Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

Archives for 02/03/2008 - 02/09/2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Caucus Schmaucus! Look What I Found at 7-11!

posted by on February 9 at 8:17 PM


Not nearly as scary as Snickers Charged because it doesn’t come with any caffeine! But they’re not great. I wanted them to be, but they were a little weird. The Brownie Batter flavor tasted the most like its intended flavor. S’mores had a weird honey taste to it (because of the graham cracker?), and the Chocolate Caramel had no caramel flavor at all.

Individually, they’re lackluster. Boring, even.

So here’s my advice, should you try them (and you should): MIX them—put together a Vanilla, Chocolate Pudding, and S’mores. Try a handful of Brownie Batter with some of the caramel-less Chocolate Caramel. Take a few Vanillas and squish ‘em together with a couple Brownie Batters and holy shit. That’s when things get good.

(Side note to Skittles people: Why no peanut butter? Peanut butter and chocolate, dudes. Duh.)

What He Said

posted by on February 9 at 7:40 PM

Michael Canfield in a comments thread

Caucuses suck and here’s why. After I left Lowell Elementary (43-2016, Obama 4, Clinton 2) I wandered up Broadway to buy groceries at QFC. QFC was fully staffed with employees, as was Starbucks, Broadway video and every other business. That’s—in ONE block—probably a hundred or more people who never had a hope of getting to a caucus because they had to work this afternoon. Think they feel part of a community? Think they feel part of the process? I don’t.

I’m for Obama but if Clinton really is a favorite candidate of the working class and the elderly she has a point about the unfairness of caucuses. By the way my precinct had about 100 attending, and of those at least 10 individuals were sporting really trendy fashionable eyeware.

Michael wrote more about his caucus experience at his own blog.

Size Matters

posted by on February 9 at 7:21 PM


Tales from the 1861

posted by on February 9 at 6:44 PM

Apparently, I live in one of the biggest precincts in Seattle. It was certainly one of the biggest of those caucusing at Seattle Central today, with 199 people participating. The line to sign in for our precinct stretched up the stairs and around the corner, and we had to move from the room they originally put us in to a big open hallway in order to accommodate everyone.

The guy running the show was inexperienced (he said he was asked to do this only yesterday), but he did a great job. There was a brief attempt to overthrow him, but a coin toss solidified his position.

As we waited for the sign-in sheets to be delivered from downstairs, we started in with 60-second speeches. At first, we went back-and-forth between Clinton and Obama supporters, but after a few rounds we ran out of Clinton supporters. The arguments were pretty what you’d expect:

Pro-Clinton: Obama’s an empty suit. Clinton has experience. She’s a coalition-builder. She’s a good administrator. Health care!
Pro-Obama: Coalition-builder, sure, like the one that was for invading Iraq. Obama is exciting and excitement is good. The Republicans really want to run against Clinton. Young is better than old. Health care!

I’m paraphrasing, of course.

The arguments were lucid and heartfelt, and it was inspiring to see so many of my neighbors so passionate about politics. The age range looked to be from 18 to about 487.

Finally, a woman appeared with our sign-in sheets. Overheard: “I think I smoked pot with her once when she was a he.”

As the votes were tallied, we identified the undecideds and attacked the hell out of them. My group swayed one to Obama.

Final count was 9 delegates for Obama (of which I am one), and 2 for Clinton. Something like 3 nutbags voted for Kucinich.

A coin toss was also used to determine which delegates would be primary and which would be alternates.

And since my caucus pictures look just like everyone else’s (read: boring), here’s how the caucus today really changed my life (with a little help from Western Digital):


“Significant Saturday?”

posted by on February 9 at 6:29 PM

Really, Newsweek?

“Significant means, like, fur trade in the 1800s. It’s important to know, but totally irrelevant.” - Matt Fuckin’ Hickey (single! laaaaadies?)

I’m drunk. Anyone who’s interested in coming to Linda’s and buying me a Jager shot is cordially invited.

Washington Caucus Results: Obama Wins by Huge Margin; Turnout Shatters Record

posted by on February 9 at 5:50 PM

Per Brad, CNN is calling Nebraska for Obama. And here in Washington, the state Democratic party is reporting a “record-shattering” turnout that could have been double the 100,000 people who turned out in 2004. Results are starting to come in here:

With 30-percent of precincts reporting, Obama has 7,094 delegates to Clinton’s 3,353 delegates.

UPDATE: With 37-percent reporting, Obama has 8,842 delegates to Clinton’s 4,178 delegates.

UPDATE: With 48-percent reporting, Obama has 11,107 delegates to Clinton’s 5,234 delegates. That’s 67-percent of delegates for Obama so far.

UPDATE: With 57-percent reporting, Obama has 13,524 delegates to Clinton’s 6,478 delegates. That’s 70-percent of delegates for Obama so far.

UPDATE: The dailies are calling it for Obama. And heck, we can do basic math. The Stranger calls it for Obama, too.

UPDATE: Kelly Steele of the state Democratic party calls with a telling factoid. In Seattle’s 36th Legislative District, turnout went from 7,502 in 2004 to 18,220 this year. That’s a more-than-doubling of turnout.

UPDATE: Here come the Republican results. They won’t mean a whole lot since McCain seems to have a nomination sewn up, but they’ll say something about our state. Results are coming in here.

With 16-percent of precincts reporting McCain is winning, but only barely—with Huckabee close behind and Paul still within striking distance.

UPDATE: The state Republicans aren’t updating their web site as often as promised. I’m going to dinner. Commenters, I leave this in your hands…

Caucus-sucker Blues

posted by on February 9 at 5:31 PM

Over in the gym of Stevens Elementary, around 1pm, it was decidedly not a madhouse, though it was hot and sweaty. The precinct lines were orderly and easy to find, the conversation level was at a low murmur, there was even a woman sitting in a chair and knitting. Or crocheting. People talked about their everyday stuff (the onset of Osteomyelitis, working for Microsoft) and declared their affinities (“I’m Obama, I’m on the list”). I was mainly surprised to discover that there wasn’t one person I knew in the room, and only one or two that I recognized. After signing in, and being called back because I’d neglected to fill in the most important slot (UNDECIDED), I sat down and waited for the show to start.

By 1:15, it was becoming something of a madhouse, and people had to start stripping off layers of clothing to keep from being overwhelmed by heat. Not nearly enough folding chairs were available, so people stood in clusters while the registration lines snaked around and through them. Still, the tone was eager and cordial, even among the preachers.

In my left ear, an Obama proselytizer with short hair and a “Kennedy” button on his North Face fleece wooed an elementary school teacher like a Mormon elder on your doorstep. He extolled Obama’s $4,000 per student tuition credit, something I missed in his stump speech, so I listened in. I was eager for the moment when he would turn his pitch to me. His tone was a big turn-off, so I fanned myself with a Hillary flyer and waited some more. My undecidedness isn’t theoretical—I really can’t truly choose between these two candidates, both of whom I admire and mistrust separately and equally. I have been hoping to hear someone indicate to me just exactly what it is about either of the two—beyond the theater of the campaign, beyond the theater of their similar-but-not-the-same platforms, beyond even the theater of their voting records—is the reason I should want them to be president. I still have Kerry damage, I suppose. That sense of throwing all your will and hope and credulity behind a guy who just kind of wasn’t there, just because you had to get behind someone, and the long (three years and counting) walk of shame that followed. Not because he didn’t win, though that made it insufferable. But because who among us would vote for him today? That’s my objection to politics in general, I suppose: the arbitrariness. And for all the change rhetoric I keep hearing, I’m not fully convinced that either senator is going to be able to represent the kind of holistic moral/intellectual/ethical redirection the office so desperately needs. They might, though. I can’t decide. I wasn’t alone. There were 16 of us in my precinct, out of 229, when the first vote was tallied.

It wasn’t exactly true that I didn’t recognize anyone in that gym. This precinct is generally middle-to-upper-middle class liberal minded overwhelmingly (but no, not entirely) white Capitol Hill. My people, for whatever it’s worth. There were laptops, candidate stickers, conspicuous glasses frames, abundant fleece, slogan-bearing t-shirts, anti-war buttons both fatuous and sympathetic, the odd unironic mustache, the odd ironic one, etc. It was so tempting to generalize about them, about us, for the sake of clinging to the good old Seattle (or is it just adolescent) illusion that just because we inhabit the same neighborhood, the same commercial demographic and class prerogatives, didn’t mean we had anything in common. But the simple fact of not knowing anyone, not one single person, made it feel both unfair and irrelevant. I didn’t feel alienated. I felt like I was part of an actual literal community—that horrible, stupid word. And I was. We all were. For that, the caucus felt useful and positive. The one generalization that resonated: we were all there, all participating (or trying to), all eager for our effort to mean something. So we have that, at least, in common. Which is not nothing.

After the Pledge of Allegiance (is there anyone among us who doesn’t choke on “under god”?), the guy from the 43rd district announced on the almost inaudible PA that for the first time in many years, “Washington has a relevant role in the nomination process.” The whole place exploded with giddy applause. (He followed by saying how today would determine where ABC News, CNN, even Fox News would broadcast from tonight. There were predictable boos for Fox. I was hoping they would carry over to curse the idea that we should pay any attention to what those news outlets did or said, but no such luck. At the very least, the idea that the importance of today’s caucus was that it would energize Wolf Blitzer was fractionally less inspiring than the idea that we were helping pick the Democratic candidate.)

“Is anyone here undecided?” It was the guy with the Kennedy badge and the Mormon mien. I turned and told him I was, hoping for discourse, but prepared for a verbal sparring match. Not that I have strong convictions about Obama, for or against. It’s more that I’ve developed a massive shoulder chip against politcal acolytes. He asked if I was undecided between Clinton or Obama, which confused me. He wondered if maybe I might still be for Edwards. I said I liked Edwards but there didn’t seem to be much point in being “for” him now. He countered, “there’s not much point in voting for Hillary, either, man,” and was very proud of the line, which I fully walked right into. He asked me if I knew who Bill Maher was, and I said yes (without bothering to disclose that I the first time I saw Maher was on the last episode of the old Max Headroom TV show in 1988). He told me how on Maher’s show, a leading Republican pollster said the Rs were champing at the bit at the prospect of a Clinton vs. McCain race, because Hillary mobilizes the right, and Obama isn’t as polarizing a figure and that’s probably the most important thing to think about going into the general election. I said I thought that voting for a president based on strategy like that was immoral. He said this, which I interrupted our conversation to write down: “Voting isn’t an expression of ideas. It’s a pragmatic decision of the lesser of two evils.” The thing is, I know that’s essentially true. But I also absolutely refuse to believe it. More to the point, this from the guy who’s making the case for the candidate of change? In fairness, this guy was just trying to say something he though would convince a political simpleton and contrarian to write his candidate’s name on the sheet so he could work his way up the ladder of delegates or whatever. You can’t blame him. And in the end, he had a VERY good day.

There then followed a period of everyone in the room seemingly talking at once while “votes” (or whatever you’re supposed to call them) were tallied. At length. The somewhat beleaguered woman running our precinct festivities introduced herself by saying “Hi, I’m Wendy and I don’t know what I’m doing.” This seemed to be the general trend; given that the turn out was more or less unprecedented, the efforts at pre-organization were a little undernourished (nowhere near as bad as the SCCCCC fiasco, it appears). But we eventually got to the part I was most looking forward to, when people got up to make the case for their candidates. And it was the part that was the most complicated. The gym was transformed into a giant speaker’s corner, an explosion of dueling advocacies—people up on tables, shouting about why Obama represented hope, or why Hillary represented experience, or why Hillary’s experience was actually a negative given the current climate, or why given the current climate, what we really needed was an agent of change. There was no part of this scene that excited even a whisper of cynicism in me. Some of the speakers were articulate and passionate, others were lackluster and cowed. But they all got up and were heard. Well, not all were heard, because some were drowned out by smatterings of applause from across the room or people shouting at other people to keep it down. It did in fact feel like democracy. It did not feel massively efficient. It also didn’t feel particularly dignified. The main thing was that however impassioned the various speakers were (6 or 7 for Obama, 2 or 3 for Hillary), no one said anything that we hadn’t heard. The point was their conviction. A few people mentioned 9/11, a few more mentioned the war and health care, citing specific issues with the candidates’ plans, but almost everyone said “hope” or “change.” When one of my fellow undecideds—who, like me, would be happy to vote for either Clinton or Obama—got up and asked a pointed, specific question about how either candidate was going to deal with the imminent recession and the already-here foreclosure crisis, the very next speaker was an utterly sincere, well-spoken young guy who said he was voting for Obama because of one word, “hope.” (I remembered when Mr. Clinton captivated the democratic constituency with the same word in 1992, though it was capitalized in his case.) The next speaker said her was “fed up with politics as usual. I’ve been fed up since Kennedy was shot. I don’t want that to happen again. It’s up to us.”

You can’t argue with that kind of conviction. It dominated the room. And it won the day, handily. The initial tally in our precinct was Obama 179, Clinton 34, undecided 16. When it was explained that there would be no “undecided” delegates, it became clear that even though I remained uncertain, “voting” to declare that condition would be a futile and vain gesture. So I made a choice and changed my vote, as did most, if not all of my ambivalent confreres. I spoke to one of them and we agreed that even though it was frustrating not being able to settle on a candidate, neither one of us felt particularly enriched for the experience of feeling like we had to choose one before leaving the gym so that our presence there would count for something. But I’m pretty certain we were in the minority. While walking home, I heard a middle-aged woman panting into her cell phone, “I haven’t felt this kind of… exhilaration… since Kennedy was elected! I just can’t believe it!”

Yes, I think she can.

In Praise of Chaotic Caucuses

posted by on February 9 at 5:00 PM


I totally agree that Washington State should pick one thing—either a caucus or a primary—and focus on doing that one thing well, instead of having both a caucus and a primary and doing neither all that well. But let me be the lone voice on Slog to speak in praise of chaotic caucuses.

At a time when voting here is becoming mostly a solitary act done through the mail, caucusing is a nice throwback: A forced social event in which one is required to meet, and discuss politics with, one’s neighbors.

Sure, if you have a busy schedule or social phobias or work conflicts or a low tolerance for human interaction in general, then caucusing is not going to be your thing. And for a general election, private voting that can be done in person or by mail definitely makes the most sense. But for the process of choosing a party’s presidential nominee, a caucus is a pretty good thing.

I found the caucus I watched in Iowa earlier this year quite compelling for the earnest interaction it required among citizens. It’s not something you see everyday in this country. And I felt the same thing today.

You don’t get scenes like this from mail-in balloting:


And, sure, you don’t get scenes like this, either:


And there’s not much cause for a guy with a rainbow yarmulke and a tiny bullhorn when you’re doing private, solitary voting:


But here’s what I would have missed if I hadn’t had a caucus to go to today:

I would have missed the young woman who teared up when talking about what Obama’s connection to Kenya means to her.

I would have missed the the parade of people who rose to speak about how they were doing something that went against the politics of their family members in other states, and the reminder contained within that experience: That I live a neighborhood filled with a certain type of young American social refugee. I would also have missed the repeated variations on this theme: “Obama is the first candidate in a long time who is actually bringing my family together.”

Yes, I would also have missed the smell of nicotine clinging to clothes, and the pungent scent of the very literally unwashed masses who were crammed in with me. I could definitely have done without all of that. I might even have liked to see a few more fashionable scarves.

But had there not been caucuses today, I also wouldn’t have been able to hear the intense identification that many women in my precinct—even the female Obama supporters—had with the way Hillary Clinton has been held to what they described as sexist double-standards. I would have missed the guy who said his vote was determined mainly by the design and presentation of the candidates’ web sites, and who had a very reasonable argument to make as to why. I would have missed the man in camo pants who is moving to Canada if McCain wins. I would have missed the people from the South who needed Seattle to know how different the rest of America is from this liberal enclave. I would have missed the black woman who didn’t want anyone to make a decision based on race or gender.

I’ve been covering this presidential race for more than a year, so on an intellectual and experiential level I’m well aware of all the feelings that are caught up in this election. Sometimes I even think that I’ve either read or heard all the possible permutations of reaction and prediction, that there’s nothing new out there to be said by a voter or seen by a political writer.

And, to be honest, nothing that was said today at my caucus was new to me. Neither was seeing a caucus take place; I’d already experienced that in Iowa. But there is something about seeing your neighbors process it all together—the racial element, the feminist element, the connection to the war, the strong hope for a new direction—that is very unusual, and unusually heartening.

My caucus was, by and large, a gathering of people who live in apartments or condos and don’t know their neighbors. My precinct area is tiny, just a few blocks of a densely-populated neighborhood, and in that paradox of urban density, a lot of people were seeing each other for the first time.

Amazingly for this cynical age, these introductions were taking place not in the social arena of the bars and restaurants that fill my neighborhood, but in the political arena, one citizen trying to engage and persuade another inside a borrowed community college classroom.

It’s easy to become pessimistic about American democracy, and I think it may become even easier to be pessimistic when the only engagement one has with the political process is in reading about it online or in print, and then putting a ballot in the mail every once in a while.

By contrast, the messy give and take of the caucus process—or at least the messy give and take of my caucus meeting today—makes people feel like they are intimately connected. To their neighbors. To the slow grind of democratic change. To the direction of the country.

The results in my precinct didn’t surprise me. Hillary Clinton received one delegate, and Barack Obama received five. But the profound sense of connectedness did surprise me. So did my neighbors. They were more interesting, thoughtful, articulate, and politically-engaged than I’d ever imagined.

Stranger Caucus Watch

posted by on February 9 at 4:58 PM

Tells us about the results at your site: Here’s our north Seattle thread. Here’s our south Seattle thread. And here’s our beyond Seattle thread.

And if you have caucus chaos photos, the StrangrFlickr pool awaits.

Here I Am, Caucus You Like A Hurricane

posted by on February 9 at 4:57 PM

I have now pissed my pants, worked at, and participated in democracy at my old elementary school.

The lunchroom/gymnasium at Olympic View Elementary was stiflingly hot, smelly and packed with Prius owners.

Some chief decided it would be a great idea to put the precinct map on the opposite side of the room from the sign in tables, so people were freaking out because they didn’t know what precinct they were in and couldn’t easily find out. The PCOs seemed totally overwhelmed.


My high school history teacher was in charge of my precinct, but I ducked out when my group broke off to argue in a tiny classroom, which happened to be the same room where I learned double digit addition two decades ago.

Then I went to go eat sushi.

I’ve got no idea how my precinct broke down, but I did successfully convince a friend to drop his support for Obama. Somehow, he also ended up as an alternate delegate. Nice work, Andy.

Stranger Caucus Watch

posted by on February 9 at 4:50 PM

Tells us about the results at your site: Here’s our north Seattle thread. Here’s our south Seattle thread. And here’s our beyond Seattle thread.

And if you have caucus chaos photos, the StrangrFlickr pool awaits.

Obamarama at Madrona Elementary

posted by on February 9 at 4:40 PM

It was clear which way the hurricane was blowing in the Central District just standing in line. A desperate-sounding Clinton volunteer tried to pass out handbills but wasn’t having much luck. Meanwhile, Obama volunteers passed out hundreds of stickers; even the kids were in on the campaigning.


Photos by Michael Holden.

At 1:15 PM, Tim Killian told the “record turnout” crowd that things would be delayed while a line that still wrapped around two sides of the block worked its way inside.


A few minutes later, a woman’s voice over the loudspeaker asked for everyone’s attention: “We have way over the number of people who can safely be in the school.” Cheering drowned out the rest of her announcement.

The coordinator of my precinct, 37-1885, after tallying the votes looked up and said, “This is an overwhelming defeat.” Here’s how it broke down: 77 for Obama, 13 for Clinton, and 2 undecided. Obama won four delegates and Clinton got one. The results were similar in the neighboring precinct.


I hung out for a while and checked on several other precinct meetings. Every person I talked to said theirs also had awarded Clinton only one delegate and Obama took the rest.

Stranger Caucus Watch

posted by on February 9 at 4:30 PM

Tells us about the results at your site: Here’s our north Seattle thread. Here’s our south Seattle thread. And here’s our beyond Seattle thread.

And if you have caucus chaos photos, the StrangrFlickr pool awaits.

Ballard Goes to Obama

posted by on February 9 at 4:21 PM

As far as I can tell, anyway.


Adams Elementary School in Ballard was packed—the caucus was supposed to happen in the cafeteria, but by 1 pm the room was solid people, with lines still out the door. Some precincts had to move to the gym while others met out in the hallway and on the front lawn. Apparently the headcount was three times that of 2004’s turn out. At least.


As far as I could tell, all precincts went to Obama. According to one volunteer, the average was 4 to 1.

The vibe was really friendly. Once we separated into our groups, after going over the rules, one woman passed out slices of buttery, warm pound cake that she had made this morning. A few Clinton and Barack supporters stated why they were voting the way they were, hoping to convince the few undecided folks in the group. But while they praised Hillary for having more experience and Obama for being against the war from day one and a more appealing health care plan, every speaker stressed that both candidates are good and the important thing isn’t who gets the ticket, but that everyone in the room goes out and votes in November so McCain doesn’t win it.


There was a lot of talk about change and a lot of talk about hope and a lot of applause and cheering. Also, there was a PTA bake sale—giant white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies for 75 cents! Democracy is delicious.

Stranger Caucus Watch

posted by on February 9 at 4:20 PM

Tells us about the results at your site: Here’s our north Seattle thread. Here’s our south Seattle thread. And here’s our beyond Seattle thread.

And if you have caucus chaos photos, the StrangrFlickr pool awaits.

Hey Obama—Yer Welcome

posted by on February 9 at 3:16 PM

That sixth Obama delegate from 1279? All me, dawg.

The frustration and overcrowding that Dan mentioned was nowhere near John Marshall High at 65th and Ravenna this afternoon. I’d call the place “busy” more than “frantic,” as numerous greeters helped the steady stream of locals make sense of their precinct and associated caucusing room. Nobody seemed confused. When I got to my gym, a couple of loud volunteers shut everyone up and explained the process to a ridiculous degree (without patronizing, bonus), and we got on with it.

My precinct was pretty much all Obama—73 voters for him, 6 for Clinton, 3 undecided. This would’ve split our delegate allocation of 6 into a 5-1 count thanks to percentages. Each side’s speeches were brief and kind; the Clinton speech-ist actually went so far as to say “we know Hillary is very polarizing” and that her nomination would probably be problematic as a result, before sticking with his pick. Wonder if the opposition’s applause afterward was to be polite or to thank him for not swaying anybody.

Two of the undecideds were naive enough to out themselves, attracting a swarm of pro-Bamas, and I walked over in fear that the chat would be too much about ideas and hopes, not realities. The couple said their primary issue was health care, and when the talk turned idealistic, I stepped in—emphasized the issues of an unbudging private sector, a legislature still in that sector’s pocket, and a need for an executive who isn’t promising immediate change but rather realistic solutions. They talked to a few other pro-Bamas, who, to be fair, made some very good points about Obama’s push for 18-and-under care and splitting between volunteer and private options. Afterward, I thanked them for having the balls to solicit our pleas and asked them to hit the tiny Clinton camp as well.

A few minutes later, the duo were the only ones to switch votes, and it was enough to push percentages to a 6-0 Obama count. After I imagined that I was totally the reason for the swap, I signed on to be a alternate delegate, and then I ran into a 770 AM bus driver who said the rest of the building’s precincts were much in line—4-2’s, 7-2’s, 5-1’s, all Obama. Surprised me, since most of the voters at that location live on Greenlake and are mostly yuppies, but even the retirement cotillion I saw was cheering and hooting about Obama.

The process was quick, friendly, and polite, and hot damn, I actually met and chatted with semi-neighbors I’d have never met otherwise (and picked up a few tidbits on both candidates that I’d admittedly missed). So while I’m sure his overcrowded caucus location sucked a big one, I’m still gonna have to largely disagree with Dan’s opinion for the day. Move north and hope you’re near a decent bus route, I guess.

Stranger Caucus Watch

posted by on February 9 at 3:05 PM

Tells us about the results at your site: Here’s our north Seattle thread. Here’s our south Seattle thread. And here’s our beyond Seattle thread.

And if you have caucus chaos photos, the StrangrFlickr pool awaits.

Some Observations from SCCC

posted by on February 9 at 3:02 PM

It was indeed chaos . It was hot—94 people crowded into a small, windowless classroom. Our PCO joked that we could do bikram yoga while we waited for our sign-in sheets to arrive. One woman thanked everyone for wearing deodorant.

Notable personages in my precinct: the inimitable Mr Poe, former Stranger fellow Corianton Hale, old Atlas Clothing volunteer Matt Fuller. An uncommitted, purple-haired gentleman was more or less a single-issue voter—his issue: government interference with the video game industry, specifically its rating system.

Informal, hand-raising polls conducted while we waited for those sign-in sheets revealed only two uncommitted voters, no support for candidates other than Clinton and Obama, and an overwhelming majority of Obama supporters. When the sheets finally arrived, the first tally revealed 69 for Obama, 15 for Hilary, 9 undecided, and one for Gravel—meaning seven delegates for Obama and one for Clinton.

Stranger Caucus Watch

posted by on February 9 at 2:51 PM

Tells us about the results at your site: Here’s our north Seattle thread. Here’s our south Seattle thread. And here’s our beyond Seattle thread.

And if you have caucus chaos photos, the StrangrFlickr pool awaits.

Not Dead Yet

posted by on February 9 at 2:48 PM

Mike Huckabee crushed John McCain in Kansas today: 60% to 24%, with Ron Paul pulling 11%. Christ almighty! If Huckabee keeps wracking up delegates like this, it’s hard to see how a McCain/Huckabee ticket can be avoided…

Stranger Caucus Watch

posted by on February 9 at 2:46 PM

Tells us about the results at your site: Here’s our north Seattle thread. Here’s our south Seattle thread. And here’s our beyond Seattle thread.

And if you have caucus chaos photos, the StrangrFlickr pool awaits.

Huge Turnout

posted by on February 9 at 2:45 PM

People keep sending me texts and photos that reaffirm what I experienced at my caucus site on Capitol Hill: Turnout for today’s Democratic caucuses is huge.

Here’s a picture sent from Nova High School:


Here’s one from Stevens Elementary:


Here’s one from Lowell Elementary:


And here’s a representative photo from the happy chaos at my site at Seattle Central Community College (as opposed to the apparently grumpy chaos at Dan’s more well-heeled and too-busy-for-messy-Democracy site).


Tells us about the results at your site: Here’s our north Seattle thread. Here’s our south Seattle thread. And here’s our beyond Seattle thread.

And if you have caucus chaos photos, the StrangrFlickr pool awaits.

Total Pandemonium at Seattle Central Community College, Too

posted by on February 9 at 2:23 PM

Man, that was confusing and crowded and hot. There were way more people stuffed into those rooms than those rooms can hold, and finding your precint line was total chaos. First you had to look on a map to see what number your precint was, but 300 people crowding around a map the size of a regular piece of paper taped up onto a wall is, uh, suboptimal. Plus, soon as you’d fought your way to the front to see the map, the streets were all faint and illegible—no wonder it had taken forever for other people to get the information they needed and get out of the way. Then—then!—you had to find your aforementioned precint line, and were the numbers in order along the wall? No! They went, like, 1867, 1868, 1945, 1901, 1888, 1950, etc. And the halls were so crowded you couldn’t move.

I’m so with you, Dan. But whatever—our precinct sent 5 delegates for Obama and 1 for Hillary. Five to one. I was happy.

Confidential to Eric Grandy

posted by on February 9 at 2:01 PM

Here’s that article I was telling you about. This is the quote from one of the scientists who conducted the (nine-year) study: “This is interesting. Why is it happening? Is it some kind of chemical in the diet soda…?” Interesting! Just like it’ll be when all y’all start growing antlers! Why is it happening? Who can say!

Maybe it’s your metabolism that makes you ask crazy questions. (“This is interesting. How will this business actually work? What if everyone catches on fire?”)

[Also for you elsewhere in the Gray Lady: a nice piece of pure speculation about what’s wrong with kids these days: Maybe it’s rock and roll! As the study authors here say (while straightening the pens in their pocket protectors and belting their pants more securely far, far above their navels), “Music is well-known to connect deeply with adolescents and to influence identity development, perhaps more than any other entertainment medium.” However: “Whether any of this matters remains an open question.”]

The Cloverfield Caucus

posted by on February 9 at 1:53 PM


The gym at Stevens Elementary right now resembles the Brooklyn Bridge scene in Cloverfield—only without the promise of giant, derivative monster showing up to put Capitol Hill caucus-goers out of our misery. And instead of bloodied hipsters asking each other “What the hell is that?” over and over again, it’s roughly 1500 people wearing tasteful scarfs asking each other, “Where the hell is the line for my precinct table?”

Maybe the caucus system works—when precincts have at most 10 people in them and no one gives a fuck about the election. But it’s total pandemonium right now at Stevens Elementary. The lines to sign in—for for precinct—stretches all the way across the gymnasium. Lines to sign in for other precincts intersect with our line and no one is keeping order. Thank God for our neighbor: She commandeered a dozen sign-in sheet from the table and brought them to the end of the line so we could register our preferences and get the hell out. Here’s hoping our sign-in sheets got back up to the precinct table: we didn’t hang around long enough to find out.

Note to the Washington State Democrats: Please don’t put us through that bullshit again. Don’t waste our time. Let us vote in a primary. Yeah, yeah: The caucus system is supposed to build community, or something, since we’re all supposed to gather together with our neighbors and talk about who we’re supporting and why, and make appeals to the braindeads—excuse me, the undecideds—blah blah blah. But the only thing neighbors at Stevens are discussing right now is what a bullshit waste of time this is. You’re going to need smaller precincts, and a lot more precinct sites, and a lot more workers, or you’re going to need to go to a primary system.

Stranger Caucus Watch: Seattle South of Ship Canal

posted by on February 9 at 1:30 PM

If you caucused south of the ship canal in Seattle today, here’s your open thread. Tell us who won your precinct, who cheated, who looked crazy, and how it all felt.

Stranger Caucus Watch: Seattle North of Ship Canal

posted by on February 9 at 1:29 PM

If you caucused north of the ship canal in Seattle today, here’s your open thread. Tell us who won your precinct, who cheated, who looked crazy, and how it all felt.

Stranger Caucus Watch: Beyond Seattle

posted by on February 9 at 1:28 PM

If you caucused outside of Seattle proper today, here’s your open thread. Tell us who won your precinct, who cheated, who looked crazy, and how it all felt.

Oranges for Obama

posted by on February 9 at 11:56 AM


So I was staring at a pile of mandarin oranges on my kitchen counter last night, wondering what I could do to get people who weren’t thinking of caucusing to caucus. I’ve never caucused before. I think it sounds fun. Also, I’m not the greatest neighbor. I don’t do neighborly things. I decided I’d knock on doors on my floor in my apartment building an hour before it’s time to caucus, offer an orange, and see if any of my neighbors wanted to walk to our caucus site together. It’s morning in America, etc.

I knocked and knocked and knocked. No one’s home. Except the couple down the hall who apparently are in a huge fight. Just as I was about to knock, I heard the guy shout: “No one’s ever told you you sound like a cunt when you talk that way?” So I didn’t knock. Nevertheless, I felt pathetic. Everyone else is out scaling mountains; I’m knocking on doors.

I went down two floors and knocked on my building maintenance guy’s door. He answered. I said, “Do you want an orange? O is for Obama.” He said he can’t eat oranges because they have sugar in them or something. I asked if he wanted to walk to the caucus site anyway. He said, “That’s today?”

So we’re going to go together. I think I’m going to bring all these oranges. Bargaining chips.

Still Undecided?

posted by on February 9 at 11:05 AM

Maybe we can help. After all, we’ve been taking close looks at the candidates (and our own navels) since last fall.


Here’s Erica C. Barnett on Hillary Clinton.


Here’s yours truly on Barack Obama’s unique appeal and his historic win in Iowa.

Here’s Dan Savage on John McCain.

Here’s Christopher Frizzelle on the difficulty of making a decision.


Here’s Jonathan Raban on the church of Obama.

Here’s Jonathan Golob on the case for Senator Hillary Clinton.

Here’s Josh Feit on demographic trends.

Here’s Annie Wagner on feminist complaints.

And here’s yours truly on Ron Paul.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 9 at 11:00 AM

Art Attack

Georgetown Art Attack at Georgetown

Declaring themselves the representatives of “the last outpost of a true blue-collar bohemian arts community” in Seattle, Georgetown merchants are launching a monthly art walk. Some of what’s on at the first installment: an “art jam” at 9 Lb. Hammer, where a dozen Georgetown artists make art live onstage to music; open studios at the new Equinox building; Ellen Forney’s show at Fantagraphics; and something only described as “exotic shopping.” (Georgetown, 6–9 pm.)


Caucus Watch for The Stranger

posted by on February 9 at 10:40 AM

Planning to caucus today? We want to know how your precinct votes (and so does the rest of America).

So do your part for democracy and then do your part for online information sharing. When you get home from your caucus, boot up your browser, come to the Slog, and tell us what happened at your caucus site. (Who won, who cheated, who looked crazy, how it all felt.) We’ll have open threads here waiting to receive your tales of triumph and electoral chicanery.

The idea is that if enough of you post reports from your precincts, maybe we’ll end up with a good sense of the direction of the caucus vote in Seattle before anyone else does. Or maybe we’ll just collect a bunch of interesting stories.

So do it. Please. The Slog and American Democracy thank you in advance.

Originally posted on Thursday.

Currently Hanging

posted by on February 9 at 10:30 AM

A still from Kutlug Ataman’s Paradise, 2007

At Vancouver Art Gallery.


posted by on February 9 at 9:37 AM

It’s your turn, Seattle: Should Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama be the next Democratic nominee for President of the United States of America? But first, a word from the OED:


[Arose in New England: origin obscure.

Alleged to have been used in Boston U.S. before 1724; quotations go back to 1763. Already in 1774 Gordon (Hist. Amer. Rev.) could obtain no ‘satisfactory account of the origin of the name’. Mr. Pickering, in 1816, as a mere guess, thought it ‘not improbable that caucus might be a corruption of caulkers’, the word “meetings” being understood’. For this, and the more detailed statement quoted in Webster, there is absolutely no evidence beyond the similarity of sound; and the word was actually in use before the date (1770) of the event mentioned in Webster. Dr. J. H. Trumbull (Proc. Amer. Philol. Assoc. 1872) has suggested possible derivation from an Algonkin word cau´-cau-as´u, which occurs in Capt. Smith’s Virginia 23, as Caw-cawaassough ‘one who advises, urges, encourages’, from a vb. meaning primarily ‘to talk to’, hence ‘to give counsel, advise, encourage’, and ‘to urge, promote, incite to action’. For such a derivation there is claimed the general suitability of the form and sense, and it is stated that Indian names were commonly taken by clubs and secret associations in New England; but there appears to be no direct evidence.]

Let’s review the rules:

—You must attend a caucus today at 1 pm if you want your vote to count. The results of the primary will be completely ignored by the Democratic Party.

—You do not have to be registered to vote yet, and you need not have your address updated. If you will be at least 18 in November, and are otherwise eligible to vote, you can register to vote or change your address at your caucus site. It’s a good idea to print out this PDF and bring it to your site in case they run out. Note: If you’ve moved recently, you can also caucus with your old neighborhood.

—You may bring kids.

—You do not need to stay the whole time. Your initial sign-in and stated presidential preference will count toward the final delegate allocation. This is a change since 2004, so it’s a good idea to talk to somebody in charge (your PCO) and let them know you have to leave early.

For a quick overview of how caucusing works, see my earlier post and our guide in the paper this week.

If you are signing in as Uncommitted or Mike Gravel, you may be wondering about viability. This year, there is no absolute 15% cutoff, but—depending on the number of delegates your precinct has (determined by the number of Kerry votes in the 2004 general election) and the number of people who show up this afternoon—there is an implicit cutoff, below which your candidate will not get a delegate. You can try to do the math yourself, but because of the way the system deals with fractional delegates, it’ll be inexact. Ask your PCO sweetly whether it looks like your group will get a delegate. You will have a chance to switch after the speeches.

To find your caucus site, see the below. Dan is at Stevens, by the way; stop telling him otherwise.

re: Overwhelmed

posted by on February 9 at 9:10 AM

This’ll probably work for the 43rd:

1. Look up your precinct in this pdf map. (My cache of the file.)

2. Look up your location in this spreadsheet table. (My cache of the file)

Both are directly from the King County and the 43rd Democrats respectively. The table is listed as the “final” version.

The Morning News

posted by on February 9 at 9:00 AM

Poll Brother Number One: Obama in the lead. Clinton and McCain follow.

Abort, Retry, Fail: Yahoo! considers Microsoft bid.

Playing Hard to Get: Winehouse to stay home despite last-minute visa for Grammys.

Heavy Mentals: Federal judges dump Bush’s lax mercury regulations.

American Spirit: New York grocery chain won’t sell cigarettes.

Tar Babies: Ire at souped-up mini-smokes draws more publicity.

Electric Chair: Nebraska Supremes pull the plug.

Whose Picket Line Is It Anyway? Speculation on end of strike.

Ferry Tail: Cracks in Yakima hull.

On the Missouri Murderer: “We used to kid around that someday he’d come into City Council with guns a-blazing, but we never really thought it would happen.”

Louisiana: Double-murder suicide on campus.

Ballard: Bullets.

Chavez: Rebuffs Exxon lawsuit.

Pass Out: All three closed.

So, Crêpes or Caucuses? You can’t make good crêpes.


posted by on February 9 at 8:40 AM

So… the passes are closed, which means we’re not going snowboarding. So… I guess the boyfriend and I will go caucus instead—and cancel other out. So… I go over to, and click on their caucus finder, where I find this message:

Due to extreme traffic volume, our caucus lookup tool may operate slowly, please try back at a later time if you are having difficulty.

The caucus tool isn’t working at all—and it wasn’t working last night either. I’ll check back later but I can’t imagine traffic volume is going to lessen as 1 PM approaches.

So… I live near 15th and Aloha. Anyone out there know where my caucus site is?

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Friday Obama’thon, in Photos

posted by on February 8 at 7:34 PM

From his appearance at the McKinstry Company in South Seattle


…to the 18,000-strong army at the Seattle Center, people young and old were pumped. Obama’s a rock star. Or a tabloid celeb. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it.


More photos after the jump.

Continue reading "My Friday Obama'thon, in Photos" »

Put This LoveBot to Work

posted by on February 8 at 5:55 PM

Hey slackers, if you didn’t file a Stranger Valentine before 5 pm today, you’re not totally out of luck—there’s still time to buy a pack of doilies and some glitter glue and construct a hand-made card or two.
Or, you can have the huge-hearted Stranger LoveBot compose a personalized Valentines message for your loved one. Simply answer a few questions about the object of your affection, and the LoveBot will send a little mash note to him or her via e-mail on February 14.

Don’t forget to bring your lover or your lonely heart by Slog Happy next Thursday. It’s guaranteed to up your odds of getting lucky.

(Lovely little robot art by Brandy Agerbeck)

Some Observations on the Rallies

posted by on February 8 at 5:44 PM

I’ve been solidly pro-Obama for about three months, but I like HRC too, and I wanted to give her a chance to woo me. I went to both her rally at Pier 30 (Princess Cruises Welcomes You to Seattle!) and Obama’s rally at Key Arena (Key Bank! T-Mobile!) this afternoon. Here’s what surprised me:

Obama doesn’t do very well on the exit poll question about whether a given candidate “cares about people like me,” also known as the empathy score. HRC does much better. I was expecting to feel that empathy gap at their rallies—and I did, but it was reversed. Obama is much, much more skilled at responding to a crowd. HRC had a long list of local green companies (prepared by Jay Inslee) and did her conscientious nods to unions supposedly in attendance, but she studiously ignored shouts from the audience (including “I love you!”) and didn’t seem to notice as an old lady fainted and was wheeled out of the hall in a stretcher (right in front of the press risers). When Obama gets the “I love you!”, he immediately responds, “I love you back!” When a girl almost fainted in the crowd immediately in front of the stage, he interrupted his speech for a good minute or so to get her a bottle of water and and ask people to clear a path so she could sit down. I don’t think I’ve seen that sort of solicitousness from the stage since a Bratmobile reunion show in 2000.

Both candidates named each other directly. No “my opponent”s here. Maybe they haven’t gotten used to the head-to-head race yet? Or are they both so overwhelmingly famous that it’s useless to play coy? Obama also spent quite a bit of time criticizing John McCain, again using his name.

HRC seems to have the gay vote wrapped up, thanks mostly to Donnie McClurkin. (No thanks to her position on DOMA.) But she didn’t talk about gays and lesbians once. Obama had the “gay and straight” line from his regular stump speech, and he added another reference to gays and lesbians later on.

Finally: Gary Locke was more worked up at the HRC event than I have ever seen him. And Chris Gregoire was wearing more pink at the Obama event than anyone ever should.

Caucus tomorrow, 1 pm!

Missed Obama’s Speech? Listen Here

posted by on February 8 at 5:35 PM


Click here for my recording of Barack Obama’s 50-minute speech at the Key Arena rally today. Or click here to listen to the audio while looking at some of my low quality pictures and reading some of our high quality commenters debate whether Obama’s Seattle event was better than Clinton’s Seattle event.

Photo by StrangrFlickr contributor LifeAsArt.

About That Obama Event

posted by on February 8 at 5:15 PM

No, not the huge 18,000-person rally today at Key Arena. The other one, the one held this morning at the McKinstry Company in South Seattle, where Barack Obama took a tour of the green-oriented business and then held a press availability.

I was along on that event as well, and to my great interest Obama answered a question at the press availability regarding his views on superdelegates (a topic that close readers of the Slog will know I’m currently obsessed with). However, to my great dismay it wasn’t my question, and Obama didn’t call on me for a follow-up question I had about the superdelegate position he’d just articulated.

But before I get into all that, here’s what Obama said about superdelegates at McKinstry today, according to the transcript provided by his campaign:

I think the question is, for those who are not yet committed, the super delegates that are still out there trying to make up their minds, my strong belief is that if we end up with the most states and the most pledged delegates, and the most voters in the country, then it would be problematic for political insiders to overturn the judgment of the voters. I think that should be the guiding approach to determining who will be the nominee. I think it is also important for super delegates to think about who will be in the strongest position to defeat John McCain in November, who will be in the strongest position to make sure that we are broadening the base, bringing people who historically have not gotten involved in our politics to vote.

My follow-up question would have been: “Senator, if that’s the principle you’re outlining for how superdelagates should vote, what would you say to Washington Congressman Jim McDermott? He’s still undecided. You’re going to be holding a rally in his district today in which you’ll be endorsed by prominent Washington superdelegate Gov. Christine Gregoire. But Congressman McDermott won’t be at the event, and he won’t commit to backing you even if his district overwhelmingly backs you on Saturday. So you’ve laid out the general principle, but what, specifically, would you say to someone like Congressman McDermott?”

So that’s my unasked (because un-called-on) question, and needless to say I didn’t get the answer. But, interestingly, I must not be the only one who’s been exploring the McDermott predicament, because just now McDermott’s office released this statement:

It’s our turn and we matter. What a great feeling. What a great opportunity. Let’s not blow it.

For the last few days there has been a lot of speculation about where public officials, including me, stand with respect to the candidates for president. I think we need to focus on your endorsements.

It is time for people across Washington to speak, and I want to hear a clamor of voices like never before, especially from voters under the age of 30.

This is not a weekend to merely support your candidate; this is a weekend to support your country. Let’s make Seattle and the entire state of Washington a national role model.

Let’s give the news media a story they will write if we succeed—about how the people of the great state of Washington didn’t merely show up; rather we showed off by participating in record-shattering numbers.



Yes, ok, peace Jim. But how are you going to vote?

A Caucusing Tip

posted by on February 8 at 4:46 PM

From the Stranger Election Control Board’s How to Caucus guide: “First, you have to find out where you’re actually supposed to be. Then, when you get there, you’ll be in some decrepit church basement or cheerless community meeting room, getting hassled about your vote by people who are masters of convoluted rules that you don’t even begin to understand.”

From my friend Jill: “My caucus is with ten million others at the community college. Pro: It’s about 30 feet away. Con: Last time, this kooky old man folded his arms and said, ‘I’m undecided! Convince me!’ Jill’s Caucusing Tip: No punching annoying people in the face. I do not have the patience for democracy.”

I’m still registered to vote at my parents’ address (is that illegal?)—so the caucusfinder tells me my caucus (caucussite? caucasage?) is at the lovely “Private Home of H[redacted] W[redacted]” over on the other side of Capitol Hill. This signals anti-cheerlessness! With a chance of snacks and drinks!

H.W. is an extremely nice, intensely liberal, fiercely feminist woman. When I was 5, her two sons formed a club with the other neighborhood little boys that was No Girls Allowed. While I have no recollection of these events, it is said that I made a sign and walked back and forth on the sidewalk, picketing their Private Home. H.W. was mortified and forced her boys to offer me membership immediately, which I then refused, having just wanted to make a point.

I’m with Adrian Ryan: H.R.C.! (And not because I just want to make a point.)

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on February 8 at 4:34 PM

The News:

Vanity Fair may have canceled its Oscar party, but odds for an real Oscars ceremony are looking pretty good now that striking writers will have a chance to look at a new contract tomorrow. More at Deadline Hollywood Daily, where Nikki Finke cautions us from getting too excited.

Opening this week:

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

In On Screen this week: The feature film debut of playwright Martin McDonagh, In Bruges (Brendan Kiley: “The comparisons to Tarantino are finally apt—In Bruges has cocaine, a dwarf, and exciting chase scenes and, despite its shortcomings, it is still smarter and richer than any gangster film you’re likely to see), the fantastic 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (me: “Ultimately, this film isn’t about abortion, any more than Juno was. It’s about ethics; and it is riveting”), the documentary The Rape of Europa (Jen Graves: It’s “the Nuremberg trials for what might be considered the misdemeanors of the Nazi regime: the theft and destruction of art and monuments across Europe”), Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show (David Schmader: “Vaughn surfs through the proceedings on a wave of self-regard that’s baffling”), and Fool’s Gold (Bradley Steinbacher: It’s “Romancing the Stone minus wit, intelligence, and, well, romance”).

Plus, lots of limited runs. A Black History Month screening of Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep at SAM tonight, a few more New Wave Finnish films at Northwest Film Forum, the SIFF alum The Violin also at NWFF, the “pierogi Western” Summer Love at Grand Illusion, a comedy video festival at Rendezvous, and the excellent torture doc Taxi to the Dark Side (by Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room director Alex Gibney) at the Varsity. Looking ahead to next week: Northwest Film Forum has Cool Hand Luke and Bullitt, Kenyon Hall in West Seattle has a 16mm double feature, and Cinerama has the opening night movie at Amnesty International’s Seattle Human Rights Film Festival, New Year Baby. Enjoy.

In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

posted by on February 8 at 4:30 PM

If you haven’t been to Line Out in the last 24 hours (why do you hate music?), here’s a quick look at what you’ve missed:

Gotham Flasher: TJ Gorton shares one of his all-time favorite songs.

Let ‘Em Say I’m Crazy: I love Jefferson Starship and Mannequin.

Get a Haircut: New Lonely H video premiers on

HWM at SXSW: The band announces more shows that I’m also gonna miss.

No Comment: KEXP isn’t saying if Richards has plans to move to the East Coast.

Safe Sax: Portland’s Narwhal vs. Narwhal plays the Comet this Sunday.

New Terrordactyls Video: Featuring Kimya Dawson! (Jesus, that woman is everywhere.)

This Week’s Setlist: Free music, free concert listings, free bad jokes.

Line Out Exclusive: Khingz Makoma collaborates with the Luchnow Brides, the Luchnow Brides want to know if Trent Moorman is a hipster.

Tonight in Music: The Delusions, the Coup, Broken Disco, Seattle Improvised Music Festival, and 800 (give or take about 796) more suggestions.

Obama’s Soundtrack: Political campaign music should really be less obvious.

Drop a Barf: Jeff Kirby dumps the Dillinger Escape Plan.

The Physics Future Talk: Charles Mudede’s favorite local hiphop album of 2007 is now available on iTunes.

It Will Never Die: Dan Paulus unearths a rare gem of grunge history.

Normal or Not: English subtitles on an Australian hit?

$47,600,000: That’s the amount of money Genesis made on tour last year. Boysenberry syrup is some how involved.

Today’s Music News: Deerhoof gains a hoof, Daft Punk works with Playboy, and the new Timbaland record… coming to a cell phone near you!

If I were running for president, this is what I’d play at my rally:

The Confusing Battle for Washington State

posted by on February 8 at 4:30 PM

I have a piece up at this afternoon that previews the caucus fight here in Washington State.

It’s paired with a national overview piece by a writer, Jay Newton-Small, who touched off quite a debate in the Slog comments on Wednesday. Here’s Newton-Small’s take on the big picture for the weekend, which includes not just the exciting race in Washington, but contests in several other states as well:

For all of his attempts to downplay expectations, Senator Barack Obama is heading into a weekend that will probably make him look like anything but the underdog.

Today in BDSM News

posted by on February 8 at 4:18 PM

It’s dangerous to leave a tied-up person alone—every kinkster knows that—and you would think that the staff of New York City’s legendary Nutcracker Suite, a world-famous domination studio, would know better than to leave a tied-up client alone.

An unidentified patron of a Midtown S&M club who was bound and suspended from a ceiling while wearing women’s high heels and a neck choker was hospitalized in critical condition Friday, police sources said. While an accident is the most likely cause, police said they are investigating whether he was the victim of a crime….

The man was found about 1:30 a.m. inside the East 33rd Street club known as Nutcracker Suite and Artistic Innovation, wearing his pants but not carrying any identification, police said…. Detectives are trying to determine how long the man was left alone once tied up, sources said. He was discovered in apparent respiratory distress after a club worker checked on him as he was suspended from the ceiling and noticed that his hands looked blue, a police source said.

The law enforcement source said that the club’s staffers were cooperating with the police and told investigators that they had checked on the man in regular intervals after he had been bound and suspended.

Perhaps you can leave someone alone—briefly, and so long as they’re within earshot—if your bondage partner is simply tied to a bed, or comfortably strapped to a bondage board, or locked in a cage. Your “victim” can feel isolated and helpless, if that’s what turns ‘em on, and you can be back in a flash if he or she starts to panic and call out or, you know, if there’s a sudden and unexpected earthquake or electrical fire. But it’s absolutely nuts to leave someone alone in suspension bondage.

Thanks to Slog tipper Jayme.


posted by on February 8 at 3:21 PM

Adam Jones now plays for Baltimore.

Complete text of an email I just received from my boyfriend:

You are now an Orioles fan.

Obama Outside the Key

posted by on February 8 at 3:21 PM

After Before the packed Key Arena appearance, Obama stopped outside to address the crowd that couldn’t make it inside.



Pics courtesy of Kerri Harrop, who will soon have more shots, along with a report on Obama’s speech outside the Key, up at her blog General Bonkers.

It Just Keeps Getting Worse

posted by on February 8 at 3:18 PM

This paragraph from yesterday’s NYT is true:

Not long ago, news like that would have drawn much commentary and hand-wringing in the newspaper business, but in the last few months, reductions have become so routine that they barely make a ripple

Proof that it’s true: Here at Slog, we failed to post this downright hopeless story about daily papers.

I didn’t even notice it until yesterday afternoon, when bored with the O-jobs in the front section, I flipped to the business page.

Press Briefing with Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown

posted by on February 8 at 2:59 PM

Check my earlier post for the best part about yesterday’s press briefing with Senate Majority Leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane).

NOW … here’s the wonky stuff.

Sen. Brown acknowledged that the new revenue forecast (coming Feb. 14) might not be pretty. “I expect [revenues] to go down. We’re holding all the bills until we see the revenue forecast.” She said a $150-200 million drop in revenues “sounds right to me.” If it’s more than that, she said they’ll “have to go back to the drawing board.”

She was challenged by public radio reporter Austin Jenkins about property tax reform. Jenkins pointed out that during the special session in December to codify Tim Eyman’s property tax cap, there had been a lot of talk from Democrats about dealing with property taxes in a more comprehensive way.

Brown simply said it was a giant issue and many of the proposed solutions deal with constitutional amendments, making the issue too thorny to take up this session.

Brown was also asked how serious she was about finding the money to support last session’s family leave legislation. (A scaled-back family leave bill passed last session—leave is covered to care for children, but not for spouses, domestic partners, seniors, or other family members—that didn’t include funding beyond initial startup costs. “Are you punting?” she was asked.

Sen. Brown said: “We [the Senate] have supported the bill on two occasions. It’s pretty clear that we just haven’t come up with it [full funding]. We’re going to get there. I believe we’re going to have paid family leave [in the future.]”

The full house of reporters—about 15 of us—continued to press: Would she put it to the ballot? Brown reiterated that the Senate was “committed to paid family leave…we’ve already passed it in this cycle….” She said she would only take it to the ballot to find funding if there was an agreement with the House. She said, however, that her preference was to find funding without going to the ballot.

She was also grilled on funding health care. Brown was frank, saying there just wasn’t money to pay for everybody, and they needed to keep working on it.

I only got off one question. I wanted to know where Brown stood on the spat in the Senate Judiciary Committee between the committee chair, Sen. Adam Kline (D-37, S. Seattle) and committee vice chair Sen. Rodney Tom (D-48, Medina) over a bill to prevent landlords from discriminating against Section 8 rental applicants.

Sen. Kline is for the bill, Sen. Tom (a Realtor) against. The bill has passed the House.

Sen. Brown said she supported the idea. I pressed her and asked her if she supported the version that passed the House. She said she did.

Nintendo Files Lawsuit Over Leak of Company Secrets

posted by on February 8 at 2:35 PM

Earlier this month, Nintendo filed an incredibly vague lawsuit in King County Superior Court against 1-10 “John Does.” The court filing claims the unidentified defendants “misappropriat[ed] trade secrets,” but does not give any context about the information that was supposedly leaked. Nintendo also doesn’t appear to know the names of the people responsible for the alleged leak, and the suit does not specify whether the “Does” are Washington residents.

Nintendo would not comment on the suit, so it’s anyone’s guess what this is all about.

It could be related to massive problems with pirated games on the Nintendo DS, or it could just be a pre-emptive strike at folks who like to tip off game blogs.

I’ve got a few calls out to try and see what’s going on in Redmond.

Barack Obama at Seattle’s Key Arena

posted by on February 8 at 2:25 PM

Here’s the audio. And here are a few images:






More Drug News

posted by on February 8 at 2:12 PM

Really, why would any sane person step foot in Dubai after reading this?

A father-of-three who was found with a microscopic speck of cannabis stuck to the bottom of one of his shoes has been sentenced to four years in a Dubai prison.

Keith Brown, a council youth development officer, was travelling through the United Arab Emirates on his way back to England when he was stopped as he walked through Dubai’s main airport.

A search by customs officials uncovered a speck of cannabis weighing just 0.003g - so small it would be invisible to the naked eye and weighing less than a grain of sugar - on the tread of one of his shoes.

Another man was jailed in Dubai for “possession” of three poppy seeds, “left over from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow Airport,” according to the report. A British TV producer is in jail in Dubai for possession of melatonin. You can also be jailed in Dubai for possession if authorities find trace amounts of drugs in your urine.

MSNBC Host Suspended for Calling Clinton a “Pimp”

posted by on February 8 at 2:04 PM

The offending statement (from host David Schuster): “Bill, there’s just something a little bit unseemly to me that Chelsea’s out there calling up celebrities, saying support my mom, and she’s apparently also calling these super delegates. … Doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?

Because obviously, if a 27-year-old woman campaigns for her own mother, she’s being “pimped.”

Via Towleroad.

The Cinema of Amanda Knox

posted by on February 8 at 1:58 PM

Who will play Francesco Sollecito, the father of Amanda’s former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito?
Here we see Francesco walking out of Capanne prison, moments after visiting with his past-trapped son.

A group of reporters and cameramen lurk under a tree at the east part of the parking lot. They are with ABC News; they are waiting for something to happen. An hour later, something does happen! The father of suspect Raffaele Sollecito emerges with his new glamorous wife—she is blond, wearing a mink coat, black gloves, and winning the late rounds of her battle against the undefeated forces of time.

We reporters surround the father, Francesco Sollecito, ask the same old questions (how is your son? what about Amanda?), and he gives the same old answers (Raffaele is fine; he is studying for his computer exam; Amanda is a strange woman).

Francesco enters his car—hot wife behind the wheel—and leaves. The reporters call it a good day and leave.

Saying Someting

posted by on February 8 at 1:48 PM

Please, Seattle, open your ears and listen to David Adjaye.

I don’t agree with all he has to say (intimacy of any kind is not my sort of thing), but we should not have him clear out of our minds when the matter of a moment happens to be the future of this city.

The Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver is his first major American project.

More Texts from Obama Rally at Key Arena

posted by on February 8 at 1:43 PM

” ‘I’m glad I gave the fire chief today off, because this building holds 18,000 people and we are over capacity!’ -Greg Nickels, on stage now.”

“3000 people outside who cant get in to the Obama rally. Tell them we will have pics and audio up shortly after.” —Eli Sanders

“The governor is wearing pink. ‘I’ve done some soul searching, I’ve done a lot of debating, and I come here today to announce my endorsement of…” and then the crowd became so piercingly loud you couldn’t hear anything else.”

Gregoire, who has pretty limp support in Seattle, made the right political calculation.

Gay Is Good

posted by on February 8 at 1:39 PM

A married father of six hired a hit man to kill his wife—because he wanted to live as a homosexual. He’s been sentenced to 15 year in prison so, um, mission accomplished.

Via Towleroad.

Mountain Update

posted by on February 8 at 1:31 PM

Stevens Pass has 30 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours but will be closed through Saturday due to an avalanche on Highway 2. Unfair! I-90 is also currently closed, and Alpental is closing early due to avalanche danger, but Summit Central will offer night hours tonight if the road reopens in time. Crystal Mountain is your best bet tonight and tomorrow—yesterday’s closure means there’s more than a foot of untracked powder to be had.
It’s pouring snow at Mt. Baker (a foot and a half since yesterday) and this weekend is the annual Legendary Banked Slalom race, which means it’ll be more crowded than usual.

Last Saturday at Mt. Baker was epic—the snow was dry and light, sun came out, the lift lines stayed short… utterly heavenly. At $41, laid-back Baker is still the best deal in Western Washington. If you can make a weekend of it, Mt. Baker Lodging rents cabins and houses around Glacier, many with hot tubs.

Daniel Craig vs. James McAvoy

posted by on February 8 at 1:17 PM

Let’s take a quick break from the Dem primary and vote on something else, shall we?


A dating website in the UK polled single gay men on which male movie star they most wanted to fuck—excuse me, “go on a date with.” Topping the list was Daniel Craig, with 31% of the vote, followed by James McAvoy with 18%. I think McAvoy (Last King of Scotland, Atonement) is much hotter than Craig (Casino Royale, Golden Compass).

But what do you think, Sloggers? Who would you rather fuck?

Caucusing Each Other Out

posted by on February 8 at 1:15 PM


So… I won’t be caucusing Barack Obama tomorrow, despite being importuned to do so by this paper and that paper and the other paper. But I won’t be caucusing for Clinton either—I won’t be caucusing for anyone, as I’m not going to show up at my caucus site.

Or at least that’s the plan for now.

My boyfriend is supporting Hillary Clinton. He’s rabid about it, there’s no reasoning with him (he makes ECB look positively undecided), and consequently about a month ago we agreed not to discuss the election until after the Democratic nomination was secured. That could be while, it seems. I was planning on going to the caucuses but Terry told me yesterday that the kid, our little superstar shredder, has a snowboarding thing tomorrow, and he’s taking him up to the mountains—but only if I come too. He doesn’t want me slinking off to our caucus and standing in the Obama corner if he’s not there to stand in the Hillary corner.

So the choice was this: We can go to the caucuses together, DJ will miss his snowboarding thing, we’ll cancel out each other’s votes, and neither of us will have any impact whatsoever on how delegates are split between Clinton and Obama. Or we can stay away together, take DJ to his snowboarding thing, and neither of us will have any impact whatsoever on how delegates are split between Clinton and Obama.

We chose the latter—Terry gleefully, and me under duress.

Obama’s Campaign Music

posted by on February 8 at 12:58 PM

According to Mayor Nickels, 18,000 are inside the KeyArena right now with 3,000 more outside waiting to get in.

They’re all listening to songs by Kool & the Gang, Natasha Bedingfield, and Eric Clapton.

No Narrative Pt. 2

posted by on February 8 at 12:34 PM

While exit polls have picked up on some pretty convincing trends: older woman for Hillary Clinton, blacks for Barack Obama … expectations and trends have actually been hard to confirm during this Democratic primary.

Hillary was supposed to get the exurban vote, but check out Nevada. (O’s numbers in the non-urban counties delivered his delegate victory in that state despite Hillary’s whopping success in Las Vegas and the overall popular vote.)

Obama was supposed to struggle with white voters, but check out his sweeps in Minnesota and Idaho and N. Dakota.

Obama is supposed to get the youth, but Hils won big with young voters in Massachusetts.

All weird stuff.

I’ve got a prediction about how the story is going to get upended in Washington state tomorrow. Latinos, supposedly Hillary Clinton’s stronghold, will break for Obama.

I’m going off this: SEIU’s endorsement for Obama and the conversation I had last night with a young Latino who told me he’s for Obama. That’s all I got. But mark my words. The story coming out of WA on Saturday night will be Obama’s surprising success with Latinos.

The Wooster Group in LA

posted by on February 8 at 12:07 PM

Sorry I’ve not been slogging much—I’m in Los Angeles, at an NEA theater critics’ conference, which is fine and all, but involves a lot of sitting in rooms, watching things or talking about things, when all anyone wants to do is stroll around in the sunshine.

The good news: those of you who are hacked off about not being able to see the Wooster Group’s Hamlet aren’t missing much. They perform the show against a backdrop of Richard Burton’s 1964 production, but don’t do terribly much with it. They all seem shackled inside it instead of playing with it. An odd formal experiment, but not revelatory. One wants more matter, as Gertrude says, with less art.

(The Burton production has a good story. Apparently he and Peter O’Toole proposed a coin toss when they were filming Becket. The deal was that one of them would play Hamlet in London, directed by Laurence Olivier, and one would play Hamlet in New York, directed by John Gielgud. They were probably wasted. They flipped, Burton went to New York, and performed what would become the American Hamlet.)


That’s Scott Shepherd, as Hamlet, the same guy who played Nick Carraway in Gatz at On the Boards. That seven-hour word-for-word performance of The Great Gatsby was also a funny formal experiment, but was richer, more elegant, more rewarding.

Oprah Winfrey Presents the Color Purple: The Musical About Love is as long and dumb as its title: a cavalcade of brutality set to adult-contemporary music. Consider yourselves lucky.

Theater: I watch it so you don’t have to.

Text Messages from the Obama Rally at Key Arena

posted by on February 8 at 11:55 AM

First one in from a number I don’t recognize:

“This obama line is amazing. Does anyone have any estimates on how many people are here?”

Then a batch from Christopher Frizzelle:

“It’s already a mad house. They’re doing the wave.”

“They’re blasting old soul songs while we wait for something to happen, and everyone’s dancing.”

“Apparently there are thousands of people outside who can’t get in.”

“People are climbing cement walls to get up into the box seats.”

“They just showed images from abu ghraib on a big screen. Talking about injustices in the world.”

My text back:

“Take pics!”

Full Corte Press

posted by on February 8 at 11:45 AM

Yesterday, during Sen. Lisa Brown’s weekly press briefing—Brown (D-3, Spokane) is the Senate Majority Leader—AP reporter Rachel La Corte started pressing Brown about several bills in play in the House—banning plastic grocery bags, banning plastic bottles.

The common denominator of the bills? They’re all being sponsored by Rep. Maralyn Chase (D-32, Shoreline.)

La Corte said: “Is there support over here for what some would say are drastic measures, some would say common-sense measures? It’s pretty forward-seeking type measures that some think is a waste of time or too quirky, but there’s people who say we should be going in this direction.”

Bravo Ms. La Corte.

Rep. Chase is often dismissed as a left wing lulu, but the fact is, it was Chase who pushed a cap and trade bill last year (which received eye rolls at the time). … And, well, this year, it’s Gov. Christine Gregoire’s top agenda item. Gregoire, with much fanfare, sent a cap and trade bill to the legislature on the first day of the session.

La Corte was right to characterize Chase’s agenda as “forward-seeking.” And it is, I think, a sign of the times that Chase’s House agenda is coming up at press briefings in the Senate Majority leader’s office.

Sen. Brown didn’t sound too enthusiastic about Rep. Chase’s bills, saying the Senate wasn’t ready to take them up this year. “There’s the potential for unintended consequences. We need to understand them better before we move forward. Especially in a short session.” And she concluded: “Usually bills like that need a couple of sessions to move forward.”

I’m not sure if this had anything to do with La Corte’s line of questioning, but anything that gives Chase’s progressive agenda solar power—like having Olympia’s mainstay AP reporter ask the Senate Majority Leader about it—can’t hurt.

I’ll post some more specifics about yesterday’s briefing with Sen. Brown later today.

p.s. Sorry for spelling Rachel’s name wrong about 10 X now. It’s one of those days.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 8 at 11:00 AM


Cancer Rising, No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Partman Parthorse, Katharine at Comet

Tonight’s bill presents four local bands with four totally different sounds. All the major food groups are represented: Cancer Rising’s clever, conscious, but party-friendly hiphop; Partman Parthorse’s strip-teasing punk screeds; No-Fi’s prerecorded dance beats, funk grooves, and soul-revival wailing; and KHV’s bedroom-pop oddities. It should be one hell of a good time. (Comet, 922 E Pike St, 323-9853. 9 pm, $8, 21+.)


This Week on Drugs

posted by on February 8 at 10:55 AM

Respect for the Justice System: Mukasey defies Sentencing Guidelines Commission, asks Congress to block release of prisoners.

Against Government Regulation of Hard Drugs? Taliban to make £50 million from opium crop.

Happy Birthday, from Mom: 11-year-old allegedly gifted pot and beer.

Gulp: Man sentenced to death for drinking.

Coffee Talk: Woman strip searched for chatting with man in Riyadh Starbucks.

North Carolina: Dog shot for pot.

End of an Era? SF may lose pot shops.

Thin Ice: Smuggling teens fall into river.

Drug Czar Speechwriter: Requests special treatment.

4th Circuit: Smell of dope doesn’t justify warrantless search.

Those Fucking Marijuana Vending Machines Again: UN hates ‘em.

Crackdown: FDA going after potentially deadly anti-gout drug.

Breakdown: DUI checkpoint bill dies in state legislature.

Toxicology Lab: Explains faulty DUI test results.

Ledger’s Cause of Death: Oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine. DEA to investigate.

Youth Pastor Watch

posted by on February 8 at 10:45 AM


A 20-year-old former youth pastor, who said in a letter that the devil led him astray, was sentenced to five years in prison for having sexual relations with a minor even after he was repeatedly told not to see the girl.

Second Circuit Judge Joel August also ordered Kaipo Cabanting of Haiku not to have contact with the minor, with whom he developed a relationship from attending church.

August said he takes Cabanting’s religious beliefs seriously but the explanation Cabanting gave in a letter blaming the devil is “not completely satisfactory to the court.”.


A North Naples youth pastor charged with flashing a gun at a motorist during a road rage incident last fall was ordered Monday to take an anger management class….

[Christopher] Thompson was arrested at about 4 p.m. Sept. 28 after another driver, Joseph Hunter, told Collier sheriff’s deputies that a man in a white Dodge van flashed a gun at him…. Deputies found Thompson at his home nearby and seized a gun from his white Dodge Caravan. Deputies reported that Thompson told them that he got upset when he was cut off in traffic.


Sexual-abuse charges against a Bullitt County youth pastor have been dismissed, but a chief deputy said yesterday that the sheriff’s office still might pursue the case.

The charges against Clayton Pruett were dismissed by Bullitt County District Judge Rebecca Ward on Monday after Detective Scott McGaha, the investigator in the case, failed to show up for a probable-cause hearing.

McGaha was expected to testify about his investigation into the allegations against Pruett, who was accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, where he was a youth pastor.

Todd Haynes Helps Cate Blanchett’s Oscar Chances

posted by on February 8 at 10:44 AM


…by isolating all of Blanchett’s scenes from I’m Not There and posting them online.

Thank you, uh, FOX News.

Seen In The Stranger Offices

posted by on February 8 at 10:44 AM


Yep, it’s 10am and one Stranger staffer is already loading a bowl. We’re having an intervention at 11:30.

P-I Gets It Wrong on Carsharing

posted by on February 8 at 10:43 AM

In an editorial about the DOA legislation that would have exempted carsharing companies like Flexcar from the rental-car tax (“Carsharing: Renting is Better”), the P-I’s editorial board argues that “a good number” of carless people “end up renting cars for local errands” instead of carsharing because renting is cheaper.

The problem is, they get the most basic facts about carsharing wrong.

To start with, how a consumer uses a service really determines what it is. The fee structure of car-sharing programs don’t pencil out for a good number of carless people, who end up renting cars for local errands. For them, renting is often cheaper than paying a monthly fee plus gas, mileage and hourly fees, for, say, Flexcar . […]

We’d still like to see legislation that protects car-share users from the rental tax, while allowing the same for those who rent cars with a Washington state driver’s license with a local address (here, a King County address). The idea isn’t to give either type of business an advantage; rather, it is to give commuters a reason to avoid buying (and parking, and driving) their own cars.

A few things that are wrong with this argument:

1) I don’t pay a monthly fee, gas, or mileage with my Flexcar membership. In fact, my Flexcar plan includes gas and mileage (up to 150 miles free; 180 once the merger with Zipcar is complete), plus insurance, maintenance, parking, and 24/7 roadside assistance. Frankly, it’s an awesome deal—much, much cheaper than renting for the few times a month I need a car for a couple of hours.

2) Saying “a good many people” use rental cars instead of carsharing is not a statement of fact. Perhaps the P-I is basing this on something; then again, who knows? Maybe they’re just making an assumption. Personally, I don’t know anyone who rents a car (typical cost: $25 a day plus gas and insurance, compared to $9 an hour for Flexcar): to run a couple of “local errands.” Maybe such people exist, but the P-I hasn’t given any indication that they even bothered looking for them.

3) So let’s assume, for the moment, that most people who rent cars aren’t just paying for a full day’s rental and using them for a couple of hours. If that’s the case, then those people shouldn’t be exempt from the rental tax. The point of exempting carsharing from rental taxes is to encourage people to choose alternatives to owning a car. People who carshare drive less than those who own cars, putting fewer cars on the road and fewer emissions in the air. Renters don’t.

Yes, the editorial is ostensibly arguing that carsharing users (and local rental-car users) shouldn’t have to pay the rental-car tax. But by revealing that they don’t know the first thing about how carsharing works, the P-I’s edit board is actually hurting the cause it purports to be crusading for.

Robo Calls Were From Obama Campaign, Not Clinton.

posted by on February 8 at 10:40 AM

Hey, false alarm on the dirty tricks.

I called Meyer Associates, the robo-call firm in Minnesota.

Spokesperson Melony Sik tells me Meyer was in fact hired by Obama.

It was a mess up there and not a Clinton dirty trick. “We got the date wrong. We’re aware of it.”

Sik couldn’t tell me how many screwy calls went out, but says their call list was in the thousands. She says correction calls are going out now.

I called the Obama campaign and they said they were aware of Meyer’s screw up. They guessed that Meyer’s script confused the Washington caucus (Saturday the 9th) and Maine’s caucus…which is Sunday, the 10th.


posted by on February 8 at 10:25 AM

I just stepped out of my downtown office building to get a coffee, and there were like 800 motorcycle cops going by, and I thought, “Wow, a terrifying crime or a disastrous accident must have taken place. Wait, no, that looks like a motorcade. Maybe it’s Oba—” AND THEN OBAMA DROVE RIGHT BY ME IN A GREEN SUV AND I TOTALLY LOOKED AT HIS FACE.

He looked tired and serious.

That was WAY better than my last celebrity sighting (Dabney Coleman’s 101st birthday party at El Cid in Los Angeles).


Another Robocall Report

posted by on February 8 at 10:25 AM

We’re trying to confirm (and get a recording of) one of these calls, but in the meantime I just received another, similar robocall report:

I received a call from the Obama campaign encouraging me to caucus on Sunday February 10th. They left a phone number and website for Obama on my message machine. The call was last night around 8:30 - 9 pm.

If you got one of these calls, and especially if you have a recordable version of it, please let us know. The caucus, of course, is on Feb. 9, not Feb. 10.

Is KEXP’s John Richards Moving to New York?

posted by on February 8 at 10:15 AM

An anonymous e-mail we got this morning says that he is.

Read about it on Line Out.

(We’ve contacted the station to see if there’s any truth to this and haven’t heard back yet. We’ll keep you posted)

Gregoire’s Statement on Obama Endorsement

posted by on February 8 at 10:15 AM

I’m down at a green manufacturing company in South Seattle where Obama is taking a tour this morning before his Key Arena speech. While I wait for a press conference Obama will be holding here, I wanted to post a statement I just received from Gov. Gregoire on her endorsement:

SEATTLE – Democrats in Washington state and across the country are fortunate to have the opportunity to select between two outstanding candidates, either of whom would be a great president. I have decided to endorse Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.

We must restore hope in America. We must put an end to politics of division - by gender, race, and faith. I know Washingtonians are tired of these divisions. They want us to tackle the tough challenges we face, and get result that make their lives better.

Barack Obama has a unique ability to reach across all the artificial divides and divisions to move our nation forward. At a time of great division in our country, we need a leader who will unite us. Barack Obama is that kind of leader.

I was inspired to pursue a career in public service by John F. Kennedy. His presidency heralded the arrival of a new generation of Americans to lead our nation. Like President Kennedy, Barack Obama is inspiring a new generation of young people to get involved. If elected, I believe he will lead us all – young and old, “blue and red” – to create a positive change in our communities, this nation and the world.

More Morning News

posted by on February 8 at 10:02 AM

According to two new reports, almost all biofuels being produced today create more greenhouse-gas emissions than their conventional counterparts if the full costs of producing them are taken into account.

The destruction of natural ecosystems — whether rain forest in the tropics or grasslands in South America — not only releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when they are burned and plowed, but also deprives the planet of natural sponges to absorb carbon emissions. Cropland also absorbs far less carbon than the rain forests or even scrubland that it replaces.

Together the two studies offer sweeping conclusions: It does not matter if it is rain forest or scrubland that is cleared, the greenhouse gas contribution is significant. More important, they discovered that, taken globally, the production of almost all biofuels resulted, directly or indirectly, intentionally or not, in new lands being cleared, either for food or fuel.

“When you take this into account, most of the biofuel that people are using or planning to use would probably increase greenhouse gasses substantially,” said Timothy Searchinger, lead author of one of the studies and a researcher in environment and economics at Princeton University. “Previously there’s been an accounting error: land use change has been left out of prior analysis.” […]

Dr. Searchinger said the only possible exception he could see for now was sugar cane grown in Brazil, which take relatively little energy to grow and is readily refined into fuel. He added that governments should quickly turn their attention to developing biofuels that did not require cropping, such as those from agricultural waste products.

“This land use problem is not just a secondary effect — it was often just a footnote in prior papers,”. “It is major. The comparison with fossil fuels is going to be adverse for virtually all biofuels on cropland.”

In response to the study, ten eminent ecologists and environmental biologists have sent a letter to President Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking them to reform the nation’s biofuels policy (which heavily subsidizes crop production for biofuels.)

Mitt’s Speech Yesterday

posted by on February 8 at 9:59 AM


It’s been picked apart all over the Interwebs—except on Slog, where it didn’t get a mention. [No, wait: Eli posted the speech to Slog yesterday. Sorry about that.] Well, I just read it. There was his widely discussed dig at the Democrats…

Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror. They would retreat and declare defeat…. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

And, of course, a lovely parting every-child-deserves-a-mother-and-a-father shot at gays and lesbians and the unelected judges that love us…

The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of a nation. I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history. It is time for the people of America to fortify marriage through constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it!

But I didn’t see this commented on anywhere: After stating that all Americans love God, Mittens graciously acknowledged that some Americans don’t have imaginary friends…

Americans love God, and those who don’t have faith typically believe in something greater than themselves—a Purpose Driven Life. And we sacrifice everything we have, even our lives, for our families, our freedoms, and our country. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nations strength and they always will be!

Uh… okay. All Americans love God, except for those that don’t, and even those that don’t draw inspiration from pop self-help books written by evangelical preachers. So we’re not all bad, we faithless Americans—except, of course, for the gay Americans. We suck. And the judges—they suck too. But, hey, we’re unified, all of us, by a willingness to sacrifice everything we have—Mitt sacrificed 40 million of what he had—for our families. And our country.

And now, of course, since they’re no longer serving their country by working to get their father elected, Mitt’s five sons—all qualified for military service (the right ages, sexual orientations, family values, etc.)—are no doubt planning to sacrifice all that they have by enlisting and taking up arms in the war on terror/the Democrats.


Who’s Feeling, Um, Catty Now?

posted by on February 8 at 9:49 AM

Who said the following about Hillary Clinton:

“You challenge the status quo and suddenly the claws come out.”

Rush Limbaugh, perhaps?

Maybe Chris Matthews?

Maureen Dowd?

Nope: Barack Obama.

But yeah, hope, change, transcending politics as usual, rah rah.

I know I’m fighting a losing battle, especially here on Slog. But you know what? Like Kate Harding, I support Hillary, and I’m not ashamed.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

posted by on February 8 at 9:42 AM

Investigators say a man has been charged with child abuse in Caldwell County for circumcising his two infant sons with a utility knife. Authorities said 32-year-old Johnny Eric Marlowe, a self-admitted polygamist, fathered children with his legal wife and another woman who lives in their home.

One gave birth to a boy at their home in the rural Kings Creek community in November 2005, and the other gave birth to a boy there four months later…. Detective Shelly Hartley said Marlowe doesn’t like hospitals and denied the women prenatal care in both cases, then circumcised the boys when they were 8 days old.

A doctor from Queens was arrested on Thursday night in the killing of her estranged husband, a dentist who was gunned down in October at a playground in front of their 4-year-old daughter, the police said.

The doctor, Mazoltuv Borukhova, 34, who was a suspect from the beginning, was taken into custody at her home without incident, the police said…. The couple had been involved in a bitter divorce and custody battle of the girl—a feud that relatives continued after the killing.


posted by on February 8 at 9:33 AM


Chambers Bay Golf Course, just west of Tacoma, has been selected for the 2015 U.S. Open.

Seven months after it opened for public play, Chambers Bay can start preparing for the U.S. Open.

Chambers Bay, built over a former gravel pit along the lower Puget Sound southwest of Seattle, was awarded the 2015 U.S. Open on Friday. It will be the first U.S. Open held in the Pacific Northwest.

I guess the Stranger Golf Squad can stop hoping that the fees at Chambers Bay will go down anytime soon. If you live in Pierce County and want to take us golfing with your county resident discount, we’re all ears.

Oh, and if you don’t like golf, you gotta like money:

Based on past U.S. Opens, county executive John Ladenburg predicted that with capacity attendance of 60,000 to 64,000, the total economic impact would be at least $100 million, compared with $50 million taken in for the 2001 baseball All-Star Game in Seattle.

A New Art Landmark for Downtown Seattle

posted by on February 8 at 9:30 AM

Up there!

In recent days, Richard Lacayo and Tyler Green have wondered where the great new American public sculpture is. In Seattle, there’s a private sculpture park, but enthusiasm for public art has to be at an all-time low.

Then I discovered something that could be seriously promising.

Seattle artists John Grade (podcast here) and Lead Pencil Studio (podcast here and reviews here and here) and Berlin-based Jeppe Hein are the finalists in a competition for a major commission to build an installation on the exterior of the Tashiro-Kaplan building on the edge of historic Pioneer Square—and it may be sited on the roof of the building, for all the city to see.

The decision of who will win the commission will be made February 27, when all three artists will present their ideas to a panel of five representing 4Culture, King County’s arts arm.

We’re here, and we have a roof, and why not,” said county art collection manager Greg Bell. “If you stand out there and you look forward, it’s just a great platform to build something up onto.”

Bell said he’s not sure how many square feet are available on the roof, or whether there are height restrictions. He said the panel invited 51 artists to apply, received 23 applications, and from that selected these three.

“They will be coming to us not necessarily with proposals, but we’re expecting them to have some ideas,” Bell said. “And then they’ll go to work.”

The panelists are: Jean Whitesavage (sculptor), Jay Deguchi (partner at Suyama Deguchi architecture), Bill True (collector), Flo Lentz (county historic preservation officer), and Cathryn Vandenbrink (Seattle representative for Artspace).

The county has designated the roof for the commission, but an artist with a better idea could use another part of the building’s exterior, Bell said.

“For us, it’s just an incredible opportunity to do something innovative,” Bell said.

(One imagines its rooftop peers … including this.)

Look What Happened While We Were Distracted by Hillary and Obama

posted by on February 8 at 9:30 AM

Snickers Charged happened.


It’s a Snickers bar laced with caffeine, taurine, and B-Vitamins.

What the fuck?

It has 60mg of caffeine in it, which is five more than a 12 oz. can of Mountain Dew. It has 250mg of taurine, which is one quarter of the amount found in an 8.3 oz. can of Red Bull. It comes with a warning label: “Not recommended for children, pregnant women or people sensitive for caffeine.” And there’s a scary rhino on the wrapper.

It tastes just like a regular Snickers bar.

No, really. What the fuck?

Those Entrancing Vanity Fair Hitchcock Shots

posted by on February 8 at 8:54 AM


They’re popping up everywhere, and now they’re here.

The Birds.

Strangers on a Train .


And, my favorite, North by Northwest.

See them all at ohnotheydidnt.

More Dirty Tricks? Robocall “on behalf of Obama campaign” Gives Incorrect Date for Caucus

posted by on February 8 at 8:42 AM

Slog reader Julianne writes…

I just got a robocall “on behalf of the Barack Obama campaign” telling me to go caucus on Sunday February 10th, and not Saturday February 9th, which is the correct date. They told me to call 866-675-2008 for more information. I just called and it’s the correct number for “Obama for America.”

The caller ID was 206-438-4148. I just called it and the recorded message said they had called on behalf of one of their political clients, and that I could get more information on them at, which is the site of Meyer Teleservices, or call back during business hours.

Either the Obama camp doesn’t know the correct date of the Washington state caucuses… or someone is trying to confuse Obama supporters about the actual date to keep them from showing up.

O They Will Know We Are Christians By…

posted by on February 8 at 8:32 AM

…our billion-dollar tax fraud.

A former senior accountant at Oral Roberts University alleges that more than $1 billion annually was inappropriately funneled through the school.

Trent Huddleston claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday that he discovered an “unrestricted” account used to funnel “unusually large” sums of money through the university each month—which would exceed $1 billion on an annual basis—that wasn’t used for any legitimate university purpose….

[Huddleston] also claimed that he was directed against his will to falsely list thousands of dollars as expenses rather than assets—which were spent remodeling the home of Richard and Lindsay Roberts—in order to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies.

Gregoire to Endorse Obama

posted by on February 8 at 8:30 AM

Got the same call. Gregoire will be at the Obama rally at Key Arena today. No other conclusion to draw but that our governor will endorse Obama.

Hillary Clinton at Seattle’s Pier 30

posted by on February 8 at 8:25 AM

Originallly posted late last night.


Sorry, that’s the best I could do with the camera I had. For those more interested in listening than looking, here’s a digital audio recording of the speech Hillary Clinton gave at Pier 30 in Seattle this evening last night. It was tough, energetic, packed with policy, and 40 minutes long. Oh, and if that doesn’t get you to listen, maybe this will: She took a couple of pointed shots at Barack Obama.


Here’s one of her shots at the Senator from Illinois:

We can find common ground, but it’s also important to have a president who knows how to stand our ground. There are many issues that we have to address together that aren’t going to be easy. I am hoping to unify the country, but to unify it to do the work of the country, not just to unify it for the sake of saying, ‘We’re unified,’ and in the meantime more and more people lose health care, more and more kids can’t go to college. We need to be unified with a common purpose. The purpose is progress. The purpose is making America better for our kids and for hardworking middle class Americans again. To lift people out of poverty and give them a better opportunity. I am absolutely confident and optimistic that we can do this together.

And here’s my favorite part of the speech, in which even Hillary Clinton admits to finding Washington’s Democratic nominating process confusing, with its meaningful caucus and meaningless primary. In this part, she manages to make a joke while lightly restating her dislike for caucuses in general (Obama tends to do better in caucuses) and her preference for primaries (Clinton has done her best in primaries). And then she wraps it all into a call for people to… caucus.

I can’t do this without your help. Washington is a bell weather state. It’s a state that has been inventing the future for America. You need a president who gets it. Who’s there with you, rolling up our sleeves together, making the changes that are required. And on Saturday you have a chance to pick that president. It is so important that you take time out to go to these caucuses. If you’ve never gone to one before we’ve got people in the back who can get you signed up, tell you where to go, tell you how to do it. It is different from a primary, and I know some people have been getting ballots in the mail and wondering, ‘What’s that about?’ I don’t know… (Laughter) You know, see, my theory about democracy is that everybody should participate. And I know that sometimes it’s difficult for people to get to a caucus. It may interfere with work and other obligations. And, you know, when we had this great sweep on Super Tuesday, people could show up all day long, they could make their views known, but you have a limited period of time on Saturday. That’s why I need you to find where your caucus site is and to go and stand up for me. And if you stand up for me for a couple of hours on Saturday, I will stand up for you throughout this campaign, I will be a winning candidate in November, and together we will change our country and make history.


During the speech, a Clinton aide walked by the press riser holding a sign that read: # of people here tonight 5,000+

I don’t know about the “+” part, and in the minus column, at least for the Clinton campaign: Despite all the speculation, Gov. Christine Gregoire was nowhere in sight, which suggests she will endorse Obama on Friday. Also, Clinton’s two top Washington backers, Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, were apparently too busy in D.C. to attend.

Nevertheless, the place was packed and loud and hot, and no one seemed all that annoyed that the speech started about an hour and forty minutes late and lasted until 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday night. I’ll post more about the speech tomorrow today, I hope, but it may not be until the afternoon—I’ll be running around in the morning chasing Obama. Until then there’s always the unfiltered Clinton audio.

Morning News

posted by on February 8 at 8:22 AM

Gregoire Endorses Obama: Gov. will appear with Obama today a Key Arena.

Hillary Clinton in Seattle: Focusing on her universal health care plan, Clinton speaks to 5,000 at packed rally at Pier 30.

Mass Murder in Missouri: Gunman kills five people at suburban city council meeting.

Mitt Romney Out: Campaign acknowledges major missteps and miscalculations.

Low Approval: President Bush hits all-time low…with Republicans.

Missing Records: Files on high-profile captive at Gitmo go missing.

Congress Passes $168 Million Tax Rebate Plan: With slight revisions, Senate approves House plan.

Huckabee in Washington

posted by on February 8 at 8:16 AM

Not Mike, sadly, just Janet—Mike’s wife. Mike is the only major candidate not coming to Washington state in advance of our caucuses this weekend. Here’s her schedule, in case any Sloggers wanna go hear her speak…

Friday, February 08, 2008

9:00 a.m. PT – Seattle, WA – Tours Starbucks Headquarters and enjoys a coffee tasting, 2401 Utah Ave.

10:00 a.m. PT – Redmond, WA – Tours Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way.

Noon PT – Kirkland, WA – Participates in a Huckabee Rally at Northwest University, 5520 108th Ave., NE, Health & Science Building.

1:30 p.m. PT – Kirkland, WA – Hosts media availability at Northwest University, 5520 108th Ave., NE, Health & Science Building.

3:30 p.m. PT – Mukilteo, WA – Tours the Boeing Facility, 8415 Paine Field Blvd.

5:30 p.m. PT – Seattle, WA – Attends reception with key Huckabee supporters at the Space Needle, 203 6th Ave.

7:35 p.m. PT – Newcastle, WA – Attends Watchman Ministries at the Seattle Revival Center, 12636 SE 89th Place.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

8:00 a.m. PT – Olympia, WA – Attends breakfast at IHOP, 1520 Cooper Point Rd.

Watchmen Ministries? Anyone know anything about that group? Do they have anything to do with the violent Watchmen on the Walls organization?

Gregoire Endorses Obama

posted by on February 8 at 8:04 AM

Just got a call from Gregoire’s office. She will be at the Key arena today to support Obama.

Crazyass Christian Leader Endorses Co-Crazyassgionist Co-Religionist

posted by on February 8 at 7:34 AM

Focus on the Family’s James Dobson comes out for Mike Huckabee.

How Was It? Hillary Clinton at Pier 30

posted by on February 8 at 3:32 AM

I tried to talk to some really really young voters at the Hillary Clinton event… Next up, I’m going to talk to some really really elderly people at Barack Obama… STAY TUNED.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sharia and Sharia-Like

posted by on February 7 at 7:24 PM

Oh for fuck’s sake:

The Archbishop of Canterbury drew criticism from across the political spectrum last night after he backed the introduction of sharia law in Britain and argued that adopting some aspects of it seemed “unavoidable”. Rowan Williams, the most senior figure in the Church of England, said that giving Islamic law official status in the UK would help to achieve social cohesion because some Muslims did not relate to the British legal system.

Can the Brits impeach the Archbishop of Canterbury? Sharia is inevitable? We should accept it—stoning “adulterous” (read: raped) women, beheading homosexuals, lopping the hands off shoplifters, treating women like the property—to promote “social cohesion”?

Perhaps that’s easy for the non-female, non-gay (ostensibly), non-shoplifting Archbishop of Canterbury to say. But the rest of us—the sane ones—aren’t interested in making nice and/or socially cohering with barbaric, sexist, homophobic religious bigots, whatever their particular faiths. If the Archbishop of Canterbury wants to live under sharia he can convert to Islam and move his old, fat, clueless ass to Saudi Arabia.

“This Is A 10 Minute Dance Tutorial That You Will Not Regret Watching.”

posted by on February 7 at 6:02 PM


Helpful Tips from Khris Khaos:

put your shirt in your mouth. it is not to show your body.. it is to show how confident you are in your moves.”

“This move will excite kinky girls who freakier than average.”

“this will not work when done for EVERY single girl.. alot of girls don’t find this sexy at all,but i guareentee you that the MAJORITY of women LOVE to see a guy dance this way.. it turns them on and it makes them wonder if you can move your body like that in bed..”

Listen, Khris. I totally like your moves and everything, and I can’t wait to leave you more than 900 voicemails until your cell phone is cut off. BUT. If I was in bed with someone and out of nowhere he started doing the “LIQUID ARM” (move #4, minute 5:15) as you have suggested, I’m pretty sure my first reaction wouldn’t be “turned on.” (More like, you know, HOLY SHIT OH MY GOD WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOUR ARM?!!??!)

Although, if he ALSO had his shirt in his mouth…

Clinton Gets Another Washington Superdelegate

posted by on February 7 at 5:50 PM

Via Postman, word that Congressman Norm Dicks (D-Belfair) will endorse Hillary Clinton tomorrow. That puts the Washington superdelegate tally at six for Clinton, two for Obama, and nine still undecided.

McCain and Huckabee; Iran and Bush.

posted by on February 7 at 4:50 PM

I’m beginning to believe the combo of McCain and Huckabee might just win in the 2008 general election. A small part of me wants the pair to win.

McCain’s genuine moderation on several key issues—his absolute refusal to support torture; his willingness to speak honestly about what comes next in Iraq; his career-long fight against bullshit weapons programs—really does help him win over independents.

Huckabee—despite his flat Earth spouting ways—seems more of a shrewd huckster rather than a true believer like Bush. In the least, he remains the serious Republican candidate to acknowledge the existence of poverty and poor people—a stark contrast to the more typical Republican stance that poverty is actually a combination of statistical anomalies, drug abuse, laziness and bad breeding. Huckabee’s prescription—if we grind up enough poor people in the machine of conservative fiscal policy, the rest of us will eat well—is Soylent green-like, but at least a step forward.

Huckabee still scares the shit out of me.

The next president going to eat a gigantic shit sandwich; why should it be a pair of democrats? The totally blown budget, an economy spiraling down despite historically low interest rates and the nearly half-trillion dollar a year deficit—a Keynesian miracle only Bush could pull off—, the pair of wars without a good exit, the collapse of US basic science research and so on. The first four years after Bush—if we’re lucky, and things go well it’ll only be the first four years—will be largely about cleanup, the sort of cleanup a responsible man like McCain is perfectly capable of doing. Universal health care? A real climate change policy? Equal rights? Any major domestic progressive program will have to wait for these bigger, larger disasters to be addressed first.

Bush and Cheney have one last disaster to spring upon us—a fight with Iran.


Continue reading "McCain and Huckabee; Iran and Bush." »

Democratic Primary Now a Three Horse Race

posted by on February 7 at 4:49 PM

At least according to Fox News.


(Via Crooks & Liars.)

More on Mount Si High

posted by on February 7 at 4:32 PM

Today, Mount Si High School’s principal, Randy Taylor, issued a disciplinary letter to a staff member for booing Reverend Ken Hutcherson during his appearance at a Martin Luther King Jr. assembly celebrating equality last month.

Dr. George Potratz, an English teacher at Mount Si, received a letter from Taylor, admonishing him for his “rude and disruptive” behavior.” Taylor also requested that Potratz conduct himself in a “manner that demonstrates respect for others without regard to color, ethnicity and religious or political views.” The letter also threatens “further disciplinary action” for “additional incidences of inappropriate behavior,” and urges Potratz to apologize to the students who planned the assembly.

“I’m going to fight this,” Potratz says. “[My] position is that they violated my due process and I’m going to fight this on free speech grounds.”

Potratz believes the timing of the letter is related to tonight’s school board meeting, where the district will discuss disciplining another teacher involved in the incident. “They want a body to throw to Hutcherson and his minions,” he says. I’m committed to our students. I won’t be driven off that easily. I’m very proud of what I did.”

Potratz isn’t the only one at Mount Si dealing with the fallout from the assembly. According to another teacher at the school, several student have been circulating a petition to stop the school’s annual “Day of Silence” event, to draw attention to homophobic bullying. When one student—a member of the school’s Gay/Straight Alliance—was asked to sign the petition and refused, they were harassed by the petitioners.

Principal Taylor did not return calls for comment.

UPDATE: Kit McCormick has also received a letter from Taylor, which apparently came as a surprise. “I have met with my principal three times since this thing [started],” she says. “Each time he has assured me there would be no disciplinary action. He has said ‘[Potratz is] getting discipline and you are not.’ This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.”

McCormick also says she doesn’t regret questioning Hutcherson during the assembly. “It needed to be done and we need to fix the atmosphere here. It’s not Mr. Potratz or me that need fixing,” she says.

Today’s Youth

posted by on February 7 at 4:31 PM

Here’s a selection from the written questions I received when I spoke at the University of Pittsburgh earlier this week…

Can a woman learn to squirt?
I’ve always felt a certain amount of sexual & emotional attraction to men, but I feel it’s stronger for women. Could this mean I’m bisexual?
How do I get my gay dad to come out?
Can sex lead to love?
Why are so many straight dudes afraid of the butt?
Are you qualified for this position?

The answers, of course, are yes, yes, dunno, yes, because, and no.

Clinton Running Late?

posted by on February 7 at 4:25 PM

Jake Tapper says Hillary Clinton arrived quite late—almost two hours late—at an event in Virginia earlier today and notes:

Clinton is due at a rally in Seattle, WA, later tonight, into which this delay will indubitably spill over.

Perhaps. Or maybe she’ll be able to make up the lost time somehow. But a Boeing employee who’s been emailing me about this today is skeptical:

Given the times cited in the following news article, I don’t see how HRC could possibly be on stage in Seattle before 10 p.m. Pacific at the earliest. Civilian jets can only fly so fast.

Now, I’ll be very honest, the last thing I have time to do today is start crunching numbers related to time zones and civilian jet travel. But if you believe this random Boeing employee then you might not want to rush to meet the 8 p.m. start time for tonight’s Clinton event. Personally, I’ll be there on time. I figure if Clinton is late, maybe she’ll offer to pay for my wasted time, as she did for the school buses that were delayed today by her Virginia rally.

Cell Phone Use Tied to Poorer Semen Quality

posted by on February 7 at 4:04 PM

According to a new study

In a study of 361 men seen at their infertility clinic, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found an association between the patients’ cell phone use and their sperm quality.

On average, the more hours the men spent on their cell phones each day, the lower their sperm count and the greater their percentage of abnormal sperm.

No word on the impact of cell phone use on fragrance, mouth feel, finish, or aftertaste.

On the Radio

posted by on February 7 at 4:04 PM

I’ll be on KUOW’s Weekday tomorrow morning to talk about all things caucus before I head off to the Obama rally at Key Arena.

Show starts at 10 a.m. on 94.9 FM.

Another New Clinton Ad in Washington

posted by on February 7 at 3:44 PM

This one touting the endorsements of Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell:

The Mariners-Orioles Deal May (Finally) Be Done

posted by on February 7 at 3:26 PM

Pitcher Erik Bedard is reportedly in town for a physical.

Romney May Be Out…

posted by on February 7 at 3:24 PM

… But you can still get personalized voice mail from him on his web site, where, for just $25, he (or a convincing robot simulacrum) will leave a message saying he’s the only candidate who will fight against the radical homosexual anti-Jesus Islamic jihad agenda… or whatever you want him to say.

In Love With Grub

posted by on February 7 at 3:11 PM

Here are my two current favorite paragraphs about loving food.

First, from Paul Constant’s love for vegetarian restaurants in this week’s issue (he’s explaining the one day in his life he was veg):

The next day, I told Jenny how good I felt, not having consumed meat for an entire 5-hour period—13 hours including sleep!—and that I had seen the light and was swearing off meat forever. The day after that, my parents took me to McDonald’s and I broke down and ate a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese. I never got anywhere with Jenny and she’s now a terrorist-fearing Christian Republican who’s married to a cop with an auto-detailing business on the side.

The second, from the next upcoming (Sports!?!) issue of Oxford American Magazine*, where Wright Thompson explains his love for BBQ nachos from the Ole Miss Stadium:

Finally, I get back to my seat. I’m focused. All I see is the cardboard tray on my lap, a saturated-fat All-Star team: pulled pork, dry rub, sweet barbecue sauce, tortilla chips, jalapeño peppers, and a blanket of molten cheese that may or may not be a dairy but sure as hell is awesome. If I were tobacco-lawyer rich, I’d hire someone to paint a replica of Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel on the ceiling of my Gulfstream, except I’d want God reaching down His Almighty Finger into this very plate. It’s almost too beautiful to eat.

Read them both.

* You will have to buy Oxford American to read this particular piece. Do it. It’s a great mag and well worth the $5.

In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

posted by on February 7 at 3:05 PM

Girls and Math Rock: Like apples and razorblades.

Soundcheck: Radio Poll! Vote on a number of important questions. Like who’s better, Journey or Foreigner?

SXSW: See the list of hometown heroes who’ll be heading to Texas in March. Also, find out who Eric Grandy’s excited to see while down there.

Dance Revolution: Hell, even I’d go out dancing if everyone was dancing like this guy.

Terry Miller’s Book Report: Read why Turn the Beat Around is really great.

More on the Books Front: Chris DeLaurenti’s been reading Morton Feldman’s essays.

Stars and Sharp Shoes: The future is here.

Pro-Waraoke: John McCain sings the Beach Boys.

Tonight in Music: The Seattle Symphony, Talkdemonic, and more. Also, boys vs. girls.

On the Wagon: Ari Spool gives up drinking and gives up fun.

Does Anyone Really Like Rush?: The answer is no. Well, some people say yes, but I say no.

Q&A with Tad: The local legend talks about his new band, his new DVD, and his old habits.

Morris vs. Morrish: The record (Morris On) and the dancing. The crazy, crazy dancing.


New Clinton Ad Hits Washington

posted by on February 7 at 2:45 PM

Re: Busy Signals, Full Voice Mail, and the Unregistered Catch-22

posted by on February 7 at 2:30 PM

As I wrote earlier, this situation left me with only the power of the Slog at my disposal. But it looks like that’s enough to get the attention of the State Democratic Party. Just 40 minutes after I posted this, State Democratic Party spokesman Kelly Steele called to tell me he’s aware of both the “unregistered Catch-22” and the busy phone lines, but that the Dems are doing everything they can.

“There’s an overwhelming interest,” Steele told me. “But we don’t have any more infrastructure than we have. We’re overwhelmed. But we’re going to do everything we can to make sure people have the information they need to go to their caucuses.”

He called the situation “unfortunate,” but also said it was a sign of tremendous interest in the caucus process. He also sent pictures of the 20 state party workers who are holed up in a downtown office building answering hotline calls as I type. Before I get to one of the pictures, I want to add a link that Steele sent:

People who want to check their registration or find out which precinct they live in should call their county auditors office.

So there’s another route to go.

Here are the Democratic hotline-answerers, working phones that Steele said are “ringing off the hook.”


Some Downtime Before the Weekly Press Briefing with Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown…

posted by on February 7 at 2:25 PM

…so, la-di-da… some stuff I’m surprised ECB hasn’t said yet.

1) A friend of mine who’s caucusing for Hils in Fremont on Saturday said this: Can you imagine if Hillary had only been a senator for three years, and had spent one of those years running for president? No woman could ever get away with that.

So, yeah, while Clinton does get way too much credit for her 35 years of “experience,” there’s definitely some truth in the observation that no woman with as little experience as Obama would ever have made it this far. Unthinkable.

2) Re: Electability. This quote showed up in a NYT opinion piece today making the case that O is more electable. I’m surprised ECB didn’t post this snippet from the piece:

Another way of looking at electability is to wonder whether it’s more of a disadvantage to be black or to be female. Shirley Chisholm, the black woman who ran for president in 1972, argued in effect that there were more sexists than racists in America. “I met more discrimination as a woman, than for being black,” Ms. Chisholm once said.

I have three reactions to this. First, Okay then, let’s send Obama forward. He’s got the better chance to win. But… then… I think: Well, fuck, maybe it’s more important to get a woman into the White House, and Hillary has a solid shot.

Oh, and third reaction. Shirley Chisholm? Shirley Chisholm!

Right fucking on.


…She made McGovern look conservative!

For the Four Slog Readers Who’ll Be Caucusing For Hils…

posted by on February 7 at 1:59 PM

The National Women’s Political Caucus is holding a pre-caucus rally and info session at Spitfire, 2219 Fourth Ave., tomorrow night from 6 to 8 pm. If you still need pro-Hillary talking points or information on how to caucus, this is where to get it. More info available here.

Smile, You’re on Cop Cam

posted by on February 7 at 1:58 PM

It’s been a big couple of weeks for police accountability in Seattle. The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) won a legal battle—for better or worse—to keep unredacted complaints out of the hands of the City Council’s police accountability review board, and Mayor Greg Nickels’ police accountability panel offered up a number of recommendations (PDF link) to improve policing in Seattle.

The city’s going to have to bargain with the police guild to implement a number of the panel’s recommendations, so while they’re at it, here’s something else they should try bargaining for:


Meet Vievu’s PVR-LE (Personal Video Recorder-Law Enforcement). It’s a lightweight, pager-sized, wearable video camera. Crazy, you say? Well, a similar system—albeit a totally awkward looking one—is being rolled out right now in the UK.

Vievu has been around for just over a month. They debuted their camera in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas—although they’re still working out a few kinks—but are hoping to start shipping to distributors in March. Oh, and did I mention that Vievu was founded by a bunch of local ex-cops?

Chris Myers, the company’s spokesman, left SPD in January, after 18 years on the force. He’s been around for all of the recent rumblings about accountability, and he doesn’t think cameras will be a hard sell—even though it took awhile for SPD to get cameras in all of their patrol cars. “When I first got my camera in the car, I wasn’t 100% comfortable with it,” he says. “Police work isn’t always pretty.” Still, Myers says, officers should see the cameras as a way to avoid unnecessary OPA complaints.

Indeed, when I spoke with SPOG President Rich O’Neil a few weeks ago, he pointed out that SPD’s in-car cameras have been used to exonerate officers on more than one occasion.

The cameras aren’t cheap—they’re about 700 bucks a pop for the more rugged law enforcement model, which records 4 hours of video—but this seems like a really simple way to keep both police and civilians honest.

Myers says Vievu’s been in informal talks with SPD, but when I called the department to ask about the idea of equipping officers with cameras, I was met with laughter.

Rush For Hillary

posted by on February 7 at 1:55 PM

I’m not convinced Hillary Clinton is unelectable, but she’s certainly the right-wing choice for the D nominee:

Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh had an unorthodox solution to Mitt Romney’s departure from the Republican race; he’s thinking about raising money for Hillary Clinton.

Don’t be mistaken: There’s been no sudden change of heart on Limbaugh’s part toward the woman who’s been among his favorite targets for scorn over the last 15 years. Limbaugh is operating under the assumption that the Republican party — now represented by presumptive nominee John McCain — would have a better chance of retaining the White House if anti-Hillary fervor drives GOP voters to the polls in November.

“The reason I’m raising money for Hillary is because, apparently, my party, the Republican party, is relying on fear and loathing of Hillary to unite the party,” Limbaugh said.

Rush’s slogan for the fund-raising drive: “Keep her in it, so we can win it.”

Rep. Pettigrew Bill Hung Up in Senate. Again.

posted by on February 7 at 1:50 PM

Earlier this session, I reported on this bill, writing:

Meanwhile, housing and civil rights activists owe thanks to Slog-fave Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37, South Seattle) who’s bringing a bill to a vote on the house floor this Friday that will prevent landlords from discriminating against Section 8 tenants (i.e., not renting to them.) The practice—often a cover for racism—is illegal in Seattle, but it’s a problem in south King County and the rest of the state where it’s a-okay.

Section 8 vouchers work like this: Low-income renters who qualify pay 30 percent of their income on rent and the vouchers cover the difference in the total.

The Pettigrew bill passed the house last year, but got killed in the senate by some crummy amendments that caused the sponsors to drop the whole thing.

Well, the bill passed the House again this year (by a landslide), but once again, it’s stalled in the Senate.

Seattle Sens. Adam Kline (D-37, South Seattle) is championing the bill in the judiciary committee, which he chairs.

However, liberal lobbyists advocating for the bill—who I ran into in the exciting cafeteria lobby (pictured below!)—report that the Democratic vice chair, Sen. Rodney Tom (D-48, Eastside Seattle Suburbs) is against the bill, effectively giving the GOP enough votes on the committee to kill it.

I’m waiting for a call back from Tom, a realtor with several Windermere Real Estate donors on his contributor list plus a maximum $700 contribution from the Washington Realtors Assn., to hear what his reservations are.


Biotech and Retail on Dexter Ave N

posted by on February 7 at 1:44 PM

A few months back I wrote about 1101 Dexter, a proposed biotech facility on Dexter Avenue North. Considering the vacant retail spaces nearby, I wondered whether the city’s mandate to include 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, as per the “Seattle Mixed” zone on Dexter, was an unrealistic requirement. At the time there were no renderings of the design, so I looked forward to seeing how LMN Architects would try to attract shoppers, diners, and retailers.

The problem with Dexter is that the steep topography and parallel arterials (Aurora and Westlake) limit the number of pedestrians who can access it for day-to-day commercial purposes. Compounding the problem, the roar of traffic prevents it from feeling like the sort of place you’d stop the car, pop in somewhere for lunch, and then go for a stroll.


An initial design of 1101 Dexter.

I applaud LMN for departing from the green glass that chills many modern science institutions. However, the design fails to promote sidewalk activity. It comes down to personal taste, of course. But it makes me want to cross the street to get away. The setbacks look cavernous and foreboding; the concrete columns are menacing.


Translucent people aren’t convincing.

If the ground-floor of buildings on Dexter are ever to support shops and restaurants, developers like Capstone Partners must do a better job designing for them—using an approachable, human scale. And if they do that but retail still cannot be supported, the city should just change Dexter’s zoning. Empty storefronts are depressing.

Busy Signals, Full Voice Mail, and the Unregistered Catch-22

posted by on February 7 at 1:30 PM

The state Republican party is barely even trying to make it easy for Republicans to find their caucus locations online. The only online caucus locater they have is for liberal King County—where there are what, six Republicans?

On the Democratic side, the state party is a bit ahead of Republicans in the online game, offering a state-wide caucus locater for its members. But here’s the thing: It only works if you’re already registered to vote, as this person who just emailed me recently found out:

I went to this site: but it does me little good as I have yet to register as a voter (I recently moved here) ….

Good point. If you’re currently unregistered, it’s perfectly fine to plan on registering to vote at your caucus site on Saturday. But how do you know where your caucus site is if you can’t find out online because you’re not registered yet? See the Catch-22?

The 41st District Democrats have tried to get around this problem with their own online locater, made using GoogleMaps. If you’re caught in the unregistered Catch-22, try that.

Or, you could try what my emailer did and call the State Dems. But…

So I called the number for Dems listed at the end of the “How to caucus article” to find out where to to go on Saturday and received a recording informing me that the mailbox was full.

That sucks.

I’m feeling a bit shut out of my democratic process at the moment and I’m betting a bunch of other people are as well.

Care to use your journalistic powers to rectify the situation?

Well, I tried to use my powers to have my intern call the State Dems about this. But he reports that the party’s phone line has been busy and the caucus hotline… is going straight to voice mail.

So I’m left with the power of the Slog… Attention “record turnout”-predicting State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz: You might want to get some more people answering your phones, and offer some online help for people caught in the unregistered Catch-22.

Dirty Tricks Update

posted by on February 7 at 12:45 PM

In regard to Dan’s earlier post about the specter of shadowy robocalls urging people to vote in Washington’s meaningless Democratic primary, here’s what we know so far:

• The Washington State Democratic Party had no knowledge that this was happening, and seemed suitably angry about it. Spokesman Kelly Steele told me, “We’ll be on the lookout for this kind of thing.” He added that they’ll aggressively pursue any information they receive.

• The Secretary of State’s office says that they also had no knowledge about these calls, and that they’re absolutely not part of some kind of public service announcement campaign.

• The campaign office of Washington for Obama had no idea the calls were going out, and referred me to the national campaign office for comment.

Calls are out to the national press offices of both the Clinton campaign and the Obama campaigns. We’ll let you know when we have more. In the meantime, if you get a shady robocall and have the presence of mind to digitally record it in real time (or, more likely, if you get one on your answering machine and can make a digital recording of it) please let us know.

McCain in Seattle on Friday

posted by on February 7 at 12:35 PM

Clinton tonight. Obama tomorrow morning. And McCain tomorrow evening. My, what a busy week…

The Future of Concrete

posted by on February 7 at 12:13 PM


Business Week reports:

Concrete is ubiquitous in the modern world, yet most people don’t give it a passing thought. Why would they? It may be the most consumed substance on earth after water, but the stuff of pavements and parking garages is also a bit dull—or so most of us thought. In fact, innovations in the science of concrete have enabled architects and designers to achieve remarkable feats that would have been impossible in earlier years—everything from ultra-thin bridges spanning hundreds of feet to furniture made from lightweight blends.

One of the big factors behind the resurgence of concrete is the environmental movement. Scientists and architects have rediscovered concrete’s potential to save energy, since its thermal efficiency reduces the need for air conditioning and heating. But with this reawakening has come demand for more lightweight, durable, and aesthetic concrete by the designers who use it.

The world’s three largest concrete producers—Lafarge (LAFP.PA), HeidelbergCement (HEIG.DE), and Cemex (CX)—have responded with a slew of innovations that have dispelled traditional assumptions about concrete: that it has to be thick when poured, reinforced with steel, mechanically vibrated to ensure even distribution, and, of course, opaque.

Very exciting! Very sexy! Bionic concrete! How can you beat that? But it is sad to lose the thick and reinforced stuff, to lose the beauty of the pour, to the lose the resistance and moodlessness of the ultimate substance. Old concrete is honest; the new concrete is a whore.

Graphic Bullshit

posted by on February 7 at 11:59 AM

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning David Horsey.


Thank you, Slog tipstress Kären.

The Why Of The Broadway QFC’s Laxative Effect

posted by on February 7 at 11:20 AM

The question was asked:

Dear Science,

This may sound like a sarcastic or “trying to be funny” question, but I am honestly curious why there are certain locations that seem to trigger a bowel movement quicker than others ie; home, office etc. Examples for me include the housewares dept @ Broadway QFC, Value Village Men’s clothing Dept., the public library & just about any bookstore. Not only do these places create a kind of enigmatic laxative the feeling to poo is intensified & feels more immediate (I’ve heard thinking of sex can help alieviate this feeling). And considering the difficulty that can be encountered attempting to convince store management etc to allow you to use their facilities this can be quite a frightening event. There have been a couple of times I have literally had to leave my basket in the store, run across the street to my apartment then return to finish my shopping. I have had a couple of really close calls with this scenario.

Please advise,
Bothered Bowels

You added your, um, moving situations.

Now, for the first time ever, a sneak preview for next week’s Dear Science! Exclusive to SLOG and the Dear Science Podcast!

Listen up for the answer. And remember, physical punishment should be consensual. And rewards work better than punishment.

It Occurs to Me…

posted by on February 7 at 11:15 AM

… that while the intent of being down here in Olympia is to demystify (an excellent word from my excellent past that needs to be revived) the legislative process for readers and voters, all my posts about tax-rebate bills and cap-and-trade bills and transportation planning probably aren’t making the legislative system all that accessible.

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

Here’s the center of campus, across the yard from the capitol building and centered between the senate and house office buildings:


Nothing important happens here.

And here’s the cafeteria:


Like high school, everything important happens here. Who’s sitting with whom?

Anyway, today’s coverage will come with pictures.

One Week from Today

posted by on February 7 at 11:15 AM


Back to Basics

posted by on February 7 at 11:00 AM

Everywhere I go, I keep getting some very basic questions from people about the Washington caucuses on Feb. 9, questions that indicate a high level of voter confusion. (Such as, “Haven’t I already voted if I’ve mailed in my Democratic primary ballot?” Answer: No.) Which is a reminder that while I’m down in the political weeds thinking about the superdelegate count and the Edwards effect, most people are not, and many are struggling just to understand how caucusing works. Here, then, are the basics:

The Stranger’s guide to caucusing. (Includes answers on when, where, and why, if you’re a Democrat, you must caucus to have your vote counted.)

• My primer on the political lay of the land in Washington State.

• My column on Washington’s superdelegates.

• Annie Wagner’s long Q&A with the politically confused.

• Details on tonight’s Clinton event and tomorrow’s Obama event.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 7 at 11:00 AM


Jean-Luc Mylayne at Henry Art Gallery

Each photograph by French artist Jean-Luc Mylayne is shot in a single moment, but takes months to create. For this show, he hung out with birds in a remote area of Texas and learned their routines. Taking his cues from the animals, the plants, and the light and weather of the landscape, he decided what he wanted to shoot. Then he set up a homemade apparatus of layered lenses, complicating the depth of field. The resulting images are thick with time. (Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave NE, 543-2280. 11 am–8 pm, $10/free for students.)


In Election-Related News

posted by on February 7 at 10:54 AM

Controversial former King County Elections head Dean Logan (beloved, and subsequently reviled, by Republicans for his role in the Gregoire vote recount of 2002, and blamed by many for failing to change the culture of the sloppy elections office) is overseeing a similar debacle as elections director in LA County, where nine percent of ballots showed no vote for president on Super Tuesday.

Meanwhile, King County announced it would be delaying the transition to all-mail voting until 2009, because, in the words of King County Executive Ron Sims, “Moving forward with vote by mail in 2008, would jeopardize our ability to do a thorough security review of the equipment.”

Advice to Gov. Gregoire: Own It

posted by on February 7 at 10:47 AM

Gov. Chris Gregoire was interviewed on KUOW this morning about her big climate change report—the substance behind the climate change bill she unveiled on the first day of the session.

(ECB has the report and seemed pretty impressed by it when she was reading through it yesterday. Although, also a little baffled)

However, Gregoire’s performance on the raido was classic … Gregoire. Not in a good way.

Asked point blank if her goal was to have a regional carbon reduction program like cap and trade in place in the next few years, she dodged and said, “Well, we have that in our minds… blah…blah….” We have that in our minds?

Not much of a commanding, definitive answer on a no-brainer like global warming. You’re on KUOW, Governor. John McCain is for a freaking cap and trade system.

Here’s what makes it worse. In reality, Gregoire is definitive about it.

While she ambiguously told radioland that a specific plan was “in our minds” … it’s actually in. her. bill. On page 2. With a specific date.

Her bill says:

the regional multisector market-based system will become effective by January 1, 2012, after authority is provided to the department for its implementation. By acting now, Washington businesses and citizens will have adequate time and opportunities to be well positioned to take advantage of the low-carbon economy and to make necessary investments in low-carbon technology.

Gregoire had an opportunity on the radio this morning to sound definitive and strong, but she chose to soft pedal what she’s actually doing in Olympia with a cryptic answer about her mind. Uggghh.

So, to answer Steve Scher’s question. Yes, the Governor’s bill—33 sponsors in the House, 25 in the Senate—says a system will be in place in 4 years.

I’m not sure why she wouldn’t tell you that.

Roméo et Juliette

posted by on February 7 at 10:42 AM

You have five more chances to see Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Roméo et Juliette, a West Coast premiere of the mid-nineties production by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, choreography by Jean-Christophe Maillot. I don’t recommend Saturday at 2 pm, because you should be caucusing at that hour—that leaves four performances. Dépêche-toi!

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is perhaps his least verbal tragedy. There are iconic speeches, but many come off as slightly frivolous (“Wherefore art thou Romeo?”) or even self-mocking (“Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!/O any thing, of nothing first create!/O heavy lightness! serious vanity!/Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!/Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!/Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!/This love feel I, that feel no love in this./Dost thou not laugh?”). Exclamatory ardor, wah wah wah. The story’s the thing: Pyramus and Thisbe, seeking forbidden love, find death has taken its place.

Without the fancy language—which you always sort of suspected was distracting you from the essentially embarrassing subject matter—you can really get into the story. This ballet is about nothing but teenage hormones. Brilliant!

Lucien Postlewaite and Noelani Pantastico

Continue reading "Roméo et Juliette" »

What Are You Doing Feb. 9?

posted by on February 7 at 10:39 AM

A reader sent along this cute video made by some Maria Cantwell staffers, urging people to “rockus the caucus” for Hils:

Who Will Washington’s Edwards Supporters Back?

posted by on February 7 at 10:35 AM

It’s been a big question in other states, and now, with our caucuses just 72 hours away, it’s a big question here. Interestingly, two of our state’s most prominent Edwards backers, the former Edwards campaign chairs Jenny Durkan (a Seattle attorney) and Paul Berendt (a former state Democratic party chair) have moved in opposite directions.

Durkan is backing Obama. Berendt is backing Clinton. So I asked both of them to predict which candidate will benefit most this Saturday from the caucus votes of former Edwards supporters.

Here’s what Berendt said:

Hillary Clinton has made an appeal to the voters on economic issues throughout this campaign. For this reason I believe she will have a strong appeal to voters who were originally drawn to the Edwards campaign based on his powerful message of fighting for forgotten Americans who have lost ground economically throughout the Bush presidency.

And here’s what Durkan said:

John Edwards supporters will be drawn to Barack Obama, because his core values reflect Edwards’s hard fought ideals. Like Edwards, Barack consistently speaks to people’s hearts, and has a vision of equality for all Americans. Both speak for the voiceless regardless of the crowd. Edwards voters can trust that Barack Obama will stand for all Americans. He will use his power to make sure the voices of the many do not get silenced by the power of the few.

I don’t know if we’ll have any sort of exit polling in Washington State that will be capable of proving either of them right or wrong. But maybe the former Edwards supporters out there in Slog-land (and I know there are a number of you) want to weigh in on whether Berendt or Durkan has the better grasp on reality?

The Two

posted by on February 7 at 10:32 AM

After passing this impressive point in the construction, we can expect the project to go downhill:

Currently Hanging

posted by on February 7 at 10:30 AM

Jamey Braden’s Ruptured Painting I (big)

At Project Project Gallery, 619 Western Avenue, fourth floor, one night only (tonight, 6-10).

Dirty Tricks?

posted by on February 7 at 10:07 AM

Slog tipper Paul writes…

I hadn’t seen anything anywhere else about this yet, but thought I’d mention.

I got robocalled at about 6:30 last night by recording of a woman who urged me in very enthusiastic and empowering language to “make my vote count by mailing in my primary ballot.”

I’m on the Hill in the 43rd, I’ve never voted anything but Democratic ever, gave to Obama this year, and voted Dem in the 2004 caucus. They certainly didn’t get my number as an identified Republican voter.

No org was identified in the call before it abruptly ended and caller ID yielded nothing but a blocked number. All of the above makes me wonder if someone’s working to suppress the caucus vote turn-out by misinforming people who are clearly Dems. If they’re doing it on the Hill in a traditionally liberal district, gawd knows what misinformation dems in the rest of the state are getting fed.

If you’re a Dem voter, the primary ballot you received in the mail is meaningless. No delegates will be awarded to Obama or Clinton based on the results of the state primary. You have to go to the caucuses this Saturday if you want a say in awarding delegates to Clinton or Obama.

Who is making these robocalls? Well, that depends on who stands to gain by suppressing turnout at this weekend’s Democratic caucuses…

UPDATE: If anyone out there reading has the call on his or her answering machine, and can make a digital recording of it, please send it to us.

Randy Quaid Banned from Actors Equity

posted by on February 7 at 9:59 AM


Last September, Brendan Kiley reported on the rampant jackassery of Randy Quaid, whose odd and unprofessional behavior helped sink the $6.5 million would-be Broadway musical Lone Star Love during its pre-Broadway run in Seattle.

Today the New York Post has an update on the Quaid saga:

All 26 members of the Lone Star Love cast brought Randy up on charges with Actors’ Equity Association, claiming he physically and verbally abused his fellow performers and that his oddball behavior onstage and off forced the show to close, thus depriving them of their jobs.

On Friday, Equity handed down its decision. According to documents obtained exclusively by The Post, the union has banned Randy for life - life! - and fined him $81,572.

Full story (including the high-octane drama involving Quaid’s wife) here

(Thanks to Slog tipstress Beth.).

Mayor Proposes Huge New Fines on Drivers that Endanger Cyclists

posted by on February 7 at 9:50 AM

Sorry, Seattle cyclists, we’re talking about the mayor of Chicago. Richard Daley—who almost always gets what he wants—is proposing $150-$500 fines on drivers that endanger cyclists by parking in bike lanes, throwing open car doors, coming too close to cyclists, causing cyclists to have accidents, or hitting cyclists. What makes the mayor of Chicago so sensitive to bike safety? He’s a cyclist. From the Sun-Times:

He has had drivers open car doors in his path. He has had cars turn left in front of him and had a car pass within three feet of his bike.

“When someone opens a door—that’s why you have to be very, very alert on a bike,” Daley said.

Celebrity Endorsement Face-Off!

posted by on February 7 at 9:45 AM


Romney’s Out

posted by on February 7 at 9:30 AM

Says The Page.

UPDATE: His farewell address, delivered to the Conservative Political Action Committee, is in the jump. Here’s the section the Romney campaign is flagging:

If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters… many of you right here in this room… have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

I will continue to stand for conservative principles; I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism!!

Continue reading "Romney's Out" »

In/Visible Is Up: Eric Eley’s Remake of the World

posted by on February 7 at 9:30 AM

Eric Eley struggles with illusion. He doesn’t like it. He’s a facts man, and the depth in his resin drawings is literal depth, with pigment embedded in layers of resin.

Plane Drift, resin and dry pigment, 2007

“I’m showing you what I want to show you,” he says of his outer-spacey geometric abstractions, which share affinities with Julie Mehretu’s works. These are maps only of themselves, he likes to say. “This isn’t a piece of a larger world.”

He used to be certain about that. But now, his lines, points, and planes are beginning to lead off the edges of his drawings and to fade away into deep space—and he’s trying to figure out why, and whether he likes it, and where he wants it to go.

This is an artist who started by making teapots and became a professional seamstress (seamster?) before he studied in the MFA ceramics program at UW.

His newest works are at Platform Gallery in Pioneer Square through February 9, including this drawing, titled In Place of Three (2008)—the dry pigment is applied with makeup applicators


and the installation/spatial drawing Prospect Fields, which fills the gallery.


Listen in.

More Washington Superdelegate Intrigue

posted by on February 7 at 9:15 AM

Well, well, well. The Obama campaign “inadvertently” leaked to Bloomberg News a copy of a spreadsheet in which it predicts the delegate tallies in upcoming states, and check out what it suggests about two of my favorite topics right now, superdelegates and the Washington caucuses:

The document suggests something that’s increasingly becoming clear: It’s become virtually impossible to win this contest through the quasi-democratic processes that produce pledged delegates, and that the even murkier process of wooing superdelegates is going to play a central, and growing, role.

The scenario considered in the Bloomberg story forsees the widely anticipated Obama roll through the Potomac Primary, and Clinton victories in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Crucially, it doesn’t forecast any blowouts with huge delegate margins; Washington State’s caucus, by this projection, offers Obama his widest margin, 20 delegates.

We’ll see soon enough whether that Obama delegate projection is correct for Washington State. But those lines about the importance of superdelegates reaffirm something I’ve been saying repeatedly as I try to figure out where two of our state’s still-unpledged superdelegates, Gov. Christine Gregoire and Rep. Jim McDermott, are going to land. On that front:

Yesterday, my column in this week’s Stranger produced a constituent call to McDermott’s office that produced an unclear statement on McDermott’s status, which led me to email McDermott’s spokesman for the definitive word, which definitive word was:

This is the people’s time to speak. The time will come when Jim casts his vote. For now he is concerned about young people participating passionately for whomever their candidate is, whichever party.

I emailed back:

Will Jim commit to following the will of the people of Washington as expressed in their caucus votes on Saturday? (Other superdelegates in other states have done this.)

And this morning I received the following non-answer:

Jim remains uncommitted. When that changes I will, of course, let you know.

Meanwhile, some tea leaves on Gregoire: She’s said she will announce her endorsement before the caucuses on Saturday. Hillary Clinton, who was not previously scheduled to come to Washington, changed her schedule at the last minute yesterday and is now showing up for a rally on the Seattle waterfront this evening. I had the same reaction as Slog commenter Justin:

Hmm, our female governor who has promised to endorse a candidate ahead of Saturday’s caucus still hasn’t said a word. And, at the last minute, Hillary Clinton decides that something is important enough to bring her all the way to Seattle (where she knows she’s going to lose) for a whole hour on a Thursday night.

Is anybody else connecting the dots here?

I’m no political expert, but I’ll bet that Gregoire is going to endorse Clinton at Pier 30 on Thursday night.

And I would add to the tea leave mix: My email in-box tells me that Gregoire was in Seattle this morning for a meeting with the Downtown Seattle Association. Maybe she’s here for the day, and heading to Pier 30 this evening?

The Stranger Sent Charles Mudede to Italy…

posted by on February 7 at 7:50 AM


…and all we got out of it was a beautiful, fascinating piece of writing.

DISCUSSED: the fog in Perugia; American women versus Italian women (“More than a full head of gray hair is needed for a Perugian woman to lose her erotic grip”); nights that spin out of control; the murder that Italian authorities allege 20-year-old Amanda Knox (of West Seattle) played a role in; the prison where Knox and two other suspects are being held; the stew of international students and immigrants in an unreal setting.

Plus, all the unanswered stuff:

In the absence of stable answers, the imagination does its work. Were the three waiting for her? Did they plot an attack? Were they caught by surprise in the middle of a threesome and forced Kercher to join in? Did Knox pin Kercher’s head to the floor as Guede sexually assaulted her from behind? Was Sollecito fucking Knox as Guede raped Kercher? Did Guede and Sollecito fuck Knox as Kercher watched with dying eyes? Or was Kercher into it? Was she playing along? Was the violence simulated or real? Were the three stabs in Kercher’s neck intentional or accidental? Was it rape or consensual? Was this an act of revenge or did it just happen all of a sudden, like a wild storm that appeared, erupted, and cleared?

The whole thing’s here.

Morning News

posted by on February 7 at 7:36 AM

Death and Destruction: Arkansas and Tennessee hit hardest by violent tornado storms, over 50 killed in five Southern states.

Faltering Economy: Retailers report limp sales.

Enslaved: The Britney Spears story keeps getting sadder.

Broke: Clinton has to put her own money—$5 million—into her once-formidable, now battered campaign machine.

Local Battle: Clinton Here Thursday; Obama Friday.

Really Local Battle: Pierce County Executive, John Ladenberg, will run against Republican AG, Rob McKenna.

Local Prices: House prices tick up, condo prices tick down.

Skinny Men: 6-packs out, skinny in.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Project Runway Dresses Wrestlers Tonight!

posted by on February 6 at 9:05 PM

There was no new episode last week, so I am starving… and this just came in: “Writing from the big apple to say you HAVE to Live Blog PR tonight. We’re 9 minutes in and it is the hugest jumping the shark train wreck I’ve EVER SEEN.” Sweet!

Barack Obama at Key Arena on Friday

posted by on February 6 at 6:17 PM

Obama has now officially added a “Stand for Change” rally to his scheduled stop in Seattle on Friday:

Friday, February 8, 2008


Key Arena

Doors open: 11:00am

This event is free and open to the public. However, an RSVP is strongly encouraged. To RSVP please visit

UPDATE :: Audio of Obama’s Key Arena speech.

Hillary Clinton in Seattle on Thursday

posted by on February 6 at 5:59 PM

Says Connelly:

Sen. Hillary Clinton will campaign in Seattle on Thursday night, in an 11th hour substitution for what had been a planned stopover by ex-President Bill Clinton.

The switch indicates the Clinton campaign is serious about contesting Washington’s Democratic caucuses on Saturday, Feb. 9th.

Sen. Clinton is tentatively scheduled to appear Thursday, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Pier 30 on the Seattle waterfront.

Caucus for O

posted by on February 6 at 5:37 PM

We republished our Obama endorsement in this week’s news section along with a handy caucus How-To.

Here’s the endorsement:

The differences between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are pretty arcane. The reality is that both candidates support the popular Democratic agenda that has emerged after eight years of George W. Bush’s catastrophic presidency.

Can you believe the Democrats once seemed lost for an identity? Now, thanks to Bush, the Democratic Party is at the forefront of a focused agenda to: achieve universal health care, end the occupation of Iraq, combat global warming, reestablish the United States as a respected international leader, reverse the erosion of civil liberties at home, and make the economy work for the middle class instead of just the wealthiest.

The question: Which Democratic candidate—the brilliant but polarizing Hillary Clinton or the thoughtful and charismatic Barack Obama—is best suited to take on the conniving GOP? Just as important, which one will be best positioned to enact the Democratic agenda once he or she is in office? We believe the answer is Barack Obama.

If we were Republicans—which we’re not—we’d be terrified about taking on a stadium attraction like Obama. Buoyed by his inspirational life story—a mixed-race kid abandoned by his father who makes it to Harvard Law and the U.S. Senate (with a stint as a community organizer along the way)—Obama’s campaign will be powered by his goose-bumps oratory. “It is not about black versus white,” he said in South Carolina. “It’s about the past versus the future.”

There’s also the numbers. Obama appeals to the nearly 30 percent of voters who identify as independent. This is important given that “maverick” John McCain is the GOP frontrunner.

Scared that Obama’s appeal to the center means he’s going to sell out Democratic priorities? We were too. But all we had to do was look at Obama’s Senate record (nay on the pandering flag-burning amendment) and his proposals (his Social Security plan extends the payroll tax to capture fatter incomes) to realize he’s an SECB-approved liberal.

He has a 96 rating from the League of Conservation Voters. He’s earned a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. He wants to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and he voted against giving immunity to gun manufacturers, against the anti-labor Central American Free Trade Agreement, and for restoring habeas corpus. He’s also against giving retroactive immunity to telecom companies who have spied for the White House.

Most impressive: Obama has been openly opposed to the invasion of Iraq since 2002 when he correctly warned that an expensive off-topic adventure would undermine the war on terrorism.

Electing Barack Obama would be a jump cut in American history—one the up-and-coming generation is clamoring for. Bush’s ugly politics are a culmination of culture wars dating back to the 1960s. Hillary Clinton is a baby boomer. Obama, who grew up in the ’70s, represents a chance to move on.

Certainly, the SECB recognizes the mind-blowing possibility of a woman president, but Obama offers a truly seismic shift. And no, it’s not about race (although we don’t underestimate the symbolism—to the rest of the world—of electing a black man after eight years of John Wayne diplomacy). It’s about transcendence. Obama’s talent lies in transforming Democratic goals into mainstream no-brainers. The strategy is disarming, and it’s poised to make the Democratic voice the mainstream voice in America.

On The Horror of Those Lips!

posted by on February 6 at 5:14 PM

In honor of Super Tuesday, where My Candidate beat up Your Candidate, thanks for asking (and depending on whom you are asking), I give you something else:

My hatred of The Dairy Queen Lips.

I hate the Dairy Queen Lips. They are the worst fast food mascot in the history of televised advertisings. Everything about The Lips is horrible. Everything.

You know The Lips—the talking CGI ones from the commercial. I can’t find a single image of them on Google, nor a sign of them on YouTube, so you’ll have to dredge it up from memory. Sorry about that.

But trust me. They are awful.

There was a time when Dairy Queen’s advertising—-its image—-was quaint, even adorable…


…and its ads have attained the height of ultra-swing….

Even The Lips weren’t so bad way back in the day (as it were), when they were confined to the Dairy Queen sign, like so…


Then you could hardly tell they were lips at all. They sort of looked like a liver upon which the words “Dairy Queen” were blasted somehow—or like a tulip drawn by a retarded Georgia O’Keefe. They were inoffensive. I hardly noticed them.

But then CGI happened, and some poor fool in the DQ marketing department conjured up the genius idea to animate The Lips and create of them Dairy Queen’s televised mascot. They gave The Lips a voice, and a “personality”, and, ugh.

First, The Lips are not a mouth—-with hollows and cheeks and uvuli and tongue—-make no mistake. It is just lips—-lips with teeth, and a voice somehow. Disturbing.

And the voice that comes out of The Lips is all wrong. It is a man’s voice. The Lips clearly belong to a hooker. They are Corvette-red and lip-gloss-shiny and curved and pouty and lipsticky—-hooker lips. They seem to say, “Oral sex, $20” not, “Burger and fries, $3.99.” What exactly is going on here? Are the lips transvestite? Transexual? David Bowie? A Republican Congressman? What exactly are you trying to say, Dairy Queen?

Also, there is no denying it, The Lips are way overmuch like the Rocky Horror Picture Show Lips—-those iconic red lips singing against a stark black background…


How DQ avoids a huge lawsuit? A mystery. And The Rocky Horror Lips do not, I say, do not, inspire me to think of popcorn shrimp. (“Where are the kids? Ahhhhhh!”—another disaster of advertising.) They lead me to think of perverts from outer space. And geeks.

Even the voice that comes out of the Rocky Horror Lips (a film teaming with transsexuals, let’s remember) is a proper WOMAN’S voice, as women’s lips should have. What is your excuse, Dairy Queen?

And I would like to ask exactly what Dairy Queen has to say about this, which Twizzler has been doing for twenty years or better…

Really now, Dairy Queen. I demand an answer. Plagarism is so unnatractive.

And the “animation?” The CGI that brings The DQ Lips to life? Well, it is not good. Not. Good. Instead of moving like a pair of manlips naturally should while discoursing upon the virtues of Chunky Blizzards, The Lips move like a cocker spaniel with partial facial paralysis trying to pry a boll of barbed wire out of its molars. It really makes me uncomfortable.

So, in conclusion, I hate the Dairy Queen Lips. They are all wrong. They are a total rip-off. They are tragically executed. They make me feel bad. I wish they would go far away. Thank you.


Good Point

posted by on February 6 at 4:45 PM

Jay Newton-Small pushes back against the Obama “underdog” narrative:

For anyone who thinks this race might be a tie, and yes, David Axelrod, that includes you, there’s a lot of evidence today that Obama is now the frontrunner. He leads in number of states won, he leads by his own campaign’s tally in pledged delegates, he is so far ahead in the money race that his opponent is borrowing money and he clearly has the momentum coming out of Super Tuesday. How is he NOT the frontrunner??

Many of my colleagues will say: Never underestimate the Clintons. But looking at the caucus-heavy schedule through February they are going to have a tough slog for a positive news cycle for three looong weeks before they get to the more calendar-friendly March. If fundraising in January was hard when she was the New Hampshire “comeback kid” and had victories in Nevada, Florida and Michigan, finding money now is going to be twice the challenge.

Obama was asked at a press conference in Chicago this morning if it isn’t a little disingenuous to still be clinging to the “underdog” title. “I’m never disingenuous,” Obama said. “Here’s’ a fair way to put it: I think we are less of an underdog than we were two weeks ago. Now we’re slight underdogs.”

“If I were writing this story,” he said over the open laughs of reporters in the room. “If I were writing this story, what I would say would be: Senator Obama came in as a challenger two weeks ago who I think that nobody thought would come out of February 5th standing…. I think Senator Clinton remains the favorite because of the enormous familiarity that people have with her and the institutional support that she carries… I think we’re turning out to be a scrappy little team.”

Perhaps we’ve let him write the story a little too much – for a campaign so opposed to spin (one of Obama’s favorite stump lines, as said two days ago in Hartford, Connecticut: “I was convinced that the American people didn’t want spin, didn’t want PR, they wanted straight talk”), they have done a masterful job in managing news cycle expectations. We should not let him get away with calling himself the underdog and escape the glare of the frontrunner’s seat – a glare Hillary Clinton has endured for most of the campaign.

Um, What?

posted by on February 6 at 4:43 PM

The Sierra Club just sent me a note inviting me to speak on a Feb. 25 panel at REI about the governor’s new climate recommendations, AKA A Comprehensive Climate Approach for Washington: Draft Recommendations of the Washington Climate Advisory Team. (Mark your calendars!)

Anyway, it’s a promising document, full of good, meaty recommendations on land use, growth management, and transportation policy. (And the list of things that will happen if we don’t deal with climate change now is truly frightening: extinctions, landslides, heat-related illnesses, smog, increases in pests, changes in growing seasons—and that’s just the half of it).

Anyway, good, compelling stuff. But I do have one minor beef: The graphics in this report are all hilariously incomprehensible. Seriously, if you can translate this:


… then you either have an advanced degree in jargon (and a lot of patience)… or you work for the government.

Who Said “Freedom Requires Religion”?

posted by on February 6 at 4:33 PM

Oh, right: This idiot. Someone need to let Mitt know that freedom is on the march in Saudi Arabia:

A 37-year-old American businesswoman and married mother of three is seeking justice after she was thrown in jail by Saudi Arabia’s religious police for sitting with a male colleague at a Starbucks coffee shop in Riyadh.

Yara, who does not want her last name published for fear of retribution, was bruised and crying when she was freed from a day in prison after she was strip-searched, threatened and forced to sign false confessions by the Kingdom’s “Mutaween” police.


posted by on February 6 at 4:20 PM

They’re in my column this week, they’re vexing Ezra Klein, and with talk swirling of a nomination fight that lasts all the way to the convention, they’re becoming more important by the day.

You can find out more about Washington’s superdelegates here, but in terms of local superdelegates to watch, here’s what I wrote in my column:

As we head into the Washington caucuses, two fence-sitting superdelegates are of particular interest: Gov. Christine Gregoire, who has promised to make her decision before the caucuses, and Rep. Jim McDermott, who has not. Not only do these two have the potential to tilt the superdelegate tally, but they may have the ability to sway the decisions of caucus-goers. Which way will they go? Stay tuned—or, if you’re really fired up, give their offices a call and bend their ears. They’re elected officials, after all.

Behold the power of two sentences at the end of a short column in The Stranger. In my voice mail just now:

Hi, Eli, my name’s Donnie Dill and I just wanted to give you a quick tidbit. I called in to Rep. Jim McDermott’s office to voice my opinion on his decision on the superdelegates, and they just told me he’s not endorsing anyone even though he does have a superdelegate vote, which I thought was kind of interesting. She wouldn’t give me any more info, but I’m surprised that he’s not going to endorse anyone.

Really? Jim McDermott, local lefty lion, is going to completely sit this one out? I have an email in to his spokesman requesting clarification.

UPDATE: And, a very short time later, comes the reply from McDermott’s spokesman:

This is the people’s time to speak. The time will come when Jim casts his vote. For now he is concerned about young people participating passionately for whomever their candidate is, whichever party.

My Cynical Heart Worries This Will Surely Suck…

posted by on February 6 at 4:18 PM

…but I’d be lying if I said seeing this poster hanging in movie theaters doesn’t make me smile.


Clinton Bags Gay Vote in California

posted by on February 6 at 4:04 PM

I’m surprised no one has posted about this yet: Clinton swept the gay vote in California. Gays and lesbians voted for Clinton over Obama by a two-to-one margin. JoeMyGod wonders if it might be the Donnie McClurkin Effect.

Notes from the Prayer Warrior

posted by on February 6 at 3:50 PM


Wednesday, 06 February 2008

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Please get the knee pads on again, for another school board meeting tomorrow, dealing with the issue at my daughter’s high school. Pray for my wife, Pat who will be speaking. And I will need prayer to keep silent, and to keep my cool, should comments be made against her.

I will be having a press conference later according to the results of the meeting, and of course, will keep you informed.

Pastor Hutch

What’s that Definition of Insanity Again?

posted by on February 6 at 3:48 PM

Oh, right: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

So it looks like the local dumbfucks that couldn’t run a gay community center—no, wait. I’m not being fair. Those dumbfucks could run a gay community center… straight into the ground.


Seattle’s gay community center had to close its doors earlier this year after losing shitloads of money—no one knows exactly how much—running Queerfest, a competing pride parade on Capitol Hill. (SOAP, the group that runs Seattle’s official pride parade, moved the event downtown two years ago.) You might think that the fuckwits running our currently homeless LGBT Community Center would drop Queerfest, the money-loser that forced ‘em to shut their doors. But the stupidity of the LGBT Center’s “leadership” should never be underestimated.

In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

posted by on February 6 at 3:43 PM

Go to Jail: Everett man gets six years for impersonating a member of Queensryche.

Walk to Remember: Christopher Frizzelle recommends Murder City Devils for long, lonely walks and public urination.

The New PWRFL Power Record: It’s cute and good and you can listen to a couple songs for free.

More Musical Chairs: Kwab Copeland shuffles over from Jules Maes and Slim’s to the High Dive.

Handsome Devil: Find out who Morrissey is voting for and see his bare ass.

Tonight in Music: Todd Snider at Showbox at the Market.

Introducing Bad Horses Productions: Make short runs of your CD for a buck a disc.

Puck Rock: Who knew? There are a lot of songs about hockey.

Ghostface: Rapping after 30.

Charles Mudede’s Song of the Day: Jorge Ben’s “Ponta De Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma).”

Disco Impact: Daniele Baldelli is still one of the greatest DJs in disco.

Del Goes Def: Del the Funky Homosapien is releasing his next record on Def Jux.


Someone Had To Post About It

posted by on February 6 at 3:42 PM

Britney Spears car chase, live on TMZ.


Mount Si High Update

posted by on February 6 at 3:41 PM

The Mount Si High School/Reverend Ken Hutcherson saga continues:

Today, Mount Si is holding a disciplinary hearing for one of the teachers who booed Hutcherson during his Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech at the school. and the Snoqualmie Valley School Board will hold a disciplinary inquiry for another teacher involved in the incident, Kit McCormick, tomorrow night.

Hutcherson and his followers will undoubtedly be at tomorrow night’s meeting to raise a stink, but a number of local political groups will also be attending to support McCormick, including representatives from the Human Rights Coalition, N.O.W., the Northwest Women’s Law Center and the Washington State Human Rights Commission.

Senator Ed Murray, who sent a scathing letter to Mount Si’s Principal last week, has also been invited to the meeting.

The meeting will be held tomorrow at 7pm at the Snoqualmie Valley School District office at 8001 Silva Ave SE, Snoqualmie WA 98065.

Here’s One I Hadn’t Heard Before…

posted by on February 6 at 3:38 PM

“Gun Bigots.”

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36) has a bill to prohibit guns on campus. And Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Seattle) has a similar piece of legislation.

Apparently, both state senators fit the bill.

An Action Alert has gone out on a conservative blog, Random Nuclear Strikes, warning its readers:

SB-6841 would … make it illegal to carry concealed on all state university capuses.

The usual suspects are in on this one: Widely known gun bigots Senators Adam Kline and Jeanne Kohl-Welles have gathered up a couple of other bigoted Senatorial signatories Paull Shin, Ken Jacobsen and Ed Murray. Unsurprisingly, all Democrats.

There is a hearing for both this Thursday, February the 7th at 10am in the Cherberg Building.

Obviously, the legislation is a reaction to the murder at U.W. last year, but let’s not forget about this.

Metro Contract Update

posted by on February 6 at 3:15 PM

Just got a document in the mail revealing more details about why Metro employees (members of the Amalgamated Transit Union 587) rejected their contract with management.

As I wrote earlier, much of the union’s objection to the contract had to do with a new clause allowing Metro to discipline drivers based on “an accumulation of customer customer complaints” that are “are substantially in excess of the number of complaints received by most Transit Operators.” Drivers worried that the policy would allow Metro to fire them based on anonymous complaints and complaints that couldn’t be substantiated complaints—like fare disputes.

Some of the other (apparent) reasons the contract was rejected:

• The contract removed provisions providing a grievance procedure for Metro employees to come back to work after being let go for medical reasons. The current process entitles employees to all back pay if they prevail in getting their job back and bumps them to the front of the list for jobs elsewhere in King County if they don’t. The proposed contract would give the county “all rights to determine whether a former employee is eligible for rehire.”

• The contract would create a new category of drivers who would be chosen first to fill in for absent full-time or part-time drivers for an extra two dollars an hour. Union members who opposed the contract think this would allow Metro to avoid paying premiums and overtime—which generally amounts to about $13 more an hour—to drivers who pick up extra work.

• The contract would allegedly make it harder for union members to take time off.

• Mechanics, who reportedly voted overwhelmingly against the contract, failed to win raises based on increases in their technological skill and training.

• Union members wanted a higher cost-of-living adjustment.

Metro’s contract is currently in arbitration.

Political Science

posted by on February 6 at 3:14 PM

Holy smoke, there have been a lot of pot-is-bad-for-your-health studies released recently. Here is the third one since last week.

Heavy cannabis smoking is a major cause of gum disease, research suggests.

An international team tracked the dental health of 1,000 people born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1972 and 1973. They found heavy cannabis smoking was responsible for more than one-third of the new cases of gum disease among the group by the age of 32.

Gum disease, one of the most common diseases of adulthood, is the second most common cause of tooth loss, after tooth decay.

It has long been linked to cigarette smoking, but this is the first study to look specifically at cannabis. The researchers accepted that cannabis users also tended to smoke tobacco.

I’m not surprised that pot smoke may cause gum disease, especially when combined with tobacco smoke. But what do you bet munchies also played a role? I’d like to see a study compare the oral health of pot smokers who regularly fell asleep with a mouthful of potato chips and chocolate to non-stoners with good dental hygiene. But that’s another study. And a kind of gross study.

For now, what’s interesting is the rate at which scientists are suddenly releasing these reports. You’ll note that this current study, like last week’s pot-causes-lung-cancer-as-much-as-cigarettes study, was conducted in New Zealand—a UK Commonwealth. For the last few years, the UK has been debating whether cannabis possession should be upgraded to a more serious criminal offense. To support its recommendation, the UK’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs called for urgent research on the health impacts of cannabis. And just yesterday, the Council officially began reviewing the evidence. Maybe the wave of reports has passed, or maybe there are many more in the pipe, as it were.

At any rate, we can be sure that smoking pot poses some health risks (though I strongly doubt anywhere near on par with tobacco). So if you’re a stoner and you’re concerned about the health risks of smoking pot, bake it in brownies, use a vaporizer, or (as I’ve said before and I’ll say again) buy the best you can afford and smoke less of it. Oh, and brush your teeth before bed.

More Pictures from Super Tuesday at Moe Bar

posted by on February 6 at 3:09 PM


More pictures after the jump…

Continue reading "More Pictures from Super Tuesday at Moe Bar" »

No Narrative

posted by on February 6 at 3:02 PM

Okay, I get that Clinton won the youth vote in California—18-24-year-olds went 52% for Clinton—because younger Latinos went heavily in her favor. Indeed, Latino voters between 18-29 (6% of voters) went 67% for Clinton while the comparable white demographic went 62% for Obama.

However, what’s the deal in Massachusetts? Eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds in Massachusetts went for Clinton 57-39 (white youth went for Clinton 53%… and younger Latino voters were statistically insignificant.)

What’s with the youth of Massachusetts? Did Southie toughs outdo Harvard brats?

What Mitt’s Money Has Bought Him (Other Than Tears)

posted by on February 6 at 2:30 PM

By Ryan S. Jackson

As mentioned earlier, Mitt Romney has a minor problem—he needs delegates to be the nominee, and so far the delegates have gone out of their way to resist his electoral affections. Which is odd, because he’s spent lavishly to win their fickle hearts:

Republican campaign operatives call it the Gramm-o-meter, the money a candidate spends per delegate won, in honor of Phil Gramm, the former Texas senator who spent $25 million and won just 10 delegates, or $2.5 million per, in 1996.

By Republican strategist Alex Vogel’s calculation, Mitt Romney is giving Gramm a run for his money. The former Massachusetts governor has spent $1.16 million per delegate, a rate that would cost him $1.33 billion to win the nomination.

Money cannot buy Mitt Romney love. Mike Huckabee, on the other hand:

By contrast, Mike Huckabee’s campaign has been the height of efficiency. Delegates haven’t yet been officially apportioned, but roughly speaking, each $1 million spent by Huckabee has won him 20 delegates.

The question of what Huckabee has really won with his money rests on a subordinate question: How much is is really worth to have your claim to fame be “I spent millions of dollars simply to be remembered as ‘That guy who ran for president with Chuck Norris’ for the rest of my life”?

I’m having trouble making a value judgment.

Obama’s Speech

posted by on February 6 at 2:03 PM

So yeah, y’all hated all over me for implying that Obama’s TWENTY MINUTE SPEECH last night might’ve been a little too, um, speechy. (“You sound like a petulant child”; “really obnoxious”; “clearly drunk and on the rag”; “bitchy”; “crap”; fat; “a bitch”; etc.) So in the interest of sober, day-after analysis, I ask you to WATCH the video and decide: Do you really find all twenty minutes of this “inspiring”? Really? Because I still think it was rambling and dull (not that Clinton’s an amazing orator, but she did manage to keep last night’s speech under three years long.)

Part 1 here; part 2 after the jump.

Continue reading "Obama's Speech" »

Get Fat, Start Smoking…

posted by on February 6 at 2:00 PM

… and save us all some cash, by dying earlier.

With a simulation model, lifetime health-care costs were estimated for a cohort of obese people aged 20 y at baseline. To assess the impact of obesity, comparisons were made with similar cohorts of smokers and “healthy-living” persons (defined as nonsmokers with a body mass index between 18.5 and 25). Except for relative risk values, all input parameters of the simulation model were based on data from The Netherlands…

Until age 56 y, annual health expenditure was highest for obese people. At older ages, smokers incurred higher costs. Because of differences in life expectancy, however, lifetime health expenditure was highest among healthy-living people and lowest for smokers. Obese individuals held an intermediate position. Alternative values of epidemiologic parameters and cost definitions did not alter these conclusions.

(Emphasis added.)

It’s long been assumed if we—through clever preventive medicine and public policy—prevent people from becoming obese or smoking, lifetime medical expense should decrease. Right? Maybe wrong.

(Standard disclaimers apply: This study may only apply to the Dutch, those living below sea level or the blonde. Data from US population studies was applied to a different population. This is a simulation study, rather than a study of actual people. Nor was it an interventional study. Any premature death or incurred expense from reading this post or article is entirely your fault.)

The Republican Field: Can McCain Be Stopped?! (No.)

posted by on February 6 at 1:50 PM

By Ryan S. Jackson

So, we know, the Democratic race is a total car wreck. What of the Republicans?

While there was early speculation that John McCain’s win last night didn’t seem to be generating the enthusiasm that you would expect of a party rallying around what looks to be its nominee, its hard to argue with some of the brutal electoral realities:

-McCain stomped his opponents in the big states and did fairly well in the smaller ones. In California, where Romney was supposedly riding a mini-surge of his own, McCain won all but two of the state’s congressional districts. His margin in most of the other major delegate states are similarly massive.

-While there’s still some quibbling over the final delegate count, McCain’s camp is claiming that at this point the arithmetic toward the 1,191 delegate majority is so far in their favor that it’s almost impossible for them to lose. McCain is cautiously at 775, while Romney sits at 284. This puts Romney in a situation where he almost has to run the board for the remaining contests. Which is a problem because…

-So long as Mike Huckabee is in the race, Mitt Romney will never be able to bring together a viable anti-McCain coalition. Based on his ability last night to win states with little money or media exposure, Huckabee is saying that he’s staying in.

-Ron Paul is going to have a race car! Vroooom! He has yet to challenge viably for a state.

In other news, I just found out that while one Duncan Hunter may be out of the presidential race (and politics) forever, another, younger Duncan Hunter will be replacing him. Hunter’s son, Duncan D. Hunter, will be running for his father’s congressional seat in California. Duncan D. Hunter also has a son named Duncan Hunter. The chain of Hunter-dom may remain unbroken well into my seventies.

The World Is a Ghetto

posted by on February 6 at 1:43 PM


There’s no need to search anywhere
Happiness is here, have your share
If you know you’re loved, be secure
Paradise is love to be sure
Don’t you know that it’s true
That for me and for you
The world is a ghetto

And So It Begins…

posted by on February 6 at 1:21 PM

From the mail room:

Dear The Stranger Staff,

You’ve got to be with me here, no? Tearing don the Sunset is Bowl Shit!

To honor that fine Seattle establishment, I’ve made these Bowl shirts. I hope one of you will put this one on, come down to the sunset and join me and like 20 of my nearest and dearest (we’ll all be wearing the shirts too) on Friday, February 8. We’ll be there after 8 and will be the ones in matching Bowl Shirts.


Upon seeing the t-shirt, Erica C Barnett responded: “What are they protesting? The fact that market forces allow people to sell their own property?”


Washington State SEIU Endorses Obama

posted by on February 6 at 1:15 PM

I’m on a conference call with the Obama campaign right now. It was convened to announced a “key Washington State endorsement,” and the endorsement comes from… The Service Employees International Union—the largest union in Washington State, with over 100,000 members—whose leaders are heaping praise on Obama as I type.

Rep. Adam Smith, the Obama chair in Washington State, is also on the call. After it ends, I’ll let you know what Smith says about Obama’s strategy going into Saturday’s caucuses.

UPDATE: Ok, the call is over. I honestly found the praise and promises from the SEIU people (“he’s awakening a sleeping giant,” “between now and Saturday morning, we are not going to rest”) less interesting than the strategy talk from Rep. Smith.

Smith predicted an Obama win in Washington on Saturday but said it would take work. “We have the ability to win,” he said. “We just need to do the work in the next three days to make that happen… It should be a fun 72 hours.”

On last night’s results: “All of us in the state and throughout the country are very excited about the results from Super Tuesday. We actually ended up with more delegates, and I believe more votes, and more states… It’s just incredible that in a 22-state, nation-wide primary Senator Obama was able to come out on top.”

In other words, Smith is pushing Obama’s new theme that he’s the underdog candidate on the verge of vanquishing the mighty Clinton machine, but with a lot more work still to do. So Smith was pushing that message, but more overtly, he said that in Washington the Obama camp would be pushing Obama’s standard message of change and “being right on Iraq”—a big issue for anti-war voters anywhere, but one that should be particularly resonant in Seattle.

“He’s right on the issues, and he’s unifying people,” Smith said. “We’re excited about the message we have, we’ve got enthusiastic support in every corner of the state… We are very confident in getting our people out and having a very strong showing on Saturday for Senator Obama in the caucuses.”

A reporter on the call asked whether Obama might come back for the (meaningless) Democratic primary on Feb. 19.

“It is all about delegates,” Smith said. In other words, no.

Barack, Michelle, and Bill in Washington

posted by on February 6 at 12:27 PM

I’ve added this to my Hello Washington post below, but for those who aren’t into scrolling:

It looks like Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Bill Clinton will all be in Washington State this week. Obama’s public schedule has him holding private events (read: fundraisers) in Seattle on Friday. And this report has Bill and Michelle holding public events in Spokane on the same day.

UPDATE: An Obama campaign spokesman tells me there will, indeed, be a public event in Seattle on Friday. He writes:

For sure there will be a large, public event that will be free and open to the public.

News Intern Needed

posted by on February 6 at 11:55 AM

Our last intern, Brian Slodysko, covered the anti-war protests down in Olympia, wrote about evil polluters in Georgetown, put a microscope to Rep. Dave Reichert’s voting record, eyeballed corporate donations to state Sen. Margarita Prentice (D-11, Renton), and got chased off the Seattle Times parking lot by Seattle Times security for taking a picture of Frank Blethen’s purple porsche.


He also did karaoke at city council member David Della’s “victory” party. He sang “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.”

For these reasons, we loved Brian Slodysko. (Although, we didn’t love that he liked ZZ Top as much as he did.) We need a new Brian Slodysko. ASAP.

You don’t have to have an opinion about Obama or Hillary (and Erica doesn’t bite), but it helps.

If you want to work in a local newsroom (for no pay!), please e-mail

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on February 6 at 11:49 AM

I am simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by this.


From Flickr pooler veo_.

It’s a Start

posted by on February 6 at 11:30 AM

A little good news:

A group of Christian ministers from mainstream denominations will march in the Mardi Gras parade to apologise for the church’s hostility to gay and lesbian people.

The apology statement by the group calling itself the 100 Reverends asked for forgiveness, but insisted the signatories were individuals and not official representatives of any denominations.

“The church has been responsible for fostering hatred towards and exacerbating the marginalisation of the GLBT community,” Pastor Mike Hercock said. “We choose to stand with the Lord of the church and offer friendship and welcome.”

Friendship and welcome, but not approval. The fine print:

Metropolitan Community Church, which caters to gay and lesbian Christians, has given support to the statement and float, but will not play a major role. “Not everyone who is part of that approves of homosexual people, they’re just apologising for the way the church has behaved,” MCC Reverend Karl Hand said.

Apologetic gay bashing is better unapologetic gay bashing, I guess, and it’s remarkable that these preachers have decided to make their apologies by taking part in Sydney’s Mardi Gras Parade, which features a lot of naked and nearly-naked male flesh—no wait. Now it all makes sense.

Re: Would You Like to Play a Game?

posted by on February 6 at 11:29 AM

Oh WarGames! I loved it. And despite being an ‘80’s dem-computers-are-going-crazy movie, it’s freakishly factual at points.

The nihilistic glee of Dr. Falken noting that Goose Island’s (not a real Island, but clearly meant to be one of the San Juans) proximity to “a primary target” guarantees an early and total death during nuclear war? True!

Indian Island, up near Port Townsend, is pretty much carved out and turned into the world’s largest depot of nuclear warheads. Where is the sub dock? Underwater! Just like the sub base in the first Indiana Jones movie!


So, take pride Western Washington. Any nation with more than three ICBM capable nuclear warheads is probably sending one our way. Just like the movie says!

Assignment : Escape From Murderous Children

posted by on February 6 at 11:15 AM

Okay, I know this is a long piece and it wasn’t actually an internship assignment, and it has no relation to politics, or arts, or Seattle….but I have to share it with all of you. So here goes….

Today I went to Walmer Township High School in South Africa hoping to work with some of the students on their English compositions. By the time I arrived, it was late in the day, and hot in the classrooms, and none of the students were down with sitting and talking about their writing. I contemplated going home, but decided I would accompany Anthony, one of the study abroad program directors, to the Walmer basketball courts to watch the kids shoot hoops.

Fifteen minutes into the game, a 5 year old girl grabbed my arm. She smiled up at me and played with my arm hair, rubbing her skin against mine. I thought it was cute, and a little weird.

“My hairy arms must look silly to you,” I said to her, but she didn’t understand English. Then another boy came and started pulling on my leg. Cute, I thought. They like me. I smiled down at them. “I am a mountain,” I thought to myself, “You can play on me, you can pull my hair, you can drool on me, but I’m staying put. I am a calm peaceful mountain.”

Then the five year old girl started biting my crotch.

Ok, not my actual penis but the cloth surrounding it. “Ack!” I yelled. “Can someone err help me?” I looked up but everyone was super absorbed by the basketball practice. “Quick, how do I say stop it in Xhosa?” I asked a boy standing next to me. “Sizwe!” he said (or something. shit I forgot…) Then he looked down at the girl who’s teeth were wrapped around my crotch fabric and glared at her. He said something in Xhosa, and began to unbutton his belt. “Wait, what are you doing?” I asked him. “I’m threatening her,” he said. “Oh.” I said. The girl screamed and let go of my crotch and ran away, smiling.

I imagine her internal monologue was something along the lines of “oh you think you can fuck with me? Hahaha I laugh in your face. You’re going to get that 12 year old to fuck with me? You don’t got shit. I’m gonna fuck you up. Just you wait.”

I am scared. I am under attack by violent and insane 5 year olds and everyone is laughing like this is something adorable.

A young boy wanders up to me and grabs for my sunglasses. I let him try them on, because I am a complete moron. Within five minutes, there is a ginormous crowd of 4,5,6, and 7 year olds reaching for my sunglasses. I wonder to myself if 5 year olds ever abduct 21 year olds and bite them to death.

I run away. This was the second tactic I’d been considering; running for my life. They chase me and scream. I turn around and growl as loud as I can. A few run away screaming. They think this is just a game.

Of course not everyone runs away when I roar. I am not a very intimidating person, even with a roar. A few stick around and try and punch me. “Ahhhh! Why won’t you leave me alone!” I yell. More smiles. “Please please please, stop it.” I try and pick one of the girls up on my shoulders, the way I’d seen other people do it, but the girl kicks and punches me in the face, so I let go of her. She goes flying into the dirt. I could get jailed for this shit in America.

Now I am all out of tactics; I’ve tried calm, aggressive, playful, stoic, and talkative. I can’t throw children around, because that’s “illegal,” but nothing is working. I can’t get the goddammn children away from me.

“Oh hello,” the first five year old is now standing under my shorts and peering up them. “Please don’t…that is disrespectful” I say to her. “Oohhh!” she says.

I walk away from her and stand next to the same eight year old who had translated the Xhosa for me. I now considered him my bodyguard. “Please help me,” I say to him. “I don’t like children anymore.”

The boy says something else in Xhosa, and then the girl says something and then there is silence for about three seconds. “Uh. The girl says she wants us to kiss, and she also says you’re not wearing any underwear.” “Well, I am wearing underwear,” I say to the boy. “Tell her that.” More Xhosa. “She says she wants us to kiss.”

“Ha ha very funny,” I say, and kick the dust with my sandals. The boy smiles at me and I replay an episode of Law and Order in my brain. What if this boy kisses me? He’s eight! Imagine the lawsuits.

The little girl continues to peer up my shorts and I try to shoo her away. Then she sticks up her middle finger and shakes it at me. “Fuckyoooo” she says. It’s the first time I’ve heard her speak in English. I gasp.

Just then, a few of the girls from our program arrive at the basketball courts. They’d been leading a class on Women’s Issues. One of them, Melanie, is attacked by the same children who’d attacked me, but she is serenely calm about it all. She picks up the children and plops one on each shoulder. They coo and play with her blonde hair. Melanie looks supremely calm and unaffected. One of the other students from the study abroad program begins snapping photos of her with the children.

Oh just you wait, I think to myself. Wait till one of them tries to bite you in the crotch, or rub snot all over your hair.

But nothing bad happens. In fact, nothing happens at all. Melanie takes some more Princess Di pictures with the children, pictures that will look excellent as facebook profile pictures, because of how perfect the lighting is and how perfect Melanie’s hair is, and how perfectly everyone is smiling. Clouds part and the smoke from a distant widfire sneaks into the frame, perfectly.

I sit down in the grass, mutter to myself and wait for our group to leave.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 6 at 11:00 AM



To all the boys’ chagrin, the toothsome Dawn (a radiant Jess Weixler) is a passionate advocate for saving yourself until marriage, spending her free time conducting abstinence rallies for crowds of adoring preteens. Little do they know that God—or the nuclear power plant looming behind her family’s ranch home—has endowed Dawn with a chastity device far more powerful than human will: the vagina dentata. Cue a series of graphically dismembered penises. Teeth isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely one of a kind—and the abstinence-only parody is priceless. (See Movie Times for details.)


Currently Hanging (In My South African Flat)

posted by on February 6 at 10:31 AM


“Hello, I am a dolphin. I was, unfortunately, drawn by someone who considered Lisa Frank her own personal idol. That’s my cousin in the water below. He’s bigger because people who draw pictures as retarded as this one don’t understand the idea of scale. When you look at me, I hope you’ll think restful thoughts even though there is a volcano in a state of eruption behind me. If you can’t fall asleep, if this picture is too ‘hectic’ for you, good luck taking me down because my picture has literally been screwed into the walls.”


“Hello, I am a duck’s ass hole. Someone took a photograph of me and put me in your hallway, next to the door, to greet everyone who came inside. Just like the dolphin picture, I’ve been drilled into the walls, so good fucking luck taking me down. God I hate being involved in such a cliche picture. I’m sorry I’m on your wall. Also, I’m sorry for being born.”

Currently Hanging

posted by on February 6 at 10:30 AM

Renoir’s Seated Bather, circa 1897.

Renoir’s Bust of a Young Woman (Mademoiselle Diéterle), circa 1899.

In Renoir as Printmaker: The Complete Works, 1878-1912 at Tacoma Art Museum.

High Heels

posted by on February 6 at 10:21 AM

Bad for her toes, good for her sex life.

The World’s Hottest 4th Grader

posted by on February 6 at 10:20 AM

It used to be me, and I used to have proof, until Super Tuesday kicked me in the brainz and had its filthy way with me.

At some point during the six hours I spent at Moe Bar, between my new superbestpals buying me shots and Slog commenters being totally nice and something election-related going on in the background, I LOST my Madrona Elementary 1991-1992 yearbook, which NOT ONLY contains a pic of me wearing the world’s sexiest moldable felt hat, but ALSO photographic evidence of an eight-year-old Jonah Spangenthal-Lee’s flowing rat tail.


Has anyone seen my yearbook? THAT SHIT CANNOT BE REPLACED.

I don’t feel good.

(Confidential to the people who brought me that taco: I’m pretty sure that taco saved my life.)

Hello Washington

posted by on February 6 at 9:30 AM

Goodbye Super Tuesday, and hello Washington State.

After last night, the Republican race seems to have settled out in favor of John McCain while the Democratic race still remains a scramble for delegates between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And for delegate-hunting Democrats, the next sizable prize is here in Washington, where 80 delegates and 17 superdelegates are on the table in our caucuses this Saturday.

That’s the largest number of delegates at stake in any Feb. 9 contest.

So welcome to the race, Washington, and welcome to Washington, national media. Here are some things that anyone—political reporters, residents, and electoral recluses who are just tuning in—should know about Democratic politics in The Evergreen State:

OUR DEMOCRATS: Former state party chair Paul Berendt describes the psychological and political make-up of Washington’s Democrats this way:

Our state is the home of independent, cranky, edgy Democratic liberalism. We are the home of a labor movement with muscle and workers tough enough to fight for their rights. People here get pissed off when you don’t respect the environment. We have more hikers and bikers than just about anywhere. We have a progressive social conscience that cares for those down on their luck. We are willing to fight hard for the equal rights of people who march to a different drum… There is a profound feminist ethic in our Democratic politics. Polls show that the percentage of women who vote Democratic in our state is one of the highest in the nation.

If that last bit, about the feminist ethic, seems to favor the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, keep in mind that Berendt is a newly-minted Clinton backer, having previously co-chaired the John Edwards campaign in Washington State. Another former Edwards co-chair, Seattle attorney Jenny Durkan, has moved the other direction, into the Obama camp, and she describes Washington voters this way:

We love to vote. We vote on everything, and anything. We love it so much, we sometimes vote several times on the same issue. Blend that love of voting with the fact that we all have opinions, and an abundance of coffee and it all adds up to a very raucous caucus. But we are also the true bell weather—when Obama sweeps here Saturday, the handwriting will be on the wall. Little ideas grow big here—just ask Costco, Microsoft, Nordstrom, and Starbucks.

Or, she might have added, just ask Howard Dean. Seattle—which will easily account for one quarter of the caucus votes this Saturday—was a hotbed of Dean support in 2004. Donations of time and money from the Seattle area played a huge part in propelling Dean’s insurgent campaign, and “former Deaniacs” are now a serious constituency here. This cycle, the Deaniacs and the Dean-style momentum in Washington are both very tangibly behind Obama.

The easiest way to see this is in donations. Obama has raised much more money in Washington State than Clinton ($1.7 million for him vs. just under $1 million for her), and he’s raised it from a considerably larger base of donors (average donation for him is $700, average donation for her is $1,200).

OUR CAUCUSES: Yes, it’s true, we have a Democratic caucus on Feb. 9 and a Democratic primary on Feb. 19. But only the caucus counts in terms of apportioning our 80 Democratic delegates. Trust me, you don’t want know why. State party chairman Dwight Pelz (one of our uncommitted superdelegates) tells me that last cycle’s Democratic caucus turnout was about 100,00 voters, and he predicts that this cycle’s turnout could be anywhere from 125,000 to 200,000 voters. “It’s going to be record turnout,” he says.

OUR POLLS: Good polls are hard to come by here in Washington. The most recent poll we’ve found, a Survey USA poll, gave Obama a 22-point lead among likely caucus-goers.

Also, this somewhat out-of-date Washington Poll, from Nov. 27, 2007, is worth a look mainly for the higher support Obama garnered among independents.

OUR SUPERDELEGATES: Here’s the list of our 17 superdelegates and an accounting of which way seven of them have pledged. Clinton is currently winning the Washington superdelegate race, with five superdelegates in her camp compared to two in Obama’s camp. Ten remain un-pledged.

Notable Clinton superdelegates: Our two female Senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and King County Executive Ron Sims. (King County, which holds Seattle, is the largest and most liberal in the state, and the state Democratic party chair, Pelz, tells me that he expects fully half of Saturday’s caucus votes to come from King County.)

Notable Obama superdelegate: Rep. Adam Smith, whose district covers large pockets of liberal voters south of Seattle.

Fence-sitting superdelegates to watch: Gov. Christine Gregoire, who has promised to make her decision before the caucuses, and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Seattle), who has not. Much has been made of Washington’s status as the only state to have it’s top elected positions—our two Senate seats and the governor’s office—filled by women. With our two Senators having already backed Clinton, there would be nice symbolism (for the Clinton campaign, at least) in getting the third top woman in this state to endorse Hillary. But the rumor is that Gregoire is leaning toward Obama, and the political reality (Gregoire is up for election this year after having won by only 132 votes in 2004) might be making Gregoire think hard about whether she wants to alienate liberal voters in Seattle, who seem overwhelmingly behind Obama, and perhaps conservatives and independents in the eastern part of the state, who are more likely to be hard-core Hillary haters. For McDermott’s part, he appears to be caught between his pro-Obama constituency in Seattle and a big debt he owes to the Clintons, who helped McDermott pay down legal fees in connection with his long-running court fight with Republican John Boehner.

OUR NEWSPAPERS: Both of this state’s major newspapers, The Seattle Times and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, have endorsed Obama. So has Seattle’s America’s Hometown Newspaper, The Stranger.

OUR VISITORS: The Clinton campaign has suggested it may not spend much time here. Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s public schedule has him holding private events (read: fundraisers) in Seattle on Friday. And this report has Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama holding public events in Spokane on Friday.


posted by on February 6 at 9:11 AM

The plot thickens. Sent last night to I, Anonymous:

be a man. own up to the fact that you and your boyfriend got your asses kicked because you started beating on somebody’s car with your cane. don’t play the hate card because you happen to be gay. i saw your confrontation on olive way, sunday morning. after YOU stopped traffic and “words” where exchanged, it was YOU who elevated the situation to the physical. i would expect two straight men to get THEIR asses kicked after vandalizing someone’s vehicle. should you use your lifestyle as an excuse for your behavior? NO, you shouldn’t! calling it a hate crime diminishes all those that have been truly harassed and assaulted because of their sexual orientation. i don’t feel sorry for you in the least. be a man and admit that YOU fucked up and bit off more that you could chew.

Hm. KIRO’s report emphasizes the gay-bashing aspect of the attack (and says it happened early Saturday instead of early Sunday), while KOMO’s tells a story more in line with Anonymous. Curious.

Morning News

posted by on February 6 at 9:10 AM

Super Tuesday: On the Democratic side, Clinton wins big states like California and New York; Obama wins more states including Minnesota, Connecticut, Alaska, and Missouri. On the Republican side, McCain pulls ahead, but Romney and Hucakbee survive.

It’s the Delegates, Stupid: Obama camp claims more delegates.

Super Saturday: The battle comes to Washington state!

Tornadoes: Harsh storm slams the South, 48 dead.

Storm at Local Arts Center: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Director comes under harsh spotlight.

In other News: Jonah Spangenthal-Lee and the Slog brought you the story and headline of the century

And P.s. on Super Tuesday: Why does John “Obama +13.0 in California” Zogby still have a job?

Would You Like to Play a Game?

posted by on February 6 at 8:27 AM


Israel is in the early stages of developing a robotic defense system that has the ability—in “very complex scenarios”—to “generate a level of supreme situational awareness and snap intuitive capabilities that could surpass the very best wartime commanders.”

In extreme circumstances, “where the number of incoming weapons could overwhelm today’s systems and their human operators, [Israel’s] envisioned super system could take over completely.”

Even the systems we currently have malfunction some times, killing people. This idea involves extending those systems so that they’re actually designed to act completely on their own in certain situations, making it much more likely that some bad input or data sends them down that pre-programmed path.

The Israelis are calling the new system Skynet. Just kidding, they don’t have a name for it yet.

Via Danger Room

Ted Haggard Gets an Incomplete

posted by on February 6 at 8:13 AM

Rev. Ted Haggard dropped out of the “restoration” program designed to restore him to complete heterosexuality, according to a letter from the pastor that replaced Haggard at New Life Church, which Haggard founded.

In January 2007, Ted Haggard voluntarily agreed to enter a process of spiritual restoration. He has selected Phoenix First Assembly and Pastor Tommy Barnett as his local church fellowship and is maintaining an accountability relationship there. He has recently requested to end his official relationship with the New Life Church Restoration Team and this has been accepted by them.

New Life Church recognizes the process of restoring Ted Haggard is incomplete and maintains its original stance that he should not return to vocational ministry.

You may recall that in early 2007 Haggard’s “restoration team” declared the pole-smoking, meth-snorting evangelical “completely heterosexual” after Ted underwent a 21-day treatment program. Looks like that proclamation was a bit premature.

Via JoeMyGod.

845 to 836

posted by on February 6 at 8:10 AM

Barack Obama didn’t take California last night—but he took more delegates last night than Hillary Clinton did.

In a surprise twist after a chaotic Super Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) passed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in network tallies of the number of delegates the candidates racked up last night. The Obama camp projects topping Clinton by nine delegates, 845 to 836.

NBC News, which is projecting delegates based on the Democratic Party’s complex formula, figures Obama will wind up with 840 to 849 delegates, versus 829 to 838 for Clinton.

Clinton was portrayed in many news accounts as the night’s big winner, but Obama’s campaign says he wound up with a higher total where it really counts—the delegates who will choose the party’s nominee at this summer’s Democratic convention.

Doing Well By Doing Good

posted by on February 6 at 8:00 AM

Hm… first email of the morning…

Thanks for the help last night. I was at your talk at the PITT campus with one of the women I am seeing. She is 49 and has had three husbands and yet is still quite innocent when it comes to sex. (I’m 50 by the way, and not so innocent.) Anyway I have been trying to get her to play with my ass more. I have pointed out that she likes it so why shouldn’t I? The most she would do was stroke the outside between my butt cheeks. Until last night, after your talk we went to her place and she inserted one finger while giving me a blow job. After she was done she looked at me and said “What have I done?” and buried her embarrassed face in my chest. So we still have a way to go until the comfort level is good, but a little progress is a little progress.

Anyway, thanks for your help and for some really great advice.

Ledger’s Death an Accident—Kinda

posted by on February 6 at 7:50 AM

From the NYT:

The New York City chief medical examiner’s office has ruled that the actor Heath Ledger, whose body was found in a SoHo apartment on Jan. 22, died of an accidental overdose of prescription medications that included painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs.

“Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine,” Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, said in a brief statement. “We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications.”

Remember, kids, drugs should be abused one at a time.

“Stupid enough to be true”

posted by on February 6 at 7:46 AM

OK, the weather did not effect turnout in Chicago that much, but you can rely on Chicago’s brilliant election workers for some entertainment nonetheless. In Illinois, a paper ballot is about the size of a broadsheet newspaper; it’s made out of heavy paper, and you vote by filling in the middle of an arrow next to the name of the candidate. The polling places have to provide special pens so the scanner will read the ballot. And if those pens don’t work?

Twenty voters at a Far North Side precinct who found their ink pens not working were told by election judges not to worry.

It’s invisible ink, officials said. The scanner will count it.

But their votes weren’t recorded after all.

“Part of me was thinking it does sound stupid enough to be true,” said Amy Carlton, who had serious doubts but went ahead and voted anyway.

I shit thee not.

Overheard at the Airport

posted by on February 6 at 5:56 AM

“Attention. There will be mass and ashes in the chapel at 10:00 AM. All are welcome. Ass and mashes in the chapel. I’m sorry, mass and ashes. Mass and ashes in the chapel at 10:00 AM.”

Moroni is Angry

posted by on February 6 at 5:44 AM

Immediately after voters in the South hand Mike Huckabee a string of unexpected victories on Super Tuesday—keeping him in the race and dealing a fatal blow to Mitt Romney’s presidential hopes—a string of killer tornadoes sweep through the South. Coincidence? There are no coincidences, people. Only miracles.

This is the divine wrath of an angry God.

Remember, people: Mormon was the correct answer. Only Mormons get into heaven—they don’t get into the White House, but they have heaven all to themselves.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

iFrame Bug FTW

posted by on February 5 at 10:09 PM

Apple’s Safari browser sometimes has issues with iframes, which we use to present our Slog polls, liveslogs, and other framey stuff. Sometimes the frame in one post will show whatever content appeared in the last iframe you viewed on your computer instead of the framed content you expect. You’ll see some political poll when you expect a Project Runway live Slog widget, for example.

SO.. the funniest sight on Slog tonight is:


P.S. If you run into this bug, just restart the browser. Clears it right up.

Mitt Romney’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

posted by on February 5 at 9:37 PM

Mittens is in trouble, deep trouble. Tonight was not a good night for him.

The surprise? Huckabee is back in the game. Not enough to really win, but enough to once again be a serious candidate.

Look for extensive talk of a McCain / Huckabee ticket in coming weeks. And possibly Ann Coulter’s head spinning. Well, more so than usual.

(Drunkenly slogged. Please be kind.)

Even at a Super Tuesday Party, the Kids are Getting Laid

posted by on February 5 at 9:06 PM

Seriously. I was at this party. Erica C. Barnett wasn’t lying. Believe. The 9 o’clock-ish speech went on too long, even Probama Team USA started gettin’ glassy-eyed and finding distractions. In the day and age of YouTube, internet, and television reality junkie-ism, you have to keep your speeches TIGHT. SHORT. 3-Minute-Limit, son. We kinda got bored…

Local-nice-guy-politico bought the entire bar a shot (read: 200+people), in Obama’s name…


This resulted in me taking bra-only photos of ladies in the bathroom - an honest attempt to to appropriate some of the gaudy Mardi Gras necklaces that read: “SHOW US YOUR VOTE”


then I watched these barely-old-enough-to-vote-voters, one from France, chant “OBAMA!” and start doing THIS, then THIS, then
THIS - right in the middle of his speech.

I’m telling you, Mr. Obama, 3-Minute-LIMIT. Make ‘em pay attention.


posted by on February 5 at 9:04 PM

Is Obama really STILL talking? Even the Obamatons here at Moe Bar have stopped listening. And his sign-holders are looking bored.

But yeah, blah blah blah unity One America inspire blah blah blah.

Obama and McCain are Speaking

posted by on February 5 at 8:42 PM

I’m trying to livestream Obama…

Some of what Obama said before my computer crashed:

There is one thing on this February night that we do not need the final results to know: Our time has come.

Our time has come, our movement is real, and change is coming to America…

This time can be different, because this time, this campaign for the presidency of the United States of America is different.

It’s different not because of me, it’s different because of you. Because you are tired of being disappointed, and you are tired of being let down…

This isn’t about be, and it’s not about Senator Clinton. As I said before, she was a friend before this campaign and she’ll be a friend after it’s over. I commend her on her victories. She’s been running an outstanding campaign.

But this fall, we owe the American people a real choice.

That real choice, he said, is between the past and the future; between change and more of the same; between going into the fall campaign with Republicans already united against Democrats or not; between having a debate over who has the most experience in Washington, or over who has the best ability to change Washington. (“Because,” he said, “that’s a debate we can win”—and then added that Clinton had taken more money from Washington lobbyists than any Republican in this election.)

And if I am your nominee, my oponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq, because I didn’t….


Jim McDermott’s Take

posted by on February 5 at 8:35 PM

Earlier today I asked a few local political notables to email me their thoughts as the Super Tuesday results came in. Congressman Jim McDermott, one of Washington’s still-undecided superdelegates, sends this reaction:

It’s a long way from over and now it’s your turn. No one walks away with the nomination tonight, but let me tell you something that worries me: the demographics, so far at least, indicate that just over 10 percent of the democratic voters were under 30. That’s a missed opportunity for young people to decide their future, and there has been no election in my lifetime that is more important than this one to replace George Bush; we must get back on the right track. It is your future that I am worried about, not mine; my son and daughter and my grandchildren, like you, face huge deficits, global warming and deteriorating American standing in the world. Who we pick this time is more important than any selection we have made in 150 years. This weekend in the state of Washington, you have to participate in order to have a say in your future. You can’t be against the war and against participating; you can’t be concerned about global warming and not show up. And, let me clear up one misconception. I am not uncommitted in the upcoming Caucus. I am totally committed to electing a Democratic President this November. See you on Saturday.

A Local Democrat Tells Me…

posted by on February 5 at 8:10 PM

You didn’t hear these from me, but…

Bill Clinton is likely in Seattle on Friday, they’re calling around to get help with advance work.

Gregoire likely to endorse Obama some time tomorrow, though that is less certain from what I’ve been told.

UPDATE: Obama is reportedly coming to Seattle on Friday.

8 PM: Calfornia Thread

posted by on February 5 at 8:00 PM

California: CNN calls it for Clinton and McCain.

Clinton is Speaking

posted by on February 5 at 7:51 PM

And this before the California polls close!

I’m having the same problem as before. What do you hear? (I’m going to try to livestream this one if I can.)

7:40 PM: Oh Yeah, American Samoa

posted by on February 5 at 7:46 PM

As Pago Pago goes…

A record 285 caucus-goers voted in a hotel in Pago Pago, American Samoa. They gave Clinton 163 votes and Barack Obama 121, with one going to former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel.

The result gives Clinton two more national convention votes and Obama one.

Romney is Speaking

posted by on February 5 at 7:32 PM

And, as with Huckabee, I can’t hear a word. What do you hear?

Huckabee is Speaking

posted by on February 5 at 7:15 PM

He was speaking when I got up to run to the restroom. He was speaking when I returned. He’s been speaking for about 10 minutes since. But I have no idea what he’s saying because it’s too crowded and loud here at MoeBar. Anyone hear the guy? Anything interesting?

UPDATE: Jonathan Martin was listening:

With the Beatles in the background, Huck is paying homage to all the Razorback SEC rivals who’ve given him delegates tonight.

Taking the stage in Little Rock, he noted that “a lot of people have been trying to say this is a two-man race.”

“Well, you know what?” he asked. “It is – and we’re in it!”

Then he made two allusions to scripture.

Wrapping up, Huck said as long there is a delegate hunt on, there would be one guy “answering the bell every time there’s a new round.”

7 PM: Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Utah Thread

posted by on February 5 at 7:00 PM

Idaho: Democratic caucus only. CNN calls it for Obama.

Montana: Republican caucus only. Too close/early to call.

North Dakota: CNN calls it for Obama and Romney.

Utah: CNN calls it for Romney. Dem side too close/early to call.

Moe Bar Is Packed

posted by on February 5 at 6:59 PM

Packed with geeks… the best kind of geeks, drinking, arguing, intelligently boisterous…
(all photos by Kelly O)

Obama Spin

posted by on February 5 at 6:54 PM

Ben Smith sees the same thing I’m seeing: Not much real-time spin from the Obama camp tonight. However, his colleague Carrie Budoff Brown talked to some Obama aides and got this spin out of them:

— They are winning states by a dominant amount and losing by smaller margins.

— Wait for the caucus states - their organization is better there.

— She should be winning her home state by more. The margin is comparable to her margin in Michigan.

So That Ted Kennedy Endorsement?

posted by on February 5 at 6:48 PM

… Sure did a lot of good for Obama, no?

It’s the Delegates, Stupid.

posted by on February 5 at 6:42 PM

A number of commenters keep complaining that we’re focusing too much on popular-vote wins and not enough on delegates. They’re right that delegates are what matter in this race, not popular vote totals.

However, it’s too early in the evening for us to bring you delegate breakdowns. Honestly, you probably won’t get them until tomorrow for many states.

Until then, the popular vote is a rough guide to who might win the most delegates in a given state.

I say rough because, as many commenters already know, it’s possible to win the popular vote in a given state and still lose the delegate count. But, by and large, if a candidate wins a state by a wide margin, he or she is likely to win the delegate count.

Upset of the Night?

posted by on February 5 at 6:15 PM

If I seem inundated with Clinton spin this evening, it’s because I am. The Obama campaign has been largely silent today, at least on the email front. Meanwhile, the Clinton camp has been sending out “Hillary Wire” updates throughout the day, and is sending out “talking points” after each poll closing and/or state call.

With that in mind, here’s what I just received from camp Clinton under the subject heading, “UPSET OF THE NIGHT - MASSACHUSETTS FOR CLINTON”:

One of the biggest surprises of the night is Massachusetts.

Despite the fact that Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry were actively supporting and campaigning for Obama, Hillary Clinton won the state.

Despite the fact that the Governor of Massachusetts endorsed Obama, Hillary Clinton won the state.

Despite the fact that Obama visited Massachusetts just last night, Hillary Clinton won the state.

This is a strong victory and shows that Hillary Clinton has strength in places where Barack Obama was expected to win.

Three Surprises

posted by on February 5 at 6:12 PM

1) Mike Huckabee: WTF?

2) Hillary just took New York by a HUGE margin: Probably not surprising in most of the country, but certainly a shock here in Obamamad Seattle, where nine out of ten people I know are rooting for the Great Inspirer. Here at Moe Bar, where Stranger HQ is in the back corner, the room is absolutely jammed with Obama supporters; when CNN announced Clinton’s NYC victory, I think three of us applauded. Obama just won Delaware’s, what? one delegate?, and the room exploded with applause.

3) This actually feels exciting — it’s such a huge contrast from 2004, when I felt more mad than engaged. Whatever the outcome (and yeah, I’m a Hillary fan, but I’m a Democrat first) tonight feels like a huge step forward out of the last eight years.

Forget All These Piddly States…

posted by on February 5 at 6:07 PM

Who’s gonna take California?

6 PM: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island Thread

posted by on February 5 at 6:00 PM

Arizona: CNN calls it for McCain and Clinton.

Colorado: Too close/early to call.

Kansas: CNN calls it for Obama. Republican side too close/early to call.

Minnesota: CNN calls it for Obama and Romney.

New Mexico: Too close/early to call.

New York: CNN calls it for Clinton and McCain.

Rhode Island: Too close/early to call.

Confidential to CNN:

posted by on February 5 at 5:45 PM

More Anderson Cooper, less Wolf Blitzer, please.

Also, I think I made those pie-chart graphics in my third-grade math class.


5:30 PM: Arkansas Thread

posted by on February 5 at 5:30 PM

Arkansas: CNN calls it for Clinton and Huckabee.

5 PM: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee Thread

posted by on February 5 at 4:59 PM

Alabama: AP projects Huckabee on the Republican side. CNN calls it for Obama.

Connecticut: CNN calls it for McCain and Obama.

Delaware: CNN calls it for McCain and Obama.

Illinois: CNN calls it for McCain and Obama.

Massachusetts: CNN calls it for Romney. AP projects Clinton.

Missouri: AP calls it for Clinton. Republican side too close/early to call.

New Jersey: AP projects McCain on the Republican side. Fox calls it for Clinton.

Oklahoma: CNN calls it for Clinton and McCain.

Tennessee: CNN calls it for Clinton. Republican side too close/early to call.


5:07 p.m. Clinton spin (slightly ahead of the call in Tennessee):

We’re very excited by our strong victories in Oklahoma and Tennessee.

These are the first two states where both candidates competed fiercely.

For months, the Obama campaign has been spinning that they have a monopoly on red states; tonight we showed that they don’t.

With these first two victories, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated that she can compete and win in red states.

Pooper Tuesday

posted by on February 5 at 4:46 PM


Does this happen to other people: You have to take a dump, and you go sit on the toilet. And you feel yourself… part with something significant. Something considerable. You’re sure of it. You were distinctly conscious of its leave taking—distinctly—and it was no small matter.

But when you look down into the toilet… there’s nothing there.

I assume this phenomenon has something to do with trajectory and velocity, with form and function, with bowl design and bottom position. Does this happen to others? Or is it just me? If it does happen to others, it seems to me that ought to be a term for this phenomenon.

Woman Stuck in Synagogue Chimney

posted by on February 5 at 4:42 PM

Seattle Police have cordoned off the blocks surrounding the Temple De Hirsch Sinai on Capitol Hill at 1520 Union Ave E. Seattle Police say a woman was on the roof of the building, refusing to come down.


UPDATE 1: Amy Kate Horn is on the scene. According to someone at the Temple, a woman fell down the building’s chimney and is stuck.


Update 2: Amy Kate was told that a woman was on the roof with a knife, trying to get into the building, and she either fell or jumped into the chimney. Now she’s stuck halfway between the chimney and the boiler. Police are in contact with her.


Update 3: Firefighters used sledgehammers and got the woman out of the chimney. She’s now being loaded into an ambulance.


SPD is about to brief the press.

Update 4: SPD spokesman Mark Jamieson says at 3pm, police got a call there was a woman on the roof. They attempted to contact her, and she refused to come down. Officers surrounded the building and the woman climbed down the building’s chimney. As she was climbing down, she got stuck.

The Seattle Fire Department’s Heavy Rescue Team came and got the woman out. She does not appear to be injured.

SPD does not know what the woman was doing on the roof, and cannot confirm that she had a weapon. They’re taking the woman to the hospital, and aren’t sure if she’ll be charged with anything.

Nervous About Super Tuesday Results?

posted by on February 5 at 4:14 PM

And a huge fag? This YouTube clip will take your mind off tonight’s results…

Thanks to Slog tipper Matthew.

4 PM: Georgia Thread: Obama and Huckabee Win

posted by on February 5 at 4:05 PM

Says Drudge, based on early exit poll numbers. (And says the AP via the NYT.)

UPDATE: Here are the early exit poll demographic highlights:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was strongly supported by Hispanics and people seeking an experienced candidate, but held only modest leads with women and whites, two of her usual strengths, in early national exit polls Tuesday. A coalition of black, young white and higher-income voters were flocking to Sen. Barack Obama.

UPDATE: The Clinton camp emails out its post-Georgia talking points:

We’re excited by what we’re seeing.

We have 21 states that are still outstanding where we expect to pick up a significant number of new delegates.

To be sure, both campaigns have a long night ahead of them – but we feel very good about the numbers that we’re seeing.

It’s very important that people in the states where the polls are still open get out and vote.

Unlike the Obama campaign, the Clinton campaign never dedicated significant resources to Georgia.

Sen. Obama spent over $500,000 dollars on ads on television and radio; we never went up on TV.

The Obama campaign has 9 offices in Georgia. The Clinton campaign only has 2.

Sen. Obama has had staff and significant campaign operation across the state for 8 months. Sen. Clinton only deployed staff to the state in the last couple of weeks.

Polls have consistently showed Sen. Obama with wide lead over Sen Clinton. That lead has only widened over time.

UPDATE: CNN calls it for Huckabee on the Republican side.

In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

posted by on February 5 at 3:48 PM

Today’s Music News: Britney restrains former manager, the White Stripes get sued, and the music from Harold and Maude finally sees its day.

PWRFL Power’s Road Diary: More Cheese Whiz and a house called “Little Pancakes.”

Question and Statement: Jeff Kirby wants to know why is 50 Cent endorsing Hilary? He also wants you to know that Bill O’Reilly is an asshole.

Photo: Hopscotch Boys at the Blue Moon.

In Stores Today: Nada Surf’s Lucky and Hot Chip’s Made in the Dark.

Tonight in Music: Ships and Olivier Latry.

With Science: Science and music and music and science and what’s happened since 1989.

Barack vs. Hillary: Who the rockstars are voting for.

Speaking of Scarlett Johansson: Here’s the Teenagers’ “Starlett Johansson.”

Breakdancing Babies: Brought to you by Ari Spool and YouTube.

“Fuck What Yo’ Mama Say: I’mma Vote Obama Way.

Upcoming In-stores: Grand Archives, Kimya Dawson, Speaker Speaker, and Tullycraft all playing a record store near you.

Speaking of Kimya Dawson: The Moldy Peaches records are blowing up on eBay.


Northern Exposure

posted by on February 5 at 3:34 PM

Tired of the flimsy faux-Craftsman townhouses going up all over town? Wish more of the mixed-use developments contained apartments instead of exorbitantly priced condos? Your pleas have been heard, at least, north of the ship canal, where some developers are counting on a thriving rental market for workers who can’t afford to buy property near city jobs, and buyers willing pay more for good design.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are four interesting developments breaking ground this year. Click on the intersection link for a map of the surrounding streets.

N 40th St and Aurora Ave N

For the briefest moment, as I read about the plans to replace a couple of the motels near the Aurora bridge, I was like, aww, I’m gonna miss those old things. And then I was, like, no, I won’t. Those were ratty pieces of shit. And by the time I went to take pictures, they were long gone.


Rentals by the hour are being replaced by rentals by the month, says Kent Angiers of Kauri Investments. He’s proposed a four-story building with 93 apartments, seven live-work units at ground level, and 103 underground parking spaces. Most are one- and two-bedroom apartments—sadly, no three-bedroom rentals, which the city needs more of.


It turns its back on Aurora.


It puts the lotion on its skin.

The building is by Clark Design Group, which also designed Trio (represented by this impenetrable Web site), under the eye of Brenda Barnes, who says they expect to get a building permit in the next couple months. Definitely an improvement on the nasty motels.

NE 105th St and Greenwood Ave N

Robert Pinkley has the last name “Pinkley,” which makes him cooler than other developers. But the president of Telus Development also has admirable design ethics. He decided to replace this ugly, piece-of-shit car wash…


…with these 14 bitchin’ townhouses and live-work units.


Design by Caron Architecture.

“I’m really averse to building something that’s so homogenous,” says Pinkley. “You see so many of the developments with that pseudo-Craftsman look, with beige colors. That’s bad business as well as bad taste,” he says. (A-fucking-men, Pinkley.) “It’s prudent to build something imaginative and interesting,” he says.

The two- and three-bedroom townhouses will sell for between $400-500 thousand. Construction crews are expected to break ground in June.

N 40th St and Stone Way N

It was a Safeway until QFC bought the building several years ago and demolished it. Currently there is this chasm.


With a deal in the works to buy the land from Kroger, Prescott Development has already planned a major, block-long development on the site. The firm has proposed a five-story building, with 160 apartments and 17,000 square feet of commercial space.

However, despite “a dozen or so comments about how neighbors would like to see grocery store there,” says Derr, who attended the development’s first design-guidance meeting last night, Prescott has not committed to a grocery store. He says 5000 square feet of the street-level retail will be designated for smaller shops and the remaining 12000 square feet is up in the air. Here’s Prescott’s preferred design proposal.


“Don’t get caught up on the colors,” Derr told me. I’ll try focus on the shape instead. It looks like attempts to break up the monolithic lines of the exterior have resulted in a mish-mash of ill-fitting geometric shapes, like a failed attempt to build something from both Legos and Duplos. Derr says that Baylis Architects is attempting to break up the monotony of the structure while designing a building that is “attractive on all four sides and relates to Wallingford’s and Fremont’s character.” I have hope.

Affordable housing for seniors after the jump.

Continue reading "Northern Exposure" »

The Bitter Tears of James Dobson

posted by on February 5 at 3:24 PM

The head of Focus on the Family announces that he won’t vote if McCain is the nominee.

“I am deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, voted for embryonic stem-cell research to kill nascent human beings, opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, has little regard for freedom of speech, organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters in judicial hearings, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.

“I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has sounded at times more like a member of the other party. McCain actually considered leaving the GOP caucus in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry’s running mate in 2004. McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does NOT make the medicine go down. I cannot, and will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.”

Man, that’s sweet. In fact, it calls for a celebration. I’m going to go have me a glass of lousy champagne in the airport-quality bar just off the ugly lobby of this depressing hotel.

Lawrence Lessig Endorses…

posted by on February 5 at 3:23 PM

Lawrence Lessig—founder of Creative Commons, EFF board member, copyleft demigod—strongly endorses Obama.

But it’s important not because of the details about Barack Obama’s policy strengths. I believe his policies are strong, especially the policies I know something in particular about — his technology policies are extremely strong. But policy differences between these two candidates are actually quite small….

This is a man who will inspire as he leads. He will inspire all of us, across racial lines, and gender lines, across class lines, across age. He will inspire us because he can capture, in a way that very few presidents in the last hundred years have been able to capture, the imagination of a generation….

So I want you to shut your eyes and imagine what it will seem like to a young man in Iraq or in Iran, who wakes up on January 21st, 2009, and sees the picture of this man as the president of the United States. A man who opposed the war at the beginning, a man who worked his way up from almost nothing, a man who came from a mother and a father of mixed cultures and mixed societies, who came from a broken home to overcome all of that to become the leader in his class, at the Harvard Law Review, and an extraordinary success as a politician. How can they see us when they see us as having chosen this man as our president?

There can be no clearer way that we could say, that we could say that the United States could say, that we have changed, than by electing this man. There is no way we could more clearly move on toward peace than this. He represents the very best of who we are, the best of character, of integrity and ideals. And someone who opposed the war from the start.

Or, to put it in a different way, here is an e-mail exchange I had with a friend yesterday:

>Subject: A question of History
> Has a dark skinned man ever been elected to run a majority light skinned
> country?
> - Jonathan

no, this will be the first time.

(Thanks NaFun.)

STFU Andrew Sullivan

posted by on February 5 at 3:16 PM

Shorter Sullivan: Hillary takes photos with her kids and tears up and OMG she’s ambitious! and that makes her a threat to feminism, of which I am the arbiter.

Oh, and bring back Maggie Thatcher. Now there’s a feminist icon.

Also Remember

posted by on February 5 at 3:10 PM

Anousheh Ansari:

Bad Gay Graphic Designer Infiltrates U.S. Postal Service

posted by on February 5 at 3:07 PM


Sure, it’s a celebration of jury duty—right. A rainbow-striped postage stamp that encourages Americans to serve with pride? Says Slog tipper Lara: “I’m thinking a graphic designer is having some fun with the Postmaster General. Either that, or there’s a Seekrit Gay Agenda to get more homos onto juries.”

It could be that—the Gay Agenda moves in mysterious ways, Lara. All I’m authorized to say at the moment is this: The jury nullification movement didn’t get off the ground in the ’90s, but that doesn’t mean a jury fabulousication movement can’t succeed.

Prosecutors File Charges In 23rd and Union Shooting

posted by on February 5 at 3:04 PM

The King County Prosecutor’s Office have filed charges against Rey Davis-Bell for the murder of 32-year-old Degene Barecha, owner of Philidelphia’s Best Cheesesteak.

Davis-Bell—charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder and a weapons charge—could receive a sentence of 108-131 years in prison.

The Stranger’s Believe It or Not!

posted by on February 5 at 1:41 PM

For a piece that’s running in tomorrow’s paper, I needed to track down some specific progressive votes from Obama’s record in the U.S. Senate.

I already had an accounting of his gold star record on: women’s rights; gay rights; the occupation in Iraq; and the environment (I’m still tweaked by his ‘05 energy bill vote, but I’ll get over it).

But I needed a few more compelling examples. I’m swamped on Tuesdays, and I needed someone to put together a list. Enter Obama-Hater Erica C. Barnett, who, against every cell in her body, quickly provided a report on Obama’s stellar record.

So, when you’re duking it out with Clinton supporters at this weekend’s caucus, and you turn to our handy caucus cheat sheet to score points for Obama (coming in tomorrow’s print edition), you might just have Erica C. Barnett to thank.

Mandates Matter

posted by on February 5 at 1:13 PM

Paul Krugman, writing on the differences between Hillary’s and Obama’s health care plans in yesterday’s New York Times:

Both plans require that private insurers offer policies to everyone, regardless of medical history. Both also allow people to buy into government-offered insurance instead.

And both plans seek to make insurance affordable to lower-income Americans. The Clinton plan is, however, more explicit about affordability, promising to limit insurance costs as a percentage of family income. And it also seems to include more funds for subsidies.

But the big difference is mandates: the Clinton plan requires that everyone have insurance; the Obama plan doesn’t.

[…] Mr. [Jonathan] Gruber of MIT, [a leading health care economist], finds that a plan without mandates, broadly resembling the Obama plan, would cover 23 million of those currently uninsured, at a taxpayer cost of $102 billion per year. An otherwise identical plan with mandates would cover 45 million of the uninsured — essentially everyone — at a taxpayer cost of $124 billion. Over all, the Obama-type plan would cost $4,400 per newly insured person, the Clinton-type plan only $2,700.

That doesn’t look like a trivial difference to me. One plan achieves more or less universal coverage; the other, although it costs more than 80 percent as much, covers only about half of those currently uninsured.

As with any economic analysis, Mr. Gruber’s results are only as good as his model. But they’re consistent with the results of other analyses, such as a 2003 study, commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, that compared health reform plans and found that mandates made a big difference both to success in covering the uninsured and to cost-effectiveness.

And that’s why many health care experts like Mr. Gruber strongly support mandates.

Seask8 Gets a Designer

posted by on February 5 at 1:12 PM

After a year of City Council misfires, funding problems, opposition from Center heavies and missed opportunities, the Seask8 skatepark just got a step closer to actually being built.

The Parks Department’s Skate Park Advisory Committee (SPAC) has selected Newline Skateparks and van der Zalm & Associates (VDZ) to design and build a new skatepark at the Seattle Center.

The new park would replace the old Seask8 site, which was demolished last year.

SPAC expects to hold meetings sometime next month to talk with skaters about design ideas for the new park.

Super Tuesday dispatch from Illinois…

posted by on February 5 at 12:56 PM

This morning, I was the first voter in my precinct, nearly an hour after the polls opened. This is not, I think, a good sign for Obama. We’ve got horrific weather—freezing rain predicted to turn to a mix of sleet and snow—due in later this afternoon, and many folks who planned to vote after work might skip it or not be able to make it home on clogged roads or delayed public transit by 7 pm when the polls close. My instinct is that a low turnout in NE Illinois helps Clinton, since Obama is way ahead in the polls and the closer she makes it here the better. And the voting was the usual horror story: I had to show the fucking election judges how to fill out the top of the ballot properly, and in which book to look up my voter registration. Almost makes me long for the days of the old Machine… .

Re: In Really Depressing News

posted by on February 5 at 12:52 PM

The people at the Washington Toxics Coalition (they’re anti–toxic things, though their name sounds pro–) are looking out for the babies: Just today they launched Safe Start for Kids, “a guide to choosing children’s products free of harmful chemicals… [including] personal care items like lotions, shampoos, and sunscreen.”

They’re also having a rally for toxic-free toys (or is that against toxic ones?) in Olympia on Feb. 7th. A 20-foot-tall rubber ducky (presumably unintoxicated) will be present. QUACK.

More Early Results

posted by on February 5 at 12:40 PM

Huckabee wins the delegate race in West Virginia, due to some ruthless anti-Romney maneuvering by McCain.

In Really Depressing News

posted by on February 5 at 12:10 PM

Infants and toddlers who are regularly exposed to baby lotion, baby shampoo, and baby powder (uh, yeah, products that are specifically designed for safe use by babies) carry high levels of phthalates — hormone-altering chemicals that can cause fertility problems and other reproductive disorders later in life. The study found detectable amounts of at least one type of phthalate in the urine of every baby tested; more than 80 percent had seven or more different types.

Phthalates are also found in many cosmetics and other products used by adults. The cosmetic industry is not required to list phthalates as ingredients.

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on February 5 at 11:55 AM

I’m a gay, recently out, 20 year-old male living in a large midwestern city. My problem is that I dont have any gay men to help me through this time and I was wondering what to do about my situation. I have always been overweight—not obese, but definately a fat ass. I am dowdy and not confident, I find myself growing cold and resentful from a lack of intimacy. I hate men because of my friends’ stupid boyfriends and the coolness I recieve from other gay men. I am not a total loser: I have lots of friends but I just dont have the balls to put myself out on the market in my current physical and emotional state. Will I ever find love? Or do i have to wait until I get myself to physical and emotional perfection before I can find my prince charming? And I definately want a hunk—I’m not settling for any 2nd best shit.

Is this achieveable?

Dude Undergoing Many Personal Yearnings

So you won’t settle for a guy… that looks like you? Someone that isn’t perfect? But you you expect hunks to settle for a guy that looks like you? And if they won’t—if hunks are cold to you, if they treat you the way you treat guys that look like you—that proves that other gay men are hateful?

I sound harsh, I realize, but you need to be pulled up sharp, DUMPY. If you demand perfection, you better strive to offer it. I’m not saying that you won’t find intimacy or a boyfriend until after you’re a perfect specimen of man—very few of us are perfect, and yet most of us manage to find love or something similar—but you’re not ever going to find a guy if you’re bitter at age 20.

Here’s what you need to do, DUMPY: Think about what you want, and how you’re goin to get it—and tell yourself, again and again, that you’re not going to get the life you want instantly, it’s not going to come tomorrow, but soon. Soonish. Then JOIN A DAMN GYM and, if you can afford it, hire a trainer and a get a consultation with a nutritionist. You don’t have to be a fat ass all your life—unless, of course, you’re happy fat, and you’re happy to date guys that are attracted to/not repulsed by bigger dudes. They exist.

But they’re rarely the 1st Class Hunks you’re lusting after, DUMPY.

The American Apparel Candidates

posted by on February 5 at 11:45 AM

Via Ben Smith:


The company endorses Obama and McCain, and bases its political case on the positions the two have on immigration. But check out the visual case—a slide show of Obama, Clinton, and McCain as seen in their younger years, with two of the candidates looking way more American Apparel than the third.

And Now A Few Words Not About Obama

posted by on February 5 at 11:01 AM

Hillary fans including Maria Cantwell, Jay Inslee, and Ron Sims will be talking about Clinton’s energy plan at the Machinists Hall in South Seattle this afternoon from 3:15 to 4 pm. Duh, this event was on Saturday—but the campaign just sent out the notice today… which I guess doesn’t bode well for Hils’ organizing team in Washington State. But this still holds true: For a good reminder of why any Democrat (even one who voted for a huge oil and gas giveaway in 2005) will be better on energy issues than Bush, go here.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 5 at 11:00 AM


‘We’re All Going to Die (except for you)’ at Henry Art Gallery

One room in Dawn Cerny’s magnificent, dark installation is for the dead—rows of glaring taxidermied owls, a stand of funerary flower arrangements, watercolor paintings of macabre T-shirts in heavy-metal style, and 150-year-old photographs of dead infants with their families. The other room is for the not-yet-dead—it’s a waiting room. On the coffee table is a National Geographic Traveler magazine. Its headline reads, wickedly, “Sudden Journeys: Adventures in Last-Minute Travel.” (Henry Art Gallery, 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St, 543-2280. 11 am–5 pm, $10 general/free for students.)


Obama Snubbed SF Mayor Over Gay Marriage Stand

posted by on February 5 at 10:58 AM

SF’s mayor Gavin Newsom has endorsed Hillary Clinton—well, he’s appearing at her rallies, at any rate. Why isn’t young, liberal, progressive Newsom for young, liberal, progressive Obama? Maybe it’s this.

Gavin Newsom appeared at a “town hall” event on Monday night in San Francisco with Bill Clinton, and today primary eve comments on the Clinton-Newsom relationship (or rather the chill between Newsom and Barack Obama) by former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown have irked gay Obama supporters.

Brown reminded the SF Chronicle of a fundraiser he held for Obama at which Newsom was present, shortly after Newsom’s controversial decision to allow the city to begin issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples. Said Brown to the Chronicle: “I gave a fundraiser, at his (Obama’s) request at the Waterfront restaurant. And he said to me, he would really appreciate it if he didn’t get his photo taken with my mayor. He said he would really not like to have his picture taken with Gavin.”

The Chronicle adds: “‘I think he has harbored this resentment for years,’ Brown said of Newsom, adding that Obama was reluctant to be seen appearing in San Francisco altogether, much less side by side with the gay-marriage mayor.”

More at Towleroad.

The First Results

posted by on February 5 at 10:47 AM

Obama takes the Democrats Abroad vote in Indonesia:

Seventy five percent of the nearly 100 votes cast by expatriate Americans a minute after midnight Indonesia time (12 p.m. Monday EST) went to Obama. The rest were cast in favor of Clinton, said Arian Ardie, country committee chair for Democrats Abroad.


posted by on February 5 at 10:31 AM

It’s Black History Month!
gpn-2004-00023.jpg The fine sister floating over there is Dr. Mae Carol Jemison.

Currently Hanging

posted by on February 5 at 10:30 AM

Linda Davidson’s Genie, oil on linen, 76 by 22, 2007

At Catherine Person Gallery.

“Click for Full View”

posted by on February 5 at 10:20 AM

Slog somehow missed this story—which is hard to believe, seeing as it provides us with an excuse to post this picture:


Last week the manager of a Abercrombie & Fitch outlet in a Virginia Beach, Virginia, mall was arrested, and two large posters were seized (including the one reproduced above), after the police received complaints from outraged shoppers. (I believe Virginia Beach is home to Pat Robertson’s organization.) The manager was cited for displaying “obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles,” and for not taking the posted down after the police asked him to.

Here’s what I loved most about this story: Daily papers reproduced the image in full—the Hampton Roads website even lets you click for a “full view.” Unfortunately clicking through doesn’t provide a full view—the picture is larger, yes, but the boy’s pants aren’t any lower.

Today the New York Times reports that the Virginia Beach police are dropping the obscenity charge against the store’s manager because the image didn’t necessarily “appeal to prurient interests,” “lack redeeming artistic merit,” or violate “prevailing community standards.” And you know what that means: someone in A&F’s marketing department is going to get fired.

“You Must Be Getting the High Score”—A Review of Rez HD

posted by on February 5 at 10:06 AM

Rez is a weird enough video game without its vibrator. The 2001 title sees you floating through a wireframe world a la Tron and blasting stuff with a gun that, when fired, produces the beats and sound effects of its trance soundtrack. In spite of its cult success, Rez was mostly brushed over at the time—particularly by American gamers. But a limited-edition Japanese release came with a “trance vibrator,” a corded bulb about the size of a computer mouse that was meant to pulse to the beat of the music, which, as stated above, is a central part of the game. Meant to make the title “immersive,” ya see. This is part of where the game’s cult appeal lies—horny bloggers made their Rez love public, and lord knows how many other gamers’ crevices and clits the game awakened.

The game didn’t need the gimmick—Rez was pretty wild and, as some sites have recently stated, ahead of its time. It was a forerunner to the now-huge music/rhythm game genre, and its trippy visuals managed to hold up over the years. So it was good to see the game return as a paid download over the Xbox 360’s Live service last week; upgraded for HDTVs and surround sound, the whole “float and destroy a computer’s innards” setup on Rez HD is overwhelming enough to win over my trance-hating heart. I’d be happy to run through why the game’s a treat (worth it for $10, simple for newbies, plays out like a slick short film), but I’m not daft—you want to know if the vibrator has returned.

Sure has, though the “trance vibration” option is buried in menus and must be re-enabled every time you power the game on. Sadly, you won’t find mouse-sized vibrators in Best Buy’s Xbox aisle, so the game turns your extra controllers—up to three—into bulbous, buzzy body-brators. Like so:


Har, har, but the buzzing wasn’t erotic so much as it was, well…immersive. Honestly—as the game becomes more frantic, it’s easy to get swept up going for a high score and dealing with tougher baddies, and the thumping of the bass through my body (one controller on back, one on stomach, one on feet) created near-synesthesia, the screen and sound getting the upper hand on my senses. I don’t plan on ever covering myself with controllers again, but something like a “rumble vest” could be cool for fighting games and such. And abused by pervs. Like my girlfriend.

She walked in when I first got the game, asked what the hell an extra controller was doing on my lap. I told her the setup, and she laughed, then swiped the thing. Cozied up on the couch, covered herself with a blanket. I lost track of her, as this was my first go-through of the game, but a few minutes later, I looked over and her face had glazed over. “Do you want me to stop playing?” She said nothing, didn’t move. “Um… do you want me to keep playing?” Her eyebrows twitched—as if a bug had landed on her. I kept at it, and then she became unusually giddy and jokey—“You must be getting the high score.” “These designers were trying to make a game that would get them laid.”

I asked her which Xbox game she liked more—Rez, or the new Burnout Paradise racing game I’ve been playing? “This,” she said without pause. So I revised the question—Rez, or girlfriend-friendly Katamari Damacy? This question was tougher; she paused. “Katamari, if that game buzzed every time [the Katamari ball] picked something up.”

Then we humped. Thanks, Rez! Review score: 10/10.

And Now a Word from the State Democratic Party

posted by on February 5 at 10:05 AM

We’ve been doing our part here at The Stranger to explain the Washington State caucus process. But given the number of questions we’re still getting—and the number of questions local Democratic leaders say they’re still getting—it seems a good idea to post this video, brought to our attention by a local Dem operative who’s also been “overwhelmed” with queries from confused voters.


posted by on February 5 at 10:00 AM


Quit It, NOW!

posted by on February 5 at 10:00 AM

The Washington Post reports that the National Organization for Women has distributed an email to its membership repeating the thoroughly discredited claim that Obama is weak on abortion rights:

A national women’s rights group supporting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) distributed an e-mail yesterday accusing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) of being soft on abortion rights, revisiting an eleventh-hour attack that some analysts credited with swaying female voters in New Hampshire.

The e-mail from Rosemary J. Dempsey, president of the Connecticut National Organization for Women, told members that Obama’s record during his time in the Illinois Senate included several instances in which he voted “present” instead of yes or no on abortion-related legislation.

The e-mail quotes Bonnie Grabenhofer, the president of Illinois NOW, as saying that “voting present on those bills was a strategy that Illinois NOW did not support,” and adding: “We made it clear at the time that we disagreed with the strategy… . Voting present doesn’t provide a platform from which to show leadership and say with conviction that we support a woman’s right to choose and these bills are unacceptable.”

I have had it with this ridiculous smear campaign. Read the fucking New York Times article—the same piece that was pushed by the Clinton campaign before they decided to go dirty. Whether or not Illinois NOW sanctioned the strategy, it was a deliberate attempt by a pro-choice group to safeguard abortion rights:

In at least 45 instances, Mr. Obama voted [present] with large numbers of fellow Democrats as part of the tactical skirmishing with Republicans over the budget.

Seven other times, he voted that way as part of a broad strategy devised by abortion rights advocates to counter anti-abortion bills.

Pam Sutherland, president of Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, said Mr. Obama was one of the senators with a strong stand for abortion rights whom the organization approached about using the strategy. Ms. Sutherland said the Republicans were trying to force Democrats from conservative districts to register politically controversial no votes.

Ms. Sutherland said Mr. Obama had initially resisted the strategy because he wanted to vote against the anti-abortion measures.

“He said, ‘I’m opposed to this,’” she recalled.

But the organization argued that a present vote would be difficult for Republicans to use in campaign literature against Democrats from moderate and conservative districts who favored abortion rights.

Lisa Madigan, the Illinois attorney general who was in the Illinois Senate with Mr. Obama from 1998 through 2002, said she and Mr. Obama voted present on the anti-abortion bills.

“It’s just plain wrong to imply that voting present reflected a lack of leadership,” Ms. Madigan said. “In fact, it was the exact opposite.”

Last time the Clinton campaign tried to portray Obama as weak on choice, it ended badly:

Three New Hampshire Democratic leaders who signed a letter two days before the state’s primary at the request of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, attacking Barack Obama as soft in his support for abortion rights, are asking Obama supporters in the state to put the rifts of the primary campaign behind them and praising Obama for being “strongly pro-choice.”

Of the two dozen prominent women who signed the critical letter, e-mailed by the Clinton campaign to a list of supporters and undecided voters, three have now signed their names to another missive asking abortion rights supporters in the state to come together and take comfort in the fact that all of the Democratic presidential candidates are firmly pro-choice. One of the three Clinton supporters went even further, saying in an interview Thursday that signing the letter attacking Obama was a “mistake.”

Katie Wheeler, a former state senator, said the Clinton campaign had not given her background information about Obama’s record on abortion rights when it asked her to sign the letter calling him weak on the issue, and said that, as a result, she did not understand the context of the votes that the letter was attacking him over.

“It should never have gotten to the point where anyone thought Obama was not pro-choice,” said Wheeler, a founder of the New Hampshire chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “I don’t think the Clinton campaign should have done that. It was divisive and unnecessary…I think it was a mistake and I’ve spoken to the national [Clinton campaign] and told them it caused problems in New Hampshire, and am hoping they won’t do it again.”

Again, Obama has a 100% rating with NARAL Pro-Choice America. Yesterday former NARAL pres Kate Michelman endorsed Obama.

And I’m sure nobody cares, but when I was a member of NOW at the University of Virginia and it looked like a pro-life hippie was the frontrunner for president, I and a few other supporters of abortion rights tried to contact the national organization to prevent this from happening. Turns out NOW couldn’t care less whether the chapter head of a major university campus is against abortion rights. But they have no problem with using pro-choice sentiments to damage the campaign of a pro-choice candidate.

NOW, you suck. I’m giving money to NARAL.

More Than This?

posted by on February 5 at 9:59 AM

In the area of the 80s, there is nothing more than this:
lloyds_london_building.jpg Let’s agree on that.

Trans-Cascadia Express

posted by on February 5 at 9:19 AM

Down to Portland for breakfast? Up to Vancouver for dinner?
02_train.jpg Dream, dream, dream.

Whatever Scarlett Johansson, Part 2

posted by on February 5 at 9:09 AM

(Via TPM)

It’s the Little Things

posted by on February 5 at 9:01 AM

So a bunch of Hillary supporters and campaigners are checking out of the hotel I work at this morning. (I work at the front desk.) They have been very pompous, and arrogant… while I wasn’t really on board with Hillary to begin with, if their actions are any indication… there is no way in hell that I would vote for her now.

I have to smile because they pay me to, but both my co-worker and I wanted to shoot them in the face. The best part about it? The campaign didn’t even set up money for the rooms, so they all have to pay on their own.. and “hopefully” get reimbursed later.

Just thought you’d want to know. The crone has sent out the troops in the Seattle metro area!

A Model of Tolerance

posted by on February 5 at 8:54 AM

In a quick post yesterday I mentioned Joel Connelly’s latest little shout out.

In yesterday’s PI Joel wiggled his tongue up the ass Jim Wallis, a politically liberal political evangelist. Joel seemed particularly impressed that Wallis had the backbone—the courage! the nerve! the audacity!—to order the big, bad “secular left to be more tolerant”. And as Wallis tours the country, selling his new book, Connelly wonders…

Is there a refuge equidistant between anti-gay pastor the Rev. Ken Hutcherson and Christian-bashing Dan Savage of The Stranger?

Hm. Ken Hutcherson is Washington state’s biggest anti-gay demagogue. Anywhere there’s a microphone and three or more state legislators, Hutcherson can be found demanding a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, the repeal of Washington state’s gay rights legislation, the overturning of Washington state’s new domestic partner registry, etc. Hutcherson last made national news for turning up at a Microsoft shareholders’ meeting and demanding the company drop its pro-gay corporate policies—or else! (Or else what? Toads raining down on the Redmond campus? Hordes of locusts in the cafeterias? Firefox with an 85% market share?)

Now columnists at daily papers like to be “fair,” so when they label someone on the right as an extremist—someone like Ken Hutcherson, who is an extremist—they feel obligated to tag someone on the left with the same label. Gotta be impartial, gotta be balanced: So if you’re going to call Ken Hutcherson intolerant better call Dan Savage intolerant too.

Really, Joel? Intolerant? Moi? P’shaw.

I’m perfectly willing to tolerate Ken Hutcherson—and Jim Willis and Pat Robertson and Mike Huckabee and the Nazi Pope. I already tolerate them. Hell, I am the very model of a modern major tolerator. Like everyone on the secular left, I believe these men and their followers should be free to live by their own (dim) lights. You won’t find the secular left pouring into Olympia to demand a state constitutional amendment banning heterosexual marriage or adoptions by fundamentalist Christian couples (although a strong argument could be made—some of those adopted kids are going to be gay, after all). The secular left isn’t threatening Microsoft with Divine’s retribution for providing benefits to the partners of its married heterosexual employees.

Does Joel even understand what tolerance is? A tolerant person doesn’t think everyone is nifty. Tolerance means you’re willing to put up with people you don’t like or disagree with in exchange for being put up with in return. You cut the people you don’t like some slack. You leave them alone. They leave you alone. But a tolerant person is entitled to his opinions—and the right to express them. What Joel is doing—intentionally, I think, because Joel isn’t an idiot (although he plays one in the newspaper)—is conflating dislike with intolerance. I don’t like Ken Hutcherson. I don’t like his religion. But I am willing to put up with both. Hutcherson doesn’t like gay people, or gay marriage, and has no intention of putting up with either. He wants to make it legal to discriminate against gay people and he wants to ban gay marriage. And that’s where Hutcherson tips out of the “dislike” column and lands with a splat in the “intolerant” column. As I wrote in a “Savage Love” column back in 2006:

Joking about Christianity isn’t evidence that I’m intolerant—hell, I’m perfectly willing to tolerate Christians. I have never, for instance, attempted to prevent Christians from marrying each other, or tried to stop them from adopting children, or worked to make it illegal for them to hold certain jobs. I don’t threaten to boycott companies that market their products to Christians, and I don’t organize letter-writing campaigns to complain about Christian characters on television.

It would indeed be hypocritical for me to complain about fundamentalist Christians who’ve done all of the above to gay people if I turned around and did the same thing to Christians—but, again, I’ve done no such thing. Intolerant? Hell, I’m a model of tolerance! Oh sure, I joked about the Virgin Birth because I think it’s silly and sexphobic. And I’m free to say as much, however unpleasant it is for some Christians to hear. Fundamentalist Christians, for their part, are free to think homosexuality is sinful and unnatural, and they’re free to say so, however unpleasant it is for me to hear. But fundamentalists aren’t willing to just speak their piece, Rob. Nope, they seek to persecute people for being gay, and that’s where their low opinion of homosexuality—which, again, they have an absolute right to hold—transubstantiates into intolerance.

Now if this Willis person Joel Connelly rimmed yesterday can convince more evangelical Christians to work on poverty and climate change, hey, that’s great. Bring it on. But evangelicals are going to have to do more than merely broaden their agenda if they hope to make common cause with the likes of me. They’re going to have to drop certain things. They’re going to have to jettison the anti-gay, anti-straight, anti-freedom aspects of their agenda if they’re sincere about wanting to find “common ground.” Sure, sure: We can all work together in perfect harmony on the stuff we all agree on. But evangelicals can’t demand that, seeing as how they’re paying attention to poverty and climate change now, we’re somehow obligated to give them everything they’ve always wanted on reproductive rights and gay rights; a ban and a ban, respectively. (Willis isn’t arguing for this, but other progressive evangelicals are.)

But you know what I won’t tolerate? Being told that, after decades of putting up with their bullying co-religionists, the big, meanies on the secular left have hurt the feelings of progressive, liberal Christians everywhere by finally saying “enough” to the Ken Hutchersons and Mike Huckabees. Hugely powerful Christian leaders from the Nazi Pope on down long ago declared rhetorical and political war on gays and lesbians and on women’s rights. And when liberals and progressives and queers finally emerge from the defensive crouch we assumed out of a misplaced respect for other peoples’ religious beliefs and started to respond with equal vigor, progressive Christians come mewling out of the woodwork. “We’re not all like that,” they whisper in our ears, “and you’re hurting our feelings when you write things like this.”

To liberal Christians and Evangeliacals: We get it. You’re not all Hutchersons. Stop telling us and start telling the Hutchersons and Robertsons and Huckebees and Santorums and Bauers and Nazi Popes—they’re the ones that need to hear it, they’re the ones that have blackened the name of Christians, they’re the reason more and more young people are reluctant to identify as Christian. (not me: I identify as a cultural Catholic—hell I had my kid baptized.)

I’m sick of progressive Christians whispering to me that the religious right doesn’t speak for all Christians—great, fine. But you needed to start screaming it—and not in my face, Rev. Willis. In the faces of Ken Hutcherson, Pat Robertson, Mike Huckebee, Rick Santorum, Gary Bauer, and the Nazi Pope.

If you’re saying it to them, well, you’re obviously not saying it loudly enough. We can’t hear you now.

Whatever Scarlett Johansson

posted by on February 5 at 8:51 AM

Perez Hilton endorses Hillary Clinton.

I (Heart) Slog Commenters

posted by on February 5 at 8:42 AM

I know that the few times I’ve written here about Slog commenters, it’s been to slag them. So here are a few Slog comments that really made my day.

ECB, this post gave me chills. I’m sure the reactionary, sexist pile-on from the usual slog meatheads is forthcoming, but I just wanted to say thanks. Morgan’s words made me think, and forced me to examine my own internalized sexism and reluctance to support Hilary for fear she’s “not electable.”

It takes courage to put forth a feminist analysis in this “progressive” city and your “lefty” workplace full of men who can’t stop posting photos of hot ladies on slog, yet expect to be taken seriously as journalists. I don’t always agree with you, but I’m glad you are there.

Posted by Christina | February 4, 2008 9:12 PM

Whoa, this is truly powerful stuff! Thanks so much for posting this, because these words need to be said—finally! Women bashing, and degradation and objectification of women are some the most accepted forms of prejudices, but of course I can’t ever say so without being labeled bitter, crazy, dyke, etc. Hillary’s b.s. treatment in the media should be unacceptable, but no one says a word about this stuff!

I grew up marching on Washington for the ERA, NOW and Roe v. Wade. When I was a little girl my mom sadly told me that I’d probably never see a woman president in my lifetime—that maybe my children would—but that I’d probably live to see a black man become president. It breaks my heart to think that my mom may have been right, not because I think Barack is a bad man or will make a horrible president (though not the best one), but because HIllary is getting dragged through the mud and not given her fair shake for all same deep-seeded prejudices that I marched against as a idealistic, naive, hopeful little girl. It’s depressing.

Posted by mitten | February 4, 2008 9:21 PM

Thanks, ECB. That was bracing. I was shocked by the comments, ‘cause so much of what she said was right on. Maybe I do know how I want to vote tomorrow…

Posted by SIID | February 4, 2008 9:27 PM

I like Robin Morgan, I used some of Sisterhood is Global in a paper, and i found her arguments about the tolerance of sexist statements about Hillary (read in ECB stupid sloggers) very prescient.

The racism that has occurred in this campaign seems to be universally denounced, and seems like more of a product of the Right. Esp. the Muslim baiting. But there is far more explicitly sexist statements coming out of the media and the public-at-large and this is very troubling to me as a young male feminist.

P.S. Still going to caucus for Obama, but i will vote for either/both in the general

Posted by vooodooo84 | February 4, 2008 9:37 PM

Here’s the thing. At base, I find Hillary completely inspiring. I know many of you don’t. But we do exist. And it’s hard given the Obamamania on Kos, Sullivan, TNR, here, etc, to find a place that gives voice to those feelings. Everyone talks about how Obama is all about hope, and how inspiring he is, but as much as I like Obama, and I do, I don’t find him inspiring. I like Obama, but I love Hillary.

And so, again, I want to thank ECB from the bottom of my heart. I know it’s not easy for you to be everyone’s punching bag day after day. But your posts give voice to what I feel. To the sense of hope and inspiration that I get when I see Hillary Clinton.

Because the truth is Barack Obama hasn’t cornered the market on hope. So tomorrow, I’m going to go vote. And hope. For Hillary.

Posted by arduous | February 4, 2008 9:40 PM

Thanks ECB, I liked this piece a lot. This line resonated for me especially: “Goodbye to women of any age again feeling unworthy, sulking… maybe it’s post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free.”

Posted by The General | February 4, 2008 9:43 PM

No Shit Sherlock

posted by on February 5 at 8:36 AM

Last August, when Mayor Nickels stepped in and said he was going to do something about police accountability, Jonah filed this article, writing:

Nickels’s approach is the loudest, but probably useless when it comes to ushering in a new era of police accountability. The mayor rounded up a high-profile posse, the Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Office of Professional Accountability, made up of big names like former governor Gary Locke, former mayor Norm Rice, and Judge Terry Carroll.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Nickels’s all-star team is stumbling over the same hurdles that have plagued previous accountability panels in Seattle. Nickels’s new panel is at the mercy of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG), which, due to ongoing contract negotiations, could block any of the panel’s recommendations from taking effect until the next round of bargaining in 2009. What’s more, Nickels’s panel is still waiting to hear back from the city about whether the SPOG contract also prohibits them from getting open access to the SPD’s files.

No matter, Nickels created a blue ribbon panel and the media shit storm quieted down.

Now, five months later, the blue ribbon panel has made its recommendations. The PI reports today:

But, he [Nickels] said Monday, several of the most substantive changes, which would affect officer disciplinary procedures, will need approval from the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild through collective bargaining. And how that affects the work of the Police Accountability Review Panel is uncertain.

There you have it.

Morning News

posted by on February 5 at 8:10 AM

It’s Tuesday.

The Washington Post:

Obama drew about 17,000 supporters at a rally in Hartford, Conn., yesterday, building on excitement and sense of momentum that has surrounded his campaign since an overwhelming victory in the South Carolina primary late last month. He campaigned with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) as polls showed an increasingly close race even in states, such as California, that were supposed to be solid Clinton territory. Obama and Kennedy closed out the day with a huge rally in Boston, but after several surprising turns in the race over the past month, almost no one in either camp voiced confidence about the outcome of the coast-to-coast Democratic primaries and caucuses today.

Mark Penn, the chief strategist for Clinton, and senior adviser Howard Wolfson held a conference call late yesterday to emphasize the importance of contests being held much later — in particular, Texas and Ohio on March 4 and Pennsylvania on April 22.

“We believe there’s a lot of debate to be had,” Penn said, suggesting that voters had not had enough time to fully study their choices.

The Democratic nomination will be “possibly decided in March, possibly decided in April, possibly not decided until the convention,” Wolfson said, expressing the extent of the turnabout the campaign has made from its initial belief that Clinton would secure the nod on Super Tuesday. Clinton and Obama both spent the final day of campaigning in the Northeast, a region that was expected to produce a strong showing for her but appeared in recent days to present openings for Obama.

The New York Times:

Democrats allocate most of their delegates proportionately; candidates are awarded a cut of the delegate pie based on their percentage of the vote. It is possible to lose a state and still get a majority of the delegates, and it is likely that the losing candidate will still get a substantial share of the delegates.

Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton will no doubt start claiming state victories as soon they can — with the goal of trying to get on television and grab the front-runner spotlight — but those results will probably remain largely symbolic. Assuming the race remains close, what matters going forward is who gets the most pledged delegates.


What will have a greater impact on viewers Tuesday night? The dead even delegate fight between Clinton and Obama?

Or the potential for one Dem to win a plurality of states by 52-48 while still splitting the delegates evenly?

What if Obama wins California narrowly plus a bunch of other swing states but trails in the delegate count by, say, 50? Will the media treat Obama as the winner of Super Tuesday because of an upset California win?

Or what if Clinton wins a majority of states, including California, Missouri and Arizona but the delegate count is basically even (another likely outcome)? Will Clinton be treated as the winner?

At this point, it seems like a no-brainer that the delegate split Tuesday night will be in the range of 870-810, or somewhere in between. The question is, who will come out on top? Of course, if the delegate split is greater than 100, the candidate on the winning side is going to feel like they won in a landslide. But neither Democratic campaign expects the delegate split to be greater than 100.

That’s not counting the Super Delegates, however.

Gallup Poll:


Zogby: Obama up by 13 in California


2nd Amendment: Lawyers against DC Gun ban file brief with Supreme Court.

Microsoft: Looking to borrow money in proposed Yahoo! deal.

Police Oversight: Most substantive reforms would have to be approved by SPD union..

Re: Anthony. Nice Drunk Post, but…

posted by on February 5 at 12:01 AM

Yes, O has a stellar voting recordexcept it seems on energy issues:

He voted for the crazy 2005 giveaway to big energy… (Hillary, Kennedy, Feingold, Dodd, Kerry, Sarbanes (!), Schumer, Murray, … and Inslee, Baird, McDermott did not). Inslee’s my litmus test on stuff like this.

And—pattern emergingas the NYT reported yesterday, Obama talked all bad publicly about regulating the nuclear power industry, but behind the scenes he went to bat for them. That is: He misled the public. (I guess that’s a nice way of putting it.)

Oh come on, you say. One issue. Big deal.


It just so happens that Exelon Corp., the biggest nuclear power plant operator in the USA, is based in Illinois. They are his 4th biggest career contributor.

So, he votes straight liberal on most issues except when it matters to the fat cats who operate in his state and top his donor lists. (They are his 8th biggest presidential race contributor.)

So, I’d say, in fact, he’s soft …when the heat is on. When people are watching. When people are paying.

Look, I stand by the SECB Obama endorse … and for the reasons I’ve stated on Slog …here a few weeks ago…and again today… I think he’s the one to nominate.

And, in fact, unless Zogby is wrong (note that Zogby…of NH infamy…currently the pollster giving O the hottest numbers and framing the headlines, is actually out of step with most other polls) … anyway, unless Zogby is wrong, I expect Obama to win big tomorrow.

We need a Democrat in the White House, so I’m good with his seemingly historic momentum. Let’s ride it to November.

But the anti-Hillary double standard is shrill and embarrassing. Erica’s post (is a little crazy…and a little long), but damn, this shit is on target:

When a sexist idiot screamed “Iron my shirt!” at HRC, it was considered amusing; if a racist idiot shouted “Shine my shoes!” at BO, it would’ve inspired hours of airtime and pages of newsprint analyzing our national dishonor.

Young political Kennedys—Kathleen, Kerry, and Bobby Jr.—all endorsed Hillary. Senator Ted, age 76, endorsed Obama. If the situation were reversed, pundits would snort “See? Ted and establishment types back her, but the forward-looking generation backs him.” […]

Anyway, rah rah Obama.

p.s. JFK was a sucky president.

Monday, February 4, 2008

First WA Poll Since October Says…

posted by on February 4 at 10:04 PM

“Among Democrats who say they will caucus, Obama has a 22-point lead over Clinton.”

Survey USA, via TPM.


However, I don’t much like this poll. Not the methodology per se—yes, it was conducted over a weekend, but yes, they avoided the Super Bowl. It’s this question:

Asked of 984 registered voters with a party preference
Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 2.1%

Separately, Washington’s Democratic and Republican parties will hold PRIMARIES on Tuesday, February 19. Will you vote in the primary?

88% Yes
10% No
2% Not Sure

Uh, as far as I know, the state is holding the primary. The Democratic Party is holding caucuses and ignoring the primary. The Republican party is holding caucuses and partially acknowledging the primary. Nice push poll, SurveyUSA.

Re: The Hillary Haters

posted by on February 4 at 9:39 PM

Okay, look. I may be only a stupid technology nerd—and drunk—but since I can break the Slog, I can also post on it at will, and so I’M GONNA TELL YOU WHAT I THINK.


I so, completely, don’t buy this shit about Clinton being tough and Obama being soft. Can’t we all agree that everything that’s being said right now is campaign rhetoric? I mean, that’s inarguably true, right? They’re in a big fight—a war—and they’ll do what they need to do to win. This is not shocking or unusual. So when Obama says he’s going to “bridge partisan divides” or whatever, he’s trying to get elected, which is his job right now. As far as I know (not much), his record does not show any tendency to compromise with the far right. He’s been very solid on liberal issues. How do people get all up in Obama’s face about these little out-of-context statements he’s made, while ignoring the fact that CLINTON VOTED FOR THE WAR IN IRAQ? Among other things! Her rhetoric might be tough, but her record is not. She’s been soft and acquiescent. Her votes in the Senate have been safe, not aggressive. Does the mere fact that Obama is aspiring toward a politics without insane, hyper-partisan rancor make him a moonbat? Does it make her more “realistic”? I submit that it does not.

Obama will not bring “anti-progressive conspiracy theorists” into the fold. The only truth in this statement is that Clinton will bring these people into the fold—only for the other side. The nutjobs won’t go along with Obama—they’re CRAZY—but they will go along with anyone who’s running against their perceived arch-enemy. Obama, on the other hand, will flush these nutjobs out of their caves and into the light, where they will die.

Voting for someone because they’re a woman, or black, is just as fucked up as voting for someone because they’re not. Vote for the person who will make the best president. THAT’s equality.

“Goodbye to All That”… Again

posted by on February 4 at 9:34 PM

Old-school feminist Robin Morgan—the reknowned editor of “Sisterhood Is Powerful” and author of the powerful 1970 essay “Goodbye to All That” —has written a sequel, nearly 40 years later. Here it is in part. (H/T to the Slog lurker who sent this my way!)

Goodbye to the double standard …

Hillary is too ballsy but too womanly, a Snow Maiden who’s emotional, and so much a politician as to be unfit for politics.

She’s “ambitious” but he shows “fire in the belly.” (Ever had labor pains?)

When a sexist idiot screamed “Iron my shirt!” at HRC, it was considered amusing; if a racist idiot shouted “Shine my shoes!” at BO, it would’ve inspired hours of airtime and pages of newsprint analyzing our national dishonor.

Young political Kennedys—Kathleen, Kerry, and Bobby Jr.—all endorsed Hillary. Senator Ted, age 76, endorsed Obama. If the situation were reversed, pundits would snort “See? Ted and establishment types back her, but the forward-looking generation backs him.” […]

Goodbye to the HRC nutcracker with metal spikes between splayed thighs. If it was a tap-dancing blackface doll, we would be righteously outraged—and they would not be selling it in airports. Shame.

Goodbye to the most intimately violent T-shirts in election history, including one with the murderous slogan “If Only Hillary had married O.J. Instead!” Shame.

[…] Goodbye to the sick, malicious idea that this is funny. This is not “Clinton hating,” not “Hillary hating.” This is sociopathic woman -hating. If it were about Jews, we would recognize it instantly as anti-Semitic propaganda; if about race, as KKK poison. Hell, PETA would go ballistic if such vomitous spew were directed at animals. Where is our sense of outrage—as citizens, voters, Americans?

[…] Goodbye, goodbye to …

—blaming anything Bill Clinton does on Hillary (even including his womanizing like the Kennedy guys—though unlike them, he got reported on). Let’s get real. If he hadn’t campaigned strongly for her everyone would cluck over what that meant. Enough of Bill and Teddy Kennedy locking their alpha male horns while Hillary pays for it.

an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that a comparative lack of knowledge, experience, and skill is actually seen as attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.

—the notion that it’s fun to elect a handsome, cocky president who feels he can learn on the job, goodbye to George W. Bush and the destruction brought by his inexperience, ignorance, and arrogance.

Goodbye to the accusation that HRC acts “entitled” when she’s worked intensely at everything she’s done—including being a nose-to-the-grindstone, first-rate senator from my state.

[…] Goodbye to a misrepresented generational divide …

Goodbye to the so-called spontaneous “Obama Girl” flaunting her bikini-clad ass online—then confessing Oh yeah it wasn’t her idea after all, some guys got her to do it and dictated the clothes, which she said “made me feel like a dork.”

Goodbye to some young women eager to win male approval by showing they’re not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten the status quo), who can’t identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her. Goodbye to women of any age again feeling unworthy, sulking “what if she’s not electable?” or “maybe it’s post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free.” Let a statement by the magnificent Harriet Tubman stand as reply. When asked how she managed to save hundreds of enslaved African Americans via the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, “I could have saved thousands—if only I’d been able to convince them they were slaves.”

[…] I’d rather look forward to what a good president he might make in eight years, when his vision and spirit are seasoned by practical know-how—and he’ll be all of 54. Meanwhile, goodbye to turning him into a shining knight when actually he’s an astute, smooth pol with speechwriters who’ve worked with the Kennedys’ own speechwriter-courtier Ted Sorenson. If it’s only about ringing rhetoric, let speechwriters run. But isn’t it about getting the policies we want enacted?

And goodbye to the ageism …

How dare anyone unilaterally decide when to turn the page on history, papering over real inequities and suffering constituencies in the promise of a feel-good campaign? How dare anyone claim to unify while dividing, or think that to rouse U.S. youth from torpor it’s useful to triage the single largest demographic in this country’s history: the boomer generation—the majority of which is female?

Old women are the one group that doesn’t grow more conservative with age—and we are the generation of radicals who said “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Goodbye to going gently into any goodnight any man prescribes for us. We are the women who changed the reality of the United States. And though we never went away, brace yourselves: we’re back!

We are the women who brought this country equal credit, better pay, affirmative action, the concept of a family-focused workplace; the women who established rape-crisis centers and battery shelters, marital-rape and date-rape laws; the women who defended lesbian custody rights, who fought for prison reform, founded the peace and environmental movements; who insisted that medical research include female anatomy; who inspired men to become more nurturing parents; who created women’s studies and Title IX so we all could cheer the WNBA stars and Mia Hamm. We are the women who reclaimed sexuality from violent pornography, who put childcare on the national agenda, who transformed demographics, artistic expression, language itself. We are the women who forged a worldwide movement. We are the proud successors of women who, though it took more than 50 years, won us the vote.

We are the women who now comprise the majority of U.S. voters.

Hillary said she found her own voice in New Hampshire. There’s not a woman alive who, if she’s honest, doesn’t recognize what she means. Then HRC got drowned out by campaign experts, Bill, and media’s obsession with everything Bill.

So listen to her voice:

“For too long, the history of women has been a history of silence. Even today, there are those who are trying to silence our words.

“It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls. It is a violation of human rights when woman and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution. It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small. It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war. It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide along women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes. It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will.

“Women’s rights are human rights. Among those rights are the right to speak freely—and the right to be heard.”

That was Hillary Rodham Clinton defying the U.S. State Department and the Chinese Government at the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing (look here for the full, stunning speech).

[..] We need to win, this time. Goodbye to supporting HRC tepidly, with ambivalent caveats and apologetic smiles. Time to volunteer, make phone calls, send emails, donate money, argue, rally, march, shout, vote.

Me? I support Hillary Rodham because she’s the best qualified of all candidates running in both parties. I support her because she’s refreshingly thoughtful, and I’m bloodied from eight years of a jolly “uniter” with ejaculatory politics. I needn’t agree with her on every point. I agree with the 97 percent of her positions that are identical with Obama’s—and the few where hers are both more practical and to the left of his (like health care). I support her because she’s already smashed the first-lady stereotype and made history as a fine senator, because I believe she will continue to make history not only as the first U.S. woman president, but as a great U.S. president.

As for the “woman thing”?

Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.

Amen, sister. Read it.


Oh, and in response to Dan, below (via):


Woman of the Year

posted by on February 4 at 6:33 PM

Okay, campaign reporters, we’ve seen and/or read enough interviews with black female voters. We get it: black woman are in a tough spot. Clinton or Obama? The black dude or the white lady?

Enough already.

What I’d like to see—by tomorrow—is an interview with a black, female, Mormon vet, a voter torn between Obama, McCain, Clinton, and Romney. She’s the holy grail of Super Tuesday interviews. Someone go find her.

Seen on My Computer

posted by on February 4 at 6:25 PM


Overheard in the Office

posted by on February 4 at 5:51 PM

Scarlett Johansson is doing a robocall? Give her my number.

Overheard on the Internets:

Hi, this is Scarlett Johansson…

(Bonus: Here’s the Chris Rock robocall.)

The Hillary Haters

posted by on February 4 at 5:17 PM

Stanley Fish, writing on the NYTimes web site, points to a great piece in last month’s GQ about the baffling beliefs of the “Hillary Haters”—Clinton opponents for whom Hillary is “an empty vessel into which they can pour anything they detest about politicians, ambitious women, and an American culture they fear is being wrested from their control.” A sample:

By now, Clinton’s flaws as a candidate are well-known—the problems giving a straight answer, the warmth and authenticity issues—but they’re also fairly typical for a politician. Here in Dallas, though, and in the rest of anti-Hillary land, the hostility toward Clinton tends to be expressed in bafflingly vague and emotional terms. Discussions with self-declared enemies of Hillary Clinton, prominent and not, across the country yield a head-spinning barrage of motivations for their ill will, but one thing is immediately clear: Few if any have anything to do with the mandated insurance coverage of Clinton’s health care plan (or HillaryCare, in hater parlance), her carefully triangulated position on Iran, or her incremental shift against the war in Iraq.

Instead, they say she is an extremist left-wing flower child masquerading as a moderate, or a warmongering hawk disguised as a liberal. She’s a liar and a lesbian (short hair! pantsuits!), a cold fish and an adulteress. She has no maternal instincts and is hobbled by a debilitating case of insecurity, for which she compensates by acting like a thug. She is the spineless wife of a habitual cheat, and the willful enabler of her husband’s affairs. She’s in politics to keep Bill around, and she ran for the Senate, and then the presidency, to exact revenge for his philandering. She has no God, or her devoutness is frighteningly fundamentalist. She’s a condescending elitist who sees people—even her friends—as steps on a stairway to the presidency. She is a partisan, a panderer, the personification of everything that is wrong with America.

Obama fans will point to this stuff as an argument for their candidate—he’s a uniter, she’s a divider, etc.—but I think it’s evidence that we need (divisive, controversial) Hillary more than ever. The Republican Party has become a party where anti-progressive conspiracy theorist whack jobs feel right at home; what the Democrats need is a President who’ll isolate those people and fight hard against them, not one who wants to bring them into the fold.

As Hillary put it herself in last week’s New Yorker:

If elected President, Clinton acknowledged, she would have to use unifying rhetoric and reach across partisan lines. But Clinton is less sanguine than Obama is about the possibilities of such efforts; she is readier to march ahead and let those who will follow do so. “It’s also important to say, ‘Look, there are certain things we have to do as a country. You may not agree, but let me explain why, and let me try to persuade you. But if I can’t persuade you, we have to go forward anyway.’

GQ article here; New Yorker here.

Obama for VP

posted by on February 4 at 4:39 PM

Suggests Clinton’s campaign chairman.

From the Ashes

posted by on February 4 at 4:30 PM

When I lived a couple blocks from the Scarlet Tree in the late-nineties, the iconic live-music venue and greasy-spoon kitchen could reliably create my hangovers at night and cure them in the morning. But since a fire gutted it in July of 2005, walking past NE 66th St and Roosevelt Way NE has been a nostalgic bummer.



After the fire, the building was condemned, according to Steve Walker, managing director of Heartland LLC, which bought the property. “Our goal is to put in a decent-sized restaurant and apartments above that,” he says. Heartland has submitted a proposal to tear down the old brick shell and construct a six-story building named Indigo @ 66.


Preliminary design of Indigo @ 66, view from Roosevelt Way NE. Image courtesy of Heartland LLC and Johnson Architecture and Planning LLC.

Walker says Heartland had its eye on the property, in part, due to the proximity of the QFC across the street, which is slated to be replaced by a light rail station. “Let’s take one of corners and start fixing it up,” he says. The first early design guidance meeting, open to the public, is scheduled tonight at 6:30 p.m. in room 209 of the University Heights Center.

More Washington Tit-for-Tat (Super Tuesday Party Edition)

posted by on February 4 at 4:10 PM

Received at 11:06 a.m. from the Obama camp:

Seattle, WA- Grassroots supporters of presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-IL) announced today that they will be holding a “Super Tuesday Results Watch Party” tomorrow, Tuesday, February 5, starting at 5:00 pm at the Tap House Grill located at 1506 Sixth Avenue (next to Nike Town) in downtown Seattle. The Obama campaign’s Washington State Chair, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) will make an appearance to urge supporters to caucus for Obama at the Washington state caucuses next Saturday, February 9.

Received at 2:52 p.m. from the Clinton camp:

The Clinton campaign will hold an election night watch party, Tuesday, February 5 in Seattle at the Collins Pub. Washington State Co-Chairs Former Governor Gary Locke, King County Executive Ron Sims and Congressman Jay Inslee will join supporters to watch the returns and cheer on Hillary. (Who: Washington For Hillary When: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM PST Where: Collins Pub 526 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 **Open to all ages.)

But really, why go to the Tap House Grill or Collins Pub when you can be at MoeBar with the Slog crowd?


We’ll be drinking and LiveSlogging, so if you can’t make it to MoeBar to watch the returns with us, just follow along online. We’ll be at the bar, and on the blog, until either California is called or we can’t type anymore—whichever comes first.

Today and This Weekend in Line Out

posted by on February 4 at 3:07 PM

Is Ari Spool Uncool: Because she wants to be in a cheesy cover band?

PWRFL Power’s Tour Diary: “Does Cheese Whiz stand for Cheese Wizard?”

Appreciation for Isaac Hayes: From Charles Mudede.

I Hate the word “Earworm”: There’s gotta be a better word for a song you can’t get out of your head.

The Final Dystopia LP: Is available for real this time.

More on Cover Bands: And the people who love them.

How Was the (Sorta) Jam Show?: Larry Mizell wants to know.

Breakin’ the Law, Breakin’ the Law: Christopher Frizzelle listened to his iPod during take-off even when the flight attendant told him not to.

Jeff Kirby Hates CDs: So he reviews the new Honey Hush 7”.

Goodbye Ghostface?: Is the Killah gonna quit if you don’t buy his record?

Tonight in Music: Three Inches of Blood, Blood on the Walls, and the Black Lips.

Chic is Real People: People who dropped LSD with Timothy Leary, were hippies and/or members of the Black Panthers, and loved punk music.

Fantastic Four: Got to have your love.

Hot Hot Heat: The band Jeff Kirby once loved.

Today’s Music News: Larry King raps with Snoop and the Mountain Goats write a song for Super Tuesday.


Taken by Static Invasion.

Re: It’s On

posted by on February 4 at 2:50 PM

It’s dueling endorsement list time here in Washington State.

To recap: First came the announcement of one new endorser for the Obama camp. Then came a list of 35 new endorsers for the Clinton camp. And now comes this list of 29 Washington State legislators who today endorsed Obama—a list that was prefaced with this pro-Obama reminder:

The 29 legislative endorsements come as momentum for Senator Obama is growing across Washington. Last week, Obama won the endorsement of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, as well as the endorsement of The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspapers. On Saturday, former John Edwards Washington state chair Jenny Durkan announced her support for Obama.

Got that?

29 legislators + 1 mayor + The Seattle Times + The Seattle P-I + Jenny Durkan = 33. Which is almost 35.

Here’s the list of Obama’s 29 new legislative endorsers:

State Senators (14):

Lisa Brown (D-Spokane), Senate Majority Leader

Ed Murray (D-Seattle), Senate Democratic Caucus Vice-Chair

Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island)

Ken Jacobsen (D-Seattle)

Craig Pridemore (D-Vancouver)

Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor)

Rosa Franklin (D-Tacoma)

Chris Marr (D-Spokane)

Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch)

Sen. Claudia Kauffman (D-Kent)

Sen. Adam Kline (D-Seattle)

Sen. Eric Oemig (D-Kirkland)

Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Seattle)

Sen. Brian Hatfield (D-Raymond)

State Representatives (15):

Dave Upthegrove (D-southern King County)

Eric Pettigrew (D-Seattle)

Brendan Williams (D-Olympia)

Larry Springer (D-Kirkland/Redmond)

Deb Eddy (D-Bellevue)

Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle)

Chris Hurst (D-King County)

Dave Quall (D-Mt. Vernon/Bellingham)

John McCoy (D-Everett)

Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle)

Fred Jarrett (D-Bellevue)

Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle)

Geoff Simpson (D-King County)

Pat Lantz (D-Bremerton)

Marilyn Chase (D-Shoreline)

Want to compare today’s lists? Click here for Clinton’s.

And remember: These are just lists of endorsements received today. Clearly, Obama has won the contest for endorsements from Washington’s state legislators and newspapers. (Clinton’s list from earlier today was padded with people like the former Pierce County auditor and the former Snohomish County clerk.)

But: In the race for Washington’s superdelegates, Clinton’s still very much in the lead.

The Next America

posted by on February 4 at 2:10 PM

In 2012, the number one Republican challenges…

the number one Democrat:
society%2011%201.jpg What a country!

(Credible) Patriotism for Liberals

posted by on February 4 at 2:06 PM

The “Yes We Can” Black Eyed Peas thing is pretty creepy to me, but I will say this:

It’s a souped-up, smarter version of 2004’s clunker: “Hope is on the way,” which was pretentious and forced.

The Democrats have finally found a hopeful + macho thing that sheds the whiny complainer image and finds a catchy, patriotism for liberals. Hate to say it, but yeah, voila JFK.

“Hope is on the Way” = Dukakis in the tank.

“Yes We Can” = “Ask not what your country can do for you, but…”

p.s. And Scarlett Johansson is smoking hot.

pps: And I do like that Jabbar shows up.


posted by on February 4 at 1:27 PM

I’m in the air most of the day today… so no ability to Slog. I’d wish I had the time to get something up explaining the difference between dislike and intolerance to Joel Connelly, but my layover’s too brief. I’ll post something tonight when I arrive in Pittsburgh. Anyone so motivated as to spell out the difference for Joel in some manner that might catch his attention—perhaps in Jelly donuts arranged on the sidewalk outside the PI’s building?—is more than welcome to do so in the meantime.

My Religion

posted by on February 4 at 1:24 PM

In this week’s books section, Christopher Frizzelle makes the leap of faith and determines, with the help of Jonathan Franzen and Moby Dick, that fiction is his “higher power.” It is the fate of a writer to eventually reach this conclusion. If he/she does not, he/she is free to think of their situation in life as anything else but that of a writer. All writers must believe in fiction. An example: Watch this BBC video of J.G. Ballard, Crash!, to the end. That is proof enough.

Fiction is not only a religion but all of reality. There is nothing but fiction between us. What links the social is the imagination, ideology, cognitive mapping, narration. Also, there is no division between fiction and nature. Fiction, which is produced by systems of human communication, is ultimately a natural substance. It is to us what a thread is to the spider or honey to the bee. Fictions are made from the stuff we weave and excrete: words and thoughts.

For me, the acceptance of this final picture of things—the all is fiction—began not with Moby Dick but through a marvelous passage in Moncrieff’s translation of Remembrance of Things Past:

Sunrise is a necessary concomitant of long railway journeys, just as are hard-boiled eggs, illustrated papers, packs of cards, rivers upon which boats strain but make no progress. At a certain moment,—when I was counting over the thoughts that had filled my mind, in the preceding minutes, so as to discover whether I had just been asleep or not (and when the very uncertainty which made me ask myself the question was to furnish me with an affirmative answer), in the pale square of the window, over a small black wood I saw some ragged clouds whose fleecy edges were of a fixed, dead pink, not liable to change, like the colour that dyes the wing which has grown to wear it, or the sketch upon which the artist’s fancy has washed it. But I felt that, unlike them, this colour was due neither to inertia nor to caprice but to necessity and life.


After reading this passage (the rest of which is below), I converted to fiction. Here was meaning in its entirety. In these words I saw something close to what Borges’s character, Borges, sees in “The Aleph.” At this point, time opened up, the stars became brighter, and there was the infinite, the all of it.

Continue reading "My Religion" »

That’s What I’m Talking About

posted by on February 4 at 1:20 PM

Oscar Robertson, 1961

Meanwhile, in Mississippi…

posted by on February 4 at 12:33 PM

“Lawmakers have proposed legislation that forbids restaurants and food establishments from serving food to anyone who is obese (as defined by the State)….”

Via Junkfood Science.

Help! Who’s Sexiest?

posted by on February 4 at 12:28 PM

The honchos at Stranger HQ are currently undertaking painstaking clinical evaluations of the hundreds of nominees for Seattle’s Sexiest. In the category of Sexiest Barista, there are more than a dozen contenders! They can’t come to a consensus and are sick of debating facial hair vs. facial piercings, so they’ve narrowed the hot java slingers down to six, and are asking you, Slogosphere, to make the final cut.

Which of these steamers should be crowned Seattle’s Sexiest Barista?


Which of these steamers should be crowned Seattle’s Sexiest Barista?

It’s On

posted by on February 4 at 12:20 PM

Maybe the Clinton campaign reads the Slog—or maybe, and far more likely, they heard about Barack Obama’s new Washington State endorsements through other channels.

But in any case, less than 24 hours after I first got word that Obama’s list of Washington endorsers would be growing today, the Clinton camp sends out word that Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen, “and more than 35 elected officials and community leaders from across Washington,” have today announced that they are supporting Hillary Clinton for president.

(Does the Lt. Governor’s endorsement signal anything about which way Gov. Gregoire is going to go?)

Here’s the list of new Clinton endorsers, with names I find notable in bold:

Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen

Sherry Appleton, State Representative, Kitsap County

Ron Bonlender, Former Yakima City Councilmember

Mary-Alyce Burleigh, Kirkland City Councilmember

Sally Clark, Seattle City Councilmember

Judy Clibborn, State Representative, Mercer Island

Pam Daniels, Former Snohomish County Clerk

Jan Drago, Seattle City Councilmember

Tracey Eide, State Senate Floor Leader, Federal Way

Jean Godden, Seattle City Councilmember

Jeff Gombosky, Former State Representative, Spokane

Steve Hobbs, State Senator, Lake Stevens

Sam Hunt, State Representative, Olympia

Faith Ireland, Former Supreme Court Justice, Seattle

Karen Keiser, State Senator, Kent

Kathy Keolker, Former Mayor, Renton

Phyllis Kenney, State Representative, King County

Joe King, Former Speaker of the House

Liz Loomis, State Representative, Snohomish

Valoria Loveland, Director, State Department of Agriculture

Dawn Morrell, State Representative, Puyallup

Sharon Nelson, State Representative, Maury Island

Al O’Brien, State Representative, King and Snohomish Counties

Val Ogden, Former State Representative

Cathy Pearsall-Stipek, Former Pierce County Auditor

Larry Phillips, King County Councilmember

Margarita Prentice, State Senator, Renton

Cindy Ryu, Shoreline City Councilmember

Shay Schual-Berke, State Representative, Sea-Tac

Betti Sheldon, Former State Senator

Paull Shin, State Senator, Snohomish County

Helen Sommers, State Representative, Seattle

Catherine Stanford, Lake Forest Park City Council

Brian Sullivan, Snohomish County Councilmember

Gael Tarleton, Seattle Port Commissioner

Pat Thibaudeau, Former State Senator

Rodney Tom, State Senator, Bellevue

Janet Way, Shoreline City Council

Brian Weinstein, State Senator, Mercer Island

Re: Marijuana Withdrawal as Severe as Tobacco Withdrawal?

posted by on February 4 at 12:12 PM

Many good studies can be done with only twelve subjects. This study is flawed for other reasons.

Current users of cannabis and tobacco were recruited through newspaper advertisements and flyers posted on community bulletin boards. Criteria for participation included: age ≥ 18 years old; heavy use of cannabis (at least 25 days/month) and tobacco (at least 10 cigs/day) for 6 months prior to participating; no intent to quit or change cannabis or tobacco use; not currently dependent on other substances; no use of illicit drugs (other than cannabis) in the prior month; not currently using any psychotropic medication; not meeting DSM-IV criteria for a current episode of an Axis I psychiatric disorder; and not pregnant.
(emphasis added)

Everyone smoked both pot and cigarettes. The good of this: the effect of withdrawal could be compared between pot and tobacco in the same individuals. The bad: it’s already known that pot and tobacco interact. Perhaps the severe withdrawal seen after stopping pot in this study has more do with the effect smoking pot had on how nicotine was processed in the brain.

The results—to the extent they are valid at all—only apply to people (100% white, highly educated college students in their late twenties and early thirties) who smoke both pot and tobacco heavily and then stop smoking pot.

But, I’m sick of reading a crappy study. What good studies are out there on this subject?

* Pot definitely is physically addictive, but most people grow out of regular pot use. In contrast, people who start smoking tobacco in youth are likely to continue lifelong.

* After at least twenty-one days of continual use of pot, most people experience some withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms begin in about ten hours after stopping smoking pot and include irritability, agitation, insomnia, depression, nausea and anorexia. After a week, most are gone. The symptoms are considered mild—mild enough to not require an entry in the DSM as a clinically relevant syndrome.

The gist? Using pot—like using any mind altering substance, including alcohol, tobacco, acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and so on—has physical negative consequences, including some misery if you abruptly stop after heavy use.

A personal aside: As a former first responder and EMT-B, I’d much rather deal with a stoner who overdid it a bit than a binge drinker who had a few too many. Only the latter can result in someone losing their life.

Slog: your Obama and Pot HQ.

The War on Drugs Is…

posted by on February 4 at 11:36 AM


A Request

posted by on February 4 at 11:35 AM

Eli: This article by Michael Chabon has virtually given me all the impetus needed to switch from Hill to the Big O. Please post to Slog.

Yay … President Bush?

posted by on February 4 at 11:34 AM

There is $128.8 million in the President’s budget for Sound Transit:

$28.8M for the final installment on the Initial Segment—SeaTac to downtown, which completes the feds $500 million commitment to that $2.48 billion segment.

$100 million for U-Link (of the $1.8 billion price tag there.) ST is expecting a total of $750 million from the feds for the U-Link.

So, ultimately, the feds will be covering about 30 percent of of Phase 1 parts 1 & 2 (SeaTac to Downtown and Downtown to the U. District, respectively.)

Mixed Messaging

posted by on February 4 at 11:20 AM

All this talk of the 1973 Super Bowl (the undefeated Miami Dolphins etc.) jostled a pretty creepy memory for me.

The Dolphins beat the Washington Redskins in that Super Bowl. I grew up outside D.C. I was a tot at the time, and that Friday before the big game (“Redskins Day” at my school), my class went out on the front lawn, and my teacher led us in a rendition of the Redskins fight song.

I hadn’t thought of this song (with it’s tribal drum beaty middle section) until last night.

Good God:

Hail to the Redskins!

Hail Victory!

Braves on the Warpath!

Fight for old D.C.!*

Run or pass and score — we want a lot more!

Scalp ‘em, swamp ‘em — We will take ‘em big score

Read ‘em, weep ‘em, touchdown - we want heap more

Fight on, Fight on — ‘Till you have won

Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!

*Apparently, the original lyric was “Fight for Old Dixie.”

To exonerate my early 70s elem school, my hippie Kindergarten teacher did make us sing Three Dog Night’s “Black & White” pretty regularly.

Black & White

The ink is black, the page is white

Together we learn to read and write

A child is black, a child is white

The whole world looks upon the sight, a beautiful sight

And now a child can understand

That this is the law of all the land, all the land

The world is black, the world is white

It turns by day and then by night

A child is black, a child is white

Together they grow to see the light, to see the light

And now at last we plainly see

We’ll have a dance of Liberty, Liberty!

The world is black, the world is white

It turns by day and then by night

A child is black, a child is white

The whole world looks upon the sight, a beautiful sight

The world is black, the world is white

It turns by day and then by night

A child is black, a child is white

Together they grow to see the light, to see the light

For Dan Savage

posted by on February 4 at 11:01 AM

The 5th Avenue has announced its 2008-2009 season, with another dubious pre-Broadway premiere (Shrek: the Musical) and The Drowsy Chaperone which Dan despaired of back in November:

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.

It’s not the tour that’s coming to the 5th Ave, but it’s something.

(Also, congratulations to Nick Garrison, who will star as the emcee in the 5th Ave’s upcoming production of Cabaret—it’s the role he was born for.)

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 4 at 11:00 AM


William T. Vollmann at University Book Store

William T. Vollmann’s books are reports from what Gorky called “the lower depths.” To make these reports, he throws himself into bad situations. In one book, he throws himself into poverty; in another, he throws himself into a war zone; in another, he throws himself into the arms of a prostitute. In his latest book, Riding Toward Everywhere, Vollmann throws himself into the hard life of a hobo. The sweet side of the world is not for Vollmann; what he wants is the misery and mess of humanity. (University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400. 7 pm, free.)


On the Ground in Brooklyn

posted by on February 4 at 10:52 AM

As our Slog readers who live in New York will tell you, there’s been a lot of chatter about how Hillary Clinton will do in that city, and whether or not Obama will be able to grab a victory in Brooklyn.

In the Dept. of Anecdotal Evidence: A friend who lives in Carroll Gardens called over the weekend and reported nothing but Obama signs as far as the eye could see. And another friend who lives in Park Slope just sent this:

At 7:15 a.m. there were ten Hillary canvasser on all corners of my intersection in Park Slope. When they tried to give me literature I told them firmly but politely, “Barack Obama 2008.” At the same time I heard another guy yelling, “Barack Obama!” as he crossed the street. Heading into the subway there was an Obama supporter handing out Obama literature.

Anyway, it looks like Brooklyn is a battleground, but I think it will be Obama country. My girlfriend, who’s at home today, told me that by 10 a.m. the Hillary canvassers were gone from the intersection outside my apartment and were replaced by an Obama supporter…

Marijuana Withdrawal as Severe as Tobacco Withdrawal?

posted by on February 4 at 10:50 AM

I’ve seen plenty of pot smokers get crabby when their stash is gone. But never – never – have I seen a pot smoker as desperate as a cigarette smoker without their vice. However, according to this latest study, withdrawal from the two is tit for tat.

The study, of 12 adults who were heavy users of both marijuana and cigarettes, found that stopping either substance triggered similar withdrawal symptoms.

As with nicotine withdrawal, quitting marijuana caused symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, sleep problems and difficulty concentrating, researchers found.

“Marijuana is not as innocuous as some people would lead you to believe,” said lead researcher Dr. Ryan Vandrey, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

I’m so sick of these scare studies, paid for by government grants, based on a handful of people, and reported credulously in the international press. The only reason they’re funded and publicized is because drugs are a sensational subject. Oh, sure, I can hear people say that even though it’s a small sample you can’t deny the truth that marijuana withdrawal exists. And I agree with that. Marijuana withdrawal exists, but it’s negligible compared to withdrawal from cigarettes—regardless of what this bullshit study says.

Currently Hanging

posted by on February 4 at 10:44 AM

Bratsa Bonifacho’s Elegiaque, oil on canvas, 54 by 54, 2007

At Foster/White Gallery.

Clinton Tears

posted by on February 4 at 10:24 AM

Connecticut edition.


posted by on February 4 at 10:00 AM


Confused About the Caucuses?

posted by on February 4 at 9:45 AM

All weekend long, people I hung out with were asking me to explain the Washington State caucus system: What happens at a caucus? How do I find my caucus location? Does the primary count?

If I’d been carrying the Slog around with me, I’d have pointed them to this great post (and Q&A, and public service announcement) by The Stranger’s Annie Wagner—film editor, former precinct committee officer precinct delegate, and Democratic rule parser extraordinaire.

Got a caucus question? Annie’s post is more than worth a click. And if you want an on-paper explainer, look for the hard copy of the next issue of The Stranger, in which my intern, Ryan S. Jackson, makes caucusing sound easy—or at least understandable.

“Frozen New York”

posted by on February 4 at 9:35 AM

Performance-art populists Improv Everywhere stage a frozen moment in NYC’s Grand Central Station.

The onlookers are the stars. (Thanks, Towleroad.)

Washington Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown Endorses Obama

posted by on February 4 at 9:35 AM

At the national level, campaigns and political journalists talk about the importance of “winning” the daily news cycle. The consensus seems to be that since his South Carolina victory, Obama’s won far more news cycles than Clinton—see the multi-day focus on his Kennedy endorsements; the Oprah appearance in Los Angeles yesterday; and the big, news-making crowds that appear wherever Obama shows up, even, recently, in Idaho.

You might not think anyone would currently be focused on winning the Washington State political news cycle with our primary still six days (and one Super Duper Tuesday) away. But while the Clinton campaign has been making very little news here, the Obama camp brought John Kerry through Seattle and Tacoma on Friday, released news of a Washington State ad buy on Thursday, and today is holding a press conference in Olympia to announce that a number of state legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, are endorsing Obama.

So as far as the relatively small Washington State political news cycle goes, Obama’s been winning it far more than Clinton—another sign, I would say, that his campaign is serious about taking Washington, either as a firewall to hold back a Clinton surge on Super Tuesday, or as a nail-in-the-coffin state if Obama does much better in California than expected.

Who else in our state legislature is supporting Obama? We’ll find out at noon today, but the Obama campaign hints that there’s more where Lisa Brown came from, saying the event in Olympia will feature “state legislators from Seattle, Vancouver, Tacoma, Kent, Spokane, Olympia, and other areas.”

In Bible News

posted by on February 4 at 9:31 AM

This post is not about Obama vs. Clinton. It’s not about Olympia. It’s not about Sound Transit. It’s not about the civil rights movement. It’s not about cloning. It’s not about Dr. J. And it’s not about Ahmet Ertegun.

It’s about the Bible! Check out this list of the top-10 bizarro Bible stories.

For example, there’s (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:13-14) the time Jesus gets mad at a tree (#4 on the top-10 list)


… and (1 Kings 18:25-27) the time David goes on a murderous spree, killing 200 men and collecting their foreskins as booty (#6).

Gay Men Attacked This Weekend on Capitol Hill

posted by on February 4 at 9:25 AM

Two men—Thomas Colonna and Brad Crelia—were attacked early Saturday morning/late Friday night near the corner of Denny and Olive on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

KIRO 7 News reports Colonna and Crelia were about a block from home when a car nearly run them over. Several men then jumped from the car and attacked the men.

Crelia said he couldn’t run away because has a broken foot and is walking with a cane. “He took the cane out of my hand and started hitting me with it on my face and head.”

The victims suffered cuts and broken bones, the attackers fled, and witnesses provided police with the attacker’s license plate number.

Full KIRO report here.

An Open Letter to KIRO

posted by on February 4 at 9:10 AM

Lefties, politicos, and fans of local talk radio are circulating an open letter to KIRO’s management. If you think killing David Goldstein’s show was mistake, you can sign the open letter here. The letter has more than 300 signatures on it so far.

In Olympia News

posted by on February 4 at 8:52 AM

If you don’t check the Slog over the weekend, you missed several reports on the action in Oly:

1. Nefarious bill flops.

2. Consumer protection bill passes (in the Senate, anyway.)

3. Enviro bill tentatively moves ahead.

4. Great enviro bill lacks support.

Morning News

posted by on February 4 at 8:15 AM

Super Bowl: N.Y. Giants last-minute touchdown drive snuffs Patriots quest for perfect season.

Super Tuesday: Polls show Obama surging one day before Democrats’ 22-state showdown …

McCain leading for Republicans… Although, Romney leading in delegate-rich California.

Bush’s New $3.1 Trillion Budget: $410 billion deficit

Microsoft +Yahoo! Not So Fast!: Google works to thwart Microsoft’s big bid.

The Great Chase: Secret documents show U.S. forces had green light to cross into Iran and Syria.

Is it a Recession if Everyone Thinks it is?: Poll shows Americans sour on economy.

Is it Safe to Ride a bike in Seattle? As city pushes master bike plan, it needs to address bike safety.

Suicide Bombing Hits Israel: Gaza militants from Fatah off-shoot claim responsibility.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Headline of the Day

posted by on February 3 at 8:09 PM

Inhaling Pig Brains May Be Cause of New Illness.

The story’s actually kind of scary. And sad. Next time some Republican claims illegal immigrants are taking away jobs Americans citizens truly want, I urge you to cite “microscopic flecks of pig brain.”

No Perfect Season

posted by on February 3 at 7:28 PM

NY wins, 17-14. The Patriots go home with one loss for the season. It was a damn good game.

Now football goes back into hibernation. Thankfully, baseball will be here soon.

[We now return you to The Stranger’s Obamablog.]

Hope for the Oscars

posted by on February 3 at 5:12 PM

According to an email sent by the Writer’s Guild of America to its members today, writers are supposed to return to the picket lines tomorrow. But Hollywood is buzzing with speculation that there’s an imminent agreement in the works between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to end the strike, by paying writers royalties for new-media sales and addressing other concerns. If the they don’t reach agreement in time for the Oscars on February 24, writers have threatened to picket the awards ceremony and the Screen Actors Guild has vowed to boycott the event in solidarity—resulting in a television debacle more shameful than the People’s Choice Awards.

“Things have been leaked that suggest they have passed every major hurdle and we can get to a final resolution,” says my brother David, a sit-com writer in LA and picketing member of the guild. But the email from the guild, sent to my brother this afternoon, says to ignore those rumors and continue to show resolve. Even guild members have been denied details on negotiations, as the committees from both sides agreed to a media blackout.

Once the two sides reach a non-binding agreement, the 10,500 guild members will by notified by email, the letter says. They will have to convene in the Los Angeles Convention Center to consider the conditions and vote to ratify the proposal. “I think we could hear something this week,” David says. “If it’s done at breakneck speed, we might be able to get it done before the Academy Awards.”

Okay. Sorry About That. Now Back to the Program.

posted by on February 3 at 4:57 PM


Going into Super Tuesday, Obama is indeed, surging.

We Now Interrupt this Broadcast …

posted by on February 3 at 1:55 PM

Since 2003, executives and employees of Exelon, which is based in Illinois, have contributed at least $227,000 to Mr. Obama’s campaigns for the United States Senate and for president. Two top Exelon officials, Frank M. Clark, executive vice president, and John W. Rogers Jr., a director, are among his largest fund-raisers.

The New York Times has a damning front-page article this morning about Barack Obama (I know, can you believe it?) and his cozy relationship with one of his top-ten contributors, Exelon Corp.

Yes, they’re as evil as they sound. The Chicago-based company, the top nuclear plant operator in the country, covered up a tritium leak that got into the drinking water near one of the company’s nuclear plants outside Chicago.

As a U.S. Senator, Obama told the affected community in Illinois that he would pass legislation mandating that companies disclose leaks. However, Obama, you know, unity and all that, decided to bring his Exelon donors to the table (btw, Obama’s chief political consultant, David Axelrod has worked for Exelon). The bill, watered-down by Obama so that there were no mandatory reporting requirments, eventually disappeared. Win one for Exelon.

The story is damning enough, but what unnerved me most is this quote they got from the Obama campaign:

“If Senator Obama had listened to industry demands, he wouldn’t have repeatedly criticized Exelon in the press, introduced the bill and then fought for months to get action on it,” the campaign said.

First of all, he didn’t fight for action on it. He let Exelon rewrite it. But more important, the Obama campaign’s rejoinder—that Obama talked tough in the press—is galling.

The campaign wants the public to give Obama credit for misleading them with rhetoric? Hey!, the Obama campaign’s logic goes, the senator said he was mad at the company publicly, so the actual legislation—what he did about it—doesn’t matter.

WTF? That type of thinking exacerbates my feeling that Obama talks a good game, but when it comes to banging out policy he’s inclined to unite and dilute.

Paul Gunter, an activist based in Maryland who assisted neighbors of the Exelon plants, said he was “disappointed in Senator Obama’s lack of follow-through,” which he said weakened the original bill. “The new legislation falls short” by failing to provide for mandatory reporting, said Mr. Gunter, whose group, Beyond Nuclear, opposes nuclear energy.

Two footnotes:
1. Hat tip to Annie Wagner. Despite her heavy O-leanings, she was fair-minded enough to tip me off to this morning’s article.

2. Hillary Clinton was a co-sponsor on the bill, but seems to have had very little to do with it.

End Run

posted by on February 3 at 12:00 PM

Here’s the Obama Super Bowl ad that Fox didn’t want to sell national air-time for. (And here’s how Obama got around that obstacle.) The ad will be airing here in Washington—but will it sway your Super Bowl party?

Super Bowl and Literature

posted by on February 3 at 11:19 AM

For all y’all who hate sports, but love novels, from McSweeney’s: Super Bowl Predictions from Great Writers.

This comes down to a tie between Cormac McCarthy and Jane Austen, if you ask me.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 3 at 11:00 AM


‘Hey Girl!’ at On the Boards

The story is simple: A woman wakes up, gets ready to go out. But Italian theater company Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio turns her routine into stark symbolism: The woman “wakes” out of a silicon cocoon; she pours perfume on a big, smoking-hot sword; she is beaten by men with pillows; she dances with a black woman in chains. The way artistic director Lane Czaplinski talks about Hey Girl!, it’s the show he’s been waiting for all year. (On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. 8 pm, $24. Jan 31–Feb 3.)


The Morning News

posted by on February 3 at 9:05 AM

Poll Position: Statistical dead heat between Clinton and Obama. Either Dem would cream Romney but would tie with McCain.

California: Obama catches up.

Cum on Feel Illinois: They’re lovin’ Obama and McCain.

Cum on Fear Illinois: Suspect on the loose after murdering five women near Chicago yesterday.

Great White Neighbors: Canadians heard in lax immigration court.

Satterberg: Tries to block record requests.

Fat Lip: Food manufacturers, grocery-store managers, and restaurant operators to blame for obesity?

French First Couple: Hot.

South Seattle Schools: Not.

51 Seized Pups: Judge says sell ‘em.

Duopoly? Micrsoft bids for Yahoo! to give Google the finger.

Hanging Chad: Global aid in the balance as rebels charge troops.

Food for Thought: FDA “barely hanging on by its fingertips.”

For Life: Volvo recalls 82,000 cars that may stall at inopportune moments.

All Are Bored, America: Stuck in the mountains on Amtrak.

Happy Thuper-duper Bowl, pigskin lovers!


Behind the Cockpit Door

posted by on February 3 at 8:37 AM


An investigation has been launched after a video of a topless French air stewardess performing a sexy striptease for the captain while the plane was flying was leaked on to the internet. Despite the plane being in the air - and with several hundred passengers presumably blissfully unaware of what is going on - the sexy cabin attendant removes her bra and lets the captain and co-pilot get hands on.

I would assume that this kind of thing happens all the time—piloting a commercial jet is like being a bus driver on a robot bus. But why people anyone would allow themselves to be filmed in this situation is beyond me.

Oh, no wait, I remember why they do it: They’re idiots. All the better for us.

The Daily Mail has more info, and photos with captions like, “holding pattern, in-flight entertainment, and get ready for takeoff.