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Archives for 10/28/2007 - 11/03/2007

Saturday, November 3, 2007

You’ll Never Guess Where I’m Spending the Night

posted by on November 3 at 10:58 PM


State GOP Gives $81,000 to Satterberg

posted by on November 3 at 4:56 PM

Last week, in a Slog post about the tight race for KC Prosecutor—Republican Dan Satterberg v. Democrat Bill Sherman—I noted that John Hennessy, CEO of Nuprecon, had donated $5,000 to the Washington State Republican Party. I wrote:

Additionally, the KC prosecutor sets law enforcement priorities. Sherman pledges to get tougher on environmental crimes and points out that under Satterberg, a suspected environmental polluter, Nuprecon, got off the hook. (Coincidentally, Nuprecon CEO John Hennessy just donated $5000 to the state Republican Party. Gee, I wonder which race that’s going to go to?)

It looks like I got my answer. Late yesterday, the GOP made a huge contribution to Satterberberg’s campaign—$81,000. In addition to getting help from Hennessy, a KC deputy prosecutor, whose family had already maxed out to Satterberg’s campaign, suspiciously made a $10,000 contribution to the State GOP earlier this month.

I say “suspiciously” because Republican KC Council Member Jane Hague’s race is the only other high profile seat that’s up for the GOP this season. It is a violation of campaign finance rules for donations to be earmarked for a specific candidate through the State party.

The state party actually started dumping money into Satterberg’s race last month.

Sherman’s campaign tells me they’ll be filing a complaint with the State.

Footnote bitch: What’s up with the Democrats? They saw this coming. The GOP has been getting hefty donations from people with a clear interest in the Satterberg race for the past month. Sherman’s campaign has been making noise about it. Why didn’t the State Democrats download a major piece of change to Sherman? (They gave about $30,000 last week. Not enough.) The Ds are famously out-fundraising the Republicans right now. There’s a chance to re-take the KC Prosecutor’s Office for the first time in 50 plus years. Pffffttttt.

Weekend Bus Question

posted by on November 3 at 1:28 PM

As everybody who reads this site regularly probably knows, I ride the bus but I don’t like riding the bus. It’s slow, smelly, dirty, hot, filled with people with serious mental-health and substance abuse problems, etc., etc. I know some of the buses are less awful than the one I ride regularly, but let’s face it: Liberal, usually white and middle-class, Seattleites who say riding the bus is a great way to get around don’t ride the bus. I should know. I never see them.

Rail is one solution. In every city I’ve ever been to—even cities with decent, clean, reliable bus service—riding rail is a more pleasant experience than riding the bus. But we aren’t going to get rail until 2009, and then only to the South End. So in the meantime, what could be done to make the experience of bus riding more pleasant for the 95 percent of riders who don’t stink, aren’t wasted, aren’t selling drugs, aren’t harassing other passengers, and aren’t raving loudly to themselves?

A bus riders’ union, like the ones formed by fed-up citizens in many other cities? More police on buses? A stricter hygiene and drug use policy—one that’s actually enforced, rather than the completely toothless system we have now? More frequent bus service and a kiosk at bus stops telling riders when the next bus will arrive? A faster, perhaps curbside, ticketing system?

What do y’all think?

Turn Your Clocks Back Tonight, Seattle

posted by on November 3 at 12:19 PM

At 2 a.m. on Sunday it’ll be 1 a.m. again.

Score One for Dino Rossi

posted by on November 3 at 11:52 AM


Once again, Governor Gregoire is featured in a national magazine round-up. This time, however, I don’t think she should boast about it.

Earlier this year, Gregoire got a glowing write up in Forbes for improving Washington State’s business climate. On Forbes’s annual rankings of state business climates, Washington leapt from 12th to 5th in 2007—the biggest jump of any state. The magazine fawned over Gregoire.

However, this time she’s on the cover of Governing magazine, for its public officials of the year issue. That may sound good, but HA! I think Rossi oughta put it in his campaign lit.

In his campaign kick off speech, Rossi said: “Christine Gregoire has become the governor for the government. Not the governor for the people - me and you.”

Well, Governing is the insider mag for the government workers—bureaucrats, politicians. (So, the accolade is kind of a mixed blessing. Imagine if Rossi got “Family Values Candidate of the Year” from Christianity Today.)

Here’s some more from Rossi’s kick off speech:

I respect the years of service Christine Gregoire has given Washington state. She’s worked hard for many years.

Matter of fact… the incumbent has worked in the state for 38 years. 38 years.

She started in 1969 - when I was in the 4th grade.

She’s been in the same environment, surrounded by the same people, for nearly four decades.

And along the way - after all these years - she’s lost sight of something very important.

Christine Gregoire has become the governor for the government. Not the governor for the people - me and you.

Just ask yourself…

When it comes down to picking what is in the best interest of you and your family… or protecting state government - what do you believe Governor Gregoire will choose?

We know already. She’ll choose the interests of state government over the interests of its citizens… every time.

She’s been at the center of decision-making in Olympia for over a quarter century.

She was the head of Department of Ecology in the 1980s… then Attorney General… and now governor.

Through that whole time - the same crowd has been together running things in Olympia.

And anytime one party runs things that long - it’s going to start caring more for the government that employs them… and not for the people who pay the bills.

Over 38 years as an Olympia insider, Governor Gregoire has mastered three maneuvers that make us so tired of politicians.

Could Rossi ask for a better campaign mailer than this:


The article itself, which includes praise from Republican House minority leader Richard DeBolt (R-20, Centralia) is actually complimentary. Although, I’m not sure how accurate it is. While she does deserve credit for her “Negotiator-in-Chief”-style as they call it (they reference her behind-the-scenes work hammering out a medical malpractice compromise by bringing warring factions like lawyers and doctors together), they fail to mention how that negotiating approach went of the rails during the dispiriting viaduct fracas. One high-profile meeting ended so contentiously that Mayor Nickels stormed out the back way so he wouldn’t have to join Gregoire at the press debriefing. Meanwhile, Gregoire herself seemed to have a new viaduct position on a weekly basis.

Again, if you actually read the article, it makes Gregoire look pretty good, but as a snap shot, it’s pretty funny fodder for Rossi.


Fry Him

posted by on November 3 at 11:20 AM


The FBI has arrested a Lake Tapps man, accused of sexually assaulting and torturing young boys while videotaping the abuse.

Agents arrested Weldon Marc Gilbert on Thursday at the Atlanta Hilton Hotel, where he was attending a conference.

Sheriff’s detectives said Gilbert, a successful commercial pilot and millionaire, abused at least 20 children over the years.

Deputies said 47-year-old Gilbert, who works for the United Parcel Service, did all he could to lure new children to his house, including decorating rooms with children’s themes. Detectives call Gilbert’s home a house of horrors, stating the rooms were often the places where children were spanked and molested.

“We believe he met these kids by paying them money to do yard work and side jobs, and met them at the airport and through different people,” said Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer.

Once the he had gotten the children to his house, he would get them drunk, tie them down and beat them, all with the camera rolling, detectives said.

“There’s people in pain in these things,” said Troyer.

And, yeah, this one’s gonna be easier for the religious right to pin on the gays.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 3 at 11:00 AM

Android Rock

Battles at Showbox

A few decades from now, when the machines celebrate their triumph over humanity, the robot rave will sound like Battles. The New York City quartet is the first fully integrated android band, their colossal digi-prog rock hardwired between technique and technology. Every instrument—including vocals—is mediated by electronics, but there’s human heart at Battles’ core. Seattle’s Pleasureboaters, profiled on page 48, open. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $13 adv, all ages.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL

Latter Day Douchebag

posted by on November 3 at 10:57 AM

Mitt Romney says

“Even when there’s a divorce, you still have a mom and a dad. And even where one member of the partnership may pass away, the memory and the characteristics of that gender, of that partner influence the development of a child. I’m in favor of promoting, as a society, the marriage of men and women and the development of children in that kind of setting.”

So… kids are better off with one dead parent—or, hey, two dead parents—than two gay parents.

Via JoeMyGod.

Teacher Runs Off With 13 Year-Old Boy

posted by on November 3 at 10:48 AM

It was a lady teacher—but the religious right will find a way to pin the latest teacher/student sex scandal on the gays, no doubt.

A female schoolteacher was arrested in Mexico and the 13-year-old boy she allegedly ran away with was turned over to his relatives, a prosecutor said Saturday.

Kelsey Peterson, a 25-year-old sixth-grade math teacher and basketball coach at Lexington Middle School, was arrested in Mexicali, a city on the border with California, Dawson County Attorney Elizabeth Waterman said…. Peterson and the boy fled after police began investigating whether the pair had an intimate relationship, authorities said. Court documents said the boy was last seen Oct. 26.

The Stranger News Hour. 710 KIRO

posted by on November 3 at 10:40 AM

Lots to talk about this week: Tuesday’s election; the Sonics; Dino Rossi; the Mayor’s climate change pow-wow.

Tune in to the Stranger News Hour on the David Goldstein show tonight at 7pm.

P.s. Goldy also might be hosting a Kos Radio on Sunday nights with bloggers from Daily Kos.

Morning News

posted by on November 3 at 8:47 AM

posted by news intern Brian Slodysko

Power grab part I: Musharraf imposes emergency rule, surrounds Pakistani Supreme Court with police forces.

Power grab part II, the other Georgia: tens of thousands protest Georgian president’s tinkering with country’s parliament.

Power grab part III: Hugo Chavez for years to come.

Tainted beef: Company recalls one million pounds of potentially E. coli infected ground beef.

Bush does a little dance: Feinstein and Schumer throw their support behind Mukasey.

Iraq’s northern front: al-Maliki says Iraq will rein in Kurdish guerillas.

Seven words you can never say on TV: FCC appeals federal court’s ruling to Supreme Court.

Sailing on: ligtning rod state prison chief resigns.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sickr Flickr

posted by on November 2 at 7:30 PM

Here’s the caption:

I don’t know which is worse: That someone was dumb enough to put an old toilet in the alley instead of the dumpster, that someone was dumb enough to use it, that someone was dumb enough to crap on the ground next to it, or that someone was dumb enough to photograph it.

The horrible, horrible photo is after the horrible, horrible jump.

Continue reading "Sickr Flickr" »

The Mayors Climate Summit

posted by on November 2 at 5:49 PM

I spent most of yesterday at the Mayors Climate Protection Summit, where more than 100 mayors from around the country who have signed on to Mayor Greg Nickels’s Mayors Climate Protection Agreement met to discuss what steps cities can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels mandated by the Kyoto Protocol, which only the US and Australia, among industrialized nations, refused to sign. I’ve picked on Nickels a few times in the past for talking the climate change talk while supporting proposals (a new waterfront freeway, the roads and transit proposal on the ballot next week) that would make global warming worse.

I’m impressed by Nickels’s efforts to bring together US mayors to meet a challenge—global warming—that the federal government (specifically, Bush) declined to take on. As Climate Solutions’ KC Golden told the mayors, “You have made it clear that this is a local issue,” not only a global one. I left the climate protection summit feeling both inspired and a little depressed.

In the inspiring column:

• The fact that more than 700 mayors have signed the agreement—conservative mayors, staunchly Democratic mayors, mayors from small Southern towns and big East Coast cities. That’s an impressive number that will only get larger.

• The idea of treating climate change as an economic opportunity for working-class people without a college education. Much of the talk at the summit was about creating so-called green collar jobs—jobs retrofitting homes and businesses to be energy-efficient, constructing LEED-certified public buildings, working the production line in the United States’ growing hybrid-car industry. “We need to reach out,” Trenton, NJ mayor Doug Palmer said, “to an untapped labor source that would rather work than have guns and sell drugs.”

• Al Gore, whose typically wonked-out speech was beamed from Nashville via satellite. He told the mayors that the US “can’t wait” until 2012 to negotiate an alternative to Kyoto. “If the leading scientists like Jim Hanson are saying we may have ten years to turn things around we don’t want to waste five years” before negotiating a new treaty, Gore said. “We need to have that treaty finished by 2009 and have it in place by 2010 to replace the Kyoto treaty.” Gore has been talking about a carbon tax, a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants (“we’ve got more than enough coal to completely incinerate the planet,”) reducing emissions by 90 percent (!!) in the US, and a fully auctioned cap-and-trade system, so it’s clear the treaty he’s thinking of would be a hell of a lot tougher than outdated Kyoto. “The key choice in life is always the same choice: To pick a hard right over an easy wrong,” Gore said.

• Bill freakin’ Clinton!! Despite the presence of a glowering mayoral spokeswoman (thanks, Marianne!) who tried to exclude the Stranger from covering Clinton’s speech (something to do with how we’re a “small paper,” they “had to let the New York Times in,” and “these seats are reserved for press”) I still managed to get in. (Three of the press seats were filled by mayoral staffers; another sat empty. So much for there not being enough room for everyone.) Clinton is like Gore with charisma—he sounds genuinely excited about the wonky stuff (“Replacing a tar roof with a green roof reduces the temperature from 150 degrees to 80!”) but he’s also funny, relaxed and inspiring—and he gave me yet another reason to think a Hillary White House might not be so bad after all. His speech focused on climate change as an economic and social opportunity (“It’s a godsend. It’s not castor oil that we have to take.”) Writeups in the dailies are here and here.

• Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, who outlined a bunch of the steps Berkeley has taken to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions—quite successfully, it turns out. Back in 2006, the city asked voters if they wanted the city to take concrete steps to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050. They said yes. So far, the city has started a program requiring apartment and condo builders to provide free bus passes for all residents; required that whenever developers build new housing (or whenever a property is sold) it must undergo a “green review” determine how to make it more environmentally friendly; created a financing plan for homeowners to pay for solar panels over time; and started training students to do energy retrofits on homes and businesses… to name just a few. They’re also considering a ballot measure that would provide a free bus pass to every resident of Berkeley. Awesome!

On the depressing side:

• Um… the mayor of Berkeley, whose speech with all its cool ideas drew chuckles from the mayors of smaller, more conservative cities (particularly hilarious to the mayor of South Forks : The idea of “licensing hitchhikers”)—demonstrating just how far many cities that have signed the agreement in principle are from implementing it in practice. Many cities, in fact, are not on track to meet the Kyoto reductions (seven percent under 1990 levels) by 2012… and everyone, including Nickels, agrees that Kyoto is no longer close to enough. When I asked Nickels if he was discouraged by this, he said no. “It has hit different parts of the country at different paces. It’s easier in Seattle than it would be in Milwaukee. The trick is for us to bring a really diverse group of communities together.” I’m not quite so optimistic.

• Climate change is a huge problem. Like, really huge. Global huge. And because its causes vary so much from community to community (here in Seattle it’s mostly transportation; in Miami, it’s mostly water supply) there isn’t a single solution that works everywhere. That can make it seem too vast and daunting to contemplate.

Thinking of climate change as a local issue is one way to get past this problem, of course, which is one of the lessons the mayors’ conference tried to hammer home. So is realizing that any solution will have to be at every level—individual, local, federal, and international. People (and, more importantly, governments) are beginning to realize this and claim responsibility for their part. Maybe it’s not so hopeless.

Overheard on the Muppets

posted by on November 2 at 5:40 PM

Overheard in the Office

posted by on November 2 at 5:30 PM

Annie Wagner (editing Jen Graves): “This is like a chunk or something, but it’s not a thought.”

White Trash, That Is

posted by on November 2 at 4:59 PM

Man, lame. The biggest white trash cliché on television proves himself to actually be white trash. I always thought the Dog The Bounty Hunter show was campy fun. Now it’s cancelled. Off the air.


His racist rant after the jump…

Continue reading "White Trash, That Is" »

More in Today on Line-Out

posted by on November 2 at 4:50 PM

Oregon Attorney General to the RIAA: “Hell No!”

A Vice President For Rudy

posted by on November 2 at 4:35 PM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

Rudy Giuliani knows, much like the prescient Chris “Notorious BIG ” Wallace shortly before his death, that you’re nobody ‘til somebody kills you. Which is why, should the unthinkable happen, Giuliani’s going to need a ruthless Vice President to step into his shoes and get the justice that a grieving nation will demand.

Somebody like Cheney.

“I would want a vice president who was a partner, someone who was in on everything that was going on, so that that person could take over if, God forbid, something happened,” Mr. Giuliani said.

“I have been very, very close to a possible presidential assassination and seen how that all worked out that day,” Mr. Giuliani said in the ETV interview. He said the episode made him realize that as president, “you have to pick someone that you believe can handle the job as well as you can.”

Mr. Giuliani told ETV that Mr. Bush’s selection of Mr. Cheney was a good model, calling it “a good example of picking someone who is qualified to be president of the United States.”

The 2008 presidential graveyard already has a fine list of potential running mates who would all make great presidents. Sam Brownback? Tommy Thompson? One term Virginia governor Jim Gilmore? He has the bonus of having run for the presidency without anyone having noticed, which negates the perception of past failure. Working against him, he continues to have the general demeanor of an iguana.

My Dream Has Come True

posted by on November 2 at 4:12 PM

Someone wants to be my intern.

Hello public intern,

I have a request for you. Can I be your intern?
Then you could get twice as much done.

jenny zwick

Thank you, Jenny. Thank you for this. I have so much for you to do.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on November 2 at 4:04 PM

Man, this photo, from sharp shooter Slightlynorth is almost magic. Look at those clouds. It makes me think about the fact that we have to set our stupid clocks back an hour this weekend (Sunday the 4th, at 2 am). Get ready for the long dark days of getting to work in the dark, and leaving work in the dark…


From the Stranger’s reader-powered Flickr pool.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on November 2 at 4:00 PM

Massachusetts: Plans to distribute heroin overdose prevention kits.

Candidates for Cannabis? Nope.

Fifteen Months: Crack sentences commuted.

Four-year-old: Knapsack packed with pot.

They Tried to Make Her Pay a Ticket: She said, “No. No. No.

South Africa: Drug awareness week kicks off with high-school raids.

Were You Aware of Meth in October? Meth Awareness Month is over, but not the derision of the Meth Project’s silly ads.

Drew Cary: Medical marijuana man.

300 Empty Beer Cans on the Floor: Mother admits she neglected her two kids to death.

It’s Not a Tumor Drug: Schwarzenegger says pot’s no drug. “That is not a drug. It’s a leaf.” Uh, whatever…

Caught the Boat: DEA announces symposium on prescription drug abuse.

Heard It Through the Grapevine: Vineyards groovin’ to Vivaldi.

Heads vs. Feds: NORML and Drug Czar’s office duke it out on NYT blog.

On Fire: Illegal cigarette market booming in Canada.

Mile High City: Denver’s pot-initiative debate asks Seattle.

Anybody Want a Nice Wicker Love Seat?

posted by on November 2 at 3:46 PM


As of five minutes ago this love seat was sitting by the dumpsters in the alley behind the Canterbury. (Behind the apartments between 15th and 16th on Capitol Hill at Mercer.) It’s in perfectly fine condition—appropriately and beautifully worn—and so far as I could tell didn’t stink of cat piss. There’s nothing wrong with it at all. Someone was probably moving today and decided they couldn’t take it with them. It would be a shame if it wound up in a landfill. Someone go and get it.

Today on Line Out

posted by on November 2 at 3:35 PM

Big Tune-ah: Seattle’s Sabzi Takes Big Tune National Championship

The Sonics Are Going to Brooklyn: Not those Sonics; These Sonics

Today in Music News: Amy Winehouse Slurs Through an Awards Show Performance and Some Other Stuff That Happened

Any Old Bus Stop Will Do: Trent Moorman’s Public Private Dancer

Tonight in Music: Siberian, Jesu, and Krames

Swass: The NW’s Best Music Video?

Setlist: Pleasureboaters, Throw Me the Statue, Mulally, and More

Pure Hip Hop Revival: Larry Mizzell, Jr on Big Tune

Histamines for Brains: Christopher Frizzelle on Hives, the Hives

Condo Compound

posted by on November 2 at 3:15 PM

Remember the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Capitol Hill? Well, memories are all you’ll have.

A towering crane now emerges from between the tree-lined avenues of Harvard E and Broadway E near St. Mark’s Cathedral, where the dilapidated white building stood. The site will be home to Harvard & Highland (named for the cross streets), which will have 38 condo units priced at $1.3 million and up.


This is the only photo I took that begins to convey the project’s size—it consumes a little more than half of a double-sized block. Fucking huge. Like, that little gray building next to St. Mark’s is the massive Sam Hill House.

Harvard & Highland will comprise five squat buildings, forming a compound of luxury. They’re real pretty, for condos, and they fit with the neighborhood okay. Renderings and more after the jump.

Continue reading "Condo Compound" »

Oh, Rats

posted by on November 2 at 3:11 PM

Until just a few weeks ago, the new King County building on 5th avenue—which houses the health department, among other things—had a rat problem.

“[People would leave] a piece of food out, and the next day there was evidence there were rats around,” says King County Facilities Manager Laura Locker. The evidence:
‘Their leave-behinds,” Locker says.

Locker says the rats were probably displaced by construction in the area. Presumably when the rats’ homes were converted to condos.

When the County building opened this summer, a few rats were spotted by employees but the extent of the infestation wasn’t clear until nearly half the building’s staff had moved in. The County called in exterminators and the problem has apparently been dealt with.

Locker downplayed the rat problem, but could not provide a figure for the number of rats found in the building. “I don’t think we did a body count,” she said.


Media Consolidation Hearings Next Friday at Town Hall

posted by on November 2 at 3:05 PM

The FCC is holding a public hearing on rule changes that would allow more media cross ownership and consolidation. For example, the new rules would allow one company to own a newspaper, TV station, and radio station in the same market. (That’s alarming, obviously, but I must say, talking about newspapers and TV stations, and radio stations seems a little archaic.)

FCC chairman Kevin Martin just announced (this week) his intent to hold the last public hearing in Seattle.

Earlier today Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jay Inslee sent a letter to Martin asking him to give the public time to “arrange plans and prepare testimony.”

No such luck. Martin just announced that the hearings will be in one week: 4pm-11pm, Nov. 9 2007, Town Hall Seattle, Great Hall, 1119 Eighth Avenue.

Reclaim the Media has the details.

Schumer and Feinstein to Back Bush AG Nominee

posted by on November 2 at 3:01 PM

One day the Democrats are going to take a stand against torture and the rest of the Bush agenda. Just not today.


Am I Sexually Jealous of Hillary? Mary Gordon Thinks So.

posted by on November 2 at 2:52 PM

Novelist Mary Gordon, quoted in an odd piece about “trophy” political wives by Karen Keller, speculates that Hillary is unelectable. Why?

I think no woman is electable in America, and particularly not Hillary, because she is married to this guy whom everyone is libidinally attached to. I think there is unconscious sexual jealousy of her among women.

Huh? I’ve heard a lot of crackpot theories about what makes women vote this way or that (we like Edwards because we think he’s handsome; we like Hillary because we see ourselves, and her, as helpless victims) but I’ve never heard anyone say women vote with our clits. Especially unconsciously. And hey, didn’t an awful lot of women vote for Mrs. Bill Clinton for Senator?

La Puerta: It Lives

posted by on November 2 at 2:51 PM

The La Puerta faithful protested vociferously last week at my characterization of it as “a Mexican restaurant that no one in the history of time had ever been inside.” Indeed, this was hyperbole. I ate there once, with my dad and my brother. My dad (from whom I inherited a propensity to begin thinking/talking about the next meal in life immediately after the meal at hand) has no memory of this. My brother recalls it being empty except for us and “not that good.” I remember the chips being above par; the rest did not register. We never went back.

But! For you who took umbrage: La Puerta lives! It’s moved to the former Torero’s space, upstairs in the Broadway Market. (Happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m. with $5 16-ounce margaritas.)

Some people castigated Quinn’s, bite untaken, for displacing La Puerta at 10th and Pike with pretentious yuppie food for d-bags who ought to move to Bellevue. Since La Puerta continues to exist, maybe we can all get along. Capitol Hill: Land of Something for Everyone, Now More Than Ever!

• La Puerta, $12.95: carne asada super burrito
• Quinn’s, $12: bacon cheeseburger (made with 8 ounces of Snake River Farms wagyu beef and cheddar) with fries

In other-Mexican-places-on-Broadway news, El Tajin, a new mom-and-son operation near Mercer, seems worth a try. They’re from Veracruz.

Wow, OK.

posted by on November 2 at 2:30 PM

I didn’t believe it when someone here told me, but apparently I am required to grow a vagina in order to write about Hillary Clinton and gender. At least according to the Slog mob.

Anyway, Greg Sargent, who I’m guessing doesn’t have a vagina (so maybe he can’t be trusted), does a very good job of clarifying whether or not, despite it all (including this statement today), Hillary Clinton is indeed “playing the gender card,” or making moves that amount to the same thing:

Bottom line: As best as we can determine, Hillary never explicitly made the accusation that the men were piling up on her because she’s a woman. But you’d have to be very credulous indeed not to believe that the campaign is explicitly trying to emphasize, for various political reasons, the fact that she’s a woman getting hammered by a bunch of men. I don’t know if that constitutes “playing the gender card” or not — the exact meaning of the term is unclear, at least to me — but that’s obviously what’s going on.

UPDATE: The Chris Dodd campaign agrees. It just sent this email:

Apparently, the Clinton campaign can’t even get its story straight on “piling on.” As with everything else, they’re trying to have it both ways.

“Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday her status as the Democratic presidential front-runner - not her gender - has led her male primary rivals to intensify their criticism of her.” [AP, 11/2/07]

“Hillary Rodham Clinton played the gender card Thursday after the worst stumble of her campaign, suggesting she’s being singled out as the lone woman in an all-male presidential field.” [Newsday, 11/1/07]

Hari Sevugan
Communications Director
Chris Dodd for President

Does God Love Michael’s Two Daddies?

posted by on November 2 at 2:29 PM

It’s gotta be a trick question—everybody knows that God hates fags, right?


My God. What’s not to love about this book?

First, there’s the author’s name. If Sheila K. Butt isn’t a highly placed operative of the International Homosexual Conspiracy I’ll eat my tit clamps. Second, there’s the fact that the Christian right felt it necessary to bring out a book like Does God Loves Michael’s Two Daddies? at all. Clearly children with opposite-sex fundamentalist parents are encountering children with same-sex gay or lesbian parents—oh, the humanity!—coming home and asking questions. Good.

Third, this book shows that the fundies are, believe it or not, evolving. The religious right used to argue that children—all of them, including I suppose my own—should be shielded from any information about homosexuality; even acknowledging our existence was an attack on their “family values.” If their children found out that some people are gay, well, they might decide to be gay themselves. Or something. Well, so much for that. When it comes to homosexuality, I guess, fundies no longer regard ignorance as the best line of defense. Ah, progress.

Fourthly and finally—and shhhhh, don’t tell the fundies I said so!—presenting children with warped misinformation and anti-gay propaganda often backfires. The very first thing I ever read about homosexuality was in David Reuben’s terrible and terribly stupid book Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex* But Were Afraid to Ask!. It was horrifying stuff—and it was all I had to go on at 13. And you know what? Reading Reuben’s book I thought to myself, “This can’t be right.”

What I took away from Reuben’s book—and the entirety of the Bible, which I’d read the summer before—wasn’t despair over my sad fate and all the sex I’d be having in public toilets and all the eternity I would spend roasting on a spit in hell. The book left me feeling hopeful. There were other people like me out there somewhere. They had sex lives, they had boyfriends, and some people—David Reuben, the authors of the Bible, people like my parents at the time—just didn’t understand. But I wasn’t alone and one day, God willing, one day I’d be happy and healthy and out.

Just like Michael’s two daddies.

Full disclosure: I haven’t actually read this book yet, but I’ve ordered it. There are two reviews up on Amazon—one sarcastically pro, one scathingly con. Read ‘em here. And I can’t believe this book has been out since March and I’ve only just heard of it!

The Original Bloggers

posted by on November 2 at 2:28 PM

Between the fall of 1787 and the spring of 1788, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay published 85 “posts” under the pseudonym “Publius” (as opposed to, say, “Will in Seattle”) in New York newspapers arguing that the states should ratify the Constitution. (It was a hell of a cat fight and there’s a great recent book about the the internecine political battle that went down to ratify the thing.)

For those who complain that blogging has degraded public debate into recriminations, counter recriminations, and histrionics—please enjoy Alexander Hamilton’s 67th post:

No.67: Hamilton

The constitution of the executive department of the proposed government claims next our attention.

There is hardly any part of the system which could have been attended with greater difficulty in the arrangement of it than this; and there is, perhaps, none which has been inveighed against with less candor or criticized with less judgment.

Here the writers against the Constitution seem to have taken pains to signalize their talent of misrepresentation. Calculating upon the aversion of people to monarchy, they have endeavored to enlist all their jealousies and apprehensions in opposition to the intended President of the United States; not merely as the embryo, but as the full-grown progeny of that detested parent. To establish the pretended affinity, they have not scrupled to draw resources even from the regions of fiction. The authorities of a magistrate, in a few instances greater, in some instances less, than those of a governor of New York, have been magnified into more than royal prerogatives. He has been decorated with attributes superior in dignity and splendor to those of a king of Great Britain. He has been shown to us with the diadem sparkling on his brow and the imperial purple flowing in his train. He has been seated on a throne surrounded with minions and mistresses, giving audience to the envoys of foreign potentates in all the supercilious pomp of majesty. The images of Asiatic despotism and voluptuousness have scarcely been wanting to crown the exaggerated scene. We have been almost taught to tremble at the terrific visages of murdering janizaries, and blush at the unveiled mysteries of a future seraglio.

Fighting Words

posted by on November 2 at 2:28 PM

From some mosquito at Artdish:

Charles Mudede’s arguments are themselves too reliant upon the “association” theory that he posits in his Slog post. Perhaps this is because he has spent so much time pouring over the writings of Hegel and his intellectual descendants. Like most of the Continental philosophers who have followed him, Hegel’s idea of argument was to make every phenomenon a metaphor for his theory and then extrapolate this theory into a metaphor for everything else.

This takes me back twenty years to when I was a college sophomore. At that time, I could not write a paper or have a conversation without grafting the names of everybody I had read over the last few semesters onto my own thoughts. So it is with Charles: he can imbue his romantic and child-like observations with all the weight of the Western intellectual tradition, but it only succeeds in leaving the more astute reader somewhat embarrassed for him.

As one who has taught at the college level, I can assure the old bean that a vast distance exists between what I produce and what college students frequently produce for their professors. Also, it’s very American of him to believe that once you are done with college, you are done with reading and mentioning hard books. Also, sir, do your best, your damnedest not to play the Hegel game with me. And remember this for future contests: I received a European education and so European thought dominates my thought. Your education or background might find that kind of thing hard to accept. The problem might be a matter of you becoming accustomed to people who don’t exactly look like you but take ideas very seriously.

The Red Eye

posted by on November 2 at 2:15 PM

DENVER - Two commercial pilots allegedly fell asleep on a flight between Baltimore and Denver, with one pilot waking up to “frantic” calls from air traffic controllers warning them they were approaching the airport at twice the speed allowed…


(Thanks for the tip, Reggie.)

Halloween: Yet Another Ploy of the Liberal Menace

posted by on November 2 at 2:05 PM

Just when you think a man like Sean Hannity can’t get any more pathetic, he opens his mouth again:

On the October 31 edition of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity claimed that “Halloween is a liberal holiday” and “is teaching our kids to be liberals.” Hannity explained that “we’re teaching kids to knock on other people’s doors and ask for a handout.” Co-host Alan Colmes responded by asking if that meant that Christmas is a “liberal holiday.” Colmes asserted that Halloween represents “the act of giving,” and asked: “Isn’t that a Christian thing, to give, to share with your community?” Hannity replied: “Not to teach your kids to beg for a handout.”

I guess the good old Halloween leads to Satanism argument has run out of steam.

(Thank to Slog Tipper Matt Hickey.)

Does Hillary Have a “Gender Problem”?

posted by on November 2 at 2:01 PM

Not everybody agrees that Hillary Clinton has been, as Eli put it, “trying to push women’s buttons, getting them to rally around Clinton out of a sense of shared victimhood.”

Here’s a different take from The Carpetbagger Report:

The meme of the hour is that Clinton played the “gender card,” but the evidence is pretty thin. A lot of people are pointing to this example from yesterday…

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton returned to her alma mater Tuesday, the all-women’s Wellesley College in Massachusetts, as her campaign suggested this week’s debate could help her with women voters.

Clinton seemed to allude to sharp attacks from Democratic rivals in Tuesday’s showdown, telling the enthusiastic crowd, “in so many ways, this all women’s college prepared me compete in the all boys’ club of presidential politics.”

However, like Ezra, I don’t see this as particularly troublesome. […]

Playing the victim takes a lot more than the mere mention of gender.

That said, while I think the media is blowing this way out of proportion — probably desperate to find a new narrative to talk about — part of me thinks this whole hullabaloo is Mark Penn’s fault. He’s the one who hosted a conference call to say that Obama’s and Edwards’ criticisms were driving women voters to Hillary. Since Tuesday, that’s probably the only legitimate instance of the campaign playing the “gender card” at all.

TCR’s Steve Benen was referring to a post on the American Prospect’s blog by Ezra Klein, who elaborates:

Clinton, speaking to her alma mater, said, “In so many ways, this all-women’s college prepared me to compete in the all-boys club of presidential politics.” That’s the only invocation of gender since the debate. And to me, it sounds like nothing more interesting than alumni puffery. She didn’t say the “boys” were beating up on her for being a woman. She didn’t say the questions were unfair or the attacks sexist. She just said that her alma mater helped prepare her to enter this world. That’s not making this about gender. It’s mentioning gender, and pumping up her college.

And as far as calling the election an “all-boys club” goes, that seems unambiguously true. In a nation that’s more than 50 percent female, where women made up 54 percent of the electorate in 2004, exactly one out of the 17 candidates currently vying for the presidency is female. But what we’re upset about is that Hillary Clinton mentioned that fact? The men doth protest too much, methinks…


posted by on November 2 at 1:54 PM

Here’s an early Christmas gift idea (via the Wall Street Journal)…

Buy your chubby loved one a washboard stomach!


(Thanks to Matt Hickey for the tip.)

Adn Spaeking of Typos…

posted by on November 2 at 1:34 PM

A fascinating missive in my inbox:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are. The olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh?

Usually I kill people who sned me this shit via email, but thank you, Zack, thank you. You’ve justified my existance.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on November 2 at 1:19 PM

First, the news:

As you’ve already heard, the Writers Guild of America is preparing to strike starting Monday. Assuming the strike leads to a satisfactory contract in a relatively short period of time, there won’t be much of an effect on the movie industry. But Stephen Colbert is off the air in 3… 2… 1… (Exhaustive coverage at the LA Times.)

The Oscar prognosticators are off! (Top sites are The Envelope from the LA Times and Gurus of Gold from Movie City News.) Of course, most of us peons haven’t seen these movies yet. Atonement, for example, is set to open in Seattle on December 7; No Country for Old Men should be out November 16.

And an item of interest mostly to my adolescent self: A new X-Files movie is going into production next month.


May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead

In On Screen this week: the exceptional botched-heist melodrama Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Jon Frosch: “What happens in the movie is unhappy stuff, but there’s mischief in the way each colossally bad decision leads to another, and you may find yourself smiling at how deftly Sidney Lumet and Kelly Masterson send these slippery bastards scrambling toward their fates”), American Gangster (from Ridley Scott to Russel Crowe, “everyone involved seems to be coasting,” says Andrew Wright), the unbearable Martian Child (“The title character in Martian Child is what would result if Jack Klugman’s single, tattered vocal cord impregnated Anne Heche and she gave birth to an albino bug,” according to Lindy West), Sharkwater (“Every man, woman, and child should be strapped into a chair and shown it,” says shark fan Jen Graves), and Wristcutters: A Love Story (Andrew Wright says it “hangs on to the edge of enjoyably oddball without falling into molar-decaying twee”).

Plus: Charles Mudede uncovers the capitalist agenda behind Bee Movie.


In Film Shorts this week: A Man Vanishes: The Legacy of Shohei Imamura continues at Northwest Film Forum with Vengeance Is Mine every day and a second rotating feature. Soldiers of Conscience—recommended by Lindy West—opens at SIFF Cinema tonight.


The Seattle premiere of Banished (we couldn’t get a screener, but here’s the New York Times review) happens tonight at Rainier Valley Cultural Center with director Marco Williams (Two Towns of Jasper) in attendance. Grand Illusion has the beautiful Mongolian feature Khadak (and a late night spaghetti Western that sounds completely nuts). Varsity opts for Tibetan warrior saga Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint (could there be a less enticing title?). Central Cinema is showing the low camp thriller Strait-Jacket, with Joan Crawford in the titular restraint device. And Cinerama has Ghostbusters in 70mm for two shows only (Sunday and Tuesday) in between screenings of the restored Blade Runner: The Final Cut. For all your movie times needs, see Get Out.

And we didn’t have room for a DVD column in this week’s paper, but Tuesday’s new releases include a Barbara Stanwyck collection that means you can see Jeopardy on DVD, if not at Seattle Art Museum’s sold-out film noir series next week. Plus: the Darfur doc The Devil Came on Horseback and big fat My So-Called Life and Twin Peaks box sets.

Soviet Science Fiction

posted by on November 2 at 1:13 PM

This lovely building is Tblisi:

And this one is in Yalta:

The Rose Revolution might have might have met its end, but not the heroic concrete of late Soviet architecture.

Clinton’s Gender Politics

posted by on November 2 at 1:10 PM

Hillary Clinton has a problem.

Her campaign believes that women are going to be key to helping her win the Democratic primary and the general election. Her guru, Mark Penn, likes to remind reporters that women now make up about 54-percent of the electorate, and recently Penn suggested that in a general election, Clinton could win over as much as 24-percent of the Republican female vote based on the “emotional element” of potentially having the first female president.

Hence, the Clinton campaign is trying to stir up emotion among women. That’s why Clinton was at her alma mater Wellesley yesterday, telling undergraduates that “in so many ways this all-women’s college prepared me to compete in the all-boys’ club of presidential politics.” That’s why her campaign released it’s “Politics of Pile On” video in the wake of Tuesday’s debate and went about suggesting that a bunch of men had been mean to Clinton, as usual.

The Clinton campaign is trying to push women’s buttons, getting them to rally around Clinton out of a sense of shared victimhood. Maybe she’ll be effective in this. No doubt there are a lot of women out there who feel like they have to play in an “all-boys’ club.” No doubt there are a lot of women who have experienced something akin to “the politics of pile on” at work or in social settings. And no doubt there are a lot of men whose sympathies can be pricked with the image of a bunch of guys “piling on” one woman—an image that, taken to its logical extreme, brings up images of gang rape and its attendant male responsibilities (the responsibility to protect the woman, the responsibility to punish the male aggressors, the responsibility to make life better for the woman going forward).

But Clinton is also contending that she’s not running because she’s a woman. And she’s trying to show that she’s tough enough to defend herself (and the country) in a world full of bad men. Hence, on Wednesday, the day after the debate, when Clinton got the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union’s president presented her with a pair of boxing gloves and said of the debate: “Six guys against Hillary. I’d say that’s a fair fight.”

Well, but: Which is it? A fair fight or not?

Right now the Clinton camp wants to have it both ways. It wants to say Clinton is strong enough to take on six men, and it wants to criticize those six men for taking on one woman.

This creates an opening for people to accuse Clinton of selectively playing the gender card, as Barack Obama did this morning. It gives grist to opinion writers, male and female, who think Clinton isn’t being sincere. And it also creates a danger that her posture will turn off men who find the back-and-forth extremely manipulative.

Amy Pulls a Britney!

posted by on November 2 at 12:54 PM

Amy Winehouse and her backup drugs somehow summoned the wherewithal to perform at the “European Music Awards” or whatever last night. (Who knew Europe even HAD music? Or awards? Or that many drugs, for Christ’s sake? I ask you.)

Make of her appearance what you will:

Although linguists and various other “ists” have yet to pinpoint exactly what language Miss Winehouse is apparently singing in (right now they are leaning toward “Sheep”), the almost complete lack of obvious blood leakage from any part of her body was a tremendous relief. For everyone.


The Statement. And the Real Statement.

posted by on November 2 at 12:40 PM

Mayor Nickels just issued this re: Clay Bennett’s announcement:

Seattle and Key Arena have been home to the Sonics – and more recently the Storm – for 41 years. I believe that tradition should continue. .

I will do everything in my power to enforce our lease and keep the Sonics and Storm where they belong – in Seattle through 2010 and beyond.

However, here’s what Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis told me:

First of all, he called Bennett’s October 31st deadline “bullshit,” explaining that there was no legit or legal reason for Bennett to announce this today. And this segues into Ceis’s other reaction to Bennett’s provocative announcement: “This is an attempt to drive attendance down. He wants to make the case in court [next Spring when the city and the Sonics duke it out in federal court over whether the Sonics can break their lease] that this isn’t a good market.”

Ceis adds this: “Well, we’ll use it in court to” to show that Bennett isn’t acting in good faith to keep the Sonics here.

Ceis added that if NBA commissioner David Stern signs off on Bennett’s plans to move to Oklahoma, “it should send a chill down the spine every city that does business with the NBA. If he [Stern] supports [Bennett’s position] it means your contract, your lease with the NBA is meaningless.”

I Know, I Know, Squabbling Between Bloggers is Sooooo Interesting. But…

posted by on November 2 at 11:39 AM

I gotta respond.

Yesterday, canny Slogger Annie Wagner connected the dots on some contributions to the ‘Yes’ on Prop. 1 campaign and noted: “Smells like sprawl to me.”

I wrote a comment adding on to Annie’s initial point about roads, saying that poorly planned light rail can actually induce sprawl. Will at HorsesAss disagrees.

But Will unwittingly makes my point, writing:

Besides, who cares? Park and rides become popular, they fill up, and the decision is made about what to do next. Sometimes they’re expanded into parking garages. And those parking garages eventually become paid parking garages, which turn into paid carpool parking garages, which turn into… apartments with retail.

And what do you think they fill up with, Will? Magical beach balls?

They fill up with cars. Because, like I said yesterday, ill-conceived light rail lines don’t create density, they create outpost park and rides that fuel exurban development and more roads. (Check out towns like New Market, Maryland “along” the Red Line—or some 40 miles away from DC.)

And seriously: What’s the track record on parking garages turning into apartments with retail?

Oklahoma City Sonics

posted by on November 2 at 11:27 AM

Surprising absolutely no one, Sonics owner Clay Bennett has officially announced his intention to move the team to Oklahoma City. The press release:

On behalf of the owners of the Seattle SuperSonics and Seattle Storm, I am disappointed that our efforts over the last fifteen months to foster the development of a new multi-purpose arena in the Greater Seattle area were not successful. From the beginning, it has been my absolute hope and expectation that we would be able to secure the necessary governmental commitments to build a successor venue to KeyArena. Even though our proposal for a new state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility to be built in Renton was thoughtfully developed by a world-class team, was financially reasonable and was realistically attainable, we were unable to persuade the Washington Legislature to vote on our bill. The region is still in need of a modern building, not just for the Sonics and Storm, but also for the broad commercial and quality of life benefits such facilities provide.

We now understand and respect that there is very limited public support for such a public investment. As we stated on July 18, 2006, and have stated on many occasions thereafter, KeyArena is not a viable modern venue for the NBA and if a successor facility is not identified by October 31, 2007, we would evaluate our options, which would include relocation. Given the clear lack of public, political, and business support for a new multi-purpose arena, plus the enactment of Initiative 91 as a City of Seattle ordinance following a public vote authorized by the Seattle City Council itself, and the significant operating losses the businesses are now incurring, we have no option but to commence the NBA relocation process.

Today we notified Commissioner Stern that we intend to relocate the Sonics to Oklahoma City if we succeed in the pending litigation with the City, or are able to negotiate an early lease termination, or at the end of the lease term.

We have not made a decision regarding the future location of the Seattle Storm. We appreciate the deep local interest and support for the Storm and have begun to evaluate a future course of action for the team.

Notwithstanding the uncertainty and difficulty of this challenging time, we remain completely committed to the success of our basketball teams. We will continue to provide our players, coaches and staff the tools and support they need to be competitive.

We are also completely committed to providing our fans a first class basketball, entertainment and social experience. We will do all we can to ensure that our fans, sponsors and marketing and broadcast partners enjoy the highest value from their relationship with the Sonics and Storm.

There have been many in the region who have provided courageous, visionary support to our efforts. We sincerely appreciate your hard work and friendship in this difficult process.

Happy Birthday Steve Ditko

posted by on November 2 at 11:05 AM

America’s favorite reclusive objectivist turns 80 today.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 2 at 11:00 AM


‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’

This film about a botched heist finds Philip Seymour Hoffman at his wretched best as a pleasure-hungry payroll specialist who begins his life of crime by siphoning checks and graduates to robbing his own parents. And that’s just the first half hour—things deteriorate from there. The acting is superb, the plot is relentless, and pity and fear crash through in successive waves. It’s unadulterated nihilism from 83-year-old director Sidney Lumet. (See Movie Times, page 88, for details.) ANNIE WAGNER

Is Your Name Tracy Peterson?

posted by on November 2 at 10:48 AM

Laci Peterson went missing in 2002; her husband was convicted of her murder.

Now Stacy Peterson is missing; her husband is a “focus of the investigation.”

So if your name is Tracy, Macy, or Casey and you’re married to a Mr. Peterson? I think you’d better watch out.

RIP Samuel Stephens

posted by on November 2 at 10:40 AM


Samuel Stephens, one of the founders of Ezell’s Famous Chicken and an integral supporter of the Seattle hiphop scene, has passed away at age 48.

Here’s the memorial page from Ezell’s website, and here’s a write-up from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

A Vegetarian Writes…

posted by on November 2 at 10:29 AM

Dear Lindy West:

Thank you for your honest article on “Suicide Food,” printed, appropriately, on the Day of the Dead (Nov. 1, 2007). I forgive the fact that you wrote more about yourself than about your subject, because I will guess that many readers related to your perspective. I want to briefly explain why your perspective is illogical bullshit designed to make you feel OK about something that you know, deep down, to be wrong.

First, you state, admirably, that for you: “environmental sustainability is a more precise goal than vegetarianism.” I would argue that vegetarian environmental sustainability is a more precise goal than the standard omnivorous version. This is especially true when that omnivorous version includes eating at establishments like the ones you visited (Ezell’s, Floyd’s, Willy’s) that use factory farmed meat, an environmental and ethical nightmare. This somehow escaped mention in your article.

Also, meat consumption is far more demanding on resources than vegetable consumption, as herbivorous animals like cows and pigs first have to be fed on land that could far more efficiently be used to produce vegetables for direct human consumption. In this way, I get really pissed when people scream about biodiesel turning food into fuel. Let’s start by not turning so much food inefficiently into meat that we raise cruelly, and then we can see what’s left for fuel, shall we?

Your final paragraph is telling. You felt nauseated by the thought of what you had experienced from your suicide food tour that day, and you ended up tossing much of the food in the can. “What a waste” you conclude. It seems you are insinuating that it would truly be “less cruel to imagine these animals as happy, content” before they died.

Then you wouldn’t waste food? Well how about this: maybe you finally realized that you shouldn’t be buying your food there in the first place.

Finally, you perpetuate the “either/or” bogus aspect to the vegetarian/omnivore discussion. Reduction in meat consumption and caring about how the meat you eat was treated would be worthwhile goals for omnivores like you who are truly concerned with environmental sustainability. You truly are, aren’t you?

Jason Hodin

Castagna on MSNBC

posted by on November 2 at 10:15 AM

We’re a little YouTube heavy this morning, I realize, but I wanted to post this interview with Cody Castagna yesterday and spaced it:

This interview drives home the point I tried to make in the New York Times after Mike Jones outed Ted Haggard: Despite the best efforts of the religious right, it is now more shameful to be a lying, closeted, hypocritical closet case than to be an honest sex worker. Straight people get it, they understand. Curtis is the real problem here, not Castagna.

I’m not saying Castagna is being honest or didn’t attempt to extort Curtis—we don’t know what happened—but Castagna taking money for sex is being treated as less scandalous than GOP state rep Richard Curtis voting one way (anti-gay) and fucking another (way gay). And that’s… you know… progress. Right?

What Were Those Sonics Fans Shouting?

posted by on November 2 at 10:06 AM


At first, I thought the unprompted chant that began during the second quarter of the Sonics’ home opener was “KID ROCK SUCKS! KID ROCK SUCKS!” This would’ve made sense, as Detroit’s rattiest Sheryl Crow fan inexplicably showed up at last night’s Sonics/Suns game and had just accepted a personalized Seattle jersey from the Sonics Dancers. The moment came complete with spotlight and announcements, as if Sonics fans should be delighted that Kid Rock could make some time to give Key Arena’s section 108 herpes.

I responded with throat-killing boos—first, because Kid Rock is to human existence what female circumcision is to a clitoris, and second, because he’s a Detroit Pistons super fan. What’re we doing giving 6 Mile’s Jack Nicholson a Sonics jersey? He’s just gonna burn it to keep warm in the winter while wondering what rhymes with “lawn furniture.”

Anyway, that chant. Turns out it was “SAVE OUR SONICS! SAVE OUR SONICS!” The entirety of Key Arena got swept up in it, unprompted by advertisements or on-screen prompts, which would’ve been a nice, loud statement to Sonics ownership (and those potential new local buyers) if the game was anywhere near a sell-out. Or if the Sonics didn’t blow their third quarter lead in the last six minutes, as “veterans” like Earl Watson and Wally Szczerbiak jacked up awful late-game shots and paved the team’s way to a choke. Rookie sensation Kevin Durant was a team-leading ass-kicker, but Coach took the ball out of his hands when we needed him most, and by the time Durant came back to make some killer threes, we were too far gone. Maybe they should’ve chanted “SAVE ONE SONIC” instead…though I’d like to think “KID ROCK SUCKS” would’ve helped.

More Disgusting News

posted by on November 2 at 9:56 AM

The United Arab Emirates has a little gay rape problem. Yesterday, this made the front page of the New York Times. Today, there’s this.

Swiss officials announced Wednesday they will try the brother of the ruler of the United Arab Emirates for allegedly assaulting an American man who rebuffed his sexual advances in a Geneva hotel.

Sheikh Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, 37, is accused of attacking Silvano Orsi, 39, with a belt in the posh La Reserve hotel four years ago.

Swiss prosecutor Daniel Zappelli said Wednesday that the case will be heard before a three-man tribunal. If convicted the Sheikh could be sentenced up to two years in prison.

Obama on Playing the Gender Card

posted by on November 2 at 9:10 AM

He didn’t play the race card when people attacked him at a previous debate, so why should Clinton be playing the gender card now?

Edwards, RNC Attack Clintons’ Debate Performance

posted by on November 2 at 9:06 AM

The Politics of Pile On? Edwards calls it the Politics of Parsing:

And the RNC has a few things to say about it, too:

The Morning News

posted by on November 2 at 7:38 AM

See How That Works? US pledges to assist our allies the Turks in their battles against our allies the Kurds.

Read a Book, Go to the Gym, Fuck Someone Senseless: Consumers ponder options as movie and television writers get set to strike, shutting down entertainment industry.

China Syndrome: The head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission has taken “dozens of trips” on the dime of the toy, appliance and children’s furniture industries she’s supposed to regulate.

Double Standards: One of the “big three” news anchors to host SNL.

The Triumph of the International Gay Agenda: Brunch comes to South Korea.

Atlanta is Out of Water: But the Mexican state of Tabasco is under it.

Green Mayor: New York’s got one.

Sense of the Senate: U.S. Senate passes children health care bill, again. Bush pledges to veto, again.

They’ll Probably Want a New Stadium Too: Group of local investors make noises about buying Sonics back from those Oklahoma douches.

Rosie Was Right! Staph’s No Laugh: Killer bug kills local man.

Enough of the Love Boat: Here’s Ann Miller in her prime—check out those tom-toms!

34th Picks New State House Rep.

posted by on November 2 at 7:14 AM

Sharon Nelson, legislative assistant to KC Council Member Dow Constantine, won last night’s 34th District Democrats (W. Seattle) vote to replace Rep. Joe McDermott in Olympia. McDermott is moving to the State senate to replace Sen. Erik Poulson who resigned in early September to lobby for public utilities.

Nelson, an activist to stop Glacier Northwest from expanding strip mining on Maury Island, won handily 78 to 39, beating Toni Lysen, a former one-term State house rep.

Next step, Nelson needs to get the nod from the KC Council.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Today on YouTube…

posted by on November 1 at 6:50 PM

Our little adventure, following the Gays on Crystal around Capitol Hill, as they mistakenly tried to trick-or-treat on Monday the 29th, was at #97 in YouTube’s “Most Viewed Today (People & Blogs)”.

I can’t wait to tell those boys. I think they’re still in Tacoma looking for candy.

The Backlash Against The Politics of Victimhood

posted by on November 1 at 5:07 PM

Clinton’s campaign described the last debate as “The Politics of Pile On.” A strategist from a rival campaign isn’t having it:

There’s just no way she wins running as a victim. She and her team reflexively go there because it’s worked before. But this is different. She’s not the first lady. She’s an aspiring commander-in-chief. She can’t simultaneously put on boxing gloves and call herself the tough guy in the field (“i’m your girl”), ask for the keys to 1600 and the nuclear codes, and complain that Russert and boy candidates are being mean to her. She’s asking to be made the most powerful person in the world, and aggrieved victim isn’t part of that profile.

More Mustaches

posted by on November 1 at 5:02 PM

In about two hours, the inaugural Monsieur Mustache Pageant will begin at CHAC.

The judges are cartoonist David Horsey, comedian Aziza Diaz, hairstylist Miguel Vigil, the cafe owner Faizel Khan, and me.

The contest will be a pageant in six rounds, including The Talent Round, the Boxer Shorts Round, and The Tug, wherein our pentavirate will fondle the hairy faces.

The pageant is a benefit for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Nick Farina, a well-liked Seattle waiter (El Gaucho, McCormick and Schmick’s, the Met Grill) who has B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and over a million dollars in medical bills.

This guy will be there:


So will this guy:


So should you.

We Fought a War on Climate Change and Climate Change Won

posted by on November 1 at 5:00 PM


It’s done. We’ve made our half-hearted efforts; they failed. The climate is fucked. If we don’t start preparing now, we’re fucked too.

Not convinced? Let’s read the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report together, shall we? “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” [PDF] should be a good place to start. Section ‘B’ makes nice, comforting, reading. Let’s just focus on things likely to affect Western Washington:

Based on growing evidence, there is high confidence that the following effects on hydrological systems are occurring:
* increased runoff and earlier spring peak discharge in many glacier- and snow-fed rivers [1.3];
* warming of lakes and rivers in many regions, with effects on thermal structure and water quality [1.3].

…recent warming is strongly affecting terrestrial biological systems, including such changes as:
* earlier timing of spring events, such as leaf-unfolding, bird migration and egg-laying [1.3];
* poleward and upward shifts in ranges in plant and animal species [1.3, 8.2, 14.2].

…observed changes in marine and freshwater biological systems are associated with rising water temperatures, as well as related changes in ice cover, salinity, oxygen levels and circulation [1.3]. These include:
• shifts in ranges and changes in algal, plankton and fish abundance in high-latitude oceans[1.3];
• increases in algal and zooplankton abundance in high-latitude and high-altitude lakes [1.3];
range changes and earlier migrations of fish in rivers [1.3].

…The uptake of anthropogenic carbon since 1750 has led to the ocean becoming more acidic, with an average decrease in pH of 0.1 units [IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment]. However, the effects of observed ocean acidification on the marine biosphere are as yet undocumented [1.3].

(Emphasis added.)
“Are occurring.” These aren’t speculative, possible consequences. These are happening now. What will the world be like in ten, twenty or fifty years? Fucked.

Why not listen to the climatologists? By a few good mathematical estimates, there is about a 1/5 chance that current atmospheric carbon levels “will result in dangerous interference to climate system.” The most aggressive proposals, involving so far impossible to muster levels of cooperation and sacrifice, have the goal of merely doubling the pre-industrial carbon level in the atmosphere—estimated to have a 50:50 chance of still resulting in massive damage to the global climate. Fucked.

The Kyoto Accord, the most successful agreement thus far, merely attempts to hold us to 1990’s levels of emissions. It omits the largest areas of growth in emissions (in the developing world, particularly India and China.) To top it off, even the most progressive of countries are failing to meet these modest goals. Fucked.

What about the developing world? China—the fastest growing economy in the world, the one virtually certain to overtake ours in the coming decades—is almost exclusively fueled with the dirtiest coal-fueled power plants imaginable. This is a country that cannot prevent deadly infant formula from being distributed, keep antifreeze out of toothpaste, or keep lead out of children’s toys. What are the odds of a strongly enforced and highly effective carbon tax or cap being implemented? Fucked.

What will climate change do to us? What should we be doing now to prepare? Damn good questions to ask. Rather than endlessly debating if climate change exists, or how to prevent it, we should start thinking and talking now about what we need to do. Changing building codes, securing water supplies, preparing public health measures, building buffering infrastructure are all good places to start. Let’s avoid the trap we’ve fallen into with the Iraq war, of endlessly autopsy of past failures rather than dealing with the problems of the present. By being ready, through good local policy, we can avoid panicked responses later, and even create a competitive advantage for ourselves.

My first step: I’m buying some rum.

A Closer Look at Cody Castagna

posted by on November 1 at 4:53 PM


Psst. Wanna see Cody Castagna—Spokane’s $1,000-a-night male prostitute—in action? Fleshbot’s got tons of NSFW pics. And not to worry: the pics show Cody getting it on with some nameless twink, not with a certain cross-dressed disgraced former state rep.

Skatepark Jihad

posted by on November 1 at 4:48 PM

Seattle’s skater community is about to get fucked, again. The Seattle Center just released a skatepark feasibility study which estimates that replacing the entire Fischer Pavilion site will cost $4.6 million, waaaay more than the $1.2 million currently allocated for the project.

Rather than kill the much-delayed plan for a center skatepark altogether, the Parks Department’s Skate Park Advisory Committee (SPAC) is going to take the hit—as they have a zillion times before—and take a third less space than they were originally supposed to get at the site.

What’s ironic about this latest development, is that if the city had held the Center’s feet to the fire and put the skatepark on Broad Street—like SPAC wanted—they wouldn’t be in this situation. The SeaSk8 skateparkoriginally sat just east of the Center, and was torn down to make room for the Gates Foundation’s new headquarters. Since then, SeaSk8 has been bounced around the city, despite the fact that SPAC has repeatedly cited Broad Street as the optimal location for a new skatepark. However, SPAC has apparently been told that the Broad Street site will not be reconsidered.

Fischer Pavilion is currently divided into two sites—A and B—and most of the duct work from Key Arena’s kitchens runs under site B. Tearing all of those ducts out would be expensive, so the current plan floating around City Hall is to only demolish site A.
Together, sites A and B would’ve given skaters 16,000 square feet of space. Now, they’ll be left with about 10,000 square feet.

Even if the city only builds on site A, they’ll will have to cough up another $800,000, as costs for demolition substantially exceed the $1.2 million that was originally allocated. Again, the city would be paying almost a million bucks more for more than a third less square footage.

SPAC says they can work with the smaller space, but they’re apprehensive about spending $2 million on a skatepark.

SPAC is holding a meeting at 7pm on November 12th at the Seattle Parks Building (100 Dexter Ave) to talk about the newest roadblock to replacing SeaSk8.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on November 1 at 4:45 PM

I’m surprised there aren’t more Halloween photos The Stranger’s reader-powered Flickr group today. I sure do love this one though. Submitted sans caption. Uh-oh, you know what that means…


Happy Halloween to Matt W.

What He Said

posted by on November 1 at 4:27 PM

Will at HorsesAss slaps the Seattle Times for its idiotic anti-Prop 1 editorial.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Environmental Compromise (aka, Prop. 1)

posted by on November 1 at 4:17 PM

After his excellent amendments failed (like strengthening the emissions cap and raising the cost for emissions) U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pulled his support for the Lieberman/Warner climate change bill. Grist explains Sanders’s position here.

Here’s Sanders’s opening statement, which seemed relevant to Seattle as we head into next week’s election:

Let me be as blunt as I can be in telling you where I am coming from on a compromise bill on global warming, an issue that is qualitatively different than any other issue we are dealing with in Congress.

On most issues, Congress goes through the time-honored tradition of working out compromises which both sides can end up accepting. I want to see all the kids in America have health care. Other members think the Children’s Health Insurance Program should not be expanded. We compromise on 4 million more children in the program. I think a program should be expanded by $100 million. You think it should be expanded by $50 million. We compromise at $75 million. That’s the way business is done here and in other democratic societies and there is nothing wrong with that. We live in a country where people have different political views and in almost every instance members of the Senate compromise to reach an agreement.

Today, however, we have a qualitatively different situation. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is. The issue is not what I want versus what Senator Lieberman or Senator Warner or Senator Inhofe may want – and the need to work out an agreement that we can all accept. That’s not the dynamic we face today. The issue today is one of physics and chemistry and what the best scientists in the world believe is happening to our planet because of greenhouse gas emissions. The issue is what we can do, as a nation, along with the international community, to reverse global warming and to save this planet from a catastrophic and irreversible damage which could impact billions of people.

In other words, we are not in a debate now between Bernie Sanders and anyone else. It’s not a debate between what I want or what you want. We are in a debate between science and public policy.

Save the Date

posted by on November 1 at 4:07 PM

The Stranger has booked the Showbox for an election night party—not for this coming Tuesday’s election, but for the election on Tuesday November 4, 2008.

Our election night party in 2004 is the stuff of legend—we drank Chop Suey dry. My God, people were doing shots of Goldshläger as the final results trickled in. We were drowning our sorrows that night, of course, because George W. Bush won/stole the White House a first/second time. Whoever wins the White House next November, it won’t be George W. Bush. So there’s going to be lots to celebrate. Please join us.

Today in Line Out

posted by on November 1 at 3:34 PM

Tonight in Music: The Hives, the Pipettes, Sunday Night Blackout, and more.

Radiohead’s New Label: The band announces their deal with XL.

Microphones: Rock and roll’s notorious germ spreader.

My Favorite Christmas Song: Even though it’s hardly the holiday season.

In XTC: David Schmader unearths an old gem.

The Pastels: Terry Miller looks at the then and now of the band.

The Boss Gets Fired: Clear Channel says “no thanks” to Springsteen’s Magic.

Oh November: The many songs about this magic month.

Don Ray: One of disco’s greatest music innovators.

Black Lips on the Big Screen: The band will star in the upcoming feature film Let It Be.

And this has nothing to do with anything at all.


Space Age Whiz Kid

posted by on November 1 at 3:03 PM

I honestly can’t tell if I’m ashamed or elated about understanding this clip…

The Red State/Red Meat Correlation

posted by on November 1 at 2:54 PM

Do Democrats eat more sushi? And do closeted homosexuals, I mean Republicans, eat more steak? The Dept. of Heuristics at Urbanspoon World Headquarters (right here in Seattle) is asking the important questions. Look and learn (or look and be confused, depending on your facility with graphs).


Some additional findings:
• “steak doesn’t necessarily make you fatter”
• “it appears that eating sushi makes you slightly better looking, statistically speaking”

So it’s settled: Democrats are better looking than Republicans.

Hungry, good-lookin’ Seattle Democrats: Here’s where to get the best sushi. (I also just went to Kappo—the new omakase-only Japanese place in Fremont owned by the Chiso people—at $100 per person for food only, my preliminary findings are: not worth it.)

Hungry Seattle Republicans: You suck, probably literally, but Tamarind Tree does not.

Assignment: Special Halloween Birthday Edition

posted by on November 1 at 2:22 PM

Chris Comte, manager of the Annex Theatre and regular Slog commenter, wanted to celebrate his birthday but was too busy to go out and buy a cake for himself. I picked up a german chocolate cake for Chris at QFC and met him at Smith. I walked in at 8:30 to meet him but, unfortunately, I had no idea what Chris looked like. After pacing back and forth and sitting on the bench at the front of the restaurant, I noticed a few people waving to me.

Chris didn’t have a costume so I asked him if he wanted to wear my sparkling penis glasses. Then I fed him cake.


Steven Blum
Public Intern

Do you need a cake today? Send requests to

An Excuse to Write About Portal

posted by on November 1 at 1:58 PM

As in, my likely pick for video game of the year, released by Bellevue’s own Valve Software last month. Portal is a genius little 3D puzzle game in which your only “weapon” is a gun that creates doors. You start by using the doors to cross chasms; by the end, you’re “flinging” yourself around a laboratory by combining doors, gravity and momentum. Sounds too complicated, but the game makes it ridiculously simple—and fun—to figure out.

Better, the game is smart in all the right places—particularly its sense of humor. Portal is Futurama-level funny, a nice change of pace compared to so many dorky games taking themselves too seriously. So I was glad to see this amusing interview with the game’s head writer, Erik Wolpaw. If you don’t know much about games, the interview might drag you down (“the fuck is a Psychonaut?”), but Wolpaw does his best to glamorize his profession:

What do you think is the hardest thing about writing for games?

At strip clubs, there’s a guy whose job is to talk between the strippers. He tries to do a good job and be entertaining and enthusiastic, but everybody’s just there for the nakedness. That’s a professional writer trick we call called an “analogy”. What I really mean is that game writers are the game equivalent of the guy who talks between the nude girls at strip clubs. Nobody cares about what that guy does, and anybody who does care is probably a little maladjusted. So I’d have to say the hardest part of being a game writer is learning all the writing tricks like “analogy”.

Colbert Nation? Not in South Carolina.

posted by on November 1 at 1:06 PM

Via The Politico:

Stephen Colbert’s satirical run for the presidency has run into its first roadblock – his bid to be on the ballot in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary was rejected on Thursday.

The party’s executive council voted 14 to 3 to refuse Colbert’s application for a spot on the ballot.

“The general sense of the council was that he wasn’t a serious candidate and that was why he wasn’t selected to be on the ballot,” said Joe Werner, the party’s director. “There was discussion — I wouldn’t call it a heated debate — but there was discussion about it.”

There is no appeal process.

Define Dysfunctional

posted by on November 1 at 1:02 PM

The buzz on the Seattle School Board is that they’re “dysfunctional.”

That’s a pseudo fancy way of saying nothing more than this: Some parents were upset about school closures.

School closures are certainly wrenching. But the whole “dysfunctional” thing is nothing more than euphemism jargon for the fact that people are uncomfortable with board members like Darlene Flynn. Flynn is willing to ruffle feathers to get stuff done. And she has gotten stuff done—like shoring up the budget and getting Raj Manhas to move on.

At a recent candidate forum, C.R. Douglas asked Darlene Flynn and her challenger, Sherry Carr, to address the whole “dysfunctional” issue.

Go the 35:39 mark and watch Carr not say much except to repeat her campaign theme that the board is dysfunctional and to say the school closure process was handled poorly—that is, the community wasn’t in the loop.

While there is certainly an argument to be made that the closures were sloppy, I’m not sure it means the school board is “dysfunctional.” More important, this is a disingenuous answer from Carr, who was on the PTSA committee that studied school closures and vetted the plan and told the Stranger Election Control Board that it was a thorough process.

Flynn knocks the question out of the park. She says dysfunctional means “not functioning” and then goes on to list the accomplishments of the board like closing the $30 million budget gap, turning around academic scores, and hiring a new super.

More to the point, Flynn says this: “Four years ago we had a dysfunctional school board. And they got along. And we had a deficit, and we couldn’t attract a qualified superintendent, and academics were in disarray.”

The Panhandler

posted by on November 1 at 12:55 PM


Last night. It was dusk downtown and I was leaving a restaurant and saw a hobo (ratty blanket around his shoulders, paper cup full of coins in his hand) walking towards me. He was vigorous in aspect and stride, moving aggressively through the city. I felt the internal wince, the tiny debate that every humane person has when asked for money by a stranger.

I could already hear his second-long pitch: Spare some change? Or Got a quarter for bus fare? Or, my favorite, Can I ask you a question?

The vigorous panhandler held out his paper cup full of coins, jangled it in my face, and said: “Blah blah blah! Blahblah! Blah blah blah blah blah!”

It was the cleverest thing I heard all day.

Dodd-ing Up Your Thursday

posted by on November 1 at 12:45 PM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

If you like campaign commercials aimed at the burgeoning “folksy elderly people who just want results!” demographic, Senator Chris Dodd’s newest campaign ad for the Iowa caucus is up. I’m not sure if “Why not Chris Dodd?” is a compelling campaign narrative, but it would seem anything would be worth a try at this point.

When All Else Fails, Vote Against Your Enemy

posted by on November 1 at 12:23 PM

Despite voting with (or ultimately being swayed by) most of the SECB’s fine endorsements for Nov. 6, I’m still boxing with myself over Prop. 1. You know this song and dance: I hate sales taxes, I love trains. Global warming is bad, transportation alternatives are good. I want to thwart any plan that further encroaches into the arboretum. But I have no faith that a new Sound Transit ballot measure will get to voters in a timely fashion.

So it’s always nice when your enemies make themselves heard loud and clear. Unnamed “Realtors” from the Washington Association of Realtors turned me off Prop 1 pretty effectively this morning:

The Washington Association of Realtors, a proponent, gave $250,000 in early October in addition to $50,000 it contributed in June. The measure’s listed projects should help ease congestion, as the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge has, and keep prospective buyers from rejecting homes because of long commutes, some Realtors agreed.

Smells like sprawl to me.

Before you get into it: Yes, less sprawl means more density. Yes, more density means ugly condos and conversions. Yes, I’m getting kicked out of my apartment because it’s being turned into condos. And no, you haven’t heard me whining about it.

The View Has Clinton’s Back

posted by on November 1 at 12:20 PM

Via The Page:

Post-Halloween Greeting From Our Incredibly Popular Congress

posted by on November 1 at 12:15 PM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who decided not to run for president, dresses up for Halloween as Democratic Senator Joe Biden, who isn’t running for president very well.

Photo Via the Associated Press

Meanwhile, congressional polling results from Democratic Party strategist Stan Greenberg:

He came back from the field in October with numbers for NPR that showed 69 percent of voters disapprove of the job Congress is doing — up 20 points from last January and the highest disapproval rating since Democrats reclaimed their congressional majorities. More striking than the data was a focus group Greenberg observed with James Carville, a fellow consultant for the Democracy Corps project and his partner in Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign.

“We’ve never seen people as angry and frustrated as they are now, … even more than in ’92,” he said.

As it happens, however, Greenberg is firmly in the stay-calm camp of the Democratic debate. Along with pollster Mark Mellman, who also consults with Democrats, he has been trying to reassure anxious members with this sunny-side-up message: The public dislikes Republicans even more than they dislike you.

The threshold for a successful campaign in this country appears to have really become: “You’re awful in every way, but you’re still not as awful as the people before you. You know, the ones that started an unpopular war and protected that aspiring internet predator/Congressman.”

This is Getting Ridiculous

posted by on November 1 at 11:39 AM


From The Smoking Gun:

Meet Paul Schum. The Kentucky man, a Catholic school principal, is facing a prostitution charge after Louisville police found him dressed like a woman and loitering in an alley Tuesday night. According to a criminal citation, a copy of which you’ll find here, Schum, 50, was wearing fishnet stockings, fake breasts, and “all black leather” when officers discovered him “loitering in high drug trafficking and prostitution area.” The citation notes that Schum, who heads Bethlehem High School, had “no reason for why he was in alley…dressed up in women’s leather other than for prostitution.” Schum, now on paid leave from his school post, is due in court on November 27 to answer a misdemeanor charge of loitering for the intent of prostitution.

Full police report here. (Thanks for the link, Towleroad.)

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 1 at 11:00 AM


Joshua Prince-Ramus at Seattle Public Library, Central Branch

Rem Koolhaas is the official genius behind the architectural firm OMA. But when OMA designed the Seattle Central Library, the name whispered behind the scenes was Joshua Prince-Ramus. Last year, the dashing young Prince-Ramus (a 36-year-old Seattle native) split up with Koolhaas—and took the old lion’s entire New York staff with him. He’s here to talk about his new firm REX, collaboration, hyperrationalism, and ongoing plum projects, including a Kentucky museum and a Texas “theater machine.” (Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave, 386-4636. 6:30 pm, $12 adv/$15 at the door.) JEN GRAVES

Bring Your Ballot to Havana Tonight. Ask the Candidates Questions. And then Vote.

posted by on November 1 at 10:55 AM

6-9pm, tonight at Havana, 10th and Pike in Capitol Hill.

Ballot Box! Bring your ballot. Drink a drink. Choose your choice. Meet local candidates and ask them your questions before you vote.

Clink your glasses with:
Dow Constantine, Tom Rasmussen, David Della, Tim Burgess, Jean Godden, Sally Clark, Bruce Harrell, Venus Velazquez, Joe Szwaja, Bill Sherman, Alec Fisken, Steve Sundquist, Sherry Carr, Sally Soriano, Maria Ramirez.

Speakers and info from all the organizations on the ballot (Initiative 960, Referendum 67, the RTID Transportation package).

Bring your ballot to Havana’s “voter booth”, and pick up all the info you need to be an informed voter on all the issues.

Free Tribunali pizza and gift bags for the first 100 people through the door.
Havana on 10th and Pike

Biden vs. Giuliani, Cont.

posted by on November 1 at 10:07 AM

I liked the Biden/Giuliani dust-up, and so did Ana Marie Cox. Here’s round four, from the Biden camp:

Rudy Giuliani seems to be increasingly worried that Joe Biden is questioning his lack of leadership and his use of 9/11 for his own political purposes. This criticism is grounded in reality: there are numerous examples of Mr. Giuliani using 9/11 as a substitute for real experience and real answers to important topics… In the spirit of Halloween, Rudy, if the dress fits, wear it…

Giuliani on…Accomplishing our Goals in Iraq. Giuliani said, “Maybe it’s because I was mayor of America’s largest city and I was mayor of America’s largest city during periods of crisis. You know about September 11th. So, to me, when I look at Iraq what I look to is, how well and how effectively are we keeping the civilian order functioning in the right way. Because ultimately that’s going to be enormously important to whether we accomplish our goal in Iraq.’’ [Giuliani’s Remarks To The NATO Supreme Allied Command, 10/11/07]

Giuliani on…Gun Control and the Second Amendment. In defending his previous support for lawsuits against gun manufacturers during remarks before the National Rifle Association, Giuliani said, ‘’I also think that there have been subsequent intervening events, September 11th, which cast somewhat of a different light on the Second Amendment and Second Amendment rights.’’ [Giuliani Remarks to NRA “Celebration of American Values Conference, 9/21/07]

Giuliani on…Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS. When asked about federal funding for HIV treatment, Giuliani responded, “My general experience has been that the federal government works best when it helps and assists and encourages and sets guidelines on a state-by-state, locality-by-locality basis. It’s no different from the way I look at homeland security. Maybe having been mayor of the city, I know that your first defense against terrorist attack is that local police station, or that local firehouse.’’ [Iowa Independent, 7/20/07]

Dialing for Obama

posted by on November 1 at 10:02 AM

Someone who thinks the Slog has been too Hillary-centric lately sends this clip from Fox News, which used some sort of “patented” focus group technology to show that angry liberals loved Obama in the last debate.

A New Ad From Edwards

posted by on November 1 at 10:00 AM

Fresh off his strong debate performance, Edwards launches a new 60-second ad in Iowa:

I Guess I Shouldn’t Be Surprised

posted by on November 1 at 9:51 AM

The Westboro Baptist Church thanks God for yesterday’s $10.9 million verdict against the church.

(They’re also scheduled to picket a fresh bunch of military funerals and one high-school production of The Laramie Project. Look under “Love Crusades.”)

RIP Washoe

posted by on November 1 at 9:41 AM

Washington state’s most famous chimpanzee resident is dead. Originally brought to US by the Air Force for use in space trials, Washoe became the subject of one of the most successful non-human primate language-acquisition experiments, with a reliable vocabulary of over 100 ASL words.


She was also observed demonstrating signs to her son Loulis, who picked up words without any direct human instruction. You can still visit Loulis and other chimps at Central Washington University’s regular “Chimposiums”.

Free Slices

posted by on November 1 at 9:36 AM

Juliano’s on Pine is celebrating world vegan day today by offering free slices of dairy-free-cheese pizza between 11 am and 3:30 pm. Juliano’s vegan slices are great, and Juliano is quite a character. Tell him The Stranger sent you. Then come back and tell us what you think of his pizza in our reader-review spiked dining guide.

It Sounds Like Some Filthy Porn Euphemism

posted by on November 1 at 9:31 AM

…but it’s really about breakfast. (And sloth and commerce.)

The Organic Batter Blaster.

(Don’t neglect to watch the instructional video.)

Thanks, MetaFilter!

In/Visible Is Up: Once More, With Feeling and Audio

posted by on November 1 at 9:30 AM

I wrote here last week about Brad Biancardi, the most promising young painter in Seattle—and the one who’s leaving for Chicago later this month.

Now you can hear him talk for himself, on In/Visible, my weekly conversation with people in art.

I never know exactly what’s going to happen when I turn on the tape. Some artists don’t seem to notice it; for others, it freezes their blood. Biancardi treated it like an old friend he hadn’t seen for a while, making confessions and sharing observations about his work and his doubts. He opened up.

This is one you shouldn’t miss.

Here are a couple of teasers:

The Millennium Falcon (doubling, unintentionally, as a Marsden Hartley soldier painting):

1983 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue “Made in
(his first car):

Did I Say Robots for Ron Paul? Well Look Who’s for Dino Rossi…

posted by on November 1 at 9:30 AM

This is weird.


Looks a lot like this Nazi Iron Cross, no?


Courtesy Will at HorsesAss.


posted by on November 1 at 8:59 AM

From the NYT:

Alexandre Robert, a French 15-year-old, was having a fine summer in this tourist paradise on the Persian Gulf. It was Bastille Day and he and a classmate had escaped the July heat at the beach for an air-conditioned arcade.

Just after sunset, Alex says he was rushing to meet his father for dinner when he bumped into an acquaintance, a 17-year-old native-born student at the American school, who said he and his cousin could drop Alex off at home.

There were, in fact, three Emirati men in the car, including a pair of former convicts ages 35 and 18, according to Alex. He says they drove him past his house and into a dark patch of desert, between a row of new villas and a power plant, took away his cellphone, threatened him with a knife and a club, and told him they would kill his family if he ever reported them.

Then they stripped off his pants and one by one sodomized him in the back seat of the car. They dumped Alex across from one of Dubai’s luxury hotel towers.

Alex and his family were about to learn that despite Dubai’s status as the Arab world’s paragon of modernity and wealth, and its well-earned reputation for protecting foreign investors, its criminal legal system remains a perilous gantlet when it comes to homosexuality and protection of foreigners.

The authorities not only discouraged Alex from pressing charges, he, his family and French diplomats say; they raised the possibility of charging him with criminal homosexual activity, and neglected for weeks to inform him or his parents that one of his attackers had tested H.I.V. positive while in prison four years earlier.

The Morning News

posted by on November 1 at 7:30 AM

Hillary Stumbles: The immigration issues trips her up.

Soft On Torture, Hard On Porn: Attorney General nominee won’t give a straight answer on CIA torture tactics, but pledges to go after mainstream porn.

Civilian Death Toll Plunges in Iraq: Is it thanks to the surge? Or is there no one left to kill?

Flakey Memos: Donald Rumsfeld crazier than previously believed.

The Deadliest Noel: After killing 81 people in the Bahamas, Tropical storm Noel heads for Florida.

Mass Kidnapping? Is that what a French charity was up to in Chad?

$100: What we’re going to be paying for a barrel of oil.

$11,000,000: That’s the amount the Westboro Baptist Church must pay a grieving father for picketing his son’s funeral. Hey, how about awarding a little something to the parents of Matthew “Fag Matt in Hell” Shepherd?

Unfocused or Unhinged? Muslim cleric accuses women that wear sexy clothes in public
of the “emotional abuse” of men, adds that sexy outfits lead to “unfocused” prayers our “disturbed” sleep.

Can You Feed Me Now? Microsoft millionaire hopes to save the world by getting cell phones into the hands of the world’s poorest people. Really.

Captain Stubbing Sings: Who knew they had such a big theater on the Love Boat? And, yes, that’s Cab Calloway—and he doesn’t look pleased to be there during the curtain call.

Robots for Ron Paul

posted by on November 1 at 12:41 AM

In real life there are no metaphors. There are only results. That’s what I think, anyway.

However, there is definitely a metaphor in here somewhere.

If Texas congressman Ron Paul is elected president in 2008, he may be the first leader of the free world put into power with the help of a global network of hacked PCs spewing spam, according to computer-security researchers who’ve analyzed a recent flurry of e-mail supporting the long-shot Republican candidate. …

The e-mails had phony names attached to real-looking e-mail addresses. When lab researchers examined the IP addresses of the computers from which the messages had been sent, it turned out that they were sprinkled around the globe in countries as far away from each other as South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, Nigeria and Brazil.

“The interesting thing was that we had the same subject line from the same IP address, and it claimed to be from different users from within the United States,” Warner says.

One e-mail was designed to look as if it came from within a major Silicon Valley corporation, he notes. But when the researchers looked up the IP address, the computer from which the note was sent was actually in South Korea. Another e-mail that was designed to look as if it came from Houston was sent from Italy.
That pattern led Warner to conclude that the messages had been laundered through a botnet — also a standard spammer practice, though a decidedly illegal one.

Prop. 1: Environmentalists vs. Environmentalists

posted by on November 1 at 12:28 AM

No on Prop. 1 has a Sierra Club video on YouTube:

Yes on Prop. 1 has a Rep. Jay Inslee op/ed in the PI.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Those Stakes Didn’t Go to Waste

posted by on October 31 at 6:14 PM

Terry wouldn’t let me impale trick-or-treaters… so I impaled our pumpkins instead.




And Now For Something Really Scary

posted by on October 31 at 4:12 PM

Wow. (NSFW, but not too explicit, either.)

Thanks to Hot Tipper Nick.

Spooky and Scary!

posted by on October 31 at 3:40 PM

Going somewhere tonight, and still don’t have a costume? You could always Right Wing it…


Carved Bumpkin

posted by on October 31 at 3:40 PM


On the Cover

posted by on October 31 at 3:17 PM

Corey Arnold is a photographer and an Alaskan crab fisherman. I highly recommend that you go to his website right now and click through every single photo on there. You won’t be disappointed. And no, I can’t imagine what circumstances could have possibly led to this:


Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on October 31 at 2:59 PM

Golden Gardens, Seattle
Photo by sonoazure, from The Stranger’s photo pool.

Today in Line Out

posted by on October 31 at 2:53 PM

Yo Quiero Yo La Tengo: Christopher Frizzelle reviews last night’s Yo La Tengo show.

Tonight in Music: Parts & Labor, David Kilgour, and Do Make Say Think.

Jump!: Redefining air guitar.

Life’s Soundtrack: Charles Mudede on Burial’s cinematic magic.

He’ll Bring the Bird: Win a Thanksgiving Dinner with Ozzy Osbourne.

Happy Halloween!: From Mike Hadreas.


Republicans Would Never Do This. But Democrats?

posted by on October 31 at 2:28 PM


The big partisan race on Tuesday is between Republican candidate Dan Satterberg and Democratic candidate Bill Sherman for King County Prosecutor.

An influential Seattle elected Democrat, State Senator Adam Kline (D-37, South Seattle) has not only endorsed Satterberg the Republican, he’s done robo-calls on his behalf, signed a fundraising letter, and given quotes to the dailies about supporting Satterberg.

Would an elected Republican ever ever do this for a Democat? This is what’s wrong with Democrats and all their Free-to-be-You-and-Me shit.

Some, like Sen. Kline, say a law enforcement office should be above politics and non-partisan—which is crazy. (Kline also told me he’s writing a bill to make the office non-partisan.)

With issues like treatment vs. incarceration; sentencing reform; the death penalty; drug laws; and gun laws, law enforcement is hotly politicized, and Democrats and Republicans have different agendas.

Additionally, the KC prosecutor sets law enforcement priorities. Sherman pledges to get tougher on environmental crimes and points out that under Satterberg, a suspected environmental polluter, Nuprecon, got off the hook. (Coincidentally, Nuprecon CEO John Hennessy just donated $5000 to the state Republican Party. Gee, I wonder which race that’s going to go to?)

And the KC prosecutor is on the canvassing board, which oversees complaints about elections—you know, like whether or not to count reams of discounted votes from Democratic strongholds that were originally ignored in the tight Gregoire/Rossi race. (Satterberg was the lone vote against counting the infamous Larry Philips batch of Democratic votes from King County.)

Indeed, on all these fronts, there are major differences between Democrat Sherman and Republican Satterberg. For example, Sherman wants a moratorium on the death penalty and says he’ll advocate to reinstate the assault weapons ban. He also wants to institute an environmental crimes unit, like other major prosecutor’s offices around the country. Not Satterberg. Sherman is more specific about expanding rehabilitation (making drug felonies part of drug court, for example) while Satterberg speaks in platitudes on the issue.

So, I asked Sen. Kline why he endorsed Satterberg.

Here’s what he said:

1) He’s known him for 17 years and Satterberg helped Kline write a strong drunk driving law back when Kline was President of MADD.

2) He’s been good on pushing treatment over incarceration.

3) He supported a Kline bill to make the sentencing grid less draconian and costly.

3) He suspects, although he says he doesn’t know, that the KC Prosecutor’s office shot down former GOP state party chair Chris Vance when Vance was shopping lawsuits in the Gregoire/Rossi standoff. “I suspect Vance went to Maleng and Satterberg,” Kline told me, “And if he did, the Prosecutor’s office obviously said, ‘No.’”

4) He believes Satterberg isn’t going to use the office as a stepping stone to run for a more obviously partisan gig like AG or governor. “Satterberg made it clear to me that he wasn’t going to seek higher office. If he was, I would not have done this.”

Kline acknowledged—kind of undermining his own point—that the KC Prosecutor’s Office is a major political force in Olympia and that they’ve often been on the opposite side of issues from him, citing the death penalty and the Three-Strikes rule.

I told him that Sherman had called for a moratorium on the death penalty. I also told him that Sherman has been running on gun control—one of Sen. Kline’s biggest issues.

“I’m less familiar with Bill,” Kline said. “I just met him last night, and we chatted. He seems like a wonderful guy. But my point is that Satterberg has been there and been doing this kind of work.”


It’s galling that an elected Democrat, who benefits from South Seattle’s strong Democratic base, would go to bat for a Republican, a party that pushes a tough-on-crime agenda over a rehabilitation agenda; that doesn’t get it on the environment; that’s locked into the death penalty; and that is way out of touch on drug reform—all issues that impact South Seattle’s 37th in a big way … and all issues that are in play in the KC Prosecutor’s race.

A Republican senator from an equivalent, conservative spot—not someone like Republican Rep. Fred Jarrett, who orbits liberal Seattle, but someone from, say, the 7th District (Pend Oreille, Steven, Ferry Counties) would never back a Democrat in a hotly contested partisan race.

Finally! Vulcan Productions Does Something Useful

posted by on October 31 at 2:26 PM

I’ve gotten used to seeing Vulcan Productions (the film-production wing of Paul Allen’s axis of weevil) turn out the deeply misguided and the merely mediocre. (OK, fine, you liked Bickford Schmeckler’s Cool Ideas. But the slobbered-over Far From Heaven was a desiccated tribute to melodrama, and I’ll fight anybody who disagrees.)

So I’m intrigued to see Allen fly his nerd flag and back NOVA’s Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. I like the idea of focusing on the Dover decision—the propagation of intelligent design is, after all, a legitimate topic for legal debate, whereas it’s outside the proper scope of science. The episode will air on PBS on Tuesday, November 13 at 8 pm.

Assignment: Help a Single Woman Find Love

posted by on October 31 at 2:24 PM

Yesterday I received an email from Naomi, a single mom from Issaquah who needed help finding “a hot date.” Naomi told me she liked “well-traveled, open-minded, rugged men” but the last guy she dated was “a crazy Australian stalker dude” who scared her.

I had a hard time figuring out where to find well-traveled open-minded masculine men. At a dog park? A gym? Pac Sun? The only decent place I could think of was REI.

I met Naomi outside on the deck of the first floor of REI, overlooking the waterfall and planted trees. I introduced myself, we hugged briefly and walked inside together. Instantly a woman named Sheila appeared and insisted that both of us buy an REI membership. No No No, we said over and over again and still she persisted. Naomi asked me where I thought we should look for men in the store. I told her I had no clue. We looked around the kayak area but there were no non-lesbians. I told Naomi I was sorry. I had no idea how to help her. Did she want me to just stand around and watch her hit on guys? Did she want me to give her tips? Hitting on people didn’t come naturally to me. Naomi said “But you’re the public intern! Don’t you have to be outgoing?” I told her it was all an elaborate lie.

Naomi assured me that my very presence was helping her. My nervous energy was somehow helping her to feel more confident. I pointed at a tall man eating a Cliff bar. “What about him? He’s hot!” I told Naomi. “No,” she said.


I took pictures of Naomi standing next to the sleeping bag section because we were that bored. Then a few younger-looking outdoorsy types wandered up to us. Naomi asked one of them “Do you think the color of this sleeping bag matches my eyes?” “Uh yeah,” one of the guys responded. “Cool,” Naomi said. “Or should I get this one?” Naomi ran her fingers over the fabric of a different sleeping bag. “That’s a nice color,” one of the guys responded. Since Naomi hadn’t introduced me, I distracted myself by taking pictures. No one seemed to care. After more mindless sleeping bag banter, all of them left before we could write down their phone numbers.


Naomi and I went upstairs and gawked at the horrifying UGG boot-Croc hybrids.


We also found REI’s educational book section.

Naomi got thirsty so she went to the coffee cart out on the deck and ordered an espresso. The man behind the counter was hot. Naomi told him this was her first time at the REI store and he said, “did you know that this is the third most popular attraction in all of Seattle?” and then Naomi said “No I did not!” and then the man asked Naomi where she was from and Naomi said “I’m from Issaquah” and then the guy said “that’s not too far away” and then the two of them smiled at eachother and I jumped off the deck into the REI waterfall and died.

Steven Blum
Public Intern

Got a special Halloween task for the Public Intern? Email it to and he’ll do it tonight.

What Will Richard Curtis Say? A Stranger Poll

posted by on October 31 at 2:11 PM


Now former Washington state Rep. Richard Curtis hasn’t made a public statement since telling the Columbian that he was not gay and never had gay sex. When Curtis finally makes a public statement, what will Richard Curtis say?

Draft Darryl!

posted by on October 31 at 1:47 PM

I’ll be writing more about the mayor’s climate plan, the city’s progress on reducing emissions, and the mayors’ climate summit that’ll be taking place in Seattle over the next few days, but in the meantime, can we please start a movement to draft Darryl Smith to run in 2008? At a forum hosted by Seattle Great City Initiative last night, Smith made some of the most succinct (and, to the largely change-averse audience in attendance, controversial) comments about what it will take to actually meet the goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050:

We need to change the way we think about housing in our neighborhoods to increase density in a way that keeps our neighborhoods unique and affordable… If most of the [residential] land is in single-family neighborhoods [75 percent of Seattle’s residential land is single-family—ECB], we have to do more not just on light-rail corridors, but in the single-family neighborhoods, too. We can’t simply have it be a conversation about how we need protect your single family neighborhood. I realize that statement will probably disqualify me from holding any public office in this city in the future.

No it won’t! With Peter Steinbrueck leaving the council, we need a pro-density council member who will support putting more (and better) housing in single-family neighborhoods. Jan Drago, Richard McIver, and possibly Nick Licata will be retiring from the council in two years. Run, Darryl, run!

Richard Curtis to Resign

posted by on October 31 at 1:38 PM

And hopefully no take-backs, like Larry Craig. The Columbian:

State Rep. Richard Curtis, the apparent victim of an extortion scheme that has resulted in disclosure of raw details about his sexual behavior, will announce his resignation this afternoon, according to a Republican party official.

The official, who did not wish to be named, told The Columbian at 1 p.m. that Curtis would make a statement within a few hours and that it would include his resignation.

UPDATE: That was fast.

State Rep. Richard Curtis, whose claim of being the victim of an extortion scheme resulted in disclosure of raw details about his sexual behavior, has reigned from the Legislature, according to a statement from House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis.

“I am very disappointed by the news reports of the conduct by Rep. Curtis last week in Spokane,” the statement said. “After discussing this matter with House Republican leaders, he has submitted his resignation, which we feel is best for everyone involved.

“The troubling details continue to emerge, however, it has become clear that he can no longer effectively represent the constituents who elected him. We pray that Richard and his family have the strength and support they need to meet the personal challenges they face.”

Phelps Phucked

posted by on October 31 at 1:16 PM

This just went up on Drudge

JURY HATES PHELPS: The father of a fallen Marine awarded $2.9 million by jury that found leaders of a fundamentalist church had invaded the family’s privacy when they picketed the Marine’s funeral. Developing…

UPDATE: Wow, they’re really phucked. It looks like Phelps and his despicable family aren’t just on the hook for $2.9 million. That’s merely the compensatory damages awarded by the jury. Now the jury gets to decide how much Phelps must pay in punitive damages. The Washington Post has the story.

The Secret Life of Cody Castagna

posted by on October 31 at 1:13 PM

No, not minor porn career—who hasn’t made porn these days? Lingerie, rope, stethoscopes, used condoms, dirty movies, and money drops—I thought the Richard Curtis/Cody Castagna scandal had everything. I was wrong. We’re only just learning that the Richard Curtis/Cody Castagna scandal has tarnished a beloved American icon: apple pie.

Dollys has been in Spokane at 1825 North Washington Street Since 1958. Deana Castagna has owned Dollys for five years, but it has been in the family for ten years prior to that, according to Castangna she had previously cooked for her sister-in-law. Dollys takes extreme pride in their home cooked meals, made from scratch. Deana’s son Cody Castangna, who helps run the café, has gone to all similar restaurants and found that Dollys prices are about five percent below other similar shops. Cody and Deana make pies fresh every Tues. and Thurs.

On a darker note: Police in Spokane are searching for Castagna’s second alleged accomplice. At this point it’s difficult to see this scandal playing out without Cody Castanga in prison (again) and Richard Curtis—who didn’t want any of this to go public, who told the police he’d need the name of a divorce lawyer if it made the papers, who comes across as desperate and sad in the police report—dead by his own hand. Wherever Curtis is right now—and now one can locate him—here’s hoping he doesn’t have that sack of rope with him.

The New Scary

posted by on October 31 at 1:10 PM

Halloween used to be scary because the darkness of night was scary, and the goblins and the ghouls who owned that night were scary. But now we have flashlights, inconclusive ghost-hunter videos, and a toll-free number for Ghostbusters.

But adults still want to be scared. So we are petrified that our kids, if released into the Halloween night, will be killed—even though stories of strangers giving out poisoned candy are almost entirely unsubstantiated.

Children also want to be scared. They are scared of the dark. Even more, they are scared of knocking on a stranger’s door and asserting themselves. But fewer and fewer kids get to challenge either fear. We cart them off to official Halloween functions in gymnasiums or at the mall. In lieu of darkness and strangers, kids’ remaining fear is sex. So, to make Halloween scary for them, retailers push costumes like this.


This scares us all. And this is how we want to be scared. Yikes.

Zipcar, Flexcar to Merge

posted by on October 31 at 12:51 PM

The combined company will operate under the Zipcar brand and use Zipcar technology, meaning current Flexcar members will have to trade in their existing Flexcards for Zipcar’s proprietary “Z3D technology.” Green Car Congress has more.

Does Attacking Her Only Make Her Stronger?

posted by on October 31 at 12:44 PM

Here’s the Hillary Clinton campaign’s condensed version of last night’s debate, which it’s summing up as The Politics of Pile On.

Ben Smith notices something interesting:

Note how, toward the end, she/they repurpose a Clinton line referring to the Republican focus on her to cover her Democratic rivals.

Giuliani and Biden Go a Few Rounds

posted by on October 31 at 12:30 PM

One of the most memorable lines from last night’s debate was Joe Biden on Rudy Giuliani:

I’m not running against Hillary Clinton. I’m running to lead the free world. I’m running to lead this country. And the irony is, Rudy Giuliani, probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency is here talking about any of the people here.

Rudy Giuliani — I mean, think about it. Rudy Giuliani — there’s only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11. I mean, there’s nothing else.

There’s nothing else, and I mean this sincerely. He is genuinely not qualified to be president.

But equally noteworthy was the Giuliani campaign’s angry response, which came from his communications director, Kate Levinson:

As the pundits work to figure out who won the debate tonight, its pretty clear Rudy Giuliani was the real winner. It is increasingly apparent Rudy is the one the Democrats are most worried about running against in the general election.

Senator Biden’s comments were of particular interest. The good senator is quite correct that there are many differences between Rudy and him. For starters, Rudy rarely reads prepared speeches and when he does he isn’t prone to ripping off the text from others. And, Senator Biden certainly falls in to the bucket of those on the stage tonight who have never had executive experience and have never run anything. Wait, I take that back, Senator Biden has never run anything but his mouth.

Such a desperate attack from Senator Biden is to be expected considering I — Katie Levinson — have a better chance of becoming President than he does.

I don’t think anyone was under the impression that Giuliani plays nice with his critics, but… wow. The hit sent Biden running for the high road:

We are well aware that former Mayor Giuliani will attempt to drag this race into the mud where the Republicans like to wage their campaigns. It’s pretty obvious that they can’t defend themselves on the real charge that Mr. Giuliani walked away from the cops and firefighters who were waiting for the 9/11 Commission to be enacted and the Biden crime bill to be restored.

Die, Britney Spears! DIE!

posted by on October 31 at 12:17 PM

Or Don’t. You know. Whatever.

Overexposure? Thy name is Britney god damn mother fucking Spears. Every move that the wretched retardate makes is viciously hounded by a gossipy tabloid herd of camera crazed stalkers that reports on her every disastrous gesture. It’s horrible. And this rabid state of affairs has sucked each and every succulent drop of sweet nectar from that big rotten fruit we call gossip. It’s just not all that fun anymore, this whole damn Britney thing. And now every time I am forced to mention the accursed word “Spears”, I feel as if I become merely one of many crazed Indians rushing the buffalo that is Britney Spears off the cliff that is her life.

And it’s mostly all my fault. I know. I kind of got this whole ball rolling. I’ve embraced it. I’ve moved on.

Nevertheless, this desperate plea (cleverly disguised as shameless advertising for one of those dubious places called a “rehab”) has appeared in just this morning’s New York Daily News:


For those of you sans microscope, the body reads:

“While the rest of the world is going in and out of rehab, Canterbury Institute has changed the rules of addiction treatment forever.”

Canterbury Institute has a proprietary outpatient medical approach to drug
addiction that makes overnight “residential” 28-day treatment centers

And etcetera.

This is, of course, pretty much identical to the “Don’t Die Lindsay!” ad that the same rehab ran last month, but while that one seemd like rather sound advice, “Don’t die Britney” sounds more like wishful thinking.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Good Lord is it a Beaut

posted by on October 31 at 11:47 AM

John Wesley’s Leda and the Man, part of Dave Hickey’s list.


(Thanks to Slog tipper Donald.)

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 31 at 11:00 AM


‘Intentions of Murder’ at Northwest Film Forum

Intentions of Murder is by Shohei Imamura, one of the most creative directors of Japan’s silver age—a period that runs from about the mid ’60s to the early ’80s. In his work, primitive forces clash with the law and order of industrial civilization. Intentions of Murder (about a tyrannical librarian and his wife’s decision to leave him and kill her rapist) is the sixth film in a two-week series of his work at Northwest Film Forum. Imamura filmed his society—its forces and ruptures—with a style that’s liberating. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 800-838-3006. 6:30 and 9:15 pm, $5–$8.50.)


Like Smith Childless?

posted by on October 31 at 11:00 AM

Then you better get in there fast.

I was blogging last night from Smith, Linda Derschang’s newish place on 15th, simultaneously attempting to digest anti-gay GOP state rep Richard Curtis’ 15 page police report and a beet salad, chicken pot pie, and pot de creme. And I learned some welcome news about Smith when I was paying up: Later this week a tasteful railing will be installed around Smith’s bar—and you know that means, Seattle.


Once the Liquor Control Board drops by, checks out the rail, and gives the okay under-21s will be welcome at Smith. My son, age nine, is going to be be psyched. He’s sick of hearing his dads rave about all the Smith burgers and pots de creme and devils on horseback that we’ve wolfed down while he’s been away on play dates and sleepovers. But now he’ll get to join us a booth or one of the communal tables for a burger. Good news.

Yes, yes: We over-21s are losing a precious grownups-only watering hole. But admitting under-21s didn’t exactly ruin Six Arms, did it? And grownups still have exclusive use of Linda’s and Liberty and the Comet and the Eagle and dozens of other bars all over town.

But in the interest of promoting harmony between child-free and the child-full communities as we prepare to share Smith, let me say this to my fellow Capitol Hill parents: If you can’t control your fucking kids, dumbfucks, don’t take your fucking kids into fucking restaurants.

Just as responsible pit-bull owners—both of them—are angered by the behavior of irresponsible pit-bull owners, responsible parents—the kind of parents that keep their kids under control at all times in restaurants—are angered by parents that bring out-of-control brats into restaurants. My kid is under control in restaurants because his parents don’t want to ruin your meal anymore than his parents want some other parents’ kids to ruin their meal.

So, I’m sorry, but I’ll be bringing my kid to Smith. With the exception of the Great Cake Licking Incident at Septeime a several years ago—it’s a long story—my son is good in restaurants and bars. You won’t even notice him sitting with us in the booth near the beer cooler, Smith regulars, I swear.

That CEO

posted by on October 31 at 10:04 AM

From the Economist:

TALK about feast to famine. In July, Merrill Lynch posted a record second-quarter net profit of $2.1 billion, prompting Stan O’Neal, its chief executive, to boast of the “earnings power of our franchise”. Three months later a whopping writedown of the value of mortgage-linked securities tipped the Wall Street giant into a loss of $2.3 billion. Merrill’s shares tanked, its credit rating was cut and a deeply disgruntled board met to hammer out a response to the crisis.


On Tuesday October 30th, it reached a decision that for days had seemed inevitable: Mr O’Neal was shown the door of the firm he had run since 2002, though the departure was dressed up as a resignation. He has the dubious honour of being the first Wall Street boss to be forced out over losses stemming from the global credit crunch. He is unlikely to be the last.

Well, he might be the last because there aren’t many black Wall Street bosses left to fire. Really, the idiots at the Economist and other business publications have the gall to exclude the one fact out of this story as if America has no fucking history. And believe you me, I have no love for this capitalist shark, O’Neal; lord knows what he had to do—the lives he harmed and destroyed—to become a pharaoh in the global exploitation pyramid. But to write about his firing as if there are lots of black CEOs managing Fortune 500 companies, as if he is not exceptional, as if this kind of thing happens all of the time, drives me crazy.

Deep in the article:

All the same, some may feel that Merrill’s board was too quick to give their man the shove. Mr O’Neal, after all, got much right. After taking over, he cut costs and poured more money into promising businesses.
Jesus Christ!

Robert Storr Coming to Seattle

posted by on October 31 at 10:00 AM

Jim Dine’s not the only one making a visit in the next few months.

Robert Storr is a dean of the art world. He’s a gifted writer. A painter. Held the top curatorial job at MoMA for a decade before becoming head of Yale’s fancypants School of Art. This summer, he directed the Venice Biennale.

For his efforts in Venice, he was roundly criticized, especially for his central exhibition, Think With the Senses, Feel With the Mind, and rightly so.

The show felt stale and disjointed, with an emphasis on blue-chippers like Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Elizabeth Murray, Ellsworth Kelly, Susan Rothenberg, and with every artist given a separate space. Things sat silent, strangely anesthetized, and unfortunately, the real fun was had in the 76 national pavilions outside the main show, and in other shows around the city. (The best total rundown is at Richard Lacayo’s Looking Around blog for Time magazine).

Kim Jones (“Mudman”) was in one of those quiet corners of Storr’s biennale show, and Storr’s visit to Seattle coincides with the close of Jones’s retrospective at the Henry Art Gallery.

Storr will be at UW’s Kane Hall Thursday, January 10, at 7 pm. Cost is $15 general, $12 students/seniors; 616-9894.

Correction: What a dumb mistake. Storr was never the chief curator at MoMA; he was a senior curator under Kirk Varnedoe. I’m reading Varnedoe’s “Pictures of Nothing” now. Duh.

When Bad Means Boring: The Lessons of Viva Laughlin

posted by on October 31 at 9:45 AM


When it comes to bad art, I trust no one like I trust my friend Mindy. She’s my best friend from high school, now a lawyer and mom in Los Angeles. Most importantly, she’s the person who introduced me to Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls, the holy grail of cinematic badness, which Mindy insisted I watch in 1999, and which I’ve watched several times a year (often with others) ever since.

So when Mindy called to tell me that I was required to watch the new CBS show Viva Laughlin, I obeyed. She’d seen the premiere episode and had been blown away by its astounding awfulness. Still, she needed reassurance that it really was as bad as she feared. (Mindy’s faith in her own judgment had been dealt a crushing blow by Forrest Gump, a movie she’d watched in abject horror, only to watch it win the Best Picture Oscar; she was sure her brain was melting.)

Lucky for Mindy, her opinion of Viva Laughlin was confirmed by numerous press outlets, including the New York Times, which wrote, “Viva Laughlin on CBS may well be the worst new show of the season, but is it the worst show in the history of television?

I couldn’t wait to find out, and I spent the six days until the airing of Viva Laughlin’s second episode learning about the show. Adapted from the BBC hit Viva Blackpool, Viva Laughlin tells the story of a fledgling casino owner and his struggles to open his fledgling casino—complete with song-and-dance musical numbers. The cast includes Melanie Griffith, Hugh Jackman, one of the sexy ladies from Twin Peaks, and a bunch of people I’ve never heard of. I couldn’t wait.

Imagine my disappointment when I watched the second episode and realized Viva Laughlin is not only awful, it totally sucks. And not in a magical way—in a totally boring, cancellation-securing way.

This is a drag, because the musical numbers were pretty amazing. For example, the scene where Hugh Jackman’s evil character is introduced by his warbling along to “Sympathy for the Devil.” (Click the link, watch the scene!) Episode number two featured a similarly brilliant scene, in which the fledgling casino owner illustrates his ability to remain standing by singing “I’m Still Standing.”

Unfortunately, the musical travesties were surrounded by some of the slowest, boringest, dumbest, sub-soap opera scenes imaginable, and after two episodes, Viva Laughlin was killed. CBS even yanked its webpage.

RIP Viva Laughlin: You sucked so hard it’s impossible to care.

Prayer in the State House, Cocaine in the Ass, Bigots in High School

posted by on October 31 at 9:45 AM

There have been a series of interesting federal Circuit Court decisions this past week.

The 7th Circuit ruled that a group of taxpayers in Indiana did not have standing to challenge the Indiana state legislature’s Prayer of the Day, in which different clergy members—mostly Christian, but occasionally a Muslim, Jew, or Buddhist— would come and give an invocation. The plaintiffs argued that tax dollars—they quantified them— were being spent on promoting specific religions. The Court disagreed, saying the money wasn’t a specific budget line item, and so the the plaintiffs lacked standing. (There’s an excellent dissent beginning on page 34 that both points out how ridiculous the specific line item argument is and goes on to make a hefty argument about the significance of the establishment clause.)

From the dissent:

In my view, the taxpayer-plaintiffs before us have alleged enough to win the right to present their challenge to the House Prayer before a judicial forum. They are challenging a legislative act, and they have alleged concrete pocket-book injuries. Given both the ruling in Marsh and the qualifications on that ruling, the issue they wish to present is a serious one. They argue, in essence, that preferential access to the Speaker’s stand for adherents to the Christian faith is exactly the kind of problem that the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause was supposed to remedy. Were this a simple Establishment Clause case in which they complained about hearing the prayers as they walked past the door of the House Chamber on their usual way to work, they may very well have been entitled to proceed. The majority overextends the command of Freedom From Religion in denying them a day in court.

Meanwhile, in a 4th Amendment case, the 1rst Circuit ruled that the police didn’t have the right to do an anal cavity search of a suspect just because one officer had a tip that the suspect was known to “cheek” drugs. Complication? The suspect, fearing the officers were about to bend him over, did produce a bag of coke from his butt. The Circuit Court sent the case back to the district court to give them another pass at proving the cops had enough evidence to conduct the search.

Finally, the 6th Circuit upheld a Christian student’s complaint against his Kentucky high school’s speech code that prohibited students from insulting gays. Background: The code was enacted after a other students sued the Kentucky school for prohibiting them from forming a Gay Straight Alliance.

Courtesy, as always, Decision of the Day.

The Washington State Angle! Kucinich’s UFO was Sighted Here.

posted by on October 31 at 9:18 AM

Via TPM:

Youth Pastor Watch

posted by on October 31 at 9:11 AM

After allegedly performing oral sex on a 15-year-old boy, James Wilkerson—the boy’s karate teacher and youth minister—told the teen, now 16, it was to improve his martial-arts skills, the teen testified yesterday in Family Court….

During a retreat to Ocean City, Md., in January, [Wilkerson] woke the boy up by giving him oral sex while another adult group leader and two other boys slept in the same room, the teen said.

“He told me that now I was a part of his family and that now all of his secrets would become mine,” the teen testified. “He told me that in order to become a great martial artist, I would have to do things that normal people wouldn’t necessarily do. He said I had to become a bisexual.”

The Answer(s) Everyone’s Talking About

posted by on October 31 at 9:05 AM

Here it is, Clinton’s answer on giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, from last night’s debate.

Some pundits are using her answer(s) as proof that Clinton bombed the debate. John Edwards used the opportunity to say:

Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes just a few minutes ago, and I think this is a real issue for the country. America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them.”

Obama said something similar.

I was confused [by] Sen. Clinton’s answer. I can’t tell whether she was for it or against it. One of the things that we have to do in this country is to be honest about the challenges that we face.

However, both Edwards and Obama actually support giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants under the plan that was being discussed. Ironic?

Here’s Mark Penn trying to stave off criticism of Clinton’s debate answers in the spin room afterward.

And here’s some data on whether giving licenses to illegal immigrants is popular. Answer: It’s not.

Richard Curtis Goes National

posted by on October 31 at 8:59 AM



Happy Halloween, Wonkette readers! Do we have any scary stories to tell for the occasion, you might be asking? Well good gay God, have we ever! In what one commenter has described as “the DaVinci Code of the GOP,” the Spokane, Wa. Police Department’s report on state Rep. Richard “I have not had sex with a guy” Curtis’ extortion case leaked yesterday. In it, Curtis admits to the police that he did have sex with a “reputed” male prostitute, Cody Castagna (beautifully captured here). But the police report—replete with sting opps, erotic boutiques, cross-dressing, metaphors involving toothpase—makes it so, so much better. If you’re going to read the whole thing, we strongly urge you to take a bathroom break beforehand rather than having to get up in the middle.


Headline of the week so far: “Cross-dressing state lawmaker blackmailed following late night tryst”

Yeah, you just don’t see a headline like that every day. The only thing missing is that the cross-dressing lawmaker is an anti-gay Republican and the tryst was with a man.


Rep. Curtis is married with children and has denied being gay. He’s gone with the “helping someone” defense as opposed to the “wide stance” defense.
“I committed no crime,” Curtis said Monday afternoon. “I did not solicit sex. I was trying to help somebody out.”

He also has an anti-gay voting record because nothing proves you aren’t gay as trying to treat gays as second class citizens.


There really isn’t any end to the depravity of the hypocrites in the moralist GOP. They want to deny LGBTs basic civil rights while behind closed doors they engage in the kinds of behavior that the professional Values Voter set publicly wrings their hands over.

Rep. Richard Curtis, a lawmaker in Washington state who voted against domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples and opposed an anti-discrimination law to cover sexual orientation, goes for the gold in terms of getting freaky. When I posted last night, Dan Savage over at Slog kept sending me kinkier and kinkier news on this Curtis, who engaged in mutual sexual activities” with male escort/porn actor Cody Castagna.

The Carpet Bagger Report:

Given the Republican sex scandals of 2006, it seemed reasonable to assume 2007 would be a little quieter. No such luck.


Gay Republican News: The pathology of the closet claims another victim.


Things aren’t looking good for Richard Curtis. The Columbian newspaper obtained a police report detailing the Republicans tryst with 26-year old Cody Castagna and, well, it’s pretty damning:
The police report contains an account of how Curtis allegedly donned women’s clothing, red stockings and a black sequined lingerie top before engaging in a sex act at the store. He continued to wear them throughout the night under his clothing.



It’s A GOP Whoregasbord! Ho-lee CRAP! The scandal unfolding around Washington state Rep. Richard Curtis (R-DUH) is out-Haggarding and out-Craiging anything we’ve ever seen from fucked up, self-hating, anti-gay, right-wing Republicans. And that, my tender kittens, is rilly, rilly saying something.

Good As You:

Remember yesterday when we told you about Washington state Rep. Richard Curtis (R-La Center) being the latest Republican lawmaker to have his closet door busted down? And remember when we told you about his alleged tryst’s porn past and solicitations for a sugar daddy who would “put cum in my tummy”? Yea, well, the police report has now been made available online, and the situation is even wilder than we thought! We’re talking Curtis in women’s lingerie; Curtis demanding bareback sex; Curtis receiving oral sex in an adult store’s video booth….

Democratic Daily:

“State Representative Richard Curtis” who “dressed up in women’s lingerie and met a Medical Lake man in a local erotic video store which led to consensual sex at a downtown hotel” says, you guessed it, “he’s not gay.” … TBogg hits the nail on the head: “Wouldn’t it just be easier to get a show of hands from Republican politicians who really really aren’t gay?”


Of course this is the real kicker to the story. The Spokesman Review reported yesterday: “Elected to the state House of Representatives in 2004, Curtis has voted like a fiscal and social conservative. This spring, he voted against domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples. Last year, he opposed a gay rights bill that banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Fight Wikipedia with Wikipedia

posted by on October 31 at 8:34 AM

Tired of students who regurgitate Wikipedia entries for their term papers, a prof at UW-Bothell had her students write … Wikipedia entries as their term papers.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one grading them.

The Wikipedia community, however, was not as impressed. One article didn’t survive for 24 hours following its introduction, and four additional ones were ultimately deleted following extensive discussion, their contents merged into existing entries. Groom also noted that some of the comments in the ensuing discussions “were delivered rudely.”

courtesy ars technica.

Sucks to be Jane Seymour

posted by on October 31 at 8:00 AM

Actress Jane Seymour missed Tuesday night’s ”Dancing With the Stars” results show after being sickened by food poisoning, a television station reported. Seymour was taken to a hospital to be checked out, KABC-TV reported….

Seymour, a contestant on ABC’s dance competition, also missed part of the show earlier this month after her 92-year-old mother died.

Seymour told People magazine she had difficulty focusing on her dancing last week because her husband was busy defending their Malibu home from the wildfires that swept through the coastal area.

Poison Teeth

posted by on October 31 at 8:00 AM

Stores are pulling fake teeth made for children—meant to the worn in the mouth—off the shelves after tests revealed dangerously high lead levels. Guess what? The teeth were made in China, where they’ve never met a product destined for export that couldn’t be improved with a little lead—and the tests that discovered the lead were conducted by university students, not the government.

The teeth were analyzed by a team from Ashland University in Ohio looking into lead content in children’s products.

“Lead paint is a problem when it’s ingested by a child, so to have lead on an item that is designed to go into the mouth — that’s what’s particularly horrifying about these teeth,” said Dr Jeffrey Weidenhamer of Ashland University in Ohio, the team leader.

“We analysed the paint on the surface of the teeth. The orange teeth were the worst in terms of having six to seven percent lead by weight in the paint,” Weidenhamer said.

“That’s about 100 times the US standard on lead in paint which is .06 percent,” he told AFP.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration is fighting—fighting—Congressional efforts to ban lead paint from toys, beef up enforcement, and expand the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Because, hey, what’s so bad about lead poisoning? Now if fetuses were wearing fake teeth at Halloween, maybe Bush would do something about it—but children born years ago? What’s pro-family about protecting them?

I’ve got the sneaking suspicion that China is attempting to poison the rest of world to give its athletes an edge at the Beijing Olympics.

The Morning News

posted by on October 31 at 7:14 AM

But Fox News Said it Was Al Qaeda: A boy playing with matches is the arsonist that set at least one of the California wildfires.

It Couldn’t Happen Here: Alleged “mastermind” of Madrid terror bombing acquitted, along with six alleged accomplices. Four other accused men convicted.

Debatable: The lost boys gang up on Hillary Clinton. You can read Eli Sanders live-blogging of the second-to-last Dem debate here. Andrew Sullivan says it was a good night—for the GOP.

Attorney General Nominee: Mukasey says waterboarding isn’t torture (except when the Gestapo or Khmer Rouge do it). Now Senate Dems are very seriously considering whether or not to refrain from actually voting to confirm Bush’s latest torture-enabling nominee.

Everything Gives You Cancer: But that gut of yours can give you six cancers.

Britney Spears’ Year of Tears: Parenting coach tells court that Britney is a terrible parent.

Same-Sex Parents Defy Emerging Stereotypes: Study shows that—in California at least—same-sex parents are likelier to be non-white, non-affluent, non-male.

Take the Bus: It looks like families will have to take the bus to the Zoo after all—who will break it to David Della?

How’d You Do? Danny Westneat quizes the voters in advance next Tuesday’s election.

Can You Stand It? Ladies and gentlemen, Ann Millerand so much more.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shoulda Said “Thanks”

posted by on October 30 at 9:50 PM

The owner of the house across the street created this Halloween display:


Click the image for a larger version. For folks having trouble making it out: It’s a small child’s leg sticking out of a freshly dug grave. The words “Shoulda Said ‘Thanks’” carved into the makeshift marker. It’s a warning for ‘tween ingrates and ill-mannered toddlers.

This really ticks me off.

Not because I think it’ll traumatize the kiddies, but because my boyfriend nixed my proposed Halloween display. I sharpened up six big wooden stakes to plant along the walk up to the house. I wanted to go buy a six cheap kids’ Halloween costumes, stuff ‘em, and impale ‘em on the stakes. I wanted it to like we’d been murdering every, oh, 50th trick-or-treater that came to our house. But my boyfriend said absolutely not, it’ll scare the shit out of kids, our neighbors will freak, blah blah blah. So I didn’t buy the kids’ costumes. And now one of our neighbors has a dead kid display in his yard—right across the street!—and the boyfriend thinks it’s fucking hilarious. The hypocrite.

UPDATE: Terry wouldn’t let me impale trick-or-treaters… so I impaled our pumpkins instead.




GOP Hopefuls Skip Out on Yet Another Minority Community Debate

posted by on October 30 at 9:03 PM

While the Democrats are busy debating, the Republicans are not. Well, at least not for minority audiences.

Last month, PBS hosted a Republican presidential candidates’ debate at historically black college in Baltimore — and all of the top four GOP candidates decided to skip it. This followed close on the heels of a Univision-hosted Republican debate in Miami on Latino issues — which was cancelled when all but one candidate declined invitations. The National Council of La Raza asked Republican candidates to address its annual conference in July, but none showed up. The National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials extended similar invitations to the entire GOP field, but only Duncan Hunter agreed to attend.

Minority communities are beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, Republican presidential hopefuls aren’t exactly attentive to their concerns.

Given all the attention this has received, the field would be crazy to skip the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s debate, right? Well….The Congressional Black Caucus Institute announced in September that it had scheduled a debate for November 4 on Fox News for Republican presidential candidates. But a spokeswoman for the group confirmed to the Huffington Post that it has now been postponed, with no new date set. […]

Courtesy of Carpetbagger

Goulet is Gone

posted by on October 30 at 7:30 PM

Robert Goulet, who marshaled his dark good looks and thundering baritone voice to play a dashing Lancelot in the original “Camelot” in 1960, then went on to a wide-ranging career as a singer and actor, winning a Tony, a Grammy and an Emmy, died today. He was 73.

Goulet was the only good thing about Naked Gun 2. Sadly, I can’t find a clip on Youtube.

Live-Blogging the Democratic Debate

posted by on October 30 at 5:57 PM

Just a few minutes before it starts. Most political writers in the country have probably read this by now. Worth a read before the debate begins.

6 p.m. First question to Senator Obama. Brian Williams asks him what the differences are between him and Clinton, and basically invites him to go on the attack against her. Obama begins with a joke: “I think this has been the most hyped fight since Rocky fought Apollo Creed. Although the amazing thing is I’m Rocky in this situation.”

Then says: Clinton has been for NAFTA then against it, for torture then against it, for sending troops into Iraq and then for a different Iraq policy. “Now that may be politically savvy, but I don’t think it offers the clear contrast that we need.”

Clinton responds by saying that the Republicans don’t seem to think she’s without a winning message and strategy, since they keep attacking her. And the reason they attack, she says, is that she stands strong against Bush and his policies, which is what Democrats want.

6:05 Next question to Edwards, and he accuses her of double-talk and being beholden to special interests and not having a clear plan for social security. Clinton says her record is clear, that she does have a plan for social security: “It’s called fiscal responsibility… I have a very specific plan. My friends may not agree with it, but I’ve been saying it and talking about it for many months.”

6:09 Question to Clinton from one of the moderators about her recent Iran vote, which many see as a justification for war in Iran. “First of all,” she replies. “I am not in favor of a rush to war… Some may want a false choice between a rush to war… and doing nothing. I prefer vigorous diplomacy, and I happen to think economic sanctions are part of vigorous diplomacy.”

6:11 Biden says he does think the Iran vote could be used as a defacto declaration of war against Iran. The result has been rising oil prices, an emboldened Bush talking of WWIII, and a wider perception that America is on a crusade against Islam. “This was bad policy… All it has done is hurt us, even if not another single action is taken. Actions have consequences. Big nations can’t bluff.”

6:16 Obama is asked what his red lines are on Iran. “I don’t think we should be talking about attacking Iran at this point,” he says. “What we should be doing is reaching out aggressively to our allies but also talking to our enemies and focusing on those areas where we do not accept their actions… But also talking directly to Iran about the potential carrots we can provide. We have not made those serious attempts. This resolution does not send the right message to the region.”

6:18 Clinton is asked about her red line on Iran. “First of all, I think we have to try diplomacy,” she says. She echoes something Biden just said: “George Bush can do this without anybody. That’s why we need to reign him in… What we’re trying to do is push forward on vigorous diplomacy. That has been lacking.” But she says that for diplomacy to work we need carrots and sticks, like sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which she voted for. “The Revolutionary Guard is deeply involved in the commercial activities of Iran. Having those economic sanctions hanging over their head is a very important stick.”

But does she have a red line? “I want to start diplomacy. I’m not going to speculate.”

6:20 Edwards pounces. Clinton says she wants to reign Bush in, but, Edwards asks: “The way to do that is vote yes on a resolution that looks like it was written by the neocons?”

He suggests she hasn’t learned the lesson of her Iraq war vote (and his). “A lot of us on this stage have learned our lessons the hard way. You give him an inch and he’ll take a mile.”

6:25 Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all pledge to try to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

6:28 Kucinich says we need to stop ratcheting up the rhetoric for war with Iran, and that the real answer is nuclear abolition. If the United States leads in that effort, then the problem disappears, he suggests.

6:30 In response to a question from the moderator, Clinton says yes, she does oppose the war in Iraq. But she doesn’t oppose the troops, of course.

6:35 Edwards says if people want a prolonged occupation of Iraq and continued war, then they should vote for Clinton. With him, Edwards says, it will be: “Combat missions ended, combat troops out of Iraq, period. So there’s a very clear choice here.”

6:40 Clinton is asked about her experience in light of a recent attack from Giuliani. He said she hasn’t ever run anything, so he doesn’t know where her claims of experience come from. “I think the kind of experience that the Republican nominees are exhibiting is the kind of experience we don’t need,” Clinton replies. And then she talks about her experience as an advocate for children and health-care reform and so on.

6:45 A moderator asks Clinton if she’ll allow the records from her healthcare reform efforts to be released from the national archives. She dodges. Obama pounces, and says this is a good example of her not actually turning the page from Bush and Cheney’s secretiveness.

6:50 Why are the Republicans so obsessed with Hillary? Obama says: “One of the reasons I think Republicans are so obsessed with you, Hillary, is that’s the fight they’re comfortable having.” He suggests that Clinton as the Democratic candidate will just bring more of the same, tired fights from the 1990s. Edwards says: “Another reason the Republicans keep talking about Senator Clinton is, Senator, they may want to run against you and that’s the reason they keep bringing you up.”

6:52 Richardson comes in, points toward Obama, and decries the “holier than thou” attitude he seems to have toward Clinton. “I think it’s important that we save the ammunition for the Republicans.”

6:55 This is verging toward a circular firing squad. Edwards and Obama attacking Clinton, the others attacking Edwards and Obama for attacking Clinton, Clinton fending off attacks. But, it’s better television than any of the other Democratic debates have been.

7:00 Kucinich tweaks Edwards for accepting money from New York hedge funds while criticizing Clinton for taking money from special interests.

7:03 Biden turns a question about his own statements about Clinton’s qualifications into an attack on Giuliani who, Biden says, “is truly unqualified to be president.” In a memorable line, Biden says every sentence that comes out of Giuliani’s mouth contains only “a noun, a verb, and 9/11.”

7:09 Obama is asked about Mitt Romney confusing his name with Osama bin Laden’s. Is he concerned this type of confusion will hurt him? “No.” Obama says he has faith in the American people. “I have absolute confidence in the American people’s capacity to absorb the truth as long as we are forceful in that presentation.” This is a question Obama could have hit much harder. Something like: “If Mitt Romney can’t tell the difference between me and Osama bin Laden, I don’t know why he thinks he’s qualified to lead this country.” Obama’s been much more forceful in general tonight, but in this answer he slipped back into the magnanimous, professorial mode he’s shown so often in earlier debates.

7:15 Moderator says we’re headed toward $100-a-barrel oil. What can be done? Biden: “Stop rattling the saber with Iran.” Edwards: Investigate the oil companies and “ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war,” which means conservation. Clinton: Agrees with everything said, adds that we should perhaps use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Obama: Agrees that lowering the rhetoric about Iran will reduce the price of oil. And adds that we should increase fuel efficiency on cars. Kucinich: “Everyone knows that the war on Iraq was about oil… Everyone knows that the saber rattling against Iran is driving up the price of oil… The president and the vice president should be subject to impeachment. Then we can start to get control of our energy policies.” Richardson: Calls for an Apollo Project for energy, increased fuel efficiency to 50 mpg, and conservation—”It has to be an energy revolution,” he says.

7:25 Looking at the California fires, should there be a bottomless well of federal dollars for people who knowingly live in disaster-prone areas? Edwards dodges the question. His bottom line: “When a natural disaster comes, our country needs to be there for our people.”

7:30 Clinton is on fire about the alternative minimum tax. She dodges the question of whether she agrees exactly with the proposals of House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, who has supported her campaign. But she uses the opportunity to hit a populist note—that Bush hasn’t asked for people like her and Bill (now among the wealthiest Americans, though, she says, they never expected it) to sacrifice anything to help the country at a time when the poorest Americans are being asked to sacrifice their children in Iraq and losing ground financially. This is one of her best answers of the night—she threads the needle on a tricky issue, is clearly in command of all the facts, she slaps down the moderator for trying to put words in her mouth, and she paints herself as being in touch with the common American. Obama, asked the same question, can basically only agree with what Clinton has already said.

7:35 Edwards says, once again, that “there’s nothing wrong with the American people.” Why does he keep saying this? Is there an American politician anywhere who has ever said there’s something wrong with the American people?

7:40 Should the American school day be longer? Biden says, “Yes, I proposed it in 1987”—which hits on a recurring theme of his: That he’s been around so long that he’s been right (even if not successful) on every issue at some point.

7:50 A question for Obama about how the state of air travel in this country got to a point where it’s worse than Aeroflot. Obama’s answer: Build more aircraft capacity, place restrictions on some flights, improve aircraft service to remote areas. Not much sizzle to the question or the answer.

7:52 Dodd believes that illegal immigrants shouldn’t be allowed drivers licenses. Hillary believes “it makes sense” and admits everyone’s going to try to play “gotcha” with that.

7:55 Edwards and Obama hit Clinton for “double-talk” (Edwards) and a confusing answer (Obama) about illegal immigrants having drivers’ licenses. They say she had two answers in the course of two minutes.

7:57 The questions go off the rails a bit as Kucinich is asked if he’s ever seen a UFO (a new book by Shirley MacLaine says he has). And Kucinich says… Yes!

“I did. Hold on. It was an unidentified flying object. I did. I saw something… Also, you have to keep in mind that Jimmy Carter saw a UFO and actually more people in this country have seen UFOs than support George W. Bush.”

7:58 Who’s in favor of decriminalizing marijuana? Chris Dodd, but hardly anyone else.

7:59 What’s Obama wearing for Halloween? Possibly a Mitt Romney mask, he says.

8:00 Let’s end with some analysis from Mahtli69 in the comments:


Clinton - the Nominee. Qualified, intelligent, prepared.

Obama - trying to act Presidential. Failing.

Edwards - trying to act Progressive. I’m not fooled.

Kucinich - the only one I consistently agree with. Unelectable.

Biden - Other than Clinton, the only one I can actually picture as President. Zero chance of winning.

Dodd - Why?

Richardson - desperately trying to be noticed. Failing.

Posted by Mahtli69 | October 30, 2007 7:45 PM

Richard Curtis: More Shocking Details

posted by on October 30 at 4:38 PM


For the latest on not-gay GOP state rep Richard Curtis, click here—and, believe me, the click is more than worth your while. Lingerie, cell phone pictures, anal sex, casinos, and more!

UPDATE: Aaaaaaaaaargh! There’s even more! Rope! Stethoscopes! Barebacking! More, more, MORE!

As if the details about anti-gay Washington State Rep. Richard (R-La Center) and his tryst with a male escort in Spokane, Washington, weren’t sordid enough, I spent the last hour wading through the 15 page police report. Holy crap! Curtis, hoping to keep this whole thing quiet, called the police himself. And when the police asked him what happened, Curtis told them everything.

Curtis stated both he and the male walked into the lobby together. He told the male gain that he would give the male $100 to help him out but he was not paying him to have sex. Curtis and the male went up to Curtis’ room, which was 968. Once in the room Curtis gave the male $100…. Curtis and the male ultimately had anal intercourse on the bed in Curtis’ hotel room. The male performed intercourse on Curtis and the male’s semen and/or DNA would be on the inside of the condom while Curtis’ DNA would be on the exterior. Curtis said he was the person who received the anal sex.

Then, according to Curtis, he and Castagna fell asleep. And when Curtis wakes up Castagna is gone—and so is Curtis’ wallet. Castagna soon calls and tells Curtis that he knows who he is and wants $1,000. He also informs Curtis that he took “explicit photos” of Curtis while he was asleep.

While talking to the police Curtis expresses, again and again, a burning desire to keep all of this out of the press. (Ahem.) The police tell Curtis that, even if he doesn’t want to press charges, they have to collect evidence—but before they can set about doing that Castagna calls again. Suddenly it’s all very cloak and dagger: Castagna demands that Curtis drop off the money “in the last flower pot on the west side of Washington St. Bridge.” The police tell Curtis to stall Castagna long enough for them to set up a sting operation on the bridge. Curtis makes the drop. A suspect is seized. The police take Curtis back to the hotel—to room 968 at the Davenport (which should have a plaque on the door!)—and set about gathering evidence.

And what evidence!

I asked Curtis what physical evidence would be in the hotel room which would link the suspect to the hotel room. Curtis pointed out a Propel fitness water bottle in the garbage, a condom wrapper in the garbage, and a used condom in the garbage. I photographed the room and items prior to their collection. I also colleted the sheets and pillow cases from the bed.

While I was collecting evidence I saw a plastic sack which contained a light grey length of nylon rope, a plastic doctor’s stethoscope, and other items I could not immediately identify. Curtis told me they had nothing to do with the sex act and that the suspect had not handled them. Curtis said he did not want to show me those items in the sack.

Lingerie, condoms, rope, stethoscopes—Rep. Curtis is a very kinky girl!

Meanwhile back at the station house the police are grilling their suspect—but it isn’t Castagna. It’s Castagna’s bag man—but the accomplice cracks under the pressure, stating that “he did not want to go down for [Castagna].” Soon the police pick up Joey “Cody” Castagna. And Castagna’s version of what went down in that hotel room differs from Curtis’ version:

[Castagna] state [Curtis] was a “freak.” [Castagna] said that [Curtis] dressed in women’s lingerie during sex. [Castagna] said he used a condom and performed anal intercourse on [Curtis]…. After the sex act was completed [Curtis] told [Castagna] he wanted to perform “bareback sex” on [Castagna because Curtis] did not like the feel of condoms. [Castagna] told [Curtis] that he did not do that, that he didn’t know [Curtis], and that “bareback sex” was unsafe sex and was dangerous. [Curtis] asked [Castagna] “what would it take for you to do it.”

Castagna agrees to let Curtis fuck him bareback for $1000. Curtis refuses to pay up, falls asleep, Castagna take a few pictures, leaves with Curtis’ wallet, and the rest is history.

[Castagna] continually cried and said that he believed [Curtis] tricked him and never intended to pay him the thousand dollars for unprotected sex.

One final detail: After telling the police absolutely everything, Curtis decides to stop cooperating. Curtis suddenly claims that Castagna must have drugged him and states that he “was so out of it he really didn’t know what happened.” (Yes, that old excuse.) Curtis then tells investigators that, on the advice of his attorney, he can’t tell them what he was doing in Spokane. “I asked Curtis who his attorney was and he stated he could not find the business card and he could not recall his attorney’s name.”

Holy crap. My God. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. What. A. Mess.

Says Pam at PamsHouseBlend:

I’m living a relatively plain jane lesbian existence simply asking for my civil rights while closet cases like Curtis get all sorts of kinks on while railing against openly LGBT citizens. It makes me sick.

UPDATE 2: Cody Castagna talks to the press.

Laced Up Busted Up

posted by on October 30 at 4:16 PM

Laced Up, the hiphop clothing and art boutique at 705 East Pike Street, was vandalized two nights in a row. Rocks came through two front windows early Monday morning, and in the pre-dawn hours today the glass door and another window were shattered. Nothing was stolen.
The salesman I spoke to today was making drive-by-shooting jokes and having fun with it, but he admitted to being rattled. The store has an alarm; police were called both times and are now following up on leads. According to the clerk, the owner is pissed and hoping to prosecute the vandal or vandals.

See You at 6

posted by on October 30 at 3:50 PM

I’m off to enjoy the sunny afternoon and then plop down on a couch just before 6 p.m. to live-blog the Democratic debate (and all its presumed fisticuffs). See you then.

Debate details are here. And an interesting Ana Marie Cox take on the lay of the political land is here.

The Internet Battle For Our Electoral Backwater

posted by on October 30 at 3:49 PM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

Having compiled the now complete Stranger schedule of primaries and caucuses leading up the presidential nomination (the Nebraska Republican caucus is only eight months away, which sets my pulse racing), I started digging for local 2008 events that might be of interest to veracious SLOG politicos. Not so much candidate appearances, as John Edwards has yet to meet every irate farmer in Iowa, but maybe state-level events set up by the campaigns.

The first thing to note is that no Democratic candidate appears to have an official web presence in our state, a not surprising situation given the very strong chance that the nomination will be sewn up by the time of our caucuses in February. Many campaigns, seemingly looking for the most monetarily efficient means of organizing, have officially delegated the task of Washington State web organizing to volunteer-created groups. John Edward’s One Corp is taking the lead in this, with an absolutely stupefying amount of local groups (the boiling cauldron of activism that is Mukilteo for Edwards being but one example).

The second thing to note is that supporters of the Republican candidates appear to be picking their battles, and Washington isn’t among them. The politically bustling, while a stronghold of Ron Paul supporters, doesn’t even have western Washington groups for Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, or Fred Thompson. The best a Seattle Republican can hope for is an evening whiled away with the five members of Washing State Straight Shooters for Duncan Hunter discussing the coming future of an America “overrun by lawlessness.”

Today on Line Out

posted by on October 30 at 3:30 PM

Dangerous: The Best American Non-Required History of Rock’n’Roll

Tonight: Enon, Man Man, Prague’s Uz Jsme Doma, and A Drink for the Kim

Remember How They Only Made One Rock Song in the ’60s?: Rock Band’s Bizarre Song Selections

TMI: David Schmader Talks to the Hand

Hustle & Hustle: Simian Mobile Disco’ New Video for “Hustler”

Kicking Financial Ass: Seattle Theater Group Hires Kate Becker and Adam Zacks

Do They Know It’s Halloween: Some Halloween Song Selections from MEgan Seling, Eric Grandy, Jason Josephes, and Jonathan Zwickel

A Conflict of Trent-erests?: Trent Moorman on Trentalange

Last Night: Architecture in Helsinki at the Showbox.

Delicious: Maynard Ferguson’s “Pagliacci”

Reading the Situation

posted by on October 30 at 3:27 PM

In the meat section of the QFC, the butcher offers samples of roasted beef. Its been cut into cubes; it looks delicious; people have gathered to pick a cube with a toothpick supplied by the butcher, who today (28/10/07) is dressed like a pirate. But there is a problem. A stubborn, crooked, and old black woman looms over the pan that contains the beef bits. She looms over it and eats as is if there is no one else who wants a sample. People are waiting for their chance to eat but she will not move. As she eats (and eats, and eats), she does not hide her pleasure. The meat is making her happy.

I’m the only person whose color is the same as the old woman eating the samples. The rest are white. What are these white people thinking? This (in one form or another) is on their minds: Typical black person! She, like the rest of them, is insensitive, brutish, impolite, has a weak sense of social codes, etiquette, formalities, manners. Social skills are in the domain of the human: individual instincts are in the domain of the animal. The woman is acting like an animal.

As for someone like me, someone who has the incredible luck of coming from Africa and not coming from poverty—what does a black person in my position think? This woman is an embarrassment to the race. She is pulling us down. The play and movie A Soldier’s Story explored this kind of embarrassment, which oppresses proud and professional blacks. In the play, the complex results in a murder. An uppity and cosmopolitan black man kills a country (black) boy because he is just too natural, earthy, expressive, animal.

But what if she was white? What would, say, black people think of this situation in the QFC if the woman had the color of the other? In their minds: Just like white people to want everything for themselves. This beef, the country, the whole world. They want all of the jobs, the money, the banks. They starve all others and get fat on their own. Damn white people!

As for a white person? What would they feel if a white person was behaving in this way—eating the beef samples as if there’s no one else around them? Certainly not a sense of race embarrassment. Race embarrassment for white people is not the same as it is for blacks. Usually white arrogance (not ignorance) causes white embarrassment. The white person would not see this situation in racial terms. He/she would simply see an annoying person and correctly think: What a jerk.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on October 30 at 2:54 PM

Rainier Brew House, First Floor
Photo by Theater Off Jackson, from The Stranger’s photo pool.

WA State Rep. Richard Curtis (R-La Center): XXX-Gay

posted by on October 30 at 2:42 PM


Details are coming out—har—about just where and how GOP state Rep. Richard “Dick” Curtis was “trying to help someone out”—and we’re getting our first look at the alleged male escort that is alleged to have attempted to blackmail Curtis. But it sounds more like a dispute over how much money Curtis owed him for favors granted. The Spokesman Review is all over it:

A state legislator who yesterday insisted he was “not gay” was being blackmailed by a young man he had engaged in “sexual activities” with after the two met at a Spokane Valley adult bookstore last week, court documents filed today allege.

State Rep. Richard Curtis, a Republican from the Vancouver, Wash., area, met Cody Castagna at Hollywood Erotic Boutique on East Sprague Avenue at 12:45 a.m. Friday before the two went to Curtis’ room at the Davenport Tower in downtown Spokane, the documents say. Castagna told investigators Curtis agreed to pay him $1,000 for sex, the documents allege.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case. Castagna, 26, has been questioned by police but not arrested.

The police detective’s version of events is in stark contrast to the legislator’s only public comment. Curtis told the Vancouver Columbian yesterday that he is not gay and did not engage in sex with the man while he was in Spokane last week attending Republican strategy sessions.

Curtis and Castagna “engaged in mutual sexual activities” at the hotel after the state lawmaker—who has opposed most gay rights legislation—rented two XXX-rated gay videos, according to allegations in a search warrant affidavit filed by Spokane Police Detective Mark Burbridge.

After the sexual encounter in the Spokane hotel room, the court documents say Castagna left with Curtis’ wallet before contacting him by phone, demanding $1,000, the affidavit says. The state lawmaker said he only had $200 and put that in an envelope for Castagna to pick up at the front desk of the Davenport Tower, the affidavit says. After picking up that money, Castagna re-contacted Curtis and demanded the additional $800.

By that point, Curtis had contacted a Washington State Patrol sergeant in Vancouver, apparently seeking help…. “Castagna threatened to publicly expose Curtis’ gay lifestyle to his wife,” if he wasn’t paid the additional sum,” the court documents allege.

It’s hard to follow just what’s alleged and what’s fact. The Spokesman Review’s report makes it seem as if Curtis admitted to engaging in sexual activities with Castagna. Exactly how much money Curtis owed Castagna for those activities amounts to a he said/he said conflict, of course, but it seems pretty clear that 1. Castagna isn’t a very professional escort (and he looked like such a nice young man!), and 2. Curtis outed himself when he went to the police.

As for what Curtis told the Vancouver Columbian, well, perhaps Curtis didn’t do anything with Castagna that a closeted GOP state rep would define as sex. As we learned to the Bill and Monica scandal, there are a lot of people out there that define sex as “vaginal intercourse” and I’m pretty sure that Curtis and Castagna didn’t do any of that.

But one question is definitively answered: Spokane’s male escorts, looks-wise, ain’t half bad—if you like ‘em slightly thuggy, tank-topped, and overly-gelled.

UPDATE: Good As You says Richard Curtis’ boytoy Cody Castagna has done porn—maybe that’s why he values his ass so highly?—but GAY didn’t include a link. Here’s a link.

UPDATE 2: Anti-gay Washington state representative Richard Curtis is a lying cocksucker.

Detective Mark Burbridge of the Spokane Police Department, in a signed affidavit, concluded that Curtis and Castagna engaged in mutual sexual activities, after which Curtis fell asleep. Burbridge’s affadavit is based on interviews with both men.

The affidavit alleges Castagna left the hotel room with Curtis’ wallet. He later called the state lawmaker and offered to return it in exchange for money, Burbridge said in his affidavit….

Burbridge’s court filing offers a far different account from the brief interview that Curtis gave to Columbian Editor Lou Brancaccio Monday afternoon. During that phone interview, Curtis emphatically said he is not gay and has not had sex with a man. He said he was only “trying to help someone out.”

“Richard Curtis was adamant he never agreed to give Cody Castagna any money for sex, especially $1,000,” the court filing says.

The affidavits were filed to obtain two search warrants. One is for videotape of public areas at the Hollywood Erotic Boutique, shot from midnight to 6 a.m. Friday. The other is for room registry information for Curtis at the Davenport, along with surveillance video, photographs from the video, room purchases and room access information. The hotel has a computer system which records when individual room doors are opened.

Burbridge’s affidavit said he met with a clerk at the adult video store who identified Curtis as a customer who had been in the store and met a young white male.

And Cody Castagna seems like a nasty piece of work. Good As You dug up a ten year-old seeking-sugar-daddy personal ad taken out by Castagna. And the Vancouver Columbian reports that…

A search for Castagna in court records turned up a number of cases in Spokane and King County on a variety of charges. Most cases were in juvenile court and involved charges of assault, theft, burglary and malicious mischief.

In adult court, court records showed that Castagna pleaded guilty in 2001 to a forgery charge and was sentenced to two months in jail and 12 months in community custody.

Closeted gay GOP elected official with an anti-gay voting record and—and I’m putting this charitably—a deeply troubled gay kid with a rap sheet—these two were made for each other.

UPDATE 3: Oh. My. God. Just when you thought things couldn’t get weirder or worse for Richard Curtis, yet more details emerge.

Cross-dressing state lawmaker blackmailed following late night tryst

State Representative Richard Curtis says he’s not gay, but police reports and court records indicate the Republican lawmaker from southwestern Washington dressed up in women’s lingerie and met a Medical Lake man in a local erotic video store which led to consensual sex at a downtown hotel and a threat to expose Curtis’ activities publicly….

Curtis, according to a search warrant unsealed Tuesday, went to the Hollywood Erotic Boutique on East Sprague on October 26th at approximately 12:45 a.m. The store clerk, who had talked with Curtis, referred to him as “The Cross-Dresser” and said that during their conversations he confirmed he was gay and was married with children at home.

During his visit to the video store Curtis was observed wearing women’s lingerie while receiving oral sex from an unidentified man in one of the movie viewing booths inside the store.

Ack! Ack! Ack! I don’t even know how to respond to this anymore! My head is EXPLODING. And there’s MORE:

Afterward he met Cody Castagna, and they talked about getting together at Curtis’ hotel room to have sex. Curtis left Castagna his cellphone number and went to Northern Quest Casino and receiving a call from him around 3 a.m., and planned to get together at the hotel a short while later.

The two met at the Davenport Tower around 3:34 a.m. and police reports confirm Curtis and Castagna had anal intercourse after which Curtis fell asleep. Castagna, according to court records, then allegedly took Curtis’ wallet out of his jacket pocket and left the room. Around 7 a.m. he called Curtis and told him he knew he was a member of the Washington State House of Representatives and was married, that he had taken pictures of Curtis with a camera on his cellphone and he offered to return the wallet in exchange for $1,000. In police reports it is claimed that Curtis offered Castagna that sum of money in exchange for having unprotected anal intercourse.

Curtis, during an interview with a Spokane detective, claimed that he gave Castagna $100 for “gas money” and insisted that the money was not payment for sex. During that phone conversation he claimed he only had $200 and left the money in an envelope at the front desk at the Davenport Tower for Castagna in exchange for the return of his wallet.

The attempt to get his wallet back proved unsuccessful as Castagna called Curtis back later on the 26th and demanded the remaining $800 from him. Unbeknownst to Castagna at the time Curtis had already contacted Spokane police and a detective was present with Curtis when Castagna called again.

When he contacted police, Curtis told detectives he wanted to keep the incident quiet and didn’t want to press charges against Castagna and that all he wanted was his wallet back.

During the call Castagna not only demanded $800 for the return of Curtis’ wallet but also said the money would buy his silence, implying that without the money he would expose Curtis’ gay lifestyle to his wife. Curtis admitted to police that if details of the incident became public he would have to tell his wife and would need to hire a divorce attorney.

Goldy at HorsesAss nails the heart of this tragedy in a response to a commenter on his site:

People like Curtis are forced to live in the closet because of people like Curtis.

Well fucking said, Goldy.

And to all the headline writers out there describing this as a “gay sex” scandal… uh… I’ve had a lot of gay sex over the years, guys, but never anything like this. I mean, if that was gay sex I’d never be able to get up.

UPDATE 4: But wait—there’s more. Yes, MORE!

As if the details about anti-gay Washington State Rep. Richard (R-La Center) and his tryst with a male escort in Spokane, Washington, weren’t already sordid enough, I spent the last hour wading through the 15 page police report. Holy crap! Curtis, hoping to keep this whole thing quiet, called the police himself. And when the police asked him what happened, Curtis told them everything.

Curtis stated both he and the male walked into the lobby together. He told the male gain that he would give the male $100 to help him out but he was not paying him to have sex. Curtis and the male went up to Curtis’ room, which was 968. Once in the room Curtis gave the male $100…. Curtis and the male ultimately had anal intercourse on the bed in Curtis’ hotel room. The male performed intercourse on Curtis and the male’s semen and/or DNA would be on the inside of the condom while Curtis’ DNA would be on the exterior. Curtis said he was the person who received the anal sex.

Then, according to Curtis, he and Castagna fell asleep. And when Curtis wakes up Castagna is gone—and so is Curtis’ wallet. Castagna soon calls and tells Curtis that he knows who he is and wants $1,000. He also informs Curtis that he took “explicit photos” of Curtis while he was asleep.

While talking to the police Curtis expresses, again and again, a burning desire to keep all of this out of the press. (Ahem.) The police tell Curtis that, even if he doesn’t want to press charges, they have to collect evidence—but before they can set about doing that Castagna calls again. Suddenly it’s all very cloak and dagger: Castagna demands that Curtis drop off the money “in the last flower pot on the west side of Washington St. Bridge.” The police tell Curtis to stall Castagna long enough for them to set up a sting operation on the bridge. Curtis makes the drop. A suspect is seized. The police take Curtis back to the hotel—to room 968 at the Davenport (which should have a plaque on the door!)—and set about gathering evidence.

And what evidence!

I asked Curtis what physical evidence would be in the hotel room which would link the suspect to the hotel room. Curtis pointed out a Propel fitness water bottle in the garbage, a condom wrapper in the garbage, and a used condom in the garbage. I photographed the room and items prior to their collection. I also colleted the sheets and pillow cases from the bed.

While I was collecting evidence I saw a plastic sack which contained a light grey length of nylon rope, a plastic doctor’s stethoscope, and other items I could not immediately identify. Curtis told me they had nothing to do with the sex act and that the suspect had not handled them. Curtis said he did not want to show me those items in the sack.

Lingerie, condoms, rope, stethoscopes—Rep. Curtis is a very kinky girl!

Meanwhile back at the station house the police are grilling their suspect—but it isn’t Castagna. It’s Castagna’s bag man—but the accomplice cracks under the pressure, stating that “he did not want to go down for [Castagna].” Soon the police pick up Joey “Cody” Castagna. And Castagna’s version of what went down in that hotel room differs from Curtis’ version:

[Castagna] state [Curtis] was a “freak.” [Castagna] said that [Curtis] dressed in women’s lingerie during sex. [Castagna] said he used a condom and performed anal intercourse on [Curtis]…. After the sex act was completed [Curtis] told [Castagna] he wanted to perform “bareback sex” on [Castagna because Curtis] did not like the feel of condoms. [Castagna] told [Curtis] that he did not do that, that he didn’t know [Curtis], and that “bareback sex” was unsafe sex and was dangerous. [Curtis] asked [Castagna] “what would it take for you to do it.”

Castagna agrees to let Curtis fuck him bareback for $1000. Curtis refuses to pay up, falls asleep, Castagna take a few pictures, leaves with Curtis’ wallet, and the rest is history.

[Castagna] continually cried and said that he believed [Curtis] tricked him and never intended to pay him the thousand dollars for unprotected sex.

One final detail: After telling the police absolutely everything, Curtis decides to stop cooperating. Curtis suddenly claims that Castagna must have drugged him and states that he “was so out of it he really didn’t know what happened.” (Yes, that old excuse.) Curtis then tells investigators that, on the advice of his attorney, he can’t tell them what he was doing in Spokane. “I asked Curtis who his attorney was and he stated he could not find the business card and he could not recall his attorney’s name.”

Holy crap. My God. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. What. A. Mess.

Says Pam at PamsHouseBlend:

I’m living a relatively plain jane lesbian existence simply asking for my civil rights while closet cases like Curtis get all sorts of kinks on while railing against openly LGBT citizens. It makes me sick.

Found One

posted by on October 30 at 2:14 PM

It turns out there is a homosexual in Iran—but just one, and not for long.

Child offender Makwan Moloudzadeh, an Iranian Kurd, is believed to be at risk of imminent execution. He has reportedly been convicted of lavat-e iqabi (anal sex) for the alleged rape of a 13-year-old boy. Makwan Moloudzadeh was aged 13 at the time of the alleged offence. His death sentence has been passed to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences and he is due to be executed in public, near his home.

The witnesses have recanted, but the execution is still on.

Meanwhile in London

posted by on October 30 at 2:09 PM

Cocaine, gay sex, a videotape, and a member of the royal family—it’s a scandal. Unfortunately this sex tape doesn’t feature a member of the royal family that anyone really wants to see choking on cock. But still… worth a read.

Slightly Famous Monsters of Filmland

posted by on October 30 at 2:07 PM

Holiday Sanctioned Topic: Stuff That Scared the Living Irrational Shit Out Of You As A Kid.

A few personal faves:

Continue reading "Slightly Famous Monsters of Filmland" »

New Poll Numbers, One Week Out

posted by on October 30 at 1:47 PM

A new poll by University of Washington researchers finds that the roads and transit ballot measure, Prop. 1, is trailing among registered voters, with 43 percent in favor and 46 against (11 percent were undecided), but doing much better among likely voters (those who voted in the previous two November elections). Among those voters—400 of the poll’s total sample of 600—49 percent supported the measure, 38 percent opposed it, and 13 percent were undecided. Other interesting information from the poll:

• Support for Tim Eyman’s anti-tax Initiative 960 was evenly split, with 40 percent in favor and 40 percent opposed.

• Referendum 67, which would make it illegal for insurers to unreasonably deny claims, showed a large plurality of voters in support—48 percent, compared to 31 percent opposed.

• An amendment allowing school levies to pass by a simple majority, rather than the supermajority that is currently required, was winning handily, with 59 percent of voters in favor, and just 31 percent against.

• Gov. Christine Gregoire had strong approval ratings throughout the state, with the highest approval rating (67 percent) in the Puget Sound region.

One question I have outstanding is whether the statewide poll asked people outside the Puget Sound region about roads and transit, on which only Puget Sound voters will cast ballots. Not sure how that would change the outcome, although my guess is that folks east of the mountains would be against it (transit bad! not enough roads!); I’m waiting to hear back from the pollsters on the scope of their survey.

Update: Matt Barreto, an assistant professor in the UW’s political science department, says the roads and transit question was only addressed to voters in the three-county Puget Sound region.

Meanwhile, Carl Pope—executive of that wacky communist left-wing revolutionary outfit known the national Sierra Club—has an editorial on the Sierra Club’s web site supporting the Seattle chapter in its (controversial) opposition to roads and transit. An excerpt:

This is another example of the need to match rising public expectations with higher, very much not business-as-usual policy goals and approaches. And only a steadily rising bar can meet the world’s needs. The days of doing it the way we always have are over. As the New York Times recently reported, for example, even significant improvements in the amount of CO2 released in making a ton of cement will get totally overwhelmed if we keep on expanding the amount of cement we need every year for things like highways. We need a new approach. And the UN recently reported that, globally, for the first time, science can measure the fact that current human pressures on ecosystems exceed global resource availability.

It is a tricky call — how dramatically can you change expectation, how high can you raise the bar, and still clear it? Our strategy is to take risks on the high side — because that’s the only pathway that offers us real hope.

Another One on Suicide Watch

posted by on October 30 at 1:38 PM

Remember that Republican prosecutor from Florida who flew to Michigan to have sex with a five year-old? The guy that had a Dora the Explorer doll in his bag and a tub of Vasoline? The guy that hanged himself despite being on suicide watch? (Sometimes “suicide watch” means guards extend you the courtesy of allowing yourself to quietly commit suicide while they watch.) Well, he’s gonna have company in hell


A 40-year-old Connecticut man is in custody in Colorado, accused of flying to Canon City to have sex with a 28-year-old mother and her 9-year-old daughter. Police say Christopher Bates, of Norwich, was arrested over the weekend in an Internet sexual predator sting.

Police say the mother he had contact with through the Internet and on the phone was a Canon City undercover officer and the child is ficticious.

Bates, whom police said used the online identity “Daddy for Young Daughter,” was arrested Saturday afternoon at a Canon City convenience store where he and the mother were to meet.

No info yet on Christopher Bates’ party affiliation. But things are pretty awkward right now for Bates’ hometown newspaper, the Norwich Bulletin.

Bates, who works in the advertising department at the Norwich Bulletin, used the screen name “daddy_4_yngdaughter” in an online chat room in July, according to a Canon City police affidavit. There, police said, he first made contact with an undercover police officer posing as a 28-year-old mother with a 9-year-old daughter. Police said Bates allegedly chatted about 20 times through instant messaging and 15 times by phone.

“He continued to tell me that he was looking for a family love type of relationship,” the officer wrote in the affidavit. “I asked if he had ever been with a girl my daughter’s age and he said that he hadn’t but he would like to be.”

Where No Man (or Animal) Had Gone Before

posted by on October 30 at 1:37 PM

50 years ago this Saturday, the Russian mutt ‘Laika’ became the first animal launched into orbit.


Laika died in-flight. The “official” version of her death was that, after completing her mission, she was fed a last meal of delicious chow and deadly poison. 45 years later, however, the true cause of death came out when

Dimitry Malachenkov, a scientist at the Biomedical Institute of Moscow who worked on the Sputnik 2 mission, revealed that Laika had died from shock and heat exhaustion only hours after liftoff.

Terrified by the roar and the vibration of the engines, the dog lurched desperately to free itself as the rocket took altitude, its heart racing at three times normal speed.

Laika calmed somewhat as the capsule settled into orbit, but the respite was short-lived. A heat shield had been partially ripped off during the separation with the booster, and within a few hours the temperature inside the capsule had risen to 41 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit), rather than 15 C (59 F).

Five hours after takeoff, Laika showed no signs of life.

Her high-tech coffin orbited until August 14, 1958, when it burned up upon reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Federalist #55

posted by on October 30 at 12:30 PM

I had the best Halloween costume at the party I was at in the N. Greenlake neighborhood last Saturday night.

I went, as I always do, as James Madison.

Meanwhile, I had this text message exchange with a friend who was at another party about the best costume there:

From: ————— There’s a dead-Bonnie-and-Clyde couple here. The girl looks EXACTLY like Bonnie. 10/27/07 8:55pm

To: —————
Cool! Faye Dunaway version? Or actual Bonnie P. version? And is it the costume or is it her?
10/27/07 9:00pm

Bonnie style. It’s totally her.
10/27/07 9:36pm



Happy Day Before Halloween!

posted by on October 30 at 12:15 PM

To help get you in the mood, here’s a clip from Paul Lynde’s 1976 Halloween special, featuring Lynde, Margaret “Wicked Witch of the West” Hamilton, and all four members of KISS.

Here’s Frank DeCaro writing about the mindblowing special—recently released on DVD—in the New York Times.

(In addition to KISS and the Wicked Witch, the special also features Billy Barty, Donnie and Marie, Tim Conway, Betty White, and Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf. The Netflix wait for the DVD is very long.)

Thanks to Towleroad for the link.

Szwaja Appeals Ruling in Complaint Against Godden

posted by on October 30 at 11:24 AM

The Joe Szwaja campaign (“Say hiya to Joe Szwaja!”) has filed a complaint (PDF) against Jean Godden, alleging that the one-term council member has scheduled campaign events and strategy sessions using city staff and on city time. The city’s ethics and elections director, Wayne Barnett, dismissed the complaint earlier this month, but the Szwaja campaign has filed an appeal, meaning it will eventually be heard by the entire ethics board.

According to the complaint, Godden’s official city calendar listed 87 hours of campaign events, 20 of which took place during regular business hours. Much of the scheduled time Szwaja disputes consisted of meetings during office hours with Godden’s campaign fund raiser, McKenna Hartman, and of mostly after-work campaign fundraisers and forums. “You can tell a lot about a person by their schedule, and her schedule does not reveal a person who’s working for average people,” Szwaja says. “I don’t think we should be paying people to keep track of her campaign schedule or her fundraising.”

Godden’s staff dismisses that claim as nonsense, and Barnett says he investigated the complaint and found no evidence of violations. “You can’t campaign from your city office, but you can put [campaign events] on your city calendar” to avoid double-scheduling, Barnett says. “I didn’t see anything in there that led me to believe she was doing anything more than that.” In his letter dismissing the complaint, Barnett wrote, “Our office has reviewed the documents you provided us with and can find no evidence that would suggest that Councilmember Godden’s City staff is performing campaign scheduling for the Councilmember.” According to Godden’s staff, her scheduler periodically sends a copy of her schedule to the campaign; the campaign schedules campaign events around city business; and the campaign sends the completed schedule back to the city.

The next meeting of the Ethics and Elections Commission is scheduled for November 7, one day after the election.

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on October 30 at 11:20 AM

They’re not all about piss and shit and fisting and gangbangs…

There’s this new pastor @ the church I visit. She’s gorgeous, a serious athlete—and can read ancient Greek. I’ve managed to get her to lunch twice, despite her schedule, and as she may be deployed to Iraq shortly, I spelled out my interest explicitly. (Hey, if I was smooth w/ the ladies, I’d be married already.) She seemed receptive, posited that dating someone in her new congregation could possibly cause issues, but may go hiking w/ me this weekend.

So what’s the protocol for dating a smokin’ hot priestess? (If I should be so lucky.)

Not Very Good Xian

Dino Rossi Supports Bush’s SCHIP Veto

posted by on October 30 at 11:06 AM

Dino Rossi isn’t a very definitive guy. Except when it comes to saying No to kids. I’ll get to that in a minute.

First, his wishy-washy-ness.

Yesterday, I asked his campaign if Rossi supported 4204, the ballot measure that would lower the threshold for passing school levies from a supermajority to a simple majority.

I got this response from his spokeswoman, Jill Strait: “While I can’t comment on how he will specifically vote on 4204, and he has yet to fill out his ballot, in general he is in favor of simple majorities for school levies as long as those votes happen in November elections, when the most voters are able to participate.”

Here’s Gov. Gregoire:

“I believe this is the right thing to do for our communities and our schools. This measure allows a majority of voters to say yes or no to funding local levies – and make decisions for kids in the community. If we can build a sports stadium with 50%+1, we should be able to fund schools.”

Asked by several reporters last week how he was voting on Prop. 1, the $17.8 billion transportation initiative. Rossi told us he was “leaning no.” He went on to explain that he was a no unless someone could convince him the package would ease congestion. “I haven’t filled out my ballot yet.”

Here’s Gov. Gregoire on Prop. 1:

“If I lived in the district, I would vote yes. This is not a perfect plan, but we have gone far too long in this state without investing in transportation projects that are critical to the safety of Washingtonians. For me, this measure is first and foremost about safety, but we also must invest in congestion relief in a fiscally responsible way. Our roads and transit in the Puget Sound region are critical to our quality of life.”

However, Rossi is definitive about expanding children’s health care. He’s a No.

It did take me a while to get an answer from him on the issue. (There’s a children’s health care expansion bill pending in D.C. that President Bush has already vetoed once—and now a new one is coming his way. If the bill fails it could undermine legislation passed in Olympia last session that expanded children’s health care coverage.)

Rossi supports Bush’s veto. His campaign told me this morning that expanding coverage to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is what the federal bill (and our state bill) does, is the “wrong approach,” explaining: “the majority of new children that are going to be coming on are either illegal or they currently have health insurance from the private sector.”

They do? There are 72,000 uninsured kids from families with incomes up to 300 percent of the poverty level ($51,500 for a family of three) in Washington State.

Gregoire does not support President Bush’s veto, and has leaned on the one member of Washington State’s delegation in Washington, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-4, Central Washington), to support the bill. (Hastings was the lone vote from Washington State against overriding Bush and he simply didn’t vote last week on a revised bill to expand SCHIP.)

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 30 at 11:00 AM


‘The Travels of Mariko Horo’ at 911 Media Arts Center

What colonialism needed was a good video game. Enter artist Tamiko Thiel, raised in the U.S. and Japan. In her three-dimensional, interactive virtual-reality installation, you become Mariko Horo and images of the Western world are processed through your time-traveling, westbound Japanese eyes—hovering domes of angels and demons in Renaissance churches, photographs of the Vietnamese napalmed girl, and hooded Abu Ghraib prisoners. What sort of place is this? (911 Media Arts Center, 402 Ninth Ave N, 682-6552. Noon–6 pm, free.)


Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

posted by on October 30 at 10:42 AM

A Northville couple ended up in jail, both facing drunken driving charges, after Ypsilanti Police first pulled over the husband, who was driving with his young son in the car, and then arrested the mother when she showed up to pick up the boy.

Officers said they saw the man run a red light at Prospect Road at Clark Road at about 11:20 p.m. Saturday. When they stopped him, they said they gave him a preliminary breath test that registered 0.11. The legal standard for drunken driving is 0.08.

Police said they told the man’s 12-year-old son to call his mother to pick him up.
But when she arrived with her 9-year-old daughter in the car, police said, she also appeared to have been drinking, and registered 0.13 on a PBT. Both children were turned over to a relative, and the parents held until they sobered up.

No word on whether the mother or the father are running for the Northville city council.

Jim Dine to Talk at SAM

posted by on October 30 at 10:30 AM

Two particularly juicy works from the 1960s await in the prominent Pop display that introduces the galleries of the new Seattle Art Museum: Jim Dine’s Vise and Window with Ax and Objects.

In Vise, a monochrome white canvas is stabbed by a steel tube stuck in a clamp on a table in front of the painting.


In Window, a black window is hacked at by an ax. Tools have been Dine’s language for years; as a midwestern kid, he worked in the hardware stores of his family.

Clumped in with the Pop artists, Dine has said of himself that he’s too “subjective” for Pop. He’ll say more about himself on Wednesday Nov. 28 at 7 pm at the museum, when he’ll talk to SAM mod & contemporary curator Michael Darling.

Dine has a strong connection to SAM; he spends most of his time in New York but has lived in Washington state and worked extensively with the Walla Walla Foundry. Two Dine works have been in SAM’s collection for more than three decades: Rainbow Faucet (a 1966 painting) and Untitled (a 1973 lithograph). Six more pieces were promised in honor of SAM’s 75th anniversary this year, four from the Wrights and two from the artist himself.

(The fine print, from the press release, says this thing is docent-driven: “This lecture is presented in memory of former docent Elizabeth Hambleton. Hambleton was a long-time docent of the museum until she passed away a couple years ago. Hambleton’s husband donated to the docent fund in her memory in order to make this lecture possible. Current SAM docents are also contributing additional funds to support the lecture and reception that will follow.”)

Trouble at Babel

posted by on October 30 at 10:20 AM

Looking down on creation:

An explanation? A CNN report:

— A strike by construction workers in one of the world’s fastest-growing financial centers stretched into a third day Monday, with workers in the United Arab Emirates demanding better pay and working conditions, police said.

About 2,000 workers in Dubai blocked the main highway to Abu Dhabi, worsening the traffic jams that are already a fixture in this booming economy. The number of striking workers was slightly fewer than in previous days.

Police said the workers attacked both civilians and police and that there were injuries on both sides, though they did not provide figures. Police said they responded only after the workers attacked them.

And now for an interesting intersection that is somewhat related to the strike in Dubai. The point of this music video is where three lines meet: 80s pop, social commentary, and big architecture.
What’s the color of money? What’s the color of money?

Your Ass Is Glass

posted by on October 30 at 10:15 AM

Behold: The Evidence for Ancient Atomic Warfare!

When the first atomic bomb exploded in New Mexico, the desert sand turned to fused green glass. This fact, according to the magazine Free World, has given certain archaeologists a turn. They have been digging in the ancient Euphrates Valley and have uncovered a layer of agrarian culture 8,000 years old, and a layer of herdsman culture much older, and a still older caveman culture. Recently, they reached another layer of fused green glass.

Boom! Boom! (Antique) Boom!


(Thanks to Kevin S.)

Obama Cured Me

posted by on October 30 at 10:11 AM

When you’re in a hole, stop digging—that’s the standard advice. Someone needs to give it to Barack Obama because his hole is getting bigger and bigger.

MTV hosted a dialogue with Obama in Cedar Rapids Iowa yesterday and a college student—who I’m thinking might be gay—asked Obama his position on same-sex marriage and about Donnie McClurkin.

Andy at Towleroad doesn’t think much of Obama’s response:

My problem with Obama’s position on McClurkin is that though he says he wants to “teach” people about homophobia, there was clearly no “teaching” that went on at the “Embrace the Change” tour. An “ex-gay” who was allowed to emcee the entire event publicly celebrated his “deliverance from homosexuality” during the event’s final hour. Did gays have any chance to rebut McClurkin’s remarks to those at the event so they could “learn” about tolerance? To me, “reaching out” to people would be exposing them to an alternative perspective. Is having white gay Reverend Andy Sidden read a prayer at the beginning of the concert a real effort to do that? I don’t think so.

I think it’s interesting that Obama claims the gospel tour was “a while back” when it was Sunday. He’s clearly anxious to put this episode behind him.

After watching this video of McClurkin’s comments—which he characterizes as a “rant”—Andrew Sullivan had this to say:

I was under the impression he would be singing. Allowing this guy to preach strikes me as a step far too far. No, he doesn’t say anything homophobic as such. He uses the usual formula of loving those he wants to be other than they are—which is a very funny kind of love. But in saying that God “delivered” him from homosexuality, McClurkin describes sexual orientation as something that God wants to save me and other gay people from. If one were being generous, one would say this isn’t meant as an attack; but it is certainly experienced as an attack. McClurkin, in short, should never have been allowed to speak at this event, because his words are inherently divisive, his record of comments on gay people offensive, and the point of the event was allegedly unifying. It wasn’t…. I still believe that broadly speaking, [Obama] is the only major candidacy right now that offers the kind of change we need. But what happened on that stage was inexcusable, stupid, and damaging. I don’t blame any gay American for jumping the Obama ship over it.

Which is exactly what John Aravosis at Americablog is doing. Surf on over and buy the t-shirt:


Clinton’s Pre-emptive Debate Strike

posted by on October 30 at 10:00 AM

Expecting to be attacked by Obama and Edwards at tonight’s debate, the Hillary Clinton campaign has released a memo from its top strategist, Mark Penn. It previews what will probably be Clinton’s response to attacks tonight—especially attacks from Obama, who apparently told a friend recently, “I’ve got to do something in Philly.”

If this memo is any indication, every attack on Clinton will be met with a reminder that Obama (and perhaps Edwards too) has “abandoned the politics of hope.”

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about the “politics of hope.” But what does the term mean? What are the “politics of hope?”

Does the “politics of hope” mean launching attacks on one candidate? Or does it mean laying out a vision for the American people? Does it mean questioning a rival’s integrity? Or does it mean talking about the change we need?

The Clinton campaign believes the “politics of hope” should be about outlining how our candidate will reverse the policies of the Bush Administration and give America a new beginning for the 21st Century… Contrast that with the campaigns of our two leading rivals, both of whom made their names by promising a “politics of hope” and have now abandoned that promise.

Losing ground in the polls, Senator Obama announced over the weekend that he will abandon the politics of hope and attack Hillary in tonight’s debate. Senator Edwards, who rose to prominence in 2004 by eschewing attacks on other Democrats, formally announced last night that he is going to attack Senator Clinton’s character.

Considering that both Senators Obama and Edwards made their names by pledging to be positive, the last thing one would have expected was for either of them to go out and announce with pride that they were now going to go negative on a fellow Democrat. It’s unprecedented in my experience.

Of course, Hillary will not hesitate to set the record straight on the issues that opponents raise about her. But as we move deeper into the Fall we are seeing the clear contours emerge:

One candidate is defining the “politics of hope” while the others are abandoning them.

Want to guess which one?

And here’s a video preview—Obama’s top message man (David Axelrod) debating Clinton’s top message man (Howard Wolfson) on The Today Show.

Another Public Sex Sting

posted by on October 30 at 9:38 AM

Twenty men were arrested for seeking “gay sex” in a public restroom of I-684 in Bedford, New York. Betcha can’t guess how many are gay identified.

A sting aimed a men who cruise a rest area off Interstate 684 for gay sex resulted in charges against 20 men in the past month, including a Catholic priest and a registered sex offender.

The sting, which also netted a local Rotary Club president and a 72-year-old man, was prompted by a complaint from a man who stopped to use the rest area with his 10-year-old son, said Capt. Robert Meyer, state police commander in Westchester County….

Most of the men were charged with either loitering or trespass violations or both. One was charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor.

But first let’s try and guess who was charged with forcible touching.

Among those arrested was the Rev. Gary Mead, a Catholic priest from Millwood assigned to St. Gregory Barbarigo parish in Garnerville. Police said he fondled an undercover officer and was charged with forcible touching.

The Catholic priest, of course! Those dude have serious entitlement issues. But now the main event: Out of the 20 men arrested seeking gay sex in a toilet off I-684, how many do you think were openly gay?

With the exception of Mead, all of those charged are married, police said. Although most of the illegal activity takes place at night, the crimes occur throughout the day, Lutz said.

The correct answer was none!

How does the same story get written after every public “gay sex” sting? “Hey, all the men arrested are married or priests! What’s up with that!” What’s up with that, of course, is that squalid, anonymous toilet sex isn’t something most openly gay men engage in. It is, for the most part, the preferred mode of sexual expression for closeted gay and bisexual men. Cruisy toilets and parks, while frequented by some openly gay men (none of whom ever seem to get caught, however), are primarily patronized by straight-identified closet cases, married men, losers, and priests—hell, the existence or cruisy toilets and parks make it possible for many of these men to remain closeted.

Yes, yes: some gay men go in for public sex. Hell, I’ve had sex in public. (with a boyfriend, but still: full disclosure and like that.) Please note that I carefully qualified the statements I made above. (“…anonymous toilet sex isn’t something most openly gay men engage in. It is, for the most part, the preferred mode of sexual expression for closeted gay and bisexual men.”) I’m not trying to paint openly gay men as sober, monogamous, sexually repressed saints that only get it on at home with their lifepartners. Hardly. But facts are facts: whether the public sex sting is conducted in a big, liberal place like Seattle, or a presumably conservative backwater like Bedford, New York, most of the men arrested are straight-identified.

Unless the police are careful to avoid arresting men with rainbow stickers on their cars, the arrest records prove what most gay men know to be true: cruisy toilets and parks are for messy closet cases, not healthy, sexually adventurous gay dudes.

Gravel to Debate… Himself?

posted by on October 30 at 9:32 AM

There’s a Democratic debate tonight in Philadelphia (starts at 9 p.m. Eastern). But apparently Mike Gravel, he of the rambling statements and almost non-existent public support, has been excluded.

Sad for him. But what’s sadder than a man who can’t get the hint? A man who can’t get the hint and talks to himself. From the Gravel campaign:

Senator Gravel to Broadcast Alternate Debate

After originally making arrangements to include all the Democratic candidates, MSNBC (owned by General Electric) reversed itself and created questionable criteria apparently devised to exclude the most outspoken critic of the military-industrial complex. Despite having met all but the most arbitrary fundraising requirements, Senator Gravel has been shut out of the debate.

In lieu of this, Senator Gravel will be speaking at the World Café Live (3025 Walnut St. in Philadelphia) at an alternate Democratic Debate…

The entire event will be broadcast and streamed through the web site live from The World Cafe starting at 8:30pm ET.

Are We Not Seattle? (A Post Sans Images to Make You Feel the Ugliness)

posted by on October 30 at 9:30 AM

Why does it seem like Seattle museum and gallery web sites are in a competition for world’s worst web site?

Art is visual and associative, people. As is the web. They should be natural friends.

Not in this city.

Yesterday, I was scrolling around on Seattle Art Museum’s site when I made a delightful discovery: You can “curate” your own collection online by compiling images, with your “wall label” comments, from the site’s bank of images from the permanent collection. Great, good.

Except that the bank of images is so thin that when I went to do this, I couldn’t get most of the pieces I wanted to use.

There’s not a single page devoted to images of what’s at the Olympic Sculpture Park—there’s an art map, and a list, but no comprehensive series of visuals. And somehow—somehow—when you search for Alexander Calder’s Eagle, the museum’s flagship work of art, all that comes up is a blue box with the word “Eagle” in it.

Is this web site built and maintained by a woodpecker?

Not that anyone else is doing any better. In fact, at least SAM has some of its collection online (and a refreshingly complete set of images from the current Japan Envisions the West exhibition).

The Henry Art Gallery is in the midst of putting its collection online, but there is absolutely nothing there now, in 2007.

There are no slide shows of images accompanying exhibitions (the code for doing this would be approximately as difficult and time-consuming for a web master as the code for the this blog post is for me). There is not even a slide show of images for the permanent James Turrell Skyspace installation. There are no links to reviews about exhibitions, or past reviews, or past images, or artist’s web pages, or gallery sites, or other museums, or other blogs, or … But hey! you say. The Henry has its own blog! True! Yes! I like it!

But good luck finding it from the Henry’s home page.

Then there’s the Frye Art Museum’s web site. Crickets. All the same problems as the Henry, plus that the site’s lead color is vomit brown.

These are dark alleys of the Internet, places you want to get away from as fast as possible, places where you’re liable to see something so ugly that it will make you want to scream.

Are we not Seattle? Are we not the land of technology and honey?

The galleries have plenty of images, but not much information or many links, either. For the most part, their web sites are deadly ugly, and just completely awkward to use.

On Lawrimore Project’s site, every page is a one-million-mile scroll. Platform Gallery is best at the standalone slide show feature—images pop up and are viewable horizontally rather than vertically, but there’s not much more there there. Howard House has one of those useless, I-am-a-logo front pages that requires you to waste your time clicking on it and waiting for the real home page to load. Once that happens, the real home page is so stuffed together, you find yourself longing for the clean emptiness again.

Many of the galleries, unlike the museums, don’t list their future itineraries—I realize things change, but would it kill them? On James Harris Gallery, it’s not pretty, but the information’s mostly all there. Same goes for Greg Kucera Gallery.

Examples abound, but I’ll stop there and pose this question: Is there any Seattle web designer mortified enough to take on this job pro bono? If so, call the Henry. Call SAM. Hell, hack in and fix it up.

Just make it stop.


posted by on October 30 at 8:38 AM

What’s the matter with heterosexuals anyway? Don’t they have apartments? Can’t those people just get a room? I mean, why would anyone have sex in a public toilet? Disgusting!

Seattle police arrested a couple at Cal Anderson Park Sunday afternoon after a mother and young child accidentally discovered them having sex in the park bathroom.

According to police reports, a mother was inside the bathroom with her child at about 3:30 p.m. when she saw that a man and woman were having sex in the neighboring stall. She contacted two bicycle officers patrolling the park, who entered the bathroom to find the couple still engaged sexually….

The man, 36, and woman, 32, were both booked into King County Jail on suspicion of indecent exposure, according to reports. They were also banned from city parks.

Values Voters Summit

posted by on October 30 at 7:41 AM

The always hilarious Max Blumenthal torments the right wingers.

He’s Not Gay

posted by on October 30 at 7:28 AM


Richard Curtis, an anti-gay Washington state representative, caught up in extortion investigation—police believe he may have been victimized by a male prostitute—issues the big denial.

A Spokane TV station, KREM, reported on its Web site that Curtis and the man had a sexual encounter and were seen together at various spots around the city. Curtis was in the city for a retreat with other Republican lawmakers to craft strategy for the upcoming legislative session.

Curtis talked briefly with Columbian Editor Lou Brancaccio at about 4 p.m. Monday and denied reports of a sexual relationship.

I am not gay,” he told Brancaccio. “I have not had sex with a guy.”

There are still lots of of unanswered questions—like, “If you’re not gay, how come your mustache is?” “What does a male prostitute working in Spokane look like?” And, of course, “Why would anyone attempt to extort a Washington state representative?” Being a state rep is a part-time job, and the pay is awful. Curtis may or may not have been sitting on dick, but he’s definitely not sitting on any money.

The Morning News

posted by on October 30 at 7:01 AM

Race Against Time: Firefighters battle to contain flames in California as Santa Anna winds threaten to return.

Anachronism Fetes Tyrant: The Queen of England throws a state dinner for the King of Saudi Arabia.

Accountability Moments: Merrill Lynch ousts head over subprime mortgage investments/meltdown. FEMA exec that staged a fake news conference denied a promotion.

They Recruit: Foreigners fighting on the side of the Taliban.

Gay Neighborhoods: Are they over?

Castroted: Violence, outsiders lead to cancellation of the Castro’s annual Halloween street party in SF.

Sexy, Sexy Felonies: Pre-teens opting for racy, revealing, risque Halloween costumes.

Seattle Cuts Carbon Emissions: Upbeat headlines in the Seattle Times and PI, downbeat reality buried in reports.

A Sinking Feeling: Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Ann Miller and Della Reese—all very special guest stars on a very special episode of the Love Boat. Enjoy…

Monday, October 29, 2007

More Bad News from the City’s Climate Study

posted by on October 29 at 6:18 PM

As I wrote earlier today, Mayor Greg Nickels’s latest greenhouse-gas inventory contains some bad news about greenhouse gas emissions in Seattle: Most of the progress has been at City Light—where reducing emissions is relatively easy—instead of in the transportation sector, where emissions actually increased.

But the really bad news is this: According to the projections in the report, greenhouse-gas emissions from transportation sources are projected to spike between now and 2012, making it unlikely that—in the absence of real policy shifts to discourage driving and encourage alternatives—we’ll meet our (now-outdated and inadequate) Kyoto target of a seven percent reduction in the next five years. The report predicts that by 2012, we’ll be over our Kyoto goal by nearly 700,000 tons of carbon a year. Almost all of that increase will be caused by gasoline and diesel burned by cars and trucks; the increase is offset only slightly by reductions in the amount of oil burned for heat and further reductions at City Light.

Then again, Seattle residents shouldn’t be surprised by the bad climate news. Nickels’s own head of climate protection, Steve Nicklaus, told the council as much earlier this month, when he previewed the inventory before the budget committee. In response to questions from Richard Conlin, Nicklaus said:

[The inventory] will show that we have brought our community’s footprint to below 1990 levels by a decent percentage. But it will also show that when we project out to 2012, we will lose ground toward the target because of growth, particularly growth in motor vehicle emissions.

How that fits in with a press release titled “Study Shows Seattle on Target to Meet Climate Goals,” I have no idea.

Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama. The Difference.

posted by on October 29 at 5:42 PM

In his post about Obama’s Donnie McClurkin f-up, Eli asks:

“Why should these people [liberal voters] now believe that Obama’s tough enough to successfully take on Clinton? More importantly: Why should they believe he’s any different than Clinton?”

Part of the reason they should now know Obama is different than Clinton is because Obama was disorganized enough to let this whole thing happen. Clinton’s campaign organization is tight, and would have vetted and calibrated this whole thing out before it blew up; and they would have put the kibosh on it before it ever got started. What were Obama’s people even thinking? My guess is: They weren’t.

As I pointed out when Clinton made up for months of limp campaigning in Washington State with one simple, strategic swoop (speaking at the Maggie Awards), the thing that makes Clinton so formidable is her campaign organization—emphasis on organization.

I think part of the answer to the question probably isn’t what Obama supporters want to hear, but it’s this: Obama’s different than Clinton in a bad way. He’s not as competent a campaigner.

This McClurkin mess shouldn’t have gotten this far.

Romney Says Hillary Would be Like “an Intern” as President

posted by on October 29 at 5:10 PM

I’ll leave it to the arbiters of what’s sexist and not to tell me whether Mitt Romney crossed the line tonight on Hannity & Colmes. But if this is going to be a consistent line of attack from him, I believe he’ll have some explaining to do:

She’s never run anything. She’s never had the occasion of being in the private sector, running a business, or, for that matter, running a state or a city. She hasn’t run anything, and the government of the United States is not a place for a president to be an intern. You need to have experience actually leading and running things.

Sports Headline of the Day

posted by on October 29 at 5:00 PM

City wins court ruling in Sonics case

Today U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez ruled against Clay Bennett and the Sonics ownership group, denying their request to seek arbitration and buy out the last two years of the KeyArena lease.

from the Seattle Times:

Team owners had sought to send the case to binding arbitration in an effort to leave KeyArena before the lease ends in September 2010.

In his written ruling this afternoon, Martinez agreed with the city that the dispute revolves around the essential term or length of the lease. He called the Sonics’ owners arguments to the contrary “as errant as a typical Shaquille O’Neal free throw.”

While this doesn’t mean the Sonics are staying, it certainly delays Bennett’s Oklahoma City-relocation efforts.

The NBA season starts tomorrow night. I can’t fucking wait.

Headline of the Day

posted by on October 29 at 4:41 PM

Dollar and oil hit new records

Dollar hits new low, oil hits new high. We. Are. Fucked. I’m thinking of sending farewell notes to my friends in the UK—I don’t think I’ll ever see them again at this rate.

Things the Mayor Doesn’t Mention

posted by on October 29 at 4:41 PM

Mayor Greg Nickels sent out a press release this afternoon announcing that Seattle is now surpassing its goals for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and is on track to meet the mayor’s ultimate goal of cutting emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012 (in line with the Kyoto Protocol.) The announcement was timed to coincide with the US Mayors Climate Protection Summit later this week.

Here’s what went unmentioned in Nickels’s press announcement and the subsequent fawning coverage:

• Kyoto is an extremely modest goal. The latest science says that we must reduce emissions worldwide by 80 percent—and in the US by more than 90 percent—to prevent catastrophic global warming. The seven percent reduction mandated by Kyoto has long been out of date.

• Most of the reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions came from City Light’s conservation policies and purchase of carbon offsets. City Light is the low-hanging fruit for Seattle, because it relies heavily on non-carbon-producing hydropower. As long as most of our emissions are produced by driving, the only thing that will really make an impact is driving cleaner and driving less.

• On that front, we’re actually moving backward. According to the report, emissions from transportation actually grew during the study period, rising by three percent between 1990 and 2005. That’s bad news. We won’t get to the Kyoto target, much less an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050, if we don’t get started on the hard stuff.

Tomorrow night from 5:30 to 7 at the downtown library (1000 4th Avenue), the Seattle Greater City Initiative will hold a forum titled “Global Warming and Seattle—Can We Walk the Talk” to discuss how we can achieve and surpass the goals in the mayor’s Climate Action Plan. More info available here.

The Supersonic Saga Continues

posted by on October 29 at 4:33 PM

From the Times:

In a victory for Seattle, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez ruled today the city’s lawsuit seeking to enforce the Sonics’ KeyArena lease should remain in federal court.

The team owners had sought to send the case to binding arbitration and are seeking permission to leave KeyArena before the lease ends in September 2010.

In his written ruling issued this afternoon, Martinez agreed with the city that the dispute revolves around the essential term or length of the lease. He called Sonics’ owners arguments to the contrary “as errant as a typical Shaquille O’Neal free throw.


Retarded Development

posted by on October 29 at 4:28 PM

From the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (password protected, unfortunately):

Two new South Lake Union projects help poor, homeless

…Hobson said it has been “real interesting” to watch the evolution of South Lake Union. As market-rate developers continue to build, he said they’ve gotten more “savvy” in understanding that projects serving the mentally ill don’t retard development. He points to the 199-unit Amli 535, formerly the Alexan Cascade that Trammell Crow Residential developed and Morgan Stanley purchased in March for a record price per unit in Seattle.

Thanks to Slog tipper Paul.

Not Fucking Likely

posted by on October 29 at 4:05 PM

It’s good to know that I can still let my nine year-old curl up on the couch with the New York Timesarts section.

‘Miss Bad Media Karma’ Sings, Too

“Eat it! Lick it! Snort it!” Such was the legal commentary offered by Britney Spears when she left her latest court hearing on Friday afternoon, as reported by “Access Hollywood.” (Actually there was one more imperative phrase, but it’s not likely to appear in this newspaper.)

Bike Master Plan Moves Forward

posted by on October 29 at 3:24 PM

This morning, members of the Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Group briefed the City Council the latest draft of the Bike Master Plan, which will go before the full council on Monday.

I’ve written before about some of the problems with the (generally impressive) bike plan—notably the fact that it neglects the South End, for example. I’ve also written about concerns that the city is abandoning its commitment to implement the master plan—replacing planned bike lanes with “sharrows,” in which bikers share the same space as cars.

During this morning’s briefing, Pete Lagerwey, a transportation planner with the city’s Department of Transportation (SDOT), sang the praises of sharrows, saying they signal to cyclists that “this is a good place to ride.”

When council president Nick Licata asked him whether there was any enforcement mechanism to ensure that cars would share the road, Lagerwey responded that there was not. “The intent of the sharrow is to reinforce the existing lane.”

Because those non-enforceable, out-in-traffic sharrows are working so well now.

(Incidentally, Jean Godden asked the bike planners about the controversial sharrow on Stone Way, which replaced a planned bike lane. “A lot of people have been calling my office” about the sharrow, she said. “Is there something we can tell them—that it looks likely that we may change it—or is that it?” In response, SDOT traffic management director Wayne Wentz told Godden the city eliminated the bike lane because of a “major capacity problem” on Stone Way—a very different story than the one they were telling back in August, when the city’s decision to cut the lane at the request of a single property owner, Suzie Burke, led to a massive two-wheeled protest.)

Rossi in Context

posted by on October 29 at 3:07 PM

One thing that struck me about the coverage of Dino Rossi’s announcement last week (he’s running for governor) is the GOP sound bite that made it into every story: State spending has increased over 30 percent under Gregoire.

It’s fine to give Rossi his say, but a little context would help.

So, I asked the Rossi campaign to explain the numbers. Rossi spokeswoman Jill Strait told me:

Total state spending following the 2003 legislative session, when Senate Ways and Means Chair Dino Rossi helped write the state operating budget, was $25.2 billion. Total state spending following the 2007 legislative session was $33.4 billion. There has been a $8.2 billion or 32.4 percent increase in the last four years.

Got it. But my question is this: Did spending increase because government raised taxes to get more revenues or did spending increase because the economy is growing?

It’d be one thing if state revenues were static, while a combination of higher taxes and an ambitious expansion of programs made spending spike. But it’d be another thing entirely if taxes remained static while a growing economy both put more money into state coffers and demanded more services to keep it humming.

Given that Washington State ranks 36th out of the 50 states in the amount of personal income that’s spent in taxes (10.3 percent on average vs. 11 percent nationally—and down from 11.7 percent in Washington state in the mid-90s), my guess is that taxes haven’t gone up and the 30 percent jump in spending simply coincides with a booming economy.

Guess what the numbers show? The increase in spending is directly tied to a straight up increase in revenues without a tax hike. Revenues were $22.5 billion in 2003 and they grew by 31 percent to $29.5 billion in 2007.

Republicans argue that the state should save higher revenues rather than spending them—or as Rossi said in his speech: “If our state has a large surplus, I will push to return some of it back where it came from in the first place. That would be you.”

Well, it seems to me that adding 38,500 kids to the state’s health care program (as Gov. Gregoire did) is giving the money back. Moreover, the 2007 budget comes with $1 billion in reserves.

Rather than letting Rossi get away with ominous sound bites about 30 percent increases in spending, perhaps the press should provide a little context about the 30 percent increase in revenues.

Here’s some context, courtesy of the state Office of Financial Management:

Washington’s revenue growth has been spurred by strong labor markets (since the beginning of 2005, expansion of this state’s non-farm jobs has been more than twice the national average) and healthy personal income growth (Washington’s increase
in the 2nd quarter of 2007 was the second highest among the states).

Today in Line Out

posted by on October 29 at 3:05 PM

RIP: Porter Wagoner dead at 80.

Daft Punk: Not even Oliver Gondry can top their live performance.

Drink Diddy’s Scent: P’s the master of marketing.

Last Night: Sam Machkovech reviews the Cave Singers.

Tonight in Music: Joanna Newsom, Architecture in Helsinki, and Caribou.

The Arcade Fire Responds: To Sasha-Frere Jones’s “indie rock is white” story.

MSTRKRFT: Donte Parks reviews their Electric Avenue performance.

Russian Circles: Sign to Suicide Squeeze and team up with Brian Cook.

Goodbye Stylus: The Pitchfork alternative is shutting down.


Obama’s Meta-Problem

posted by on October 29 at 3:00 PM

There’s a lot to be said about Obama’s bad week (and a lot is being said, including here, here, and here).

Much of it amounts to piling on to all the criticism of Obama for not understanding how bad an idea it would be to have Donnie McClurkin, a man who has been “delivered from homosexuality,” as part of the recent pro-Obama gospel tour.

But the bigger problem is this: Obama is (or should be) trying to gain traction among Democratic primary voters. Again: Democratic primary voters.

To do this, he promised on Sunday to rev up his campaign by taking a tougher line against Hillary Clinton. But based on his performance since, Obama seems to have misunderstood why Democratic primary voters wanted someone to be more forceful against Clinton in the first place.

There are a lot of Democrats who worry that Clinton is too mainstream, too… Republican. They want someone to challenge her forcefully from the left, and they want Obama to be that person. They want Obama to be a proxy for them, for their frustration at how wildly far to the right they think the country has pulled in the last eight years.

Naturally, a lot of these people are gay or gay-friendly liberals. Naturally, these people have bad memories of the last presidential campaign and all its gay-baiting and homophobe embracing. Obama needs these people, and a lot of them are naturally drawn to him (or to an idealized vision of him), but here’s what he’s done lately to win them over:

First, he ran a campaign that failed to mount a forceful challenge to Clinton’s candidacy. Then he promised he would get tougher against Clinton and point out where his positions are actually more in line with liberal values than hers. And then, within the span of a day, he proved not even tough enough to yank an anti-gay voice from one of his campaign’s own events, infuriating liberals all over the country.

If Obama’s not tough enough to defend the interests and beliefs of left-leaning Democratic voters at his own events, why should these people now believe that he’s tough enough to successfully take on Clinton? More importantly: Why should they believe he’s any different than Clinton?

That’s Obama’s big problem now—caused by the whole McClurkin mess, but much, much bigger than the sum of its parts.

The Less Partisan Party?

posted by on October 29 at 2:45 PM

A couple weeks ago a car stuffed with Dan Satterberg for Prosecutor yard signs pulled up beside me, a man hopped out, and he trotted into a house. The next day I saw one of those signs in the house’s lawn. It looked like this one on the left, only standing upright.


Last week I walked by again, and the sign had been altered.


Satterberg now appears nervous that running as a Republican may hamper his chances of getting elected, despite his incumbency. He was next in line to replace the late Norm Maleng, the cherished former King County Prosecutor who died in May. Maleng, also a Republican, looked like a grandpa and held some progressive ideas about criminal justice. But Satterberg looks more shrewd and his politics are comparatively unknown (his television ad simply riffs on a status quo catching-the-bad-guys theme). And that “R” next to his name is enough to raise red flags in Seattle. Bill Sherman, the Democrat in the race, is leveraging the party’s differences. He’s pushing for innovative reforms for the office.

Ironically, both candidates’ platforms include aspects of non-partisanship. From yesterday’s Seattle Times

Satterberg vows to lobby the Legislature next year to make the prosecutor’s office nonpartisan in future elections — a bill Satterberg said would be sponsored by one of his Democratic supporters, state Sen. Adam Kline of Seattle.

Sherman also has pledged to keep partisan politics out of the office. But in a county where Democrats outnumber Republicans, he is asking voters to consider party affiliation when assessing the candidates’ values and priorities.

Removing party politics from prosecutor elections would clearly benefit Satterberg and Republicans in the long run by making their political leanings a non-issue — law enforcement generally is more conservative than the King County electorate. But meanwhile, Satterberg is willing to play the game. Earlier this month he accepted a $17,500 donation from the King County GOP.

I Laughed

posted by on October 29 at 2:44 PM

Because I’m a bad person.

Via Seattlest.

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

posted by on October 29 at 2:29 PM

Somewhere, Bob Dylan is twitching and mumbling angrily to himself*.

*Ok, even more than usual.

Steinbrueck on MTV

posted by on October 29 at 2:18 PM

City Council member Peter Steinbrueck makes a brief appearance in this MTV News video about Mayor Greg Nickels’s nightclub license proposal.

My only question: MTV News still exists?

Edwards Proposes Limits on Drug Ads

posted by on October 29 at 2:14 PM

Campaigning in New Hampshire, John Edwards proposed a moratorium of two years before drug companies can advertise new drugs to consumers.

The two-year delay would prevent television ads from driving consumers to drugs that haven’t been proven safe, said Edwards, who also would require drug companies to get Food and Drug Administration approval before launching major ad campaigns.

“I think two years makes sense. I think it gives enough time for a drug not just to have been tested in clinical trials but to be out among the public, to see what kind of adverse reactions there have been,” he told reporters afterward.

Edwards’ plan also includes increased penalties for companies that violate truth-in-advertising laws and would require companies to disclose more information about a drug’s side effects and effectiveness compared to placebos and less expensive alternative drugs.

The US and New Zealand are the only countries in the developed world where advertising drugs directly to consumers is legal (and virtually unregulated.) Our lax rules encourage drug companies to spend tremendous amounts of money on lavish ad campaigns. Those ads underplay potential side effects, lead doctors to over-diagnose conditions, and drive up the cost of health care for everyone. Edwards’s two-year moratorium wouldn’t be as effective as a total ban, but it’s a start.

Miller Beer is Sorry About that Last Supper Poster

posted by on October 29 at 2:14 PM

More ripples—but not the final ones—from the scandal over the Folsom Street Fair’s poster:

Miller Brewing issues apology over poster

Miller Brewing Co. today apologized for allowing the company’s brand logos to appear on a poster promoting a San Francisco street festival that some viewed as offensive to Catholics.

The poster, a parody of the Last Supper, promoted the Folsom Street Fair, which features exhibits on sexual practices. The company also said it has taken action to avoid future incidents.

The New York-based Catholic League rejected the apology and called for a continued boycott off Miller products. The league says the entire Folsom Street Fair is anti-Catholic and wants Miller to not sponsor future fairs.

BDSM is anti-Catholic.


Please make a note of it.

Kos on Obama

posted by on October 29 at 1:54 PM

Just another hysterical faggot, I guess.

This is truly an epic flameout by the Obama campaign, engaged in actions that are completely indefensible. Those of you who continue to try and rationalize it—would you be making the same exculpatory arguments if it was George W. Bush doing the things Obama is doing right now? Or one of the rival campaigns? Somehow, I doubt the vast majority of you would.

Obama and his campaign have had a bad week. The worst I have seen from any candidate this presidential cycle. A candidate whose entire rationale for running was to elevate the discourse, unite our country, and end the politics of division has just been exposed as cynical and clueless, embracing some of the worst hatred and divisiveness in our society today.

And at a time when he’s trying to make an issue of Hillary’s “judgment” on Iraq and now Iran, he’s shown little judgment in pretending that a rabidly anti-gay gospel singer wouldn’t use his microphone on the big stage (with the national media paying attention) to, well, spread his rabidly anti-gay gospel.

Washington State Legislator in Potential Gay Sex Scandal

posted by on October 29 at 1:23 PM

Bet you can’t guess which party he belongs to.

An alleged extortion attempt involving a state lawmaker and a reputed male prostitute is under investigation by Spokane police.

Details surrounding the case remained sketchy Sunday, but authorities confirmed that it involves two-term state Rep. Richard Curtis, a Republican from the small southwest Washington town of La Center, and that there was some type of confrontation last week at Davenport Tower. The identity of the alleged extortionist was unavailable, though police confirm he is a reputed prostitute.

Curtis was meeting with his GOP colleagues at the Red Lion in Spokane, and other GOP lawmakers quoted assumed Curtis was staying at that hotel with them. It appears, however, that Curtis was staying across town at the swankier Davenport—closer to Spokane’s trendier nightspots (such as they are) and far from the prying eyes of his buddies in the gay-bashing GOP. As for Curtis’ record… well, it’s just what you would expect, given the news:

Elected to the state House of Representatives in 2004, Curtis has voted like a fiscal and social conservative. This spring, he voted against domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples. Last year, he opposed a gay rights bill that banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation…. [Curtis’] biography says he is an Air Force veteran and refers to him as a husband, father and former La Center city councilman. He is from New Mexico and moved to southwest Washington 11 years ago, the biography says.

There’s not many male escorts at work in Spokane, Washington. I wonder who it was?

Via HorsesAss.

We All Scream

posted by on October 29 at 12:50 PM


The most famous scream in film history is the Wilhelm Scream. Originally recorded by the wonderfully named Sheb Wooley for the 1951 movie Distant Drums, the Wilhelm Scream is actually named after a minor charcter from a forgotten cowboys-n-Indians flick called Charge at Feather River that appeared two years later. Its modern revival began with Ben Burtt, sound desinger for Star Wars; since then, the Scream—somewhere between a ball-crunching squeal and a manic kamakaze cry—has been used in hundreds of movies and TV shows. It’s a running in-joke by foley artists to insert the Wilhelm Scream into the most unlikely scenes possible.

Once you hear it, you’ll recognize it everywhere. These YouTube compilations help:

Radioactive Tea with Michael Mann

posted by on October 29 at 12:39 PM

Obviously, the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko was one of the best deaths of 2007, if not all time. Apparently Columbia Pictures agrees, because it’s developing a movie based on the assassination. I should be thrilled, but somehow I’m doubting Michael (Miami Vice) Mann was the best guy for the job. Who needs bombast when you’ve got a cup of polonium 210-spiked tea?


I’m still holding out hope for the Johnny Depp version.

(I think I saw this first on indieWIRE.)

But Who Will Cure the Unhappy Heterosexuals?

posted by on October 29 at 12:38 PM

Barack Obama gave Donnie McClurkin a platform and he seized the opportunity to attack gays and lesbians. (And bloggers!) And he attacked gays and lesbians in front of a largely female audience, too, a detail that makes my head explode. After African American gays and lesbians, straight African American women bear the lethal brunt of homophobia in the African American community. The homophobia stoked by African American preachers like McClurkin keeps many African American gay men closeted—and closeted African American men place their wives and girlfriends at greatly increased risk of HIV infection. But, hey, who cares about a few million sick or dead African American women? Not McClurkin and not, it seems, Barack Obama.

Anyway, Barack Obama pumped out a press release yesterday meant to make everything all better:

The concert was to be the highlight of this outreach and while the crowd left excited, it was clear the campaign still regarded the controversy as complicated. Aides gave reporters a three-page memo detailing McClurkin’s and Obama’s views on gay rights that noted in capital letters “MCCLURKIN DOES NOT WANT TO CHANGE GAYS AND LESBIANS WHO ARE HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES AND HAS CRITICIZED CHURCH LEADERS WHO DEMONIZE HOMOSEXUALS,” with quotes detailing those statements from the singer.

Well, duh. Religious bigots don’t “want to change” happy homosexuals; contented gays and lesbians aren’t the kind of low-hanging fruit (sorry) that ex-gay ministries target. Religious bigots go after miserable, unhappy homos because—duh—they’re likelier to fall for the snake oil McClurkin is selling. Ex-gay ministries encourage unhappy homos to blame all their problems on their sexual orientations because it couldn’t possibly be anything they themselves did or failed to do.

If you’re gay and unhappy it’s because you’re gay. If you’re straight and unhappy… well, uh… gee. Maybe you need a hobby?

Pointing out that McClurkin only “wants to change” unhappy homos isn’t going to mollify people that are angry with Barack Obama over this attack. So McClurkin only wants to “change” the unhappy homos—that’s what all the anti-gay bigots say, Barack. How can and/or your handlers not know this? Pointing out that McClurkin only wants to change the unhappy homos doesn’t set him apart from other raving anti-gay bigots. It’s him squarely in the mainstream of anti-gay bigotry.

The SLUT Gets Tested

posted by on October 29 at 12:07 PM

(The picture was taken with my camera phone at the corner of Broad and Westlake.)

Over the next eight weeks, Seattle’s new streetcar vehicles will undergo several tests on the South Lake Union line to prepare for opening day which is scheduled to take place in mid-December.

The first step in testing is a walking speed clearance test in which streetcar personnel escort the streetcar along the entire route to verify clearances from possible obstructions such as traffic signs or branches.

Upon successful completion of the walk-thru, the vehicles will undergo dynamic testing on Valley Street between Westlake and Fairview Avenues.

Over a period of five to ten days, technicians will verify streetcar vehicles abilities to accelerate, maintain a steady speed and stop.

Once dynamic testing of the vehicles is complete, technicians will focus on the vehicles interface with the traffic control systems along the entire South Lake Union route.

Once each of these verification steps is completed, testing and training of Metro operators will continue until opening day.

Ironic D.A.R.E. T-Shirts Are Played Out

posted by on October 29 at 11:52 AM

So get your hands on an ironic anti-drug bracelet…

Oops! Bracelets appear to say ‘Better Do Drugs’

A New York state company will stop production of Red Ribbon Week bracelets and discard its remaining inventory of the rubber wrist bands because of an unintended message printed on them.

The bracelets, handed out last week to students in the WACO school district in southeast Iowa, carried the anti-drug slogan “I’ve Got BETTER Things to DO than DRUGS.”

The issue was the unintended message of the all-uppercase words: Better Do Drugs.

Mark Taxel, executive vice president of Hauppauge, N.Y.-based Positive Promotions, said no one noticed how the words looked on the bracelets before they were distributed. Only two complaints were received about the bracelets, he said.

Taxel said the company doesn’t want to put out a message that could be misconstrued. He said a new bracelet would be produced in all capital letters.

I hadn’t even heard of Red Ribbon Awareness Week until Slog tipper Michelle sent this in. Does anyone know how long this has been going on? When did the White House and the anti-drug crusaders steal the red ribbon from AIDS Awareness mongers? How did this happen?

I Need Headphones

posted by on October 29 at 11:45 AM

My old headphones broke and I’ve been reduced to borrowing Annie Wagner’s, which look like this:


Now, I am extremely grateful to Ms. Wagner for her patience with my headphone borrowing, but I must say her headphones are not my fantasy headphones. My fantasy headphones are like giant earmuffs—the earpieces covered in all kinds of softness, the size large enough that the points of contact mostly involve my head and not my ears themselves. Also must be: Wearable with glasses and powerful enough to withstand an office of extroverts.

Where do I go to find these fantasy headphones? Are you wearing them right now? Where did you buy them and for how much?

The Indignity

posted by on October 29 at 11:33 AM


Shortly before this photo of a person dressed as a Quizno’s fountain soda was taken yesterday, this Quizno’s-fountain-soda-person was seen on another corner trying to fix a Quizno’s sandwich board that someone had turned so that the arrow pointed in the opposite direction. When you’re dressed as a Quizno’s fountain soda, you don’t really have much range of motion in the arms, and you can’t bend over so well either, so this Quizno’s-fountain-soda-person had to turn around the sandwich board by kicking it in a slow, incremental rotation. And then the sign collapsed and fell over anyway. The Quizno’s-fountain-soda-person struggled with the sandwich board, got it back onto its feet, kicked its two sides apart so that it would stand, walked a block down Broadway to hand out more fliers, and got its picture snapped by someone who would then go put it on a blog for people to laugh at.

Meanwhile in Amsterdam

posted by on October 29 at 11:21 AM

Protesters turned out on Amsterdam’s central Dam Square on Saturday, hoping to stop the government from banning magic mushrooms and asking to “save the ‘shrooms”. Carrying banners reading “When will they ban bread?” and “Boss of your own brain”, more than 100 people, some wearing hats resembling the bright red cap of the popular fly agaric variety, protested to keep hallucinogenic mushrooms legal.

After several incidents involving tourists—in March, a French teenager jumped to her death from a bridge after taking mushrooms—the Dutch government plans to ban them.

Arno Adelaars, author of a book on magic mushrooms, said this would only drive users underground and what was needed instead was better information how to use mushrooms right.

Oh, Barneys

posted by on October 29 at 11:15 AM

There’s an election going on! But who takes those things seriously? Not the Seattle Barneys crowd, apparently.


If local Barneys shoppers were to hold up election-style signs about anything, this window display from 5th Avenue tells me, they’d do it wearing all black (gotta be civic process chic!) and one of their main concerns would whether to pick Helmut Lang over Roanik.

I actually like going into Barneys and looking at clothes I mostly can’t afford. But this insipid window display made me embarrassed to go in there over the weekend.


posted by on October 29 at 11:15 AM

This weekend I got my hands on an advance copy of The Believer’s annual visual issue (out in November), and it is hot.

OK, yes, I do have a piece in it—a Q&A with artist Liz Cohen, represented in Seattle at Lawrimore Project—but that’s just a tiny morsel of the meal.

Writer Dave Hickey not only talks trash (as usual), he also lays out 10 of his favorite works of art. (One is John Wesley’s hysterical 1972 painting Leda and the Man, with the swan being chased by a fellow wearing just socks and garters. In its absence online, I give you another Wesley: The Mouse Tells Jokes, from 2002.)


UPDATE: Thanks to Slog tipper Donald, here’s Leda and the Man!


Artist Ai Weiwei—he of the fallen doors at Documenta—describes the (malfunctioning) system of contemporary art in China, and talks some shit of his own. (This is a fairly Bukowskian issue, come to think of it.)

There are also three portfolios: Unsentimental contemporary portraits of muses, Las Vegas carpet patterns, and temporary tattoos (by Raymond Pettibon, Ai Weiwei, and Gregory Blackstock, among others).

And there’s an essay linking Michael Landy’s 2001 performance Break Down, in which he destroyed all of his belongings (including valuable artworks and a car), Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York (the self-destructing machine that self-destructed unsuccessfully),


Corbu’s vision of a cleaned-up New York with skinny soundproof skyscrapers amid big parks, the 1958 fire at MoMA—amazing photos here, and Sept. 11. Now that’s a Believer piece.

Popping the Red Balloon

posted by on October 29 at 11:13 AM

I was speaking with some concerned Capitol Hill parents the other day—Capitol Hill parents are concerned in their sleep—bemoaning the opening of a Red Balloon Company outlet in the old Rainbow Grocery space on 15th. They would no longer be able to walk to QFC or Victrola, they feared, without their kids begging to buy some of the cheap plastic toys & crap in the windows of the Red Balloon Company.

Conscientious modern parenting is a war on the kind of cheap plastic crap for sale at Red Balloon—crap that your kids don’t need, aren’t going to play with, and will ultimately go to a landfill.

One parent had an idea…


Parents upset about Red Balloon coming to 15th should apply for jobs there. Red Balloon is hiring. And then neighborhood parents/Red Balloon employees should treat customers—young and old alike—to the worst possible customer service imaginable. Infiltrate Red Balloon and put ‘em out of business. That’s the plan, anyway.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 29 at 11:00 AM


Architecture in Helsinki at Showbox

If you’re not in the mood for Joanna Newsom’s epic, medieval-fantasy song cycles at Benaroya tonight, consider seeing Architecture in Helsinki, Australia’s best export since Steve Irwin (RIP). The orch-pop sextet leaps from twee swooning to upside-down funk to aeronautic anthems with energy and ease. The Showbox’s spring-loaded floor is sure to be bouncing. Opening is Panther, Portland’s absurdist white-boy Prince, and nu-Italo disco darlings Glass Candy. It’s an oddly matched but totally brilliant bill. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-0888. 8 pm, $16, all ages.)


Shooting in Iraq

posted by on October 29 at 10:43 AM

Fresh from the AP:

Report: 15 Kurds Dead in Turkey Clashes

And Reuters:

Turkish youths target Kurdish property in Berlin

And etc.:

Kurds ‘head for hills’ in face of Turkish attack

All these headlines about Turks, Kurds, and the PKK recall me of the opening paragraphs of this feature, written by a filmmaker named Bill Cody, that we ran back in August.

On my third week in Iraq, we drive to Duhok, a city in the north, where the Turkish army shells the mountains every few weeks, trying to kill Kurdish guerrillas.

The Turks want to invade Kurdistan in the worst way. You can see it in Valley of the Wolves, a hit movie from 2006, produced by the Turkish military. It’s their version of Rambo—Turkish commandos killing U.S. and Kurdish soldiers and breaking up an organ-harvesting racket run by an evil Jewish-American doctor played by, of all people, Gary Busey.

But we aren’t thinking about the Turks or the guerrillas today. We’re thinking about actresses. And how hard it is to find them.

The story is a sad, episodic stroll through what used to be the most stable part of Iraq—shell-shocked students who’ve run away from Baghdad, glum State department officials drinking in karaoke bars, and a shady Chinese businessman and would-be pimp named Arrow. (It’s hard to find actresses because most actresses are also prostitutes and prohibitively expensive.)

But that’s just preamble—this morning, Bill forwarded an email from a friend, an Army Lieutenant who apparently works special ops in Ramadi and Baghdad.

I was actually going to mail you today. It seems that Turkey and Kurdistan will be at war within the month. Turkey has already started shelling, but they have promised not to invade until speaking with Pres. Bush.

I think the U.S. is behind in the chess game here. The Russian and Ottoman Empires are on the rise and it is a shame that the Kurds may be the first to fall. PKK is obviously all over the border on both sides, but the newest development is the deployment of the Kurdish Army to the border. I wonder if they are there to attempt to curb the PKK or to oppose the Turks.

I’d like to hope that they are there with the U.S. support to curtail the PKK, but I fear that this conflict will drive northern Iraq into a full scale insurgent war. The Kurds fighting off the Turks, the U.S. fighting the PKK, Al Qaeda launching guerrilla attacks to keep it going, and the Turks searching out the PKK, or anyone else that defends Kurdistan. Once you launch an invasion of Kurdistan, it becomes impossible to distinguish between the PKK and Kurdi militia defending their homeland.


It’s going to be a disaster. The Turks will win the immediate war, but the PKK will grow the way al qaeda did in Iraq, and both Turkey and the U.S. will have yet another faction of insurgence.

This is fucked up.

Galactic Capital

posted by on October 29 at 10:43 AM

Not even the stars are safe from the hunger and madness of capitalism:

From the BBC:

Some of the world’s most famous meteorites have gone under the hammer at a New York auction house in what is said to be the first sale of its kind.

Recall Cecil Rhodes:

To think of these stars that you see overhead at night, these vast worlds which we can never reach. I would annex the planets if I could; I often think of that. It makes me sad to see them so clear and yet so far.

Edwards Takes on Colbert

posted by on October 29 at 9:55 AM

Responding to this story in a South Carolina paper, the Edwards campaign goes on the attack against the host of The Colbert Report:

For those who missed Stephen Colbert’s misleading attack on John Edwards in the State newspaper this weekend, I wanted to make sure we had an opportunity to set the record straight.


CLAIM: Edwards abandoned South Carolina when he was one year old.

FACT: Edwards was born in South Carolina, learned to walk in South Carolina, learned to talk to in South Carolina, and will kick Stephen Colbert’s New York City butt in South Carolina.

“Stephen Colbert claims to represent a new kind of politics, but today we see he’s participating in the slash and burn politics that has no place in American discourse. The truthiness is, as the candidate of Doritos, Colbert’s hands are stained by corporate corruption and nacho cheese. John Edwards has never taken a dime from salty food lobbyists and America deserves a President who isn’t in the pocket of the snack food special interests.”

Letter of the Day

posted by on October 29 at 9:30 AM

To Slog:

You are mean, nasty, ugly people that hate President Bush, Conservatives, Christians, Jews, our soilders and say mean nastsy words about them. You have Satan living inside of you. I find it odd that you claim to be very loving and caring but practice bigotry and hate against certain poeple because of their political phiosophy, reliogion or faith, or becasue they are either virgins or faithfully married. But I love you and I hope that God would give you readers and you the chance to see your mistakes in life and see the blessings and joy life has to offer, which are better than socialism.

J.S. III in Newvile PA

Hot Scientology Art Show Coming to Seattle!

posted by on October 29 at 9:19 AM

This just in from Hot Tipper S:

I don’t know how often staff from The Stranger meander down the Ave in the University District, but if you take a look at the old tiger Tiger building across from the University Bookstore, you’ll see that the Church of Scientology is putting in its Psychiatry: An Industry of Death exhibit to run for two weeks (Nov 1-14). The anti-psychiatry posters currently in place are at least 10 feet tall and make all psychiatrists throughout history sound like mini-Hitlers running rampant without ethical obligations. It’s worth a laugh, at the very least. For information on the same exhibit in California, check this out.

The Latest Numbers from Iowa

posted by on October 29 at 9:05 AM

Latest Iowa poll: Clinton slightly ahead of Obama; Edwards slipping fast. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is way ahead, but Mike “Legalized Abortion=A Holocaust” Huckabee has catapulted from nowhere to tied for second with Giuliani.

India Perfects the Condom Commercial

posted by on October 29 at 9:01 AM

So cute, so thorough. Plus—ingratiating boing noises!

Ever useful to you, thanks to MetaFilter.

Obama’s Anti-Gay Gospel Concert

posted by on October 29 at 8:45 AM

From the NYT:

At Barack Obama’s gospel concert here last night, more than 2,000 black evangelicals were singing, waving their hands and cramming the aisles—most enthusiastically when Donnie McClurkin, the superstar black gospel singer, decried the criticism he has generated because of his views that homosexuality is a choice.

He said his past statements about homosexuality had been twisted and he had been unfairly maligned. He segued into a hymn about standing up for one’s self and thrust a defiant fist toward the ceiling. This led to a short pitch for Mr. Obama, who, he said, stands for change. “But the greatest change a person can have is not in politics,” he said. “There is only one king.” … The whole controversy might have been forgotten in the swell of gospel sound except Mr. McClurkin turned the final half hour of the three-hour concert into a revival meeting about the lightning rod he has become for the Obama campaign.

He approached the subject gingerly at first. Then, just when the concert had seemed to reach its pitch and about to end, Mr. McClurkin returned to it with a full-blown plea: “Don’t call me a bigot or anti-gay when I have suffered the same feelings,” he cried.

God delivered me from homosexuality,” he added. He then told the audience to believe the Bible over the blogs: “God is the only way.” The crowd sang and clapped along in full support.

The reporter goes on to note that the audience members she talked to after the event seemed “more focused on making allowances for Mr. McClurkin’s past homosexuality than on anything about Mr. Obama.” Great. Oh, and that pro-gay preacher that Obama invited to concert to “balance” Donnie McClurkin’s homophobia? He spoke early, before most of the audience had arrived, and he didn’t address gay or lesbian issues.

So… Barack Obama hosted an anti-gay rally yesterday featuring a singing ex-gay bigot. If this had been a Mitt Romney or John McCain event the same people making excuses for Barack Obama would be screaming bloody murder.

The Morning News

posted by on October 29 at 8:10 AM

Exxon wins right to appeal $2.5 billion fine for Valdez spill.

Nice Sox:
Boston wins World Series, arrests ensue.

7/7 Was an Inside Job: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah says Britain is ignoring anti-terror intelligence.

First Female President Elected!!! In Argentina.

Help Dino Rossi Get Elected: State polling office is hiring.

The Problem With Sharrows: SUV driver, bicyclist do battle in Fremont.

Your Cable Bill: About to get cheaper!

BOO: Fox News says Hillary’s the scariest presidential candidate or something.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Brace Yourselves

posted by on October 28 at 9:07 PM

Because it can only get worse. When the once sad-sack Boston Red Sox are transformed into the team any baseball fan must HATE, well, the Seventh Seal has been opened and things can only get worse. Rains of fire, plagues of frogs, Republicans winning school board seats… it is all coming your way, so …

So, my prediction for who would win the World’s Series has come to pass. And any time I am right, again, it’s a bad sign.

And even worse, the geniuses at Kissing Suzy Kolber have said it better than I can. What comes to pass when the douchebags of New England have the World Series Champs, the best team in College Football taught by Jesuits, and the best team in the NFL? A perfect storm of perfect assholery.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on October 28 at 5:44 PM


How many variations of Britney Spears did people see this past weekend? I myself was feeling more Anna Nicole Smith. In clown makeup. Nobody got the joke.

Photo taken by Stranger Flickr group shooter pretty-kitty.

Required Viewing

posted by on October 28 at 1:57 PM

Bill Maher’s New Rules:

Via HorsesAss.

Required Reading

posted by on October 28 at 11:09 AM

Head over to Danny Westneat’s column in today’s Seattle Times and read—once again—all about how very sincerely Tim Burgess regrets spending ten years in bed with the American Taliban. Burgess is awfully sorry about all those checks he cashed from the Concerned Women for America (it’s a hate group, Mr. Westneat, not a “conservative nonprofit”), but he’s not sorry about his, you know, faith and shit.

Then head over to the New York Times and read Frank Rich’s column. A sample:

When Rudy’s candidacy started to show legs, pundits and family values activists alike assumed that ignorant voters knew only his 9/11 video reel and not his personal history or his stands on issues. “Americans do not yet realize how far outside of the mainstream of conservative thought that Mayor Giuliani’s social views really are,” declared Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council leader, in February. But despite Rudy’s fleeting stabs at fudging his views, they are well known now, and still he leads in national polls of Republican voters and is neck and neck with Fred Thompson in the Bible Belt sanctuary of South Carolina.

There are various explanations for this. One is that 9/11 and terrorism fears trump everything. Another is that the rest of the field is weak. But the most obvious explanation is the one that Washington resists because it contradicts the city’s long-running story line. Namely, that the political clout ritualistically ascribed to Mr. Perkins, James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Gary Bauer of American Values and their ilk is a sham.

These self-promoting values hacks don’t speak for the American mainstream. They don’t speak for the Republican Party. They no longer speak for many evangelical ministers and their flocks. The emperors of morality have in fact had no clothes for some time. Should Rudy Giuliani end up doing a victory dance at the Republican convention, it will be on their graves.

I think Rich is speaking metaphorically here, but… man… it’s such a delicious image that I couldn’t resist picturing it literally in my mind’s eye. Read the whole thing here. And then read all about “The Evangelical Crackup” in the NYT Magazine. Hm… it looks like Burgess deserted that ship—the U.S.S. Christian Bigotry—right before it started to sink. Good timing, Tim.

Justice Served

posted by on October 28 at 11:05 AM

Any criticism directed at U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas or his new book is a racist attack. Please make a note of it.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 28 at 11:00 AM



Ian Curtis, the brooding, epileptic singer for Joy Division, hanged himself at the age of 23 on the eve of his band’s first American tour, leaving behind a wife, a child, and a much obsessed-over musical legacy. Control, the new Curtis biopic directed by longtime rock photographer Anton Corbijn, is surprisingly evenhanded, makes the most of the music, and just looks perfect—as if one of Corbijn’s bleak, black-and-white Joy Division stills had come to life. (See Movie Times for details.)


Mind the Gap

posted by on October 28 at 10:17 AM

Child workers, some as young as 10, have been found working in a textile factory in conditions close to slavery to produce clothes that appear destined for Gap Kids, one of the most successful arms of the high street giant.

Speaking to The Observer, the children described long hours of unwaged work, as well as threats and beatings.

Anyone Know a Good Plumber?

posted by on October 28 at 9:57 AM


The Best of the Best

posted by on October 28 at 9:54 AM

This is a Chinese proverb:

* 肉(ròu)包(bāo)子(zi)打(dǎ)狗(gǒu) (meat+bun(2nd and 3rd)+hit+dog)
o Literally: to hit a dog with a meat-bun.
o Interpretation: the dog will not be driven off, but rather enjoy the meat-bun instead.
o Moral: using the wrong method to approach a problem.

Morning News

posted by on October 28 at 9:01 AM

posted by news intern Brian Slodysko

Law and order: Fred Thompson v. moonshiners.

Confronting Hillary: Barry Hussein Obama’s new tactic.

Staged FEMA press conference: “I think it was one of the dumbest and most inappropriate things I’ve seen since I’ve been in government,” says Chertoff.

Giuliani: Um, excuse me emperor, but you’re wearing a dress.

Venezuela: Cocaine traffic in Chavez’s socialist paradise.

Hannah Montana: Tween queen.

Liberty and the news: Walter Lippmann v. journalism.