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Archives for 11/25/2007 - 12/01/2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

End of an Affair

posted by on December 1 at 7:24 PM

It was inevitable:


The American student accused of killing Meredith Kercher has changed her story again, claiming she was framed by her boyfriend after he committed the murder.

Amanda Knox now says she was sleeping at Raffaele Sollecito’s house all night, while he sneaked over to Meredith’s flat, sexually assaulted her, cut her throat, then returned to plant Knox’s fingerprints on the knife.

It is the latest in a string of stories Knox, 20, has told police as she protests she is innocent of the murder of her flatmate in Perugia, Italy

A Friendly Message from Your Concerned Friend, Canada

posted by on December 1 at 6:59 PM

Those wintery folk up north who invented universal healthcare, gay weddings, and “Eh”, are concerned about you—-very, very concerned about you. They want you to be safe. Really, really safe.

And they are NOT. Fucking. AROUND.

A thoughtful PSA, brought to you by everyone’s guardian angel, Canada:

Um. I bet she wishes she’d done meth for the first time instead of that.

Don’t have accidents then, alrighty?

What Happened Last Night?

posted by on December 1 at 3:56 PM

In case you’re wondering what went down at The Belmont Friday night, Christopher has a report on Line Out.


Snow! (Updated)

posted by on December 1 at 1:15 PM

It’s snowing! Heavily! On Capitol Hill. And it’s sticking.

Where you are?

Update at 4pm

It’s stopped, but the city is beautiful. I’ve cracked into my Baileys.

Need musical accompaniment? Megan is on the job.

New pictures from the Stranger pool on Flickr are below. Add yours!

2078562939_d8b3789be0.jpg (Jessica 911)

JadeGordon.jpg (JadeGordon)

adencini.jpg (adencini)

And some helpful driving hints from the please-don’t-kill-me department:

1. Slow down. Yes, even if you have a SUV. Four wheel drive only helps get you going better—stopping and turning are still tricky. Think about stopping before reaching a stop sign.

2. If you are skidding, take your feet off the pedals (brake and gas). Turn into the skid. Thanks to the magical difference between kinetic and static friction (static is higher), you’ll quickly be back into control. To avoid skidding in the future? See hint 1.

3. If you see many cars in the ditch, particularly along a hill, please consider not attempting the hill yourself.

—- Update at 6:30p

It’s snowing again!

After a snowy walk, I poured myself a drink, turned on the Missouri / Oklahoma game and made homemade pizza:

Some more pictures of the snow from the pool:
MattWestervelt.jpg (Matt Westervelt)

geoffrey.jpg (Geoffrey)

My favorite of the shots I took earlier:

May your evening be at least as warm and pleasant as mine.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on December 1 at 11:00 AM


The Thermals, Arthur & Yu,
Coconut Coolouts
at Neumo’s

All pop punk should grow up to be as smart as the Thermals. The Portland trio’s 2006 album called The Body, the Blood, the Machine is a brutal song cycle about a near-future theocratic America. It’s also an energetic punk-rock masterpiece, each song a short, sweet blast of overdriven guitars and restless rhythm. Arthur & Yu’s In Camera couldn’t be more different— a relaxed collection of hazy, homemade acoustic pop with slight traces of sweet ’60s psychedelia. And Coconut Coolouts will party your ass under the table. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $12, all ages.)


Art of Factoria

Zoe Strauss at Open Satellite

Factoria is the Bellevue neighborhood that was intended to be a center for heavy industry. The heavy industry did not materialize. But Target did, and theme restaurants, and something called Newport Corporate Center, which Wikipedia says has six towers. What else? Zoe Strauss will find out. She’s a street photographer of disappointment based in Philadelphia, but currently doing a residency in Bellevue. She’ll give a slide show at 7:00 p.m. during the opening of her new show. (Open Satellite, 989 112th Ave NE, Suite 102, Bellevue, 425-454-7355. 6–9 pm, free.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • The Stranger News Hour. Tonight on KIRO. 710 AM.

    posted by on December 1 at 10:34 AM

    I’ll be on Goldy’s show tonight to talk about: The Special Olympics in Olympia this week. Go Supermajority Democrats! Also some Slog tidbits from the week: State Sen. Margarita Prentice is likely to face a challenge from the left from Juan Martinez; the $5 million Vulcan giveaway; and the new poll that Goldy’s so hot on. Tune in.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on December 1 at 9:00 AM

    Offered without comment…


    Thanks to photo pool contributor JeanineAnderson.

    Morning News

    posted by on December 1 at 12:53 AM

    posted by news intern Brian Slodysko

    AIDS: New method of HIV testing suggests number of HIV cases diagnosed annually are 50 percent greater than reported.

    Bush’s Ally in Spreading Democracy: Musharraf may have shed his military uniform, promising an end to martial law before upcoming elections, but cynicism pervades in Pakistan.

    Beatings On the Bus: Lawsuit against King County for 2005 bus assault underway, but violence directed towards metro riders continues to rise.

    Middle East: U.S. military and diplomatic attitudes soften towards Iran.

    Mr. Bolten, Fetch Me My Veto Pen: Congress reaches agreement on new fuel efficiency standards, despite massive lobbying effort from Detroit.

    Clinton Campaign Office Hostage Crisis: Man in the midst of a 48 hour drinking binge eventually surrenders peacefully.

    Slain Football Player: “Pathetic criminal wannabes” with loose family ties to murdered Redskins safety arrested—one confesses.

    FCC Approves Temporary Cross Ownership Waivers: A brief look at the FCC’s waiver decision and its impact on Tribune Co.’s impending $8.2 billion buyout, as reported by Tribune Co. newspaper, The Chicago Tribune.

    On the Heels of the Annapolis Israeli-Palestinian Agreement: Bush has U.S. ambassador Khalilzad pull resolution asking for U.N. support of this week’s peace agreement after Israeli protest.

    The Santa Monica Tea Party: Inside Ron’s Paul’s big, batshit crazy tent.

    Health Concern or Nutritional Fad? PCC bans products with high-fructose corn syrup from its shelves.

    Friday, November 30, 2007

    Re: This Weekend at the Movies

    posted by on November 30 at 5:15 PM

    Oh, and I almost forgot.

    What Would Jesus Buy? is opening this week, but it’s dumb and I was short on space, so I tucked it away in Film Shorts:

    A very poor documentary about the performance artist Billy Talen, also known as Reverend Billy to his followers in the Church of Stop Shopping. His shtick is to bring a choir to the middle of Times Square—or a big-box parking lot, or the Mall of America, or a conspicuous spot at Disneyland, or (the one time I saw him in person) an abandoned silk factory in Charlottesville, Virginia—and hold a boisterous, Baptist-style service exhorting people to give up shopping. His performance style has been tailored for ambulatory, even drive-by audiences, so a full-length documentary was already pushing things. Pile on hideous low-grade video and a lame road-trip conceit, and you’ve got an almost unwatchable film. Reverend Billy is an interesting performer: His sermons are truly zealous, and indie-friendly audiences are often taken aback by their literal religious content. But you won’t find any exploration of his motives or unusual effect on audiences here; for director Rob VanAlkemade, it’s strictly cheerleading and blurry shots of colorful Christmas kitsch. Ugh. (ANNIE WAGNER)

    Meanwhile, The Sasquatch Gang (a Napoleon Dynamite ripoff/salute that, at least according to some reviewers, is better than the original) is opening at Uptown today. The publicists failed entirely to alert local media, but thanks to the Seattle-area father of a child actor in the movie, we do have a screener, and Megan Seling should be watching it right… now… Right, Megan?

    This Weekend at the Movies

    posted by on November 30 at 4:35 PM

    The news:

    GRAND ILLUSION CINEMA is open today but closes tomorrow for repairs. The theater will remain closed “for a few days at least.” Keep checking back here for updates. It’s a shame, because this week they’re supposed to show two of Katharine Hepburn’s best films: Adam’s Rib and Summertime. Catch ‘em tonight if you can.

    Alexis Ferris, producer of Seattle’s own (and Charles Mudede’s own) Police Beat and Zoo, has been nominated for the Producers Award at Film Independent’s Spirit Awards. Congratulations, Alexis!

    In Oscar blogging news, David Carr is back in business as The Carpetbagger.

    The press (including your very own L’Etranger) has been forbidden from publishing reviews until the very day Sweeney Todd opens. But they can’t control the internets! Here’s some advance scouting by David Ehrenstein. (Praise Stephen Sondheim! Johnny Depp can sing!) (Via Greencine Daily.) More effusions via Hollywood Elsewhere.

    The lame box office performance of Lions for Lambs means the new United Artists is under some scrutiny.

    And Entertainment Weekly has named Judd Apatow the smartest person in Hollywood. Number 8 is Tyler Perry.


    Opening today:

    Charles Mudede praises the controversial Redacted (times):


    Because it is so angry, Redacted is the first important fictional film on the subject of America’s current and senseless occupation of Iraq. Because it is so angry, the film crosses the line into hysteria. Yes, Redacted is out of control, out of its mind. But what other emotional register could adequately express the desperate state of things in Iraq—the hourly crimes, the daily murders of civilians, the rising weekly toll of American deaths, the monstrous monthly expense of this endless hell (over $8 billion)? De Palma is mad as hell! He is not going to take it anymore!

    If you want to see it, I’d advise going this week—it’s getting a severely limited release (just two shows a day at the Metro) because of its unimpressive performance in other markets, and could close as soon as next Friday.

    Ryan Boudinot reviews Lynch (One), a fully authorized portrait of the circa-Inland Empire cult filmmaker and his eccentric tastes (one-legged 16 year-old, anyone?).

    In a On Screen this week, it’s a big world out there. Like seeing starving refugees put on a show? Of course you do. Andrew Wright says War/Dance is “a slick, gorgeously shot film that should win over the biggest Eeyore.” Prefer to consider the impact of your positive or negative feelings on a wad of bread dough? Look no further than How to Cook Your Life (me: “we’re dealing with the shadowy world of self-help cinema here, and Zen cookery is downright benign compared to What the Bleep Do We Know?’s wanton misinterpretation of quantum physics”). But even if you’re in the mood for a movie about a 14-year-old Vietnamese virgin hanging out in a brothel, Brendan Kiley advises against Holly.


    There’s a mighty luscious lineup of Limited Runs this week.

    The Blue Angel

    Never miss an opportunity to see The Blue Angel (German version, naturally), with Marlene Dietrich as the ultimate schoolboy fantasy. Mraw! (SIFF Cinema, tonight only.) Also in SIFF’s 30 Years of Kino parade: M, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, L’Age d’Or w/ Un Chien Andalou, Lady Chatterley, Dersu Uzala, La Vie de Bohème, and the Buster Keaton pair The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr.

    Relive the late ’90s with The Big Lebowski at Egyptian late nights and Being John Malkovich, starting at Central Cinema.

    Northwest Film Forum is almost as packed as SIFF Cinema this week: Eraserhead plays every day of the week and a program of Lynch’s short films screens Sat-Sun, in addition to the Lynch (One) documentary reviewed above. On Monday a great series on the Portuguese director Pedro Costa begins with O Sangue, then Casa de Lava, and and then Costa’s renowned Vanda trilogy begins with Ossos on Wednesday.

    But there’s an awesome Howard Hawks screwball double feature at Metro Classics next Wednesday as well: His Girl Friday and Twentieth Century in 35mm. Choices, choices.

    For all your movie times needs, Get Out.

    When Hot People are Funny

    posted by on November 30 at 4:11 PM

    I am equally fascinated by The Hills and the writers’ strike, so this Judd Apatow-produced short (starring Mila Kunis and James Franco) made my week.

    “Fuck them. LITERALLY.
    I don’t give a FUCK.”

    Many thanks to Audrina Patridge’s dead face (ARE YOU OKAY IN THERE?); and to Justin Bobby’s parents for having sex, inventing the name Justin Bobby, and raising the world’s most transcendent douchebag.

    Also, good point, Apatow. I want my writers back.

    Today on Line Out

    posted by on November 30 at 3:32 PM

    Tonight in Music: The Unhinged Genius of Les Savy Fav

    On the Radio: Megan Seling and Martha Stewart

    Les Savy Dad: Ari Spool’s Real Problem with Tim Harrington

    Setlist: Math & Physics Club, Pleasureboaters, Gabriel Teodros, and More

    Puzzling: Mars Volta Irritate Stoners with Nonsensical Puzzle

    MIATV: MTV Accidentally Plays Some Music

    Today in Music News: Kanye, Sufjan, Cage, and More

    You Can’t Jump a Motorcycle Over Hep C and Type 2 Diabetes: Evel Knievel Dies

    Smart Girls: Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s Lost Rap Song

    Fat Boys: “Wipeout”

    This Week on Drugs

    posted by on November 30 at 3:20 PM


    Nickel Bag of Bunk: Judge says Hershey’s packaging looks like baggies of blow.

    Another Vietnam: Returning soldiers addicted to drugs.

    Obama on Pot: “The point was to inhale. That was the point.“

    But Terrorists Are So Hard to Find: GAO finds intel centers being used for drug enforcement.

    Your Call May Be Monitored: Phone companies handing over records for drug investigations without probable cause.

    Required Reading: Ecstasy trials for PTSD therapy underway.

    Blow: Gusting through Europe.

    Parole Violation? Willie Nelson holding on the cover High Times.

    Back Up Your Position and We’ll Back You: Group offers Republican candidates $10,000 each if they can prove their claims about the dangers of medical marijuana.

    Being Healthy Now Less Fun: Pills replace benefits of red wine.

    Plan Your Summer Road Trip: First-time pot possession decriminalized in Waukesha County.

    Cardinal Sin: DEA suspends license of Cardinal Health pharmacy in Auburn for allegedly selling Oxycontin.

    Work Where You Sleep

    posted by on November 30 at 3:10 PM

    Anybody live and work in a live-work unit?

    It Comes…

    posted by on November 30 at 2:57 PM

    Look for it. December 6.


    Karaoke with Blake Lewis: In case you’ve been living under a stone—beatboxing marvel Blake Lewis is an American Idol superstar who makes everyone’s hearts go pitter-pat. Singing karaoke with him will cure the sick, mend the brokenhearted, and possibly score you a spot in the VIP section of heaven. In an acronym: OMG! Plus a 30 gigabyte pink iPod signed by fellow Idol-ator Kelly Clarkson, a life-size cutout of Ms. Clarkson, and eight cases of kiwi-strawberry Vitamin Water. Did you ever dare to dream of such happiness? Priceless! Opening bid: $1.99.


    The Best Damned Dinner Party in the History of Ever: For the second year in a row, culinary god Ethan Stowell—of Union, Tavolata, and How to Cook a Wolf—comes to your house to cook a feast for six. Plus a cavalcade of wines courtesy of Mark Ryan Winery. (And might we suggest Seattle Symphony cellist Josh Roman, for a private dinnertime concert?) Priceless! Opening bid: $1.99.

    (And! How to Cook a Wolf, Stowell’s tiny new 20-person restaurant on the top of Queen Anne, opens tonight.)

    Strangercrombie: Once a year, we do something nice.

    Obama Loves the Wire; I Now Love Obama

    posted by on November 30 at 2:53 PM

    This exchange from the Republican YouTube debate gave me some wry pleasure. The requisite love-fest for all things biblical and Christian is a long-standing tactic of conservative political candidates—a way of indicating a wide array of beliefs without having to explicitly state the less popular ones. As the questioner stated “how you answer this question will tell us everything we need to know about you.”

    Silly conservatives—symbols for the simple minded.

    Of course, the next morning I stumbled upon a detail about Barack Obama that placed me solidly as a supporter. Something about his health care plan? NIH and NSF funding? A stunning foreign policy position? Nope.

    TV guide asked the candidates for president for their favorite TV show. Edwards? L&O. Hillary? Grey’s Anatomy. Barack Obama’s? The Wire.

    The Wire! Now that’s interesting choice for a presidential candidate. The Wire is objectively the best television series ever created—a detailed, beautifully scripted, acted and filmed deconstruction of every institutional failure in a major US city. Baltimore, my home prior to Seattle, is the setting where the police, drug trade, unions, government, schools and finally the press are carefully dissected. The series is deeply and humorously honest in a rare way; few notes strike me as wrong, viewed through my time training as an EMT-B with the Baltimore City Fire Department. (Medic 11, hon!) You should watch it. Now.

    Here’s a taste:

    (NSFW, without headphones at least.)

    The net effect is somewhat nihilistic. No character is left unblemished. Institutions are at best viewed as noble failures (the Stevedores Union) and more often as a destructive force. Obama’s declaration of love for the series, to me at least, is his deep recognition of the limits of presidential and governmental power as well as the magnitude of the problems we face. Any man prepared to take such a naked look at today’s United States deserves my vote.

    Savage Love Letter of the Day

    posted by on November 30 at 2:42 PM

    From the mailbag…

    I’m a recently dumped male age 19. I feel somewhat confused by how my last relationship ended and was wondering if you could help me out. So this past week my girlfriend comes over and tells me that she can’t be in a relationship right now, she gave me the “it’s not you it’s me”. She says that she pushes people away when they get too close. And said she still wanted to be friends.

    Because we got along so well and this was completely out of the blue, I ended up making a really dumb decision, I swallowed all my pills. I know this was a really stupid move but I let my emotions get the better of me. So my problem is I still love this girl but I know that she needs her space to take care of her problems. It hurts to think of her as just a friend considering I fell really hard for her.

    Should I continue to be her friend and hope that things turn out for the best later on or should I move on?—Martin

    First, get some therapy for that pill-swallowing thing.

    Second, Martin, you shouldn’t have anything to do with your ex. It sucks to be dumped. And it sucks even more to hang out with the person that dumped you in some misguided effort to prove that you’re the good guy, really mature, and that you can do the “friends” thing. You’re not interested in being this girl’s friend—you weren’t ever interested in being her friend. You want to be her boyfriend. Be friends with your friends, male and female, and date the people you feel something more than friendship for. Lean not to confuse the two.

    That’s my advice, Sloggers. What’s yours?

    State Sen. Margarita Prentice Likely to Face Challenger, Juan Martinez

    posted by on November 30 at 1:50 PM

    Several sources who watch politics in Olympia confirm that Juan Martinez, who works with the left-of-center Washington Tax Fairness Coalition, is planning to challenge State Senator Margarita Prentice (D-11, S. and West Seattle, International District, Burien, Renton, SeaTac and Tukwila).

    Prentice, the chair of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee, irked liberals last session by defending PayDay loan companies like Money Tree (and thwarting legislation to regulate the industry.) She was also Olympia’s loudest Sonics booster. In a sign that’s not such a popular stance in her district, Kathy Keolker, Renton’s mayor, who also supported the Sonics subsidy, lost her election this November.

    Martinez, who has not returned my call, may have fired his first shot in the campaign on Wednesday when he published an editorial in the PI against Tim Eyman’s 1 percent property tax cap —which the legislature resuscitated and made law on Thursday.

    Sen. Prentice was the lone Seattle Senator to vote for the 1 percent cap yesterday. (She was also a co-sponsor.)

    Cowboys I Don’t Hate

    posted by on November 30 at 1:45 PM




    Today In Creepy

    posted by on November 30 at 1:34 PM

    Meet the dental school robot.

    Evel Knievel is Dead

    posted by on November 30 at 1:24 PM

    R.I.P. Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel, Jr.


    October 17, 1938 - November 30, 2007

    Neighborhoods Scrap Over Safeway Redevelopment

    posted by on November 30 at 1:21 PM


    15th ave NE & NE 123rd


    A plan to rebuild, expand and rezone a “green” Safeway in the Pinehurst neighborhood—a proposal which was approved by the City Council’s Planning and Urban Development committee on Wednesday—is facing the threat of legal opposition from another nearby neighborhood.

    Earlier this week, the Maple Leaf Community Council (MLCC) retained an attorney and sent a letter to Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, who heads up the Urban Development committee. MLCC believes that allowing Safeway to rezone several adjacent residential units into commercial space, the city will be setting a precedent which would let developers run wild.

    MLCC President David Miller says it’s not the project they’re opposing, it’s the principle.
    “[We’re] taking a stand specifically against the ordinance, not the project,” he says. “The project…seems to be [great]. However, Miller says, “[By allowing the rezone] It increases the chance that somebody living in a single family home…[could] end up living across the street from a nightmare project.”

    Miller says MLCC hasn’t decided whether or not they’ll sue to keep the city from allowing Safeway to skirt current zoning regs. The proposal goes to full council on Monday.

    35 Days to Concentrate on I-35

    posted by on November 30 at 12:48 PM

    Christian fundies are now claiming…highways for Christ.

    (Via Sullivan.)

    Hostage Situation at Clinton Campaign Office in New Hampshire

    posted by on November 30 at 11:09 AM

    Developing, via MSNBC:

    ROCHESTER, N.H. - A man took an unknown number of people hostage at a New Hampshire campaign office for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton, police said Friday.

    The man claimed to have a bomb strapped to him when he walked into the office in Rochester, WHDH-TV reported.

    Hillary Clinton is not in the area. She was at the DNC Fall meeting in D.C. today and canceled her planned speech there after news of the hostage situation broke. Live video here.

    UPDATE: The man is reportedly demanding to speak with Hillary Clinton.

    UPDATE: First statement from the Clinton campaign:

    There is an ongoing situation in our Rochester, NH office. We are in close contact with state and local authorities and are acting at their direction. We will release additional details as appropriate.

    UPDATE: Reports that the two hostages have been released.

    UPDATE: ABC News has more on the suspect:

    The suspect was a well-known local man with history of emotional issues who told his son to watch the news, a well-placed law enforcement source told ABC News’ Pierre Thomas.

    UPDATE: With the hostages reportedly released, some thoughts: Obviously, what happens to the hostage-taker is still unknown, as is exactly what he wanted or who he is. But it’s safe to say that close attention will be paid to how Clinton herself handled this moment. There are loose echoes of Bush on 9/11: Clinton about to give a public speech as reports of a dangerous situation trickle in, the media clamoring for a reaction and more information, many Americans following the event live on television (or online).

    Her response, as reported so far, seems likely to play well. Clinton canceled her speech and headed to her Virginia campaign headquarters to monitor the situation. Her campaign quickly put out a statement that acknowledged the situation and said the campaign was in close contact with state and local authorities. Already, the image this creates is a sharp contrast to Bush on 9/11. Clinton reacted quickly, communicated quickly, and then headed to a place where she could best help respond to the situation.

    UPDATE: It’s 12:40 PST. WMUR reports that authorities will hold a press conference at the scene in a few minutes. It’s also now unclear whether one or both hostages were released. That should be cleared up at the press conference.

    UPDATE 1:45 PST: Capt. Paul Callaghan of the local police department says during the press conference: “This is a hostage situation.” That would seem to indicate that there is still at least one hostage. But, confusingly, Capt. Callaghan also said: “I want our residents to know that the situation has stabilized.” And: “The situation is still fluid.” Capt. Callaghan was asked if he had been in touch with Sen. Clinton. “We have been in touch with a lot of various people,” he said.

    UPDATE 2:55 PST: There’s a name floating around for the suspected hostage-taker: Leeland Eisenberg from Somersworth, N.H.

    UPDATE 3:15 PST: WMUR reports that the suspect has surrendered and the last hostage, a young man, has been released. The standoff lasted more than five hours.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 30 at 11:00 AM

    Israeli Punk

    Monotonix at Comet

    Last time Monotonix played Seattle, they started a fire in the Comet, the drummer standing on his bass drum, his cymbals aflame. And I fucking missed it. Don’t make my mistake: This three-piece will rip your face off—think guitar riffs like Death from Above 1979, but less pretty-boy attitude. Also, they party like Hamas is right around the corner, and we can all learn a little something about that. With Pleasureboaters, the Whore Moans, and Mattress. (Comet Tavern, 922 E Pike St, 323-9853. 9 pm, $8, 21+.)


    He’s The Demon Clone Baby of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush

    posted by on November 30 at 10:58 AM

    I’ve been saying this from the very beginning. The first time I put anything down on the record was on August 12, but I’d been saying for months before that: Mike Huckabee is the most dangerous Republican in the race. He’s charming (Rolling Stone and The New Yorker have both given the man big, sloppy blowjobs in the last two weeks), he’s super-Christian, he plays in a rock and roll band, and he apparently has a sense of humor. Plus he’s got a diet book, and I think that any presidential candidate with a diet book automatically earns an extra ten points at the polls. He’s the guy you’d most want to have a lite beer with.

    I would like to retract one thing that I wrote from the August 12th Slog post that I wrote, though. I said:

    I don’t think that Huckabee will ultimately get the nomination

    and I think that he could actually get the nomination now. But if, as I think might happen, the compressed primary schedule renders Iowa fairly irrelevant, he could at least wind up on the ticket as a Vice President.

    Sure, he’s got a bunch of scandals. But they’re almost all money scandals, and thanks to CNN’s inability to compress them into ten-second soundbites, money scandals don’t stick anymore: Whitewater and Bush’s various charges of nepotism amounted to a hill of beans. And sure, he believes that the Earth is 6,000 years old, but again, the nightly news has somehow managed to convince us that half of America believes that the Earth is 6,000 years old. He has his weird Ron-Paul-like hatred of the IRS, but I’m thinking that some good aides can probably compress that into an “I hate taxes” soundbite that will appeal to many uninformed Republicans.

    In the comments thread to my August 12 post, Mr Me, speaking for many of the commenters, said:

    The Huckabee sort-of win is interesting, but you’re “scared” of him? If he won the Republican nomination, I’d dance a wee jig. No way that guy’s electable.

    No way is he electable? With the right partner on the Republican ticket, I think he’s more electable than at least two of the three major Democrats. He’s got some of Bill Clinton’s charm, and he manages to make people believe that he’s perfected Bush’s compassionate conservatism. Seriously, we need to stop this man now.

    Dialing It In For Waterboarding

    posted by on November 30 at 10:45 AM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    In the Pavlovian world of the ultra-conservative primary voter, the man who will waterboard the children of illegal immigrants is king. Time’s Joe Klein goes into the depths of a Republican focus group for the last debate, wherein people were armed only with dials to show their displeasure for compassion:

    In the next segment—the debate between Romney and Mike Huckabee over Huckabee’s college scholarships for the deserving children of illegal immigrants—I noticed something really distressing: When Huckabee said, “After all, these are children of God,” the dials plummeted. And that happened time and again through the evening: Any time any candidate proposed doing anything nice for anyone poor, the dials plummeted (30s). These Republicans were hard.

    But there was worse to come: When John McCain started talking about torture—specifically, about waterboarding—the dials plummeted again. Lower even than for the illegal Children of God. Down to the low 20s, which, given the natural averaging of a focus group, is about as low as you can go. Afterwards, Luntz asked the group why they seemed to be in favor of torture. “I don’t have any problem pouring water on the face of a man who killed 3000 Americans on 9/11,” said John Shevlin, a retired federal law enforcement officer. The group applauded, appallingly.

    The winner in the hearts of these angry, angry people? That would be Romney, who of the 30 people in focus group, left with the approval of 14.

    Kink Slave in Pink Speedo Tied Up on Broadway

    posted by on November 30 at 10:41 AM

    From Slog tipper Matt Dawsey:


    This morning was so weird and wonderful it is what my friend Spencer would call a “Magickal occurrence.” Chris and I were walking down to the gym around 7 am and we passed by the Tullys on Pike and Broadway, making our way by the gallery that’s right behind the coffee shop. I saw a figure that was standing next to the gated entrance and I thought it was the woman who is usually out there sweeping the sidewalk. As I passed by I looked to the right and saw that it wasn’t the woman, it was a 50ish looking man with a cap on his head who had this startled look in his eyes. I jumped a little since I wasn’t expecting him and then kept walking. I mentioned it to Chris and he said “um, you didn’t notice the pink Speedo with the hard on he was sporting? Or the fact that he was chained to that gate?” I looked back and yes he was wearing a pink Speedo over some black bike pants and it did look like he had a little something bulging down there. I couldn’t make out the chains but I’ll take Chris’ word on that. So of course we keep walking, what else were we going to do? I thought we should have taken a picture but by that point we had walked too far down the street. I figured it was a little early in the morning for public chaining fetishists, but what do I know? We called the Tullys since we know the people that work there and asked if they had seen the pink Speedo guy. The manager burst out laughing and said he had already talked to the man. Apparently he was just waiting for his friends to come and get him.

    I’m still trying to process what I saw. I’m hoping it’s a sign that the holidays are going to be extra special this year.

    Mike Gravel: Behind the Music

    posted by on November 30 at 10:37 AM

    The story behind that must-see Mike Gavel video.

    re: Crepe Noir

    posted by on November 30 at 10:36 AM

    How will they keep us warm up there on the roof in the middle of the night? Will there be a rooftop campfire, a la the campfire in the motel room with the hole cut out of the ceiling at Motel #1? God I hope so.

    It will be 31 degrees up on that roof tonight, Christopher. Thirty-one icy, icy degrees. Wear a sleeping bag. Bring a thermos of Spanish coffee. Grow feathers. Do whatever it takes—but be prepared.

    Crepe Noir

    posted by on November 30 at 10:32 AM


    Heeding the instructions Brendan Kiley reported earlier this week—

    On the night of the eviction, the Belmont will become The Belmont, with murals on every wall (outside and inside), installations in every apartment, and a performance by Implied Violence on the roof. Nobody will be able to get into The Belmont without tickets, which can be procured on the day of the event at a downtown crepe stand. (See Theater Calendar for details.)… The Belmont is trying to avoid some of the overcrowding that happened at Motel #1.…The artists only gave hints about what, exactly, they’ll be doing. Implied Violence’s rooftop performance involves local Balkan brass band Orkestar Zirkonium and samples from Triumph of the Will and The Chronic

    —I got up at 7:30 this morning, showered, had some tea, and marched down to La Creperie Voila to get tickets. According to the instructions, tickets are on sale today between 8 am and 8 pm, but I was made to understand from those in the know that there were a very limited number of them, so I figured, well, I don’t wanna fuck this up. Usually when you work at The Stranger, you get tickets to things without having to go out of your way, but the good people of Implied Violence could give a fuck if you work at The Stranger. I salute them for this.

    I was at the crepe place by 8:38 am. There were a couple people in line with me. “I’d like a crepe with prosciutto and spinach and tickets to the Implied Violence thing,” I said when I got to the counter. The guy behind the counter said my options were “show” tickets, for the rooftop show that starts at 1:30 am, which cost $5-$15 (my choice how much to pay); or “house” tickets, which are free. I got show tickets (paid $10) and house tickets.

    I asked him if a lot of people had shown up to buy tickets.

    “It’s been pretty crazy,” he said. He showed me how many tickets he had left for the rooftop show—under a dozen. Handing me mine, he smiled and said, “Have a good night. I think it’s gonna be a late show.”

    I sat there and ate my crepe and intended to read the newspaper I’d brought with me but it was so cold I could barely move, so the newspaper went unopened. While I sat there, Pol Rosenthal—who’s been living in and managing the Belmont and was in the Infernal Noise Brigade—showed up to get a ticket. “Even I have to get a ticket,” he said. He would never have gotten up this early if not for wanting a ticket. He waited in line and by the time he got to the counter, they were out of tickets. “That’s the last time I get out of bed,” he said.

    As Pol was walking away, dejected, the guy behind the crepe counter ran after him. He’d found one last show ticket. “I got a golden ticket!” Pol said. He might not have said golden—my imagination might have filled that in.

    I just now got an email blast from someone in Implied Violence that said:

    It is 9:12 a.m. [and] people have been working all night. I am taking a break…to remind everyone to GET A FUCKING TICKET FOR THIS EVENT. Don’t whine don’t moan just go get a crepe and PICK UP A TICKET.

    How will they keep us warm up there on the roof in the middle of the night? Will there be a rooftop campfire, a la the campfire in the motel room with the hole cut out of the ceiling at Motel #1? God I hope so.

    The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill

    posted by on November 30 at 10:03 AM

    It appears that the internal dissent at the Mars Hill Church—brought on by the recent firing of two pastors—has prompted a few irate members to take to the blogosphere.

    While Mars Hill’s members-only site is still on lockdown, Hillers (Hillees? Martians?) are popping up on The Rise and Fall of Mark Driscoll for lively discussions about Jesus, Driscoll and Chris Rock.

    Posts to the blog are a bit infrequent, but it’s worth a look. I’m sure you can get someone to engage you in the comments, if you’re so inclined.

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

    posted by on November 30 at 9:50 AM

    The stepfather of a 2-year-old girl lost control and beat her to death because she wouldn’t say “please” and “yes sir,” an attorney for the girl’s mother said Wednesday….

    Royce Clyde Zeigler wanted his wife to spank Riley with a belt when she failed to say things like “please” and “yes sir” or “no sir.” Zeigler didn’t believe Kimberly Dawn Trenor was doing it, however, because the 2-year-old’s behavior wasn’t changing….

    In her statement to Galveston authorities, Trenor said the girl was beaten with leather belts, had her head held underwater in a bathtub and then was thrown across a room, her head slamming into a tile floor.

    In other disturbing details: Trenor and Zeigler met online and Trenor is pregnant with Zeigler’s child.

    Shoes on the Wall

    posted by on November 30 at 9:26 AM

    This morning, what a lovely sight! A row of ladies’ shoes.
    -3.jpg None has a match. Each is missing its partner. Because all are single, all have no use or exchange value. These useless shoes will never walk again.

    The Mayor’s $5 million X-Mas Gift to Vulcan

    posted by on November 30 at 8:30 AM

    Originally posted late yesterday afternoon.

    Earlier this week, I reported that Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis had changed his tune about Vulcan’s development plans in South Lake Union.

    Months ago, he told me Vulcan would not be able to get zoning changes (build higher than code) for a pending development on the two blocks between John and Harrison and Terry and Boren without kicking in for public benefits—like contributing millions of dollars for affordable housing according to the terms of pending council legislation.

    But now he’s saying the City needs to move ahead with the Vulcan deal even if Vulcan wouldn’t be contributing as much to a public benefits fund as pending council legislation would have it.

    The dreaded flip flop.

    Ceis didn’t call me back in time to comment for that report, but he did call late that afternoon after I posted, to leave this message about it:

    “Hey, your Slog is wrong. It’s just wrong. The proposal for Vulcan is exactly the same proposal for public benefit requirements that we have in front of the council for adoption. They would meet exactly the same public benefit requirements that we’ve got in front of the council. So, that’s wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. Give me a call back if you want to correct it. I don’t expect you will. But in a vain attempt for accuracy, I’m calling you. Bye.”

    So, I called him back. I left a message. He never called back.

    I also called several other people at City Council.

    They report that the deal Vulcan’s getting in South Lake Union is, in fact, different than the deal they’d get if they played by the rules spelled out in the public benefits legislation that’s before council.

    One person I talked to, for example, is Council Member Richard Conlin, who’s seen both the pending Vulcan deal and the pending legislation. He just told me this: “Vulcan’s getting a deal.They would do better than they would do under the incentive zoning proposal that’s in front of council.”

    According to several other council offices and legislative staffers, Vulcan is getting to build at least one story higher than code—for free. And maybe two depending on whether or not you think building to green standards (something Vulcan does anyway) should count.

    Given that Vulcan is required to kick in about $5 million for two other extra stories, it means the city is potentially giving Vulcan a $5 million present on the two stories they’re getting for free. Worse: The City potentially stands to lose about $5 million in affordable housing funds.

    So, when Ceis says: Vulcan “would meet exactly the same public benefit requirements that we’ve got in front of the council” is he saying the public benefits legislation the Mayor sent to council allows developers to get up to two floors for free? If so, that would be some seriously uninspiring legislation.

    Morning News

    posted by on November 30 at 8:21 AM

    Eyman Victory in Olympia: Legislature reinstates one percent cap on property tax revenues.

    Tens of Thousands Rally in Venezuela: Referendum to expand President Hugo Chavez’s power brings out dissenters.

    Thousands Rally in Sudan: Angry Muslims call for “Muhammad Teddy Bear Teacher” to be executed. No matter where you stand on the “cultural sensitivity” question, I’m like: Sudanese Muslims have no credibility on anything. In addition to the genocide in Darfur (why aren’t thousands of Sudanese in the streets about that?) President Bashir and then-Islamic parliamentary leader Hassan al-Tarabi harbored bin Laden in the 90s.

    Hungry: Foodbanks nationwide facing food shortage.

    The Surge: Huckabee neck and neck with Romney in Iowa.

    Don’t Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Former military brass call for repeal of the Clinton-era law.

    Don’t Tell: Facebook forced to change policy on divulging users’ consumer habits to other users.

    It Always Comes back to Susan Dey:

    The Levels of Greatness a Fiction Writer Can Achieve in America, From Lowest to Highest

    posted by on November 30 at 7:45 AM


    This week in the books section, the mighty Tao Lin categorizes the levels of greatness American fiction writers can achieve. The levels: CENTIPEDE IN THE DARKNESS (Noah Cicero), THREE-FOR-A-DOLLAR FEEDER FISH (Steve Almond), $9.98 PETCO GERBIL (Anne Tyler/Carol Shields/Jane Smiley), PONY ON A PONY FARM OF A CHILD OF A BILLIONAIRE (Joy Williams/Mary Robison/Frederick Barthelme/Ann Beattie), USED HONDA CIVIC IN “GREAT” CONDITION (Jonathan Franzen/ Rick Moody/David Foster Wallace), and so on.

    An example:

    Has been reviewed by the New York Times and published books on corporate presses but one of them was a nonfiction book about candy and he fights back publicly when shit-talked by Gawker by first making sure that everyone knows he does not read Gawker and only found out he got shit-talked because someone else told him. Quit his adjunct teaching job because Condoleezza Rice was invited to speak at his college. Has sex once a month with fans he meets through MySpace. Receives up to three e-mails a day from a mix of MFA students at community colleges, Centipedes in the Darkness wanting blurbs, and 14-year-old girls who have lived their entire lives in gated communities. Will not be forgotten easily even after he is dead and his books are out of print because of how easy it is to talk shit about him. Will then be forgotten very easily, completely, and forever a few days after I type this when there’s someone easier to talk shit about.

    The whole thing’s here. Lin’s audience review from August—which was a hit—is right here.

    Krugman on Obama

    posted by on November 30 at 7:30 AM

    The righteous New York Times columnist doesn’t think much of Obama’s health care proposals.

    Thursday, November 29, 2007

    Update on Eyman Day. Revenue Cap Passes Senate. Big.

    posted by on November 29 at 8:32 PM


    5 of Seattle’s 6 Senators voted against it:

    Ken Jacobsen
    Adam Kline
    Jeanne Kohl-Wells
    Ed Murray
    and Joe McDermott.

    Who’s missing? Sen. Margarita Prentice.

    For all of today’s earlier Slog coverage of the special Eyman rim job session, go: here, here, and here.

    I’ll Slog some thoughts about today’s Supermajority Democrats fiasco tomorrow.

    Live Slogging Tony Romo’s Inevitable Downfall

    posted by on November 29 at 6:52 PM

    Golob, Steinbacher, Zwickel and I are at a secret undisclosed location. News, science, music and Brad. The wifi is free, but the beer is not very good.

    There are a surprising amount of Pack fans here, and despite Favre’s big-baby elbow injury, I have hope. But he needs to stop throwing those shots to no one in particular.

    Because he held onto for too long, Brett took a shot in the arm and the Pack’s second string quarterback is in. BUT they’re getting it together. Sure, their D hasn’t been able to cover a single deep ball, but whatever.

    Also, the NFL Network looks like compressed horseshit. It’s ugly.

    The score is 27-17. Cowboys.

    Give it time.


    Update: And now Green Bay’s kicker is having to make tackles. Rad. The kicker should never have to do that, although it was rad watching Josh Brown fuck up Devin Hester a few weeks ago.

    Favre appears to be wandering out of the locker room.

    Cowboys went for it on 4th and 2 and I THINK the Pack managed to stop Marion “the Barbarian” Barber. Nice.

    Update 2: Jonathan Golob wants me to post this.


    Update 3: Brad is complaining that they’re not running Ryan Grant enough. It’s true

    Update 4: Brad just called their backup QB a “pussy” for not taking two linebackers head on. And Donald Lee just got me some points. Like one, but whatever.

    Zwickel wants me to take a poll: Do the ladies like Brett Favre?

    Update 4: Ryan Grant just got Brad some fantasy points! TOUCHDOWN PACK!


    Update 5: No one reads Slog after 6 o’clock.

    Update 6: AS I PREDICTED *ahem* the Cowboys are crumbling. AJ Hawk just stuffed the barbarian behind the line. 3rd and 14 and a FALSE START. 3rd and 19, douches.

    Goddammit. Patrick Crayton goes uncovered and they get the first down and now Marion Barber gets the unintentional face-mask.

    The Packers D is crumbling.

    Update 7: TO is overrated Zwickel. W. The Pack challenges TO’s monster catch, because he was juggling it out of bounds.

    And the call is for the Pack because TO can’t hold onto the ball.

    Update 8: Marion Barber just busted the Pack up and ran it 2 yards from the end zone.

    Meanwhile, TO got smoked at the line and the Cowboys got a delay of game penalty.


    I’m signing off now.

    For Amelia:


    Ok, back.

    Angela Garbes is “in da house”, as the kids say. She’s rooting for Tony Romo because she’s a terrible person. Oh, and I think he’s her fantasy QB, but that’s not important.

    24-34 now.

    Oh, and Garbes wants me to say that she’s also rooting for Greg Jennings and “fantasy football divides the soul.”

    Brett Favre is still out.

    Um, I think the Pack are kicking on 4th and inches, which is fucking stupid. They need a touchdown and a field goal, but this is a 51 yarder.


    Bradley Steinbacher: “The refs in this game are bullshit!”

    I agree, but then they showed the replay, which did have a pretty rough facemask on Marion Barber.

    Still, there are some Super Bowl 2005-esque calls this game. As in terrible.

    Update whatever: They’re sending Brett Favre to the locker room to make more Soylent Green. Or maybe I should make a Logan’s Run reference here. I dunno. Pick your poison.

    The Cowboys are running out the clock like a bunch of jerks.

    Brad: “This is why [the Cowboys] won’t win the Super Bowl. They’re not going for it on fourth down.”

    Indeed, Nick Folk just kicked a field goal. I’m an idiot for dropping him and putting in ol’ faithful Gostowski.

    With a minute and 3 left, it seems unlikely that the Pack are walking away from this one with a win, but they gave it there all. I respect that. Alot more then I respect stupid, stupid Tony Romo.

    Update your mom: Donald Driver just had a good run. 49 seconds left.

    Game is over. # 34, whoever, just dropped a pass on 4th and 1. What an asshole.

    This was fun. I’ll be back once a week until they make me stop. Which will probably be tomorrow morning when I get into the office.

    27-37 Cowboys FINAL.

    Angela Garbes: “Tony Homo.”


    Sure, the Pack lost, but y’know what? Their starting quarterback was out for like the whole game. I call bullshit.

    Next Thursday. I’ll be here. Using the live slogging tool. Because it shouldn’t just be for presidential debates.


    Hot Tip

    posted by on November 29 at 5:15 PM

    Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food (out the first of January) has finally made it to the library catalog. Place your holds now, or forever wait in line.


    Department of Unsubstantiated Rumors

    posted by on November 29 at 5:06 PM

    This Project Runway gossip is from a reliable source…


    the reason why christian (bitchy twink) has asymmetrical, fucked up hair is because he’s going prematurely bald as a 21 year old and has the most atrocious receding hairline. hence, the fucked up coif.


    jack is apparently one of the biggest assholes around. and has frustrated bravo by going on illegal TV appearances. and the girls are apparently all really nice people who didn’t really cause drama, except for carmen, who everyone was kinda like, meh, stop being so aggro.

    And, of course, Carmen was auf’d last night.

    All The Straight Stranger Staffers Are Leaving to Go Watch Football…

    posted by on November 29 at 5:02 PM

    So Slog might be gayer than usual. Here’s something to keep you straight warm.


    British Schoolteacher Sentenced to 15 Days in Sudan Prison

    posted by on November 29 at 4:38 PM

    From the Daily Mail:

    The British teacher who let her pupils call a teddy bear Mohammed escaped a flogging yesterday—but must now endure 15 days in a notorious Sudan jail.

    Gillian Gibbons will be incarcerated at the squalid Omdurman women’s prison in Khartoum, which is massively overcrowded and infested with mosquitoes. The 54-year-old from Liverpool was said to be “stunned” by the sentence imposed for insulting Islam—after which she will be deported from Sudan.

    Last night, her conviction and punishment were furiously condemned and the Foreign Office was criticised for not fighting her case more forcefully.

    Gee, sentenced to be deported. You’re really twisting the ol’ knife there, Sudan. No doubt after being arrested on a bullshit blasphemy charge, threatened with forty lashes and six months in prison, and then packed off to a prison for two weeks where she’s likely to encounter physical violence and may just contract malaria—I’m sure after enduring all that, Sudan, remaining in your shithole country was Gibbons’ fondest wish.

    This whole mess cries out for a Teddy Roosevelt. Enough with the “expressions of displeasure” from the diplomats. Someone in the British government needs to deliver a “Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!” speech on Gibbons’ behalf. And mean it.

    Before I go home tonight I’m going to pop across the street to the new Crypt, buy myself a buttplug, and name the fucking thing Mohammed.



    posted by on November 29 at 4:35 PM

    Congratulations to Stranger Genius shortlister (and 2006 Guggenheim fellow) Dayna Hanson, who is the newest recipient of Northwest Film Forum’s Start-to-Finish grant.

    As with previous projects, Hanson will create Rainbow through an improvisational process with a tight group of collaborators. Maggie Brown (We Go Way Back) and Dave Proscia (Hanson’s bandmates in Today!) co-star with Linas Phillips (Walking to Werner). Music by Today! (which also features Paul Matthew Moore, who composed the score for Zoo) drives the moody, minimalist tale of four interconnected characters struggling toward hope against the grim, seedy background of a Seattle winter. Development is scheduled to begin in late Spring 2008.

    NWFF is also tightening up the funding structure for the grant:

    With the new structure, the organization provides $100,000 cash and $150,000 in in-kind services to produce the film, and supports the project at every phase of production. With past features, Start-to-Finish films had elastic budgets, funds were raised throughout production, and films took considerably longer to make. With this new approach, funds will be raised in advance, and artists will be commissioned to complete work on a tighter timeline.

    Day 2 of the Giuliani Billing Imbroglio

    posted by on November 29 at 4:30 PM

    Yesterday it was this. Today it’s this:

    Well before it was publicly known he was seeing her, then-married New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided a police driver and city car for his mistress Judith Nathan, former senior city officials tell the Blotter on

    “She used the PD as her personal taxi service,” said one former city official who worked for Giuliani.

    If Giuliani thought this thing would go away just because it’s seven years old and he denies any improprieties—well, he was wrong.

    Today on Line Out

    posted by on November 29 at 4:00 PM

    Putting the Pee in Pony: Christopher Frizzelle Pees in Pony’s Mop Sink

    Um, Sonic Youth?: Jonathan Zwickel on DAvid Brooks’ Fear of Fragmentation

    “Fuck Les Savy Fav”: Ari Spool on Monotonix

    “Dystopia Can Do No Wrong”: Kim Hayden on the New Dystopia Record

    Broken Bottles, Empty Bars: Marcus Wilson Ends Pony with Death Threats, Shattered Glass

    Tonight in Music: Russian Circles, Glass Candy

    Today in Music News: Boards of Canada, Bradford Cox, Britney Spears, and More

    Pedal Boarding: Trent Moorman on Japanese Sound Torture

    Words and Guitar-Shaped Game Controller: Carrie Brownstein on Rock Band

    “[Shutting down] probably is not too far off”: Croc Booker Pete Greenberg Quits

    Re: It Hurts to Look at This

    posted by on November 29 at 3:51 PM

    The last scene of MSCL pretty much got me through high school. I was, after all, the floppy haired nerdy kid.

    Can’t We All Just Get Along?

    posted by on November 29 at 3:25 PM


    Rodney King shot in San Bernardino

    The Press-Enterprise

    San Bernardino police detectives are interviewing Rodney King this afternoon, after his report that he was shot last night on a city street.

    King, the 42-year-old Rialto resident whose 1991 beating by Los Angeles police gained him national fame, told Rialto police last night that he was shot in the area of 5th Street and Meridian Avenue in San Bernardino, just over the Rialto city line.

    After saying he rode his bicycle home, King reported the shooting at 11:39 p.m.

    When Rialto police arrived at the home, King had pellet wounds to his face, arm and back from a shotgun, said Rialto police Sgt. Don Lewis.

    He was taken to a local hospital, but his wounds are not considered life-threatening.

    (Thanks to Matt Hickey for the tip.)

    Shit’s in the PI

    posted by on November 29 at 2:40 PM

    What Seattlest said, and more. This piece would be bad enough if the PI dedicated more than a tiny fraction of its sports section to women athletes, but in context? Revolting.

    Stupid, Stupid NFL Network

    posted by on November 29 at 2:18 PM

    Sloggers, the two Stranger staffers who watch football need your help. The Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers face off tonight, and it will undoubtedly be a fucking awesome game. However, the game is being aired exclusively on the NFL Network, which is bullshit. I don’t have the NFL Network—because I’m not willing to give Comcast any more of my money—and I can’t think of any bars that do either.

    Does anyone know where I can watch the game?

    PS No, I will not go to that Fox Sports hell hole.


    A Night of Entertainment at 20/20

    posted by on November 29 at 2:10 PM

    There’s a fun event happening tomorrow night at 20/20 Cycle:

    Oliver Orion presents music and light objects.
    Jenny Asarnow is Sweet Potatoes.
    Band Anna plays musical saw.
    Two members of the Curious Mystery play solo: Nicolas Gonalzes plays his contraptions. Shana Cleveland sings her heart out.
    MC duties and storytelling by Alex Kostelnik.

    Cookies will be served. Bicycles will be everywhere.

    Fri Nov 30 at 20/20 Cycle
    2020 E Union St, 568-3090
    8 pm, $5 suggested donation.

    The show will also be broadcast on Hollow Earth Radio.


    For the Lazy, Do-Nothing Alcoholic on Your List

    posted by on November 29 at 2:05 PM


    This is the device that shakes or stirs a martini until it reaches the optimal drinking temperature of 34° F, ensuring perfect homemade martinis at the touch of a button. The stainless steel shaker moves up and down vigorously during the shake cycle and gently rotates in stir mode, melding the ingredients during either cycle for 60 seconds.

    Awesome. Does it come with bendy straws?

    Only $100 from Hammacher Schlemmer. Via Gear Live.

    New York Daily Blog Thief!!!

    posted by on November 29 at 2:00 PM

    You might remember this post from Tuesday about Grey’s Anatomy star Chyler Leigh, and her sordid past as a teenage kickboxing brother-tonguer.

    Today, the icky, licky scoop (courtesy of Team Atrox’s very funny “Praise Anatomy” vlog) is all over the internet, thanks to the New York Daily News:

    Hard-core “Grey’s” fans have unearthed a 1997 B-movie, “Kickboxing Academy,” that Leigh made when she was just 15. In it, the actress’ love interest is played by her real-life brother, Christopher Khayman Lee.

    Now Huffington Post and dlisted and ohnotheydidn’t and ten million other blogs are all “INCEST INCEST INCEST” and alls I’m saying is, CAN’T A LADY GET A HAT TIP!? New York Daily News, you guys are dicks. For shame.

    Anyway, my absolute favorite thing about this whole incesty brouhaha is that the entire internet seems convinced that “Praise Anatomy” is a for-real Grey’s Anatomy fan vlog. Hey internet, have you guys heard of jokes before? Atrox spokesman (and my favorite person to play Legend of Zelda with) Jeff Stone says:

    The fact that they think it is a real vlog might be the highlight of my creative life.

    Congrats to Team Atrox for being funny, and now, internet-famous. And just for good measure, here’s my other favorite video of theirs, entitled “Tea Time”:

    Merry Christmas, I Got You Some Dirty Talk

    posted by on November 29 at 1:30 PM


    Give the Gift of Phone Sex for the Holidays

    November 29, 2007 – K&G, an erotic phone experience provider, is offering a new twist on an old gift: phone sex gift certificates. This is a new and unique offering in the phone sex industry.

    “From the beginning of time, lovers have given each other the gift of intimacy,” said Tricia Richardson, a K&G representative and phone sex operator. “This holiday season, why waste money on sweaters or ties? Give someone you care about a gift they are guaranteed to enjoy – free phone sex.”

    From sex toy parties to stripper poles in the bedroom, confident women these days are taking the initiative to spice up their sex lives and improve their relationships. Giving and sharing the phone sex experience is now another option for these women.

    A phone sex gift certificate is a unique gift anyone will be surprised to receive. “It’s an incredibly fun gift to give. Imagine the look on his face when he realizes he has a gift certificate for phone sex. No one expects that!” says Richardson.

    Gift certificates can be ordered at Prices start at $20 for a 10- minute certificate. Longer sessions or multiple sessions are also available.

    Memories of Manray

    posted by on November 29 at 1:20 PM

    Like Charles, I also have a few words to add to my piece from the Death of East Pine package.


    The words relate to Brad Ray, the alter-ego that a friend of mine created in order to absolve his real self of blame (and shame) over frequenting a bar that everyone we knew claimed to hate. The man behind Brad Ray writes:

    I’m so glad that he’s in the history of those bars, because he really is one of their true regulars. I mean, thousands of federal student loan dollars went to those bars from him. Thank you.

    But the sad thing is, the inaccuracy. It wasn’t that Brad Ray would go to Manray every weekend. It’s that he would go there daily.

    Sugar Shooter Caught

    posted by on November 29 at 1:19 PM

    Seattle Police have arrested 21-year-old Michael Anthony Bassett for the November 19th shooting at Capitol Hill’s Sugar nightclub.

    Yesterday morning, SPD—working with US Marshalls—arrested Bassett, who also had at least one other outstanding warrant.

    Bassett’s bail hearing is scheduled for later today and King County Prosecutors expect to file charges in the next few days.

    Pandering All the Way: House Passes Eyman Cap. Senate Next.

    posted by on November 29 at 1:16 PM

    UPDATE: Of the twelve Seattle-area reps—I-747 was defeated decisively in Seattle in 2001—only six voted against enacting Eyman’s initiative today. Those six deserve a standing O. They are: Mary Lou Dickerson; Sharon Tamiko-Santos; Helen Sommers; and South Seattle’s Eric Pettigrew and Capitol Hill’s Jamie Pedersen, whom I’d like to give a special hurrah to. Pettigrew is emerging as one of The Stranger’s favorite legislators, and rookie Pedersen, who was shaky on some of The Stranger’s pet issues last year, looks to have come out with a bang this session. The sixth no vote was Sharon Nelson, the brand-new legislator from Vashon Island—great first vote, Sharon.

    And I know people think I’m a Chopp hater, but it has to be noted that Mr. Speaker voted yes although his 43rd District voted 74 percent against Eyman’s 2001 inititive.

    We’ll update the Senate count later today to let you know how the six Seattle area state senators vote. We’ve already heard that Senator Ed Murray is a “firm no.”

    The House is on the floor and just passed the bill, 86-8, and the Senate is supposed to take the floor at 1:00 p.m.

    The thing that emerged for me from the testimony in front of the Senate committee is that both the left and the right don’t like this bill.

    The left doesn’t like it for the reasons I laid out earlier today. And just about everyone who testified from the left—senior citizens groups, church groups, the league of cities, low-income organizing groups—called for further deliberationsj. And in specific, they gave a shout out to the circuit breaker idea as a substantive fix.

    The right doesn’t like it because the bill allows governments to tap “banked capacity.”
    “Banked capacity” is this: Governments can retroactively collect revenues up to the limit that they didn’t collect every year in aggregate. This is estimated at $108 or $188 million depending on who you ask.

    Eyman was the first to testify (rambunctiously so). He called banking capacity a “huge loophole” and said this bill “doesn’t deliver a 1 percent cap. It’s a 1 percent cap plus $180 million.” Asking them to ice the banked capacity concept loophole, he told the committee: “If you’re going to pander. Pander all the way.”

    I’m not in chambers (forgot my tie today), but I’m sitting on the marble steps outside the chambers where the House just pandered to Eyman and I’m hearing huge applause.

    As for Eyman. He bounced by to say the legislature is “listening.”

    Cops Required to Enforce Federal Drug Laws = Total Bullshit

    posted by on November 29 at 1:11 PM

    In a published opinion, a three-justice panel from the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that police should adhere to state law, which legalizes medical marijuana, and give back 8 grams of the drug to Felix Kha of Garden Grove, who had the drug taken from him more than two years ago during a traffic stop.

    Garden Grove argued officers should not give the drug back because it would be a violation of federal law, which considers marijuana contraband.

    But in a 41-page ruling, justices said Kha, a medical marijuana patient, has a right to get his property back, and that its return would not affect federal law enforcement.

    So listen up. The tired claim that states can’t change marijuana laws because it conflicts with federal law is a talking point from law enforcement. It’s not true (just like so many other bullshit claims we’ve been told about pot). So stop repeating it.

    Like I’ve said before: States can change drug policy for offenses that are not federally enforced. For example, Washington can decriminalize pot for personal use because possession is only charged in the local jurisdiction. Same with growing just a few plants for medical marijuana. Only about one percent of pot cases are charged federally—those are huuuuuge grow operations and pot dispensaries. The rest of the cases, as this ruling in Oregon shows and now this one in California affirms, are left to the states to decide.

    The justices wrote: “[I]t must be remembered it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws as such. For reasons we have explained, state courts can only reach conduct subject to federal law if such conduct also transcends state law, which in this case it does not.”

    And in case you’re still on the fence about whether pot smokers should go to jail, read this, Jen Graves.

    Rudy Giuliani Loves The Ladies, Bills It to the Handicapped

    posted by on November 29 at 1:02 PM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Before last night’s debate, a lot of questions were being asked about whether someone would try to shank Rudy Giuliani with a request for comment on his mayoral billing improprieties during his affair with then extra-marital girlfriend Judith Nathan.

    On its face, this scandal seems a little bit old news: as Josh Marshall notes, Vanity Fair ran a fairly detailed article on Rudy’s trysts in the Hamptons. The real question is, going back to Marshall’s post, did Rudy try to bury the expenses for these getaways by billing them to obscure NYC government programs? And more importantly, did he really try to hide them in a fund for people with disabilities?

    Harking back to an August Village Voice expose about Rudy’s chest-beating 9/11 persona, Talking Points Memo is now raising speculation that there might even be a new angle to the previous reports of Giuliani’s make-out time in the World Trade Center emergency command center. Marshall claims that there is a supposition among city officials that Giuliani might have chosen the location of his new emergency command center because of its easy availability as a rendezvous point for the ill-fated lovers.

    The implication? Rudy chose a known terrorist target for the hub of his emergency response operations because it made it easier for him to carry out his affair.

    Giuliani is desperately trying to assuage the critics of his personal life by repeatedly noting what an anti-terrorism hardliner he is. But it seems that he may have let his personal life contribute to the chaos on 9/11, one of the biggest terrorist-engineered tragedies in American history.

    The Belmont

    posted by on November 29 at 1:01 PM


    The Belmont is a small old apartment building on Capitol Hill, redolent of a squat. Across the street is Press, a tall shiny condominium building, already redolent of the future. The two have been in a kind of staring match since 2002: the Belmont all squinty and weathered, the kind of building you would like to feed some soup; Press all unflinching, obnoxious pride.

    As of November 30, the condos will have officially won. The low-rent residents of the Belmont, many of them artists, will be evicted to make way for a new condo development, as will the rest of the residents of the 500 block of Pine Street (a center of gravity for Seattle music, culture, and sleaze). But not before they have their final say. On the night of the eviction, the Belmont will become The Belmont, with murals on every wall (outside and inside), installations in every apartment, and a performance by Implied Violence on the roof.

    Last Sunday night, the inside of the Belmont already looked like a Barcelona squat, with paintings and photo collages covering the walls and ceilings. Some were by local graffiti heroes like Specs (two green faces at the top of a flight of stairs), some by cartoonist Ellen Forney (hers wasn’t done yet), and dozens of others.

    The unofficial leader of the Belmont, named Nko (“knee-ko”) was cooking squash and potato soup in one of the apartments while other people painted on the walls, drank beer, and smoked. Someone, somewhere was playing an accordion.

    We’re dressing up this corpse for a second,” Nko said, leaning on a crutch. (He shattered his heel in a biking accident a few months ago.) “Then this space will be demolished. Our memories will be unanchored from architectural space.” Nko said The Belmont will feel more like a funeral than a party; all the music will be dour.

    From the press release for The Belmont:

    “We look at Press every day and cannot remember what saw there before; this is our fate.”

    Nobody will be able to get into The Belmont without tickets, which can be procured on the day of the event at a downtown crepe stand. (See Theater Calendar for details.) Nko said The Belmont is trying to avoid some of the overcrowding that happened at Motel #1.

    The artists only gave hints about what, exactly, they’ll be doing. Implied Violence’s rooftop performance involves local Balkan brass band Orkestar Zirkonium and samples from Triumph of the Will and The Chronic.

    Nko said one of the apartments will have “some serious nature shit.” His installation involves sentences from Derrida’s The Truth in Painting and an old oil-painting manual that belonged to his dead grandmother. “The combination is sort of interesting,” he says, holding a hot bowl of soup. “The nostalgic and formal along with the deconstructionist. But nobody’ll notice. They’ll just be drunk and walking through.”

    A Mike Gravel Music Video

    posted by on November 29 at 12:12 PM

    Today’s must-see, made in honor of the candidate who’s been kicked out of the last two Democratic debates:

    And The Gays Love… Clinton.

    posted by on November 29 at 12:05 PM

    I’m just back from the eye-doctor and the world is a bit blurry, but I think I’m reading this right: Among lesbian, gay, and bi-sexual Democrats, Hillary Clinton is the favored candidate by a huge, 41-point margin.

    From the Clinton campaign:

    In a new survey released by Hunter College, Hillary Clinton leads all Democratic candidates in support among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Americans. According to the poll, Hillary leads with 63 percent, 41 points ahead of the next candidate.

    “I’m honored to have the support of so many in the LGB community,” said Clinton. “Together, we can end the divisiveness of the past seven years and change the direction of this country so that we embrace the full diversity of our nation.”

    The poll also found that 72 percent of LGB likely voters consider Senator Clinton a supporter of gay rights. As President, Hillary will also work to end discrimination in adoption laws, sign hate crimes legislation and ENDA into law, and put an end to the failed policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She will work to make sure that gay and lesbian couples in committed relationships have the same rights and responsibilities as all Americans.

    The Loss of an Essence

    posted by on November 29 at 12:01 PM

    To all of the this talk about the death of East Pine, I must add a few words about the death of the Bus Stop.


    The loss of this bar is the loss of the most urban bar in Seattle. What makes it more urban than other establishments? The Bus Stop was nothing else but a bar. Only in big or advanced (in age and sophistication) cities can you find small bars like this, bars that just have four walls, some tables, some stools, an abrupt block of wood, and a bottle shelf. The only function of The Bus Stop was to offer a space to drink alcohol. This kind of minimalism is hard to locate and sad to lose. The tendency of most drinking establishments is to sell as much as possible—meats, meals, coffee, tea, live entertainment, art work, movies. Their goal is to maximize a space’s potential, to use up every part of it. But some souls like my own long for the essence of things: the essence of whiskey, the essence of a table, the essence of a wall, the essence of a floor, the essence of a bartender, the essence of a pour. The Bus Stop distilled the drinking experience down its final elements, and that is what made it great, made it urban.

    CNN/YouTube Debate: An “Oh, Snap” Retrospective

    posted by on November 29 at 11:57 AM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    The transcript from last night’s CNN/YouTube debate is up for those who either lacked cable, missed The Stranger’s liveblog, or spent the night curled up in the fetal position watching America’s Next Top Model.

    Some of the better post-debate commentary:

    Ana Marie Cox marks the Romney vs. Giuliani immigration free-for-all as a “muder-suicide!” and notes, “What’s the emotional equivalent of ‘tone deaf’? Mitt Romney has that.”

    Congressional Quarterly elections guru Craig Crawford calls it for Huckabee:

    Mike Huckabee won the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday night largely because his distracted rivals failed to seize enough opportunities to undercut the former Arkansas governor’s increasing momentum

    Jim Newell of Wonkette:

    Giuliani — nothing new on the evil front; Fuckabee — very calm and cool, especially when talking about killing Hillary on Mars; Hunter/Tancredo — Securing the Mexican vote; Walnuts — Angry, depressed, grumpy, but kind of cute; Thompson — Bumblebees, tadpoles; Paul — Might actually be as stupid as his followers.

    And here’s one of the warmer moments: “Gentlemen, tell us of your fondness for your gun.”

    A Scientist Visits the Creation Museum

    posted by on November 29 at 11:45 AM

    … that insists the earth is 6,000 years old and finds 500-million-year-old fossils in a nearby Wal-Mart parking lot.


    Tom Robey—a friend, colleague, and recent bioengineering PhD—traveled to northern Kentucky and visited the Creation Museum.

    So why visit? Well, there’s the curiosity of it all. According to the traffic director in the museum’s parking lot, more than 500,000 people have visited the museum since it opened six months ago. That’s a whole stink of a lot of people to see a little animotronic cavegirl feeding velociraptors carrots. Maybe I don’t see them as enemies, but if ever I am going to be an informed contributor to the dialogue on science and religion, shouldn’t I have visited the crown jewel of creationist science? The guy (Matt) who checked my paperwork as I left the Alamo rental car lot told me that the museum was totally worth my time. Museums are, after all, the place where (insert topic here) comes alive.

    The Creation Museum, to those of you who might be blissfully unaware, depicts the biblical creation story as literal truth. Did you know the universe is about 6,000 years old? Created in six days you say! Dinosaurs drinking from the rivers of Eden? Tell me more—over a burger at the Noah’s cafe, of course.

    In a delicious bit of irony, the Creation Museum is built on top of one of the richest fossil beds in the world and near the birthplace of vertebrate paleontology. Want to find an at least 500-million-year-old fossil? Head over to the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot.

    I hedged my bets that I could find something good if I sought out that beacon of American consumption. I was hoping for something like I bought as a 10 year old from the Field Museum of Natural History. I wasn’t disappointed with the 45 minutes I spent scrambling over clay-slickened rocks behind the bargain center’s loading dock…In under an hour, I had unearthed ample evidence of life extinct for more than 500 million years



    Thanks for the Free Art, Seattle

    posted by on November 29 at 11:37 AM

    Seen on my walk to work this morning:




    And also this, which I saw a few weeks ago, but noticed is gone now:


    But I do so miss Little Bird, the anonymous person who’d hang his/her drawings on the poles in front of Bauhaus and the neighboring area… I have a great drawing of a camera at home. And there were others I liked too, but I never thought to grab them at the time. I haven’t seen Little Bird in awhile. Come back, Little Bird, I miss your pictures.

    Youth Pastor Watch

    posted by on November 29 at 11:23 AM

    Former church youth leader and choir director Leonard Smith was to be sentenced to 16 months in jail Monday morning under a plea bargain agreement following charges of sex offenses involving children….

    Smith, 53 at the time of arrest in the spring, had been charged with felony statutory rape of a child older than 6 and felony first-degree child sex offense. The acts were alleged to have happened in January 2001 involving one child and between June and August 2004 involving a second child, police said at the time.

    Smith, who was with Sycamore Temple Church of God in Christ, was the director of the Asheville-based Full Fellowship Community Choir, a choir made up of singers from across Western North Carolina. He was nominated for a Martin Luther King Jr. Award in 2004 for service to the community.

    “For You Parents Who Are Totally Out of the Loop…”

    posted by on November 29 at 11:19 AM

    XBox Live is filled with potty-mouth. Fox News has the scoop:

    Truth be told, most of the bad behavior on XBL can be attributed to one Bradley Steinbacher.

    On the Cover

    posted by on November 29 at 11:10 AM

    It seemed appropriate to wait for scarf weather to run this image by Christopher Silas Neal, who has a ton of great work at


    Oh, and Eyman Says…

    posted by on November 29 at 11:03 AM

    I did ask Eyman for a reaction to the fact that my editor called this morning’s session an “Eyman rim job.”

    Evidently confused, he started trying to make a quip about “whims” …

    “No, Rim job,” I said, in Senate Hearing Room 4.

    “Am I ignorant?” he said.

    “A rim job,” I said louder. “People think the Governor is licking your ass.”

    He laughed, and said, “There’s a lot of pretending going on. They’re pretending to support the tax payers because the spotlight is on them right now. We’ll see what happens when the spotlight is gone.”

    It seems to me, given the inequity of our property tax system that Eyman’s fix is also pretend. However, Eyman told me that without his cap, property taxes would be that much higher.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 29 at 11:00 AM

    Not Funny

    Throw Crap at
    Dane Cook
    at KeyArena

    What is the opposite of funny? Dane Cook, the peerlessly unfunny and monolithically successful “comedian” who performs tonight at KeyArena. Cook’s awesome ability to steal material from other, better comedians (Louis C.K., Emo Philips, and others) is matched only by his ability to de-funny even these pinched bits. What Applebee’s is to food, Dane Cook is to comedy: adamantly unimaginative, thoroughly second-rate, and mysteriously popular. Justice buffs should pillage their rotten-vegetable arsenals and prepare for battle. (KeyArena, 305 Harrison St, 7 pm, $30–$100.)


    It Hurts to Look at This

    posted by on November 29 at 10:54 AM

    I wrote about My So-Called Life in this week’s DVD column:

    Angela and Rickie

    I was just starting my first year of high school when ABC aired My So-Called Life—set during a turbulent sophomore year at Pittsburgh’s fictional Liberty High—so I was probably, like, morally obligated to revere it. What’s surprising, watching the series again 13 years later, is that it was worth the adoration.

    I watched all 19 episodes and all the commentary tracks for this measly 400-word review, so naturally there are some things I didn’t have room to mention. First: It’s annoying when it’s clear that the people doing commentary tracks know less about the series than you do. Can’t the producers of the DVD set force their prima donnas to at least watch the episode in question before sitting down in front of the mics? No, Scott Winant, So-Called Angels was not the first episode to introduce metaphysical elements, though it was the first to do so with any degree of success: The Halloween episode has Angela falling in love with some dead boy. And speaking of shitty episodes, why did Claire Danes and creator Winnie Holzman get assigned to the schematic Self-Esteem? (That track is pretty cute, though.)

    To further elaborate on my points about the character of the eyeliner-wearing, girls’ bathroom-hanging, half-black, half-Latino Catholic Rickie Vasquez: The way this show treated teen sexuality—whether promiscuous, abstinent, straight, or otherwise (Rickie gets called bisexual and ambiguous before he finally tells Delia he’s gay in the last episode)—is really remarkable. I get so annoyed when the media studies types interviewed in Further Off the Straight and Narrow (shown at this year’s Lesbian & Gay Film Festival) fall all over themselves praising Joss Whedon for the Willow character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer without mentioning MSCL (ok, I know, it was referenced in the earlier video Off the Straight and Narrow). Whedon is a fan of My So-Called Life (he has a tribute in this box set), and the Willow character is so… feminine… and tame. My So-Called Life didn’t have any same-sex makeout sessions, true, but Rickie is a much more complicated and provocative character.

    Rickie’s storyline in the episode The Life of Brian (directed by Todd Holland) is especially touching and subtle. His cathartic dance scene at the end of the show is right up there with my gold standard for dance in the movies: Denis Lavant in Beau Travail. It almost made me go back and watch Holland’s most recent movie again to see if I missed anything. Almost.

    One last thing: My So-Called Life producers Marshall Herskowitz and Ed Zwick have launched this new internet-based show quarterlife, which appears to have been designed to appeal to exactly the demographic who would’ve been fans of MSCL back in 1994. It also seems like it was even timed for the release of this box set. NBC is picking up the show for a midseason replacement, but don’t be fooled—that’s just the writer’s strike talking. There are some decent moments in the second episode, but the show is basically precious and stupid. Avoid.

    HorsesAss to Sierra Club: Suck It!

    posted by on November 29 at 10:53 AM

    Says Goldy

    The folks at the Sierra Club are quite proud of their role in killing Prop 1, the Roads & Transit measure, grandiosely claiming: “This is the first major public works proposal I know of to be defeated because it would worsen global warming.”

    But according to a new poll conducted by EMC Research and Moore Information on behalf of Sound Transit… not so much. When asked to rate, from one to five, reasons for voting against the package, “global warming” came in dead last out of the eleven reasons offered, with only 20% of respondents rating it a four or five, compared to 75% for “blank check/no cost control” or 74% for “costs too much.” And when asked for the best reason to oppose Prop 1, only 1% of respondents chose the environment.

    Goldy, of course, has already told us to go and suck it on Prop 1.

    Live from “The Eyman Rim Job.”

    posted by on November 29 at 10:38 AM


    That’s what Savage called it yesterday when I told him I’d be down in Olympia this morning covering the special legislative session. Gov. Gregoire has asked the Democrats to put Tim Eyman’s government revenue cap (a 1 percent annual cap on the amount of revenues the government can collect from property taxes) into law after the Washington State Supreme Court threw out the public vote.

    Progressive activists are pissed at Governor Gregoire (I hitched a ride down with one this morning) because they see her capitulation to Eyman as a lack of leadership.

    Certainly, progressives acknowledge that property taxes are screwed up—lower income people pay about 6 percent of their income in property taxes while richer people pay half as much, 2.8 percent.

    But they’re smart enough to see that Eyman’s cap on revenues—1 percent doesn’t even keep pace with inflation so how are governments supposed to provide basic services—hasn’t eased people’s legit complaints about the property tax system. Eyman’s 1 percent cap has been in place for five years now, for example, and people are still bitching about property taxes. So, obviously keeping the cap in place (a cap that is killing rural communities who are lacking in services) isn’t working. It’s like keeping those stretch waist pants in your wardrobe to make you feel like your waist line’s okay, rather than actually going on a diet.

    In this instance, the diet, or the real fix that progressives are talking about is called a circuit breaker. It works like this: When property-tax bills reach a certain percentage of a homeowner’s income (say five percent), they get a tax credit.

    A circuit breaker proposal developed by the Washington State Budget and Policy Center is, the Center claims, revenue neutral. And tt would give the poorest 20 percent of homeowners a 14.9 percent tax cut; the next 20 percent would get about a 12 percent cut, the middle 20 percent would get a 1.9 percent cut, and the top 40 percent would see a 2 percent increase.

    The second person I ran into when I got here this morning was Washington State Budget and Policy Director Remy Trupin who says he’ll be testifying about the circuit breaker proposal in front of the Senate committee at 10:45.

    He also said “the biggest misunderstanding” about Eyman’s 1 percent cap is this: It’s not a cap on your property tax payment. Eyman’s cap is a cap on government general fund revenues raised by property taxes. So, no wonder Eyman’s cap isn’t doing much to make the property tax issue (inequitable payments between rich and working class) go away.

    The Supermajority Democrats should take advantage of the fact that Eyman’s fake fix was tossed by the Supreme Court, show some leadership, and use this opportunity to enact a real fix.

    There is reportedly more support on the Senate side than the House side for the progressive circuit breaker idea. It will be interesting to see how Trupin’s testimony is received there.

    Oh, and the first person I ran into when I got here this morning, was Eyman. He was standing outside the House hearing room, where there had already been testimony, smiling broadly. “This is exciting!” he said.

    Why Didn’t We Think of This?

    posted by on November 29 at 10:16 AM

    A Chilean prostitute has auctioned 27 hours of sex to raise money for the country’s largest charity during an annual fund-raising campaign.

    Maria Carolina became an overnight celebrity in the conservative Roman Catholic country…. “I’ve already auctioned off the 27 hours of love,” Maria Carolina told Reuters on Wednesday, saying she had raised about $4,000. “One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him.”

    This is Heartbreaking

    posted by on November 29 at 10:12 AM


    An Indonesian fisherman [has] developed tree-like growths on his hands and feet is at the centre of an international medical spat after his country’s health minister criticised doctors trying to treat him.

    Indonesia’s health minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, lambasted the US doctor currently treating the 35-year-old man, who has the rare affliction caused by the Human Papilloma Virus.

    Known simply as Dede, the man, who lives in a village south of the capital Jakarta, has massive root-like warts growing from his arms and legs which have gone untreated for years.

    Video here.

    Project Runway & That Dead Kid

    posted by on November 29 at 10:00 AM

    Slog readers are discussing last night’s Project Runway here and that dead 14 year-old Jehovah’s Witness here.

    Lowest Denominator

    posted by on November 29 at 9:42 AM

    That liberal menace the Weekly Standard on last night’s GOP debate:

    So, a good night for the lowest denominator, a bad night for the GOP. America got to see a vaguely threatening parade of gun fetishists, flat worlders, Mars Explorers, Confederate flag lovers and zombie-eyed-Bible-wavers as well as various one issue activists hammering their pet causes.

    “Good point, China.”

    posted by on November 29 at 9:33 AM

    From my pal Hester, currently studying Chinese and avoiding blood tofu in Kunming.

    Christian Conservatives Attack Alaska Airlines

    posted by on November 29 at 9:22 AM

    Alaska is making nice with the gays, and the Christian haters aren’t happy—and no, Alaska, those little bible verse cards aren’t going to save you now.

    “Seattle Takes and Gives Nothing Back—Except Child Rape!”

    posted by on November 29 at 9:12 AM

    Letter of the day, and maybe the month. Sic throughout.

    Sir: I recently made the “long drive” in to Seattle from my home north of your damn vile city, having heard that there is “oh so much to do” in Seattle and it is a FAMILY FRIENDLY environement! Unfortunately I found out otherwise and dammit I’m sick of this garbage in that evil town that I paid for and this one is the “last straw”! I took my wife and our two boys who are SIX AND FOUR, Mr. Schmader mere children! to the Olympic Sculpture Park down on the boardwalk area on the advice of some local pervert who no doubt knew the ambush that was lurking for me and probably “got his jollies” realizing the cesspool he was sending us to. Immediately before we had even had a chance to put on our windbreakers there it was a giant fountain RIGHT WHERE EVERYBODY COULD SEE IT! I stopped there with my youngest Adam while the other two OF MY FAMILY! were still getting some things out of the car. At least two of my family members were spared the vile vulgar, and disgusting PEDOPHILE DISPLAY that came next in this TAXPAYER FUNDED vulgarity museum!!!!!!

    As soon as the waters stopped there is was, a NAKED man with his arms outstretched and BECKONING a little boy about a four year olds age which was no doubt why one of your “little friends” told us to go there because he wanted to plant some ideas that being naked with strange men was somehow NORMAL! So don’t tell me gay marriage hasn’t wrecked UTTERLY the moral fabric of King County and the whole damn country!

    A celebration of a pedo-lesting scum about to violate the sacred trust between man and boy and family and you wonder why this country is heading for civil war? You know you FAGGOTS and I usally would never use that type of language but let the “chips fall where they may” after this assault on MY family, run wild in Seattle, why the hell do you think DECENT people all live elsewhere?????

    There has been vulgar and vile shenanigans before but YOU KNOW what your up to on this one and I will you now THAT STATUE IS COMING DOWN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER AND YOU CAN “BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR” ON THAT ONE YOU CREEPS! I have already talked to my Reverand and TWO other Pastors in the area explained the situation and await their advice. Let the Lord’s Will Be Done! In all my born days NEVER have I seen something as sick as OPENLY SUPPORTING CHILD RAPE and then sticking it in everybodys faces! And then to think that MY taxes paid for it like its not enough all the “welfare” I pay out to your AIDS clinics and all the other “BS” that Seattle takes and gives NOTHING back! Except child rape!

    You publish all the “fun stories” 9 out a 10 of which insult Christianity Christians or even the “Big Guy” hisself. So if YOU are the “clearing house” for all the gay propaganda then YOU are the one I am writing to, Mister! This is the “last straw”! And you can better believe a protest is coming and if it comes to down to “brass tacks” then this is one time maybe we’ll grow some spines and do what needs to be done AND THE SECULAR LAW OF MAMMON BE DAMMED!!!!!!!

    Respectfully Yours, Daniel Robert Creighton

    For what it’s worth, that naked-man statue isn’t a “stranger” to the naked-boy statue—the sculpture’s called “Father & Son.”

    But he’s right, Seattle is nothing but a child-rape pep rally posing as a city…

    Whip the Damn Kids

    posted by on November 29 at 9:00 AM

    Here’s what I don’t understand about that British school teacher arrested in Sudan—and facing a possible six month sentence and forty lashes—for allowing her pupils to name a stuffed bear Muhammed: Why don’t they whip the damn kids?

    Gibbons was teaching her pupils, who are around age 7, about animals, and asked one of them to bring in her teddy bear, according to Robert Boulos, a spokesman for Unity High School in Khartoum. Gibbons asked the students to pick names for it and they proposed Abdullah, Hassan and Muhammad, and in September, the pupils voted to name it Muhammad, he said.

    Gibbons isn’t a Muslim, but those Sudanese kids are and they’re the ones that named the damn bear, not Gibbons. How was Gibbons, half of whose pupils were likely named Muhammad, supposed to know that it was blasphemous to give that name to a toy?

    But arguably the kids should have know better, seeing as they’re Muslims. And as every good Catholic knows, seven is the age of reason, the age at which you become accountable to God for your sins. So whip those damn kids, Sudan. They’re the ones that blasphemed against your alleged prophet, not Gibbons.

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

    posted by on November 29 at 8:45 AM

    A reputed leader of a gang in San Francisco’s Western Addition was arrested Wednesday in Novato, where police said he lived and kept a half pound of crack cocaine in a bedroom closet within reach of his two 5-month-old twin sons.

    Paris Moffet, 29, identified as a leader of the Eddy Rock gang, was arrested on charges of possession of crack cocaine for sale, possession of ecstasy and child endangerment. He also is charged with additional gang allegations. Moffet’s girlfriend, Delicia Mitchell, 31, also was arrested on drug and child endangerment charges….

    The cribs of the twin boys were in the same room where the drugs were recovered, he said. Two other children, ages 11 and 15, also were in the home. All four children were in protective custody.

    Memo to BigHeadDC

    posted by on November 29 at 7:33 AM

    This item is more than a little dishonest:

    “A federal grand jury has indicted prominent attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs on criminal charges that he and other lawyers engaged in a scheme to bribe a judge,” the AP reports. Scruggs is the brother-in-law of Sen. Trent Lott, who abruptly announced his resignation from office on Monday with little explanation. A gay escort later alleged on Big Head DC a possible relationship with the soon-to-be ex-senator.

    The gay escorts has alleged no such thing. The gay escort has denied and still denies having had any contacts with Trent Lott whatsoever. You alleged a relationship, and it was your allegation that drew a denial from the gay escort. Granted there’s some odd word choices in the gay escort’s original emails (emails in which he denied having contact with Lott), but there’s no smoking gun, no DNA evidence, no blue dress. There’s no proof. If you have proof—or if the mysterious commenter you mention who alleged that the gay escort and the outgoing senator vacationed together has any proof—then you need to produce it.

    But don’t attempt to stuff the original allegation down the throat of the gay escort. It’s your allegation, you made it, and you haven’t been able to produce any proof. Again, if you’ve got proof, out with it. If you don’t, shut the fuck up about this already.

    The Morning News

    posted by on November 29 at 7:30 AM

    Sing Out, Louise: Broadway stage hands end strike, all Broadway shows to reopen tonight.

    The Great White (and Male) Way: GOP presidential includes testy exchanges on immigration, torture, the gays, and a pledge to blast Hillary Clinton into space. Best debate analysis: Atrios, who writes, “Watching this debate, I hereby predict that the winner of the GOP nomination will be a total asshole.”

    Pre-Menopausal Planet: Venus wasn’t always hot and dry.

    Poison Minds, Not Bodies: Recalls of lead-tainted children’s toys prompt parents to buy their kids video games for Christmas.

    Dick the Halls: Violet Blue’s lists the best sex toys of 2007.

    Assisted Suicide: Fourteen year-old Jehovah’s Witness dies after refusing a life-saving blood transfusion. His aunt—who brought the kid into the Jehovah’s Witnesses four years ago—must be so proud.

    They Shoot Piano Players: Nordstom doing away with live music in its stores.

    Broadway Is Back: I was posting Broadway YouTube clips earlier this week to mourn the shuttering of Broadway shows. Now I’m going to post a Broadway YouTube clip to celebrate Broadway’s return. Yesterday we posted Sutton Foster’s Tony-nominated performance in Drowsy Chaperone. Well, meet her brother Hunter Foster, who starred in the the Tony-winning Urinetown. It’s an amazing show, and he’s an amazing performer.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    That 14 Year-Old Jehovah’s Witness Who Refused a Blood Transfusion?

    posted by on November 28 at 11:06 PM


    The boy, who was diagnosed with leukemia four weeks ago, was being raised by his aunt, a Jehovah’s Witness. His biological parents wanted him to get the blood transfusion. A judge sided with the boy and his aunt earlier today and refused to order a blood transfusion. And now the boy is dead. Should make for a tense family gathering this Christmas, huh? But God, no doubt, is pleased.

    LiveBlogging Tonight’s Project Runway

    posted by on November 28 at 10:00 PM

    I don’t have Eli’s snazzy liveblogging program but I thought I’d toss this up anyway.

    Hey, it’s about to start…

    Jack takes a lot of pills, man, but nice tits, huh? And why is the fat dude making fun of Christian? And I wish Jack would stop doing that thing with his eyes.

    Hey, no models? What’s this no models shit? And, hey, nice tits on Jack, huh? This whole episode gonna be about Jack’s tits. Tiki Barbar? “None of us really know who he is.” “I know nothing about football except that it’s the one time on television that spandex is acceptable.”

    Oh, there are Jack’s tits again.

    It does seem unfair that they’re making them all do menswear, huh?

    Has anyone else noticed that there’s not really anyone all that sexy on the show this year? No Daniel V? I mean, Jack’s got nice tits—have I mentioned his tits?—but no one is really compelling in repose, you know what I mean?

    So… uh… it hardly seems fair that half the designers are using Jack’s shorts as a pattern. Oh, hey, some of the other designers agree with me. Scandal.

    Man, I hate all these car commercials at Christmas. Do you know anyone that has ever—ever—received a fucking car as a Christmas present? A car?

    But what if I don’t want a text message from the designers?

    Man, I love the fat guy: “Pants are just two big sleeves sewn together—it’s not that hard.”

    So… uh… the male models? I wonder how many of them have slept with Trent Lott. One or two at least, don’t you think?

    I’m sorry, that Elise bitch is one crazy bitch—she doesn’t want to touch that model? What the fuck is wrong with her? Oh, the models are leaving. I’m going to miss the models.

    Oooh… a special guest. Ginny Bahbah, Tiki’s wife, is here to critique the designers work so far. Tiki likes layering, says Ginny, and Ricky is panicky. What is up with Kevin’s hat? To Carmen: “This looks like a Member’s Only jacket.” Oh, snap!

    Oh my God, it’s Kara Saun from season one—driving a Saturn down to the beach to get a little inspiration for her designs. Now I’m inspired to get Terry a Saturn for Christmas. Where do you get those huge-ass bows that are always on top of Christmas-present cars in those Christmas-present-car commercials?

    Okay, I’m having an attack of nerves here. So I’m going to stop typing and sit back and watch. Poor Sweet Pea! Poor Carmen! Poor Ricky!

    Oh, good the models are back! Good lord, Kevin’s model is the hottest of the bunch.

    Everything looks a mess—oh, man Carmen’s hand are shaking. I can’t watch. I can’t watch. I can’t watch!

    Okay, a commercial. What is with all this text message bullshit? Text message and we’ll have the designers send you a text! Vote for another sports star you think we should have on the show by sending us a text! Is Bravo making so little money off this pop culture phenomenon that they have to milk us for text message fees? Sheesh.

    A show of hands, please: Who’s excited about the Sweeney Todd movie? Everyone? Thought so. And, man, come the revolution those Real Housewives of Orange County are first against the wall.

    Eeep! We’re back… oh man, oh man. Just one of them will be out. Hard to believe only one of them is going home. I can’t watch and type… so I’m going to watch.

    Okay, Carmen and Sweet Pea got their asses handed to them — Ricky too.

    Alright we’re in a commercial. I think Carmen should go home, Terry thinks Ricky. Carmen didn’t finish… a single piece. But I can’t believe how much they praised Jack’s two pieces—it was just dull. “It looks like you bought it in a store,” Jack said. Yeah it does, Jack. It looks like you bought it at J.C. Penney’s. But we both agree that this challenge isn’t really fair. Most of these folks have never done menswear at all. Now some who never did menswear rose to the challenge, I guess—the fat guy in particular. But the whole challenge seems like a giant psych! Okay, we’re back to see who gets auf’d…

    THE RESULTS… after the jump…

    Continue reading "LiveBlogging Tonight's Project Runway" »

    LiveBlogging the Republican Debate

    posted by on November 28 at 5:00 PM

    After much delay and many derisive comments about this newfangled (and possibly “demeaning”) format, the Republican candidates are about to begin their very own CNN/YouTube debate. It’s been four months since the Democrats did the same. How will the Republicans fare? Let’s watch…

    But first, speaking of newfangled things, we have a new liveblogging widget. The main thing you need to know is that it’s highly interactive—if you want to add your thoughts to my liveblogging in real time, just submit comments through the widget. If they’re sufficiently witty or wise, I’ll probably use them. Ready? Here we go:

    Baker Opens Tomorrow

    posted by on November 28 at 4:19 PM

    The first good news in a long while. The mountain gained 17 inches of fresh snow Monday night and has a 33-inch base now.
    Photo borrowed from Mt. Baker’s website.

    Crystal is tentatively scheduled to open limited terrain on Saturday (currently measuring 12 inches at the base area and 25 at the top).

    Religion Poisons Everything

    posted by on November 28 at 4:14 PM

    From the Seattle Times:

    A 14-year-old Jehovah’s Witness sick with leukemia has the right to refuse a blood transfusion, even though doing so might kill him, a judge ruled today.

    Skagit County Superior Court Judge John Meyer denied a motion by the state to force Dennis Lindberg, of Mount Vernon, to have a blood transfusion. The judge said the eighth-grader knows “he’s basically giving himself a death sentence.”

    Doctors diagnosed the boy with leukemia on Nov. 6 and began treating him with chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, but stopped a week ago because his blood count was too low, the Skagit Valley Herald reported. The boy refused the transfusion on religious grounds.

    However, his birth parents, who do not have custody and flew from Idaho to be at the hearing, believe their son should have the transfusion and suggested he has been unduly influenced by his legal guardian, his aunt, who is also a Jehovah’s Witness.

    The Found Footage Festival

    posted by on November 28 at 4:10 PM


    The Found Footage Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that compiles footage from video tapes that were found at garage sales, thrift stores, warehouses, and trash bins throughout the country. Curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher host each screening and provide their unique observations and commentary on these found video obscurities. From the curiously produced industrial training video to the forsaken home movie donated to Goodwill, the festival resurrects these forgotten treasures and serves them up in a lively 90-minute celebration of all things found. Among the new clips in the 2007 show: Highlights from a cable-access talent show called Stairway to Stardom; an all-new collection of exercise videos featuring Marky Mark Wahlberg, O. J. Simpson, and a group of rapping pregnant ladies; and an instructional video for a cosmetic device so frightening that it will forever haunt you.

    Thurs Nov 29 at Central Cinema at 7 and 9:30 p.m.

    Names Can Be Deceiving

    posted by on November 28 at 4:05 PM

    Did you know there’s a new late night food spot on the Hill? It’s called Taco Gringos (their gringo-ness made obvious by their refusal to follow proper Spanish pluralization rules). They make tacos that are not filled with the delicious meat of white people: instead, they are filled with the delicious meat of pink pigs, brown and white cows, and whatever color of fake animal TVP comes from. They are $2 each, and unlike most tacos found on Capitol Hill, they are actually delicious. It’s a surprising development.

    I don’t know the address and I can’t find it online—It’s where the Sweatshop used to be on East Olive Way, right across the street from Clever Dunn’s. When I find the address out, I’ll put it in the GetOut Restaurant Guide so everyone can review it when they go.

    I think the greatest part about it is that it’s only open from Tues-Sat 8 pm-3 am. A business keeping hours like that? It makes me miss my old place of employ, Frites.

    Photo courtesy of Flickr User Joshc.

    Sheila Daniels Joins the Staff at Intiman

    posted by on November 28 at 3:55 PM

    Her new title is associate director. She will direct A Streetcar Named Desire there in 2008.

    Sheila’s a skilled, well-loved director, who has done some shows we loved: Waiting for Lefty at CHAC, The Last State (Sarah Rudinoff at On the Boards), Crime and Punishment at CHAC (she was the best thing that ever happened to CHAC), and Bridge of San Luis Rey with Strawberry Theater Workshop (which helped both STW and actor Amy Thone on their way to last year’s Genius Awards).

    Congratulations, Sheila.

    (And congratulations, Intiman. Sheila was bound to ascend—getting her first was a smart move. Plus, with Bart spending so much time chasing his directorial career out east—Broadway, the Met, the Goodman, etc.—it’s a neat gesture towards hometown credibility.)

    But that doesn’t detract from Sheila’s achievement. Mostly, it’s good news for her and for the rest of us.

    Capitol Hill “Hypocrites”

    posted by on November 28 at 3:48 PM

    Our death tribute to the bars on Pine St. in the new issue is a sweet memorial to an important block in this city’s cultural and rock and roll history. RIP.

    However, I’m anticipating that we’ll be accused of hypocrisy. The critique will go something like this: Why are you guys lamenting the death of Capitol Hill landmarks (thanks to condo development), when you regularly give so much editorial space to condemning other neighborhoods that resist condo development and density?

    For the record, we’re an equal opportunity hater. We loudly condemned Capitol Hill NIMBYs for resisting development on Capitol Hill’s Broadway district, and we cheered the fight for more (and taller) condo development there.

    Broadway was ailing, and needed to be redeveloped. New housing was the perfect ingredient to jump start change. It was a street in need of bodies.

    The Pine St. corridor is a little different. So personally, I’ve got mixed feelings about the development there. Is it necessary? The block that’s getting torn down is already jumping with bodies—thanks, in part, to the popular bars whose passing we lament in today’s issue.

    However, we don’t decry the development. We simply lament it. Hopefully, the new development on Pine will ensure that the block stays vibrant and loud. And if not: There’s plenty of action all over the neighborhood. So really, it’s not a federal case.

    Alas, we’ve already been attacked. Yesterday, HorsesAss complained about our supposed “hypocrisy” after Dominic Holden promoted Bus Stop’s closing night.

    I responded in the HorsesAss comments thread. A debate ensued. I’m re-posting one of my comments here as a preemptive strike before the letters pour in about what a bunch of “hypocrites” we are.

    Josh Feit says:


    Let’s take a look at some of your points:

    1) “What the Stranger should be lobbying for is good design on the block rather than carping about the development itself.”

    Good idea. That’s why we published this article as the news lead last month: ttle/Content?oid=424494

    2) “In West Seattle–an area that already has almost 20% of the city’s population–large scale developments are happening up and down California Avenue and nearby streets.”

    That’s true. And that’s why I wrote this column called “West Seattle is Cool” ttle/Content?oid=21428 —criticizing Capitol Hill’s Broadway district for not following suit.

    3) “Josh–if you actually left Capitol Hill more often and looked at the rest of the city you would realize that infill and dense developments are happening everywhere.”

    And that’s good. And we cheer neighbors who are for it: /Content?oid=20280 . And we criticize neighbors who are against. Keep in mind, though: 75% of the land that’s available for residential zoning in Seattle is zoned single family. That’s lame. And that’s what I’m talking about when I say we should bring density to more parts of the city.

    4) “You don’t get to decide what block is treated like a museum to be frozen in time and what block is developed with density.”

    That strip on Pine is hardly a “museum.” It was vibrant. And it was a big part of the density equation for all the residential buildings jammed up against it. Again, if the new condos mean more people out and about in that neighborhood than that’s excellent. However, that block is already mobbed with action. So, we’ll see how adding the condos plays out. Seems to me, we’re replacing density with density. Okay. But it’s kind of redundant.

    5) “the Stranger’s campaign to save this block of one-story buildings.”

    What campaign are you talking about? We’re not doing much to save this block. We campaigned for the surface/transit option. Now that was a campaign. And we won! We also campaigned for the monorail. (Won that one 3 out of 5 times, I think before we got trounced.) There’s been no Stranger campaign to save this block.

    To summarize:
    1) We are calling for good design.
    2) I praised the development in West Seattle.
    3) It’s crazy that 75% of the residential land in this city is zoned single-family.
    4) Lively commercial strips aren’t museums. Hopefully the new housing will keep the neighborhood as action-packed with people as it already is.
    5) Surface/Transit. Monorail. Now, those were Stranger campaigns. The block on Pine. Not a Federal case, and we haven’t treated it as one. No campaign.

    Did love the Bus Stop, though.

    11/28/2007 at 7:35 am

    As for “never leaving Capitol Hill”: Hold me closer, Tiny Dancer.

    Steen Resignation Rumors True

    posted by on November 28 at 3:47 PM

    It is official: A. Birch Steen has resigned as The Stranger’s public editor. Keck conveys the news in Mr. Steen’s corner of tomorrow’s paper. I will miss the old curmudgeon; his copy was flawless and he never missed a deadline.

    In Further Hetero News

    posted by on November 28 at 3:39 PM


    The top 20 female nude scenes of 2007, according to Celebrity Pornmaster General Mr. Skin:

    1. Marissa Tomei - Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
    2. Keeley Hazell - Cashback
    3. Natalie Portman - Hotel Chevalier
    4. Christina Ricci - Black Snake Moan
    5. Sienna Miller - Factory Girl
    6. Roselyn Sanchez - Yellow
    7. Malin Ackerman - The Heartbreak Kid
    8. Eva Mendes - We Own the Night
    9. Lena Headey - 300
    10. Stormy Daniels and Nautica Thorne - Knocked Up
    11. Alexa Davalos - Feast of Love
    12. Chelan Simmons - Good Luck Chuck
    13. Wei Tang - Lust, Caution
    14. Ashley Judd - Bug
    15. Olivia Wilder - Alpha Dog
    16. Ana Claudia Talancon - Alone With Her
    17. Danielle Harris - Halloween
    18. Heather Matarazzo - Hostel: Part II
    19. Amber Valetta - The Last Time
    20. Lucy Liu - Blood Hunter

    Couldn’t find a better Tomei pic from the movie, unfortch. You’ll want to check out NSFW Keeley Hazell after the jump instead.

    Continue reading "In Further Hetero News" »

    To Mark Pony Closing Tonight

    posted by on November 28 at 3:30 PM

    “As We Stumble Along” from Drowsy Chaperone seems somehow appropriate…

    Gotta love these lyrics…

    It’s a dismal little world in which we live.

    It can bore you till you’ve nothing left to give.

    Seven overrated wonders, sever underwhelming seas.

    Six excrusciating continants.

    Antarctica. Oh please.

    But you musent let it lick you

    This planet oh so bland.

    Keep your eyeball on the highball

    In your hand.

    See you later at Pony, kids. I’ll be playing Ms. PacMan with Ecce Homo in the corner of the main room, highball in hand.

    Policing the Police

    posted by on November 28 at 3:29 PM

    I’ve got a story in today’s paper about a violent arrest that took place in the University District last Friday, just days after the Seattle Police Department agreed to pay $185,000 to settle the Maikoiyo alley-barnes case.

    After the University District incident, we got calls and emails from several witnesses who claimed that police used excessive force, and that one officer bashed a handcuffed suspect’s head into the pavement “10 or 15 times.”

    SPD wasn’t able to comment about the allegations of police brutality before we went to print. Today, Seattle Police Spokeswoman Renee Witt told me that she’d checked with SPD’s internal investigations unit, and they hadn’t received any formal complaints about the arrest. Nevertheless, I keep getting phone calls and emails about it.

    If you witnessed the arrest, you can file a complaint with the Office of Professional Accountability.

    Just to be fair, you can also use the form to commend officers.

    Showbox Says Stop the Rumor Mill, We Have a 5-Year Lease on 1rst Ave.

    posted by on November 28 at 3:22 PM

    Earlier this week I did some reporting on a rumor that the Showbox had been sold, and I did a Slog post about it. In that post, a “high-level staffer” said the rumor wasn’t true.

    That high-level staffer, Showbox booker, Chad Queirolo, issued a more formal statement yesterday:

    Hi Everyone,

    It used to be once a year an especially virulent rumor that the Showbox lease would end in March. This has been happening for at least ten years now! Unfortunately, the rumor now circulates on about a 90 day basis. It usually starts with a blog and like the game “telephone” mutates until it eventually becomes an undeniable fact. We then field one or two hundred phone call from bands , band management, agents, radio, print, television , industry mags etc. all asking why we are closing the following day? Its tremendously disruptive for any small business to go through this not once but a dozen times in a decade.

    Please take note. The Showbox building has not been sold. We have a new five year lease on top of our current lease at The Market location as well as a 15 year lease at the Sodo location. We hope this answers everyone’s questions until someone after five drinks in any hipster bar winks and whispers,”hey, have you heard about the Showbox?” whereupon we will drop everything and address the rumor…again.

    Chad Queirolo- Showbox High Level Staffer

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on November 28 at 3:16 PM

    Bongs! No, this was not taken in our office.


    Thanks to photo pool contributor Espressobuzz.

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on November 28 at 3:07 PM

    Let’s start with this, which Jonathan Zwickel posted on Line Out not even an hour ago:



    Smoking is Stupid Anyway: NYT’s calls bullshit on the Camel’s new marketing campaign.

    Tonight in Music: Robyn Hitchcock and Harvey Danger.

    Ladies, Cheer Up: Dolly Parton and Amy Sedaris are here for you.

    Disco: Terry Miller on the Numero Group.

    Today’s Music News: Mos signs, Mr. Jones dies, and Band of Horses continue to take over.

    Obama Rocks?: Presidential candidate seeks local band for “Generation Obama” party.

    Support for DV-One: Friends and fans sign letter of support after last month’s conviction.

    Snoop Dogg in Sensual Seduction: I have no idea what to say about this.

    Fictional Bands: Most of ‘em suck. But some of them are good.

    Smooth Operator: Dudes! Get paid to drink and listen to Sade!

    Doin’ That Thing You Do: The Oneders! I mean, the Wonders!

    Last Night: Eric Grandy reviews Tuesday’s show at Pony with the Pharmacy, Team Gina, Talbot Tagora. Also, tonight is Pony’s last night.

    And finally, meet Baby Flamingo. Look at those feet!


    I’m So Pleased You’re Not Dead

    posted by on November 28 at 2:37 PM




    From the upcoming fourth instalment of the Indiana Jones series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. That’s Shia LeBeouf in the bottom pic. The movie opens May 22, 2008. Hat tip to Ain’

    A Rare and Interesting Thing

    posted by on November 28 at 2:35 PM

    Because of our late (and possibly inconsequential) caucuses, a poll that looks at what Washingtonians are thinking about the presidential candidates is a rare thing.

    But Washington State polls do happen, and Postman is now pointing at an interesting one. The non-partisan Washington Poll, conducted by the University of Washington, has found that in this state, Hillary Clinton is the top choice of Democrats and Rudy Giuliani is the top choice of Republicans.

    However, very interestingly, the poll also found that Barack Obama would do better than Hillary Clinton in a Washington State general election match-up against Giuliani.

    That’s because Obama does better than Clinton or Giuliani among independent voters.

    In fact, in two hypothetical general election match-ups here, the poll found that Clinton would be dead even with Giuliani while Obama would beat Giuliani by eight percentage points.





    The Best Invention Ever? Perhaps!

    posted by on November 28 at 2:18 PM

    Penicillin and indoor plumbing and Nintendo are all great things, but while surfing through, I found this:


    I want it, I want it, I want it. Nothing beats the dense, crispy edge of a perfectly cooked fudge brownie. This pan is amazing. I wonder how well it works…

    First, They Came for the Renters

    posted by on November 28 at 2:04 PM

    Right after Thanksgiving dinner, I posted a Craigslist ad for a room rental in my Central District group house. The house is a dream—big, old, three kitchens, six bedrooms, double lot. The room ain’t bad either—has its own bathroom. For $300. Applicants blew up my inbox.

    In a scene out of America’s Next Top Housemate, 20 people – around 70 didn’t make the cut – jammed into our living room, vying for the title of our new BFF. People were desperate. Rentals are expensive, elusive, and in some cases, disappearing.

    How fast? The good folks at Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development generated for us Sloggites a chart of the apartment-to-condo conversions in Seattle since 2004. Read it and weep, renters.


    Here’s a larger pop-up version of the graph. It appears 2006 was the height of the conversion boom, with 2352 apartment units converted into condominiums (we’re on a slight down-trend this year but not by much). Meanwhile in 2006, Seattle did see a net gain of 5383 units constructed. But, as we know, the vast majority of those new units are condos. Another interesting fact, condo conversions typically entail painting an ugly apartment building garish colors and naming it something edgy.


    Obviously, conversions are just one of the reasons residents are getting tossed out on the street looking for a new rental (covered in debt splatters from the bursting mortgage bubble, anyone?). But this rate of conversions, and high ratio of condos-to-apartments in new construction, means that single-family houses like the one me and my housemates rent will be soon be packed like clown cars. In a city where zoning for single family housing covers about 65 percent of the land – a lot by urban standards – market demand could make it profitable for homeowners to move out and charge three times the rate of our place to desperate renters (renters the city needs, because they’re a vital part of the city’s workforce.) Or, better yet, the city could rezone more of Seattle’s precious single-family housing areas and provide a height bonus for apartments to give developers major incentive to build them.

    Got a conversion-to-eviction story? Put it in comments.

    Maybe 9/11 Made Him Do It?

    posted by on November 28 at 1:50 PM

    Via The Politico:

    As New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons, according to previously undisclosed government records.

    The documents, obtained by Politico under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, show that the mayoral costs had nothing to do with the functions of the little-known city offices that defrayed his tabs, including agencies responsible for regulating loft apartments, aiding the disabled and providing lawyers for indigent defendants.

    At the time, the mayor’s office refused to explain the accounting to city auditors, citing “security.”


    posted by on November 28 at 1:36 PM

    As per editorial edict, here’s something for our straight, male, slog readers:






    BB Gun Watch 2007

    posted by on November 28 at 1:20 PM

    Schmader take note, BB gun drive-bys are quickly becoming the new pit bull attack.

    In the last month, there have been at nearly a dozen BB gun shootings in Seattle. The attacks appear random, but the majority of them have taken place in West Seattle.

    However, on the 23rd, a woman was shot in the leg while waiting at a bus stop on 46th and Aurora and last night, a woman in South Seattle was shot at.

    Seattle Police don’t know if the incidents are linked or if there are “copycat”, um, BBers working the streets.

    BB Gun Watch 2007 will continue until the madness stops.


    Have a Hairy Hindi Christmas!

    posted by on November 28 at 1:00 PM


    “Chatter” has been received from along the Snohomish County border that Sanjaya Malakar, the infamous ponyhawking A.I. wannababy and the Tiffany of Federal Way, is scheduled and indeed expected to, um, “sing” or whatever in the production of Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity at the Intiman Theatre just next Sunday. Two other American Idol losers you’ve never heard of are expected to join him. Sources at the scene report that while black Joseph and Mary admire Sanjaya’s personality and spunk, black baby Jesus said he was “pathetic” and advised him to shoot himself in the face.

    Praise the Lord!

    Music for Obama

    posted by on November 28 at 12:45 PM

    So Barack Obama is coming back to Seattle on Dec. 11 and doing an event at Showbox SoDo. It’s going to feature local bands but the lineup, according to Washington for Obama, is “still being finalized.”

    In politics, that’s often code for: We have no fucking idea.

    I figure this is an area where our readers have some expertise, so maybe you all can help the Obama campaign. If you were throwing a $100-a-ticket “Generation Obama” event at the Showbox Sodo, which local bands would you ask to be on the bill?

    Head on over to LineOut if you have a suggestion.

    In Other Plagiarists…

    posted by on November 28 at 12:31 PM

    It seems the State Department’s more recent—and very sunny—“Iraq Weekly Status Report” is comprised entirely of sentences and paragraphs lifted word-for-word from mainstream media reports. That would be the same mainstream media that, according to the Laura Bush and Fox News, only reports the bad news about Iraq.

    Scroll through and it looks kind of impressive, lots of information — good job keeping on top of the game State Department! But scroll to the bottom and it lists the sources for the information. Now it woulda been nice if they included some footnotes in the body of the document to indicate they were including outside information, but as it turns out the entire thing is basically plagiarized word for word from those news articles, with the slightest of adjustments so as to maybe give the impression it’s in their own words.

    Read all about it at Americablog.

    Your Republican Dream Candidate?

    posted by on November 28 at 12:30 PM

    So the Republicans are debating tonight, and I’m liveblogging tonight, and the question still lingers:

    Which of these guys do you liberals of the Slog mob most want to be the Republican nominee?

    Listen carefully, people: I’m not asking who you think is going to win the Republican nomination, or who you think should win the Republican nomination. I’m asking which of these guys you, the liberals of Slog, dream of seeing in a match-up with the eventual Democratic nominee.

    Is it Giualiani, who offers endless opportunities for cross-dressing jokes plus the schadenfreude of watching the religious right become irrelevant to the Republican nominating process?

    Is it Romney, with his Mormon issues and his flip-flopping?

    Is it Thompson, just for the laughs (and the zzzzz’s)?

    Is it Tancredo, with his immigration obsession and his apocalyptic warnings of terrorist infiltrators from Mexico?

    Here’s a poll. Go crazy. (And please, please, tell me again how these polls aren’t scientific.)

    It’s Probably Going to Rain Tonight, So You Should Probably Go See a Movie Tonight

    posted by on November 28 at 12:28 PM

    So let me suggest August Rush, a happy little mom-friendly fairy tale full of music that will not require a lot of thought, should you be in the mood for that sort of thing:


    America loves little boys. Remember when everyone creamed their pants over that Billy Elliot movie? “He wants to be a dancer! Whee!”

    With that rule, August Rush (by Disco Pigs director Kirsten Sheridan) should do really well in theaters. But no one is going to see it. Robin Williams is in it. And nobody feels strongly enough about the gorgeous and not-at-all-offensive Keri Russell or her costars Terrence Howard and Jonathan Rhys Meyers to go see a movie based on their involvement alone.

    That’s sad. Because despite the fact that the plot is goofy and rife with romantic improbabilities, and despite the fact that the script is loaded with cheesy moments like, “I believe in music the way some people believe in fairy tales,” August Rush is actually a charming little film about a musical prodigy who ends up performing with the New York Philharmonic in order to find the mom and dad who don’t even know he exists.

    See, Mom’s a touring cellist and she went slumming one night with the frontman of a rock ‘n’ roll band. Magic happened, then mistakes happened, and then some people told some lies. So the adorable August Rush bounces from orphanage to Robin Williams to the New York Philharmonic, and he makes music only because he firmly believes his parents will hear it and know he’s out there.

    It sounds bad, right? I know. And I’m just making it sound worse. But the parts in the film where it shows August Rush composing and hearing music in everything he sees—well, those are actually pretty cool. Because music itself is pretty cool. It’s such a shame that this movie about music is 100 percent uncool.

    Click here to see movie times.

    How About a Little Diversity?

    posted by on November 28 at 12:26 PM

    Smooth and skinny twink Benjaman Nicholas has his fans. But Slog reader Marc is taken with slightly scruffier, slighly beefier twinks—like Colt Brennan, the Hawaii Warriors quarterback in contention for the Heisman Trophy. Brennan is the subject of a profile in today’s Seattle Times.

    Rarely do I gasp in awe at any photo on the sports page. But I confess I stole the entire sports section from Bagel-Deli on 15th this a.m. This photo would certainly please Michael Strangeways and perhaps Mr. Poe (whose tastes seem to be ‘widespread’). Brennan apparently is on his way to a Heisman if he keeps his dick clean. Read further down in the story—ah, the hardships of being a pretty boy.

    The story is headlined “Hawaii’s Brennan making most of second chance.” Here’s how Brennan blew his first chance:

    Brennan, a graduate of perennial prep power Mater Dei High in Southern California, signed with Colorado, where he redshirted in 2003. In January 2004, he was accused of entering a female student’s room uninvited (while allegedly drunk) and failing to leave, earning several charges, including sexual assault.

    He was convicted of first-degree criminal trespass and second-degree burglary (sexual assault was dropped) and sentenced to seven days in jail and four years probation. He was kicked off the team at Colorado…. A number of schools that would have been interested in him were scared off by his conviction.

    Hawaii coach June Jones offered Brennan a chance to walk on and prove himself, holding out the carrot of leading what has become one of the most prolific passing offenses in college footbal—the Warriors have been ranked in the top five nationally in passing eight straight seasons.

    The Hawaii Warriors will play the Washington Huskies on Saturday night—and here’s a pic of Brennan fer ya.


    Now I’m going to go to lunch. But first I’m going to stroll through editorial and ask some of the straight guys on staff—and the majority of guys on staff in editorial are straight, believe it or not—to post some gratuitous pictures of good looking women to Slog. Just for, you know, balance and shit.

    This Isn’t Exactly News…

    posted by on November 28 at 12:22 PM

    … but I can’t help be surprised all over again. Four of the top twenty paperback bestsellers this week are new or forthcoming movies, and one (The Road) is probably getting a boost from the same. The number one fiction paperback in the nation right now is a 1988 novel in translation by Gabriel García Márquez.

    Love in the Time of Cholera

    Maybe it’s worth a godawful adaptation if it gets people to read the original? I confess, I—or rather, the paper, if a certain vacationing someone ever gets around to submitting the receipt—purchased a copy recently in preparation for that review. I hadn’t read it previously, and I’m thrilled I did.

    By the way, it’s totally worth reading Atonement before you see the movie (out in Seattle next Friday) . In some ways, I think I like the movie more than the book (no irritating Woolfian tics that are revealed not to be the author’s own irritating Woolfian tics), but having read the book makes the movie better.


    Three Machines

    posted by on November 28 at 12:07 PM


    Machine 1:

    My house is awesome, we just got a washing machine the other day, though it was borken. Luckily, Laura started dating a hadnyman so he came over and fixed it for us. I didnt Know he spent the night until in the morning when he walked out of the bathroom in his underwear. Unfortunately i burst out laughing, not because he’s scrawny or anything, but because Laura had been complaining a couple days previously that she hadnt gotten laid in a long time. Forsa Laura!

    Machine 2:

    The police believe he is the same man who was spotted in a nearby launderette the following day at 1.30pm, in the company of a young woman.

    Witnesses said the man had acted “strangely” and had bundled a large quantity of clothes and shoes into a washing machine. .

    Machine 3:

    It has also emerged that when postal police arrived at the cottage the next morning to investigate two mobile phones found in a nearby garden and found Ms Kercher’s body after breaking down her bedroom door, they also found Ms Kercher’s clothes in the washing machine. Reports said the police heard the washing machine spinning to the end of its cycle as they arrived at the cottage at 1235.

    Love and Redemption and Stuff

    posted by on November 28 at 11:49 AM

    Imagine a musical about a small town in Louisiana in 1959—depressed farmers, sweet kids, ill-treated African Americans, a restless boy with a pompadour and a motorcycle, sinister evangelicals, and so on. Now imagine that musical written by Jim Steinman, the man who wrote and produced Bat out of Hell for Meat Loaf, and a past-his-prime Andrew Lloyd Webber.


    Whistle Down the Wind (playing at 5th Avenue Theatre until Dec 2; see Get Out) is precisely what you’re imagining—technically accomplished but overwrought, nostalgic, and cloying. The band is dominated by a synth drum kit and four synthesizers, one of which, at intermission, was set to “timp/tbns/tbns & trpts.” Which is what Whistle Down the Wind sounds like: tbns and trpts. (The singers are better. Eric Kunze and Andrea Ross—as the fugitive and the oldest sister—have strong, dulcet voices.)

    Based on a 1961 movie that was based on a 1958 novel, Whistle Down the Wind concerns three motherless children who find a wounded fugitive hiding in a barn. They think he’s Jesus; and he, looking for help wherever he can get it, doesn’t disabuse them of their fantasy. The kids in town come flocking to the tattooed Christ, the adults in town are looking for the fugitive, and everybody learns a little something about love and redemption and stuff.

    Apparently, Whistle Down the Wind has been a hit in England in the last few years, where the Oxford Mail called it “a cracking feel-good family show” and the Wolverhampton AdNews ominously wrote, “No matter what they tell you, go and see this Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman musical.” In 1998, one of its songs was recorded by an Irish quintet called Boyzone and went platinum. Some kinds of success are more damning than failure.

    LiveBlogging the Republican Debate

    posted by on November 28 at 11:45 AM

    Tune in to the Slog at 5 p.m. (PST) today when I’ll be liveblogging the Republican YouTube debate. Just like last time, I’ll be using a nifty new liveblogging gizmo that let’s you elbow your way into the discussion if you have something to say about the candidates—and I imagine Slog readers will have more than a few things to say about the Republican candidates tonight. Hope you’ll join me.

    In the meantime, Postman has a good roundup of YouTube questions that probably won’t make the cut.

    He’ll also be doing a post-debate show on TVW, so if you’re sick of listening to the national media talking heads then your evening schedule is set: Watch the debate with Slog and then watch the post-game show with Postman and Westneat. What, have you got something better to do?

    Headline of the Day

    posted by on November 28 at 11:40 AM

    From the Columbian

    New legislator will go straight to work

    Thursday will be a big day for the person who’s chosen to fill the 18th Legislative District seat vacated by the Oct. 31 resignation of La Center Republican Richard Curtis.

    Thanks to Slog tipper Ralph.

    Ruh Roh

    posted by on November 28 at 11:29 AM

    From the Huffington Post:

    Look, I am concerned. I’ve just spent two weeks travelling and speaking with media elites in L.A., Chicago, NYC, and D.C. and among other things, I was repeatedly told that The New York Times and The L.A. Times are “sitting on a BIG Clinton story.” What concerns me is that this story has nothing to do with Hillary, her policy positions, her record, or her presidential potential. The “big story” everyone is sitting on apparently has to do with the many current affairs of Bill Clinton, whom, they will allege, has a gal in every port. I know, I know, you roll your eyes, you yawn, you wonder how anyone could possibly care about such things, true or not, when there is so much at stake in this upcoming election. But then you see what is going on with today’s Trent Lott/gay hustler rumors, this week’s Hillary /lesbian aide rumors, and you remember that the ghost of Karl Rove still haunts us.

    Attention Amy Sedaris Lovers

    posted by on November 28 at 11:02 AM


    Have you always dreamed of watching the woman who created Jerri Blank join forces with the woman who created “Jolene” to give American women a country-pop-flavored self-esteem enema?

    Today’s your lucky day on Line Out.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 28 at 11:00 AM


    ‘The Cook’ at Seattle Repertory Theatre

    The Cook begins in the kitchen of a Cuban mansion on New Year’s Eve in 1958, the night before Castro’s army seizes Havana. The owners of the house flee and their cook Gladys (the excellent Zabryna Guevara) vows to protect the mansion until they return. That turns out to be a long damn time, during which the cook, her pigheaded Communist husband, and her terrified gay cousin flail around in the dangerous politics of Castro’s worker’s paradise. The denouement comes in 1997, when the owners’ daughter—an angry Miami Cuban—shows up for lunch. (Seattle Rep, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. 7:30 pm, $15–$53.)


    Benjamin Nicholas & Trent Lott

    posted by on November 28 at 11:00 AM

    There’s no news to report on the Nicholas/Lott front—or rear, for that matter—but here’s another pic of the hustler-of-the-moment for Nicholas’ growing group of fans here in Seattle…


    And lots more where that come from here.

    Letter of the Day

    posted by on November 28 at 10:11 AM


    Not that I think that you would bother to publish it anyway, but if there are any pics of girls in bras dancing last night at the Pony, we don’t really want to be in the Stranger, if that camera was one of yours.


    Agent Garbes

    posted by on November 28 at 9:34 AM

    Stranger food writer (and basketball zealot) Angela Garbes has a story in the Chicago Sports Weekly about the local reaction to the Sonics mess.

    It looks like her editors asked her to “hang out in the hood” to get the reaction on the street.

    So, there’s lots of live Existential dialogue from fans at the Central District’s Philadelphia Fevre cheesesteak shop:

    “My feeling is this is a done deal,” said Ankrim, shaking his head. This season Ernie splurged and upgraded his season tickets to courtside seats so he and his teenage son Eric could enjoy what they believe is one of the Sonics’ last season in Seattle’s Key Arena. It’s a peculiar honeymoon, one without a home to return to.

    This American Life

    posted by on November 28 at 9:32 AM

    Found at the QFC on 15th Ave E.

    Obama Coming Back to Seattle

    posted by on November 28 at 9:20 AM

    Peter Masundire, spokesman for Washington for Obama, tells me that the Senator from Illinois will be back in Seattle on Tuesday, Dec. 11, to talk about his progress in Iowa and, of course, raise some money.

    He’ll be appearing at Showbox SoDo for a “Generation Obama” event that will feature some as-yet-unnamed local bands. He’ll also be doing a reception at the Bell Harbor convention center on the waterfront.

    I don’t see any public (meaning free) events on the schedule, but maybe Oprah can talk to Obama about that. He’ll be campaigning with her right up until the day before he arrives in Washington.

    “A Secret Room.”

    posted by on November 28 at 9:16 AM

    I posted this back in October.

    Keep it in mind tonight.


    posted by on November 28 at 9:08 AM


    Geoff Tate of Queensrÿche here.

    Stranger News Editor Josh Feit has asked me to do a column on politics and music and Queensrÿche and whatever I want. And I was excited to get this party started, so this isn’t actually my first shot, but rather a qwick post to introduce myself.

    So, I just want to say—so you guys know where I stand politically—that President Bush sucks. He’s a fascist. It’s like Germany in 1938. We’re really getting near fascism.

    Alright, I’ll be Slogging more later! I just wanted to set shit straight right from the start.

    Queen of the Damned

    posted by on November 28 at 8:30 AM

    This one’s for all the Mark “Mom” Finley haters…

    Guess what, guys? There are worse drag queens out there—really. The French police have arrested a drag performer for the murders of 18 “mainly homosexual men” in Alsace and Paris. So cut Mark some slack, huh? He may not be all that funny and he’s had his own legal troubles… but he hasn’t actually killed anybody.

    Westboro Baptist Coming to Port Orchard…

    posted by on November 28 at 8:27 AM

    …to protest at a dead soldier’s funeral.

    Members of a small Kansas congregation known for its anti-gay message say they plan to demonstrate during a memorial service Friday for a Bremerton soldier killed in Afghanistan…. The funeral is for Sgt. 1st Class Johnny C. Walls, a 1985 Bremerton High graduate who died Nov. 2 of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire. His mother, stepfather, sister and a pair of grandparents live in Port Orchard.

    Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka have gained notoriety by demonstrating at military funerals across the country, claiming God is killing troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to punish the United States for tolerating homosexuality.

    “A Consequence of Misuse of the Internet”

    posted by on November 28 at 8:07 AM

    That’s how a New York judge has summed up this tragically effed-up mess, in which a 48-year-old man (who’d been posing as an 18-year-old Marine in online chat rooms) murdered his 22-year-old rival for the virtual affections of a middle-aged West Virginia mother posing online as an 18-year-old student.

    The Associated Press untangles it all for you here.

    Can We Put Danny Westneat in Charge of Our Regional Transportation System?

    posted by on November 28 at 7:38 AM

    Westneat is only person at the Seattle Times with any sense when it comes to transportation issues. From Westneat’s column this morning:

    So here’s my idea. It would allow us to replace the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. Buy some new ferries. And establish a new suburban Eastside mass-transit line.

    Without raising one penny of new taxes.

    What we should do is: cancel the widening of Interstate 405.

    That huge project would add two lanes in each direction to the Eastside’s freeway. It was tabbed at $11 billion back in 2002 (which, adjusted for construction inflation, equals a googlillion today). It’s not for safety—that freeway isn’t about to fall or sink into anything. Canceling those extra lanes, or at least delaying them, would free up $1.2 billion that has already been approved by the voters.

    We could divert $1 billion of that to the floating bridge, making rebuilding a go (assuming additional tolling). We could buy three ferries with another $100 million.

    And we could devote the other $100 million to getting commuter rail running on the Eastside line. Forty miles of track are begging to be used. Happily, it runs next to I-405—the very place I’m stealing all this money.

    The Morning News

    posted by on November 28 at 7:30 AM

    Hearts and Minds: US warplanes drop bombs on Afghani construction workers, killing 14.

    Help Is on the Way: Tanking dollar means you can’t afford BC Bud anymore? Afghani farmers are growing more pot, fewer poppies.

    Musharraf Steps Down: The Pakistani dictator resigns from his army post, holds on to the presidency.

    Vigilante Justice Anyone? Nothing illegal about hounding an adult creating a fake website with the sole intent of emotionally abusing a 13 year-old girl with a history of depression, say authorities. The girl committed suicide as a result. “Cyberbullying” on the rise, say experts.

    Judged on the Color of His Skin: The choice of Chinese artist—and Chinese granite—for a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. destined for the National Mall in D.C. stirs outrage.

    The Content of their Consumer Products: Are we sure that Chinese artist is using granite? Tests find asbestos in children’s toys and modeling clay that were—surprise!—made in China. The dangerous substance also found in powdered cleanser, roof sealers, duct tapes, window glazing, spackling paste and small appliances. The feds didn’t discover the contamination, of course. A consumer group did.

    $18.5 Million: That’s what someone paid for a rare Faberge egg at auction yesterday.

    Marie Osmond’s Fainting Spell: Was it staged?

    I’m Sorry I Doubted You, La Nina: Another foot of snow expected in the next 24 hours.

    We’ll Always Have YouTube: The national tour of Drowsy Chaperone isn’t coming to Seattle, which is a damn shame. The show—which won the Best Musical Tony in 2006—is absolutely brilliant. But you can’t see it on Broadway at the moment, thanks to the stagehands’ strike, and you won’t be seeing it on stage in Seattle anytime soon. But you can get a taste of what we’re missing on YouTube. Sutton Foster sings “I Don’t Want to Show Off No More.” Unfortunately the encore—“I don’t want to encore no more!”—isn’t included in this clip. You’ll have to buy the original cast recording for that.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    The Great Green Monster in the Sky

    posted by on November 27 at 11:25 PM


    Eternal Image now offers Major League Baseball-themed urns and caskets. 13 teams available now, the rest coming next year. So try to hang on a little while longer, Mariners fans.

    Other novelty death containers available from EI: Precious Moments, American Kennel Club, Cat Fanciers’ Association (?), and, of course, Star Trek.

    Eternal Image: One Last Chance to Blow Some Money on That Ridiculous Hobby of Yours

    Reserve yours now by calling 1-888-6-CASKET. Really. That’s the phone number.

    The Stranger Crossword

    posted by on November 27 at 5:32 PM

    We run a crossword every week in the print edition of the paper—by the lovely and talented Brendan Emmett Quigley—and we were wondering…

    Is anyone out there actually doing it?

    Worth Watching

    posted by on November 27 at 4:47 PM

    A long Nightline look at Barack Obama and his strong Iowa campaign:

    Dino Rossi: “The Only Step Left is Gay Marriage.”

    posted by on November 27 at 4:24 PM

    Dino Rossi has been on Tom Read’s “It Seems to Me” radio show a couple of times this year (including once since declaring for governor.)

    Read’s show is on the Christian-activist oriented American Christian Network, broadcast out of Spokane to eastern Washington.

    Listen to this clip.

    Interesting. Rossi sounds a little uncomfortable with Read’s homophobia, but certainly not uncomfortable enough to call Read out on the hate-mongering. And while he doesn’t exactly run with Read’s jag, he plays along famously.

    I guess he doesn’t want to alienate listeners/voters who feel oppressed now that gays and lesbians can visit their partners in the hospital. After all, that’s why Rossi went on the show. To win votes.

    Rossi was smart enough to know last time out that socially conservative views don’t get you into the governor’s mansion in Washington State.

    However, by sitting in with Read and speaking at the Faith and Freedom Network retreat, and coming out loud for a Pharmacist’s right to refuse to fill prescriptions, Rossi is emerging and embracing the Evangelicals in the run up to 2008.

    Who’s in the Mood for Soup?

    posted by on November 27 at 4:20 PM

    It used to be that you could go to Cafe Presse and get a $7 bowl of fairy-tale red tomato soup with two slabs of goat cheese floating on two slices of toasted baguette. Then tomatoes went out of season and Cafe Presse’s menu changed, and everyone who loved the tomato soup had to imagine what the replacement, a $7 pureed mushroom-and-pear soup, would taste like. The imagination failed to come up with something that seemed good, and no one ordered it. Then one day someone ordered it and was shocked at how good it was, how salty and un-pear-like, how perfect for winter. It’s served with a hard dollop of cold creme fraiche in the center that spreads outward, galaxy-like, as it gets warm.


    posted by on November 27 at 3:55 PM

    I hereby present to you my favorite piece of celebrity gossip ever. (That is to say, my favorite piece of celebrity gossip ever concerning a celebrity I have never heard of before in my celebrity-obsessed life.) Please enjoy!


    Sieg Heigl, Atrox!

    Today on Line Out

    posted by on November 27 at 3:30 PM


    Worse than Hitler? Or Just the New Crazy Frog? : Ich Liebe Eine Gummibär

    Alive: Daft Punk Live Chat

    Dear Rockers: Sorry About the Downloading, Here’s $5

    Tonight in Music: Moving Units, New Riders of the Purple Sage

    Struggle and Triumph: DJ Struggle and Nina Simone

    Margaritas and Lithium: Jimmy Buffet vs Nirvana

    Band of the Week: Luchnow Brides

    Today in Music News: Radiohead, Courtney Love, Flea, Kanye West, and the inimitable Amy Winehouse

    Frequently Asked: Why?’s The Hollows

    Smoke & Smoke: Camel Advertising via Bands with All-Ages Draw

    Because He was Right

    posted by on November 27 at 3:09 PM

    The top Democratic contenders love to agree with Joe Biden at their debates. Which I guess made this inevitable:

    Hard to Argue

    posted by on November 27 at 2:49 PM

    Stephen King to Time:

    [If] the Bush administration didn’t think [waterboarding] was torture, they ought to do some personal investigation. Someone in the Bush family should actually be waterboarded so they could report on it to George. I said, I didn’t think he would do it, but I suggested Jenna be waterboarded and then she could talk about whether or not she thought it was torture.

    Bill Richardson Wants To Bring America Together By Sleeping In Your Living Room

    posted by on November 27 at 2:00 PM

    Posted By Ryan S. Jackson

    Welcome to Iowa, the magic electoral land where the populist and the totally creepy intersect: Easily eclipsing John Edwards’s decision to merely live in Iowa while running for president, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will actually come to stay the night with you. When elected, Richardson and his proposed Justice League of bipartisan cabinet secretaries will encamp in your living room and get to the bottom of what ails rural America.

    Via the Des Moines Register:

    He said he would bring Americans together by appointing a Cabinet of Democrats, Republicans and independents. In addition, he would spend nights in the homes of average Americans and would meet with them individually to hear their concerns.

    “I would stay in touch. I would be a grass-roots president,” Richardson told about 50 people at the Ringgold County Courthouse in southern Iowa.

    While the majority of America may never see a presidential candidate even visit their state before the nomination is decided, 50 people in rural Iowa bask in the prospect of a highly respected governor promising to bring over his sleeping bag and discuss your problems over microwave pizza-rolls.

    The system works.

    Romney: No Muslims in My Cabinet

    posted by on November 27 at 1:48 PM

    Earlier today, Mormon Mitt Romney told diplomat Mansoor Ijaz that he would not consider a Muslim for his cabinet, reasoning that Muslims make up too small a religious majority to qualify. According to Ijaz’s report in the Christian Science Monitor,

    I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, given his position that “jihadism” is the principal foreign policy threat facing America today. He answered, “…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.”

    After the story blew up over the course of the morning, Romney responded by denying Ijaz’s account of the question.

    At an availability with reporters [in St. Petersburg, Fla.], Romney answered questions about today’s report suggesting that he would not appoint Muslims to his Cabinet. “No, that’s not what I said. His question was, did I need to have a Muslim in my Cabinet in order to confront radical jihad, or would it be important to have a Muslim in my Cabinet?’ And I said no, I don’t think you need a Muslim in the Cabinet to take on radical jihad any more than we needed a Japanese American to understand the threat that was coming from Japan or something of that nature.”

    Ijaz maintains that that’s not what he said at all. I expect a recording of the exchange will emerge showing that either: a) Romney’s right, and Ijaz is lying; or b) Romney’s lying, and he actually did endorse a religious quota system for choosing his cabinet; then, when reporters questioned this nutty suggestion, he backpedaled and blamed Ijaz for his gaffe.

    More on Judicial Watch

    posted by on November 27 at 1:05 PM

    Judicial Watch, the DC-based righty law firm that’s threatening to sue Seattle for supporting Casa Latina, may want to think twice about taking the city to court.

    A California court tossed a similar Judicial Watch-inspired case yesterday.

    Judge Gregory Munoz issued a ruling Monday saying Laguna Beach residents Eileen Garcia and George Riviere had failed to prove that the $22,000 the city has been spending annually on the center is an illegal expenditure or a waste of public money.

    Munoz said the city-funded job center on Laguna Canyon Road provides a public benefit, much like a park. The judge also said there was no evidence that the center was used exclusively by illegal immigrants.

    “Under their argument, we couldn’t fund a soup kitchen because it might be used by illegal aliens,” said Laguna Beach City Atty. Robert O. Owen. “The city is just funding a public amenity.”

    Funny. When I called Judicial Watch yesterday to ask when and if they were going to make good on their threat and sue Seattle for supporting Casa—which, among other services, runs a day laborers center—the attorney I spoke with was notably agitated from the second he picked up the phone. I was totally unaware that his firm had just lost a similar case in California.

    I have great timing.

    Clearly, Sandra Oh is the Martin Luther King Jr. of the Hollywood Writers Strike

    posted by on November 27 at 12:51 PM

    Tremendous. I’d vote for her.

    (Thanks, Towleroad.)

    Here Comes Huckabee

    posted by on November 27 at 12:35 PM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is now tied with Romney in Iowa and a strong second in Flordia, where Rudy Giuliani was hoping to show that he plays well in the big states. This news may mean the Huckabee campaign is for real, and intends to make the race for the Republican nomination a lot more interesting than it looked a month ago.

    From MSNBC:

    Check out these new Florida numbers — before the GOP debate there tomorrow — showing Huckabee climbing to second place there and Fred Thompson dropping into single digits. Giuliani retains the top spot at 26% in the Insider Advantage/Majority Opinion poll; Huckabee is second at 17%; McCain is third at 13%; Romney is fourth at 12%; and Thompson is fifth at just 9%.

    As Huckabee’s campaign climbs the ladder, it appears to be at the expense of former-Senator-turned-reanimated-corpse Fred Thompson, who is absolutely faceplanting in this poll and is increasingly irrelevant in Iowa. The reasons for his campaign’s existence seem to shrink by the day (we’ll always have that one episode of Roseanne where he played the sexual-harassment-prone boss, though.)

    More on Hurricane Huckabee:

    -Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi does a glowing profile.

    -New York Times: Critique of Huckabee’s new campaign ad.

    -Our coverage: Huckabee comes to Bellevue.

    West Lake Union

    posted by on November 27 at 12:20 PM

    Dexter Avenue North can turn sunshine gray. Karen Clark, who used to work on the sordid street of warehouses, says, “I remember seeing a pregnant prostitute once on the way to my car.”

    Now say the fuck goodbye to that Dexter. Covet for South Lake Union property is squeezing a corridor of shiny office slabs and chunky residential compounds into the eastern slope between Queen Anne Hill and Westlake Avenue.

    Capstone Partners has proposed developing another behemoth—a six-story commercial facility near Dexter and Highland St with 400 underground parking spots and 10,000 square feet of street-level retail. (It’s being designed by LMN Architects, the same folks attempting to tidy the Mercer Mess.) Zoning on Dexter provides developments up to 65’ of vertical gain, but an exception allows Capstone to build to 85’ for life sciences—mirroring the big research facilities across the water on Eastlake and blocking condo owners’ views from Aurora. Here’s where the building will break ground next June.


    It’s so… long.


    I dare you to get nostalgic about losing this parking lot.

    Capstone’s Mike Hubbard says there are no fancy renderings yet for what will replace this charcoal tundra – the design is being adjusted to accommodate neighbors’ requests – and there’s speculation about what sort of tenants will move in once completed.

    “South lake Union is one of better office markets in the country,” says Hubbard. Yes, yes, but can the area sustain that much retail? Zoning requirements for Dexter essentially force developers to create it; however, the steep topography and parallel arterials represent a stranglehold on the number of residents who could access Dexter for day-to-day commercial purposes. And, even if entrepreneurs start a bunch of adorable cupcake shops, traffic will always roar by at speeds that make a casual stroll inconceivable.

    “The zoning wants it to be retail,” says Hubbard. “But the market can only handle so many food retailers and small banks.”

    Photos, vacancies, and sensationalism after the jump.

    Continue reading "West Lake Union" »

    Headline of the Day, Appetite Suppressant of the Year

    posted by on November 27 at 11:58 AM

    Grandmother Saved by Daughter’s Poo.

    She didn’t use it to extinguish a fire, or fight off a would-be rapist, or soften a six-story fall. She ingested it.

    (Thanks to Slog tipper Ben.)

    Youth Pastor Watch

    posted by on November 27 at 11:45 AM


    In life, Chelsea McAllister lit up every room she walked into, a teacher recalled. In death, the 15-year-old Duquesne girl who died of a gunshot wound Tuesday night brought a community together in prayers of thanksgiving and pleas for forgiveness….

    One of five children of Timothy and Diane McAllister, Chelsea was described as a vibrant, outgoing teen whose life centered on her faith. She died of a single gunshot wound at the home of a youth minister about a block from her own home. Police said a 14-year-old boy from Penn Hills who was with the group said he accidentally pulled the trigger.

    Up With Skirts, Down With Pants

    posted by on November 27 at 11:36 AM

    Susie Bright, pro-porn feminist and Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society member, has a new blog devoted to the domestic arts called Little Susie Homewrecker. In this entry, she takes the controversial stance that women look better in skirts than pants. In the comments: a couple more stories from women who remember when (not all that long ago, really) they were not allowed to wear pants to school. And this: “skirts! skirts! skirts! That’s where joy lives, for so many reasons.”

    Why Benjamin Nicholas?

    posted by on November 27 at 11:29 AM


    I’ve been emailing back and forth with Benjamin Nicholas, gay escort and past Stranger contributor. Yesterday Nicholas was accused, for lack of a better word, of having a professional relationship with GOP Sen. Trent Lott. The blog BigHeadDC broke this as-yet-unconfirmed story and said that Lott’s alleged contacts with Nicholas were about to be made public and that this—another GOP gay sex scandal—was the real reason for Lott’s sudden resignation.

    The credibility-challanged blogger that, er, fingered Nicholas stands by his story. Nicholas, for his part, denies ever having seen Lott in a professional capacity—or in any other capacity. He also insists that the quotes attributed to him on BigHeadDC were “falsely pieced together” and that BigHeadDC’s story was “fabricated.” But Nicholas has credibility problems of his own.

    At the moment I’m inclined to believe Nicholas when he denies any involvement with Lott—even though, of course, Nicholas’ commitment to client confidentiality pretty much requires him to deny ever having seen Lott. But one thing gives me pause—one aspect of this makes me think that there might be something to this.

    Why Benjamin Nicholas?

    Of all the escorts in all the world—many of whom are based in DC—why would some random DC blogger pluck Benjamin Nicholas out of the ether? Nicholas is based in San Antonio, not DC. If BigHeadDC is making this shit up, wouldn’t he be likelier to make this shit up about a DC-based escort?

    “Why me?” Nicholas responded via email. “Well, I think it’s mainly because in the escort world, I’m pretty face-front and known,” due to his blog and his willingness to critique other escorts and certain aspects of the escort business. “This is one of the few times in my escort career that I’m not really enjoying the spotlight.

    “Also, take into account that there are MANY people out there who dislike me and could easily tip-off this crappy DC blogger with some horseshit story.”

    Reading the comments thread attached to the blog post that busted Nicholas for plagiarism—Nicholas had been posting other writers’ work to his blog as his own—it’s obvious that there are people out there that don’t like Nicholas. Many of the men that patronize escorts, male or female, have intense love/hate relationships with sex workers. They love their bodies, and love having access to them, but they often deeply resent having to pay for that privilege. Clients tend to “build up” escorts on review websites like DaddysReviews, then tear those same escorts down.

    Still, it seems a little too random—suspiciously random—that BigHeadDC would tag Nicholas with this and not one of the dozens of male escorts working in Washington D.C.

    “Whether this is a conspiracy or just plain bullshit,” writes Nicholas, “I’m hunkering down and hoping that the national media doesn’t pick this up, as it’s not yet been verified from a credible source. My statement on 15 Minutes is clear. I’ll leave it at that.”

    Unfortunately for Nicholas, the national media is picking this story up: the ABCNEWS producer and investigative reporter that broke the Mark Foley story just called. She wanted to know how she could get in touch with Nicholas about Trent Lott.

    UPDATE: BigHeadDC has now posted his entire email exchange with Nicholas. (If that link doesn’t work try this one.) Says BigHeadDC:

    It is of course Nicholas’ way of framing his answers in these e-mails, i.e. ‘no current affiliation with Lott,’ referring to the senator as Trent, etc. that has helped lead many today to question why Nicholas has decided to backtrack. Perhaps he had promised an exclusive to another publication, and accidentally dropped the ball? Perhaps some of his current clients became frightened, so he decided to try to make the story go away? Or perhaps he has felt some other sorts of pressure. We do not know at this point. But, rest assured, we are working to find out.

    Says Andy at Towleroad

    The exchange DOES NOT yet provide any real evidence that there was a relationship between Nicholas and Trent Lott, however, it’s certain to be picked apart in minute detail, such as this remark:

    Nicholas: “I’m a blogger as well, so I’m well aware that nothing in this world is ever truly ‘off-record.’ Trent is going through his fair share of scrutiny right now and I don’t want to add to it. All I can say at this point is no comment. It’s the professional thing for me to do.”

    Addressing Senator Lott as “Trent” seems to imply that the lawmaker was more than a passing acquaintance, but that’s pretty much all I can glean from the exchange.

    There’s other stuff in the email exchange—assuming it’s complete and accurate—that would seem to call Nicholas’ denials into question. But there’s nothing definitive, no smoking gun, no blue dress. Still, there’s a lot of smoke here.

    Re: That Poll Showing Hillary Losing to Any Republican? (Total Bullshit.)

    posted by on November 27 at 11:15 AM

    Yikes, sorry for posting about that Zogby poll that’s now been debunked. I’m honestly a little embarrassed, but as for why the poll got so much traction on political blogs… Well, this Doonesbury cartoon comes to mind. It’s been making the rounds of the political blogosphere. The first two panels:


    Winners of the Writers’ Strike: Nerds!

    posted by on November 27 at 11:15 AM


    Sorry, Ogre.

    In 1988 many writers used the 22 weeks of the strike to work on novels and plays. Today the action is in writing for the web, videogames and graphic novels. (

    As a junkie of all three mediums listed, I’m mixed on this idea—writers from Lost working on comics sounds good to me, but if the dudes who were staffed on Cavemen get anywhere near my Wii, I’m moving out of Mom’s basement for good.

    Jesse Jackson: Edwards is the Only Candidate Not Ignoring Black Americans

    posted by on November 27 at 11:14 AM

    From an op/ed by Jackson in today’s Chicago Sun-Times:

    [T]he Democratic candidates — with the exception of John Edwards, who opened his campaign in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward and has made addressing poverty central to his campaign — have virtually ignored the plight of African Americans in this country. The catastrophic crisis that engulfs the African-American community goes without mention. No urban agenda is given priority. When thousands of African Americans marched in protest in Jena, La., not one candidate showed up.

    Democratic candidates are talking about health care and raising the minimum wage, but they aren’t talking about the separate and stark realities facing African Americans.

    UPDATE! Salon’s (naive?) political scribes think Edwards “still might be” “formidable” against Clinton and Obama.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 27 at 11:00 AM

    Dance Party

    I Love the ’80s at Noc Noc

    The weighty gray of autumn has descended and the state of the world seems more dismal by the day. Time to round up friends and seek refuge in history by jumping around to the best pop music from an exuberantly delusional decade. The crowd at this weekly party is a mishmash of earnest geeks, friendly freaks, and hot young things—and no one can dance, but everyone does anyway. Plus: The club serves fantastic tater tots all night. (Noc Noc, 1516 Second Ave, 223-1333. 9 pm, free, 21+.)



    ‘Fall’ at Howard House

    Cat Clifford’s new show at Howard House is the product of a mind on fire. She’s back from a summer road trip to rural haunts with a barrage of cut drawings, videos shot with devices ranging from digital to Super 8, animated drawings, and pinhole photographs. Often, she acts out imitations of what she finds—a piece of driftwood, an oil derrick, an overturned easy chair in an abandoned house. She mimics these things like she’s practicing to become them. (Howard House, 604 Second Ave, 256-6399. 10:30 am–5 pm, free.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Take That, Oprah!

    posted by on November 27 at 10:50 AM

    One day after Obama announced that Oprah will be touring the early primary states with him, Clinton pulls the Babs endorsement out of her pocket:


    Legendary filmmaker, artist, and Democratic activist, Barbra Streisand, today endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. Streisand cited Clinton’s ability to bring about change and the historic nature of her campaign as reasons why she is supporting Hillary’s candidacy.

    “Madame President of the United States…it’s an extraordinary thought. We truly are in a momentous time, where a woman’s potential has no limitations,” said Streisand.

    The Spray On Condom

    posted by on November 27 at 10:24 AM

    I get letters at “Savage Love” every day from men who insist that the split second it takes to put on a condom—and it only takes a second, guys, if you’re smart enough to remove the condom from its wrapper before you get busy—is a boner assassin. All it takes is that momentary distraction and—phffft—they’re soft and it’s over. Let’s watch TV, honey.

    So I don’t think the makers of the new “spray-on condom” are gonna be rich anytime soon.

    The system works a bit like a car wash. The man put his penis in a chamber and presses a button to start the jets of liquid latex, sucked from a detachable cartridge. The rubber dries in seconds and is later rolled off and discarded like a conventional condom.

    The aim is for the process to take just 10 seconds but at present the latex drying time is around 20 to 25 seconds. “We’re working to shorten that time,” said Krause.

    “In a survey we conducted, men had a two-fold reaction to the idea. Some said it’s a great idea and would help them because they can’t find conventional condoms that fit them. Others say they can’t imagine it working in practice. There’s the romance factor: applying the condom does interfere with the sex act.”

    No shit. In other disincentives, the spray-on condom chamber is large and expensive and so are the latex cartridges—and you can’t fit the chamber in your wallet either. And given a choice between putting up with ill-fitting condoms or leaping out of bed and shoving their hard cocks into a box for a 15 second blast of ice-cold liquid latex men are going to continue to put up with those ill-fitting condoms.

    Ron Paul Blimp to Terrify Big Government, Children

    posted by on November 27 at 10:15 AM

    Posted By Ryan S. Jackson

    Dear Ron Paul Supporters,

    Everything you do makes my day sparkle. When you decided to coin your own currency and put Congressman Paul’s face on it, I cheered. What daring! If former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore had had supporters willing to put his face on a silver dollar, maybe people would have realized he was in the running for president this year (he was!).

    So when you announced that you intend to rent an ominous looking Ron Paul Blimp, my heart soared, possibly in tandem with your ambitions:


    A blimp? A blimp!

    Imagine.. the mainstream media is mesmerized as the image of the Ron Paul blimp is shown to tens of millions of Americans throughout the day (and throughout the month). Wolf Blizter, stunned and as if in a trance, repeats the words “Amazing, Amazing”., the headquarters of the Paul Blimp Movement, will answer most of your questions regarding the blimp, including:

    -Will I get to fly in the blimp?
    -What is the maximum I can donate toward the blimp?
    -What do I get if the blimp doesn’t actually happen?

    And, par for the course, this libertarian flight of fancy is actually already incredibly well funded: The site reports donations of $272,325, more than 2/3rds of the way toward the budget of $350,000 a month it would take to operate a flying airship suitable for a man such as Paul.


    Paris Gets Bicycles You Have to Pedal…

    posted by on November 27 at 10:11 AM

    … so the University of Washington gets electric bikes—no pedaling required.

    No wonder we have an obesity problem.

    That Poll Showing Hillary Losing to Any Republican?

    posted by on November 27 at 9:54 AM

    Total bullshit.

    Yesterday two polling firms — Zogby and Gallup — released surveys of the presidential race that offered strikingly different conclusions. The Zogby poll found that Hillary is trailing five leading GOP candidates in general election matchups. The Gallup Poll, by contrast, found that Hillary, and to a lesser degree Obama, has a slight to sizable lead over the top GOP contenders.

    A couple of other things that distinguish these two polls: The Zogby one is an online poll, a notoriously unreliable method, while the Gallup one is a telephone poll. And, as Charles Franklin of observed yesterday, the Zogby poll is completely out of sync with multiple other national polls finding Hillary with a lead over the GOP candidates. The Zogby poll actually found that Mike Huckabee is leading Hillary in a national matchup. The Gallup findings were in line with most other surveys.

    I don’t need to tell you which poll got all the media attention. Do I?

    “A World Without Friction”

    posted by on November 27 at 9:39 AM

    In honor of the impending winter, here’s a KING 5 classic, from the icy streets of Portland.

    Sometimes it looks like an elegant ice dance performed by automobiles.

    Then someone starts shouting “LOOKOUTLOOKOUTLOOKOUT!” (shades of the Shangri-Las) then KEE-RASH!

    People = smart.

    Thank you, BoingBoing.

    “The Equality State”

    posted by on November 27 at 9:38 AM

    Wyoming’s state quarter is out. Apparently Wyoming is the “equality state.”


    Who knew?

    Iowa All Tied Up… Still.

    posted by on November 27 at 9:25 AM

    Via The Page and a new Strategic Vision poll:

    Dems: Clinton– 29, Obama– 29, Edwards– 23

    GOP: Romney– 26, Huckabee– 24, Giuliani– 14

    Margin of error 4.5 percent

    The Morning News

    posted by on November 27 at 7:30 AM

    Peace in the Mideast: Bush’s peace-making efforts have met with such success elsewhere, why not the occupied territories?

    You Shouldn’t Have: It’s an offer we ought to refuse: “Iraq to offer U.S. long-term troop presence.”

    Falling and Falling: Home prices fall 4.5%.

    Spanking Ban: Massachusetts considers a ban on spanking—but only of children, kinksters, so not to worry.

    Paris is Burning—Again: A new and more intense round of riots break out in French capital after two teenagers died when their motorbike collided with a police car.

    Miami Murder Mystery: Why did someone want to kill Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor?

    Yippie! It’s snowing heavily at the pass.

    We’ll Always Have YouTube: Broadway stagehands remain on strike, but “A Weekend in the Country” remains on YouTube.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Larry Flynt Statement on Trent Lott

    posted by on November 26 at 9:42 PM

    Larry Flynt just posted this ambiguous statement on his website:

    HUSTLER Magazine has received numerous inquiries regarding the involvement of Larry Flynt and HUSTLER in the resignation of Trent Lott. Senator Lott has been the target of an ongoing HUSTLER investigation for some time now, due to confidential information that we have received.

    BigHeadDC crows that this statement confirms his scoop about Lott’s alleged involvement with a male escort. Not quite. Flynt has been gunning for GOP hypocrites and as Lott’s already stepping down, well, why not insinuate that he’s got something on Lott? It’s telling that Flynt doesn’t confirm any details—there’s no mention of an escort, male or female, just an “investigation.” For his part, the escort named by BigHeadDC is adamant that he’s never met Lott.

    At some point someone involved in pushing this—I mean BigHeadDC or Flynt, not the escort (who hasn’t done anything to push this, so far as I can tell)—needs to put up or shut up. Don’t be coy, Larry. If you’ve got something on Lott, out with it. If you don’t have anything, don’t tease us. And stop overselling this, BigHeadDC. Nothing’s been confirmed by anyone.

    Showbox Rumor

    posted by on November 26 at 6:59 PM

    The never-ending rumor about the Showbox on First Avenue between Pike and Union is that the lease is up and the club is being booted—and in come the condos. Yawn.

    However, today’s rumor was a bit more startling: The club had been flat out sold.

    I just talked to a high-level staffer at the music club and he said “I haven’t heard that.”

    I asked him if the club was still in owner Jeff Steichen’s hands, and he said: “Yes.”

    I’ve got a call in to Steichen to see if that’s accurate.

    The King County Assessor’s office shows no sign of a recent sale.

    Update: Another staffer just told us that it’s, “Just a rumor,” and it’s coming from the fact that the club’s lease will be up in 2009, and there’s talk that they may just consolidate their business at their SoDo location near the stadiums.

    Update: Discovery Institute on the Purloined Video

    posted by on November 26 at 5:00 PM

    (Initial post below.)

    Discovery Institute senior fellow William Dembski is defending himself from plagiarism charges on his blog:

    Back in September of 2006 I announced at my blog UncommonDescent that a “breathtaking video” titled “The Inner Life of Cell” had just come out [….] The video was so good that I wanted to use it in some of my public presentations, but when I tried to purchase a DVD of it (I sent several emails to relevant parties), I was informed it wasn’t ready. Moreover, at the time, the video did not have a voiceover explaining the biology of what was being shown.

    A few months later I found on the Internet a version of the video that did have a voiceover and was in a format that allowed me to incorporate it into my PowerPoint presentations. I used the video a handful of times, including at a talk in Oklahoma this September. In consequence, some biologist(s) in the audience contacted the makers of the video, falsely suggesting to them and on the web:

    (1) That I myself had modified the video and given it a new soundtrack.
    (2) That I had stripped it of its copyright information.
    (3) That I had retitled it “The Cell as an Automated City.”

    Each of these allegations is false. Regarding (1), I took a version of the video that I found on the Internet, one with a voiceover that I thought would have the best educational value for my listeners. The version I used took the original soundtrack, which simply had some music, and added a voice. The voice, just to be clear, is not mine. I had nothing to do with modifying or recrafting the video. I received it, as it were, “off the shelf.”

    Regarding (2), the version I used omitted the opening credits (a fact about which I became aware only in the last few days), beginning instead with the actual animation; however, at the end of the video that I showed, there is the following copyright notice:

    Conception and Scientific Content
    by Alain Viel and Robert A. Lue
    Animations by John Liebler / XVIVO
    Supported by the Howard Hughest Medical Institute
    Copyright (c) 2006. The President and Fellows of Harvard College


    Finally, regarding (3), the phrase “The Cell as an Automated City” was simply a caption for the video as it appeared in my PowerPoint presentation (a caption I used in context with the preceding slide). It was never meant to be a retitling of the video. Indeed, that caption never bled into the actual video but was always separate from it in my PowerPoint presentation.

    I continue to this day to think that “The Inner Life of the Cell” is the best animation illustrating cellular activity. But there are other videos that make the same point. From now on, I will no longer use it and instead go back to using a clip from “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” [a Discovery Institute video].

    Interesting. I’m not sure I buy that Dembski/the DI had nothing to do with the alternate soundtrack—can anybody find a copy of the DI version on the internet from September or before? Moreover, according to the XVIVO website, the full-length version with narration was available for educational use as of October 26, 2006. But Dembski does correct some of the sloppier blog reporting out there—Slashdot was under the impression that the narration had been stripped off the long version, which was then reedited by the DI, when in fact a shortened version with no narration had been made available as well.

    But Dembski’s claim about the final copyright notice? It certainly isn’t apparent on the video of the presentation. (Start watching around 4:25.) In any case, the “scientific content” of the DI version of the video was obviously not supplied by Harvard’s Viel and Lue. It was written by Dembski’s mystery internet friend, or something.

    Also, how did I miss that Mercer Island’s own Michael Medved had become a Discovery Institute fellow?

    actual photo from DI press release

    Readers in the Dark

    posted by on November 26 at 4:28 PM

    SF Gate, the San Francisco Chronicle’s website, is being accused of employing a sneaky tactic for dealing with reader comments it doesn’t like. Rather than simply removing comments from articles, special software hides the comment from everyone but the commenter, so she or he has no idea the comment has been removed, according to Investigate the Media, where you can see a screenshot of the effect. The story also alleges that all comments from some users who have been secretly banned from the site are deleted automatically.
    ITM says…

    We’re also getting reports from readers that newspapers in Canada, Washington state and Houston may also be using the same underhanded software gimmick—preventing deleted or banned commenters from ever discovering that they have been deleted or banned.

    The Stranger isn’t playing this game (though my immediate reaction is that it’s a brilliant way to dispense with trolls), and The Weekly doesn’t get enough comments, troll or otherwise, to merit it. Any daily-newspaper web techs out there with something to share?

    A Heartbreaking Jerk of Staggering Meanness

    posted by on November 26 at 4:21 PM

    He’s on the right. The winner of the Nobel—and the election in 2000—is on the left.


    This picture—of George W. Bush welcoming Al Gore to the Oval Office—makes me want to lay down on the floor of my office and cry.

    Clinton: Losing to All Comers?

    posted by on November 26 at 3:45 PM

    Via AmericaBlog:

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democrat Hillary Clinton would lose to all major Republican White House candidates, according to a hypothetical election matchup poll Monday, reversing her months of dominance over potential 2008 challengers.

    The Zogby International poll was the latest sign that withering attacks on the former first lady were chipping away at her opinion poll leads just 38 days before the Iowa caucuses, the first party nominating contests.

    Trent Lott: Another Closeted GOP Senator?

    posted by on November 26 at 3:36 PM

    Another one? Another Republican sex scandal? Another male escort? ANOTHER ONE? Et tu, Trent Lott?

    Man, you go to the gym for an hour and all hell breaks loose.


    The Internets are abuzz with the news that Trent Lott may have suddenly resigned from the Senate today because he was involved with Benjamin Nicholas, a gay escort and an occasional Stranger contributor. Nicholas wrote a terrific piece for us last year chastising Mike Jones for outing evangelical cocksucker Ted Haggard:

    Mike Jones, the male escort in question, has since embraced his 15 minutes of fame, hitting as many media outlets as he can. Jones was quoted as saying that he was “sad for [Haggard] and his family” and that it wasn’t his intent “to destroy him and his family… My intent was to expose a hypocrite.”

    Give me a fucking break.

    You were paid for sex, Mike. The most important rule you can follow when taking people’s money in exchange for sex is that—no matter what—their lives stay their own and whatever passes between the two of you remains private. Period. Your leap from paid crotch monkey to gay-rights crusader certainly doesn’t impress your fellow sex workers.

    Is Nicholas a hypocrite? I doesn’t look that way. According to Big Head DC, which broke the story, Nicholas isn’t talking:

    Nicholas told Big Head DC today via e-mail that he didn’t want to go on the record to talk about his dealings with Lott, because, said Nicholas, “Trent is going through his fair share of scrutiny right now and I don’t want to add to it.” However, e-mail and other records confirm that the two have met on at least two occasions.

    “All I can say at this point is no comment,” Nicholas told us. “It’s the professional thing for me to do.”

    In a subsequent e-mail message, Nicholas confirmed that another publication is working on a story about a “possible relationship” between Lott and himself, but Nicholas also “politely declined” an interview for that story.

    MSNBC and other bloggers are calling to ask me about Nicholas’ credibility and character. Nicholas and I communicated via email and over the phone about his contributions to the paper, and Nicholas was very professional and came across as a nice guy. On his own blog, 15 Minutes, Nicholas is strongly denying that he was ever involved with Lott and suggests that BigHeadDC is taking his quotes out of context:

    It looks like a Washington DC-based blog called BigHeadDC is making claim that there was (or, is) a working relationship between myself and Senator Trent Lott. There are falsely pieced-together quotes that serve no purpose other than to sensationalize a completely fabricated scoop.

    I will continue to offer a great sense of confidentiality to the people I see. I have not, nor have I ever seen or had contact with Senator Trent Lott. It’s as simple as that. It never happened.

    Word out there is that the blogger breaking this story has a credibility problem of his own—more soon.

    UPDATE: John Aravosis at Americablog isn’t convinced.

    There’s a story out there in the blogosphere, by Big Head DC, a blog I don’t remember ever hearing of until today—a blog that has had a credibility problem in the past—about why GOP Senator and former Senate Republican leader Trent Lott is resigning. Because of that blog’s past credibility problem, I’m not going to repeat the rumor about Lott here. You can find it all over the Net, if you like…

    I’m just not convinced. I’d love to be convinced, believe me. And trust me, there have been rumors for years about Trent Lott. But until I hear more, you’re not going to read about those rumors here.

    And over at JoeMyGod, a commenter reveals that Benjamin Nicholas has a credibility problem of this own:

    JMG commenter McMorris directs us to a damning and well-researched accusation that Benjamin Nicolas has been plagiarizing the works of well known writers and posting them verbatim on his blog as his own. And the likelihood of this Trent Lott business being true becomes a lot dimmer.

    Deputy Mayor Ceis, Vulcan Apologist.

    posted by on November 26 at 3:29 PM

    Erica’s got a story in this week’s paper that we’ve been chipping away at for a while.

    It’s about the fast one Vulcan wants to pull—trying to rush through a land deal before the city hammers out its citywide zoning regulations—so they won’t have to meet all the public benefit requirements (extra height for providing affordable housing, for example) that come with new development. Vulcan’s trump card? If this deal falls through (and it will, they claim, if it doesn’t happen soon), the big-name tenant, Amazon, will split.

    I was on vacation last week. And when I got back to town and picked up the paper, it was curious to find this quote from Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis in ECB’s story:

    And both Ceis and Vulcan have said the company can’t wait for the larger zoning proposal because its potential tenant needs to move forward now. A two-month delay “could mean the loss of the proposal,” Ceis say. “That would be a real tragedy. This is a lot of jobs.”


    When I did some initial reporting on this story, Ceis told me Vulcan wasn’t trying to play the Amazon card, and what’s more, he told me he agreed with the city council’s position that the city sould not grant extra height rights to the developer without getting public benefits in return:

    He … said that while the developers are making “the same old arguments” against public benefit incentives (“the deals won’t pencil out”), they don’t have much of a case given that the council passed a incentive zoning for downtown last year and “there’s no shortage of cranes there now. It worked,” Ceis said.

    After I saw his apologist quote this week, I looked up my notes from that conversation. Here’s what he said about the pending zoning overhaul:

    “That makes sense to me. That’s the way it works. You get something. We get something in return.”

    But now he’s singing Vulcan’s tune.

    Columbia City’s Awesome Wiki

    posted by on November 26 at 3:27 PM


    So some of my coworkers want me to keep this under wraps, but I just can’t: The Columbia Citizens wiki is the coolest thing ever. Created and maintained by Columbia City residents, it includes a frequently updated calendar of neighborhood events, links to neighborhood resources, a gallery of CC residents’ photos, news links, volunteer opportunities, a very active discussion board, and even a list of bike routes for bike commuters (yes!! I added my own to the page already). I would love to see a similar site for every neighborhood in the city.

    Photo by MissJenn.

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on November 26 at 3:12 PM

    I Love New York: Musicians fight over playing illustrator David Shrigley’s songs, then play shows in New York and London.

    Pop Goes the Barenaked Ladies: The Canadian band joins forces with the Boston Pop Orchestra for a Christmas special. David Schmader is not amused.

    RIP: Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot, and Casey Calvert of Hawthorne Heights, were both found dead over the weekend.

    In Music News: A Jackson 5 reunion? Pete Doherty is clean? France takes away downloader’s internet access for life?

    Tonight in Music: The Aquabats and the Can’t See.

    The Bombs Bursting in Air: Vince Neil will sing the National Anthem tonight before ESPN’s Monday Night Football game.

    Love Mixtapes?: Love Molly Hamilton’s new favorite website of old cassettes.


    Paris Underground

    posted by on November 26 at 3:07 PM

    This sounds too good to be true:

    A secret society of French mechanics snuck into the Panthéon after hours, built a workshop, and spent a year fixing an antique clock that had been abandoned.

    Slipping in at closing time every evening – French television said that they had their own set of keys – they set up a workshop hidden behind mock wooden crates at the top of the monument. The security guards never found it. The Untergunther used a professional clockmaker, Jean-Baptiste Viot, to mend the 150-year-old mechanism.

    When Untergunther announced they’d fixed the clock, French officials decided to prosecute.

    Klausmann and his crew are connaisseurs of the Parisian underworld. Since the 1990s they have restored crypts, staged readings and plays in monuments at night, and organised rock concerts in quarries. The network was unknown to the authorities until 2004, when the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant, under the Seine. They have tried to track them down ever since.
    Mr Kunstmann said that les UX had 150 or so members divided into about ten branches. One group, which is all-female, specialises in “infiltration” – getting into museums after hours, finding a way through underground electric or gas networks and shutting down alarms. Another runs an internal message system and a coded, digital radio network accessible only to members.

    Marvelous. Just marvelous.

    (Originally via Boing Boing.)

    Really? Not Even One?

    posted by on November 26 at 2:23 PM

    The Huffington Post’s Thomas B. Edsall recently asked 15 opinion leaders variations on the question, “Is John Edwards’ presidential campaign the test of progressive populism that Democratic activists have long awaited?”

    Their answers are somewhat interesting; you can read them here. But the question the piece raises in my mind is this: Out of all the opinion leaders in the US, Edsall couldn’t find one who wasn’t a white man?

    I’m Pro-Cloning, and I Vote.

    posted by on November 26 at 2:01 PM

    When I wrote this and this last week, I meant to write this.

    So, thank you Seattle Times for staking out a coherent pro-cloning position this morning that my Gwen-Stacey-Returns-from-the-Dead hallucinations failed to do.

    Right Wing Group that’s Considering Suing Seattle … Gets Sued. (By Its Founder)

    posted by on November 26 at 1:22 PM

    Judicial Watch, the righty activist law firm that’s threatening to sue Seattle over the city’s support for Casa Latina (here’s Jonah’s coverage), is under fire from its own founder, Larry Klayman.

    His battle against the group may be convoluted sour grapes (hard to tell), but it takes two to squabble, and it’s great (check out the law suit) to see the right trashing the right.

    Klayman, who also ran for the U.S. Senate from Florida, writes:

    Now, I face an even bigger challenge — Saving Judicial Watch! After I left Judicial Watch, we were betrayed by those who we had trusted to lead the organization. As explained in a complaint that I was forced to file, they lied to donors and supporters, misused their monies, failed to honor their agreement with me, and disparaged my name and reputation, all in a selfish power grab. And since I left, the energy, creativity and success of the organization has dwindled down to almost nothing, with one defeat after another in cases that I had filed to clean up corruption in government and the legal systems.

    Not only have the donors and supporters of Judicial Watch been served badly, but the financial condition of Judicial Watch has worsened to the point where, if this keeps up, there will be no Judicial Watch in two or four years. The current leadership is effectively writing checks to itself, until the considerable monies which we previously raised to clean up corruption run dry.

    Discovery Institute: Ripping Off Harvard’s Computer Animation?

    posted by on November 26 at 1:22 PM

    Over at Horse’s Ass, Goldy directs our attention to a blog complaint about a video used in Discovery Institute presentations to dazzle audiences into thinking natural selection couldn’t have produced complex cell processes. Turns out the video is the short version of “The Inner Life of a Cell,” an animated film originally produced by Harvard University and partner animation company XVIVO. (Watch an ABC News report about the project.) The Discovery Institute opted out of the long version, with its science-heavy narration. Instead, it added its own voiceover interpretation of events—listen for loaded words like “motors.”

    So is it wanton copyright infringement or fair use (XVIVO posted the video online “for educational use”)? Take a look:

    The very pretty original, credits intact:

    Discovery Institute’s version:

    Overheard in the Nordstrom Women’s Shoe Department

    posted by on November 26 at 12:46 PM

    “Under no circumstances should you ever buy Nikes. They’re a terrible company, and they make a terrible product.”


    Prison Bitches

    posted by on November 26 at 12:00 PM

    C-IN2’s twink prison bitches are back—but now they’re movin’ and twitchin’ and sweatin’ baby oil and being sized up by one mean looking twink of a prison guard.

    I love the obvious this-is-ridiculous smirk on the face of the third guy from the right.

    Via Towleroad—which has another video up. And, yes, enough gay men are going to fall for this campaign, just as enough fell for A&F and 2XIST and Samsung microwaves and every other ad campaign featuring perfect hairless tits and oily abs, to make it worth the money this underwear company spent on skinny boys and brand new tennis shoes and one guard’s uniform. They’re gonna be rich.

    We’re Never Leaving Iraq, But Thanks For Asking!

    posted by on November 26 at 11:58 AM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Announced this morning: A joint declaration of “principles” for “friendship and cooperation” between the United States and Iraq.

    The bad news? We appear to have agreed to permanent security functions within Iraq, a situation that could ensure a US presence in the country forever (and place the ensuing collapse of the country on the head of whoever replaces Bush).

    The good news? Cold War phraseology is finally making a comeback! Enduring relationships, protecting our mutual interests, and promoting regional stability appear to be making the glory days of John Foster Dulles come alive for a whole new generation of Americans.

    Here’s the money graf, wherein we tie ourselves to Iraq’s security without any kind of a timeline in sight (via Spencer Ackerman):

    To support the Iraqi government in training, equipping, and arming the Iraqi Security Forces so they can provide security and stability to all Iraqis; support the Iraqi government in contributing to the international fight against terrorism by confronting terrorists such as Al-Qaeda, its affiliates, other terrorist groups, as well as all other outlaw groups, such as criminal remnants of the former regime; and to provide security assurances to the Iraqi Government to deter any external aggression and to ensure the integrity of Iraq’s territory.

    As Ackerman notes in his piece, hopefully some of the people running for president will decide that this should be something worth commenting on.

    Saudi Government Now Says Gang-Rape Victim Caused Crime

    posted by on November 26 at 11:36 AM

    The Saudi government said yesterday that a gang-rape victim violated Islamic sharia law and brought the crime on herself by meeting with a man who was not her husband or relative. In a statement, the Saudi justice ministry said the victim had an “illegitimate relationship” with a man who was not her husband, and that both “exposed themselves to this heinous crime.”

    The Saudi woman was raped repeatedly by seven men and subsequently sentenced to 200 lashes for meeting with a former boyfriend who she had asked to return pictures of her because she was engaged to marry someone else. The two were sitting together in a car when seven men attacked them. Initially, both were sentenced to 90 lashes each for being together in private; however, the girl’s sentence was increased to 200 lashes and six months in jail after she appealed. (The rapists got between two and nine years.)

    Perhaps the most outrageous aspect of this story is that no one knew about the rapes (the woman, probably fearing sanctions, did not report the attack) until the woman’s now-husband tipped off government officials, referring to the woman’s meeting with her ex-boyfriend as “my wife’s affair and adultery” despite the fact that the meeting and attack happened before the two were married.

    The Cold and Cruel World and Will of Beautiful Girls

    posted by on November 26 at 11:24 AM

    While some in France are sabotaging trains, others in Puerto Rico are sabotaging beauty.


    Organisers of a beauty pageant in Puerto Rico are investigating a case of sabotage after a contestant’s dress and make-up were covered with pepper spray.

    Ingrid Marie Rivera beat 29 pageant rivals to become the 2008 Miss Universe contestant, despite breaking out twice in hives - a red swollen rash.

    Ms Rivera remained composed onstage before the judges, but backstage she applied ice packs to her face and body.

    Her clothing and make-up later tested positive for pepper spray.

    “We thought at first it was an allergic reaction, or maybe nerves,” said pageant spokesman Harold Rosario.
    “But the second time, we knew it couldn’t have been a coincidence.”


    posted by on November 26 at 11:03 AM

    Chris Dodd has submitted a question for Wednesday’s Republican YouTube debate:

    Another Reason to Stop Smoking

    posted by on November 26 at 11:00 AM

    Hair loss.

    A study of Asian men, renowned for hanging on to their hair compared with follically-challenged Europeans and Americans, found puffing on cigarettes can hasten male hair loss.

    Smoking is known to accelerate ageing and is associated with facial wrinkles and grey hair. It is also causes a dozen different kinds of cancer and heart disease and damages circulation.

    But none of this counts for much with the average red-blooded male—at least not as much as maintaining a healthy head of hair. Unlike grey hair and wrinkled skin, baldness is harder to treat and harder to disguise. Doctors see the latest discovery as a potentially valuable weapon in the battle to persuade smokers to give up.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 26 at 11:00 AM

    Doomed Bars

    Pony, Bus Stop, Kincora at Pony

    The 500 block of East Pine Street—the historic home of Tugs, Squid Row, the Cha Cha, Double Trouble, Lipstick Traces, and others—will soon fall to make way for more condos. But Pony, Bus Stop, and Kincora are open until the end of the month, and each is worth at least one more visit—Bus Stop for the unpretentious hole-in-the-wall charm, Kincora for the boozy rock ‘n’ roll, and Pony for the no-wave gay sleaze. It’s almost last call for these joints—time for a toast. (506, 508, and 518 E Pine St. Opening times vary, 21+.)


    British Schoolteacher Arrested in Sudan for Allowing Class of 7-Year-Olds to Name a Teddy Bear “Mohammed”

    posted by on November 26 at 10:55 AM

    That’s basically the whole story, but if you want more specifics, see ABC News.

    A Confidential Message to the Dina Martina Hat Stealer…

    posted by on November 26 at 10:35 AM

    It was my favorite hat—-the only one that has ever looked good on me, dammit—-and you stole it from my chair during intermission at the Dina Martina Christmas Extravaganza last Saturday.


    I loved that hat. I’ll find you. I’ll get you.

    A Moment of Silence for the Noize…

    posted by on November 26 at 10:24 AM

    Quiet Riot lead singer Kevin Dubrow was found dead this morning in his Las Vegas home. The cause of his death has not yet been determined.


    Winfrey for Barack Obama

    posted by on November 26 at 10:00 AM

    While the Clinton campaign has questions for Barack Obama, the Obama campaign has an answer to the celebrity muscle that Bill Clinton has been adding to his wife’s campaign road-show:


    Oprah will be hitting the trail with Obama, doing events with him in three of the early primary states—two events in Iowa, one in New Hampshire, and one in South Carolina. The Obama-Winfrey show runs Dec. 8 - 9. Details here, for starters.

    Condoms and Crystal Meth

    posted by on November 26 at 9:55 AM

    “Last night at the Madison Pub, volunteers from Lifelong AIDS Alliance were going around and handing out their safe sex kits,” Stranger reader Dave writes. “I always thank the volunteers when they do this, because I think it’s an important and good cause. But after last night, I’m not so sure that Lifelong is truly thinking of the gay community’s best interests.”

    What upset Dave was an image Lifelong included in their new condom-and-lube packet.


    Dave apologizes for the quality of the image—he took this photo at the bar using his camera phone—and just in case you can’t make it out: That’s a condom packet walking hand-in-hand with a rock of crystal meth. “Condoms + Crystal Go Together… FUCK Without Fear,” reads the text. The message, ostensibly, is that condom use and crystal abuse aren’t mutually exclusive—in theory, at least. In practice very few crystal addicts manage to use condoms.

    The New Yorker published an excellent essay on the interplay between crystal meth and unsafe sex in May of 2005:

    Crystal methamphetamine is highly addictive, but its allure is not hard to understand; the drug removes inhibitions, bolsters confidence, supercharges the libido… The first thing people on methamphetamine lose is their common sense; suddenly, anything goes, including unprotected anal sex with many different partners in a single night—which is among the most efficient ways to spread H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases.

    “I couldn’t believe Lifelong seriously thought this was a good idea,” Dave writes. “I can understand trying to encourage existing crystal addicts and users to engage in safe sex, but the message being presented here paints the entire community as crystal junkies and/or endorses the usage of crystal meth.”

    This isn’t the first time LLAA has wrapped crystal meth use up in images of gay pride and community in a misguided effort to “de-stigmatize” crystal meth use—an activity which, when you consider the consequences for individuals and the gay community as a whole, gay health organizations should be working harder to stigmatize. An image of condom packet walking hand-in-hand with a rock of crystal will not reach men that are currently using crystal—most of whom abuse crystal meth to annihilate their inhibitions and engage in casual unprotected anal sex—while communicating to men that aren’t using crystal that they can “safely” use the drug and “FUCK without fear.”

    “I spoke briefly with the volunteers and they were just as shocked and uneasy about the image as I was,” writes Dave. “The volunteers ended up leaving, but not before being spoken to by a number of people over this. What in the hell is going on at Lifelong, and who in their right mind thought this was OK? First Gay Bingo loses Glamazonia and now this?”

    Questions for Barack Obama

    posted by on November 26 at 9:45 AM

    This Washington Post story could be trouble for Obama because it suggests he’s been buying endorsements through his Hopefund, perhaps in violation of campaign finance rules:

    When Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) launched his presidential campaign in January, he stopped raising money for his Hopefund, the political action committee he used to raise millions for fellow Democrats in previous campaigns. But in recent months, Obama has handed out more than $180,000 from the nearly dormant PAC to local Democratic groups and candidates in the key early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, campaign reports show.

    Some of the recipients of Hopefund’s largess are state and local politicians who have recently endorsed Obama’s presidential bid. Obama’s PAC reported giving a $1,000 contribution, for instance, to New Hampshire state Sen. Jacalyn Cilley on July 25, six days before she announced she was endorsing Obama for president.

    The recipients deny there was any quid-pro-quo, and so does the Obama campaign, but just the fact of the need for these denials could be harmful. At the very least, it’s an opening the Clinton campaign is now leaping through in order to criticize Obama. I just received an email from camp Clinton titled, “Clinton Campaign Responds To New Revelations About Obama Campaign Finance Practices,” and listing six questions for the Senator from Illinois to answer:

    This morning, we learned that Senator Obama has been using his leadership PAC to give political contributions to officials in the early primary states. In fact, 68 percent of contributions from his PAC have gone to those in states that are scheduled to hold nominating contests on February 5th or earlier.

    It is our understanding that a candidate’s campaign is barred from using the candidate’s leadership PAC to benefit his or her campaign which is why we shut down HillPAC when Senator Clinton announced her run for the White House.

    On the campaign trail, Senator Obama is outspoken about his desire to reform the campaign finance system so it was surprising to learn that he has been using his PAC in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws. Considering how often Senator Obama talks about his efforts to be transparent, we presume he will answer the following questions regarding the behavior of his PAC:

    1. Who decided what contributions would be made by Hopefund?

    2. Did any presidential campaign staff, consultants or advisors participate in any discussions about Hopefund contributions? Who?

    3. Did the decision-makers know who was endorsing the presidential campaign? If so, how did they find this out?

    4. Who told Hopefund which Iowa and New Hampshire candidates and committees should get contributions?

    5. Are there any overlapping employees, consultants and advisors between Hopefund and the presidential campaign?

    6. The Washington Post article suggests that Hopefund was dormant earlier in the year. Who made the decision to start making contributions again and on what basis was that decision made?

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

    posted by on November 26 at 9:31 AM

    Black Friday edition

    A shopping trip on Black Friday ended in charges for a local couple. Police said the couple left a two-year-old alone in a cold car during Thursday night’s chilly weather. Police said it took someone else to watch out for the baby’s safety and call the authorities. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Prime Outlets in Hagerstown just before 3:00 a.m.

    When they got there, officers found a young boy strapped to a car seat, cold and crying, but the parents were nowhere to be found….

    “A concerned citizen called into the Sheriff’s Department in reference to an unattended child left in the parking lot,” said Jason Litten, Deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

    The two-and-a-half year old baby boy is the child of 20-year-old Laura Havens. Deputies said Havens and her boyfriend, 22-year-old Casey Shields, abandoned the child as temperatures dipped down near the freezing point.

    In other “Every Child Deserves” news…

    Mother and new husband arrested in Texas after the disappearance and death of a two-year-old; California girl, also two, struggles for life after her father shoots her in the head before killing the girl’s mother and himself.

    Meet the New Sex Tourists

    posted by on November 26 at 9:17 AM


    They’re white, horny, female, and of-a-certain-age, and according to ABC News, they’re travelling to Kenya to have their grooves restored by hunky young men who appreciate financial attention. (And, some say, playing HIV-flavored Russian roulette with poverty-stricken Kenyans.) Read the whole thing here.

    Romney’s Willie Horton?

    posted by on November 26 at 9:03 AM

    I have a story up on today that looks at a Washington State double-murder that has Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on the defensive.

    The suspect in the Nov. 17 double-murder is Daniel Tavares Jr., who previously served 16 years in a maximum security prison in Massachusetts for murdering his mother. When his sentence ended last year, prosecutors in Massachusetts tried to keep Tavares locked up based on allegations that he’d recently attacked two prison guards. However, a judge appointed by Romney while he was governor of the state decided to let Tavares go free, at which point Tavares apparently moved across the country to Graham, Washington, where he allegedly murdered Brian Mauck, 30, and Beverly Mauck, 28. The motive? Possibly a $50 debt.

    Giuliani is pouncing and pulling what he thinks are damning FBI statistics out of his pocket; Romney is calling on the judge to resign while also attacking Giuliani back; and a spokesman for the victims’ families tells me:

    This is now a huge issue for me in the presidential election. Something has to be done about this.

    It’s not hard to see shades of Willie Horton in this incident. Although, as a friend just pointed out to me, this is Daniel Tavares Jr:


    And this is Willie Horton:

    Did Larry Take Out Trent?

    posted by on November 26 at 8:43 AM

    Jason C. in comments points us to this item on BigHead DC…

    Big Head DC hears that Hustler’s Larry Flynt may have played a role in the sudden and unexpected announcement of the resignation of Sen. Trent Lott this morning. Flynt was already involved earlier this year in uncovering Sen. David Vitter’s involvement with the so-called DC Madam escort service. He has said he would reveal more “huge” tawdry politico sex scandals by year’s end.

    Some are speculating that a sex scandal is involved in the odd Trent development, although the unofficial spin is that the exit of the Republican Senate Minority Whip may be linked to a new post-Senate career lobbying law that takes effect at the end of the year. He is believed to be in good health….

    Lott had just been re-elected to a fourth Senate term just one year ago. Big Head DC can confirm that at least two of Lott’s staffers were unaware of this unusual twist over the weekend. He is now the sixth Senate Republican this year alone to announce retirement. Stay tuned.

    The Morning News

    posted by on November 26 at 7:28 AM

    Spent Lott: Race-baiting GOP Senator leaves Senate to cash in as a lobbyist.

    The “R” Word: Recession looms, says Bill Clinton’s former U.S. Treasury Secretary.

    American Consumers: Spending like there’s no tomorrow… which might just be the case.

    Another Day, Another Food Recall: This time it’s beef—again.

    Not Your Father’s Safe Sex Campaign: It’s your grandfather’s, actually.

    Bad Boy George: Tragic pop star ordered to stand trial for “bondage kidnap” of male escort and model.

    China Stiffs Boeing: Lead-lovin’ commies order 160 new planes from Airbus.

    Amanda Knox: More details, more suspects.

    Let It Snow: It’s time for La Nina to put up or shut up.

    Strike Drags On: Broadway remains dark but, hey, we’ve always got YouTube. It’s impossible to resist this Cabaret/Showboat mashup of Showboat’s “Life Upon the Wicked Stage.”

    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    If You Go Out in the Woods Today…

    posted by on November 25 at 8:43 PM

    …actually, let’s stay the fuck out of the woods.

    An Eastern Washington University student is dead after being dragged behind a pick-up truck. It happened around 11:30 Saturday night near a hunting campsite along Le Clerk Road in Pend Oreille County, north of Spokane.

    Sheriff’s officials say they found 20-year-old Jerid Sturman-Camyn dead on the side of the road, tied behind the truck. The 17-year-old driver said he had no idea Sturman-Camyn was there.

    The Sheriff’s Dept. says 45-year-old Wendell Sinn, Jr., tied Sturman-Camyn to the back of the truck after he threatened the hunting group with an axe. The 17-year-old, unaware of Sinn’s actions and fearing for his life, drove away, dragging the victim and causing his death.

    New World Murder

    posted by on November 25 at 12:54 PM

    The wife of African number one is
    LumumbaR_468x327-2.jpg …Polish.

    Amanda’s crime is fully global. Because it is fully global, it is an event that is made possible by global technologies. In the way the event in Enumclaw owes its existence to the World Wide Web, the event in Perugia owes its existence to planetary technologies. There is a link between this crime and the crime in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” One, in the short story, occurs at the opening of global trade; the other, in Italy, at its completion.

    I Pity the Creationist

    posted by on November 25 at 12:46 PM

    It’s impossible to feel sorry for the hacks who promote intelligent design, especially after you hear the evidence presented at the famous Dover trial (if you haven’t watched it yet, NOVA has its complete Judgment Day episode up online—I recommend Chapter 11, in which the roots of ID are located in a Supreme Court decision rejecting the teaching of creationism in schools).


    IDers clearly know they’re misleading the public, if not with regard to their beliefs, then at least with how those beliefs are described and marketed. It’s infuriating.

    But I am not so cruel that I can’t see the tragedy in today’s New York Times Magazine article about young-earth creationists who have also earned legit PhDs. Their cognitive dissonance is heartbreaking:

    Given the difficulty of their intellectual enterprise, the creationist geologists often have a story about the time they nearly gave it up. For [Kurt] Wise the crisis hit when he was a sophomore in high school. He was already an avid fossil collector who dreamed “an unattainable dream” of going to Harvard to study paleontology and then to teach at a big university. But as he told a friend, he couldn’t reconcile the geologic ages with what he read in his Bible. So he set about figuring this out: every night, for months, he cut out every verse of the Bible he’d have to reject to believe in evolution. “I dreaded the impending end,” he writes in a collection of essays called “In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation.” “All that I loved to do was involved with some aspect of science.”

    When he was done, he tried to pick up what was left. But he found it impossible to do that without the Bible being “rent in two,” he writes. “Either the Scripture was true and evolution was wrong or evolution was true and I must toss out the Bible.” In the end, he kept his Bible and achieved his unattainable dream. But it left him in a strange, vulnerable place. “If all the evidence in the universe turned against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand.”


    If Wise still has doubts, or unhappiness, he has learned to put them aside. When consulting for the Creation Museum, he considered his most important duty to be presenting a “coherent story line about the earth’s history,” he said. “Even if it’s wrong, it’s a starting point. We use coherence as a criteria. It ought to fit together not as a set of random processes but something coherent orchestrated by God.”

    From searching for truth to fumbling after coherence. It’s so sad.

    Last Stop

    posted by on November 25 at 12:42 PM

    The Bus Stop—that mighty little bar being demolished for condos on Pine St—will karaoke its swan song tonight.

    It is the end of days…

    Our last day in this incarnation is today. So please: all of you that we love, or love us, come and celebrate all that we have been together.

    The last super awesome Valpak happy hour till 8 with your host Ade and then the final installment of Bus Stop Karaoke…also with you host Ade. Rodney, Susanna, and Niki will all be working. Melt-downs and madness to ensue…as only fitting.

    We’ll be starting karaoke at 9:00 PM instead of 10 PM. Due to the nature of the event we strongly encourage people to show up early.

    Thanks again to all of you that have helped make this bar something we are all proud to have been a part of. Our time together has been a privilege and you will all be missed more than you know.

    -The Bus Stop

    Erica wrote about the block’s impending demolition in this excellent feature. Bus Stop and the other businesses between Summit and Belmont Aves on E Pine St will be replaced by this.


    If only Metro could serve drinks and play tunes as good as yours… Thanks for the good times, Bus Stop.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 25 at 11:00 AM

    206 Hiphop

    Cancer Rising at Chop Suey

    Thanks to major releases from the city’s best artists, 2007 has been Seattle hiphop’s biggest year so far, and Cancer Rising’s second album will bring the curtain down. Featuring DJ TilesOne and MCs Judas and Gatsby (also known as Larry Mizell Jr., Stranger hiphop columnist), the veteran crew spans the spectrum of NW styles but keeps it cohesive. A little angry, a little goofy, hard-rocking, deep-funking—Cancer Rising has one foot in the scene’s roots and the other somewhere totally original. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $8, 21+.)


    Morning News

    posted by on November 25 at 8:33 AM

    posted by news intern Brian Slodysko

    Maybe we’re not as into spreading democracy as we thought: U.S. scales back political goals in Iraq for more obtainable objectives.

    Afghanistan: White House says we’re not on track there either.

    Today in dissent: Russian authorities crack-down on poltical unruliness, quell union demonstration.

    After the surge: Troop levels to be reduced by 5,000

    Blaze rages on: 49 homes destroyed in Malibu.

    Murder: Romney calls for judge’s resignation after released man kills Puyallup couple.

    OMG WTF R U DOING!!!: Beltway elite increasingly rely on common man’s Costco to cater high-class events.