at 11:13 AM

The marvelous Greg Sandow makes another one of his forehead-smackingly simple and powerful suggestions about how to represent classical music genuinely in the movies, which is so rarely done (in many places, it’s not done onstage in concert halls, either, so what can you expect from Hollywood?):

The most fascinating historical point is surely that the performance — by our standards today — must have been a mess. The music was new and difficult. It wouldn’t have been rehearsed enough. Performances back then (again by our standards) almost never were. And the performance took place on a monster concert, on which not just the Ninth was heard, but also movements from Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, just as new, even more gigantic, and at least as difficult to play and sing. The solo singers (getting back to the Ninth) weren’t happy with their parts, and asked Beethoven to rewrite them. He refused, of course. But he must have been an impossible conductor, as he was when, years earlier, he’d tried to conduct Fidelio. On that occasion, he caused such confusion that a friend finally spoke to him in private, and led him away. Why would the Ninth have been much different? Beethoven’s conducting motions were, by all accounts, confusing. And he couldn’t hear the music! So surely the first performance was full of errors. But it also was a triumph, so the essence of the music must have come through. Could a movie show us this? Could anyone stage a performance full of mistakes , and not quite sure of itself, but still triumphant? That would require lots of imagination, and, maybe above all, musicians who, in their performance, would in effect be actors, pretending that they didn’t know the music as well as they really do. This would be very hard to pull off. But wouldn’t it be wonderful?

“I really owe George Bush my Booker [Prize], in an odd way. It’s really very funny.”

posted by on November 10 at 11:08 AM

The winner of the Booker Prize thanks George W. Bush. Sort of.

Indian novelist Kiran Desai said she may never have won the Booker Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, had George W. Bush not been U.S. president — as he put her off becoming an American citizen.

You have to be British or Commonwealth to win, which Desai is, although she has been living in New York for 20 years…

Gay Marriage to Remain Legal in Massachusetts

posted by on November 10 at 10:38 AM

Thanks to some smart strategizing by the Dems:

In a flurry of strategic maneuvering, supporters of same-sex marriage managed to persuade enough legislators to vote to recess a constitutional convention until the afternoon of Jan. 2, the last day of the legislative session.

On that day, lawmakers and advocates on both sides said, it appeared likely that the legislature would adjourn without voting on the measure, killing it.

The Day in Reiterated Hilarity

posted by on November 10 at 10:34 AM

This already earned a mention in today’s Morning News, but it’s totally worthy of a free-standing, follow-up post: After his movie earned a gazillion dollars in its opening weekend, Sacha Baron Cohen has been hit with the first of what could be many Borat-related lawsuits. From

Two anonymous plaintiffs are suing 20th Century Fox and One America Productions, claiming members of their college fraternity were interviewed to become part of the smash Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan film. The plaintiffs—listed as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2—were allegedly assured the film would not be shown in the U.S. and their identities would not be revealed. They were both selected to appear in the movie and, according to the suit, taken “to a drinking establishment ‘to loosen up’ and provided alcoholic beverages.” They claim they signed the movie releases after “heavy drinking.” The plaintiffs claim they suffered “humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress, loss of reputation, goodwill and standing in the community…” because the movie was indeed released in the U.S. The suit asks for unspecified damages.

I have no doubt that Borat was legally vetted up the wazoo, and have my suspicions about the plaintiffs’ motives. Still, I wonder about the weird new legal terrain opened up by an actor playing a television interviewer/producer, allegedly making promises about restricted airing and subject anonymity and “encouraging subjects to drink” before signing release forms. About those alleged promises: Could not revealing the subjects’ full names count as retaining their anonymity? Will the Borat juggernaut give birth to a new type of insurance, with Sacha Baron Cohen finding a way to insure himself against iffy lawsuits, like David Lee Roth’s famous “paternity insurance” from Lloyds of London? If any great or even middling legal minds have any thoughts, please share.

Speaking of previously Slogged topics: Yesterday Brendan Kiley put up an amazing post called “Best Cover Song Ever,” but perhaps a more fitting title is “Holy Fucking Shit—Watch This All the Way Through Even If It Feels Like You Are Dying.” Anyone who thought nothing could top “We Built This Starbucks on Heart and Soul” must go here immediately.

My Bad.

posted by on November 10 at 10:28 AM

Yesterday I said that Deep Purple’s Machine Head was my favorite album cover of all time. That was wrong.

This is my favorite album cover (and the best album cover) of all time:


Gay Bashing Backfires

posted by on November 10 at 9:33 AM

The anti-gay marriage amendment in Wisconsin—which passed by double digits—hurt Republican candidates in that state too.

By putting the same-sex marriage and death penalty measures on the same ballot, Sensenbrenner said, Republican leaders in the Legislature ended up drawing the wrong type of voter to the polls—Democrats, especially conservative ones. Those people voted for the ballot proposals but against Republican candidates….

“It was a lose-lose situation,” Sensenbrenner said. “You had Reagan Democrats and socially conservative union members who wanted to vote yes and yes (on the referendums) and then voted for [Democrats].

“And then you had liberals who voted no on both, then voted for Democrats.”

Re: Conservative? No and Yes a little.

posted by on November 10 at 9:28 AM

Susan G. over at Daily Kos has this to say about the media hammering away at the Tuesday-was-a-victory-for-conservatives meme…

So go ahead, Blowhard Boys and Girls, keep saying it: “Conservative Democrats won on Tuesday, which proves that America is really conservative.”

And please, don’t catch on that every time you insist that “conservative Democrats” won, every time you couple the words, “conservative” and “Democrat,” not only does an angel get its wings, some voter in Mississippi is getting the message that there is a natural home for conservatives in the Democratic Party. Make it crystal clear, repeatedly, from now until 2008, that citizens in the Mountain West and the Midwest who cast their votes next to a “D” for perhaps the first time in their lives were NOT betraying “traditional values,” but were, in fact, reinforcing them.

If the right-wing devotes thousands of hours to this “conservatives really won by electing a Democratic majority” in the next two years, they’ll have softened the South up enough for us to canvass in 2008 with the simple statement, “Hey, I’m a Democrat and I want your value vote,” and it will make perfect sense.

So thanks, Rush, Sean, O’Reilly and the whole gang at National Review: You’re saving Democrats a boatload of cash two years from now that would have been spent on re-representing our party as the natural home for those with true American values. We couldn’t get this message out without you.

Conservative? No and Yes a little.

posted by on November 10 at 9:21 AM

Liberal bloggers are out to debunk the “conservative Democrats” spin. In the House it looks like the lefty bloggers have a point:

Think Progress, for example, has this to say:

According to Media Matters analysis of the 27 House candidates who (as of the morning of Nov. 8) unseated majority Republicans or won open seats previously held by the majority party, all support a core progressive agenda. All 27 candidates back raising the minimum wage, advocate changing course in Iraq, and oppose efforts to privatize Social Security. Only two of the 27 oppose embryonic stem cell research, and only five describe themselves as “pro-life.”

But what of the bigger win, the U.S. Senate? The six winning Democrats in the pivotal races (Virginia, Montana, Missouri, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) certainly played up their conservative credentials. Congressman Sherrod Brown (the D winner in Ohio) was cowed by all the GOP election year traps: He voted for the military commissions bill that iced habeas corpus; he voted for the immigration fence; he voted for the GOP tax trifecta which cut the estate tax and docked wait staff pay; and he voted for the flag burning amendment. Claire McCaskill from Missouri, supports pharmacist refusal clauses and supports parental notification laws. Jon Tester (pretty in synch with the Ds on most issues actually) hyped his anti-gun control position. Casey in PA. hyped his pro-life position. Webb, in VA., is an anti-gun control military man who served in the Reagan administration as Secretary of the Navy and as an assistant to the Secretary of Defense. (He also had some weird stuff to say about women serving in the military.) Sheldon Whitehouse, in RI, seems pretty liberal actually.

Certainly, all of these candidates, particularly McCaskill (stem cell research!) and Tester and Casey (thanks to his wingnut opponent) were far more liberal than the GOP candidates they took out. But let’s be honest, they all highlighted their down home values and moderate-to-conservative credentials in order to win. This was, without a doubt, a response to the fact that the GOP controlled the debate.

This isn’t a bad thing, though. In fact, I think the Democrats have beaten the GOP to the 2008 punch on claiming the mainstream mantle … which is smart. I was scared that Bush’s polarizing policies had fueled so much lefty anger that the Ds would blindly tack left and the GOP would surprise them with a curve ball by nominating a moderate to win in 2008. Ha! Not gonna happen now. The Democrats have filled up the middle and revealed the GOP as a wacky right wing party.

Yes, this does mean the longstanding GOP strategy of moving so far right—successfully pulled the Democrats rightward. But it also means the GOP strategy backfired. They tacked so far right that they lost power. Who’s in control of the debate now?

Whole Foods obsession/ guilt

posted by on November 10 at 9:18 AM

I have now visited the new Whole Foods in South Lake Union twice. A few observations: it seems to be 60 percent prepared food. I overheard some workers talking about whether the grocery part of the grocery store would get any business. The food is amazingly expensive. More than $7 a pound for all the hot bar stuff. In Portland, the same stuff is about $6 a pound. Anyway, I still love it. I am a sucker. The limited selection you get because of the emphasis on prepared food also makes me wonder: Is it going to become harder to find specific items, or more expensive? My obsession with grocery stores is not just high-end. On a recent visit to White Center I spent a long time goofing off in a grocery store that was half Vietnamese, half Mexican. Masa harina right by the fish balls. And good prices too. Despite all the talk of diversity, though, I don’t think anyone is making five spice tacos. I might start.

Expressing Black English

posted by on November 10 at 9:18 AM

From the opening sentence for a short article about Seattle’s emerging global status:

With its easy port access to Asia, hot office market and international airport, Seattle’s got it going on…
What is it that black English allows us to express that is somehow lacking in white English? I think it has to do with this: If you are doing well, if you are feeling confident, black English constructions (“got it going on”) get to the feeling of that success more effectively than white English ones. But why is this the case? Considering the economic state of black Americans and that of white Americans, one would expect the latter to produce the most effective ways of expressing success, happiness, and surges of power.

Today’s Most Controversial Post

posted by on November 10 at 9:00 AM

No cripples on the viaduct.

No, wait. That’s not what I meant. Don’t know where that came from. They can have the viaduct. What I don’t think should be allowed—ever, ever, ever—is the use of a credit or debit card in a line at a coffee shop in the morning. Today it was one dumbfuck after another whipping out plastic to pay for their $3 coffee, the numbers on each having to he hand-entered by the slow-moving barista because the shop’s swiper isn’t reading cards for some reason.

This happens all the time, and I’ve had it. If you don’t have five bucks in your pocket, or you don’t have enough change at home to scrounge up $3 to pay for your fucking coffee, then fucking go without. Or wait at the end of the line until after they’re done waiting on folks who brought cash and/or exact change. Christ!

Friday Morning Sports Report

posted by on November 10 at 8:54 AM

Seahawks: The boys are confident the season can still be salvaged. Hopefully they’ll feel the same way come Monday morning.

Sonics: Gonzaga star Adam Morrison, he of the skeezy moustache, takes on the Sonics tonight.

College Football: Rutgers is the little football team that could. Still, ESPN talking heads say they have no chance at the National Title game—even if they run the table.

Baseball: Dodgers outfielder J.D. Drew has bailed on the remainder of his contract. Dave at U.S.S. Mariner has a plan to get him:

Trade Richie Sexson for whatever you can get. Give him away if you have to. He’s clearly inferior to Drew and a worse fit for this team, yet the team still owes him $14 million each of the next two seasons. Find a team (like San Francisco) who like Sexson and take whatever they’ll give you for him.

J.D. Drew steps in as the new left fielder (or right fielder, whichever he prefers) and Raul Ibanez moves to DH. Voila. Team better with no extra cash output.

Football: Last Monday’s match-up between Seattle and Oakland was the lowest rated MNF in history. (Via Seattlest.)

The Morning News

posted by on November 10 at 8:45 AM

Castration: What Gates says anti-trust rivals sought to do to his new operating system.

Guilty: What four more eco saboteurs pleaded yesterday.

Court Martial: For Lt. Ehren Watada, who decided not to play in Iraq.

Hailed: New defense secretary Gates, even though he was a rabid cold-warrior, liberal cheer that he’s not a neocon. Marines, meanwhile, say Rummy who?

Fired, maybe: Bolton may not squeak through.

Recalled: Spiked pain killers.

NYT on SEA: Fremont News is closing.

Investigation: LA Police get FBI probe for suspect beating.

Pissed: Frat boys duped by Borat sue.

Thursday, November 9, 2006


posted by on November 9 at 8:59 PM

The world’s ratio of living cool dudes was dealt a crushing blow today, first with the untimely passing of Ed Bradley, and, later, the news that film composer Basil Poledouris had died of cancer. While a scan of the composer’s work reveals tracks full of both unexpected grace (Quigley Down Under, the Emmy-award winning Lonesome Dove) and self-aware bombast (would Verhoven’s Robocop or Starship Troopers have had half of their bloody satirical thrum without their soundtracks?), his main legacy comes from his gloriously large, blissfully unironic work in the action genre. Manly, thundering, and cranked-to-the-living-bejesus, this was music designed to grow hair where there was no hair before. As exhibit A, I humbly submit the opening theme to perhaps Poledouris’s most iconic work, Conan the Barbarian. Behold. BEHOLD.

Tonight in Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 9 at 6:19 PM

The talented freaks of Brown Derby inflict their theatrical gifts on Alien, the literally gut-busting 1979 space-horror classic. Tonight the screenplay will be brought to life by a collection of beloved local hams including Nick Garrison, Imogen Love, Dusty Warren, and Rebecca Davis. Plus, stuffed animals and Silly String. (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 223-9873. 8 pm, $12 cash at the door, 21+.) DAVID SCHMADER

Latest Burner-Reichert Numbers

posted by on November 9 at 6:16 PM

Today’s results have increased Reichert’s lead to 3,237 votes.

The percentages remain much the same: Reichert 51.04 percent, Burner 48.96 percent.

There should be more numbers coming in later tonight. The King County Elections office just sent out an email saying that in order to keep counting ballots it’s not going to post its daily tally until 7 p.m. (Which means it’s possible that the above new numbers from the Secretary of State only include Pierce County’s tally for the day, not King County’s — yet.)

Confused? Click here. Want to update this post for me when the new King County numbers come in (as I am heading out to see Native Son and won’t be around at 7)? Please do, in the comments.

Latest Sex Tape

posted by on November 9 at 5:23 PM

Don’t want to see a professional male athlete getting pegged by his clearly dominant girlfriend? Then don’t click here.

Cosmic Ringing?

posted by on November 9 at 5:16 PM

Steve Roden is an artist who likes to keep things interesting. In his latest work, day ring, night ring, an audio response to James Turell’s Skyspace at the Henry, Roden uses architectural drawings and sampling to give the piece its site-specificity and basic structure, but he leaves holes for what he calls “left turns”—and fills them with cosmic octaves. What I mean is, violinist Jacob Danzinger emulates the tones of tuning forks that Roden found while surfing the internet, forks purportedly tuned to the orbit of the sun, moon, and our solar system’s planets. The resulting improvisation is looped and layered to make day ring, night ring, which plays inside and outside Skyspace.
Once inside, I found myself staring meditatively at the blue ellipse of the Skyspace ceiling. As I listened and watched the “sky,” my eyes began to undulate, my peripheral vision blurred, and my depth perception seemed to fluctuate. I can fairly describe the experience as vibrational, but I quickly dismissed it as imaginative.
A day later, out of curiosity, I went in search of these cosmic tuning forks and found them, like Roden, online. One site sells a book by Hans Cousto, a “pioneer” in the field of harmonic resonance, explaining the concept behind cosmic octaves: entraining your brain to resonate with the frequencies of the planets can result in altered states of consciousness, deep relaxation, euphoria, enhanced creativity, accelerated learning, and psychic abilities.
It turns out that these ideas extend beyond New Ageism and into the realm of psuedoscience. The theory goes that if the frequency of a stimulus is in the range of brain waves, the predominant brain wave frequency is likely to move towards the frequency of the stimulus, essentially enabling stimulated mood and consciousness malleability. Despite the weird-science element, I found myself wondering about the potential of such a concept. Theoretically, could Roden’s piece have fucked with my mind in a physical sense?
I wanted to ask Roden: Did you increase my mental clarity and illuminate the genius in what I’d seen earlier that day at the Henry? Are you the reason I liked the Stephen Shore exhibit so much?
In the end, all my research siphoned down into an unenviable web of frantically spinning information, weaving itself into an obscene, beautiful entanglement of theory and data. Well, fuck. With cases like this and pieces like Roden’s, the most interesting thing, and really the only thing to do is experience, and wonder.
day ring, night ring may or may not be altering brain frequencies at the Henry through Sunday (Nov. 12).
— Alli Urban

Jesus Camp to Close

posted by on November 9 at 5:11 PM

The camp featured in Jesus Camp will close due to harassment from angry liberals.

But at least little 12-year-old Emily, a Kids on Fire camper in 2003, got the chance to teach her friend how to speak in tongues… in the bathtub!:

“The night Uncle Leon prayed for me I was on the floor bawling, and my tummy was shaking. I was down there for like an hour. There were so many kids piled up on the floor and there was no room for me, so I was moved to a bench where I continued to cry and shake until God was done with me.”

[ … ]

“Just a week ago two of my cousins where here from the cities. They are both girls and are our age. We were in the attic playing and just having fun when I felt led to pray for my cousin about praying in tongues. So we went in the bathroom so we would not be interrupted. She said she wanted to speak in tongues, so we got in the bath tub. I told her a little about what it was like. Then I said that when we got out of the tub that she would be speaking in tongues. I prayed for her and I felt electricity go through my arms. When we got out of the tub she was able to speak in tongues.”


Sad News About Ellen Willis

posted by on November 9 at 4:25 PM


Ellen Willis, easily one of the finest music and cultural critics to grace the pages of The New Yorker (and its first pop music critic), died of cancer on Wednesday.

Savage and Me in the Bathroom

posted by on November 9 at 4:20 PM

Ha! Made you read, Dan.

So I was just listening to Dan’s podcast about a diaper fetishist and his indulgent girlfriend, and it reminded me, incredibly, of my art podcast this week with Alex Schweder, an artist whose permanent public installation in the bathroom stalls at the Tacoma Trade and Convention Center is the most transgressive piece of public art in this state, if not in any state. (It follows another piece he did in the bathroom at the Museum of Sex in New York, which isn’t half as disturbing.)

Here’s an embarrassing (for me) old photo from before the paint tape was removed from Lovesick Walls in Tacoma, and another final installation detail.

Jen in Lovesick Walls.jpg


Listen to the podcast if you want to hear the eloquence behind Schweder’s disquieting work.

Cantwell’s Numbers

posted by on November 9 at 4:14 PM

Senior Senator Patty Murray has the rep for being our state’s popular one, while Cantwell is the ugly step sister or something.

Indeed, when Murray beat George Nethercutt in 2004 with nearly 55% (54.9 to 42.7) her star status was confirmed.

Well, holy fuck people, Cantwell is currently tracking at 57.5 to McGavick’s 39.3.

Granted: Scoop Jackson posted numbers like 82%, 71%, and 68% in 1970, ‘76, and ‘82 respectively. And Magnuson got 60% in ‘74. And Murray herself got 58% against Linda Smith in 1998. But man, while Cantwell was certainly supposed to win, did anybody seriously expect her to be closing in on an 18 plus point victroy?

Adu Across the Pond

posted by on November 9 at 4:08 PM

Manchester United is reportedly interested in signing 17-year-old DC United player Freddy Adu. Can the “phenom” hack it with the big boys? And if he does, will it have any effect on the popularity of football soccer here in the States?

In Other Neighborhoods

posted by on November 9 at 4:05 PM


Fremont In a safety campaign that has many neighbors puzzled, the Seattle Department of Transportation has removed 24 crosswalks since 2002 and has designs on removing 10 more. Several local businesses have taken issue with the city’s plan, saying it bows to drivers’ need for speed by using the excuse of safety. Charles Hadrann, who owns the Wright Brothers Cycle Works on North 36th Street near Greenwood Avenue, says removing the crosswalk by his store will decrease safety. He invoked the tradition of Gandhi in a letter of complaint to the Seattle City Council, making not-so-veiled threats about “the right of citizens to nonviolent protests, which includes the right for large numbers of pedestrians to march across crosswalks, blocking traffic for 20 or 30 minutes, two or three days a week, including rush hour.” The city department of transportation says their plans to remove the crosswalks are based on a 2002 study by the Federal Highway Administration that showed some unsignaled crosswalks can actually increase the risk of accidents. Fremont Pete Hanning at the Red Door in Fremont is installing a six-foot Rainier Beer R on his bar’s patio. This is not THE R, the one that once topped the plant near Georgetown where a Tully’s T now perches. But it is still a historic R, Hanning says. Over the last year, it traveled around the city in the back of a pickup truck, coming to rest occasionally at bars like the Summit Public House, before Pabst, which now owns Rainier, donated the giant neon consonant to the History House in Fremont. Rainier brewing was sold in 1999 to Pabst, which closed the Seattle plant. The Museum of History and Industry holds the original R. Hanning is lighting the sign at an event at his bar Friday, November 10, at 6:00 p.m. U-District The October 29 shooting on frat row at the University of Washington prompted increased policing and such extraordinary measures as a 2:00 a.m. curfew at Delta Upsilon. According to senior Anthony Shears, it also drew a protest by members of the black student union, who felt reports in the student paper describing the suspects as black males in their 20s cast a net so wide as to include all black male students. Members of the union, Shears said, have collected photographs of students who fit that description, each holding a placard that says “suspect.” Organizers have yet to decide how to display the protest mug shots.

Whoa, There’s Totally More Myles

posted by on November 9 at 3:53 PM

Here’s the portrait Billy Sullivan did of her in 2002


and, according to her web site, she wrote a opera (it opened in 2004 in New York) called Hell and is working on a novel called The Inferno about the hell of being a female poet.

Best Cover Song Ever

posted by on November 9 at 3:50 PM

Props to Wier for the tip and vimeo for the clip.

Breakfast with Eileen Myles

posted by on November 9 at 3:40 PM


Travis Nichols’s great piece today about being on the road with the wiry punk queer poet Eileen Myles reminded me of a couple scrambled eggs I ate with the marvelous Myles one morning.

I’m pretty sure it was at a Denny’s in Auburn, and I’m guessing this was three years ago. I was interviewing Myles, who has a burned-out voice like Patti Smith, after she finished talking poetry with a class of high-school kids. I don’t remember much of what we said, but I remember that it was raining heavily and I felt surprisingly at ease. I have the distinct suspicion that she treated me as an actual person to eat breakfast with, not a journalist. That’s probably why I don’t remember much: it was a real conversation, not one for posterity. It’s a good memory. She’s a warm, funny, and upstanding (a strange kind of word to use on her, maybe, but I think it’s right) woman.

You can hear her talk here with another interviewer (the inspirational Paul Nelson) about the queer kids in Auburn, about how Allen Ginsburg tried to fix her up with his boyfriend, and about the spiritual moment that began her career, when she wrote a poem at her day job, looked down at the poem, and realized, “Oh, this is real. The job is not.”

Here’s her web site.

The Invisible District of Brooklyn In Seattle

posted by on November 9 at 3:10 PM

In today’s paper, I write about The East River Project by the artists Gretchen Bennett and Yann Novak, a walking tour of Seattle’s International District set to a progression of neon orange street stencils and the downloaded sounds of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I called the story The Invisible District of Brooklyn and Seattle.

What I didn’t realize is that the neighborhood now known as the University District was once the town of Brooklyn.

In 1890, when Seattle’s super-developer James Moore laid out part of the Brownfield farm for a townsite, there was no assurance that it would become a satellite to a school (Territorial University, later University of Washington). The then still primeval land of section 16, east of 15th Avenue, was reserved first as a resource for the University. It might have been sold to support the building of the school elsewhere. The easterner Moore called his new addition Brooklyn. It was a stretch for although this Brooklyn like the one in New York was situated “across the water” from the larger community, Lake Union was a much wider water than the East River in New York.

(Thanks, Jack Straw arts manager Van Diep!)

Dear Readers

posted by on November 9 at 2:52 PM

If you’ve had trouble accessing our site, or found the site has been slow to load, these past couple of days, it’s because we’ve been experiencing a rather large influx of traffic. We’re working on the problem, and appreciate your patience. Who knew the pot-addled ramblings of a bunch of college dropouts would be so popular?

Thank you.

This isn’t Funny Either, Dan

posted by on November 9 at 2:36 PM


Court-Martial for Lt. Ehren Watada

posted by on November 9 at 2:32 PM

The military has decided on a full court-martial for Fort Lewis soldier Ehren Watada, whose case I wrote about in the August 24 Stranger.

If he’s found guilty, Watada could get six years in prison for his refusal to deploy to Iraq.

However, in keeping with the current shift in attitudes about criticizing President Bush’s handling of the war, the military has decided to drop one of the charges against Watada. He will no longer face a charge of “contempt toward officials” for saying that Bush “lied” to get the U.S. into Iraq.

Re: Sean Nelson Has Written a Book

posted by on November 9 at 2:12 PM

First of all, congratulations to Sean.

Second of all, Frizzelle’s post clued me in to just how pretty album covers can be— and particularly how pretty they look here on the Slog.

With a shout out to my older brother’s friend Cathy Reeves (my brother stole this album from her in the teenage 70s) here is my favorite album cover of all time:



posted by on November 9 at 2:10 PM


Via Shakespeare’s Sister.

And… A Concession

posted by on November 9 at 1:44 PM

There’ll be no recount in VA. Sweet, sweet Thursday.

And thank you, S.R. Sidarth, for your fine civic service in the field of oppo video research.

GOP: A Self Reading

posted by on November 9 at 1:43 PM

For my CounterIntel column this week, I hung out at the GOP election night “party” at the Bellevue Hyatt.

We’re so used to hearing Democrats publicly fretting and stressing and psychoanalyzing out loud about what they’re doing wrong that (figuring on the Democratic blow out), I set up shop in Bellevue to finally get some public hand wringing and self doubt from the Republicans on the record. Their basic verdict: Bush has fucked up the war.

Anyway, has a damn good books blog, and one of the bloggers there, a smart dude named Tom, who posts constantly, is wondering just how much self analysis the Rs (like the D’s mea culpa overkill in 2004) are actually going to publish. He’s got a list of the GOP stuff that’s already out there including: Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld

Sean Nelson has written a book…

posted by on November 9 at 1:28 PM

…about Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark


…and he’s going to be interviewed by John Moe on KUOW at 2 pm today. It’s 94.9 on the dial or streaming at

UPDATE: If you missed the show you can listen to it here.

Blasphemous Rumors?

posted by on November 9 at 12:51 PM

I just got a bit of Capitol Hill club gossip from Hot Tipper Christopher, who writes:

I have heard more then a few rumors that the Vogue is on the move again. From what I’ve heard, the Vogue is moving from its current location to a location near the Mercury. The kicker is they may be changing the name of the Vogue to….Spanky’s Hideout. Now these rumors are from the goth kids, so perhaps the cloves and absinthe have made them (more) demented, but this is what I have heard.

A call to the Vogue found only an answering machine (I think it’s against the rules for Goths to do anything before 9 pm) but I’ll keep you posted. Mostly I just want to know the truth about the potential name change, which I support in full. Goth kids who appreciate the hilarity of a Goth club called Spanky’s Hideout are exactly the type of Goth kids we need more of.

What’s next? e-Baby?

posted by on November 9 at 11:57 AM

With folks all hot and bothered by Madonna’s rule-bending adoption of a boy from Malawi, we might be due for some widespread scrutiny of Americans’ rampant adoptions of foreign babies.

Like in Guatemala, where Americans adopt 1 out of every 100 babies born. The New York Times has an interesting story this week about Guatemala’s adoption business, which runs alarmingly opposite of most countries.

In other countries, adoptive parents are sought out for abandoned children. In Guatemala, children are frequently sought out for foreign parents seeking to adopt and given up by their birth mothers to baby brokers who may pay from a few hundred dollars to $2,000 for a baby, according to interviews with mothers and experts.

All that grousing for babies by brokers has led to tension in rural areas, which, thanks to high poverty rates, provide the most babies for adoption. While some women are relatively grateful that their kids will have a chance at a better life (even if they are bought and sold and never seen again), a lot of people resent the brokers.

When the three [brokers] returned as the pregnant woman’s term neared its end, her parents, who opposed giving up the child, alerted neighbors, who gathered angrily at the scene. The two women’s hair was forcibly cut off, a traditional form of Mayan justice meant to shame offenders… In early October, villagers in IxtahuacĂĄn killed one person with machetes, captured another 12 and set fire to five cars when fear spread that a gang of child snatchers was in the area.

I don’t think it’s right to condemn any of the individuals in this process — they all think they’re doing the right thing. Poor Guatemalan mothers want their children raised in better conditions, American couples are childless and charitable and baby brokers say they’re just trying to help both sides. But something about the situation definitely rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s the whole cash-for-babies policy (that Rev. Ken Hutcherson rails against, too) or helping kids one-by-one while the country as a whole slips deeper and deeper into poverty. The scenario is a particularly grotesque demonstration of the standard-of-living gap between America and its neighbors. And an illustration of the root causes of the massive, highly-debated immigration across the southern border.

It just freaks me out that we live in a world where someone can buy every 100th child from its mother.

Russia Bans Borat

posted by on November 9 at 11:52 AM

It’s the first official movie ban from Moscow—not counting porn—since the Soviet censorship system.

(Note that Kazakhstan, though exasperated, hasn’t banned it.)

Full story here.

Bad Meaning Bad

posted by on November 9 at 11:40 AM

Let’s not be confused about Rummy’s resignation. We must also clear the confusion that exists between those who understand that the war in Iraq is bad because it’s bad to begin with and those who think the war in Iraq is bad because it is going badly. Rummy’s resignation has to do with the latter, and so it is a meaningless, empty gesture. Sadly, most Americans voted against the war (by voting for Dems) because the plan of the war failed in reality. For them, mostly rural folks, it is the form of the thing that is wrong and not its content (“this is a war on terrorism”). But if all was well and good, if Rummy, the war’s “architect,” had designed for the public a great war and the back of Iraq was under his thumb, then, for them (those who turned to the Dems for help), nothing would be wrong at all. But no matter what form the war had taken (good or bad), the wrong that is its content would have remained as such. If we are not clear on this point then nothing will really be corrected and all that we are enjoying (celebrating, applauding) in the demise of Rummy are visual effects, long faces, and weak theater.

Rove’s Delusions

posted by on November 9 at 11:16 AM

Perhaps you heard this Rove interviewwith NPR’s Robert Siegel right before the election:

SIEGEL: We’re in the home stretch, though, and many would consider you on the optimistic end of realism about -

ROVE: Not that you would be exhibiting a bias …

SIEGEL: I’m looking at all the same polls that you’re looking at every day.

ROVE: No, you’re not. No, you’re not.

SIEGEL: No, I’m not?

ROVE: No, you’re not. You’re not. I’m looking at 68 polls a week. You may be looking at four or five public polls a week that talk about attitudes nationally but that do not impact the outcome of -

SIEGEL: I’m looking at main races between - certainly Senate races.

ROVE: Well, like the poll today showing that Corker’s ahead in Tennessee, or the poll showing that Allen is pulling away in the Virginia Senate race.

SIEGEL: Leading Webb in Virginia, yeah.

Mr. ROVE: Exactly.

SIEGEL: But you’ve seen the DeWine race and the Santorum race - I don’t want to have you call races.

ROVE: Yeah, I’m looking at all these, Robert, and adding them up, and I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math, but you’re entitled to your math, I’m entitled to THE math.

SIEGEL: Well, I don’t know if we’re entitled to our different math, but you’re certainly -

ROVE: I said THE math. I said you’re entitled to yours.

Well, I’m going to get a little cagey here, but bear with me:

I ran into a high-profile member of the local Republican party last night, and they made it clear that indeed, Rove was totally delusional about the elections. This source is close to another high-profile Republican who now works as a GOP lobbyist in DC. This GOP lobbyist is pals with Rove.

Well, my source was talking to this lobbyist on the night before the election and said: “Man, I’ve been out doorbelling, and we’re going to get crushed.” The lobbyist, stunned, replied, “No. The polls are wrong. Don’t believe the liberal media reports. Karl is looking at the real numbers and we’re going to win.” My GOP informant replied: “No. Listen, I was out doorbelling, and when I told people I was a Republican they slammed the door in my face.” His comrade replied: “No. No. Karl’s on top of this. We’re going to win.”

My source then chastised his colleague for being lost in the D.C. loop and not understanding what was happening on the ground.

Almost Officially Official

posted by on November 9 at 11:02 AM

In Montana, Burns has finally conceded to Tester, and in Virginia, Allen will concede this afternoon. Which means, in case you hadn’t heard: The Dems control the Senate.


What is Tester doing on his first day off?

Tester, who was busy with chores Thursday, picking up a barrel of oil in Great Falls on the way to his grain farm in Big Sandy, ran as an outsider to the Washington culture…

And Burns? He’s off to shoot something:

Burns did not give any indication of what he plans to do now, though he indicated he was looking forward to taking some time off. “I hope there is still a good-sized buck out there, because I am going hunting,” he wrote.

(Photo via Flickr)

The Most Complete Story So Far About The Killing of Pat Tillman

posted by on November 9 at 10:56 AM

From AP this morning, the fog of war multiplied by cover-ups, evasions, conflicts of interest, strange claims, and the total lack of supplies provided by the Bush administration to the troops.

Ed Bradley Died Today

posted by on November 9 at 10:48 AM


He was 65, and had leukemia.

Should the Handicapped Be Banned from Express Buses?

posted by on November 9 at 10:23 AM

This morning, the ride on my express bus from Rainier Valley, which is supposed to take 30 minutes, was delayed four times for the entry and exit of two handicapped people in wheelchairs. The first wheelchair took a full 10 minutes, as the bus driver scooted a few inches forward and backward repeatedly to line up with the curb. Thus a ride that was supposed to be “express” ended up getting me (and maybe 100 other people) to work 20 minutes late.

So I’m just putting this out there: Is it fair for one or two handicapped individuals’ right to public accommodation to trump the right of dozens or hundreds of others to have reliable transit service that gets them to work on time? Is it fair for two people in wheelchairs to make everyone else on the “express” bus late?

For the negative: The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees reasonable accommodation to public facilities to all handicapped people. The bus system is a public facility. Therefore it’s unjust to exclude people with the misfortune of being handicapped, who may already face significant discrimination in their daily lives, from the same service I, as a non-handicapped person, enjoy.

For the affirmative: Express buses that aren’t fast and reliable aren’t really express buses. Given that the bus system in Seattle is already slow, unreliable express buses make people disinclined to take the bus. I won’t take transit unless I know it will get me to work on time. Furthermore, there are plenty of alternative, non-express buses that run along express routes. The greater good dictates that people with special needs should be restricted to buses that aren’t specifically devoted to fast, reliable service. And there are plenty of exceptions to the ADA: Equal accommodation doesn’t require me to hire someone who isn’t physically capable of doing a job, for example. (Added after original post: Metro’s Access program provides door-to-door van service for handicapped riders; fare for this service is just 75 cents.)

What do y’all think? Should Metro ban the handicapped from express buses? Or should I get over it and accept unreliable “express” buses as a side effect of equal access for everyone?

Have Another 40

posted by on November 9 at 10:06 AM

My managing editor has “recommended” that I stop posting so much about my hero Agent Zero. So, we agreed that I’d only post about Gilbert Arenas when he posted 40 points or more. (You’ll remember, Jillbert went for 44 against Boston on Sunday night. )

Well, I came home from work yesterday pretty stoned on life already—Democrats took the house, Rumsfeld out, Democrats take the Senate!!!!, Susan Owens beat Stephen Johnson with 60 percent—and then I tuned in the Washington Wizards game. Well, not only are the Wizards beating Indiana by 35 points, but Gilbert’s got 37 points … in the third quarter. Coach Eddie Jordan took Gilbert out with 10 minutes to go in the 4th after Jill landed another jumper to hit 40 on 14 of 20 from the field and 8 of 9 from the line.

Denise Richards Bludgeons 80-Year-Old with Laptop

posted by on November 9 at 9:51 AM

WOW. That’s just about all I can say about this story involving actress (?) DENISE RICHARDS who, in a truly freaky incident, injured a senior citizen IN A WHEELCHAIR by dropping a laptop on her from a balcony. Please, for the love of God… read on.

Denise Richards was involved in a bizarre incident with paparazzi Wednesday on the Canadian set of her new movie Blonde and Blonder, where laptop computers were hurled and a senior citizen slightly injured, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police tells PEOPLE.

The actress approached the photographers and threw their laptops off the balcony of the hotel, said Thiessen, adding that a computer “struck an 80-year-old women in a wheelchair. It struck her in the arm. She was not interested in pursuing criminal charges and suffered only minor injuries.”

Police interviewed both Richards and her costar, Pamela Anderson, about the incident, and the movie production company agreed to pay for the damages to the photographers’ computers, according to Thiessen.

As of yet, no charges are being filed. Howard Blank, a representative of the Blonde and Blonder production, said, “No one was seriously injured in any way.” He said the events were “getting blown way out of proportion.”

Blown out of proportion? Are you kidding me? WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED!


“Because Hating Yourself is the Greatest Love of All”

posted by on November 9 at 9:30 AM

On last night’s Larry King Live, the compulsively edgy Bill Maher made up for his iffy Halloween costume by coming out swinging against closeted gay Republicans.

The money quote: After Maher outs RNC chair Ken Mehlman, Larry King asks why a gay man would publically take anti-gay positions, to which Maher responds, “Because Larry, hating yourself is the greatest love of all.

Closing twist: In the west coast feed of the show, Maher’s outing of Mehlman is edited out. See the edited clip here.

(Thanks to Towleroad and AmericaBlog for the clips.)

Haggard Drinks It Down

posted by on November 9 at 9:10 AM

Remember Ted Haggard? The meth-buying, pole-smoking, anti-gay evangelical minister? Newspeak dug up an interesting quote from the disgraced pastor…

“After juicing a whole cucumber, I drink it down.”

It’s weight-control advice, ostensibly, from Haggard’s book The Jerusalem Diet. But it sounds like a cry for help now, doesn’t it?

Hmm… juicy…


The Morning News

posted by on November 9 at 8:58 AM

Goodnight Rummy

So-long Sonics

Senate celebration: With late-breaking victory for Webb.

Still don’t know: Burner still barely trailing.

Sell-off: Seattle Art Museum pawns American works. Jen Graves on the subject yesterday.

Supreme study: the high court grapples with nebulous abortion definitions.

Sick schools: Lead found in 323 Seattle public school water fountains.

Sex offender sanity: A federal judge in California blocks the enforcement of a voter-approved sex offender law.

Ousted editors: at the L.A. Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Thursday Morning Sports Report

posted by on November 9 at 8:44 AM

Sonics: The Supes keep alive their early season streak of horking it in the final seconds.

Seahawks: Mouthy, dropped-pass-happy tight end Jerramy Stevens has been fined $15,000 for unnecessary roughness, unsportsmanlike conduct, and receiving a knee to the chestnuts.

Mariners: Hated rivals the Oakland A’s are building a spangly new stadium in Fremont, California. DMZ over at U.S.S.Mariner thinks it’s bad news for the M’s.

UW Basketball: The Huskies signed two players yesterday. One is a Brit, the other from California.

UW Football: The Dawgs need to win their final two games for a chance at a bowl game.

Finally: Local rag of dubious merit publishes surprisingly coherent sports-related feature story.

Future School Bus Drivers of America

posted by on November 9 at 8:26 AM

Kid flips the bird.jpg

One of Santorum’s kids flips the bird—unintentionally, no doubt—at the cameras on election, er, rejection night.

The Best Week Ever

posted by on November 9 at 8:04 AM

Remember how those evil anti-gay marriage amendments were designed to drive conservative voters to the polls, ensuring big victory margins for Republican candidates lucky enough to be on the same ballot? Remember how all that was supposed to work? Well, the anti-gay marriage amendment in Virginia—which passed—may have cost Republicans control of the Senate. Oh, this is almost too good to be true

Marriage Amendment Passes, But May Have Cost Allen the Election

An analysis of the voting pattern Tuesday in Virginia suggests that the so-called “marriage amendment” on the ballot as Question 1 might have cost U.S. Senator George Allen the election. If true, it would mark an ironic twist, the backfiring of an effort Republicans hoped would spur a stronger turnout for their incumbent.

It would also be consolation for opponents to the Constitutional ban on gay marriage, which passed by a 57% to 43% margin statewide.

It can be credibly argued that a significant portion of those… who voted against the gay marriage ban also voted against Allen. Many of them, in fact, may have been motivated to come to the polls by the aggressive campaign led by a well-organized collective effort of civic and religious groups known as the Commonwealth Coalition.

Now if Darcy Burner can just pull ahead… man, that’ll be the fucking cherry on top of the damn sundae, huh? C’mon Darcy!

Early Morning Appetite Suppressant

posted by on November 9 at 6:39 AM

Young women don’t need boyfriends—so long as they’re getting a good dose of “Godly affection” from their fathers.

Via Pandagon, who says…. “I have to go boil my computer now.”

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

New Burner-Reichert Numbers

posted by on November 8 at 7:07 PM


New numbers, but the precentages are the same as before: 51 percent for Reichert, 49 percent for Burner.

About 152,500 ballots have now been counted, and the difference between the two candidates has widened slightly, to 2,736 votes.

A Democratic source tells me that there are believed to be about 80,000 to 100,000 ballots remaining to be counted. These are almost all mail-in ballots, except for some provisional ballots cast at the polls (those are always counted last).

Because the 8th District covers two different counties — King and Pierce — we’re dealing with two different batches of ballots. The ones from Pierce County (the rural southern parts of the district) are likely to favor Reichert, but there are also fewer of them left to count. The ones from King County (Bellevue, Mercer Island, Redmond, Kirkland) are likely to favor Burner heavily, and there are significantly more of them.

“Given the numbers tonight,” my Democratic source said, “we are continuing a steady uptick in King County. I expect that we’ll slowly but surely eat away at his lead and then we’ll be in a very narrow, narrow battle for the remaining ballots.”

We’ll see. New tallies will come at the end of each day until the count is finished, and my source tells me things should be much more clear by the end of the day Friday. If the race ends up being as close as my source thinks it will be (within about 1,000 votes) that could trigger an automatic recount.

(Burner photo by Dennis Williams)

Postman on Language

posted by on November 8 at 7:06 PM

Writing about “the M-word,” Postman asks:

If Sen. George Allen, R-Va., is in a close race, in part, because he used an offensive racial term, why has it been OK for the media to keep using macaca, including for comedic effect?

I don’t know, but Wonkette, the most prolific user of the “M-word” for comedic effect, today outdid “herself” with a recount-related headline that began, Macacalypse Now?

Chinese Population Control: Not Just for Babies Anymore

posted by on November 8 at 6:24 PM

Coming in tomorrow’s New York Times:

“Only one pet dog is allowed per household in the zones, and dangerous and large dogs will be banned,” the news agency said. “Anyone keeping an unlicensed dog will face prosecution.”

At least it’s a great day for the Pekingese!


It’s Official: SAM Is Weeding Its American Collection

posted by on November 8 at 6:13 PM

My column this week reported on the Seattle Art Museum’s sale of $1.35 million in art—two Hartleys and a Cassatt—last spring.

Turns out that sale was not an anomaly. According to the Sotheby’s November sales catalog, SAM is aggressively pruning its American collection in the hopes that clearing out the weeds will make way (dollars-wise, that is) for better, bigger purchases.

As is apparent by searching the Sotheby’s web site, and as was reported first this morning by the Seattle Times, SAM stands to gain $1 million or more this month in profits from the sale of American art at Sotheby’s. (SAM may also be selling work through other channels that don’t have public search functions, but in reporting I’ve been doing since August here, here, and here, the museum has refused to disclose any information about other pending sales.)

The money will be used to buy more American art, but the museum isn’t saying what major purchases it has up its sleeve.

According to the acquisitions list in the museum’s 2004-‘05 annual report, the only recent American gain, on a long list of African, Asian, decorative arts, modern and contemporary, Native American, and Olympic Sculpture Park gains, was a 10 3/4-inch by 7 7/8-inch oil on wood pulp paperboard work by Thomas Cole from circa 1845-1847, titled A Sketch: Catskill Landscape.

The only other category with just one acquisition listed is European painting and sculpture, which, like American art, is a weak area for SAM. Leonardos and their like are nearly priceless, so SAM can’t pool enough resources to really alter its European collection. But obviously, the museum believes it can make headway in the department of cheaper and more available American art.

Is that true? And does SAM have its eyes on a particular prize? The museum isn’t saying. My calls to American art curator Patti Junker today—and last week, when I asked to talk with her about the way the Hartley and Cassatt sales fit in to the larger picture—have gone unreturned. (To be fair, I understand Junker is out sick today, and I will report again after I hear from her.)

The prize had better be worth the sacrifice, said Seattle art dealer David Martin of Martin-Zambito Gallery, which specializes in late 19th- and early-20th-century American art. That hasn’t always been the case at SAM, he said. He recalled sales in recent years of a painting by John Singer Sargent and a drawing by Mary Cassatt that were replaced by what he believes to be inferior examples of the artists’ work. (SAM sold a signature mother-and-child Cassatt and purchased a portrait of the artist’s brother that Junker has described as a “landmark” work, but which Martin says “looks like a taxidermist did it.”)

The reason museums hate talking about sales is that not everybody agrees on what’s dispensable. Hartley lover and scholar Patricia McDonnell recently said the loss of the two Hartleys this past spring is no tragedy. She referred to them dismissively, as “bad days at the office” for the artist, which seems to align with their slim exhibition history.

What’s the comprehensive history of SAM’s deaccessions? To some extent, it’s publicly unknown, because the museum didn’t decide to publish sales until I asked it to this summer, and it still hasn’t come out with any, because its annual report is not expected again for several months. The history that can be gained is spotty and anecdotal.

In 1989, according to a report of museum activity written in 1999 by a museum employee (and passed to me by a source who has asked to remain anonymous), SAM got rid of nine American oil paintings by William Mason Brown, William Merritt Chase, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Thomas Doughty, Jonas Lie, Frederick Judd Waugh, John Singer Sargent, Guy Wiggins, and Irving Ramsey Wiles. Then-curator Patterson Sims “judged these paintings either second-rate or in poor condition,” the report reads. “The museum realized $468,970.00 and the money was placed in a fund for the acquisition of American art.” The money was used to purchase three works: the stained-glass window Peonies in the Wind with Kakemono Borders by John La Farge; the landscape Mount Rainier, Washington Territory by Sanford Gifford; and the Cleveland Rockwell seascape Smoky Sunrise, Astoria Harbor.

Asked to respond to this exchange, Martin says he finds it hard to believe that the La Farge, Gifford, and Rockwell were worth giving up the Chase, Cropsey, and Sargent for—and he wonders whether they were sold at auction, given the relatively low profit for those household names—let alone the whole compendium of names, some more obscure.

Speaking of obscure names, take Hovsep Pushman, the Armenian-born American painter of orientalist scenes who died in New York in 1966. Three Pushmans are on this month’s block at Sotheby’s, and a search on SAM’s web site indicates “no results” under Pushman’s name. Is SAM getting rid of Pushman altogether? No one’s claiming that Hovsep Pushman was a genius, but is SAM aiming for just a greatest-hits collection? Is Pushman’s orientalist link to SAM’s world-renowned specialty, Asian art, for example, immaterial?

The eight American paintings now on the block include a few that Martin says it will be a “mistake” to get rid of, including John Marin’s 1934 oil painting New York Abstraction (valued at $600,000 to $800,000),


Preston Dickinson’s 1928 oil painting Still-Life No. 1 (valued at $150,000 to $250,000)


and the Pushmans, including The War God (1953, valued at $30,000 to $50,000).


The AP is now reporting….

posted by on November 8 at 5:44 PM

…that Jim Webb won Virginia.

Democrats wrested control of the Senate from Republicans Wednesday with an upset victory in Virginia, giving the party complete domination of Capitol Hill for the first time since 1994….

Last gaffe

posted by on November 8 at 5:24 PM

So you may or may not have heard about the minor gaffe at the Maria Cantwell speech at the Sheraton last night.
During her victory speech, a few chants of “no more war” could be heard. That was a few of my friends and me.
It only lasted until the obviously prepared security guards started chanting “six more years,” causing a few people who were standing on stage behind Cantwell to murmur along until Cantwell just plowed forward with her speech.
Just to be clear, I’ve spent this whole summer, all the way until November, canvassing for the Democratic National Committee. Here in Washington, I have had many people neglect to contribute due to their opposition to Cantwell’s less than strong stance against the war. Repeatedly, I’ve had to move away from Cantwell’s anti-grassroots position and back to the national platform but often to no avail. Hell, I even sucked it up and voted for her. But I was not about to let her have her victory without being reminded of what her constituency really wants.
“This election, even though my name was on the ballot, was about ideas,” Cantwell said last night. True enough, but we cannot let slip that rhetorical phrase without calling attention to these ideas. Considering the supposed nationalization of issues, it is should be apparent that many (if not the majority) of Cantwell’s constituents expect her to get us out of this war.
Shortly after our shouts of protest were silenced by the democratic majority, one of my fellow chanters had a Cantwell sticker ripped off of his shirt by an angry dem as she slapped the sticker on her own chest. Arguments ensued and I was picked out by security as a protestor. Ironically, it seems as though the dems present last night would rather relish in hard fought win itself rather than the issues the grassroots movements hoped to campaign on. I have had to dredge up a shred of reformism and scurrying sort of idealism in order to follow through with my canvassing for the DNC this year. I knew that Howard Dean’s role as an organizer and not a policy maker for the DNC was a critical loss for the progressive elements of the party, but I pulled through it anyway.
As one protester at the Sheraton said, “Maria Cantwell is an emotional being just like you and me and if this can get her to follow through, then we’ll do what it takes.”
Meanwhile, I swam my way through the crowd as Cantwell exited stage right. I quickly realized the security consisted of the two tall guys in blue hoodies standing like brick walls in front of me. I gave them the slip and was able to move to the left of them before they could block me again. They followed but I pulled my girlfriend close behind me to block them from grabbing me. Cantwell made her way through the adoring crowd, glad-handing everyone she met. Finally, she began to shake my hand and leaned closer to me as I began to talk.
“Hi Maria, my name is Brandon and I work for the Democratic National Committee. When are you going to get us out of this war?” Cantwell sneered as her eyes lit up for a moment.
Quickly, she composed herself and put on a more cheerful face, then gave a dismissive, “thank you,” before she let go of my hand.
Now this event in itself should not really count as much of anything really. We must remember though, as the people who elected Cantwell again, that she needs to stick to getting us out of Iraq. The people on the ground should know more than anything. An overwhelming majority of US troops and Iraqi civilians agree that we should be out by the end of the year. How else to ensure that Iraq’s government will be sovereign, rather than imposed?

-Brandon Eng

Looking to Celebrate?

posted by on November 8 at 5:16 PM

It’s not that I don’t care about the fate of our country. I do. But I also know that biting my nails and watching a television wasn’t going to change a goddamn thing about last night’s results, so I elected to go to Jazz Alley with a friend to see the Bad Plus, who look like this:


And sound like this. They’re a jazz trio and they’re fucking great—kind of experimental, kind of populist, kind of hardcore—despite this comment to my Line Out post yesterday:

poor poor journalists and dj’s: all seemingly blind to the reality that this art-music band AIN’T ALL THAT (this coming from someone who’s caught ‘em three times and could care less at this point: they b overrated)

Check it out, sourpuss: When we sat down in the Alley, my friend had been feeling like he was coming down with a cold for a week. I was grumpy. Doom was in the air. Some cocktails and some music later (they take normal through-ways in the jazz sound—a super-familiar chord progression, for example—then stop to linger and play around and explore before heading back into the rest of the song; or they’ll stop and repeat one blip over and over like a scratched record; or they’ll build to a climax, usually led by their fantasticdrummer, then throw the noisy song over a cliff and bust into Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for fears) we stepped into the night improved. My friend felt healthier than he had in days. I was inexplicably cheerful. And the Dems had taken the fucking house and made gains in the Senate and Rumsfeld was hours from his resignation.

Say what you will, you unimpressed music mavens, but the Bad Plus is good medicine.

(They play one more night. Tonight. Call Jazz Alley at 441-9729 for more information. Yeah!)

Savage Plays Respectable

posted by on November 8 at 5:07 PM

Our fearless leader has another op-ed in the New York Times today. To everyone’s shock, it has something to do with homosexuality.

Those who weren’t exhausted by reading the 17,000 words Savage wrote for Slog today are encouraged to give it a look.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 8 at 5:00 PM

‘Take the Cake’
You thought that Genius was over? Oh, it is never over. The Henry Art Gallery and Art Patch have put together an eight-week exhibition of installations, screenings, sculptures, paintings, dioramas, and models by all four years of The Stranger’s Genius Award winners—which is far better than trying to check out their work in the dark of the ceremony’s one-night party, over a drink or five. We have seen the show yet,* but since we picked the artists, we have a hunch you should go. (Henry Art Gallery, 15th Ave NE at NE 41st St, 543-2280. 11 am-8 pm, $10.) JEN GRAVES

[*This was written a week ago. Graves has since seen the show and writes about it in this week’s In Art News.]

Cantwell’s Cash Bar

posted by on November 8 at 4:56 PM

Freedom Beer

I wanted to devote a whole Slog post to this blistering comment from one of last night’s posts:

The party at the Sheraton was FUCKING LAME. What was supposed to be a thank you to the volunteers and most importantly the campaign workers who have been working their ass off for the past 6 months turned into a few speeches and then everyone leaving. Some of us who, I don’t know, still had shit to do until around 10 pm got there as everyone was leaving.

The party should have been open bar, there should have been better multimedia, the setup should have been better, the candidates and party officials should have hung around to keep people partying, and oh, did I mention that there should have been a FUCKING OPEN BAR. Charge for fancy cocktails if you want, but a bunch of free wine and beer is a must. Not to mention lots of food. $7 dollar alcohol when your party consists of under-paid campaign workers, college students, and labor? That’s messed up.

If I sound a little pissed, I am. After spending the day in the rain helping Dems, not to mention giving money and volunteering, the least the Dems could do is give us a good fucking party.

Hear, hear.

By all reports the party at the Sheraton—Cantwell’s party, primarily—was a bust and an insult. Maria raised $18 million for her re-election bid, and it had been evident for weeks (months!) that she was coasting to an easy victory. The day after the election Maria has, according to her FEC reports, $2.4 million dollars on hand.

With that kind of money on hand, Cantwell could certainly have afforded to spend a little bit on beer and wine to show her gratitude to her volunteers and supporters. All those people that went out in the rain and worked GOTV and raised money and stuck yard signs all over town—you can’t buy them a couple of beers, Maria? And make sure there are some TVs in the room? And something to snack on?

Or were people merely invited to come to your victory party so they could serve as a cheering backdrop for your acceptance speech? And if your props wanted a drink while they waited for TV cameras to snap on, well, they have to fork over $7 for a beer?

Maria Cantwell’s seven-bucks-a-beer “victory party” is yet more evidence, as if we needed any, of the Cantwell camp’s low emotional IQ. Pretty clueless, pretty crass—and pretty stupid. Cantwell may feel like she’s senator-for-life now, thanks to her 15 point margin over Mike McGavick. But Conrad Burns, the now-former Senator from Montana, had 24 point margin of victory in 2000.

All I’m saying, Maria, is that you might need those volunteers to save your ass in some future election. So it’s a dumb move to insult them by inviting them to a party and then surprising them with a pricey cash bar, no food, and no TVs.

It’s not too late to make it up to your volunteers, supporters, and local campaign staff, Maria. Before you head back to DC in January of 2007, host a bash to thank everyone who worked so hard. But this time with an open bar. Do the classy working-class thing, Maria, and buy your hard-working volunteers a beer.

Forget the Elections…

posted by on November 8 at 3:59 PM

Check out this video of a guy wearing 155 t-shirts at once:

That, my friends, is some funny shit.

Via Althouse.

Narrative Magazine Benefit Tonight

posted by on November 8 at 3:42 PM

Charles D’Ambrosio, Rick Bass, and some others are doing a benefit reading tonight on Mercer Island for Narrative Magazine, which John Marshall wrote about in yesterday’s P-I.

Today, Narrative boasts 15,000 readers from around the globe who have signed on as free “subscribers” to a magazine that is published three times a year — and is only available on the Internet… Joyce Carol Oates praises the online publication as “one of the most exciting and innovative literary magazines I have seen in the past decade,” while T.C. Boyle salutes it as “a writer’s dream come true.”

The ticket price is less than a dream come true: $100. The event starts at 6 pm at the house of Cynthia Hartwig and Tom Booster. Call 206-652-8398 if you’re interested. Less expensive option: Get yourself a copy of D’Ambrosio’s The Dead Fish Museum (only $22, reviewed here by Jonathan Lethem, Dale Peck, and others) and read it in your own home…

The Punishment Due

posted by on November 8 at 3:28 PM

Props to the judge in Delaware who got creative with the sentencing of this sex offender.

Electing the Dead

posted by on November 8 at 3:17 PM

You know it’s a bad year for Republicans when an incumbent loses an election to a corpse:

PIERRE, S.D. - A woman who died two months ago won a county commissioner’s race in Jerauld County on Tuesday.

Democrat Marie Steichen, of Woonsocket, got 100 votes, defeating incumbent Republican Merlin Feistner, of Woonsocket, who had 64 votes.

Was It Good for Hugh?

posted by on November 8 at 2:54 PM


They’re attempting to do a little election analysis over at Capitol Hill Seattle.

We will celebrate Santorum’s demise with Dan Savage and the rest of the lovers of freedom in this fine country—but take a look at the local “impact” of Savage’s neener-neener teasing of Jamie Pedersen and the neverending joke endorsement of proto-Republican Hugh Foskett.

Savage’s Abercrombie-esque funny boy pulled 13.75% of the vote so far. Wow. Looks familiar. In 2004, the ‘publicans also put up a fuzzy cheeked pretender in the race and he pulled… 13%.

CHS is straining to imply that The Stranger’s coveted endorsement didn’t do much good for Hugh Foskett—or likely any of the other candidates we endorsed this year. The 43rd District’s sacrificial R candidate in 2004 got 13%, Hugh got 13.75%. Big whoop, right?

But the comparison isn’t valid, CHS. This was a very good year for Democrats, as everyone is now surely aware, and a very bad year for Republicans. The reverse was true in 2004. That’s why comparing 2004 election results to 2006 election results doesn’t tell us anything relevant, CHS. If you want to measure the impact of our endorsement—our joke endorsement—on Hugh Foskett, you need to compare Foskett’s performance last night to that of the other two sacrificial Republicans running this year in the 43rd District.

In the race for State Senate in the 43rd, Ed Murray got 89.25%, his Republican challenger Loren Nelson got 10.74%. In the race for 43rd District State House Position #2, Frank Chopp got 90.03%, his Republican challenger Will “Chopper” Sohn got 9.69%.

And now—drum-roll, please—here are the most current results in the race for 43rd District House Position #1:

Jamie Pedersen: 81.81%
Hugh Foskett: 13.82%

So our endorsement—our joke endorsement of a joke Republican running in the 43rd joke district—was worth somewhere between 3 and 4 percentage points. Our non-joke endorsements be worth a bit more than even that. Can we win your ass an election? No, probably not. But if it’s close, we can help. Just ask Greg “3,158” Nickels.

Rural Idiocy

posted by on November 8 at 2:43 PM

By the way, just because we finally tricked those outside of the light of the city, those who live in the middle-dark of nowhere and by the order of a moral system that was concocted two thousand years ago—because we finally tricked these muddy people into voting in a way that benefits them in the short and long run, this does not mean reason is spreading across the countryside. What it means is that we, in the city, finally figured out how to pull rural idiots out of the jaws of the lions. Yes, my form of cosmopolitanism is shameless, unforgiving, and knows no patience when it comes to these country types. But they, and they alone, are responsible for the size of the mess that we are now faced with cleaning.

From the Communist Manifesto:

The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life.
At first it was the bourgeoisie that did the rescuing, now it is the political left that must do this task.

One More Election Caption Contest

posted by on November 8 at 2:31 PM


In Other Elections

posted by on November 8 at 2:25 PM

Voters in six states adopted inflation-indexed increases in the minimum wage, bringing to 24 the number of states (including Washington State) with minimum wages higher than the $5.15 federal minimum.

As the execrable Initiative 933 lost by an overwhelming (42-58) margin, three more “property rights” initiatives that would define land-use laws as “takings” were failing in Idaho and California.

And in Oregon, voters were overwhelmingly rejecting a measure that would require doctors to notify a minor’s parents before she could have an abortion.

Now let’s all turn our attention to the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments today in the case against the federal late-term abortion ban. (A good summary of the SCOTUS discussion can be found here.)

Hello, Hangover

posted by on November 8 at 2:06 PM

Woke up with my first hangover ever this morning. I blame the Spitfire. If the election party hadn’t been so crowded, I wouldn’t have ordered that double vodka soda, which I only ordered because I wasn’t looking forward to waiting in line again, and which, by the way, really seemed like a triple vodka soda. (Thanks, Spitfire!) And I blame America, because if there wasn’t so much to celebrate I would have just left after the beer, or the half of a friend’s whiskey neat, or after the first vodka soda. And if I hadn’t been so deliriously happy in the cab on the way home I might have rembered to hydrate before bed, which I especially needed to do because I went to the Spitfire right after bikram yoga.

But whatever—isn’t it really exciting to be excited again? (Now I’m repeating myself.) Wasn’t it great to look at those TV screens and scream because you were happy about what you were seeing? Wasn’t it great to have any feeling whatsoever—happiness, no less!—about Montana and Missouri? And then, this morning’s icing: Rumsfeld is out. Isn’t it fun to say? Rumsfeld is out. Rumsfeld is out. Rumsfeld is out. Rumsfeld is out. Heezowwt! Outta there! Out, damn’d spot! Out I say! Take me out to the ball game. We need a new dance. A Rumsfeld-is-out dance. I’m thinking…

My hangover is starting to disappear.

Weekly Contradiction

posted by on November 8 at 1:37 PM

Considering that Seattle Weekly writer Mike Seely recently wrote an unflattering tell-all column about his experience as a paid Cantwell staffer during the 2000 campaing, it’s lame that he’s now criticizing former Seattle Weekly writer Geov Parrish for writing unflattering tell-alls about the Seattle Weekly.

Seely wrote this about Parrish:

After parting ways in a seemingly amicable manner some three months ago, another ex-Weekly scribe, Geov Parrish, has now taken on the voice of a chest-thumping faux insider whose disdain for the Weekly and its current owners knows no boundaries. Personally, I can’t stand journalists (and people, for that matter) who embody this sort of passive-aggressiveness, but the point here is that the post-mortem musings of disgruntled ex-writers should be taken with a fistful of salt.

But here’s Mike Seely doing a bit of disgruntled ex-staffer chest-thumping himself—about his stint with Cantwell:

Cantwell is far from perfect. In fact, she ranks high among the most difficult people I’ve ever worked for or with. The seven months I spent in her charge felt like seven years… conspicuous consumption during happy hour became all but a necessity, as it was invariably better to be half in the bag when Cantwell, a paranoid hellcat of a boss who rolls through staff like toilet paper, would make her daily sweep through the office, berating everyone in sight.

The Burner-Reichert Race

posted by on November 8 at 1:30 PM


In terms of vote totals, the eastside House race between Darcy Burner and Dave Reichert is closer than the just-called Montana Senate race and the yet-to-be-called Virginia Senate race. Currently, there are only 2,650 votes separating Reichert and Burner.

The difference in terms of percentages? Well, that’s a different story. Reichert has 51 percent of the vote while Burner has 49 percent.

In 2004, Reichert beat liberal radio talk show host Dave Ross by 5 points, earning 51.5 percent of the vote to Ross’s 46.5 percent.

So far Burner’s clearly doing better than Ross, but she has a long way to go if she expects to unseat Reichert. But, as the votes continue to be counted, here’s one thing to keep in mind: A total of about 336,000 votes were cast in the 2004 Ross-Reichert race. As of this post, only about 121,000 votes have been counted in the Burner-Reichert race.

Granted, 2004 was a presidential election year and therefore drew a larger turnout, but for those still holding out hope for Burner — well, if there’s any hope, it lies in the eastside’s yet-uncounted ballots.

The Burner campaign tells me there are “tens of thousands” of ballots still to be counted on the eastside, and that with a difference of only 2,650 votes between the candidates, Burner’s not conceding yet.

(Burner photo by Dennis Williams)

Get A Rope

posted by on November 8 at 1:08 PM

“I think I’d just commit suicide.”

That’s John McCain on what he’d do if the Democrats took the Senate.

“I don’t want to think about that eventuality because I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he added.

I’m taking McCain’s vow as a promise. So long, John; we hardly knew you.

Rick Santorum

posted by on November 8 at 1:00 PM

Santorum At the Bat.jpg

Man, you would think I single-handedly defeated Rick Santorum, judging by the hundreds of emails I’ve received since last night. A sampling…

You toppled a senator, Dan! And while Rick Santorum may be gone, the word for the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex, live on for all time.
Congratulations for helping orchestrate the crushing defeat of that frothy shitmeister from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.
Thanks so much for helping those of us in Pennsylvania who fought long and hard to kick that homophobic theocrat out of the Senate. We may have done the voting, but your helping raise awareness on a national scale certainly played a part in his ousting. You’re the best, Dan!
That messy, unsatisfying, non-consensual ass fuck of a senator is gone! I am sure your inbox will be flooded with congratulations, hopes, dreams, unicorns, and offers for sexual favors because of your huge role in publicizing what a terrorist this guy was but I couldn’t help myself: THANK YOU!
The power of satire should never be underestimated! Thanks for fighting such a good and necessary fight!
As a Philly resident, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for all of your efforts to get rid of this jerk. I am so happy we are now a Santorum-free state!

Whoa… no more! My head is so swollen after reading my email this morning that my hair is in danger of popping off.

For the record…

While I appreciate the accolades, and while I recognize that most were offered with tongues planted firmly in cheeks, I can’t take credit for Rick Santorum’s crushing defeat last night. The lion’s share of the credit goes to the wise voters of Pennsylvania. (It would be churlish of me to point out that those same wise voters sent Santorum to the Senate in the first place—twice—so I won’t point that out.) You guys poured into the polls and voted against the frothy mix and have earned yourselves the love and gratitude of a grateful nation. As the kids once said, “props.”

The second largest share of the credit goes to Bob Casey, who beat Santorum—a sitting U.S. Senator and the #3 Republican in the Senate Leadership—by a whopping 13 motherfucking percentage points. Well done, Mr. Casey. (And gee, it looks like you could have risked taking my money after all—but political hindsight is 20/20, I realize, and all is now forgiven.)

Then there were the folks on the ground—the Dems and activists in Pennsylvania that worked like hell to register new voters and get everyone to the polls yesterday. Groups like Philadelphians Against Santorum—you guys rocked the country yesterday. As the kids once said, “mad props.”

But there’s a smidgen of credit I will take: I did help to make Rick Santorum into a national laughing stock—an international laughing stock (the new definition of “santorum” is known overseas)—with an invaluable assist from Rick Santorum, of course.

There’s a reason why monarchs and despots used to lock up political cartoonists and satirists. Being made to look ridiculous, being turned into the butt of a joke—that’s politically disempowering fairy dust. It’s hard to rule when you’re not taken seriously, and it’s hard to be taken seriously once you’ve been reduced to a punch line. Indeed, the power of satire should never be underestimated.

And can we pause here to marvel at just how far Rick Santorum has fallen? His name—pre-punch line—was seriously tossed around as a 2008 Republican presidential prospect. Post man-on-dog, post lower-case “santorum,” and pre-defeat, no one was seriously contemplating swearing in President Santorum in January of 2009.

But even the small smidge of credit I’m claiming today needs to be shared. So let’s take a moment to thank the Savage Love reader who first suggested having a contest to re-name a sex act in honor of Rick Santorum. And let’s thank the Savage Love readers who sent in so many great definitions. And finally, a big thanks to all the Savage Love readers who voted on the winning definition: “The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

Like the substance itself, the new definition for “santorum” proved to be sticky. Too dirty to print in “family newspapers,” the new definition has nevertheless been alluded to on the pages of mainstream daily newspapers, in classy magazines like The Economist, on cable news programs, and on The Daily Show (twice!), directing hundreds of thousands of people that had never heard of my column to Not a week has gone by in the last year that some mischievous headline writer somewhere hasn’t worked “frothy” or “mix” into a header. The new definition of santorum proved irresistible because it forever associated Santorum with the sex act that so clearly obsesses him. It made sense, it had an internal logic and smacked of poetic justice.

But the new definition’s real power is revealed in its ability keep the heads of Santorum supporters everywhere spinning briskly. I haven’t updated for more than two years now yet this appeared two days ago in a column by Kathryn Jean Lopez at The National Review:

If polls are an indication, some angry people will get the chance to celebrate Tuesday night. They may want Dems to win generally, but they’ll be watching one Senate seat in particular: They want to watch the defeat of Rick Santorum.

I’m not talking about people who disagree with him on, say, the threat from Iran. I’m not talking about people who disagree with him on privatizing Social Security. I don’t mean people who disagree with him on a federal marriage amendment. I mean people who think it’s pretty funny that when you Google the senator’s name, you get a repulsive lower-case version of his last name, a word invented by sex columnist Dan Savage that refers to anal sex

Next to President Bush—type in “miserable failure” on Google—Santorum is the politician most successfully victimized by nasty Internet political tactics. Reasonable people are doing it. The libertarian magazine Reason has even nodded to the reference in their weblog in the last week. Otherwise smart people succumb to the temptation.

Yup, reasonable people are doing it, Kathryn, and they will continue to do it. Because sometimes mocking of politically powerful, bigoted, sex-obsessed, deranged national figures is the only weapon we have at our disposal. (And, yes, I’d say Rick Santorum is way more obsessed with sex than I am.) Mockery is a potent political weapon, one that Republicans are only too happy to use. Remember those Band-Aids with purple hearts on them that the party faithful wore at the GOP convention in 2004 to mock John Kerry?

But, oh, Republicans sure are pussies. Give them a taste of their own fucking medicine—when are Dems going to start employing dirty-trick tactics on election day to suppress the Republican vote?—and listen to them whine and whine. (How long until we hear the sad cries of the oppressed Republican minority in the House?) It was perfectly okay for Santorum to say the most vile, offensive, disgusting things about his fellow Americans (he was railing against oral and anal sodomy for anyone, gay or straight, in his famous man-on-dog interview), but when we make him the butt of, yes, a vile, offensive, disgusting, and effective joke, well, that’s just rude!

You know what? Fuck that. Fuck Rick Santorum. Fuck you too, Kathryn. We gave Santorum a taste of his own butt-sex-obsessed medicine—if he was going to obsess about our sex lives we were going to give him a goddamn reason to—and it served him right. He was asking for it. Lower-case santorum couldn’t have happened to a not-nicer guy.

Here’s another piece of mail that came in today…

I need to revel in Rick Santorum’s defeat, Dan. I need to gloat some more! You’ve gotta post YOUR gloat TODAY!

Well, here it is. I hope you enjoyed it. I have to say, though, that it wasn’t as easy to write as I thought it would be.

It would have been a lot easier to be a total dick about Santorum’s defeat if he hadn’t made such a gracious—and apparently sincere—concession speech last night. I almost fell off the couch when Santorum asked the crowd to give a round to applause to Bob Casey.

Where was this graciousness and respect for political differences while Rick Santorum was in the U.S. Senate? And where was this graciousness during the actual campaign? Santorum stopped just short of accusing Bob Casey of flying off to Pakistan twice a week to rim Osama bin Laden. If Santorum had spent the last 12 years in the Senate being the person he was for 12 minutes during his concession speech, well, he might not have made so many enemies in Pennsylvania and all over the country.

But to anyone out there who is feeling bad for Santorum today, or his weeping children (what is it about Republicans that always makes you feel so awful for their kids?), I would direct your attention to this video clip. In an interview with CNN during the final days of the campaign, Santorum came out against—no shit—the pursuit of happiness.

The man clearly doesn’t get—never got—what this country is all about. America is a better place now that Rick Santorum has been turned out of the U.S. Senate. It’s something to celebrate—so why not whip up a little santorum with someone you love?

That’s how I celebrated.

Rep. Jim McDermott: Maybe He Won’t be Getting that House Ways and Means Committee Chairmanship After All

posted by on November 8 at 12:57 PM

So, while I’m proud to say that I voted for my ex-girlfriend instead of Frank Chopp (Wal-Mart sell out/Viaduct rebuild), I’m even prouder to say that I voted—as I always do—for my friend Ryan instead of U.S. Rep Jim McDermott.

I just think McDermott wastes a safe Democratic seat in the U.S. Congress by not being an effective or influential leader. He’s apparently not very generous with his comrades either.

Check out this Nov. 7 article from DC rag The Hill:

Nearly all House Democrats have channeled at least some of their own campaign funds into this year’s competitive districts by contributing to the party’s effort. They have given $31.5 million to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), according to the committee’s internal tally of Oct. 31.

Pelosi and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who would become Ways and Means Committee chairman, have each donated $800,000. Only three Democrats who occupy safe districts and plan to serve next year failed to contribute to the DCCC: Reps. Jim McDermott (Wash.), Brad Miller (N.C.) and Gene Taylor (Miss.).

Best. Casting. News. Ever.

posted by on November 8 at 12:05 PM



Or most hilarious, depending on your perspective. Technically, this is Line Out news, but I feel compelled to share with the rest of the class.

Ever since it was published in 2001, The Dirt, Műtley CrĂŒe’s deliciously deviant biography, has been the subject of film talks. Last I had heard, the only decision that had been made (sorta) was that Johnny Knoxville was slated to play Nikki Sixx. This morning, Dark Horizons reports that they have chosen Val Kilmer to play David Lee Roth (plausible, I suppose) and Christopher Walken to play Ozzy Osbourne. Get to filming already, please!

On Local News

posted by on November 8 at 11:53 AM

Last night, those of us who don’t buy into cable turned on regular TV to see some amazing results. And what did we find on the boob tube, on the most important political night of the decade, of the new century, of even the millennium? Nothing but news about floods: “It hasn’t rained so much in so many years”; “Dear lordy, them floods don’t stop”; “The rain, the rain, the rain is just too much”; “The farmer lost his farm to the river”—that was it from local news. (If there had been no internet then there would’ve been no visual updates on crucial losses and victories.) What the hell was that all about? Did the local networks do this deliberately? Was it a desperate political maneuver? It was certainly idiotic. It was certainly heavy with that kind of avoidance of realty, of truth, that marked the era that today has finally come to an end—the Bush regime of the unreal.

7,000 Votes to the Senate

posted by on November 8 at 11:39 AM

From Talking Points Memo:

George Allen’s trailing by about 7,000 votes — quite a margin to make up in a recount. And it seems that’s something the Allen camp has realized.

They say they’re still not sure whether they’ll call for a recount.

Britney Spears’ Sex Tape?!?

posted by on November 8 at 11:19 AM

Okay. God only knows if this 17-second, totally-not-safe-for-work video is truly the soon-to-be-DEE-vorced pop tart slurping on K-Fed’s sizey, uncut wang, but it looks enough like her for a variety of blogs to authorize the possibility.

Interested parties should view the clip, then vote on whether or not they think it’s the real deal at the totally-NSFW Fleshbot, which also provides this handy Britney tongue collage for amateur sleuths into comparative anatomy.

In other news, yay Dems!

Relive the best night of the 21st Century!

posted by on November 8 at 10:54 AM

foskett fan club.jpg

Last night Drunk of the Week photographer Kelly O, former Party Crasher Ari Spool and I stopped by all the Seattle and Eastside political parties, snagging interviews as the polling numbers came in. The highlight? We convinced Stranger cult-hero Hugh Foskett to ditch the Republicans’ dapper soiree and come roll with us for an hour. Turns out the famous photo of our favorite frat boy vomiting in the sombrero was not due to alcohol consumption — that’s right, he’s vomiting milk in that snapshot and is completely sober! Does that make it even more embarrassing?

Check out that steamy footage and other short videos from the night!

Exclusive (red hot!) interview with Hugh Foskett and the Hugh Foskett Fan Club at the Eastside Republican Party in the Bellevue Hyatt.

New State Senator Rodney Tom discussing his campaign, his volunteers and (repeatedly) education, transportation and health care.

Christine Gregoire at the Dem’s ($7 beer) Bash at the Sheraton discussing the most successful legislative session in history (in! history!) and the Message From America.

Former Stranger staffer Sandeep Kaushik of the NO ON I-920 campaign talks about blowouts, The Children and a hypothetical mega-party at the Frank Blethen estate.

Karen Deal of the NO ON I-933 campaign talks about coalitions, farmers, coalitions, soundbites and coalitions.

Rep. Jay Inslee on “If you want to go to Heaven, vote for I-937” and other parts of the “optimistic” renewable energy campaign.

Dear Democrats

posted by on November 8 at 10:40 AM

Now that you have a place at the table, it’s time for you to grow one of these:


Don’t let us down.

More Local Weather

posted by on November 8 at 10:30 AM

You know how Portland is supposed to be so much cooler than Seattle. (You know the “Dude! It’s like an un-corporate, old-school version of Seattle” bullshit nonsense you always hear everyone saying) …

Well, dig this: I-933, the extra-strength clone of Oregon’s enviromental regulation roll back measure (Measure 37), got completely iced here. It was rejected 57% statewide—and rejected 65.7% in King County.

Measure 37 passed in Multnomah County (that’s where groovy groovy Portland is) by 51%. And it passed statewide in old-school Oregon by 60%.

Shout out to Cogswell: Come home, man.

Some Levity

posted by on November 8 at 10:26 AM

Just as there are good drunks and bad drunks, there are good hangovers and bad hangovers. Nothing reinforces a good hangover, like the one I’m sure most Slog readers and writers earned last night, than a larf.

So, as a service from Chicago, this timely joke from Neil Steinberg’s column in today’s Sun-Times.

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the interstate. Nothing is moving.

Suddenly a man walks over. The driver rolls down his window and asks: “What’s going on?”

“Terrorists down the road have kidnapped George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. They’re asking for a $100 million ransom. Otherwise they’re going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We’re going from car to car, taking up a collection.”

The driver asks, “How much is everyone giving, on average?”

“Most people are giving about a gallon.”

High gas prices be damned.

Bush just said…

posted by on November 8 at 10:25 AM

The election was a “thumping.” During the press conference that’s on now.

Wednesday Morning Sports Report (Post-Election Void Edition)

posted by on November 8 at 10:23 AM

Sonics: A loss in Miami, a loss at the ballot box.

Seahawks: Mike in MO’s voodoo must be working, since Shaun Alexander will miss Sunday’s game against the Rams.

Another “Montana Miracle”

posted by on November 8 at 10:20 AM


The AP calls Montana for Jon Tester, expanding recent Democratic gains in the Rocky Mountain West and giving the Democrats 50 seats in the Senate.

The Webb-Allen race in Virginia will now decide whether the Senate has a Democratic majority or an even split (with Vice President Cheney as the tie-breaker).

(Photo via Flickr)

Breaking News

posted by on November 8 at 10:03 AM

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will resign, the AP is reporting. Ex-CIA Chief Robert Gates will be his replacement.

Did K.Fed Get Dumped Via Text Message?

posted by on November 8 at 9:46 AM

Oh, sweet sweet JUSTICE! Not only did the Republicans get tossed out on their ass yesterday, Britney Spears also gave the heave-ho to layabout dimwit hubby Kevin Federline, filing papers for divorce. However, did K.Fed see it coming? And even better, was the bomb dropped on him via text message? Check out this heeee-larious news piece from Canada’s Much Music who interviewed K.Fed the day before the divorce was filed. OHBOYOHBOYOHBOY… if only it’s true!

Local Weather

posted by on November 8 at 9:09 AM

One thing that should be added to this morning’s Hurricane D report is this: There were some fat Democratic pick-ups in the Washington state legislature.

The Democrats already had a 56-42 majority in the house and a 26-23 advantage in the state senate, and it looks like those are about to get bigger.

Indeed, the Democrats finally made good on their claims to the east side Seattle suburbs: Eric Oemig is at 54% in the 45th District state senate seat (Woodinville, Kirkland); Rodney Tom is at 53.9% in the 48th District state senate seat (Bellevue)—ousting incumbent, super conservative Luke Esser; and super lefty Roger Goodman (who the party never truly hyped) is at 55% (!!) for one of the 45th District state house seats.

Footnote: It also looks like the Spokane state senator we busted last week for his cuckoo comments about Planned Parenthood lost to Democratic challenger Chris Marr.

The Morning News

posted by on November 8 at 8:45 AM

Almost Only Election News

Democrats take the House.

The Senate hangs on close races in Montana and Virginia.

Democrats retake six governor’s mansions.

Cantwell kicks ass.

Reichert leads Burner by narrow margin.

A widening lead for buses and transportation. Down with strip-club regulations and “property rights.”

Local TV news spends more time on the floods than the election.

A good hangover cure at a Burger King in New Mexico?

For That Price, I Oughta Get a Freedom Dance, Too

posted by on November 8 at 1:09 AM

Freedom Beer

Here is a photo of a $7 Cantwell-Sheraton Heinekin.
Tastes like democracy.
Tastes like winning.
As a great Soviet once said: “What a country!”

Continue reading "For That Price, I Oughta Get a Freedom Dance, Too" »

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

From Downtown Julie Brown:

posted by on November 7 at 11:34 PM

Jilted mega-star K-Fed and spurned Senator George Allen to form new boy band.

And a Request From the Comments…

posted by on November 7 at 11:16 PM

… for an update on Referendum 1: additional strip club requirements. Despite my mom’s vote, Ref 1 continues to slide with every reload. Current tally: 59.5% reject the new requirements, 40.5% applaud. Seattle likes its lap dances!

Election Night is My Favorite Holiday

posted by on November 7 at 11:06 PM

ECB here.

I’m at the Stranger’s election night party at Spitfire, surrounded by hipsters and Stranger readers and politicians and regular people, thinking about 1994.

I couldn’t vote yet (I was 17) and the experience of watching Congress fall into Republican hands—without being able to do anything about it—was profoundly frustrating.

Twelve years later, surrounded by screaming, drunk, ecstatic Democratic partisans, I feel like I’ve finally gotten my vengeance. This is a thrilling, important night, and it’s so exciting to be in the middle of a crowd that cares so much about our democracy—even if it’s only for one election.

Cynicism to resume shortly, I promise.

Jews are the chosen people

posted by on November 7 at 11:01 PM

Haaretz reports that the number of Jews in the Senate will increase as Joe Lieberman retains his seat and Ben Cardin fills the vacant seat in Maryland. Florida, Arizona, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and possibly other states will send freshman Jews to the house.

Around the Country…

posted by on November 7 at 10:51 PM

… SD’s abortion ban is going down. Jail4Judges? Ditto. (Brendan Kiley: “It just sounds like the most asinine direction populism could take.”)

… Colorado still wants to ban same-sex marriage, high-profile pastoral hypocrisy or no. Domestic partnership benefits are still up in the air, but most voters are frowning on those too.

… Claire McCaskill just gave a rousing speech broadcast on CNN, but her race is still undecided. Talent, her opponent, gave a God-laden speech that sure sounded like a concession.

… The other hot deciding Senate races are: Virginia, whose 6,000-vote spread is most likely headed for a recount. And Montana, where Tester (D) is edging Burns by a little less than 10,000 points.


CNN has just called Missouri for McCaskill. Only two more Senate seats to go.

Naked Victory

posted by on November 7 at 10:05 PM

Party Crasher, fairly reeking of musk and Diet Coke, is finally reporting on his trip from Lake City “Where every third business seems to be a front for a drug-running operation.”


It was a night like any other at Rick’s: the doorman said that he “probably wouldn’t have any results until the morning,” but the manager on duty, a large, affable man named Jim, assured me that the D.J. had the Internet hooked up and would announce results at nine.

Meanwhile, things were exciting in a different way: a very talented young lady named Sky performed a dance that included twisting her spine and putting her ass on a parallel to her face and flexing her vaginal muscles in a twenty-first century twist on a come-hither look. Off to the side were the contested lap-dancing booths. I could somehow see a stripper’s face and her feet at the same time: they were both poking up out of a booth like a grotesque puppet show. The man in the booth didn’t seem to mind, though.

Outside, a dancer was telling me that she wasn’t allowed to vote because she didn’t bring her “voting-card thing.” “Holy fucking shit,” I exclaimed, “You were totally disenfranchised!” Jim added, with a note of humor, that the polling places probably would be biased against women who looked like they danced at Rick’s. “I was disenfranchised,” said the stripper. Then she shrugged and started reapplying her makeup.

Just as I was about to compliment a stripper on her breasts (I got a little stuck on whether I should refer to them as fun-bags or sweater-puppies,) the d.j. came over the house speakers and announced that the proposition was winning.

Nobody applauded. All eyes were, predictably, on the spread-legged woman on the stage. But somebody must’ve been excited about the announcement, because there was ejaculate all over the handicapped stall of the men’s room.


I engaged Jim with a discussion about whether lap dances, now probably saved by the will of the people, will now be called either freedom dances or a Full Nickles. I decided probably the former, since our mayor doesn’t seem to have a lap anymore (did you see that Vanity Fair photo? He’s bigger than Daley now!) And then my cab arrived. I was about to head downtown to visit the Sheraton and the big local races and, paradoxically since I was coming from an alleged den of iniquity, get really frickin’ drunk.

In the cab, I had a discussion with my cabbie, a fairly new Somali transplant who was pro-Bush (“Because he’s a Christian.”) He hadn’t heard of the anti-lap dance law, but he was against strip clubs because, and I quote: “Women all got pussy. My mother got pussy, you know? We must keep our women covered.” Clearly, this will remain a divisive issue. But hey, ladies, it looks like opportunity still knocks:


What’s This Strange Feeling? Oh Yeah, Winning!

posted by on November 7 at 9:59 PM

The Ds take the House, a majority of the statehouses, and the South Dakota abortion ban goes down in flames.

Plus, and perhaps most importantly, it looks like Greg Nickels won’t be able to keep me from getting a proper lapdance.

All in all, I’d say it’s a good night.

Good news, bad news

posted by on November 7 at 9:54 PM

Darcy Burner trailing.
Susan Owens winning.

Twelve Years in the Wilderness

posted by on November 7 at 9:37 PM

At 9:33 (scary property initiative time), Jim McDermott takes the stage to deliver a sincere, civic-minded mushmouth lecture:

“Tonight is really an exciting night because we’ve reestablished the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers had in mind. This is not going to be an easy session, but I think the Democrats are ready, after twelve years in the wilderness, to [come back?].”

Is that a Scripture reference I spy?

State House Races

posted by on November 7 at 9:29 PM

Dwight Pelz just got up onstage at the Sheraton and announced the results from the state legislative races.

Of 24 Senate races in Olympia, the Democrats are winning in 19.

In the House, of 98 races, Democrats are leading in 63.

If Webb Wins, He’s Gonna Owe This Guy a Job

posted by on November 7 at 9:16 PM

S.R. Sidarth, aka “I am Macaca”.

Follow Virginia Senate results here.

Report from the Sheraton

posted by on November 7 at 9:10 PM

I just left Maria Cantwell’s party ($7 Coronas!) to make the rounds of the other bashes.

As mentioned earlier, all the initiatives are crowded into one room; propositions are in another. As you go from party to party, the rooms get smaller (the room for the proposition party is basically a glorified conference room) and the food gets more elaborate. Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, who came off the elevator just as I was giving up on the Transit Now/Bridging the Gap party, said he expects the mayor’s tax for roads and bridges, which is now failing narrowly, to pass. Meanwhile, opponents of I-933 (the takings initiative) and I-920 (estate tax repeal) and supporters of I-937 (the green energy initiative) were jubilant in a slightly larger ballroom, where all the results were going their way. Anti-933 spokesman Aaron Ostrom said the measure was failing in rural Washington, adding, “Why would rural Washington want to pass a law that’s going to have huge negative impacts on farmers and turn farmland into development?”

Back over at the Cantwell party, Ron Sims delivered a jubilant and somewhat nutty speech.

“America is ours again!” he yelled. “Is it great to be a Democrat?”

The crowd cheered.


Again, the crowd went nuts.

Gesticulating wildly, Sims screamed, “I love you! I love you! How sweet it is!” to wild applause before bounding off the stage.

Lifted from Line Out…

posted by on November 7 at 9:08 PM

…the Stranger’s music blog…

In More Musical/Political News


John Hall Lead singer of the 1970’s band Orleans looks like he’s winning a seat in the House of Reps for New York’s 19th District!

Let’s hear it for the rocker Dems!!!!

Woo Hoo!


Still The One!

Sally Clark Celebrates with the SECB at Spitfire

posted by on November 7 at 8:55 PM


Seattle city council member Sally Clark—cruising to an easy victory tonight—wandered into Spitfire just as James Webb pulled ahead of George Allen in the U.S. Senate race in Virginia. The bar went fucking apeshitcrazy…

Pelz, Nickels Cheerlead at the Sheraton

posted by on November 7 at 8:53 PM

A brief appearance from Dwight Pelz and Greg Nickels at the D HQ here at the Sheraton.

They’re already bragging:


“Tonight we are here to celebrate the fruits of our labor.”

“There is a tide coming across this country as Americans finally wake up to the nightmare of six years with George Bush in the White House.”

“The people of America are tired of being lied to, they’re tired of being taken into a war that had to reason to start it and no plan to end it.”


I want to tell you, in 2004 Seattle had 106 precincts, and 105 of them went for John Kerry. When Democrats win, Seattle wins.


“Our planet is warming, our planet is changing and human beings are causing that change. “


“On to victory in 2008!”

Next, CNN shows returns showing Tester ahead in Montana and Webb ahead in Virginia (go Wahoos!). Pelz hops back on stage to announce that Rodney Tom leading Luke Esser 54 to 46. And Brad Benson has conceded to Chris Marr in Spokane. [Enormous cheers.]

Strip Clubs Safe—For Now

posted by on November 7 at 8:45 PM

City Of Seattle Referendum No. 1



To adopt the four-foot rule, voters must approve Referendum 1. Voters are rejecting it now by a wide margin. Yippie!

First Returns: Burner and Reichert Tied

posted by on November 7 at 8:39 PM

Burner: 50.2312%

Reichert: 49.7688%

Local initiative results!

posted by on November 7 at 8:35 PM

Going down: 933, the antithesis of land use policy, 920, the estate tax.

In Local Races

posted by on November 7 at 8:35 PM

Please forgive the SECB for this brief interlude into local politics:

As the first returns come in, here’s what the local races look like.

Initiative 91, which bans city subsidies for sports teams like the Sonics, is winning overwhelmingly, 76 to 24 percent.

Seattle’s Ref. 1, the four-foot rule for strip clubs, is failing 44 to 56. (A no vote means no new restrictions on strip clubs in Seattle.)

Seattle’s Prop. 1, the mayor’s tax for streets and bridges, is failing by a narrow margin, 49 to 51.

King County Prop. 2, County Executive Ron Sims’s sales tax increase for buses, is winning 54 to 46 percent.

Initiative 920, the estate tax repeal, is losing, 59 to 40 percent.

Initiative 933, the “takings” initiative that would require state and local governments to pay property owners to follow land-use rules or waive the rules, is losing, 45 to 55 percent.

Initiative 937, the clean-energy initiative, is winning narrowly, 51 to 49 percent.

And the Vashon Island PUD, which a guy just asked me about somewhat frantically, is losing, 67 to 33 percent.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Meeting the Challenge of HDTV

posted by on November 7 at 8:30 PM

The domestic partner of an SECB member just observed that that the cable news networks have to get with the whole HDTV program. The makeup on everyone is bad, with people missing lips or looking like sheets of pancake makeup are about to fall off their faces and crash through their desks…

And speaking of people who look like shit on cable news tonight, Ken Mehlmen looks like he was run over by a truck on his way to the studio. Which, in a way, he was—a big, blue Democratic truck flattened Ken tonight.

CNN censors bloggers

posted by on November 7 at 8:25 PM

From Wonkette. Douchebag is such a nice, descriptive word.

Cantwell Wins

posted by on November 7 at 8:19 PM

No surprise, but CNN has now officially called it. Just four Senate races remain to be called, and the Dems need three of them: Montana, Missouri, Virginia, and Tennesse.

Our Man at Rick’s

posted by on November 7 at 8:14 PM


The House and Senate aren’t the only things at stake in tonight’s election. The future of lap dances in Seattle also hang in the balance. To get a feel for the mood of Seattle’s lap dance community on this important night, the SECB dispatched Party Crasher to Rick’s, one of Seattle’s imperiled strip clubs. Here’s his report….

They’re not announcing any returns here, but the DJ is hooked up the Internet. The doorman seems pretty sure of a happy ending though. He told me that they were they would make an announcement “when we win, at nine.” People here are pretty excited about the electoral process, I think, based on the visual evidence. Being here is really restoring my faith in the electoral process.

Partying with the Ds

posted by on November 7 at 8:12 PM

Here at Democratic Party HQ at the Sheraton, the mood is jubilant but noticeably more subdued (and better dressed) than the rowdy crowd at Spitfire.

There are two giant Jumbotrons and a stage for Maria Cantwell in the front of the room, and the crowd just cheered politely when Wolf Blitzer announced that the House had gone to the Democrats (and slightly less politely when he announced that Mike “Regular Guy” McGavick had been defeated.)Everybody is talking about “polarization.” A guy behind me is opining that “we need a split government. One-sided government doesn’t work.” The press is clustered uncomfortably in the front of the room. All the state and local campaigns for initiatives are sequestered in another room; propositions (Sims’s transit proposal and Nickels’s street-maintenance measure) are in another.

Oh, and the bar is cash-only.

Dems Win House

posted by on November 7 at 8:09 PM

CNN just announced that the Dems won the House—and the crowd at Spitfire went nuts. The SECB has just one thing to say: ITMFA.

CNN Agrees: Dems Win Control of the House

posted by on November 7 at 8:08 PM

Big cheers at the Burner party for that one.

Sheraton Chill So Far

posted by on November 7 at 8:00 PM

Only about a quarter of the onlookers here have booze in hand, and the atmosphere seems cautiously optimistic.

Here’s the stage:

Cheers and a few whistles greet the news that Giffords is beating Graf in Arizona’s 8th District, and Klein over Shaw in Florida’s 22nd, and Hill over Sodrel in Indiana’s 9th, and Gillibrand over Sweeney in New York’s 20th.

But the older lady behind me is still gloating over Santorum getting, ahem, creamed.

Has It Really Been That Long?

posted by on November 7 at 8:00 PM

Overheard at the bar at Spitfire…

I’ve been waiting the entire 21st Century for this.

And it’s true, we have been waiting the entire 21st Century for this—hell, the whole fucking millenium for this!

Holy Shit…

posted by on November 7 at 7:59 PM

NBC projects that Dems will take control of the house

Intelligent life discovered in South Dakota

posted by on November 7 at 7:50 PM

With about a quarter of the precincts reporting, SDers are looking ready to overturn the state’s abortion ban. Even if you think the American electorate are ignorant and uneducated, we at least know now that they’re more intelligent than state legislators.

We’ve Got Foreigner Tickets!

posted by on November 7 at 7:37 PM


We’ve got two tickets to give away to tonight’s Foreigner show! TONIGHT! At 8 PM! That’s in less than a half an hour! The band was here and gave these two tickets to a waitress and told her to bring some “hot friends.” Four Foreigner guitar picks included!

The tickets were passed to Dave Meinert. Dave Meinert passed them to the SECB. So now we’re giving them away over the Slog. Sick of our election night coverage? Can’t stand the tension of watching election night returns? Wanna go see a totally bitching rock show instead?

What do you have to do to win these tickets? Email a cellphone picture of yourself in your underwear to RIGHT NOW! The winner will receive an email notifying him or her of his or her triumph! Then you’ll have to get your ass down to the Spitfire to claim your tickets! The band won’t go on right away, so there’s plenty of time to get down here and claim these tickets!

But you can’t win if you don’t enter! Email now!

Why I Love Texas

posted by on November 7 at 7:29 PM

ECB again. (Dan, I promise I’ll return to SECB anonymity after this.)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who just won decisively over mystery writer/musician/activist/funny guy Kinky Friedman, told a reporter Sunday that he believes anyone who isn’t a Christian is going to hell.

According to the Dallas Morning News:

Gov. Rick Perry, after a God and country sermon attended by dozens of political candidates Sunday, said that he agreed with the minister that non-Christians will be condemned to hell.

“In my faith, that’s what it says, and I’m a believer of that,” the governor said.

Perry’s opponent Kinky Friedman, a Jew, called Perry’s obsession with identifying who’s going to heaven and hell “kind of a pathetic waste of time,” and compared his attitudes to “the Taliban.”

Perry also applauded when the minister proclaimed that “God is the Supreme Court.”


Kinky Philebrities

posted by on November 7 at 7:28 PM

My friends at Philebrity in Philadelphia are getting drunk in Fishtown, laughing at Santorum’s weeping children and watching CNN. They point out that Kinky Friedman is pulling in 10 percent in Texas. He won’t win. But it’s funny.

From a Slog Reader in PA

posted by on November 7 at 7:24 PM

A slog reader in PA awaits instruction…

Please please receive this message ASAP and reply with a plan… or a plot. Or anything you can think of. I’m traveling for work this week and staying in Horsham, PA. When I stopped by the hotel, I was greeted by a mob of about 60 teenagers with stacks of stickers supporting your favorite politician, Rick Santorum. Apparently they will be here overnight and I have insomnia… I get off of work at 1 am… and have very few limitations when it comes to serving the blind a little reality…or just rubbing some shit under their noses. Anyway… task away Mr Savage. I’ll check back later for instructions.

Hm… a ton of email has been coming in to Savage’s email account as he sits here at Spitfire. Lots of folks writing to thank him for the small role he played in Santorum’s demise, of course, but more than a few have praised what they say was a very gracious concession speech on the part of Rick Santorum. We weren’t able to hear the speech over the roar of the crowd here—not to mention the panic of the wait staff—but we’re willing to accept the judgment of Dan’s readers. So… shall we lift the fatwa? Shall we advise this guy in PA to leave the depressed and demoralized Santorum supporters at peace? Or shall we urge him to engage in some post-defeat dirty tricks?


Did Anyone Make the List?

posted by on November 7 at 7:23 PM

Maybe the Stephen Johsnon campaign shouldn’t be so picky about who it invites (and disinvites) when it’s throwing important events. Here’s the state supreme court candidate’s “victory” party, tucked into a lonely corner of the bar at the Westin Hotel in Bellevue, as of 7:15 p.m.


Weirdest Election Night Commercial Yet

posted by on November 7 at 7:18 PM

Wonder how much paid CNN for its bizarre prime-time election-night commercial?


posted by on November 7 at 7:10 PM

ECB here. Everybody here is cheering at the defeat of Rick Santorum (who just made his concession speech) but my eyes are on Texas, where Nick Lampson is leading Republican Shelley Sekula-Gibbs in my hometown of Sugar Land, formerly represented by ex-exterminator Tom DeLay. The margin is decisive: 50.5 to 44.4 percent. This will be the first time in memory that my parents’ overwhelmingly Republican district has been represented by a Democrat.

Burn on you, Dad!

Mob Scene at the Spitfire

posted by on November 7 at 6:59 PM

The Stranger’s election night party at the Spitfire is a mob scene:


Unfortunately for some members of the SECB, there’s another party tonight: The Democratic fete at the Sheraton, where opponents of estate tax repeal, I-933 (the “takings” initiative), and proponents of the anti-Sonics initiative and Maria Cantwell, among others, are celebrating tonight. So: We’ll be filing reports from D headquarters shortly.

Republican Victory!

posted by on November 7 at 6:59 PM

In Guam! The conservative blogs are celebrating.

A primer

posted by on November 7 at 6:48 PM

For those of us who don’t spout congressional knowledge on demand, a primer to the races to watch by an independent pollster.

Dan Savage Toasts Rick Santorum’s Defeat

posted by on November 7 at 6:21 PM

Wonkette on Dan Savage: “No one has done more to ruin Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.)’s good name than sex columnist Dan Savage… with the possible exception of Sen. Rick Santorum.”

Now Dan Savage, his work done, celebrates Santorum’s defeat with a glass of champagne.


In other Spitfire news, it’s a madhouse. Joe Leiberman’s victory in CT was loudly booed, and Whitehouse’s victory in RI loudly cheered.

UPDATE: Julie Mason at the Houston Chronicle calls it….

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Bob Casey defeated Republican stalwart Sen. Rick Santorum. Somewhere, advice columnist Dan Savage is ordering champagne.

Too Bad, So Sad

posted by on November 7 at 6:06 PM


From the comments thread…

Boo hoo! In your face Senator Man-on-Dog! How about one more ugly butt shot of him striking out?

We aims to please…

Santorum At the Bat.jpg

Santorum: OUT! Westneat: EXPOSED!

posted by on November 7 at 5:47 PM

We’re going to miss Rick Santorum.

Democrats picked up the first of the six seats they needed to regain control of the Senate as Pennsylvania voters kicked out Republican Rick Santorum, NBC News projected Tuesday night….

Santorum fell to a moderate Democrat with a famous name in Pennsylvania, Bob Casey Jr., son of the state’s former governor. It was one of 33 Senate seats up for grabs, in addition to all 435 House seats, in elections that Democrats sought to make a referendum on the president’s handling of the war, the economy and more.

In other Senate news, Ohio’s Mike DeWine has been defeated. Danny Westneat, a respected columnist for a daily publication in Seattle, is standing beside me when the news comes. Westneat tells me that he grew up in Ohio, where he used to skate on DeWine pond. This is a WORLD EXCLUSIVE! This has never been reported anywhere else before! You read it here first! Other bloggers must credit!

DeLay’s Old Seat…

posted by on November 7 at 5:44 PM

Democrat Nick Lampson is ahead in DeLay’s Houston suburbs 50% to 44% for Republican Sekula-Gibbs. The Independent is getting 5% …

Cross your fingers, Erica.

Burner and the Wave

posted by on November 7 at 5:42 PM

Darcy Burner’s heard about those leaked exit polls too. She needs a Democratic wave to win, and she’s been watching the results out east closely to see if one’s coming.

If the leaked exit polls are to be believed, it would be more than a wave, she says: “That would be a tsunami.”


At Spitfire…

posted by on November 7 at 5:15 PM

The SECB just arrived at Spitfire to watch election returns. Savage is here in a “Hugh Foskett Fan Club” t-shirt. If Foskett isn’t elected to the state legislature tonight, he has a future ahead of him as Savage’s personal, uh, assistant.

Blackwell has already gone down to defeat in Ohio, which is the first big R scalp of the evening. Many more to come—we hope.

We won’t find out that we know about PA—Santorum—for at least an hour. His aides are calling him the “ultimate closer,” and insisting that we shoudln’t write him off. Which we won’t… of course… because we’re nervous Dems…

Danny Westneat and David Postman are in the house—Blethen’s Bitches!—and they’re contemplating ordering a couple of “Maria Cantwells,” one of tonight’s red-and-blue drink specials. The refrain—it’s against company policy. Needless to say, The Stranger has very different policies. Dr. Barak, a frequent guest expert in Savage’s column, is drinking one now. “It’s sweet,” says Dr. Barak, “and very, very blue.” Wanna make one at home? It’s Absolut Citron, Blue Curacao, and Fresh Lime Juice—served with a cherry. It’s a personality implant in a glass.


Hm… drinky.

The first Dem pick-up in for the House comes in… Indiana. FIRST DEM PICK UP. Indiana 8th Congressional District—Dem challenger defeats GOP incumbent. This news is greeted with a applause—hopefully a good omen for Darcy Burner, a Dem challenging a GOP incumbent. Postman says: “Robert Novak said, ‘As Indiana goes, so goes the nation.” We can only hope.

Okay, Menendez has been declared the winner in the New Jersey race for Senate—not a pick up, but not lost ground either.

Cushy Phone-Banking

posted by on November 7 at 4:35 PM

If you’re a Democratic volunteer and you didn’t get assigned phone-banking responsibilites at the plush Mercer Island home of lawyer Terry Magaram—well, I feel sorry for you. This is what phone-banking for Darcy Burner looks like (at least on Mercer Island). Liberal elite? What liberal elite?



We must cultivate our garden

posted by on November 7 at 4:19 PM

Something new to get excited about on election day (via Soon cooters everywhere will be stuffed with gPods!

The makers of a sound-activated vibrating sex aid, a two-man company in Osaka, Japan, have managed to get Apple all riled up. The reason? They’ve named their gadget the gPod, after “the G-Spot and jii, the Japanese word for masturbation.” Stuck inside the cooter (the official medical term), the gPod connects to iPods, cellphones or music players, and apparently vibrates in sync to the audio.

Treat a cooter you love to a gPod and accompanying playlist for Christmas (and replace that splinter up your ass with one, Apple).

If Lieberman Wins…

posted by on November 7 at 3:33 PM

I posted this a few days ago, and I want to post it again.

Well, I Voted…

posted by on November 7 at 3:28 PM

…did you?


American Truth

posted by on November 7 at 2:59 PM

I think I have finally figured it out. The discourse of popular politics in American is not about telling the truth but about saying it, even in negative terms. Take this example, which is in connection with the recent snub President Bush received from Crist, a Republican running a close race for the governor position in Florida:

Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s campaign says the Republican’s cancellation has nothing to do with President Bush’s unpopularity.
Of course Crist cancelled his appearance at the rally because Bush was going to be there and Bush is very unpopular, but instead of telling the truth Crist simply says the truth: his sudden absence, his quick ducking, his slick dodging has has “nothing to do with President Bush’s unpopularity.” Just saying it is telling the truth.

And Now, the Exit Polls

posted by on November 7 at 2:55 PM

According to CNN, exit polls show voters citing “corruption in Washington” as their most important issue with 62-percent saying national issues are driving their vote (as opposed to 32-percent who cite local issues).

Not good for the Republicans.

Hoping for exit poll data on specific races rather than opinion trends? So is everyone, but that’s not likely to come out until after the first polls close.

UPDATE: Senate exit poll numbers, with double super caution, from MyDD:

Democrats leading in:

* VA: 52-47
* RI: 53-46
* PA: 57-42
* OH: 57-43
* NJ: 52-45
* MT: 53-46
* MO: 50-48
* MD: 53-46

Republicans leading:

* TN: 51-48
* AZ: 50-46

The Italian Police Took the Toilet

posted by on November 7 at 2:50 PM

Or an artwork of a toilet that flushes to the sound of the Italian national anthem, anyway. Next up: arresting those humming the anthem while on the loo. [Via.]

Re: Cantwell and McGavick Face Off!

posted by on November 7 at 2:48 PM

Okay, the very serious SECB is trying to provide in-depth, critical, journalisitically ethical coverage of this very serious 2006 mid-term election.
I don’t know who this Kelly O. character is, but certainly her un-journalistic post does not reflect the very serious journalistically ethical ethics of the SECB.

The Return of Steve Irwin

posted by on November 7 at 2:39 PM

So loved, so missed, so painfully felt is the loss of the crocodile hunter that his countrymen have decided to do the impossible, to do whatever it takes to bring him back to life.

Why Dawdy quit

posted by on November 7 at 2:38 PM

In an email, departing Seattle Weekly writer Philip Dawdy says his “move was based on journalistic principles.” Dawdy says he quit because he disagreed with the decision to publish Mike Seely’s fake cover story on the mayor. (Something about Nickels’ smooth jazz hideaway…ugh.)

No Debate

posted by on November 7 at 2:34 PM

“Who are the Winners and Losers with the Mercer Fix?”

That’s the title of a “panel discussion” on the mayor’s plan to reconfigure (whoops - “fix”) Mercer as a two-way boulevard. The panel, hosted by Allied Arts, features City Council member Jan Drago, architect Susan Jones, Queen Anne activist John Coney, and Bob Chandler from the Seattle Department of Transportation. Four boosters; no detractors. Wonder how they’ll answer that question?

Something I Love and Wish I’d Blarted About When It Was Still Up at the Henry Last Month

posted by on November 7 at 2:30 PM

Charles Négre.jpg

Here’s more of and on Charles NĂ©gre’s series of 19th-century photographs taken in the Imperial Asylum at Vincennes, the hospital that industry-conscious Napoleon III created to give injured workers the same care as military veterans.

Cantwell and McGavick Face Off!

posted by on November 7 at 2:22 PM

At the breakfast table!

Floating City/Plaster Motion

posted by on November 7 at 2:21 PM

This insanely cool video was posted on Hankblog this morning. It’s a short film of the artwork I raved, slobberingly, about, a few short weeks ago when it was at 911 Media Arts Center.

Thursday it opens at the Henry. I dare you to watch this video and not want to go to see the floor piece.

The End of Electronic Voting

posted by on November 7 at 2:12 PM

So says Kos:

Republicans are complaining about voting irregularities as loudly as we are today. A Republican governor, two Republican congressmen turned away from the polls. Votes supposedly switching in electronic voting machines in New Jersey. Complaints coming from New Mexico and elsewhere.

Here’s the bottom line—no one trusts those machines anymore.

Which reminds me… I have to go drop my ballot off…

Tick, Tick, Tick…

posted by on November 7 at 2:07 PM

The sequestering (and bathroom break monitoring) of the people who have today’s exit poll data ended a few minutes ago, at 5 pm EST. Now the count-down to the first leak/report begins…

24 4 Hours from Now…

posted by on November 7 at 1:47 PM

We’ll be getting some results from the east coast (la di da, Rick Santorum), and we will start our evening of drinking and Slogging.

Look for our sloshed Slog posts from the Hugh Foskett party at the Bellevue Hyatt, where the SECB will be partying with the GOP. And also live from the Bellevue Westin, the SECB will be locked down with the perhaps historic Darcy Burner campaign. (Will a Democrat take the east side?) The SECB will also be at the downtown Seattle Sheraton (Democratic Party HQ), where the campaigns to defeat right-wing initiatives like the estate tax repeal (920) and the environmental regulations repeal (933) are setting up with the anti-Sonics subsidy folks (I-91), the clean energy folks (937), and Cantwell’s crew.

Of course, SECB guest star Party Crasher will be in the house at Rick’s strip club (he thanked us profusely for the assignment) to keep tabs on the campaign against Nickels’s nanny state rules.

The SECB’s own HQ is at Spitfire in Belltown (2219 Fourth Ave). All the SECB correspondents will be converging there, happy drunk or drunk drunk after filing our stories from the field.

The party starts for you at 5 pm and goes all night long. We’ve got 22 television screens, satellite feeds from all over the country, and red and blue drink specials. Here’s hoping that Spitfire in 2006, like our Chop Suey party in 2004, runs out of booze. But this time it’ll be because we’re toasting our victories, not drowning our sorrows.

Re: Western Avenue Departures

posted by on November 7 at 1:45 PM

Speaking of Western Avenue… which we do so rarely these days…

In the comments thread attached to Brad’s post about Philip Dawdy quitting his job at Seattle Weekly earlier today, an apparent SW insider wrote…

The issue at the weekly mostly revolve around leadership, including both the local editors and the New Times suits, namely Andy Van de Voorde. Essentially, the weekly’s has turned into a puppet-regime, run by Andy, who lives in Denver. Editor Mark Fefer, fresh on the job, wants to keep his job and impress Andy. Therefore, he’s taking marching orders, careful not to rock the boat. Managing Editor Mike Seely is simply dumb. He too wants to keep his job and please Andy. However, Mark might have a better chance of maintaining a local, newsy flavor at the paper if his sidekick Mike isn’t around. Mike is old-school New Times. He’s green as an editor and a news reporter. We the staff are having a hard time digesting this situation. We believe we may have a better chance if Seely disappears.

Geov Parrish, another ex-SW writer, had some kinder words for Seely in his much discussed essay in Eat the State about the troubles at SW.

Monday, Seely (who I like and respect) told me that they very much needed and wanted my contributions. But the subtexts were that, first, column-writing as I understood it was dead; second, that once the paper was back up to full staff, my contributions would no longer be needed or even welcome; and third, that until then I would be told what to write. And that week’s ordered topic was something I not only would never have written on my own, but which clearly was not in my own personal or professional interest to write.

But it seems that Geov Parrish was for Mike Seely before he was against him. In a more recent letter to the blog LAObserved, Parrish wrote…

Another wave of SW feces is in the process of hitting the fan here with yesterday’s entirely fictional cover story (not identified as a parody) by the new managing editor, purportedly detailing a (nonexistent) business enterprise of the mayor.

The new managing editor, and the author of the cover story that Parrish described as a “wave of feces”? Why, the man Parrish likes and respects so much—Mike Seely.

Another Sad Day For Heterosexual Marriage

posted by on November 7 at 1:42 PM

Can’t top Drudge’s headline: K-FED UP: Britney Spears Files for Divorce.

Republican Bingo

posted by on November 7 at 1:05 PM

Get your card here; cross them off as they go down!

Update: Here’s a partial screen shot from my bingo card. Note the fortuitous placement of the ad for “local sex offenders list”—right next to the photo of disgraced Rep. Mark Foley.

mark foley.jpg

National Novel Writing Month, Week One

posted by on November 7 at 12:55 PM

For some inexplicable reason, I found myself surprised by the blogosphere’s whiny response to National Novel Writing Month. (Why I’d ever find myself surprised by the blogosphere’s whiny response to anything remains a mystery.) Gawker, which recently hired two new writers who seem to think they’re working for Vice Magazine, snarked:

We’ve always been unimpressed with the people who trumpet their participation in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which as far as we can tell involves telling everyone you know (usually via your blog) that you’re writing a novel in a month, woohoo, way to go you. Seriously, it’s almost as tiresome as people who think they’re all special for sprinting through five boroughs. Color us not impressed.

And on the usually level-headed Bookninja, the best that could be managed was a weary sigh:

If it keeps you off the streets, I suppose it’s for the best.

Yes, well. Excuse me. There is a salient point that needs to be made—while searching for the above posts, I discovered that there are people who are blogging their entire novels, and that simply needs to stop. What National Novel Writing Month is not is a big ‘eff you’ to the editorial process, or a big ‘hell yeah’ to the (shudder) self-publishing world. It’s just a way to get something done that would never have been done otherwise. It’s for people who swear they have a novel inside of them to bang it out. As long as they don’t inflict the results on people, who’s getting hurt by this?
That said, there are those who would say that when I announced that I’d post updates on Slog about my novel-writing progress, I was violating that “No show, no tell” policy. To those people, I’d say: don’t click on the link below to read my favorite bit of dialogue from my novel so far. Seriously. You’d have to go out of your way to roll your eyes, and that could result in a nasty strain.

Continue reading "National Novel Writing Month, Week One" »

Torture or agressive bath?

posted by on November 7 at 12:40 PM

Fox News goes waterboarding, which makes it the first news outlet to begin torturing its correspondents for entertainment. (Who didn’t see that coming?)

The video even has a little roll playing:
“You gonna talk?” asks one of the masked “torturers.”
“No!” the brave correspondent responds.

The verdict: “That wasn’t so bad,” the Fox News correspondent remarks twice to the camera in between torture sessions.

As Huffington Post points out, it’s easy to be sassy when you know you’re going to live.

Poll Madness

posted by on November 7 at 12:35 PM

Proving, I guess, that it’s not just the poor who suffer from America’s rickety voting apparatus, the list of people who had trouble voting today now includes: Chelsea Clinton; Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina; Robin Carnahan, the Missouri Secretary of State; Don Sherwood, the Congressman from Pennsylvania; and “Mean Jean Schmidt.”

Got a complaint about your voting experience? Tell it to the comments. But I bet you can’t beat getting strangled and thrown out the door by a poll worker. (As allegedly happened this morning in Kentucky.)

UPDATE: And this just in from Allentown, PA (via Wonkette):

A 43-year-old Pennsylvania man calmly showed up at his polling place, went to his assigned machine and destroyed it with a “metal cat paperweight”…

Michael Young killed the Diebold machine and then sat down and waited for the cops.

Election chief Stacy Sterner said, “Nothing can top this.” Please baby jesus, let her be wrong.


posted by on November 7 at 12:34 PM

The head-butter gets a hero’s welcome in Bangladesh as the guest of Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Have It Your Way

posted by on November 7 at 12:33 PM


Although this sounds like a pitch for a Cheech and Chong comeback movie (or at least the sequel to Harold and Kumar), it actually happened to a couple of cops in New Mexico.

Attack Ad, Hodgman Style

posted by on November 7 at 12:15 PM

Borderline irresponsible…

That’s what friends of John Hodgman are saying about Jonathan Coulton.

Last weekend, Jonathan Coulton agreed to look in on John Hodgman’s cats when he was in Montreal.

The fact is: He didn’t. Even though the record shows that Coulton has his own cat, so he obviously knows how to take care of one.

Something just doesn’t add up.

Cat out of the bag, Mr. Coulton?

John Hodgman is a better choice. When John Hodgman found a stray cat on 105th Street last week, he worked tirelessly to find it a home. He even took it to the vet for a checkup.

Fact is, John Hodgman is working hard for cats: all cats. Not just the ones he owns.

Borderline irresponsible…” “Doesn’t Add up…” “Cat out of the bag…

Does Jonathan Coulton sound like someone you want to cat-sit for you?

Henrietta Pussycat says, “Meow meow meow meow, NO WAY, meow meow meow.”

Vote Or Die

posted by on November 7 at 11:57 AM

Via Sullivan—and, yeah, I’m starting to wonder if Andrew owns stock in YouTube.

Re: Vote …

posted by on November 7 at 11:46 AM

unless you want to get arrested … says the Allen campaign.

Thanks, Huffington Post.

Ugggh. Sound familiar?


posted by on November 7 at 10:34 AM

After waking up with a hangover on Wednesday November 3, 2004—the day after George W. Bush was re-elected—I wrote that I wanted to jump in a fucking time machine and blast myself two years into the future. I wanted it to be November of 2006. I wanted another chance to vote against George W. Bush.

While I knew that Bush wouldn’t be on the ticket in today’s midterms, I correctly anticipated what today’s vote would become: A referendum on George W. Bush’s failed presidency and the corrupt, dishonest policies of the modern GOP.

I’m beside myself right now—I still need that fucking time machine, but only so I can blast myself eight or ten hours into the future. I want to already have watched Rick Santorum’s concession speech—and those of George Allen, and Conrad Burn, and Mike DeWine, Mike McGavick, Katherine Harris, and Lincoln Chafee. I want to already know that the Dems have managed to take one or both houses of Congress. I want to have already seen American voters finally wipe that idiot grin off the face of that smirking chimp.

The Death of Adrienne Shelly: The Mystery Thickens

posted by on November 7 at 10:27 AM

Following last Friday’s announcement about the strange and sudden death of indie actress Adrienne Shelly, today brings a double-whammy update.

1. Shelly was reportedly found hanging from a shower rod in the apartment/office she was having renovated. “Police were hesitant to label the case a suicide, observing that no note was found and that sneaker prints that did not match Shelly’s shoes were recovered from the bathtub,” reports ABC News, leading to…

2. Yesterday’s arrest of Diego Pillco, a 19-year-old construction worker who was one of the last people to be seen entering the apartment/office before it became a crime scene.

UPDATE, 11:15 am: As Fnarf posts in comments, the news story (linked below) has been updated to include word of Pilco’s murder confession: “”He said he fought with the victim, tied a sheet around her neck and dragged her to the bathroom and hung her from the shower rod,” said Assistant District Attorney Marit Delozier. “This is an exceptionally egregious case.”

Full story so far here.

Shall We Prance?

posted by on November 7 at 10:23 AM

I’m sorry to do this to you…

Frankie Muniz

…but when I read that there’s “way too much gay on the Slog,” I just want to remind you just how gay it can get. No, not by displaying creepy photos of Frankie Muniz jogging without athletic support, but by giving you the chance to see a gorgeous photo of Vladivostok hotty Yul Brynner (you’ll remember him from The King and I) with hair and completely nude! NSFW, especially if you can’t stand seeing uncut руссĐșĐžĐč ĐșĐ°Đș!

Poll Closing Times

posted by on November 7 at 10:06 AM

For the true election obsessives, here’s a handy map of poll closing times throughout the country. Note that all times are EST. Also note that this year’s exit polls are supposedly embargoed until 5 p.m. EST (although the blogs are salivating for early leaks).

This means, for those too lazy to do the math: First exit polls at 2 p.m. west coast time; first results in the Virginia Senate race at 4:30; Missouri, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania Senate race results start to come in at 5; Rhode Island Senate race at 6; Montana Senate race and Ohio Senate race at 7; and by then we should have a pretty good sense of which way both the Senate and House are going. (Polls here in Washington close at 8 p.m. PST.)


(Via the Swing State Project)

It’s Election Day

posted by on November 7 at 10:05 AM

Looking for this?

Of course you were. Now hop to it.

Dinner with Yo-Yo Ma While He’s In Town?

posted by on November 7 at 9:38 AM

Pony up $70,000 for the Seattle Symphony and he’s yours. Bobby McFerrin? $35,000. Pianist Andre Watts? $30,000.

It’s a fundraising scheme that worked at the opera—with an important difference that the Seattle P-I gently suggests. In the opera version, donors dine with the guest artist and beloved general director Speight Jenkins. In the symphony version, it’s just the artist: No need to sit down with not-quite-so-beloved music director and conductor Gerard Schwarz.

Western Avenue Departures

posted by on November 7 at 9:12 AM

Seattle Weekly staff writer Phillip Dawdy has resigned. From his blog:

So I will go into my office at Seattle Weekly for the final time this morning. Although my new boss told me last Friday that he was fine with me doing work for them for another two weeks, he told me yesterday that he wanted me out of the building promptly. After four and a half years of doing some pretty decent work there, that’s just damn disrespectful. But I’ll get over it.

(Via Seattlest.)

Tuesday Morning Sports Report

posted by on November 7 at 9:08 AM

Seahawks: If only we could play the Raiders every week. Though the score wasn’t very high (thanks in no small part to Jerramy Stevens’s dropped endzone pass), the Hawks D turned out in force, sacking Oakland quarterback Andrew Walter nine times. That’s a lot of turf burns. Better still, fill-in RB Maurice Morris had career high 138 yards on 30 carries.

As good as the Hawks D was, and as pretty as Seneca Wallace’s first quarter TD to Deion Branch looked, however, it was a knee to the groin—specifically, from Raiders defensive end Tyler Brayton to Jerramy Stevens’s scrabble bag—that proved to be the highlight of the game (and spurred the Raiders’ Warren Sapp to call Stevens a “sissy” in a post-game interview).

Finally, the sweet and sour of the game: Seneca Wallace’s 37-yard run in the third quarter was definitely sweet. Unfortunately, it was the longest run by a Seattle player all year.

Up next, the St. Louis Rams come to town. Mike in MO’s taunting begins…NOW.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on November 7 at 9:03 AM

I didn’t have time to post this yesterday, so here’s a belated news flash: The Prayer Warrior has made his first comments on Ted Haggard. (The short version: Disgraced pastor = GOTV!)


November 6, 2006

Prayer Warriors,

Pray for me as I am serving on jury duty today and tomorrow.

Pray for Ted Haggard, his family and church as evidence has proven that there has been sexual immorality.

Despite the news, all Christians need to cast their value vote tomorrow.

Thank you,
Pastor Hutch

The Morning News

posted by on November 7 at 8:45 AM

Inches of rain that fell yesterday in Seattle: six

Seats the Dems need to retake the house: 15; the senate: six

Percentage of Americans who know they’ll vote today: 68 (It’s the highest in a midterm election in decades.)

Mainstream media outlets cooperating to keep polling data away from bloggers today: 3

Years until China passes the US in emissions of global-warming gasses: less than three

Percentage of the vote won by Daniel Ortega in Nicaraguan election: 39

Limit on the number of passengers who will be allowed to ride the Monorail if it reopens: 200

Weeks until prosecutor decides whether to seek death penalty against Jewish Federation shooter: five

People whose debit card info was stolen using a tricked-out ATM in Redmond: 306

Percentage rise of country music album sales over the last year: 10; of albums overall: negative 5

Here We Go

posted by on November 7 at 8:08 AM

We can start distrusting the election results, oh….. NOW.

Voting machines began wreaking havoc the minute the polls opened Tuesday, delaying voters in dozens of Indiana and Ohio precincts and leaving some in Florida with little choice but turn to paper ballots instead.

In Cleveland, voters rolled their eyes as election workers fumbled with new voting machines that they couldn’t get to start properly.

“We got five machines - one of them’s got to work,” said Willette Scullank, a trouble shooter from the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, elections board.

Election officials in Delaware County, Ind., planned to seek a court order to extend voting after an apparent computer error prevented voters from casting ballots in 75 precincts. Delaware County Clerk Karen Wenger said the cards that activate the machines were programmed incorrectly.

Not everyone thinks it’s going to be a fiasco, though. The spokespeople for the companies that make the voting equipment are much more sanguine…

“Elections have hundreds and hundreds of moving parts, and most of those parts have to do with humans,” said Michelle Shafer, spokeswoman for Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. “There will be isolated issues throughout the nation I’m sure. That’s just the normal part of elections. Overall we feel confident things will go pretty well.”

Joining the chorus of la-la-la-la I can’t hear you was the Florida Secretary of State.

Secretary of State Sue Cobb said she didn’t expect serious problems with the touch-screen voting machines this time.

History has shown that the machines are far more accurate than paper so we’re quite confident in it,” Cobb said. “There is absolutely no reason to believe that there will be any security issues, any hacking going on.

See? Everything’s fine.

UPDATE :: The way to combat this is certainly not to throw up your hands and decide not to vote. The only way to overcome all these irregularities is to win by a larger margin than the problems cause. So, don’t be scared, VOTE.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Slog in the WaPo

posted by on November 6 at 11:16 PM

And now for a little self-promotion:

The Slog is mentioned in tomorrow’s Washington Post article about Referendum 1 (we say vote no), the sneaky backdoor ban on strip clubs within the Seattle city limits.

And now a little boss-demotion:

Unfortunately, writer Blaine Harden refers to the Slog as “[Dan Savage’s] blog.” Obviously, Savage, you’ve been posting way too much. How about requesting a correction?

Election-Eve Tracking Poll: Burner and Reichert Dead Even

posted by on November 6 at 7:12 PM

The fourth and final tracking poll from Survey USA/KING 5 TV is in, and it shows a tie in the 8th District House race, with Darcy Burner and Dave Reichert each getting 49 percent of the vote (margin of error +/- 3.8 percent).

I was following Burner around today on her last full day of campaigning, and here’s one thing I learned: No one who’s in the know expects this race to be decided tomorrow night. It’s just too close, and this new poll reconfirms that.

Burner is leading among early absentee voters (by 8 points, according to this new poll), but it’s highly unlikely that she’ll do as well among poll voters tomorrow. Which means a probable scenario as the results trickle in tomorrow evening is this: An early lead for Burner, owing to her reported lead among early abentee voters, and then a narrowing of that lead as the poll results come in, and then, by the end of the night, a too-close-to-call race that can’t be decided until the later absentees are counted.

Speaking of water-based analogies (“trickle in”), to me, being out following a candidate around in today’s downpours seemed somehow an appropriate end to an election season that has been awash (ha!) in comparisons between the mood of the country and the movement of water.

Tides, waves, tidal waves, tsunamis, ripples, currents, etc., etc. — they’ve all been used to describe the apparent surge (yet another water analogy, sorry) in voter support for Democrats. Will tomorrow’s electoral wave/tidal wave/whatever be enough to force a change of leadership in the House and Senate?

We’ll find out soon (though maybe not tomorrow-soon as far as the 8th District is concerned) but for now, here’s my favorite water-based description of the pro-Democrat opinion trends, this one from a dismissive conservative blog commenter: “Just a fart in the ocean.”

Tonight in Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 6 at 6:36 PM

Kid Koala
I have written elsewhere that what hiphop lacks in our day and age is a sense of humor. In the past, groups like Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew and Public Enemy included clowns in their shows (Slick Rick and Flavor Flav, respectively). These days, only a few in the underground scene maintain a sense of humor, and one of those few is Kid Koala, a funny, funky, and gifted turntablist from Montreal. Kid Koala, who has cut records for Deltron 3030 and Gorillaz, also produces comic books. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $13 adv/$15 DOS, 21+.) CHARLES MUDEDE

24 Hours from Now…

posted by on November 6 at 5:55 PM

… the polls will be closing on the east coast: Webb V. Allen; Casey V. Santorum; Whitehouse V. Chafee; Cardin V. Steele; and all those house races in Ohio and Indiana that will clue us into wave or no wave)—and the SECB will be Slogging it all, cell phone cameras and drinks in hand.

For all the national and local action: we’ll be on the east side (will Burner prevail?); in downtown Seattle (will Democratic HQ at the Sheraton be a good drunk or a bad drunk?); and at Rick’s strip club (Party Crasher in the house).

See you in 24 hours.

Stabbing at the Funhouse

posted by on November 6 at 5:47 PM

The stabbing last night at the Funhouse (which declares itself Seattle’s oldest surviving punk club) was an isolated incident, according to owner Bobby Kuckelburg. I’m not sure I know of a fight that isn’t an isolated incident, unless you’re talking about war. His point, though, was that his club isn’t generally a dangerous place to be. The last serious incident took place last spring, he said, when a fight outside rumbled down the block and sent a couple of folks to the hospital with knife wounds. Kuckelburg worries Mayor Nickels will use the incident as proof that nightclubs breed violence and just “add more fuel to his fire. We just don’t want people to think that it’s unsafe.” Kuckelburg thinks he will start searching patrons and may consider other security measures.

It’s still unclear how the fight started. It began just after 11:30, during the Broken Oar’s set. (All the bands on the night’s bill played hardcore, Kuckelburg said, and had drawn a respectably rowdy crowd.) According to a police report, a 36-year-old suspect, dressed in jeans, a jean jacket and black boots, clobbered the victim on the “dance floor.” Several patrons pulled him off and he fled with another suspect, 23. They were apprehended by other customers and detained until police arrived. Kuckelburg said the victim was well enough to come downtown and pick up his car today.

Foskett vs. Pedersen

posted by on November 6 at 4:54 PM

A 43rd District voter wrestles with his choice for State Rep: The joke candidate? Or the douche?

I live in the 43rd legislative district in Washington State. It’s pretty much one of the most liberal districts in Washington. We always vote Democrat. We dont know any better. So here’s my problem: I don’t like the Democrat running. I think Jamie Pederson is a complete and total douchebag. Of course there is also the Stranger endorsed Hugh Foskett, the twenty year old joke Republican candidate who likes boozing, toking, and homoerotic activity. I don’t want to vote for Pederson, but I dont want to spoil my record by voting Republican.

There’s a lively debate in the comments thread on this post. So if you’re still torn between Pedersen and Foskett, checking out this post on My Mad Existence might help you make up your mind. I’m filling out my ballot right now… hm… Jamie or Hugh… Jamie or Hugh…


State Sen. Benson’s Research Council

posted by on November 6 at 4:48 PM

Well, state Senator Brad Benson never called me back, but he did call the Spokesman Review back for their follow-up story to our original report.

Benson’s source for the specious 80% claim: Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council.

It’s Not Delivery, It’s…

posted by on November 6 at 4:20 PM

…well, actually it is delivery, and it’s pot.

An untold number of otherwise law-abiding professionals in New York are having their pot delivered to their homes instead of visiting drug dens or hanging out on street corners.

Among the legions of home delivery customers is Chris, a 37-year-old salesman in Manhattan. He dials a pager number and gets a return call from a cheery dispatcher who takes his order for potent strains of marijuana.

Within a couple of hours, a well-groomed delivery man _ sometimes a moonlighting actor or chef _ arrives at the doorstep of his Manhattan apartment carrying weed neatly packaged in small plastic containers.

“These are very nice, discreet people,” said Chris, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition only his first name be used. “There’s an unspoken trust. It’s better than going to some street corner and getting ripped off or killed.”

Santorum Costume

posted by on November 6 at 4:10 PM

A “Savage Love” reader in Pennsylvania sent me this picture of her wearing, um, her Halloween costume…


I’m a young voter in Pittsburgh, PA and desperate to get Santorum out of our hair! So I decided to be “santorum” for Halloween and I posted negative information about his politics on my back. Check out my costume. Thanks for all of your support and for urging every one to vote tomorrow!—Pittsburgher sick of Santorum

In some ways I’m really going to miss Rick after tomorrow…

State GOP Senator Just Makes Shit Up

posted by on November 6 at 3:45 PM

It turns out that state senator Brad Benson (Spokane), the state senator who says Planned Parenthood’s condoms have an 80% failure rate (a number he appears to have simply made up) —has a bad habit of trotting out make-believe percentages.

According to Marcus Riccelli, the campaign manager for Chris Marr, Benson’s Democratic opponent, Benson has been telling folks at candidate forums and debates that Marr got 78% of his campaign money from “West of the mountains.”

Truth is (according to the PDC): 56% of Marr’s money comes from within Spokane County. And it’s a majority of Besnon’s money, 58%, that actually comes from Western Washington or out of state.

A conservative independent expenditure group got caught trying to push Benson’s lie in a radio ad and had to yank it.

Here are the details from a Spokesman Review article that ran on Saturday.

A radio commercial from It’s Time for a Change, another independent group, had to be rewritten after it claimed three-fourths of state Senate candidate Chris Marr’s campaign money comes from Western Washington or out of state and that GOP incumbent Brad Benson is a Spokane native. It was pulled from at least one radio station Friday when the Marr campaign showed KXLY-AM staff that more than half of his money comes from inside Spokane County, and that Benson, like Marr, is a California native.

The new ad says “nearly 50 percent” of Marr’s campaign funding comes from Western Washington or out of state. A check of the Public Disclosure Commission reports shows that even more of Benson’s money — about 58 percent — comes from Western Washington or out of state.

The radio ad criticizing Marr is funded by a group called It’s Time for a Change, an Olympia-based group that got all of its money — nearly $1.3 million, according to the most recent PDC reports — from another Olympia-based group, ChangePAC.

ChangePAC has raised about $1.5 million in this campaign cycle, about half of it from the Building Industry Association of Washington. Both groups have the same post office box for an address and the same treasurer, Elliot Swaney, who is a lobbyist for the BIAW.

For the Literal-Minded

posted by on November 6 at 3:39 PM

From today’s New York Times:

“People have literally picked up their house at the foundations and shook it upside down like a piggy bank,” said Ed Smith, chief executive of the Plaza Financial Group, a mortgage brokerage firm in La Mesa, Calif., near San Diego.

Stranger Election Night Bash

posted by on November 6 at 3:00 PM


Don’t watch the election night returns alone! Join us for The Stranger’s Election Night Bash on Tuesday November 7, at Spitfire (2219 4th Ave). The party starts at 5 pm—that’s when election results start coming in from the East Coast—and goes all night long. Come party with us as Rick Santorum goes down—and the Dems take one or both houses of Congress. Spitfire’s got 22 television screens, satellite feeds from over the country, and red and blue drink specials.

Here’s hoping that The Stranger’s Election Night Bash at Spitfire in 2006, like our election night party at Chop Suey in 2004, is such a blowout that we run out of booze. But this time it’ll be because we’re toasting our victories, not drowning our sorrows. Join us for what just might be the party of the year.

Rumor has it that Hugh Foskett—a rumor I started myself!—is going to show!

Stabbing at the Funhouse

posted by on November 6 at 2:25 PM

The Seattle PI reports this morning that there was a stabbing at the Funhouse this weekend.


Another Caption Contest?

posted by on November 6 at 2:13 PM

SANTORUM 023.jpg

Rick Santorum on the campaign trail.

Wear Your Rubbers

posted by on November 6 at 1:39 PM

Is it me, or has it been raining for seventeen days straight? And today’s “chance of precipitation” is….

100 percent.jpg

You know what that means. Time to wear your rubbers.

In Condom News

posted by on November 6 at 1:28 PM

I’m not sure what to make of these two unrelated developments in the world of condoms:

Trojan is marketing a new brand of condoms, called “Elexa,” targeted exclusively at women. “By protecting ourselves, we can also help protect each other,” Elexa’s hyper-feminine pink-and-purple web site proclaims.

And in South Africa, condom manufacturers are promoting “fast condoms” in hopes of preventing the spread of HIV. The condoms, which don’t have to be unwrapped, take one second to put on—”three seconds if you’re slow,” the manufacturer says.

On the one hand, it’s good to see campaigns encouraging men to take responsibility for their reproductive health (and their partners’). Women pay around 70 percent more than men for birth control every year—one year of birth control pills costs around $300—so I’m all for a little equity. On the other, do companies still have to hold a man’s hands just to get him to put on a rubber? Really?

Miserly Nerds, Rejoice!

posted by on November 6 at 1:20 PM

TimesSelect is free this week.

Re: Those Robo-Calls

posted by on November 6 at 12:45 PM

Looks like some of those misleading robo-calls may also be hitting the eastside’s 8th Congressional District.

According to the DCCC, in the past week, as part of this last-minute attack-call blitz, Republicans spent almost $15,000 on calls attacking Democrat Darcy Burner.

Did you leave your digital camera in a taxi cab?

posted by on November 6 at 12:44 PM

A friend found a camera in a taxi cab and has posted the pictures on Flickr. She’d like to find the camera’s owner and give it back to them. Isn’t that nice of her?

Are you one of these people? Do you know whose camera this is?




All the pictures can be seen here.

The Desert of The Imagination

posted by on November 6 at 12:34 PM

The Mikimoto was brought into existence by Toyo Ito and is located in Ginza, Tokyo.
3illustr_blokz97.jpg This is architecture at its weakest, at its most embarrassing point. Embarrassing because it’s so proud of itself, so happy to be so original, clever, challenging. But there is nothing in this work but imagination, which was free to play, free from the mind, free to do as it pleased.

Though recognizing the importance of truth, Nietzsche warned that we must rest from it occasionally otherwise we, the seekers of truth, become tiresome and boring. The same can be said about the admired and encouraged power of the imagination. With the Mikimoto, we can see in every window and building material that the designer did not take a breath of rest from the imagination; he gave that old whore (used and abused for centuries by the poets) everything that it begged for—money, fame, love, commitment. And the result? A building that is boring and tiresome. A building that is perpetually excited like a baby with bright plastic moons and stars twirling over its cot. The weak with weak knees submit, they say Yes! to this evident expression of (infantile) freedom; they say to themselves: “Boy, I wish I had imagination.”

More Mars Hill Demagoguery

posted by on November 6 at 12:30 PM

Dan broke the news last Friday that Mark Driscoll, pastor of the far-right urban-hipster hotbed Mars Hill Church, blamed Ted Haggard’s wife for his drug-fueled liaisons with a gay hooker. However, since I’ve covered Driscoll in the past (favorite quote: “There is no occasion where women led a society and were its heads and the men complied and followed. … It’s a matter of Biblical creation”); and since I’m outraged and bemused by the popularity of a woman-hating demagogue like Driscoll among young urban women (seriously: I got stuck in the Christian traffic vortex around Mars Hill last night, and more than half the people pouring out of the church were with-it-looking twentysomething women) I’m going to weigh in.

For the record, here’s what Driscoll said:

Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.

Let’s be clear about what Driscoll means by “sexual liberties”: Any time a man wants sex, it’s his wife’s obligation to give it to him. (After all, besides cooking, parenting, and generally serving as the household domestic, what are wives for?) And never mind that Pastor Driscoll has arguably “let himself go”; after all, he’s not the one with an obligation to look good and provide a sexual outlet. To dissect Driscoll’s claim further: If Haggard’s wife had stuck to Atkins, not “let herself go,” and spread her legs whenever he wanted it (with the knowledge that the purpose of sex is makin’ babies, of course—no birth control for her!) he might not have been tempted to get naked “massages” from a gay hooker.

But Driscoll doesn’t just blame Haggard’s fat, lazy, prude of a wife; he spreads the blame to women in the church:

Churches should consider returning to heterosexual male assistants who are like Timothy and Titus to serve alongside pastors. Too often the pastor’s assistant is a woman who, if not sexually involved, becomes too emotionally involved with the pastor as a sort of emotional and practical second wife. I have been blessed with a trustworthy heterosexual male assistant who can travel with me, meet with me, etc., without the fear of any temptations or even false allegations since we have beautiful wives and eight children between us.


Pastors must not travel alone; the anonymity and fatigue of the road is too great a temptation for many men. A pastor should take his wife, an older child, an assistant, or fellow leader with him. If this cannot be afforded then travel should not be undertaken.

So, according to Driscoll, when women are allowed to serve in the church or work outside the home, men are tempted… to sleep with other men? Sorry, Pastor, but that doesn’t track. Haggard’s issue wasn’t his desire to fuck women. Keeping women at home and on their backs won’t change the fact that gay men want to sleep with other men. Which only demonstrates that Driscoll’s real problem isn’t with straying pastors; it’s with bitches who don’t know their place.

Cruisin’ in Cle Elum

posted by on November 6 at 12:09 PM

I had the distinct pleasure of stopping in the small, just-over-the-mountains town of Cle Elum yesterday during a long, rainy drive to Eastern Washington. The town’s redneck’s-troubled-daughter name and it’s rather promiscuous slogan (“Easy Thru Access!”) drew me in and, boy, did it live up to its reputation.

At the heart of the rural burg is this discount tobacco and beer store:

I dare someone to go in and ask for a pack of pole smokes.

State Senator Brad Benson V. Planned Parenthood

posted by on November 6 at 11:46 AM

As I reported on Friday afternoon, Republican state senator Brad Benson (Spokane) told a group of supporters that Planned Parenthood intentionally sells condoms that have an 80% failure rate because they have “an interest in the follow-up product.”

I called Benson’s office this morning to find out what Benson was talking about. Planned Parenthood told me his claim was “poppycock.” A Benson staffer told me he would call me back. Benson, who became a state senator in 2004 after 8 years as a state rep, is facing a stiff challenge from Democratic candidate, Chris Marr, former chair of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce.

A Slog commenter pointed out that ConsumerReports did a study of 23 condoms, rating them on “reliability” and “Strength.” Planned Parenthood had 3 condoms on the list. One of those, Planned Parenthood’s Lollipop condom, scored “excellent” on reliability and “very good” on strength. However, the two other Planned Parenthood condoms, Assorted Colors & Honeydew, didn’t do well. While Assorted Colors got “excellent” on reliability, it got “poor” on strength. Honeydew scored “poor” in both categories.

So maybe Benson was riffing off Planned Parenthood’s Honeydew condoms. I don’t know. However, there’s nothing in the ConsumerReports study about an 80% failure rate. ConsumerReports website says the worst condoms, which would be the Honeydew condoms, broke at 25 liters of air “strength threshold” 18 out of 120 times. That’s a 15% failure rate…not 80%. In fact, worst case scenario, Planned Parenthood condoms have an 85% success rate.

Meanwhile, as the ConsumerReports study shows, Planned Parenthood’s Lollipop condoms got the top two scores on strength and reliability—which seems to upend Benson’s conspiracy theory that Planned Parenthood is promoting unwanted pregnancies.

Anyway, hopefully we’ll see what Benson says.

Yes, You Too Can Go to Jesus Camp

posted by on November 6 at 11:37 AM

Since everybody keeps bringing this up in comments (including , um, me), I’m going to get this up here. The disgraced anti-gay, pro-booty-bump pastor Ted Haggard can be seen smirking and sliming his way through the film Jesus Camp, which is playing at the Crest now through at least Thursday at 7:15 and 9:30.

The money quotes:

“We don’t have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It’s written in the Bible.”

(To the camera) “I think I know what you did last night. If you send me a thousand dollars, I won’t tell your wife.”

To see Reverend Ted counsel a rat-tailed wannabe pastor named Levi, you’re going to have to see the movie. YouTube doesn’t appear to have it.

Ted Haggard Gives Lousy Head

posted by on November 6 at 11:26 AM

Wondering whether Ted Haggard is a top or a bottom? Mike Jones, the gay escort that outed the powerful anti-gay evangelical minister, tells all in an interview with gay journalist and broadcaster Michelangelo Signorile. Americablog has the transcript. Here’s a taste…

MS: Was he a top or bottom? What was he interested in?

MJ: When I was on the radio show in Denver, the question was asked: Did you practice safe sex? I said, ‘We used a condom once.” The talk show host goes, “You mean he wore the condom once?” I said, “Uh, no, I did.”

MS: What about with oral sex. Was he the passive partner or the active partner?

MJ: You know, it kind of went back and forth—and I can’t say he was very good at it.

Sexy Fig Leaf

posted by on November 6 at 10:56 AM

This one’s for you, Erica:


It looks like there was at least one man out there on Halloween in a sexy costume…

Hero Bus Driver Gets New Job!

posted by on November 6 at 10:52 AM


I thought about making tomorrow night’s Stranger Election Night Bash a fundraiser for the bus driver from the Issaquah school district who got fired for flipping off the president. No need, as Angela let us know in today’s Morning News: the driver has a new gig.

So screw the clenchbutts at Mindyourmanners Seattle. Like I said in my post earlier today, Bush is the least popular U.S. President since Richard Nixon, a fact he’s blissfully unaware of thanks to the bubble in which he moves. Remember this clueless quote from Laura Bush? Asked last year by ABC news about the president’s lousy poll numbers, Laura Bush said…

…as I travel around the country, most of the people I see think we’re doing the right thing.

Well, yeah, most of the people Laura and George Bush see as they travel around the country would be inclined to think the president is doing a swell job—because most of the people the president and Mrs. Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld appear before are pre-screened audiences of true believers. People that wanted to be in the same room with Bush—at taxpayer sponsored events—have had to sign loyalty oaths.

So let’s hear it for the brave local bus driver who managed to pierce Bush’s bubble and let him know how a real, non-screened, non-loyalty-oath signing, tax-paying American citizen feels about him. That bus driver is an American hero—just like the guy who told Dick Cheney to “go fuck yourself” when the VP visited New Orleans after Katrina and the woman who scolded Condi Rice for “[shopping] for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!”

And let’s hear it for Seattlest, which managed to dig up more evidence of this hard-working, truth-telling bus driver’s efforts to pierce the president’s bubble.

Caption This Photo

posted by on November 6 at 10:29 AM


Via Sadly, No!

What I liked best about the Pet Shop Boys show…

posted by on November 6 at 10:02 AM

… was this young lady’s outfit.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Otherwise, I felt a bit let down. But I suspect I’m in the minority. Please pop over to Line Out and share your opinions.

Monday Morning Sports Report

posted by on November 6 at 9:41 AM

Sonics: Get their first win of the season, deal the Lakers their first loss. Nice.

Seahawks: Looking to right the season tonight on Monday Night Football. Hopefully the D will show up this time.

Huskies: After getting spanked by Oregon, they hope to spank Stanford.

Cougars: Horked it against Arizona. Up next: Arizona State.

Sunday Night Football: Peyton Manning great, Tom Brady not.

And finally, the Bears: Chicago Fan, what the hell happened?

No Comment

posted by on November 6 at 9:08 AM


Vote Suppression, the Robo-Call Way

posted by on November 6 at 9:05 AM

TPM is all over what appears to be a national effort by Republicans to use robo-calls to depress Democratic turnout. It’s a dirty tactic, and one that the campaign of Eastern Washington Democrat Peter Goldmark has been complaining about. Now it’s becoming clear that what the Goldmark people noticed weeks ago is actually one small piece of a very large, somewhat below-the-radar Republcan attack.

What we’re seeing is an apparent coordinated effort from the NRCC — the House GOP committee — to place calls that appear to be from the local Democratic candidate and then automatically call the same number back as many as seven or eight times each time the caller hangs up. If the caller listens to the whole message it goes on to bash the Democratic candidate. But if the caller hangs up prematurely, the computer calls right back. Hang-ups are the achilles heal of robo-calls. So this seems to be an attempt to cover for that weakness by making those who hang up think the Democratic candidate is basically harassing them with phone calls. The GOP wins either way.

In New Hampshire, the state attorney general has gotten involved. (Question for the Goldmark campaign and the Washington State Democrats: Why hasn’t the Washington AG’s office been asked to look into this?)

And in Pennsylvania (where the tactic is being used against Democrat Lois Murphy) a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News notes how cheap the calls are and suggests giving the NRCC, which is paying for them, a taste of its own medicine.

The culprit in this race is the National Republican Congressional Committee, an organization that’s used such scurrilous campaign tactics this season that it has been disavowed in some instances by the candidates it is supporting.

In the past week alone, FCC records reflect $22,119 for anti-Murphy phone-bank expenses, said NRCC spokesman Ed Petru.

If the robocalls cost a dime, which is a high estimate, that would be 220,000 calls right there.

Petru said the agency wouldn’t be spending its money on robocalls if they weren’t working.

“We don’t think there’s such a thing as an overinformed voter.”


You can complain to the FCC if you think the calls are illegal, as some Murphy supporters have done. (202-418-1440, phone; 202-418-0232, fax.)

Or you can do what I briefly considered yesterday: Send the NRCC your own robocalls telling it to STOP IT!

Try - 12 cents a call, no minimum. The NRCC’s number is 202-479-7000.

Meanwhile, think about the economics of this. In Pennsylvania, for about $20,000 the Republicans are able to harass about 200,000 voters in their homes and perhaps discourage them from voting. Way cheaper than TV ads, and perhaps more effective. Hypothetically, say the NRCC spent only half a million dollars on this nation-wide. That’s five million voters called. (UPDATE: Looks like the RNCC actually spent $2.1 million on this nation-wide. That’s potentially 21 million voters called.)

Back to TPM:

What is there to do about it? As described, the calls appear to be in violation of federal regulations which mandate that these calls clearly identify their origin. The repetitive call back may also be a violation in different states… But frankly, none of that matters. Because the folks placing the calls factor in the price of whatever fines might be meted out after the election when the damage is already done.

Truthfully, I don’t think there’s really much to do but publicize it and then get out and vote.

A lot of these races remain inside the MOE, the margin of error. And that means the MOT, the margin of theft. If Dems want to pick up seats on Tuesday they’ll have to get a lot of these races out of the MOT. Because as long as they’re inside, the Republicans can still grab them with a mix of voter suppression, dirty tricks and election fraud.

The Morning News

posted by on November 6 at 8:52 AM

God’s wrath: Heavy rain and impending floods.

Our wrath: Fair trial or not, Saddam to hang. Violence may ensue.

Last minute: Republicans use futuristic mind reading technology to sway votes while the Dem’s advantage dips.

Re-do: A new improved Ortega set to retake the presidency in Nicaragua.

Re-do two: English doctors promote euthanasia for seriously deformed babies. Eugenics anyone?

Deal with the devil: Google to sell ads for print newspapers.

The devil cuts a deal: Wal-Mart slashes prices early.

Second chance: Renton School District hired bus driver who flipped off Bush.

Your Least Favorite Local Blog Has a Stick Up Its Ass

posted by on November 6 at 8:31 AM


You’ve probably already heard about the local school bus driver who flipped-off President Bush. Bush was in a limo on his way to a fundraiser with Dave “Hairspray” Reichert. As the presidential limo passed a bus full of middle-school kids near the Woodland Park Zoo some of the kids waved at the president. Not the driver of the bus: She flipped off the president, Bush bawled to Reichart, Reichart supposedly called to the Issaquah school district, and the bus driver—a 43 year-old single mother—lost her job.

Here’s a rep from the bus driver’s stodgy old union sticking up for the canned bus driver:

“In 25 years of this work I’ve never seen such a severe punishment for an inappropriate, but harmless, act,” said union President Chris Dugovich, noting that no child on the bus saw the gesture. “There is video on the Internet that any child can watch of the president raising his middle finger to a camera, yet a momentary gesture by a private citizen is worthy of firing?”

Yes, say those Internets-savvy rebels at Metroblogging Seattle:

I guess it’s hard to be surprised that the driver is protesting her firing—if she were mature enough to take responsibility for her actions and behave appropriately, she wouldn’t have been fired…. It’s absolutely unacceptable on the job behavior for someone whose job is transporting children. (Actually, I consider it unacceptable behavior for anyone on the job.) I feel sorry for the union rep charged with the thankless task of arguing that the firing was unjustified.

People, here’s a simple tip: if you absolutely must flip someone the bird, please do it on your own time.

Move over, Miss Manners, there’s a new clenchbutt etiquette expert in town. If only that dumb single mother had been mature enough to refrain from flipping off the president! Oh, we can’t have school bus drivers engaging in unacceptable behavior! We can’t be rude to the president! Think of the children!

Puh-huh-huh-leeze. We should not only give that driver her job back—think of her child, Metrobloggers—we should pin a medal on her. Bush is the least popular U.S. President since Richard Nixon, something he seems completely unaware of thanks to the bubble in which he moves.

I’m proud to say that I live in the same state with a lowly school bus driver that seized the opportunity to let this president know how the majority of Americans feel about him. And I hope the kids on the bus saw what she did. What a civics lesson! George W. Bush may be the most powerful man in the world, but we have a right—a first amendment right—to tell him exactly what we think of him.

Give that woman her job back—and a raise.

Required Viewing

posted by on November 6 at 6:11 AM

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Way Too Much Gay on the Slog This Weekend…

posted by on November 5 at 8:18 PM

So, I’m posting about sports.

In particular, I’m posting about Gilbert Arenas.

And of course, there is nothing gay about Gilbert Arenas, who scored 44 points last night and, according to an AP wire story titled “Arenas Erupts in Wizards Win Over Celtics” :

emerged in a huge blue robe, the hood pulled low over his face. He said he was trying to look like a wizard.


And, it goes without saying, that there’s nothing gay about the fact that the only thing keeping me sane these days is a 6’ 4” 24-year-old man who runs around in shorts with other muscle-bound men for a living.

44 points, people.

The End of the Ex-Gay Movement?

posted by on November 5 at 3:28 PM

For a decade or more religious conservatives have marketed a singularly destructive idea: Gays and lesbians can be cured. It’s not a medical cure, it’s a miracle cure. And supposedly it’s easy: Give your heart to Jesus Christ and He will cure you of your homosexuality.

Arguing with religious people about the futility of giving your heart to Jesus—at least where “cures” for homosexual orientation are concerned—can be maddening. As with evolution, they’re not moved by science, data, or facts. Not even the existence of so many ex-ex-gays can phase them. Anything is possible through Christ, they insist, and if you’re just sincere enough if your devotion to Christ, if you really and truly believe, if you invite Him into your heart, He will cure you.

You just gotta have faith.

The faithful should check this out:

In a letter of apology read to the congregation of New Life Church Sunday morning, Ted Haggard confessed to sexual immorality and described himself as “a deceiver and a liar.”

Describing a lifelong battle against temptations that were contrary to his teachings, Haggard wrote in his letter he had sought assistance “in a variety of ways,” and while he had stretches of “freedom,” nothing proved effective.

“There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life,” Haggard wrote.

Hm. If Jesus Christ can’t be bothered to work a miracle in this man’s life—if He isn’t going to step in and wave His magic wand and cure a Ted Haggard of “repulsive and dark” homosexual urges—what hope does the average homo have for a cure?

If you believe that Jesus Christ is in the business of altering the sexual orientations of his believers, why would He refuse to “cure” a Ted Haggard? Haggard founded a church that today has 14,000 members! He was, by all accounts a relatively decent, if thoroughly deluded, person. Thousands were moved by his preaching, he won thousands of souls for Jesus. Mixed in there with Haggard’s romps with male escorts, his meth purchases, and his hypocritical gay-bashing were, without a doubt, thousands of good works.

And yet… Haggard has struggled with temptation all his life. He tried to battle off his “dark” desires, but nothing proved effective. There was no heavenly assist for Haggard, no miracle. No matter how hard he struggled, no matter how much faith he had, no matter how righteously he lived… Haggard’s sexual orientation was unchanged. Nothing helped. Nothing. Not prayer, not Jesus H. Christ on the Cross.


If this week’s “Savage Love” mail is typical, I will get two or three emails from concerned Christians that happened to chance upon my column—cough, cough—and wrote to share the wonderful news with me: I don’t have to gay! If I give my heart to Jesus—if I have faith—He will do for me what He didn’t do for Haggard. He will cure me!

I don’t need or want a cure, of course, because I am not ill. I’m gay. I don’t know if Haggard is gay or bisexual—he says he’s neither—but I do know this: If faith couldn’t cure Haggard, I don’t see as how it’s going to cure me.

I also don’t see how, in the wake of Haggard’s (ahem) flameout, any serious person can argue that Christ or faith or miracles or anything at all can cure someone of his homosexuality.

The Latest Poll. Gulp.

posted by on November 5 at 9:15 AM

The McClatchy/MSNBC poll (from October 31-Nov. 3) is in.

With the GOP roaring back in Montana and Rhode Island (where the Democrats had led) …and with the GOP pulling further ahead in Tennessee, the analysis is that the GOP is likely to hold the Senate.

If Republicans hold those three key states, they are likely to retain power in the Senate, even if they lose other battleground states such as Missouri and Virginia, where the new polls show they’ve lost the edge narrowly to Democrats…

To take the Senate, Democrats need to win a net of six seats on Tuesday. The polls showed the Democratic Senate candidates leading outright or with a small edge in four contested states that already are Democratic seats - Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and Washington.

If they hold those, they’d still have to win six of eight other seats now held by Republicans to seize Senate control. Democrats led in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but trailed in Arizona and Tennessee.

That means to capture the Senate, Democrats would have to win all four other states where they are running neck and neck with the Republicans: Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island and Virginia.


The Tennessee news is troubling because the implication is that the ugly anti-Ford ad, the one featuring a white lady winking at Ford, worked big time.

*Footnote. Cantwell is 16 points ahead of McGavick.


Incumbent Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell led Republican Mike McGavick by 54-38, opening the widest lead she’s held all fall. Another 7 percent were undecided, and 1 percent supported other candidates.

Cantwell’s among the most personally popular candidates in the swing states, with 52 percent of likely voters holding a favorable opinion of her. Only 40 percent have a favorable opinion of McGavick, a business executive.

Iraq drives the Washington state vote, ranked the top issue by nearly a third of voters. That’s a 2-1 margin over terrorism, a distant second even in a state with major port operations.

Cantwell holds the Democrat base, with 90 percent from liberals, and also 64 percent of moderates and 19 percent of conservatives.

She also leads among women by 59-33 percent, and among men 48-43 percent.