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Archives for 02/10/2008 - 02/16/2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sorry About Totally Gaying Up The Slog…

posted by on February 16 at 6:50 PM

…but I couldn’t resist this.

Meanwhile in Montana

posted by on February 16 at 6:36 PM

From the Billings Gazette

Montana’s gay and lesbian community is calling on Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., to apologize for a gag he recently played on one of his colleagues.

On a congressional trip to the Middle East last month, Rehberg left an “Idaho Travel Package” on the airplane seat of Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho. The contents included a stuffed sheep with gloves attached to it, a Village People CD, books on cross-dressing and sign language and a T-shirt that reads, “My senator may not be gay, but my governor is Butch.”

The shirt referred to Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who was caught in a men’s airport bathroom sex sting, and Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

Let’s set aside the tiresome conflation of homosexuality with cross-dressing (straight men cross-dress, gay men do drag) and bestiality (some straight men fuck dogs, all gay men are dogs) and focus on Rep. Denny Rehberg’s real crime: attempted murder. Sending a colleague into the Middle East with a Village People CD and a t-shirt with the word “gay” on it? Is Rehberg nuts? Or was he trying to get Simpson beheaded?

Ten Year-Old Hangs Himself

posted by on February 16 at 4:52 PM

This news should please Chris Crocker’s haters:

A boy of ten hanged himself after telling his mother that he wanted to become a girl, an inquest was told yesterday.

Cameron McWilliams, who liked to wear girls’ underwear, asked if he could start using make-up just days before committing suicide, the hearing heard. His mother, who described him as a lonely young boy, told the coroner: “It was apparent he was unhappy and said he wanted to be a girl. He did like girls’ things.”

She said he had been teased after being found in his half-sister’s underwear, but had been forbidden from wearing make-up until he was much older.

Via Queerty.


posted by on February 16 at 4:32 PM

More creepiness. From the Vancouver, BC, tab the Province:

Human right foot found on Valdes

A third severed foot has washed up on a Gulf Island. All three are right feet, and all were in sneakers.

“It is unusual,” RCMP Const. Annie Linteau said yesterday. “We are in the preliminary stages of this particular investigation, and, of course, we will not enter into speculation.”

The latest foot was found Friday on the east side of Valdes Island, south of Gabriola Island.

The RCMP can’t speculate. But you can, Sloggers.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on February 16 at 11:37 AM

From Flickr pool contributor shapefarm


Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 16 at 11:00 AM



Drawn in big swaths of black and white and embellished with thin curls of cigarette smoke and cascades of jasmine flowers, Persepolis is a gorgeous film. But the best surprise if you’ve read Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel is the blood-stirring evocation of actual historical revolution and teenage rebellion, shown side by side, without diminishing either. (See movie times.)


Currently Hanging

posted by on February 16 at 10:30 AM

Hans Jorgensen’s Fashion Photograph (1948), vintage silver print

At Martin-Zambito Fine Art.

The Morning News

posted by on February 16 at 10:15 AM

Another Try: Kosovo will declare independence tomorrow, Serbian president vows to peacefully fight secession, EU deploys troops.

Another Bombing: 37 killed at opposition rally in rural Pakistan.

Another Cartoon: Danish ambassadors cancel trip to Iran.

Another Miracle: Huckabee ignores GOP’s hints to quit.

Little Brother: You done gone broke my telescreen.

Little Victory: Blu-Ray wins.

Little Less: State revenue forecast shrinks.

Negotiated: Deal for Democratic convention.

Burned: One man dies in south Seattle house fire.

Gassed: Senegal police fire tear gas at anti-gay protesters.

Crushed: Street racing is for idiots.

Yellow Plates for DUI convicts: Red plates for racing, purple for texting…

Gold Plates for Dead Vets: Families want badges for loss.

No Title: Ohio ballot lacks word “president.”

No Bids: Chinook ferry could be yours for only $4,500,000.00.

License to Ill: UK considers tobacco permits.

Reading Today

posted by on February 16 at 10:12 AM


Shit-fire, do we have a lot of readings going on today.

There’s an open mic, an anti-evangelical Christian, a discussion about love, something called Killer Year: A Criminal Anthology, and Mitsuyo Kakuta, reading from her U.S. debut novel at the Panama Hotel. Also, up at Third Place, and possibly most intriguingly, Toby Barlow is reading from Sharp Teeth, which is a werewolf novel told entirely in (unrhymed) poetry. I’m about halfway through it, and I still don’t know what to think about it. Here’s part of a stanza:

“Some of us have problems./They still talk about Bone and what the grease does to him./He can’t go into fried chicken places/the smell, the scent, turns his blood right away./They say he took out a Popeye’s once./It made the news unsolved.”

Full listings here.

UPDATE: The conversation about love at the Hugo House, listed as being at 10:30 pm in the listings, is actually at 10:30 am, or about eighteen minutes from now. I regret the error, but not as much as my team of calendar-assembling monkeys is going to regret the error on Monday.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Rope, Knives, Duct Tape, Gloves

posted by on February 15 at 10:03 PM


The gas station in Cheney, Washington, offers convenient one-stop shopping for area serial killers.

Another Superdelegate Speaks His Mind

posted by on February 15 at 5:00 PM

We heard from Washington Rep. Brian Baird on the Slog this morning.

He seems to think superdelegates should consider the will of their constituents when deciding whom to endorse in the presidential race. Now comes an email from the Clinton campaign calling my attention to the “must read” words of House Majority Leader Jim Clyburn in an AP story headlined: “Superdelegates should keep quiet on candidate support

While Clyburn said he’d prefer superdelegates not announce their support until much later in the nominating process, he said he also doesn’t agree with superdelegates shifting support from one candidate to another based on how their constituents vote in a primary or caucus.

Clyburn said superdelegates are not in place simply to mirror the popular vote. “I don’t think people are really thinking through what they’re saying,” he said.

It takes 2,025 to clinch the nomination - a number Clyburn said Friday he didn’t think either candidate will be able to reach before the convention. The August convention in Denver is where the superdelegates will have their say, he said.

“Nobody is going to have 2,000 votes when this is over,” Clyburn said. “The superdelegates are there to provide the rest of those votes. That’s why we were supposed to be unpledged.”

Here’s the full story.

UPDATE: However, the “most super delegate of all,” Nancy Pelosi, has now broken her silence and declared that superdelegates should not reverse the will of the people:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who may be the most super delegate of all as chair of the Democratic national convention in Denver — gave an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt in which she laid down the law for super delegates:

Don’t veto the people’s choice.

“I think there is a concern when the public speaks and there is a counter-decision made to that,” she said, adding quickly, “I don’t think that will happen.”

Reading Tonight

posted by on February 15 at 5:00 PM


Two very different events, tonight. We’ve got Robert Ferrigno, a mystery/thriller author who writes lots of books with words like “sin” and “assassin” and “prayer” and “ninja”* in their titles, reading at Third Place Books up in Lake Forest Park.

Conversely, there’s “Love is the Drug,” at the Hugo House. I’ve not been crazy about Rick Moody’s last two books (I read all of The Black Veil and regretted it, I read a good chunk of The Diviners and couldn’t continue with it) but his short stories, especially in Demonology, can be pretty mind-blowing. I have not read Monica Drake’s last book, Clown Girl, but the talented and charming Cienna Madrid liked it. (“Just as there is something alluring about a plucked rubber chicken with its legs demurely crossed, so Clown Girl, a debut novel by Portland author Monica Drake, has its charms.”) David Wagoner, Hugo House’s current writer-in-residence, is lovely. There’s also a band and a party. It’s a little pricey, but it looks like a full evening’s entertainment.

Full listing is here, and the next week or so of readings is here.

Continue reading "Reading Tonight" »

Underwood Injunction Against Ex-Employee Overturned

posted by on February 15 at 4:09 PM

A King County Superior Court judge has overturned an injunction obtained by Democratic Party fund-raiser Colby Underwood, against his former employee, McKenna Hartman. Underwood sued Hartman ‘when she attempted to go into business for herself after leaving his firm, arguing that a nondisclosure agreement in Hartman’s contract actually constituted a noncompete agreement. Hartman has been unable to work since leaving Underwood’s firm in November. Underwood reportedly also sought unsuccessfully to obtain an injunction against Cathy Allen, a local political consultant who attempted to help Hartman get her business underway.

Hartman’s new attorney, Roger Townsend, was unavailable for comment.

UPDATE: A few more details about today’s ruling. Both Underwood and Hartman showed up for today’s hearing. The atmosphere in the courtroom was reportedly quite jovial and friendly, despite the sometimes overheated nature of the dispute between Underwood and Hartman. The decision to overturn the injunction frees Hartman, 27, to seek her own clients at least until the case goes to trial—currently scheduled for July 2009.

UNRELATED: I’m currently Slogging from the Columbia City library—tell me again why we can’t have free wi-fi in every business district in the city?—and I just literally got shushed by a librarian.

In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

posted by on February 15 at 4:05 PM

Greg Tate is Coming to EMP’s Pop Conference: That makes Charles Mudede very happy.

Disco Love: Valentine’s Day is over, but these disco tracks will keep you feelin’ in love over the weekend.

Don’t Shut It: The best Queen lyric of the day.

Olympia Riot: A cop car gets overturned after a hiphop show at Evergreen state college last night.

Don’t Leave Home Without It: A pocket-sized version of Guitar Hero coming soon to a store near you.

Yes We Can!: Boston’s frontman turns down Huckabee, announces support for Obama.

Portishead Record Coming Soon: Another reasons Charles Mudede is stoked.

First Live Show at King Cobra: Trent Moorman was there to feel the metal love.

MP3 Truffles: The secrets behind the show.

Club Pop—Valentine’s Day Edition: And all the hook-ups that happened therein.

Tonight in Music: DJ Starski, Blaqstarr, Six Organs of Admittance, and more.

Also Tonight: Ruby Doe, Sunday Night Blackout, the Whore Moans. And Avenged Sevelfold’s logo, hold the pickles.

In Honor of the Riot: A little Dub Narcotic Sound System.

At Last, My Boutrous Boutrous Ghali Costume is Relevant Again!

posted by on February 15 at 3:55 PM

If you don’t have any plans for this weekend but you do have a King Tut costume gathering dust in your closet, this might be just the thing for you. The Guerrilla Masquerade Party (Seattle Chapter) is hosting a celebration, World Leader Pretend, this Saturday at Sunset Bowl, starting at 9 pm.

The history of the world has been full of crazy queens, powerful presidents, and charismatic cult leaders. There have been good, bad, and downright awful men and women who have held positions of power, probably for as long as humans have been walking the earth. Now’s your chance to masquerade as one of them for a night!

Politicians and Monarchs will surely be present, so you can hobnob with Hamilton, visit with Victoria, converse with Khrushchev, or pick up on Prince Harry. This may be your chance to buy Boris III a beer, make eyes at Mussolini, or cuddle with Kim Jong-il.

And world leaders come in other varieties… like religious leaders. You could parade as a Pope, dress up as the Dalai Lama, or make believe you’re Charles Manson.

This is also an opportunity for the Abraham Lincolns of this past Tuesday to get the band back together one last time before Halloween. I’m not going—got plays to review, don’t’cha know—but if you do go, and somebody actually shows up dressed as Adolf Hitler, please hit him (or her) once for me.

Oly Action: Domestic Partners Bill Passes the House

posted by on February 15 at 3:43 PM

Rep. Jamie Pedersen’s (D-43, Capitol Hill) bill to expand domestic partners’ rights (and responsibilities!) passed the House today 62-32.

Last year, the state created a domestic partnership registry and granted about 23 of the rights that married couples have, including hospital visitation and allowing partners to give informed consent in medical decisions, make funeral arrangements, and inherit property in the absence of a will.

This year’s bill would add about 174 more rights (there are 480 total). Some of the new rights in this year’s bill are the right to go to family court when dissolving a partnership, the right to transfer property between partners without paying real estate excise taxes, the right to share nursing home rooms and private nursing home visits, and the right to exclude your house as an asset when applying for Medicaid funding for nursing home residency.

Two unfriendly amendments, one to put the issue to a referendum and one confirming the state’s belief in the institution of marriage, failed.

Now, it’s off to the Senate side.

Meanwhile, there are 3,247 registered domestic partnerships in the state right now (since the law passed last year). And there are couples in every legislative district in the state including places like Monroe (39 couples), Yakima (9 couples) and Wenatchee (17).

Seattle leads the way, of course, with 1,101 couples registered—where 52% of the couples are gay and 45% are lesbian. (2% are hetero senior couples). Statewide, lesbians make up 53% of the registered couples while gay men make up 39% of the couples.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on February 15 at 3:33 PM

Ruled: Pharmacists can continue withholding Plan B until case is resolved.

Stabbed: Mom nagged son to get off the pot. Son also reportedly in possession of three human skulls used for “money-making rituals.”

Charged: Garden-supply shop owner faces 40 years.

Backed: Support for medical marijuana from the American College of Physicians.

District Attorney in Texas: “Although I have enjoyed excellent medical and pharmacological treatment, I have come to learn that the particular combination of drugs prescribed for me in the past has caused some impairment in my judgment.”

County Treasurer in Oklahoma: “I resign now with enormous regret, however, in light of recent events, I find it impossible to effectively serve as Treasurer any longer.”

Hole in One: Dunkin’ Donuts rivals Starbucks.

Do not Use Exactly as Directed: FDA nods to drugs’ unapproved uses.

Passing Once Wasn’t Enough: Hailey, Idaho to consider pot measures again.

Federal Prosecutors: Won’t block commuted sentences.

Hot Water: Britain considers tea ban for students.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on February 15 at 3:09 PM

The news, celebrity red carpet edition:

The Oscars are totally back, and you have just over a week to catch up on movies you missed and obsess over your picks. I have to say, I like this brief lead time. We should have a writer’s strike that threatens the Oscars every year.

Madonna’s directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival this week. Variety sums up the plot:

Story revolves around three flatmates living in London. Ukrainian-born aspiring musician A.K. (Eugene Hutz), haunted by memories of an abusive father, now dominates and humiliates pervs for pay. Ballet dancer Holly (Holly Weston), for whom A.K. carries a weighty torch, tries her hand at pole dancing to raise extra cash at A.K.’s suggestion. Finally, pharmacy assistant Juliette (Vicky McLure) dreams of going to Africa to help starving children and thus escape some poorly explicated family strife.

Steven Spielberg quit his Olympics gig over displeasure with China’s dealings with Sudan. And the controversy won’t end there.

This week’s crop:

Diary of the Dead

In On Screen this week: George Romero’s Diary of the Dead (Andrew Wright: “Diary of the Dead, the filmmaker’s faux-camcorder revamp of the mythos for the YouTube generation, might be his jumpiest film yet, as a group of student filmmakers stumble haplessly into a zombie apocalypse. In most other respects, though, this is a bit of a bummer, drowning its predecessors’ virtues in what feels like an endless Mad Lib of Wired magazine buzzwords”), Definitely, Maybe (Megan Seling says that despite its “blatantly ridiculous outline, the movie doesn’t suck), Jumper (Bradley Steinbacher: “At a mere 85 minutes, the film is a blur of set pieces without a backstory, a cool idea never honored with coherence”), and The Great Communist Bank Robbery (Charles Mudede: It “has to do with what Fanonians call ‘the betrayal’”)—which opens Monday.

Limited runs are abundant, as ever.

Madame Tutli Putli, in 2007 Academy Award Nominated Short Films

Especially notable: André Téchiné’s The Witnesses, about AIDS in the ’80s (I know, I know, but it’s not bad); SIFF Cinema’s lineup of double-feature noirs, which don’t look quite as good as last round, but still intriguing (SIFFblog has the breakdown of which films aren’t available or are only available in poor transfers on DVD: The Prowler, The Hard Way, Moonrise, Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Woman in Hiding, Reign of Terror, Road House, Conflict, and The Suspect); two programs of Academy Award-nominated shorts (the sucky live action films and the mixed bag of animated films, notable mainly for Madame Tutli Putli, pictured above); three more Finnish films at NWFF; the Seattle Human Rights Film Festival at Northwest Film Forum (I recommend China Blue); Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion at Grand Illusion; a dirty movie called Pets Chained Heat at Grand Illusion late nights; Charles Burnett’s My Brother’s Wedding at Seattle Art Museum; and Heathers with screenwriter Daniel Waters at EMP’s JBL Theater.

And last but hardly least, Lindy West takes on the What the Hell Did I Just Watch? Comedy Video Festival (continuing this weekend at the Rendezvous) in Concessions.

Police Guild to Hold Protest At City Hall

posted by on February 15 at 2:43 PM

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) is planning to picket City Hall, to protest the long, drawn-out and acrimonious contract negotiation process with the City. SPOG is holding a meeting February 25th to iron out the details of the the picketing.

Several people familiar with the contract talks tell me things have completely broken down, and the City and SPOG aren’t speaking. The Guild wants a pay hike for officers—to keep up with Seattle’s cost of living—but the City’s trying to negotiate for more police accountability, some of which SPOG has resisted.

Missing Person

posted by on February 15 at 1:58 PM

Originally posted yesterday.

Nicholas went missing Wednesday, February 13th some time after 6 pm. Anyone who’s seen him or his car—a red hatchback Paseo, license plate 601RHX— since then is asked to call 911.
(Click image for larger version.)

If you have ANY information, please call 911.

Valentine’s Day Bash 2008

posted by on February 15 at 1:37 PM

It was a loud, long, wild night—thanks to everyone that came out last night, brought mementos from their failed relationships, and let us smash ‘em to bits.






Wounds were healed, emotional closures achieved, crock pots destroyed, exes peed on (well, their photos anyway), love letters shredded, and rare Def Leppard albums were burned. Good times!

Notes from the Prayer Warrior

posted by on February 15 at 1:37 PM

Does the Prayer Warrior read the Slog? If not, then maybe the fact that this note from him arrived on the same day that Dan posted this news is just… coincidence.


Friday, 15 February 2008

This poster is hanging in the window of a classrom at Mt. Si High School!


It’s time we wake up and realize we are in a culture WAR!

When teachers are allowed to hang posters like this in our local school, we’ve got a big problem. It’s time to take back our schools.

Pastor Hutch

Give Me The Liberty and No One Gets Hurt

posted by on February 15 at 1:35 PM

Were you one of the many, many denizens of the internet who were looking to get a golden Ron Paul Liberty Dollar, only to be thwarted by the unconstitutional reach of the federal government? What if I were to tell you that while you may not have the chance to win the battle for liberty and sound currency, you might be able to at least strike a blow of the libertarian ideals of deliciousness?

Enter the Ron Paul Chocolate Currency.


The website suggests that the best value would actually be to order 15,000 of the gold coins for the low price of $2,200. Why would anyone want that many pieces of chocolate with Ron Paul’s face on them? sales have been slow. Any ideas how we can boost sales toget rid of the remaining 10000 chocolates?

Now that super tuesday is past, it seems much harder to find people to support ron paul causes, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re 2000 dollars in the red from this second batch. we need to find 100 people who want 100 chocolates each for 30 bucks. At the current order rate (about 1 per day) it’s going to take until May…

This appears to have been a less successful idea than the race car.

A Non-Partisan Voting Message

posted by on February 15 at 1:25 PM

Added bonus: It’s pretty dang funny.

Mitt’s Mormon Problem

posted by on February 15 at 1:13 PM

So Romney endorsed McCain yesterday, which gives me a fresh Mitt Romney newspeg to hang this post on: Last Friday the Wall Street Journal ran a postmortem on Romney’s campaign. Their conclusion? A lot of Americans—half of all Americans—wouldn’t be comfortable voting for a Mormon.

Mitt Romney’s campaign for the presidency brought more attention to the Mormon Church than it has had in years. What the church discovered was not heartening…. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in late January revealed that 50% of Americans said they would have reservations or be “very uncomfortable” about a Mormon as president….

The Mormon religion “was the silent factor in a lot of the decision making by evangelicals and others,” says Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted the poll. The Romney campaign ran into “a religious bias head wind,” Mr. Hart and his Republican polling partner, Bill McInurff, wrote late last month.

I’d like to see a state-by-state breakdown of those poll results. Because I’d like to know exactly where all those religiously intolerant voters are. All I know now is where they’re not: They’re not in true-blue, largely-secular, Ted-Kennedy-electing, gay-and-lesbian-marrying, left-leaning Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney won the governorship by 5 percentage points in 2002. Liberal voters, it seems, weren’t “very uncomfortable” about voting for a Mormon chief executive—well, at least they weren’t uncomfortable about supporting the 2002 version of Mitt Romney, i.e. the pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal Mitt Romney. I’m thinking that if the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll were broken down by state, we’d find that those states with higher percentages of “values voters,” i.e. conservative Christian voters, would be much less likely to vote for a Mormon governor or president than the voters in liberal, secular Massachusetts.

So, Joel, please explain to us again how it’s “the secular left [has] to be more tolerant.” It seems to me, as I’ve already pointed out, that the secular left is a model of religious tolerance. Hey, we voted for Romney 2002 despite his Mormonism. Religious voters, however, couldn’t support Romney 2008 on account of his Mormonism.

Romney’s political success when he faced liberal voters Massachusetts, and his political failure when he faced conservative and religious voters in GOP primaries, makes it pretty clear that if anyone needs to learn to be more tolerant, Joel, it’s the religious right, not the secular left.

Washington Congressman Brian Baird, Superdelegate and Surge Supporter, on His Obama Endorsement

posted by on February 15 at 1:00 PM

I just got off the phone with Washington Congressman Brian Baird (D-Vancouver), a superdelegate who today announced he is supporting Barack Obama.

Of the three superdelegate Congressmen in this state who were still on the fence as of this morning, Baird was the last one I would have expected to suddenly back Obama. After all, Baird is best known these days as a Democrat who strongly supports the surge in Iraq.

Baird says things like this:

I am convinced by the evidence that the situation has at long last begun to change substantially for the better. I believe Iraq could have a positive future. Our diplomatic and military leaders in Iraq, their current strategy, and most importantly, our troops and the Iraqi people themselves, deserve our continued support and more time to succeed.

While Obama says things like this:

The notion that somehow we have succeeded as a consequence of the recent reductions in violence means that we have set the bar so low it’s buried in the sand at this point. (Cheers, applause.)

We—and I said this before—we went from intolerable levels of violence and a dysfunctional government to spikes and horrific levels of violence and a dysfunctional government, and now two years later we’re back to intolerable levels of violence and a dysfunctional government.

So why, I asked Baird, is he endorsing a candidate whose views on the defining issue of the time, the Iraq war, are so diametrically opposed to his? Baird replied:

One of the most interesting things to me about our political situation these days is so many people feel it’s important to agree with someone on 100 percent of the issues, 100 percent of the time, or you can’t support him…

It’s clear my position is somewhat different from Senator Obama’s right now. [But] most importantly, it’s not where we differ, but where we agree, and where we agree is I think Senator Obama brings a new voice…

I’m particularly impressed with the enthusiasm of people who have never been involved in politics before, particularly young people. I think there’s just such enthusiasm here that could really help turn the tide in this country.

Like the enthusiasm demonstrated in your district this past Saturday, when your constituents voted overwhelmingly for Obama in the Washington Democratic caucuses? Baird:

Yes, of course.

So should other superdelegates take the wishes of their constituents into account when making their decisions on whom to endorse?

I’ve never thought that the role of an elected person is simply to follow the whims of a majority. I think they should pay attention to that. But that’s why we call it a Republic, even though most people don’t…

I don’t really think the superdelegate process is all that bad. Think about it. The superdelegates themselves have to be elected… I very much respect what people on either side of this election process may say because people have to make their own decisions.

Ok, but should other superdelegates do as you’ve done and factor the will of their constituents into their decisions?

I think it should be a factor, certainly.

Will you talk to Obama about his differing views on the success of the surge?

I will if the opportuntity arises. I will tell him what I’ve seen on my trips over there and in the region. Thankfully, the facts on the ground have improved since I made my position known in August. I really think it’s a mistake on either side to say that today, given the situation today, I know exactly where the next president should stand when he or she takes office a year from today.

Yes, but Obama has made clear where he will stand if and when he takes office. He wants to begin withdrawing troops immediately.

My point is, I believe what we do is elect a person who you think has good judgment and who evaluates the facts… One of the things Senator Obama has talked about is trying to find areas where people come together… I think Senator Obama is saying that people of good principle have a right and responsibility to occasionally disagree with one another.

Let’s look at where we agree. We agree that we need change in this country. We agree that the American people are thirsty for us to unite around common values… And that’s what I think is exciting people, that they are seeing a candidate who is stepping forward and saying, ‘I am not going to spend a lot of time tearing people down, I’m going to put forward a positive vision for this country.’

The Return of Cosmos 954

posted by on February 15 at 12:59 PM

How are we to read this piece of news?

WASHINGTON — A Navy cruiser in the Pacific Ocean will try an unprecedented shoot-down of an out-of-control, school-bus-size spy satellite loaded with a toxic fuel as it begins its plunge to Earth, national-security officials said Thursday.

President Bush made the decision because it was impossible to predict where a tank containing the fuel might land in an uncontrolled descent.


Here is one way of reading it:

Motives debated

The announcement set off an immediate debate on defense blogs and among experts who questioned whether there was an ulterior motive. Some experts said the military was seizing an opportunity to test its controversial missile-defense system against a satellite target.

But others noted that the Standard Missile-3 has successfully been tested against warhead targets, which are far smaller than the satellite.

“There has to be another reason behind this,” said Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center, a liberal arms-control advocacy organization. “In the history of the Space Age, there has not been a single human being who has been harmed by man-made objects falling from space.”

There is probably truth in this reading. But there is a better (more poetic) way to read all of this—the falling spy satellite (only launched a year ago—another waste of our money), and the attempt to solve its death in space with a piece of dead (SDI—Star Wars) technology. The fall of the US 193 is to the Bush era what Cosmos 954 was to the Soviet period. US 193 marks the end of Bush (and the hegemony of the kind of power he represents), and also it captures the essential irrationality of his presidency and form of power.

Bush to Endorse McCain

posted by on February 15 at 12:52 PM

Not the current president, but his father, George H.W. Bush, the former president. But can W’s endorsement be that far behind?

On the Fence

posted by on February 15 at 12:49 PM

So the Poetry Foundation has been commissioning cartoonists to turn poetry into comics. The newest one is A.E. Stallings’ poem Recitative. The artist they chose to illuminate the manuscript (so to speak) is R. Kikuo Johnson, who is a really good choice for this sort of thing. I love his art, but his stories are sometimes so minimalist as to be pointless. At the bottom of this page, there’s a link to Johnson’s cartoon of Recitative.

I have to say, having read the poem first, the cartoon second, and then gone back and read the poem again, that I can positively say that I’m not sure what to think. The art is gorgeous, but it seems almost too obvious. Or maybe the poem itself is obvious. Or do I just think that it’s obvious because it rhymes and the rhyme scheme is really obvious?

This one,by Jeffrey Brown, illustrating a poem by Russell Edson, is pretty good, I think, and proves that the idea has some merit. Is this a case of bad writing making a bad comic? Does it matter? Who can say?

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on February 15 at 12:34 PM

From Flickr pool contributor fffssss


Re: Rep Lewis and Confusing Endorsements

posted by on February 15 at 11:57 AM

As Eli noted earlier, U.S. Rep. John Lewis (totally my hero) is sending some mixed signals about the Democratic nomination.

However, this isn’t the first time Lewis has confounded Presidential hopefuls with his convoluted endorsement tactics.

In 1980, not yet a Rep., but an important name in the party, Lewis fielded an angry phone call from President Jimmy Carter after it became totally confusing whether Lewis was backing President Carter or Democratic insurgent Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Lewis, had ties to both men. Lewis, like Carter, was from Georgia and was a big player in Georgia’s Democratic circles. He was also appointed by and served in the Carter Administration bureaucracy. Meanwhile, Lewis was a key organizer in Bobby Kennedy’s campaign for President in 1968 and was part of Ted Kennedy’s left-wing wing of the Democratic Party vs. Carter’s centrist wing.

I never quite sorted out the story (as Lewis re-tells it in his autobiography), but it sure read like he wanted it both ways, and he seemed oblivious to the fact that he was messing with Carter’s mind.

Mike Huckabee Lays Out His 2008 Masterplan

posted by on February 15 at 11:40 AM

The Hucka-strategy becomes clear, if slightly mad: he’s hoping to take it to the convention, and he’s convinced that Texas is going to put him there.

A few weeks ago, I stood at Chuck Norris’ ranch before a crowd of people and said that Texas would be the place where the dynamics of this race changed dramatically in our favor.

Since then, after winning West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas and Louisiana and fighting close races in Washington, Oklahoma, Missouri and Virginia we have positioned ourselves to do just that.

Remember the Republican nominee must have 1,191 votes to claim the nomination or else there will be a brokered convention where the Party’s top candidates will have an opportunity to make an impassioned plea as to why they are the best choice to represent the Republican Party in the fall against the Democrat candidate.

There are a few minor holes in this scenario:

• John McCain is already, by CNN’s generally cautious estimate, at 830 delegates.

Mitt Romney’s decision to endorse McCain yesterday, and request that his delegates do the same, puts McCain even closer to victory. Romney presently has 286 delegates.

• While Huck’s polling numbers in Texas look pretty good, they don’t look good enough to challenge McCain for that elusive big win.

• He’s still using Chuck Norris, which was funny two months ago, but now seems slightly sad. Doesn’t he have a sympathetic former-governor to stump with? Anybody but the patron saint of the Bowflex?

Debate About Debates, Cont.

posted by on February 15 at 11:35 AM

The Wisconsin primary is on Tuesday, so there’s still plenty of time for this to go a few more rounds. But to catch you up: Yesterday there was this. And today there’s this:

Re: Fires Stranger Blogger

posted by on February 15 at 11:25 AM

Give Me My Living Wage Back

More than a few things I’d wanted to say have already been touched upon in the comments thread (nobody knew my concert review was Amazon-related, etc), and Rotten In Denmark really nailed it. I don’t think that my personal complaints do much good—yeah, I disagree with what happened. Huge insight. But I can’t help but be amazed—almost impressed—at the stupidity behind the intent of the whole deal.

The company thought the blog post was bad PR. If that’s your opinion, don’t you speak to the offender and attempt to make the thing as quiet as possible? Could’ve been that simple. But instead of a largely ignored post (only had one comment before I was fired) that told a funny story about a weird “concert” in Seattle, there’s a follow-up about a silly, brash firing, along with a bunch of complaints from former—and current—Amazon employees. PR=Fail. And the only reason anyone’s reading it is because it happened to involve The Stranger. What about the commenter who developed a long-term sickness and was fired? Or the other perfectly capable employees and temps who have their careers upended over corporate overreactions and have no legal recourse? That’s the issue. Local companies who project their own versions of “Do No Evil” should be held accountable when they don’t treat blurry-line work issues with some adult perspective and respect—especially when said issue isn’t doing a thing to the company’s bottom line.

Anyway, I’m glad this could get other horror stories out in the open, and beyond that, I figure it’s not too rude to ask if Slog readers know of any openings for volunteer work—writing-intensive, teaching, etc. I’ve got 826 Seattle in mind; any other leads or interest would be appreciated, and I promise that if, say, Michael Bolton visits the office, I’ll obtain level-four clearance before whispering his name into the wind.

More Heartbreaking Details…

posted by on February 15 at 11:21 AM

…are emerging about the 15 year-old gay kid shot by a classmate in California.

[Greg King] said his son was headstrong, confident, artistic and sweet. Larry King loved to sing songs by folk rock trio Crosby, Stills and Nash, and was studying “The Star-Spangled Banner” in hopes of singing it at his younger brother’s baseball games, his father said. “He had a very gifted singing voice.” He was so good, in fact, that one of Greg King’s friends — unaware of the family’s tragedy — called Wednesday to say his son should audition for “American Idol.”


It’s some comfort to know that this kid, shown above, had the support of his family before he was gunned down for the crimes of being effeminate and making the straight boys at his school uncomfortable.

And to all the unhinged Chris Crocker haters out there? I don’t mean folks that find Crocker annoying, but folks that seem to be utterly enraged by Crocker’s effeminacy? I hope you realize that your fury—the irrational fear and hatred you direct at feminine men—helped pull the trigger in this case.

Larry King will be taken off life support today, his organs will be donated, and he will die. Somehow I doubt we’ll see a crowd of Christian fundamentalists outside the hospital today, Schaivo-style, demanding that the brain-dead gay teenager be kept alive artificially. Once Larry King is dead, the charges against the 14 year-old boy that shot him will be upgraded from attempted murder to murder. The state of California plans to charge King’s murderer as an adult.

More details at Towleroad.

Hitting the Road

posted by on February 15 at 11:13 AM


Today I’m flying south to see the Robert Irwin retrospective everyone’s been talking about. While I’m down there, I’m also going to check out the new BCAM, which got the art diss last week and the architectural diss this morning. (Watch Roberta Smith’s narrated slide show here.)

I’ll be back Tuesday with a head full of responses.

Another GOP Perv Busted

posted by on February 15 at 11:09 AM


This time in Maryland:

A Republican delegate [read: legislator] from Washington County has resigned after authorities conducted a search of his home. Del. Robert McKee issued a statement today, saying local authorities searched his Hagerstown area residence on Jan. 31. The cyber crimes unit includes investigations of child pornography.

McKee said authorities seized his personal computer and other items. Although McKee did not specifically say in the statement what the material consisted of, he said it’s deeply embarrassing to him and reflects poorly on his service as a lawmaker.

McKee said he has entered treatment and that he has stepped down as executive director of Big Brothers and Sisters of Washington County. The 58-year-old McKee has served in the House of Delegates since 1995.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 15 at 11:00 AM


‘Monster Movie’ at Western Bridge

The back room at Western Bridge lately is like the back of the bus: better. This season there is Takeshi Murata’s Monster Movie (2005), a four-minute sample of hand-selected frames from Caveman, the 1981 B-movie. In Murata’s version, projected at overwhelming silver-screen size, the fight is not between human and toothy monster but monster and screen. The hairy beast rushes the screen, but he always dissolves again. You could feel sorry for him if you didn’t want more. (Western Bridge, 3412 Fourth Ave S, 838-7444. Noon–6 pm, free.)


Youth Pastor Watch

posted by on February 15 at 10:50 AM


When she was 14, [Debbie] Vasquez met [Dale “Dickie”] Amyx, who would eventually rise through Calvary ranks. In Amyx, Vasquez thought she’d finally found a confidante. “He told me he was a man of God, and I thought I could trust him,” she says. “I thought he could help me.”

She says Amyx started taking her on long country drives to talk about her problems. It was then that Amyx began touching her inappropriately…. Vasquez hid it until the age of 18, when her pregnancy made three years of abuse hard to hide. When the church’s senior pastor called Vasquez into his office and asked who the father was, she told him. And Vasquez says he made her march to the front of the church during Sunday service and ask her fellow churchgoers for their forgiveness. She was forced to confess that she was a pregnant, unwed teenager. But she was forbidden from fingering Amyx as the father—a fact that was not only proven years later in a paternity test, but which Amyx also has admitted.


A former youth minister accused of having sexual contact with a boy was taken into custody Thursday when a judge revoked his bond, citing allegations that he listed an abandoned home as his address. Tyree Coleman’s new bond was set at $250,000….

Coleman, a former youth minister at Temple of Refuge Church, is awaiting trial on allegations that he had sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy during a sleepover at the church. He was charged in August 2006 with two counts of sexual misconduct, sexual battery, criminal deviate conduct and child solicitation.


Haunted by his past, Tom Ferguson spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday. “I am a victim and survivor of childhood sexual assault,” said Ferguson.

The Ohio man says it was at the hands of a man he looked up to and trusted. Ferguson says it was his former Catholic youth minister, a deacon named Glen Shrimplin who is now 74-years-old.

“I was 14-years-old when he groomed me - 15 and 16 when he started abusing me,” said Ferguson.

Currently Hanging

posted by on February 15 at 10:30 AM

From Fall Together/Fall Apart by Melissa Pokorny, 2008

At Platform Gallery.

Re: The Once-Mighty Home Key

posted by on February 15 at 10:18 AM

You, Jen Graves!, know as well as me that the only music better than the race record underground circa 1951 is the experimental white weirdoes underground circa 1950. They too had no use for the home key.

However, you also know, while its disappearance was wonderful for a while, it has now returned. Gloriously. Csharp, Dsharp, Esharp, Fsharp, Gsharp, Asharp, Bsharp, Csharp, for example, is a great home key that today’s kids use that the Brahms kids didn’t use so much.

And so, I look forward to the return of the home key in new and different ways.

Movie Stars and Naked Ladies

posted by on February 15 at 10:17 AM

…on the streets of Seattle. Sent last night from Hot Tipper Greg:

I was walking in Pioneer Square today about 3pm. In the area near the toy store on the corner, I noticed a small crowd of people gathered in a circle. Being human, I was curious to what I was missing and decided to walk down toward them. Turns out it was a photo shoot, that susposedly was taking place in a studio inside the building, but had poured onto the street for outdoor shots. My first shock was that the models (there were two) were wearing very little clothing, which eventually came completely off. After about five minetes of watching the shoot, I saw a few more people come out of the building with another model. The people accompanying the model were Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green. I was amazed, because I’ve honestly never seen a celebrity in Seattle before. After hanging around a while, I was informed that the shoot was for the website I guess it’s some new pin-up photography site like Suicide Girls, but based in Seattle. I was told that Seth Green is dating one of the models from the shoot, and that Macaulay was in town hanging out with them.

Dear Greg: Thank you for noticing and sharing. As for your claim of never having seen a celebrity in Seattle: Are you blind?

Lefties for Obama

posted by on February 15 at 10:16 AM

Not those lefties, these lefties.

George Bush and The Telecon Industry

posted by on February 15 at 10:16 AM

In/Visible Is Up: Behind the Story

posted by on February 15 at 10:05 AM


I’m normally the host on In/Visible, but this time, I’m the guest, interviewed by Christopher Frizzelle.

In the story “Gray Area” in this week’s paper, I take a look at accusations that two prominent Seattle artists—Lead Pencil Studio, winners of a Stranger Genius Award—are copycats.

“Which is worse,” I write, “theft or ignorance?”

On this podcast is everything that didn’t make it into the story: more opinions from curators and the artists, what I think of the whole thing, and how it crossed my desk in the first place.

Listen in.

What’s Up With Rep. John Lewis?

posted by on February 15 at 10:01 AM

The New York Times says he’s now backing Obama. The Washington Post says he’s made no decision. And this seems to suggest he’s going to try to thread the needle, maintaining his endorsement of Clinton while casting his superdelegate vote for Obama. Got that?

LOL at ‘Cool School’

posted by on February 15 at 10:00 AM

“Cool School: How LA Learned to Love Modern Art” is one of the most fun art documentaries I’ve seen. (It opens next week in Seattle.)

Shot largely in black and white (with color accents) as a gesture by the filmmaker, Morgan Neville, both to memory and to a certain irony, I found myself laughing out loud several times. There’s important stuff here, sure—this scene, of the late 1950s and early 1960s, based at Ferus Gallery, was where Ed Kienholz’s grimy assemblages, Robert Irwin’s space-melting discs, and Andy Warhol’s soup cans made their first appearances on the world stage.

But there are also some hysterical cliches. For instance, the scenes where Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell sit in leather chairs, suck on cigars, and talk about real art, man.

Neville’s choice of Jeff Bridges as narrator—basically, the Dude—is pitch-perfect. When all the guys get together for a reunion, it’s “Broadway Danny Rose” all over again, nostalgic and cranky. Ken Price and Craig Kauffman (I think it’s those two) get in an argument over who blackballed Richard Diebenkorn from the gallery roster. Throughout, nobody holds back: Kauffman recalls the moment when he realized he was Irving Blum’s whore. Blum, in his genteel Cary Grant accent, recalls just how he stole Walter Hopps’s wife. Irving Karp disses LA from his perch in NY. Hopps, who everybody at first thought worked for the CIA because of his suits and his secretive voice, confesses his speed addiction. Just 12 days before his death, Hopps recites his favorite quote about art, by a poet friend of his: “Art offers the possibility of love with strangers.”

It’s great stuff, and Neville acts like the amber that encases canonical figures hasn’t hardened yet on these guys. The result is a movie that’s true to the best parts of its subjects.

Given the machismo of these artists, I love the hugginess of this photo.

Oly Action

posted by on February 15 at 9:57 AM

In the race to pass bills out of one chamber into the other—the deadline is next Tuesday—the parade of floor votes continue.

Two votes we might see in the House today: expanding the rights (and responsibilities) of domestic partners and making executive boards of public agencies tape their closed door sessions so the public can demand to listen to them.

Here are two earlier Slogposts … detailing the new rights the domestic partner bill will give gay and lesbian and hetero elder couples.

Oh, and one of the responsibilities? It concerns lawmakers themselves. Currently, on their financial disclosure forms they don’t have to list the income and assets of their partners. Now they will.

Good News/Bad News

posted by on February 15 at 9:54 AM

The good news: Last year saw a significant increase in book sales.

The bad news: Last year saw the release of the last new Harry Potter book, which might have singlehandedly caused the increase.

The Morning News

posted by on February 15 at 9:50 AM

Pleading “Not Guilty”: Accused Central District shooter.

$695,000: The total Obama has given to superdelegates to help them with campaigns. (Clinton gave a total of $195,000).

Resigning?: McCain thinks about it.

Interest Rates: May get cut further, due to “sluggish” economy, Bernanke says.

In Chad: A state of emergency after recent coup attempts.

Suspended: Students who wore “Safe Sex or No Sex” shirts to school.

In New Mexico: Clinton wins caucus.

Six Dead: Shot by gunman at Northern Illinois University.

Four Percent: The percentage of the world’s oceans undamaged by human activity.

Just Blow it Up: US will shoot down spy satellite\ on course to crash into Earth.

Unprecedented: Dead zones off the Oregon coast.

Recipe of the Day: Beanie Wienies for Grown-Ups (recipe and photo via Homesick Texan)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Another Washington Superdelegate for Obama

posted by on February 15 at 9:35 AM

Via Postman, it’s Rep. Brian Baird.

That puts the tally in Washington State at six superdelegates for Clinton, four for Obama, and seven still undecided (including Reps. Rick Larsen and Jim McDermott).

If Superdelegates Decide the Democratic Nomination Fight…

posted by on February 15 at 9:31 AM

…then this historic contest, full of firsts, will be decided the old way: by powerful white men.

White Stuff

posted by on February 15 at 9:30 AM

This blog claims to be about “stuff white people like.”
But I think it’s really about stuff liberal white people like. But it is possible to see in this comic blog a kind of truth. We can say that liberal white Americans (their personal goals, eating habits, political and social concerns) have become the standard, the measure of success, the center to which all other members of the race (and those outside of the race) are heading.

The Once-Mighty Home Key

posted by on February 15 at 8:26 AM

Remember back in the days of word-processing, when the Home key was a powerful, powerful thing? Not only would it take you to the top of your document, it also would sometimes mysteriously crash the entire machine.

Today, the Home key does absolutely nothing that I can figure out. When I press my Home key, nothing happens. Is the Home key a vestigial part of the keyboard, about to be phased out? If so, RIP, Home key. Some of us do remember you.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

About Those Super Delegates

posted by on February 14 at 8:33 PM

They can be bought.

Concerned Women

posted by on February 14 at 8:21 PM

The Concerned Women for America are very concerned about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force giving an award—the Leather Leadership Award, one of several the group passes out every year at its annual Creating Change conference—to Guy Baldwin. Here’s a bit about Guy from the NGLTF press release:

Baldwin is a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist, author and activist on behalf of “erotically uncommon people.” Baldwin may be best known for his monthly essays which appeared in Drummer Magazine and were collected in his 1993 book, Ties That Bind. Baldwin is a former titleholder, having served in 1989 as Mister National Leather Association and also as the 11th International Mr. Leather. In 1987, Baldwin launched the DSM Project to mobilize mental health professionals worldwide to press for changes to the official clinical definitions that had long been used to label leather people, gay and otherwise, as pathological.

And here’s the Concerned Women for America on Guy’s award:

Slavery Advocate Honored with Support from the DNC

The Democratic National Committee has put its support behind the honoring of Guy Baldwin, a sado-masochism advocate, by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Matt Barber, CWA’s Policy Director for Cultural Issues, and Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans for Truth, condemn this action which occurred during Black History Month.

Wha? Huh? I’m not sure how the Democratic National Committee is involved in this and I can’t bring myself to listen to the Concerned Women for America podcast. And I also didn’t get the memo about the inappropriateness of indulging in BDSM during Black History Month. I guess I better go untie my boyfriend—wouldn’t wanna accidentally disrespect the memory of Harriet Tubman during Black History Month.

Straw Density—Debunking that Anti-Growth Management Study

posted by on February 14 at 7:00 PM

In this week’s In the Hall column, I argued that growth management “isn’t working”—citing growth projections that show ever more residents flocking to far-flung suburban areas that are ill-served by transit.

Today’s Seattle Times cites a new UW study that argues the opposite: Growth management is working too well. The study, by UW economist Theo Eicher, concluded that fully $200,000 of the increase in housing prices over the last 20 years can be attributed to government regulations—primarily the Growth Management Act, which was intended to promote inner-city density instead of far-flung suburban sprawl. That means, if you believe it, that fully 88 percent of the growth in housing prices can be laid at the feet of government. Well, I didn’t buy it, and neither did Eric de Place at Sightline, who did a three-part analysis ripping that figure—and nearly everything else about this study—to shreds.

Here’s where my own bullshit meter went off:

A key regulation is the state’s Growth Management Act, enacted in 1990 in response to widespread public concern that sprawl could destroy the area’s unique character. To preserve it, the act promoted restrictions on where housing can be built. The result is artificial density that has driven up home prices by limiting supply, Eicher says.

Long building-permit approval times and municipal land-use restrictions upheld by courts also have played significant roles in increasing Seattle’s housing costs, he adds.

First of all, density IS supply—by definition, “density” is dense housing. So density doesn’t limit housing supply, it just creates a different type of housing than Eicher’s suburban single-family Platonic ideal. Second, “artificial density” is one of those terms like “social engineering”—it’s used by anti-density activists to argue that density is somehow contrary to the “natural” course of development. Yes, government regulation can help produce density. I guess in that sense it’s artificial. But you know what else is artificial? Sprawl. Government subsidies that pay for roads; developments that are kept low-density by zoning regulations that privilege single-family houses; laws barring street grids in favor of cul-de-sacs, forcing people to drive everywhere; and big box retailers with massive parking lots—those are artificial. They’re just a type of artificial the study’s author likes.

Eicher goes on to cite a controversial provision of King County’s Critical Areas Ordinance, which requires landowners with undeveloped rural land in unincorporated King County to keep 50 to 65 percent of their property in its “natural state.” The provision was intended to stifle out-of-control subdivision of rural land; suburban developers opposed it, because that’s how they make their money. The study argues that such rules “forced greater density in Seattle” and drove up housing prices throughout the county.

It’s hard to see how regulations that only affect a small amount of land in rural King County could have “forced greater density” onto a city several miles away, but what about driving up housing prices countywide? Well, Sightline crunched the numbers on that one, too. They found, in de Place’s words, that “it’s too close to call”—home prices in unregulated versus strictly regulated parts of rural King County were virtually identical.

Moving on:

According to the Wharton study [by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania], cities such as Seattle that have high median incomes, high home prices and a large percentage of college-educated workers tend to have the most land-use regulations.

[Kriss] Sjoblom [an economist for the anti-regulation Washington Research Council] says that makes sense: “People with higher incomes want the kind of amenities that regulation provides,” he says. “If you’re a homeowner and growth controls are imposed and housing prices shoot up, you’re grandfathered because you own the place. In theory people will say it’s [rising prices] a bad thing, but in practice it’s not hurting them.”

Well, except for the whole ever-rising property taxes thing. And, you know, if you ever want to move. Moreover, it’s not, as de Place points out, as if housing prices haven’t been rising in the rest of the country. In fact, they’ve been rising faster. Seattle ranked 57th in the nation in terms of annual housing price appreciation; Tacoma, for comparison, ranked 49th. The highest appreciation rate was in a place that must sound like paradise to regulation opponents like Eicher: The virtually unregulated Sun Belt.

In the final analysis, Eicher believes Seattle’s regulatory climate exists because its residents want it. “My sense is land-use restrictions are imposed to generate socially desirable outcomes,” he says. “We all love parks and green spaces. But we must also be informed about the costs. It’s very easy to vote for a park if you think the cost is free.”

Yeah - and it’s easy to drive on the freeway to the suburbs Eicher finds so idyllic if the cost of that road is hidden. But to regulation opponents, amenities like freeways are “natural,” so the subsidies that pay for them must be natural, too.

Repo Man 2: The Repo-ning

posted by on February 14 at 6:00 PM

A comic-book sequel to Repo Man is coming out in March. I find this really exciting, and I don’t know exactly why.

Clinton’s Black Superdelegates Wavering

posted by on February 14 at 5:40 PM

I know there’s been a lot of talk on Slog about this idea that superdelegates should follow the will of their constituencies. But what do the superdelegates themselves think about this argument? Well, at least two of Clinton’s black superdelegates sound like they’re going to use the argument as cover to switch to Obama.

(WASHINGTON) — In a fresh sign of trouble for Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of the former first lady’s congressional black supporters intends to vote for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, and a second, more prominent lawmaker is openly discussing a possible switch.

Rep. David Scott’s defection and Rep. John Lewis’ remarks highlight one of the challenges confronting Clinton in a campaign that pits a black man against a woman for a nomination that historically has been the exclusive property of white men.

You’ve got to represent the wishes of your constituency,” Scott said in an interview Wednesday in the Capitol. “My proper position would be to vote the wishes of my constituents.” The third-term lawmaker represents a district that gave more than 80 percent of its vote to Obama in the Feb. 5 Georgia primary.

Missing Person

posted by on February 14 at 5:16 PM

Nicholas went missing last night some time after 6 pm. Anyone who’s seen him or his car—a red hatchback Paseo, license plate 601RHX— since then is asked to call 911.
(Click image for larger version.)

If you have any information, please call 911.

Now We Can Hit the Panic Button

posted by on February 14 at 5:12 PM

The Second Life economy is in a recession. The Linden is down. Repeat: The Linden is down!

UPDATE: For information about Second Life’s economy, follow this link. Let’s never speak of the above link again.

4 Killed on North Illinois University Campus

posted by on February 14 at 5:06 PM

Authorities say a man dressed in black opened fire from a stage of a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University, killing four people and himself.

Campus Police Chief Donald Grady confirmed the deaths following a news conference. He says the gunman was not a student at the school and police had no apparent motive.

The university president says witnesses in the geology class saw someone dressed in black came out from behind a screen in front of the classroom and opened fire with a shotgun.

All classes were canceled Thursday night and the 25,000-student campus was closed on Friday.

How Much Do SPD Settlements Really Cost?

posted by on February 14 at 5:00 PM

The PI’s got an interesting story today about the real cost of each lawsuit against the SPD.

As I’ve said, people are going to keep suing the department if they don’t feel our accountability system is working, and one law firm is going to be making big bucks off of those lawsuits.

The city of Seattle has paid more than $6.3 million since 2002 to Stafford Frey Cooper and millions more before that, while still paying out settlements in many cases with the highest legal bills. The city has never put the contract for legal services out to bid and may not be able to because of a long-standing arrangement with the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild.

It just so happens that Yesterday, I posted that SPD just settled yet another lawsuit, this time for $20,000. I’m trying to get exact figures on how many lawyer-hours were put into the case—it was filed last April—and I’ll report back on how much SPD’s relatively small settlement really cost.

Stolen Property at Seattle Art Museum, Too?

posted by on February 14 at 4:03 PM

Yesterday on its web site, the New York Times published a story by Jori Finkel (coming out in print Sunday) questioning what will come of the undercover federal investigation that recently resulted in the raiding of four Southern California museums, including LACMA.

The investigation could also have broad implications for other museums across the country. In the affidavits filed to obtain search warrants, the agents laid the groundwork for a legal argument that virtually all Ban Chiang material in the United States is stolen property.

Finkel reported that this property is held at numerous museums who weren’t part of the original California investigation, but to whom the potential legal and ethical implications apply. The known museums include the Metropolitan in New York; the Freer and Sackler Galleries in D.C.; the MFA in Boston; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Seattle Art Museum is noted for its holdings in Asian art, so I called the museum yesterday to see whether it has any objects from the Ban Chiang settlement, the earliest known Bronze Age site in Southeast Asia.

Just one, according to SAM spokeswoman Cara Egan: an unglazed ceramic ritualistic funerary jar bought at an auction in New Haven, Conn., in an unknown year, and donated by that buyer to SAM in 1973 (it was accessioned to the collection in 1974).

It has never been on view, according to Egan.

A single pot is nothing compared to the dozens of objects held at other museums (and these pieces are not valuable on the level of the multi-million-dollar Klimts repatriated through Austria, for instance). But a stolen object is no less stolen for being alone and relatively unprecious.

The complication, however, is in determining whether to even classify these works as stolen. No indictments have been made yet in the Southern California cases. The case put together by the federal investigators relies on various laws that appear to have been variously applied. It’s a mess, more or less.

Finkel cites a law professor urging all museums that hold Ban Chiang objects to review their holdings, “for ethical if not legal” reasons. But Finkel also cites a different law professor: “The whole thing could be dropped altogether because of insufficient evidence or because they are feeling weak about their legal theories, or this could move forward into an important, precedent-setting case.”

WWMGD? (What would Mimi Gates [SAM director] do?)

Gates was already out of the office when I called to put the question to her today; she’ll be available for comment Tuesday, and I’ll update then.

Fact Check

posted by on February 14 at 3:59 PM

In my review of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food last week, I complained about Pollan’s insistence that people shouldn’t eat anything their great-grandmothers wouldn’t recognize as food.

He writes, “The ‘What to eat’ question is somewhat more complicated for us than it is for, say, cows. Yet for most of human history, humans have navigated the question without expert advice. To guide us we had, instead, Culture, which, at least when it comes to food, is really just a fancy word for your mother.” Entirely apart from that dumb uppercase C, there are a couple of unexamined assumptions here: First, that we should bemoan the loss of rigid ethnic food cultures instead of celebrating the fact that we now borrow from each other freely; and second, that we should be nostalgic for the time when “mothers” were in charge of the kitchen (if nothing else). In this context, advice like “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” starts to sound slightly reactionary. For my great-grandmother, food was what she cooked all day long for her several children. We can’t eat her kind of “food” every day—it’s worth neither the time nor the human resources.

My father wrote me to correct my ignorance:

Perhaps you might want to know your great-grandmother (at least on my mom’s side) a bit better:

She was the sole breadwinner for her six [your great kin: uncle X, uncle Y, aunt Sister Z (SSMV), your paternal grandmother, auntie A, uncle B (OSB) and uncle C] children, after her husband died (of your uncle’s genetic disease—hemophilia) from a nosebleed…

Holy smokes (as my paternal grandmother would say). I stand corrected.

More Clinton Hits

posted by on February 14 at 3:31 PM

This Obama commercial in Wisconsin…

…has prompted a pretty tough “fact check” from the Clinton campaign. The “fact check” is in the jump, but its notable for again pushing the meme of Obama being charming but dishonest.

Continue reading "More Clinton Hits" »

Reading Tonight

posted by on February 14 at 3:30 PM


Unless you’re in the mood for open mic nights, of which there are three, tonight is slim pickings in the reading world. Who are bookstores to stand in the way of love? The big event tonight is called “I Put an Ad in a Singles Magazine and My Parents Answered It,” at SAM. Readers include Rebecca Hoogs, who Christopher Frizzelle wrote about a year and a half ago:

The next day I read Hoogs’s poem on a bus. It’s called “Another Plot Cliché” and it’s written from the point of view of a plate-glass window. (“My dear, you are the high-speed car chase, and I,/I am the sheet of glass being carefully carried/across the street…”)

(He also calls the end of one of her poems “awesome, glittery, and earned.” Full story here.) Another reader is Julie Larios, whose poem “Recovery” begins this way:

Outside the skin/of course nothing is in./It’s under the membranes/mind begins./But don’t be surprised by blood,/don’t be surprised by anything.

(The rest of this poem is here.) This guy swears that if you go, you’ll almost certainly get laid. Let me know how that works out. Full readings calendar here.

Designs So Nice, They’re Building Them Twice

posted by on February 14 at 3:22 PM

You know what would look perfect across the street from the two matching Westin towers on 5th and Virginia? Two more matching towers. And up on 2nd and Virginia? More twin towers. And over on 6th and Bell… twin towers, and just down the block on Sixth and Lenora, still more. And over on Denny and Stewart, yup, you guessed it. Twin towers are the new black monoliths. They are all nice, tall buildings—we need the density—but considering that new zoning regulations are conducive to parallel high rises, they could get monotonous.

The Heron and Pagoda Towers


At 550 feet, these boys are the tallest twins expected in the maternity ward. Hummingbird Advisors is proposing 45 stories of condos, hotel rooms, and retail on 5th and Virginia. But, similar as the buildings by Ismael Leyva Architects may appear, they’re not exactly identical.

“They are not twins—we call them brothers,” says Steven Gestetner of Hummingbird Advisors. “When you look at them from any point you will not see them as being the same. They are from the same parents, so to speak. But you’ll never see them as being twins. They are the opposite of being twins.”

Uh… twins or not, they’re replacing an icon: the Icon Grill. Located on 5th and Virginia and conspicuously surrounded by fluorescent green land-use-action signs, when I went in last week, none of the employees knew the building is fated for demolition. Today when I called, the receptionist said she hadn’t heard anything about a development. (Yes, but haven’t you seen all the signs?) A manger got on the horn. “We have lease that expands for quite while,” said Icon manger Nick Musser, who noted that the city takes a long time to approve development proposals. “Until we have a timeline, it’s business as usual for us.” Which, for the Icon, is the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as it continues an unbroken track record of serving up its underwhelming menu.

Why so many twin towers proposed recently?

Recent zoning changes promote them. “In our case,” says Gestetner, “the twinness is sort of encouraged in a certain way by the combination of zoning and economics.” A couple years ago the city changed zoning regulations, allowing developers to construct taller buildings downtown, but also limiting the floor area in high-rises to 12,700 square feet. “The city wants to preserve view corridors,” he says.

70 percent of the base floors must be designated for retail and other commercial uses, according to zoning rules, but Gestetner says buildings must accommodate parking ramps and other logistical needs, too. “If you’re going to have lobby, it will eat up the entire ground level,” he says. “You end up having to purchase additional property to build a lobby… and when you’re done, you have room for two towers.”

The Insignia Towers

The block that used to home to Teatro ZinZanni, on 6th Avenue between Battery and Bell, is currently fenced and bleak. Any day now, Vancouver B.C. based Embassy Development expects to receive a permit to break ground for a project designed by Perkins and Company Architects. Embassy will construct two 40-story buildings—with an eight-story podium for mixed use, topped by 32 floors, containing 640 condos. “They are going to be relative mirror image of one another,” says Embassy’s Mark Oord, who seemed genuinely bubbly about the residential transformation of Seattle’s downtown. “From what I’ve always heard, the unofficial mandate from city hall is that it is trying to emulate [Vancouver].”


Second and Virginia Towers


Located across the street from one another on the west side of 2nd, these 400-foot twins will have their umbilical cord cut by Virginia. To the north will be a 40-story, 240 unit residential tower with 7,500 sq. ft. of retail at ground level and parking for 360 vehicles below grade. The building on the south will be 39 stories and contain 186 residential units, 139 hotel rooms, and 294 underground parking spaces.

More after the jump.

Continue reading "Designs So Nice, They’re Building Them Twice" »

Buy This Book

posted by on February 14 at 3:21 PM


I contributed an essay to this newly released anthology edited by Ben Karlin, former producer of The Daily Show, founding producer of The Colbert Report. The book has everything Slog readers enjoy…

Gratuitous fat bashing (self-hating variety)…

Now it is not my intention to get all victimy, as I know just as well as the next guy how to put down a spoon. And I don’t really think that the women in my family were conscious of the fact that by overfeeding me they were channelling their aggression towards the women who might one day steal me away. But, while it might not take a whole village, it definitely takes more than one person to make a fat kid.—“Girls Don’t Make Passes at Boys With Fat Asses,” Andy Richter

Pit bull fear mongering…

Alas, like poorly fenced-in pit bulls raised by angry Mexican youths, the complications of life can only be kept at by for so long. Eventually, they will attack and tear you apart, and unless there is some passerby to pull you out of their vicelike jaws, you will be grievously injured, if not killed. Come to think of it, most of that last sentence is just about pit bulls.—“You Too Will Get Crushed,” Ben Karlin

And charming gynophobia…

I wanted to open by saying one nice thing about Wendy’s vagina—I didn’t want to come across as a gay cad (a gad?)—before I set off on a little stroll down Repressed Memory Lane. So here it is: Wendy’s vagina was well concealed. Unlike today’s waxed, shaved, defoliated, clear-cut vaginas, Wendy’s vagina was discretely hidden under what, by modern standards, could only be described as a Van Gogh haystack of curly brown pubic hair.—“I Am a Gay Man,” Dan Savage

There are essays by Stephen Colbert, Neal Pollack, Will Forte, David Wain, Rick Marin, and more. Oh, and about the title of my essay—it completely blows, I realize. I put it on the piece as a place saver, thinking someone, someone funny, would change it, just like all authors’ place-saving headlines are changed before, say, op-ed submissions go to print. Whoops.

Anyway, buy the book, huh?

More Oly Pics!

posted by on February 14 at 3:19 PM

They weren’t voting on anything too interesting in the Senate, so I snuck off to the private Senate Dining Room on the floor below chambers. (No nutritional labeling here either.)




Two juvey delinquent Senators were hanging out here eating chocolate chip cookies. Both Democrats. Fires Stranger Blogger

posted by on February 14 at 2:59 PM

This man:

got this man fired:


…sort of.

Yesterday afternoon, Stranger blogger Sam Machkovech was fired from his temp job at for violating the company’s non-disclosure agreement. Machkovech did not leak company secrets, or steal Jeff Bezos’ secret space plans. Machkovech was fired from his temp job at for posting about an impromptu Billy Ray Cyrus concert held at Amazon’s office in the Columbia Center at 5th and Jefferson.

Machkovech had been working at Amazon since Thanksgiving, through Corestaff, a local temp agency, and had recently been reassigned to another department at the online retailer. “I hadn’t been there very long, but they had a reason to believe I was worth keeping at the company,” he says.

According to Machkovech, he was half-way through his work day when he received a call from Corestaff. “They basically called up and said ‘pack up your things [and] come down to [our] office.’” When Machkovech arrived, he was presented with a copy of his post, which, he says, had been passed along by someone at Amazon.

Machkovech says he was let go for breaking Amazon’s non-disclosure agreement, and for blogging during work hours. Amazon is not identified as Machkovech’s employer in the post.

According to Amazon Spokesman Craig Berman, Amazon employees are allowed to blog. However, Berman says, “The way [Machkovech] wrote the blog post, using the language that he wrote, was just really bad judgment,” adding that Amazon “encourage[s] employees to work with pubic relations when they’re going to be commenting externally.”

Berman believes Machkovech’s writing reflected poorly on Amazon—which, again, is not named in the post—claiming Amazon’s identity was “very thinly disguised.”

Corestaff did not return calls for comment.

According to Amazon’s temporary employee contract, obtained by The Stranger, employees are barred from discussing “all nonpublic information about any Amazon Group Company employee, officer, director or agent,” which apparently includes pop-country singers with mullets soul patches.

“I don’t think I’m the victim,” Machkovech says. “[But] Amazon could’ve handled it better than firing [me] over Billy Ray Cyrus.”

Clinton Wins New Mexico

posted by on February 14 at 2:55 PM

You think Washington State Republicans have a hard time counting caucus votes? A week and a half after its caucuses, New Mexico’s Democratic party finally announces that Hillary Clinton won.

So who hates caucuses now? Not the Clinton campaign, which just fired off this email:

Hillary Clinton issued the following statement after winning New Mexico, including 27 of New Mexico’s 33 counties, and 14 of the state’s 26 delegates:

“I am so proud to have earned the support of New Mexicans from across the state.

From strengthening the economy to providing health care for every American to jumpstarting a clean energy future, New Mexicans want real solutions to our nation’s challenges.

As president, I will continue to stand up for New Mexico and will hit the ground running on day one to bring about real change.”

England’s not the mythical land of Madame George and Roses

posted by on February 14 at 2:54 PM

Remember this wonderful building?
Remember how the British press celebrated this building and two others like it? A sample from The Guardian:

One giant leap for Britain! You wait around for a building finally to reflect our multicultural society - and then three come along at once…

…[The] staff are moving into the new Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford, an educational and information facility developed by the trust set up in honour of the young, black would-be architect who was [stabbed to death by racist thugs] in 1993.

…The three projects represent a major shift in Britain’s cultural landscape: for a country that often congratulates itself on its multi-ethnic vibrancy, Britain has built very little to show for it. These are just about the first publicly funded, purpose-built expressions of African-British culture in this country. They are not grand, expensive projects, but they are, in Adjaye’s mind at least, prototypes for a new, inclusive definition of public space that challenges “established topologies”.

Remember all that? Well guess what happened yesterday:

A £10m architectural centre built as a memorial to Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racist attack 15 years ago, has been vandalised just a week after it opened, can reveal.

Eight windows each worth £15,000 and designed by the Turner prizewinning artist Chris Ofili on the front of the new building in Deptford, south-east London, were destroyed overnight.

A Metropolitan police spokeswoman confirmed the attack was being treated as a racist incident.

“A number of windows had been broken and police were informed at 5.46am today. The hate crime unit at Lewisham CID are investigating the incident,” she said.

No arrests have been made and inquiries are continuing.

Attackers threw bricks at the windows from behind a 2.5m high metal fence surrounding the complex, said Karin Woodley, the chief executive of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

A shift in the architecture does not represent a shift in the culture.

Netflix Mon Amour: Sweeney Todd

posted by on February 14 at 2:54 PM

Unlike some people, I liked both the recent movie version of Sweeney Todd and the stage version. They accomplished different things, but they were both well suited to their media.

Netflix, though, in its eternal wisdom, alerted me to a recent BBC production of Sweeney Todd starring Ray Winstone, and I watched it a couple nights ago. For those of you who may be interested in hearing Ray Winstone sing: Sorry. It’s not a musical version, and the only music that can be found is the occasional, regrettable, clarinet solo on the soundtrack.

What this version of Sweeney Todd accomplishes that the other two versions never even attempts is believability: Winstone plays Todd like a psychopath, and, as a puppet to his psychoses, he’s almost sympathetic. Essie Davis’ Mrs. Lovett, too, is introduced to the meat-pie part of the plan in a way that seems almost believable.

The most exciting part of watching this Sweeney Todd is the differences in plot: Todd’s daughter either doesn’t exist or doesn’t fit into this version at all, for instance. The story is an old English folk tale that has almost as many variations as the John Henry story and with a movie like this, it’s the variables that make it a compelling film. It’s a creepy movie because it doesn’t fall back on black humor at all: It’s not unlike idly listening to someone on the bus and realizing, with a start, that they’re talking about killing somebody. If you have even a passing interest in the story of Sweeney Todd, you should put it into your queue.


posted by on February 14 at 2:50 PM

Remember the fired federal prosecutors story? It seems like that whole thing was ages ago and, in a way, it seems so much less interesting to be thinking about unsurprising Bush administration stonewalling in relation to fired federal prosecutors at a time when there’s so much to say about Bush’s potential replacements. Still, a notable shoe has dropped today:

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to cite Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff, and Harriet E. Miers, a former White House counsel, for contempt for refusing to testify about their participation in the firing of federal prosecutors.

Oly Action: Behind the Scenes

posted by on February 14 at 2:07 PM

And while there’s lots of action in the chambers today—the deadline for passing bills out of one chamber to the other is Feb. 19th—there’s also some action going on … where else? … in the back of cafeteria!


A controversial bill that passed out of committee last week would make restaurants prominently post detailed nutritional info like: total number of calories; amount of total fat, saturated fat, trans fat; amount of carbohydrates; and amount of sodium.

Who has a problem with the bill? Weirdly enough, the King County Board of Health. Huh? Didn’t the KCBH just pass similar rules last year.

Yes they did. However, the proposed state rules—which are limper than KCBH’s (the KCBH rules would require more restaurants to comply)—preempt local rules.

King County’s rules apply to restaurant chains with 10 stores or more. The state rules apply to restaurant chains with 25 stores or more. If the King County rules had to be lowered to the state standard, the number of restaurants governed by the law would drop from 2600 to 1200—or 54% fewer restaurants.

So what’s going on in the cafeteria besides this piece of pizza and no calorie postings?


Secret negotiations.

You see, the only reason the bill moved out of committee last week was because Rep. Steve Conway (D-29, Tacoma), chair of the commerce committee, made it a “title only” bill—meaning he temporarily stripped it of specifics.

He punted it to the warring parties: the King County Board of Health and the Washington Restaurant Association. The WRA likes state bill and doesn’t want KC to up the standards.

The WRA and the KCBH are meeting now (over pizza, perhaps) to work out a compromise.

Attention Closeted Slog Republicans

posted by on February 14 at 1:59 PM

(from Troubletown)

I’ve noticed a few comments like this popping up on Slog:

This is my first time leaving a comment, so it may not be smart to do it in a post the author won’t even read. Oh well, here goes…

First, I know ECB realizes this, but Hillary could still win in those states and still be behind in delegates. I don’t see those states being blowouts for her.

Second, I see a lot of people on the boards talking in hypotheticals about Independents and Republican converts. I’d like to speak as one of those hypotheticals.

I’m 26 years old and probably everyone on this site’s worst nightmare. I’m a Christian who lives on the Georgia/Alabama line and voted for Bush both times.

However, despite the fact we don’t see eye-to-eye on several issues, I’ve been an Obama supporter since day one. I said from the beginning that he may not win, but he’s my candidate as long as he’s in it. Now that it looks like he may pull it off, I’ve never been more excited to be a part of the political process.

If Hillary is the nominee, though, I don’t see that excitement carrying over on either side. I’ll still vote, but it’ll be for McCain, and with a heavy heart.

Now, feel free to tear me to shreds…

Is this for real? Others of you reading slog? Why not HRC, who in truth has almost the same stance on most every issue as Obama? Why McCain?

Re: What She Said

posted by on February 14 at 1:58 PM

You know what? It’s just not smart for Democrats to act all afraid of people who get excited about a political candidate—especially one with pretty good odds of being the Democratic nominee. It’s also, quite frankly, depressing. For years I’ve wanted—yearned, even—to see a Democratic leader who combines common sense, progressive politics, and the charisma to attract those notorious swing voters who couldn’t care less about the issues. (And they don’t care about the issues. If they did, they wouldn’t be swing voters.) But let’s not kid ourselves. Barack Obama is levelheaded. If you’ve ever read one of his floor speeches (here’s a kickass habeus corpus argument, here’s a righteous flag-burning statement), you know he’s utterly sane, and quite skilled at turning liberal talking points into solid legal arguments. Watch his most recent appearance on Meet the Press. Is this man Jim Jones? I mean, what the hell are people talking about? He goes over his thinking on Iraq, on Social Security, in calm, persuasive detail. You are invited to disagree, to follow his reasoning through. This is not the mark of a cult leader.

Do individual Barack Obama supporters get overexcited on occasion? Sure. Might someone have made a poor argument in favor of Obama at your caucus? Of course. Democracy is messy, and people who don’t think the way you do are nonetheless allowed to vote. I mean, a few racists are voting for Hillary Clinton because they can’t imagine a black man in the White House. Should that reflect badly on Clinton?

You just can’t hold a political candidate responsible for the views of his or her supporters, unless the candidate has directly or indirectly encouraged those views. But the more supporters you have—and, necessarily, the broader the diversity of their opinions—the more likely you are to win the White House.

Let’s all calm down. Barack Obama is not the Messiah, he’s not Jim Jones, he’s not George Bush, and he’s not Hillary Clinton either. I’m sorry if that disappoints you. But nothing about the man should scare his fellow Democrats.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day from

posted by on February 14 at 1:38 PM


Oly Action: On the Senate Floor

posted by on February 14 at 1:25 PM

The Democratic Senate in Olympia just passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Rosa Franklin’s (D-29, Tacoma) that allows local jurisdictions to approve the use public funds to finance candidates (aka, a public financing bill.)

Public financing had been outlawed by a 1992 initiative, but this legislation would allow voters in local jurisdictions to overrule that.

Now it’s off to the House.

An Inconvenient Truth

posted by on February 14 at 1:18 PM

Hillary is ahead in Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania, and within four points of Obama in Wisconsin.

Your 6 pm Date with Slog

posted by on February 14 at 1:14 PM

Happy Valentine’s Day from The Stranger

posted by on February 14 at 1:13 PM

$75 Million Tax Break for Microsoft

posted by on February 14 at 12:59 PM

A belated shout out to Chris McGann at the PI for breaking the news earlier this week about a $75 million tax break that the state wants to hand over to Microsoft.

Nice scoop. Controversial policy. McGann reports:

Microsoft and Yahoo already have server farms in Eastern Washington and had planned to build more. But when the state Department of Revenue recently determined that the server farms aren’t eligible for an existing tax exemption for rural manufacturers, both companies halted new construction and began pushing for a new tax break.

Eager to shore up the flagging economy, lawmakers led by Gov. Chris Gregoire have taken up the issue. The server farms generate many temporary construction jobs and a small number of full-time positions. They also reduce the tax burden on local communities by expanding the property tax base.

Gregoire requested an exemption in Senate Bill 6666, which would eliminate half the state sales tax on replacement equipment for the mammoth computer server farms in Eastern Washington.

Bill 6666? True. And Capitol Hill’s Sen. Ed Murray is carrying the bill for Gov. Gregoire.

Last session, the legislature heard from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, JLARC, a committee set up the previous year to review corporate tax breaks to see which ones were and were not worth it. To my knowledge, JLARC has not been persuasive enough to kill any of the state’s corporate freebies.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

posted by on February 14 at 12:59 PM

An Oklahoma City man was sentenced today to life in prison without parole after he admitted to beating his infant daughter to death almost five years ago.

The plea spared Jeremy Leon Rucker from facing the death penalty in the May 19, 2003, death of his 4-month-old daughter, Madison.

Rucker, 25, had been accused in Oklahoma County District Court of beating the girl to death over a span of several hours. Rucker initially told Oklahoma City police the bruises on his daughter’s face and shoulder came from being hit by her year-old brother’s “sippy cup,” according to court papers. He later admitted to beating the girl over a 14-hour period.

Thanks to Slog tipper Michael.

Jane Fonda Says “Cunt” on the Today Show

posted by on February 14 at 12:57 PM

And guess what? That’s a word you don’t say on teevee…

Happy Valentine’s Day, Neighbor!

posted by on February 14 at 12:39 PM

Barnacles do it longer.

The Fullness of Time

posted by on February 14 at 12:21 PM

In the cinema of the 90s, is there a sequence, a scene that is as full of its time (the mind of its time) as this?

Here we have it all. The 80s and its form of mind/madness is fully exposed, totally expressed. What in the 90s even comes close this kind of fullness—the fullness of a moment, a moment exploded from the continuum of cinema?

It’s Witchcraft…

posted by on February 14 at 12:13 PM

…and it’s a capital offense in Saudi Arabia.

A leading human-rights group appealed to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Thursday to stop the execution of a woman accused of witchcraft and performing supernatural acts.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement that the kingdom’s religious police who arrested and interrogated Fawza Falih, and the judges who tried her in the northern town of Quraiyat never gave her the opportunity to prove her innocence in the face of “absurd charges that have no basis in law.”

Falih’s case underscores shortcomings in Saudi Arabia’s Islamic legal system in which rules of evidence are shaky, lawyers are not always present and sentences often depend on the whim of judges.

Homeless and Homeless Advocates Crowd Capitol Building

posted by on February 14 at 12:08 PM

I promised pictures from Olympia, and here’s what I’ve got this morning: About 450 low-income Washingtonians—dressed in loud red slickers—are jammed into the legislative building right now demanding to meet their representatives, who are sequestered in chambers.


On their agenda: legislation I’ve written about before—a bill to prevent cities from outlawing special-needs housing (passed the state house, currently in the senate); a bill to prevent discrimination against Section 8 tenants (passed the house, in trouble in the senate… thanks to Senator Rodney Tom); and top priority—add $100 million to the housing trust fund. Everyone says nice things about this idea, and Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford) is a big backer of the idea, but when tomorrow’s revenue drop is announced, well, it could go poof.


The crowd also wants action on a bill I haven’t Slogged about before, which would put more money, $7.5 million, into a low-income-housing voucher program to cover rent in transitional housing.

I talked to a group of Section 8 tenants from Kent who praised the housing trust fund for saving their low-income building. In fact, the housing trust fund was used to leverage money from a private donor who helped the low-income tenants buy their building. They had been in danger of being kicked out because the owner was planning to sell to a private developer.

Tecla Catuna, center, who lives on about $600 a month and Uh Ha, on the right, are Section 8 Tenants in Kent whose housing was saved by the state’s housing trust fund. They came to Olympia today to urge their representatives to support a bill that would prevent landlords from discriminating against Section 8 tenants.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

posted by on February 14 at 11:42 AM

In honor of yesterday’s ruling overturning Texas’s law against owning dildos… Ladies and gentlemen, the late, great Molly Ivins:

(And Dan, you know as well as anyone that “straight ladies” aren’t the only ones out there buying dildos—ahem, anatomically correct condom education models.)

Romney Hearts…

posted by on February 14 at 11:41 AM

McCain, and is set to deliver him a lovely box of delegates later today.

Currently Hanging

posted by on February 14 at 11:30 AM

Helga Steppan’s All my things/White (2004) from the series See Through, 36 by 30 inches, C-type print

At James Harris Gallery.

Happy Valentine’s Day from The Stranger

posted by on February 14 at 11:30 AM

This one’s for my honey: Ladies and gentleman, Miss Vicki Carr

Love Notes

posted by on February 14 at 11:26 AM

In case you haven’t taken a look yet, this year’s reader valentines are searchable and printable—each one appears on a full-color art card that you can cherish forever.
If you didn’t send a Stranger Valentine, you can still salvage your relationship: Have the Stranger Lovebot send a personalized greeting to your lover ASAP. It’s free, it’s easy… get on it!

Shooting Space Junk

posted by on February 14 at 11:23 AM

A broken 5,000 pound spy satellite is set to crash back to Earth sometime in early March. Fear not, though, because the U.S. has a plan:

The Pentagon is planning to shoot down a broken spy satellite expected to hit the Earth in early March, The Associated Press has learned. U.S. officials said Thursday that the option preferred by the Bush administration will be to fire a missile from a U.S. Navy cruiser, and shoot down the satellite before it enters Earth’s atmosphere.

At the very least it will be good practice since, as this article from the BBC points out, there’s probably a million pieces of space junk currently orbiting the earth. The good news: all but 9,000 pieces of it are thought to be around the size of a tennis ball.

The Capitol Hill Crime Wave Continues

posted by on February 14 at 11:14 AM

First there’s a dildo-napping at Babeland, and now someone’s STEALING SICK KITTENS from Twice Sold Tales!!!


What the fuck?


UPDATE: Seriously, return the kitten. We’re forming a kitten rescue posse right now, and we just hired these badass motherfuckers:




Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 14 at 11:00 AM


The Stranger’s Valentine’s Day Bash at Neumo’s

Hosted by Dan Savage, this annual Stranger event offers a way for the brokenhearted to finally find closure—or at least exact revenge in front of a crowd of drunks. Past nights have seen blowtorched love letters, chopped houseplants, melted jewelry, and pissed-on photos of former lovers, among other things. Still smarting from being dumped? Looking for a way to dispose of a memento from a past relationship guilt-free? Bring it down to Neumo’s and have Savage do the deed for you in front of cheering others. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, free, 21+).



‘Relentless Heartache’ at Capitol Hill Arts Center

Tonight brings the best love plays to come out of 14/48, the annual jamboree wherein 14 shorts are written, rehearsed, and performed in one weekend, including what might be the best play to come out of 14/48 ever—the Wayne Rawley one about the 8-year-old boys who look and talk like businessmen, meeting with girls in power suits to negotiate terms. “So we’re not eating our boogers anymore?” one of the boy-men cries. “Well that sounds extreme.” (Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 800-838-3006. 8 pm, $20.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Re: What She Said

    posted by on February 14 at 10:58 AM

    What, ECB, you don’t want to vote for the Messiah?

    (Via Ben Smith)

    What She Said

    posted by on February 14 at 10:57 AM

    Everywhere I went on Super Tuesday, I ran into Obama supporters, who were literally running around in circles and screaming “Yes, we can!” with glazed looks in their eyes. At best, it was embarrassing, but it also felt–deranged. I would love to be inspired by a candidate, and feel wildly excited and so forth–but, not to the point of losing reason. Surely, there is something to be said for dignity? Call me crazy, but I want an adult to run the country. A sensible one.

    Barack Obama Thinks You Are Cute

    posted by on February 14 at 10:50 AM

    And that’s not all. Happy Valentines Day from an Obama fan. Or skeptic. Or something.

    Light Hearted

    posted by on February 14 at 10:32 AM


    Flickr pool contributor dennyt shot this. He prefers last year’s, though.

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on February 14 at 10:30 AM

    A still from Takeshi Murata’s video with sound, Monster Movie (2005)

    At Western Bridge.

    What He Said

    posted by on February 14 at 10:16 AM


    I try to shy away from “electability” arguments, but I do think some attention should be paid to how campaigns are… campaigning. Responsible and sensible people take responsibility for their actions and mistakes and learn from them. All of this “every time Clinton loses it doesn’t count” and all those states are insignificant stuff is absurd.

    I recognize that it’s spin. But it’s really bad spin! And they’re highly paid professional spinners! It’s their job to come up with better spin!

    Indiana Jones Returns…

    posted by on February 14 at 10:15 AM

    Something to Love: James Harris Gallery Is Moving and Doubling

    posted by on February 14 at 10:00 AM

    Last night I discovered that James Harris Gallery—one of the leading galleries in Seattle, and one of the most distinctive spaces—is moving to a space twice its size. (Thank you!)

    And the show that will open this new space on April 3?

    Conceptual video master Gary Hill and young photographer/video artist Margot Quan Knight.

    I saw the new space in its raw state last night: It’s 1,800 square feet and has three separate zones, but Harris and gallery director Carrie E. A. Scott said they’ve taken care to make sure the place still “feels like Jim’s,” she said.

    “It will seem like my gallery,” he said, “but more polished.”

    The gallery that Harris has run for almost nine years at 309 Third Avenue South is small, quiet, and gorgeous. The walls are white and the floor creaking wood. The light is bright, and the artworks are few.

    In the new gallery, only a block away at 312 Second Avenue South, the brick walls are still exposed, but soon they’ll be covered over in drywall and painted white. The exterior of the building is brick and stone—it’s one of those great Pioneer Square buildings—and the entryway is tiled.

    At one side of the entrance is a glassed-in office, and at the other, a window seat. (The addition of seating is a plus.) Behind the reception area is the main room of the gallery, with two 25-foot walls, a 14-foot wall, and a 12-foot wall. It’s the same size as the main room in the other gallery, though it feels a little larger because the ceiling, with exposed ductwork, is higher. It’s too soon to say yet what it will really feel like to be inside the finished gallery, but the white decorative-tiled ceiling in the old space appears to be the only known loss in the upgrade.

    Behind the main space is a closed room that can be used for video. Again, that room is the same size as the one it replaces—the back room of the current gallery—but it’s free of the storage and flat-file cabinets that crowd the current back room.

    Farther back still is where there’ll be storage, a hall with a long wall that may be used to show multiples, and a public restroom that smells pungently like the Vietnamese restaurant next door. (The restaurant, Cafe Hue, like Harris’s soon-to-be-former neighbor, Salumi, comes recommended.)

    One other bonus: This gallery has A/C. In theory, summer heat at James Harris Gallery was charming; in practice, it was just summer heat trapped in a small container.

    Harris notified his artists about the move in October. The gallery increasingly intends to mix artists based around the world with the regionally based artists it represents. “Message in a Bottle,” the current show (more on that coming), is a demonstration, with artists from London, Seattle, New York, and San Francisco.

    “We’re trying to step up to the plate a little bit,” Harris said. “We’ve talked to all our artist about stepping up and I think it’s going to be exciting for the Seattle artists.”

    Harris said he was flattered that Hill’s longtime dealer, the legendary Donald Young, agreed to let Harris show Hill’s work at the opening. On view will be four video pieces from 2005.

    Will Harris come to represent Hill in Seattle, his home city?

    “If things go well, we’re hoping four years from now we’ll get a whole show of new work by him,” Harris said.

    Happy Valentine’s Day from The Stranger

    posted by on February 14 at 9:58 AM

    Are You Skipping Slog Happy Tonight, Currently Single, and a Resident of South Seattle?

    posted by on February 14 at 9:55 AM

    That’s right, you two.

    There’s a benefit for Real Change, the excellent weekly newspaper on poverty and social justice. Former police chief Norm Stamper will be reading from his book Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing and author Silja J.A. Talvi will be reading from Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System. Thoroughly convinced that the criminal justice system keeps the poor down and that books about it have colons in title? It’s true. Don’t believe me? Go to the reading, give five bucks to Real Change, and bitch me out in comments later.

    (Thursday, February 14, 5:30 p.m.; Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S Alaska Way, 98118; $5 suggested donation)

    “Hillary For You and Me”

    posted by on February 14 at 9:55 AM

    Adding insult to injury:

    Thank you, Slog tipper Sara.

    Those Blue Posters All Over Town This Morning?

    posted by on February 14 at 9:37 AM


    It’s the last gasp of the local Ron Paul campaign.

    Gawker Bound to Disagree

    posted by on February 14 at 9:27 AM

    Gawker doesn’t think there was anything wrong with “naming and shaming” the kinky Canadian—a retired college prof—whose bondage scene at New York’s Nutcracker Suite went horribly, horribly wrong. Gawker:

    The sex writers, Emily Farris at Nerve and Dan Savage at every alternative weekly ever printed [the item I wrote about it is here], plus Jeff Bercovici at Portfolio, want the professor’s identity protected. They wonder about the news value in printing his name. They wonder why he’s being “shamed. ” What problem does the New York Post have with kinky sex?

    None, from the looks of things…. There’s nothing wrong with going for some kinky sex in a dungeon. There are surely many, many people who do so without the knowledge of their spouse. But someone who specifically asks and pays for a dangerous situation, because that’s what he gets off on, has no reasonable expectation of privacy if an accident should happen and he should lapse into a coma. The cops will be called. The wife will find out. A reporter will show up at the hospital.

    The bondage coma story, which is a staggeringly awesome story by the way, should be covered like any other story precisely because the sex fetish is not shameful, and because the likes of Nerve and Dan Savage surely don’t want companies like News Corp. making judgement calls on what is shameful.

    Running with the identity of the of the kinky prof was salacious and mean-spirited… just like The Post, I realize. (And just like my column often is.) And perhaps the kinky prof should have realized that, should something go wrong with his edgy sex scene in a commercial dungeon, his name could wind up in the papers, and his family could find out. What bothered me about the Post’s treatment of this story, however, was not the wallowing in all the kinky, salacious details (just like my column), but the Post’s declaration of war on kinky people—as if there aren’t kinky people that read the Post, write for the Post, run the post, and own the Post.

    Here’s that infamous quote again: “The Post will happily name every adult caught in a dog collar.” Okay, fine. But what are the odds, you suppose, that among the thousands of people that work at the Post, there’s at least one—maybe a few dozen, maybe a hundred or two—who have worn dog collars outside of an amateur production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown? Staggeringly high, I should think. (And if anyone has any pictures, I’d love to see ‘em.) And if being named & shamed is good enough for a college prof that nearly asphyxiate in commercial dungeons, it’s good enough for News Corps execs that profit from their public humiliation.

    And you can argue that a sex fetish isn’t or shouldn’t be shameful (like I do in my column), but you can’t argue that the Post’s stories on this college prof attempted to make sex fetishes look shameful, and that the Post shamed this poor, desperate, still-disoriented-from-three-days-in-a-coma kinkster into disavowing his kinks. The asswipes at the Post shouldn’t be able to write pieces shaming people for their kinks, and threaten to do the same to anyone else caught being kinky in public, and then see people who believe there’s shameful about kinks come to their defense.

    And finally…


    Black leather, inter-generational sex, possible rice queen—should Mr. Murdoch, sitting in his glass house, really be throwing stones at other kinky men past retirement age?

    Combatting Climate Change

    posted by on February 14 at 8:51 AM

    Then you need to start… eating bugs.

    In the kitchen at Toscanini’s Ice Cream, David Gracer plunged a spoon into various insect-and-ice-cream concoctions. Wielding a grasshopper covered in burned caramel, he said: “Insects can feed the world. Cows and pigs are the S.U.V.’s; bugs are the bicycles.”

    Provocative as that sounds, insects do meet the test of environmental sustainability: they create far more edible protein per pound of feed as cattle.

    Edible bugs are the bicycles: I expect to see more grasshoppers and less chicken in ECB’s sack lunches.

    Happy Valentine’s Day from The Stranger

    posted by on February 14 at 8:17 AM

    …and Judy Garland.

    Video courtesy of prodigious Slog tipper Matthew.

    The Morning News

    posted by on February 14 at 7:45 AM

    Admonished: Hypocrite Larry Craig, who is, incredibly, still in the Senate.

    Pro-torture: Torture victim John McCain.

    Apologetic: Utah state senator who made a racist statement comparing a bill to a “dark, ugly” black baby.

    Floundering: Efforts to extend House debate on warrantless wiretap legislation; Bush says “the time for debate is over.”

    Nixon’s “Jew-Counter”: Onstage with McCain.

    In Contempt?: White House officials who ignored Congressional subpoenas during US Attorney firing investigations.

    Under Fire: Roger Clemens, accused of taking steroids and human growth hormone.

    Killed by Bush Administration: A well-regarded research program that involved sustainable agriculture and grass-based biofuels.

    Not Killing Herself: 90-Day Jane.

    Murdoch’s News Corp.: Going after Yahoo?

    Recipe of the Day: Marcella Hazan’s Homemade Tagliatelle with Bolognese Meat Sauce

    (Recipe via Serious Eats; photo via Creative Commons)


    Continue reading "The Morning News" »

    Type O Negative?

    posted by on February 14 at 6:41 AM

    The Wall Street Journal has an editorial this morning that tries—voila GOP playbook—to recast Obama as “negative.”

    They strip out all the soaring rhetoric of hope from one of his recent speeches to find a lot of angry Edwards-style populism.

    They write:

    Here is the edited version, stripped of the flying surfboard:

    “Our road will not be easy … … where lobbyists write check after check and Exxon turns record profits … That’s what happens when lobbyists set the agenda… It’s a game where trade deals like Nafta ship jobs overseas and force parents to compete with their teenagers to work for minimum wage at Wal-Mart … It’s a game … CEO bonuses … while another mother goes without health care for her sick child … We can’t keep driving a wider and wider gap between the few who are rich and the rest who struggle to keep pace … even if they’re not rich …”

    But here’s the flaw with the WSJ’s interpretation: Obama himself doesn’t strip out the soaring, positive, rhetoric of hope. In fact, he relies on it.

    So, really, what we’ve got here is a rare thing: A hopeful messenger who, at his core, carries left-wing Democratic analysis.

    I have one thing to say to the GOP: Burn on you.

    Convenient Omission in Mark Penn’s Analysis

    posted by on February 14 at 3:20 AM

    Mark Penn, chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has an article up at Real Clear Politics where he argues that Clinton is still on the way to winning the nomination.

    However, there’s a major hang up with his analysis that unwittingly shows why Obama is better positioned to win.

    He ends his argument like this:

    As history shows, the Democratic nomination goes to the candidate who wins the most delegates – not the candidate who wins the most states. In 1992, Bill Clinton lost a string of primaries before clinching the nomination. He ceded Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arizona, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Vermont and South Dakota. Similarly, in 1984, Walter Mondale also lost a series of major primaries before winning the nomination, including New Hampshire, Vermont, Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Indiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Colorado, Ohio, and California. And in 1976, Jimmy Carter lost twenty-three states before winning the nomination, including: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Illinois, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah.

    Well, okay. Except in 1992, 1984, and 1976, a single opponent didn’t win all those other states—those wins were divvied up among a number of candidates. In ‘08, a single opponent is racking up all the states Clinton isn’t winning.

    In ‘92, Tsongas, Harkin, Kerrey, and Brown scored wins. In ‘08 it’s just Obama. In ‘84, Hart and Jackson scored wins. In ‘08 it’s just Obama. In ‘76, Udall, Jackson, Church, Wallace, Byrd, and Brown registered wins. In ‘08 it’s only Obama.

    This bit of info underscores the very thing on Obama’s side: momentum.

    Note: ‘84 is Jesse Jackson. ‘76 is Henry “Scoop” Jackson.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Project Runway Live Slog

    posted by on February 13 at 9:53 PM

    She’s Lucky to be Alive

    posted by on February 13 at 7:14 PM

    O.J. Simpson’s girlfriend has been hospitalized in Miami with “a severe head injury.”

    That 15 Year-Old Gay Kid Shot at School Yesterday?

    posted by on February 13 at 6:24 PM

    He’s dead.

    A 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head at school was declared brain dead Wednesday but was kept on a ventilator for possible organ donation, a medical examiner said.

    Eighth-grader Lawrence King, who was shot Tuesday, was pronounced brain dead at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Regional Medical Center after two neurosurgeons examined him, said Craig Stevens, senior deputy medical examiner in Ventura County.

    King was clinically dead but was kept on a ventilator pending a family decision on organ donation, Stevens said.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on February 13 at 5:41 PM

    There are six readings around town tonight, including an open mike night for writers age 14 to 24, a young adult novel, a biography of a long-forgotten architect, and Michael Pollan. The Pollan reading is sold out, but that’s okay, because Annie Wagner, in her great review of Pollan’s newest book, In Defense of Food tells you what you need to know:

    If you’re looking for advice about how to eat, you don’t even have to crack the book open. It’s right there on the cover (and in his “Unhappy Meals” essay, printed in the New York Times Magazine about a year ago): “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Hey, thanks!

    The full calendar of tonight’s events is here.

    Hate Suicide? Love Fences?

    posted by on February 13 at 5:32 PM

    Then head on down to Fremont for tonight’s Aurora Bridge suicide barrier design meeting. Planners spent the afternoon coming up with conceptual designs which, presumably, look nothing like this:


    The meeting’s 7-9pm at the B.F. Day Elementary Gymnasium.

    Project Make It Work: New Episode Tonight

    posted by on February 13 at 5:07 PM

    Synopsis: The designers use their artistic expression to create their latest design; the winning designers go home to design the line of their dreams.
    art-of-fashion.jpg Watch it with me? See you back here at 10 pm.

    Last Shots in the Ron Paul Revolution

    posted by on February 13 at 4:50 PM

    Remember the glory days, when Ron Paul was doing the whole, “Why not see how many extravagant means of transportation I could plaster my name on in the name of democracy” thing?


    (This car? Utterly covered in Ron Paul stickers. The owner? Probably won’t regret this even long after Paul drops out of the race.)

    His quixotic run for the White House appears to be nearing its end, as it turns out that maybe Paul wants to make some time to ensure that he’s actually going to win the primary for his Texas congressional seat:

    I also have another priority. I have constituents in my home district that I must serve. I cannot and will not let them down. And I have another battle I must face here as well. If I were to lose the primary for my congressional seat, all our opponents would react with glee, and pretend it was a rejection of our ideas. I cannot and will not let that happen.

    In the presidential race and the congressional race, I need your support, as always. And I have plans to continue fighting for our ideas in politics and education that I will share with you when I can, for I will need you at my side. In the meantime, onward and upward! The neocons, the warmongers, the socialists, the advocates of inflation will be hearing much from you and me.



    SPD Settles Another Brutality Case

    posted by on February 13 at 4:33 PM

    The Seattle Police Department has settled another police brutality case out of court.

    SPD will pay Aaron Claxton $20,000 for an incident in August 2006, where Claxton was repeatedly tasered by plainclothes officers—from one of SPD’s elite anti-crime teams—inside his home. Officers claimed Claxton—a 22-year-old Boys and Girls Club counselor—had been speeding, and failed to stop at a stop sign near his home in North Seattle. Claxton was also charged with obstruction, but the case was dropped because of, according to court records, a “lack of proof.”

    While Claxton settled for a relatively small amount, his suit is yet another example of a lack of confidence in our city’s police accountability system. As I’ve said before, if SPD won’t discipline officers, people are going to continue to take their claims of officer misconduct to court, rather than deal with SPD’s slow and ineffective method of policing its officers.

    All the News that Fits

    posted by on February 13 at 4:32 PM

    Thanks to some bad planning as news editor this week—and the fact that this week’s news section was jam packed— I had to kill two stories as we went to press yesterday.

    My bad. So, voila!

    Here’s Erica’s column where she argues that transit is not the answer, leveling us with the bad news:

    In a nutshell: Growth management—which calls for concentrating growth in areas that are well served by transit, encouraging people to live close to where they work, and discouraging or banning new sprawl that promotes driving and harms the environment—isn’t working.

    And Jonah’s got the latest on Snoqualmie’s Mount Si High School’s reactionary reaction to the school’s gay/straight alliance.

    What was so important that those stories got bumped from print?

    The Mayor screws over renters.

    Republicans hating on Republicans.

    Evil developer loopholes in N. Seattle.


    The case for legalizing pot goes mainstream.

    In Other News.

    and, my column, of course.

    Cutoffs Continued

    posted by on February 13 at 3:55 PM


    One bill I forgot to mention in my earlier post that made it out of committee yesterday (just in the nick of time before cutoff) is liberal Sen. Craig Pridemore’s (D-49, Vancouver) bill to give working-class families a tax credit.

    However, there could be some bad news for the bill: State revenue projections are due on Friday. And the word is revenues are going to be down by between $200 million and $500 million in our $30 billion biennial budget.

    This news could put the kibosh on Pridemore’s bill, which would pay out about $60 million.

    Of course, snuffing stimulus spending bills—like giving money to working families— would be a knee-jerk conservative move. The better way to respond to these types of cyclical downturns—as the Washington Budget and Policy Center points out— is to stimulate the economy with state spending.

    Click on the link above to see what specific spending they recommend.

    In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

    posted by on February 13 at 3:47 PM

    TJ Gorton on Sylvester: “Every time I listen to the track, it feels like I get an audio insider to a glimpse of what the NY disco clubs like Paradise Garage and the Gallery were like back in the day.”

    Cam’ron on Jay-Z: “I don’t think he wrote nothin’ ever.

    Mike Nipper on the new Blue Cheer Record: “It’s bad metal…it’s embarrassing, it’s so bad.

    Larry Mizell on Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” Video: “GODDAMN!”

    Sonic Boom Records to the Fremont Neighborhood: “Goodbye.”

    Trent Moorman Asks You: “Are you a hipster?”

    Krist Novaselic on Tad: “They defined what grunge was or is.”

    King Cobra on Valentine’s Day: “There’s more than one way to lose your heart.”

    Megan Seling (Me) on Mega Man II: “I was so fucking good at this game as a kid.”

    John Richards on…: Well, everything. Click here to read his really long open letter to KEXP listeners.

    Casey Catherwood on Japanther: “Life would be so much better if Japanther played a show in my bedroom every morning.”

    Sam Machkovech on Rock Lottery: “The show is an experience a lot like losing your virginity—part terror, part awkwardness, and a strange desire for more, more, more.”

    Charles Mudede on the Current State of Hiphop: “It’s so bad that the super producer Rockwilder is giving it up for Christian music.”


    A Voice from the Scientific Community on the Election

    posted by on February 13 at 3:46 PM

    So, I’ve taken some (mild) heat for my posts on the 2008 election. Nothing like Erica or Annie routinely receive—but I have been called “a closet republican” and in a particularly cruel moment, “Michelle Malkin.”

    (While we’re here, I want to say right now: fuck John McCain. Fuck him for his cowardice at a key moment.)

    Think I’m worked up and a bit crazy in the aftermath of the telecom immunity, domestic wiretapping and torture votes plus the dismal cuts in scientific funding, and utter hatred spewed towards scientists and undesired scientific findings?

    After the jump is an e-mail I’ve just received from a fellow scientist on the 2008 election.

    (Updated with more rhetoric. Rhetoric I agree with!)

    Continue reading "A Voice from the Scientific Community on the Election" »

    Gloves Coming Off…

    posted by on February 13 at 3:17 PM

    The Clinton campaign just emailed out an angry quote from John McCain’s economic adviser—yes, that’s John McCain’s economic adviser—about Barack Obama’s big economic address today:

    The fact is that Obama’s plan today is the most shameless piece of potential plagiarism that I have ever seen. He basically took Clinton’s words and Clinton’s policies and called them his own. If I were a professor I’d give him an F and try to get him kicked out of school for something this terrible…If I were on the Clinton team, I’d be prepping memos….Because I remember Mrs. Clinton saying shared prosperity and I remember the bill that she introduced in August for infrastructure. The fact is these are things Obama has taken as his own without crediting the source of the ideas which was Mrs. Clinton.

    He’d be prepping memos, huh? Why look, here’s a memo in my in-box from Neera Tanden, Hillary Clinton’s policy director. It says, among other things:

    Those covering Senator Obama’s economic speech in Wisconsin today could be forgiven if it felt like déjà vu all over again. Voters may ask themselves that if Senator Obama cannot produce his own ideas on the campaign trail, how will he solve new problems as President? Senator Obama’s only “new” ideas were ones that Senator Clinton proposed months ago…

    In addition, while Senator Obama was busy resuscitating Hillary’s policies, he failed to offer real solutions for the most pressing economic challenges that Americans families face. As Hillary explained this morning, “a plan that fails to provide universal health care, fails to address the housing crisis, and fails to immediately start creating good paying jobs in America again will not turn the economy around and provide the real relief that our people need. We need real results not more rhetoric.”

    The full memo is in the jump. But note the word “resuscitating.” Not the best word choice, I’d say, as it implies an idea that the Clinton camp is trying to push back against these days—that Clinton and her ideas are politically dead and, at the very least, in need of new life being breathed into them.

    Still, it appears that both the Clinton and McCain camps have read their Maureen Dowd today. Dowd warns that Obama is vulnerable if he starts to look like…

    …that maddening archetypal figure: the glib golden boy who slides through on charm and a smile.

    Make that charm and a smile and cheating (via plaigiarism), and you can see the contours of the new meta-attack on Obama that’s being worked up by both the Clinton and McCain campaigns.

    UPDATE: Obama hits back. At McCain:

    It turns out that yesterday, or maybe today, John McCain started attacking me on economic policy, which I thought was flattering. It makes clear that he knows who his opponent is going to be, and I am looking forward to a great debate on the issues with John McCain.

    I have to say, though, that I was surprised that he took me on on economics because he has admitted—and by the way John McCain is a great American hero, a war hero we honor his service. But economics is not his strong suit. I mean he said, “I don’t understand economics very well,” and after what he said, it shows, because his main economic philosophy is to continue the same tax breaks that George Bush has been perpetuating over the last seven years and that…John McCain criticized as irresponsible back when he wasn’t running for President

    …Somewhere along the line he traded those principles for his party’s nomination and now he is for those tax cuts. So I just want to make everybody clear I am not….

    If John McCain wants to debate the specifics of how well the economy has worked for ordinary families over the last seven years, that is a debate that I am happy to have, because the American people know that Bush’s policies have not worked for ordinary Americans.

    Continue reading "Gloves Coming Off..." »

    You’re Welcome

    posted by on February 13 at 3:00 PM

    As of today it’s legal for straight ladies in Texas to own dildos and vibrators—and they’ve got litigious gays to thank.

    Court strikes down Texas ban on sex toys

    A federal appeals court has struck down a seldom-enforced Texas law making it a crime to promote or sell sex toys. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in a case originally filed in federal court in Austin, found that the ban in the Texas penal code on selling or promoting obscene devices violates the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    “Whatever one might think or believe about the use of these devices, government interference with their personal and private use violates the Constitution,” said the opinion in the case considered by a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based court.

    The opinion relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, which struck down a Texas law prohibiting private consensual sex among members of the same sex. That case established a broad constitutional right to sexual privacy.

    Lawrence and Garner v. Texas is just a gift that keeps on giving.


    posted by on February 13 at 2:54 PM

    “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” a new stylized, computer-animated feature film, will open Aug. 15 in theaters and set the stage for a tie-in television series with the same name and mode of artwork that will begin airing as a 30-minute weekly series in the fall on the Cartoon Network and TNT.

    The film and series will center on the wartime tales of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and feature Padme Amidala, Mace Windu, Count Dooku and the other characters introduced in the second trilogy of live-action “Star Wars” films that began in 1999.

    My cynical heart…yadda, yadda, yadda.


    A Man of Principle

    posted by on February 13 at 2:54 PM


    Today the Senate voted 51-45 to “establish one interrogation standard” that would follow techniques laid out in the Army Field Manual — meaning waterboarding would be officially banned as a technique.

    John McCain—the former POW, the man who in the past argued we should follow the Army Field Manual—voted no. Maverick indeed.

    Oh, and Bush is planning to veto the bill if it arrives on his desk.

    Credit Where Credit’s Due

    posted by on February 13 at 2:52 PM

    On October 25, I quoted this prescient person on the Slog.

    You know who you are.

    If you don’t: I texted you yesterday. My text said, “You’re moving beyond demographics.”

    You texted back: “Si se puede!”

    Mayor’s Office Will Release $25,000 From Frozen Tenant Fund

    posted by on February 13 at 2:45 PM

    Following a request from City Councilmember Tim Burgess, Mayor Greg Nickels has agreed to have the City’s Human Services Department (HSD) release $25,000 from their frozen tenant relocation fund.

    In January, Nickels told HSD to hold off on distributing a $350,000 fund, set up by the City Council to help tenants displaced by condo conversions, after HSD lost over half a million dollars in federal funding.

    Yesterday, Burgess—who chairs the Council’s Human Services Committee—asked the Mayor’s office to release $50,000, to help some of the 46 tenants displaced by condo conversions since November.

    Displaced tenants who make less than 80% of Seattle’s median income could receive checks for as much as $1500.

    Nickels’ Spokesman Marty McOmber says HSD should be releasing the funds “relatively quickly.”

    Cut Along the Bias

    posted by on February 13 at 2:34 PM

    I’ll readily admit that the mainstream press has a pro-Obama slant. But this Jeff Zeleny/John Sullivan article for the New York Times shows that Obama knows how to work the narrative (yeah, Josh, narrative)—while HRC falls into his traps.

    Say you want some substance?

    Speaking before a crowd at a Wisconsin auto plant, Senator Obama delivered a blistering critique of his Democratic and Republican rivals on Wednesday, blaming Washington for the economic crisis that has gripped the nation.

    “We are not standing on the brink of recession due to forces beyond our control,” Mr. Obama said. “The fallout from the housing crisis that’s cost jobs and wiped out savings was not an inevitable part of the business cycle, it was a failure of leadership and imagination in Washington.”

    Mr. Obama opened his campaign for next week’s Wisconsin primary inside a General Motors plant in Janesville, one day after General Motors Corp. posted a $38 billion loss, the largest ever for a U.S. auto company. He criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed during the Clinton administration, and offered a series of plans to inject more jobs into the economy.

    [ … ]

    In his speech in Janesville, Mr. Obama proposed creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to invest $60 billion over 10 years and create nearly 2 million new jobs in the construction field. He said the program would be paid for by ending the Iraq war. He also renewed his call to create an energy plan to invest $150 billion over 10 years to establish a “green energy sector” to add up to 5 million jobs in the next two decades.

    One paragraph later:

    Mrs. Clinton, speaking before an enthusiastic crowd on Wednesday morning in McAllen, Texas, also struck economic themes, saying she offered solutions for voters’ financial struggles while Mr. Obama offered “rhetoric.”

    Say you want some rhetoric?

    Mrs. Clinton hailed two of her “heroines” from Texas, former Rep. Barbara Jordan and former Gov. Ann Richards, and sought to tap their legendary gusto as she looked ahead to the Texas primary and her fight for the nomination against Mr. Obama.

    “They taught me about courage and determination,” she said. “I can hear their voices saying, ‘you keep going, you give the people a real choice about the future that awaits.’”

    I’m not saying her whole speech went like that—if it was even remotely like the stump speech we heard at Pier 30 last week, it had a surfeit of policy. But if you’ve been attacking your opponent for using bland words of uplift, and then he abruptly changes course while you’re caught cribbing his style… it gives reporters an irresistible opening:

    In El Paso, even her most boilerplate remarks were rewarded with wild hooting from the audience.

    HRC needs to get nimble, quick.

    Separated At Birth

    posted by on February 13 at 2:08 PM

    The second in a series:

    City Councilmember Tim Burgess


    Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff


    posted by on February 13 at 1:57 PM

    Yesterday, was the last day for bills in the state House and Senate to make it out of committee. Bills that didn’t make it out of committee yesterday are dead. The next cutoff date is February 19. That’s the last day for bills to pass one chamber and get sent over to the other.

    Here’s the status of some bills I’ve been tracking over the session. And here are the 1970s, so you’ll read this post:


    Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles’ (D-36) bill to track gifts from pharmaceutical companies to health care providers is alive.

    Kohl-Welles’ bill to give universities like the UW the clear authority to ban guns on campus is dead.

    Sen. Rodney Tom’s (D-41) bill requiring mortgage brokers to disclose all terms to borrowers is still alive.

    Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen’s (D-10) governance reform bill to turn Sound Transit into a transit and roads agency is dead.

    Sen. Joe McDermott’s (D-34) bill to protect student free speech is dead.

    Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43) and Sen. Ed Murray’s (D-43) bills to expand domestic partnerships are alive.

    Rep. Sharon Nelson’s (D-34) bills to halt strip mining on Maury Island are dead.

    Rep. Geoff Simpson’s (D-47) bill to add carbon impacts into growth management act guidelines is alive.

    Rep. Eric Pettigrew’s (D-37) bill to prevent discrimination against Section 8 tenants is alive (although, bad sign, a similar bill, Sen. Adam Kline’s version, was killed in committee.)

    Rep. Jeannie Darnielle’s (D-27) bill to prevent discrimination against special needs housing is alive.

    Sen. Karen Keiser’s (D-33) family leave bill is still alive, but Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown has told the press the funding isn’t there.

    Keiser’s (D-33) health care expansion bill was rolled into, uggh, a task force bill.

    The series of bills to postpone the reading and writing WASL graduation requirements are dead.

    Rep. Phyllis Kenney’s (D-46) bill to exempt FlexCar (now ZipCar) from the rental car tax is alive.

    Rep. Maralyn Chase’s (D-32) bill to ban plastic grocery bags is dead.

    More to come.

    Screw Roses and Teddy Bears

    posted by on February 13 at 1:37 PM


    I just went over to Babeland to buy myself a Valentine’s Day present. Tomorrow can be super depressing if you’re single. It doesn’t have to be. It should be a rule that you go and buy yourself something nice. And I don’t mean flowers, candy, or frickin’ teddy bears. Gross. Even more depressing.

    After seeing all the toys at the Porn Con with Savage, I sorta had my heart set on this or even this. Instead I found myself distracted an old skool Magic Wand (not this one - THIS one).

    There’s also a ton of stuff for couples. Tons. Some of it’s already wrapped in neato gift boxes for the lazy, super last-minute shoppers. There’s chocolate, bunnies, and something called a Le Petit Ami. Another gift idea might be this or this. I mean, who doesn’t want their boyfriend or girlfriend to be better at THAT? Um, nobody that’s who…

    Superdelegate Watch

    posted by on February 13 at 1:10 PM

    In the PI this morning, undeclared Washington superdelegate (and DNC Rules Committee member) David McDonald defends his privileged role. He also volunteers a hypothetical:

    If, say, Obama were trailing Clinton in elected delegates but appeared clearly to be the more electable, then arguably he should get the superdelegates, McDonald said.

    “There are considerations that may go beyond who the nominee is and that may be for the good of the party. … I would be surprised if this year there is any Democrat who doesn’t think that the first priority would be to select whoever has the best chance to win the election. At the end of the day, you’ve got to win the White House. That’s what it’s about.”

    For McDonald, at least, this RealClearPolitics head-to-head chart could be a good predictor of his ultimate choice:


    I know that print is super small, but blue at the end of the line means the Democrat beats McCain, red means McCain beats the Democrat. (Also notable today: A new poll for Wisconsin, a possible swing state with an upcoming primary, has McCain beating Clinton by a statistically significant margin while McCain and Obama are virtually tied.)

    David McDonald donated $250 twice to Howard Dean in the 2004 cycle, according to Open Secrets.

    The Probama Petition

    posted by on February 13 at 1:08 PM

    An online petition is seeking signatures to compel US Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray—superdelegates for Clinton—to switch their votes to Obama after his convincing win in last weekend’s Washington State caucuses.

    As Annie and Josh have both pointed out, if every superdelegate was required to switch his or her vote to reflect the will of the people, Clinton would still have a commanding lead. You can’t argue that Cantwell and Murray should be forced to switch to reflect their constituents’ votes without arguing that Kennedy and Kerry should also. (You also can’t argue that party rules MUST be enforced in Florida, when they disenfranchise Clinton voters, and argue that they MUST be thrown out the window now, when they disenfranchise Obama supporters).

    However, having read some of the petitions, I have to admit Obama supporters do make a convincing arguments (sic throughout):

    “I believe Senator Obama as president of the USA, is the only canidate, who can establish peacefull foreign ploicy with mid east nations, to reduce the raising coast of oil and stop the killing of Americans world wide.”

    “Change, And I Will Give You Money”

    “Please carry this message to other ‘Super Delegayes’ from Washington”

    “King It is important that we all join together to elect the most effective cantidate! Evidence has shown that Washington believes this cantidate to be Obama. Please get behind your state!”

    “This is the only act which is integrious.”

    “Do not put me on any mailing lists!!!”

    “I believe………..”

    “I see in Obama, a person of high inteligence with great wisdom to go with that. He has a vision for all of us which, finally, is a good one.”

    “Take Hillary to lunch, but vote for Obama!

    “It would be wrong of you to go against what are state has mutually decided.”

    “All of my friends support obama, and he rocks!!!!”

    “Obama makes me leak clear liquid!”

    “Obama will heal the US foreign affaris relations”

    “Obama was the clear choice throughout Wasungton State”


    “HEY! Maria and Patty!! Heads out of the ass please.”

    “Obama For REAL Change and Political Draw”


    “pretty much common sense here ladies!”

    “This is rediculous!!”


    “Obama 08; we need fresh, new, wonderful person”

    “You better”

    Books in the Window

    posted by on February 13 at 1:02 PM

    In the window display for Spine and Crown is…
    …a book Hillary Clinton would not like to read.

    Also in the window display for Spine and Crown is…
    -10.jpg…a book John McCain would not like to read.

    In the window display for Titlewave Books is…
    …a book George W. Bush would love to read.

    In the display window for Revolution Books is..
    -7.jpg …a book Obama should read.

    Drawing a Line

    posted by on February 13 at 12:06 PM


    Denmark’s leading newspapers Wednesday reprinted a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad that triggered rioting in Muslim countries two years ago.

    The newspapers said they republished the cartoon to show their firm commitment to freedom of speech after the arrest Tuesday of three people accused of plotting to kill the man who drew the cartoon depicting the prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.

    What Will You Wear?

    posted by on February 13 at 12:01 PM

    Find me for name tags, Stranger T-shirts, and those awful conversation hearts. And I hear Mr. Savage will be in attendance.

    Doors to the Valentine’s Bash open at 8 pm, so if you arrive after that, look for us at Neumo’s next door.

    Re: Sheeps and Goats on the Road

    posted by on February 13 at 11:58 AM

    As Dominic noted below, state Sen. Mike Carrel has proposed legislation that would require convicted DUI offenders to put special fluorescent license plates on their cars for one year after they get their driving privileges restores. “Jeez,” Dominic writes, “haven’t people who paid their debt to society and had their drivers licenses restored already atoned for their sins?”

    But the point of legislation like this—versions of which already exist in Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota and Oregon—isn’t to punish people for their “sins”; it’s to create a disincentive for repeat offenses of a crime whose recidivism rate is astronomically high. Although exact recidivism rates vary from state to state (depending largely on whether DUI offenders go through alternate sentencing programs and whether they’re already repeat offenders), they range from about five percent to 40 percent. Meanwhile, alcohol-related crashes kill more than 17,000 people every year; in 2000, alcohol-related crashes cost the American public an estimated $114.3 billion.

    That’s a good argument for taking some kind of action to keep drunk drivers from driving drunk again. There’s a similar logic behind laws requiring breath alcohol ignition locks, which require DUI offenders (those who have “paid their debt to society” and are once again legal to drive) to blow into a tester to ensure that they aren’t driving drunk. We monitor sex offenders; require criminals to go through parole after they’re released; and don’t allow violent felons to buy guns—even though they’ve all paid their debt to society. I don’t know if brightly colored license plates are the solution, but I don’t think it’s a gross violation of civil liberties to tack a small, one-year penalty onto a DUI sentence—especially if it reduces repeat offenses and saves lives.

    Update: This.

    Decoding the Huckabee Campaign

    posted by on February 13 at 11:57 AM

    John McCain may have managed last night to make his path to the nomination a mathematical lock, but he didn’t do it before Mike Huckabee once more put a vicious scare into the septuagenarian senator: despite being all but broke and trailing by huge margins in delegates, the evangelical bass virtuoso managed to take 41% of the vote in Virginia last night.

    The McCain camp? Not amused.

    “He now needs 950 delegates to secure the required 1,191,” Davis writes of Huckabee in the fit-for-public-consumption document. “But in the remaining contests there are only 774 delegates available. He would need to win 123% of remaining delegates.”…

    “For John McCain to reach the threshold of 1,191 delegates needed to secure the nomination, he needs to win roughly 35% of the 774 remaining delegates,” Davis writes. “For Governor Huckabee to reach the 1,191 delegate threshold, he needs an additional 950 delegates — more than remain available in future contests.”

    “With only 774 delegates left on the table after tonight, Governor Huckabee cannot win the Republican nomination for president.”

    So, assuming Huckabee doesn’t take the required 123% of remaining delegates (the man doesn’t deal in math, people, he deals in miracles), what does Huck hope to achieve by staying in the race?

    It would seem that his path to the Vice Presidency can’t be helped by continuing to remind the country that GOP voters aren’t particularly thrilled with John McCain. However, there’s still a senate race going on in Arkansas this fall, and the filing deadline appears to be over three weeks away. Raising his profile with this late surge probably doesn’t hurt his popularity in Arkansas, and with a big southern evangelical base to draw money and support from, the chances of Senator Huckabee would see more likely.

    I went over to the National Review Online to try to clarify the situation with the GOP. Nothing about Huckabee, but ultra-conservative columnist John Derbyshire’s wife seems to have a thing for Obama.


    “The Post will happily name every adult caught in a dog collar.”

    posted by on February 13 at 11:56 AM

    That’s what a New York Post spokesperson, Howard Rubenstein, told Jeff Bercovici at Bercovici called the Post—and me—after the New York City tabloid ran a story in which they named the 67 year-old that almost choked to death in a bondage-scene-gone-wrong at the famous Nutcracker Suite last week. Not only did the Post name the man, a retired college professor, it also called his wife and told her the news. Says Bercovici:

    Paying for erotic favors is okay, as long as your tastes are generic. That, in a nutshell, is the sexual ethic of the New York Post. How else do you explain a paper where the top editors hang out at strip clubs at night and spend their days shaming fetish-club patrons by name?

    I refer to coverage of the 67-year-old man who had to be hospitalized after an accident at the hands of a dominatrix in a Manhattan establishment called the Nutcracker Suite. Today, the Post crossed into ethically murky territory with a story that named the man (citing “law-enforcement sources”), and described his professional history, hometown and family situation. For good measure, the Post’s reporters also took it upon themselves to phone the man’s wife and fill her in on the details.

    Since the man is not a celebrity, politician or other public figure, it’s hard to understand what kind of news value the Post’s editors saw in printing his name, or what they accomplished beyond embarrassing him in front of his community and ensuring that the episode will forever be his top Google hit.

    I tried to ask metro editor Michelle Gotthelf how she justified the decision, but she referred me to the paper’s spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, who offered this statement: “The Post will happily name every adult caught in a dog collar.”

    Well, today the Post has another piece about this guy—and this time they’ve not only got the man’s picture, but an interview with him. The Post:

    The kinky college professor who was almost strangled during an S&M session at a Midtown club told The Post yesterday he’s deeply ashamed and is finally through with the double life he’s lived since he was kid. “I don’t want this to spoil my marriage,” said Robert Benjamin, 67, still disoriented from the three days he spent in a coma but sitting upright in a chair in his room at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

    “I don’t want my wife to leave me, but I have to tell her the truth,” he said. “I’m going to share everything with her. I think my family will forgive me.”

    Where to begin? How about with the ethics of interviewing a man that’s still disoriented after three days in a coma? Or naming a man that isn’t a public figure, broke no laws, and hasn’t been charged with any crime?

    It seems to me that if the Post is going to declare war on kinksters—they’ll “happily name every adult caught in a dog collar,” they’ll out you as a kinkster to your family, they’ll run triumphant pieces about how you’ve learned your lesson and you’re going to give up your kinks for good (as if it were that simple)—then kinksters ought to declare war on the Post. The Post is a large news operation in one of the most sexually liberated cities on the planet. Not only are there kinky people on the Post’s staff, but I’m thinking odds are good that more than one Post exec has has patronized the Nutcracker Suite. (Wealthy white men make up 99.9% of the Nutcracker Suite’s clientele, after all.) If a happy, healthy, pissed off kinkster out there has evidence that a Post exec or an exec at the News Corporation—Rupert Murdoch? one of his moderately hot sons?—has ever been “caught in a dog collar,” now would be a good time to share it with media.

    Because, hey, if you’re kinky, then you deserve to be outed, shamed, humiliated, and bullied into pledging to give up your “addiction” to whatever your kinks might be—those are the Post’s standards. The people that run and own the Post ought to be held to ‘em.

    Another Reason to Love Her

    posted by on February 13 at 11:51 AM

    This is last week’s news, but it’s still circulating around the tubes, and since it’s a fairly obscure British lit prize, I’m going to repeat it here:

    Zadie Smith refused to award a literary prize because she felt that none of the books were worth celebrating. Here’s the money quote from her statement:

    The little Willesden Herald Prize is only about good writing, and it turns out that a prize faithfully recognizing this imperative must also face the fact that good writing is actually very rare. For let us be honest again: it is sometimes too easy, and too tempting, to blame everything that we hate in contemporary writing on the bookstores, on the corporate publishers, on incompetent editors and corrupt PR departments – and God knows, they all have their part to play. But we also have our part to play. We also have to work out how to write better and read better. We have to really scour this internet to find the writing we love, and then we have to be able to recognize its quality. We cannot love something solely because it has been ignored. It must also be worthy of our attention.

    Another bit, where she refers to the fact that most literary prizes “are are really about brand consolidation for beer companies, phone companies, coffee companies and even frozen food companies,” is pretty genius, too. I’ve always loved her books, but I will love Zadie Smith forever for this.

    Live Blogging the Hideous Public Grooming Going on at Capitol Hill’s Top Pot Doughnuts

    posted by on February 13 at 11:45 AM

    This just in from Hot Tipper Ivan:

    I know how much you love to hate on public grooming, so I am writing to report on the girl sitting at a table across from me at the Cap Hill Top Pot who is BRUSHING HER TEETH. She and a friend are sitting at dueling laptops, and she is carrying on a conversation with her toothbrush in her mouth.

    Thank you, Ivan. Everyone else: If you’re in the neighborhood, pop in Top Pot and say hi to/glare at today’s public-grooming superstar!

    Guilty Verdict In Violent University District Arrest

    posted by on February 13 at 11:36 AM


    After several days of deliberations, a jury has found Mark Hays guilty of obstruction and assaulting an officer during an incident in the University District last November. Hays could face one to three months in jail.

    Court records do not indicate whether Hays’ attorney was allowed to submit video of Hays’ violent arrest—captured by a patrol car’s camera— during trial.

    Six! Six! Six!

    posted by on February 13 at 11:35 AM

    The Seattle Times had a story yesterday summarizing the looming battle over 520.

    The battle, which I Slogged about a couple of weeks ago under the headline “Republican 520 Plan: 6=8”, boils down to this: Seattle wants the rebuild to have six lanes—four general purpose and two HOV that will eventually be converted to rapid transit lanes, either light rail or BRT. The Eastside agrees that six lanes with two for HOV or transit is the way to go … for now.

    But the Eastsiders want the rebuild to be able to accommodate two additional lanes in the future, so when those two lanes are given over to rapid transit, two more lanes can be added to carry more cars. 6=8. Environmentalists and Seattle neighbors want the rebuild to be locked in at 6.

    Actually, there used to be no debate about this. The original bill reflected the mass transit agenda of Seattle. Then the progressives caved.

    Indeed, what the Seattle Times story misses is this: the liberal wing (the enviros, Gregoire, Sen. Ed Murray) backed off earlier in the session by making a major, but quiet amendment to the bill. The bill used to define the project as: “six total lanes … four general purpose lanes and two lanes that are that are for high-occupancy vehicle travel and can accommodate high capacity transportation … the bridge shall be designed to accommodate light rail in the future.”

    However, they amended the bill to remove that defining language. Liberals I talked to actually saw that amendment as a victory. They (wimps) wanted to kick the debate to the future instead of having that six-lane language sink the bill this session. (Now, the bill is just a funding bill for a 520 redesign.)

    I’m not so scared that the Eastside will get its eight lanes in the future (I can’t imagine that will be a popular position ten years from now), but by removing the specific six-lane language that was in the bill, the negotiations are now wide open, and road interests are in a position to reframe the whole debate. Progressives had them locked in and they backed off.

    I see this as a real failure of the progressive leadership in Olympia: That’s Gov. Gregoire and Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford) and Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane).

    It’s 2008 now—arguably year 2 when you measure the world in “An Inconvenient Truth” years. Accommodating suburban demand for maximum car capacity is cowardly, and it’s bad policy.

    If liberal leaders like the governor, the speaker, and the senate majority leader don’t have the moxie to direct the Democratic majorities to get smart about climate change and commit to a rapid transit solution between our state’s biggest city and our state’s premier employer, I’m not sure what they’re good for.

    I’m particularly frustrated with Gregoire—who just last week impressed Seattle voters with her timely, savvy, and convincing endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama over her kindred spirit Sen. Hillary Clinton. By failing Seattle with her 520 cave-in, her Obama endorsement is looking more and more like pandering—rather than a commitment—to a voting bloc (Seattle liberals) she desperately needs in November.

    Final Washington Caucus Count

    posted by on February 13 at 11:31 AM

    Unlike the Republicans, the Washington State Democrats have long since finished counting caucus votes and are now out with the final numbers for turnout and projected delegates:

    More than 250,000 Washington Democrats attended Saturday’s presidential caucuses, shattering the 2004 turnout record of 100,000. Senator Barack Obama won the equivalent of 52 of the 78 pledged delegates available in Washington State, while Senator Hillary Clinton received the remaining 26.

    Washington state will send a total of 97 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver this summer. 19 of those delegates are unpledged, and 78 are pledged. Of the 78 pledged delegates, 51 are allocated by the Congressional District Results, and the remaining are allocated based on the statewide results.

    What Long Eyebrows You Have

    posted by on February 13 at 11:30 AM

    I was reading a magazine article the other day about eyebrow transplants. If you feel like your eyebrows are too skimpy, doctors can transplant hair from your scalp to your eyebrow area and your eyebrows will be fuller. The weird part: The new eyebrow hair will act just like it would have at its old location. Meaning the hair will grow as long as you let it, just like on the rest of your head.
    You could let your eyebrows grow really long and then braid them or tuck them behind your ears…
    The only before-and-after picture was of an Asian woman, whose eyebrows were trimmed (but definitely fuller). Imagine the possibilities for all the different kinds of hair people have!


    So Easy You Could Do It Yourself

    posted by on February 13 at 11:25 AM

    A Slog tipper writes:

    So I was wondering since The Stranger has been the Caucus paper the past couple weeks, I was wondering if you could post on slog the contact info for the offices of the representatives who are the super delagates?

    Since their vote counts so much, and they are now apparently not backing the popular vote of Washington, I thought a friendly phone call to these representatives reminding them that their constituents back someone else, if they would re-consider changing their vote to match. Also, I think reminding them that the people who put them in office, could also very well not back them in THEIR election coming up. The democratic process is a circular one, and I wouldn’t mind getting a hold of them to urge them to back the people they represent.


    Homo Will

    Here’s a complete list of the Washington superdelegates and which way they’ve pledged themselves. And here’s a link to Google. Type in their names, up comes their contact info.

    The undecided electeds you’re talking about are Congressmen Brian Baird, Rick Larsen, and Jim McDermott. Here, I’ll do the last one for you: Jim McDermott contact info.

    Gay Student Shot in California

    posted by on February 13 at 11:24 AM

    An openly gay 15 year-old student was shot yesterday by another student. From the LA Times:

    Some students said the victim, whose name was not disclosed, sometimes wore makeup and feminine jewelry and had declared himself gay. They said he was frequently taunted by other boys and had been involved in an argument with the alleged shooter, an eighth-grader who also was not named…. During the lunchtime argument, one of the boys shouted at Tuesday’s victim, “You better watch your back,” said one student who witnessed the encounter….

    Six hours after the shooting, 13-year-old Mariah Thompson emerged with her mother from the locked-down school. Mariah had been interviewed by detectives, along with the two dozen other students in the school’s computer lab, where the English class was meeting at the time of the attack.

    “He didn’t deserve it,” she said, crying. She said she was one of the wounded boy’s few friends, a confidant he trusted with stories about others making life at school miserable for him. “I would always tell him, ‘Don’t let them get to you,’ ” she said.

    Your Daily Lawrence Welk

    posted by on February 13 at 11:21 AM

    “A modern spiritual by Gail and Dale.”

    Thanks to tipper Nancy.

    Seen in the Stranger Offices

    posted by on February 13 at 11:11 AM

    Part four.

    Midweek Movie Update

    posted by on February 13 at 11:09 AM

    Alex Gibney’s Taxi to the Dark Side is ending tomorrow. Remember the banned poster?


    The doc almost tips into McCain hagiography near the end, but on this issue, he almost deserves it. (Barring any bad behavior today.) Here’s my short review:

    From the director of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room comes this excellent overview of the uses and justifications of torture in American detention centers from Bagram to Guantánamo Bay. The film opens with the story of Dilawar, an Afghan taxi driver who was picked up in 2002 on flimsy charges, tortured for days, and ultimately murdered (the military autopsy ruled his death a homicide) by his captors. Taxi to the Dark Side makes a compelling case that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Justice Department bigshot John Yoo together crafted a policy that prizes confessions at the expense of both useful intelligence and morality. I’d previously read about most of the incidents and memos documented in the film, but the photographs (of Dilawar’s “pulverized” legs) and videos (several shot at Abu Ghraib) still have the power to enrage. (ANNIE WAGNER)

    SIFF Cinema’s The Rape of Europa is holding over, sort of: It’s jumping to Landmark’s Crest, a discount theater, on Friday.


    Jen Graves’s full review can be found here.

    “The Best Sandwiches in America”

    posted by on February 13 at 11:08 AM


    Esquire has listed the 39 best sandwiches to be found in the United States—and 5.13 percent of them hail from Seattle.

    Best Porcetta: Salumi

    The daily fresh-pulled mozzarella runs out before the line of customers at Salumi, started by Armandino Batali (Mario’s dad). Don’t let the curing bats of fennel-studded finocchiona dangling from meat hooks distract: You want the porchetta — braised-until-melting pork shoulder with peppers, carrots, and onions on a stout roll to soak up the profligate juices.

    Best Cuban Meat Sandwich: Paseo

    No place in Seattle could care less whether you come in than Paseo. The shoe-box shack has no sign, takes no credit. Has so few seats that devotees eat outside on the trunks of their cars. What keeps them returning? The milagro that is the Cuban meat sandwich: marinated, slow-cooked pork ganged into a baguette slathered with garlicky mayonnaise, then mounded again with cilantro, jalapeños, and fat O’s of caramelized onions. Seattle’s a long way from Cuba, but this sandwich erases every mile.

    Congrats Seattle sandwich makers and sandwich eaters! Read the full Esquire list here.

    Finally, please enjoy this well-travelled pic of a kitten eating an invisible sandwich.

    My First Day on the Job

    posted by on February 13 at 11:07 AM

    Aw, thanks, guys. I’m now The Stranger’s Books Editor, which is, frankly, kind of a weird place to be. There were a whole bunch of layoffs in the newspaper book review business last year, this one especially, and it’s conceivable that I may be the only books editor hired by an alternative weekly in all of 2008.

    In many ways, becoming books editor in 2008 is the equivalent of opening a typewriter repair shop, or getting into the high-stakes world of cutting-edge cathode ray tube development. Does the Seattle Weekly even have a books section, anymore? Does anyone care that it’s gone?

    I come from twelve years of bookselling experience, eight of those years spent in a Seattle-based independent bookstore that’s flourished in the face of Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Borders. Seattle is a book town, maybe the biggest book town on the west coast, with readings every night in multiple locations. If Seattle papers can’t sustain a books section, nobody can.

    So: I’ve just set up my desk. There’s a phone whose many blinking lights mystify me, there’s a computer (a Commodore 64 hooked up to a small, fizzling black and white television), there’s a drawer full of four boxes of tea, and there’s a stack of nine books that I can’t wait to start writing about. I’m excited.

    McCain’s Line of Attack

    posted by on February 13 at 11:07 AM

    Very similar to Clinton’s:

    Sen. John McCain accused White House rival Sen. Barack Obama, on Wednesday of offering sweeping rhetoric and broad generalities in his run for president on.

    “There’s going to come a time when we’re going to have to get into specifics,” McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, told reporters in Washington.

    “I have not observed every speech he has given obviously, but they are singularly lacking in specifics.”

    This Is Our Youth

    posted by on February 13 at 11:04 AM


    I spoke last night at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. Here’s a few of the questions submitted to me by UI students—seen above—before the talk:

    Are there any consequences in coming a girl’s mouth?
    I’ve had three periods in one month. What’s my problem?
    If I’m in a relationship, is it okay for me to still want to look at porn? Is it normal for my girlfriend to get so upset about it?
    Is it okay to be into M and S?
    How do you find out if your roommate is gay?
    If I’m “barebacking” a girl and I feel myself start to come but then I pull out without semen, is there still a chance of pregnancy from my pre-jac?
    Two Girls, One Cup shocked the nation. Does this type of sex act occur often?

    The answers, respectively, are: Yes; Dunno; Yes and yes; Yes; Ask, Yes; and Hope Not.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on February 13 at 11:00 AM


    ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks, and
    2 Days’

    Gabita and Otilia are college roommates at the tail end of the repressive Ceausescu regime in Communist Romania. Shy Gabita gets pregnant; no-nonsense Otilia sets about procuring an abortion from the black market, pretty much the same way she rustles up Kent cigarettes and orange Tic Tacs. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, which was unjustly denied an Academy Award nomination for best foreign-language film, is grueling and unsentimental. The excellent acting is what keeps it humane. (See Movie Times for details.)


    Currently Hanging

    posted by on February 13 at 10:30 AM


    Jen Stark’s Flash Spectrum (2008), 12 x 12 inches, card stock

    At OKOK Gallery.

    Today in Unwanted Marketing Breakthroughs

    posted by on February 13 at 9:56 AM

    This should make flipping through People in the checkout line an adventure:

    Madison Avenue thinks a tasty approach will give new life to Welch’s grape juice.

    Welch’s is taking out full-page print ads in People magazine this month that give readers a chance to sample its grape juice by licking the ad. The front of the advertisement shows a huge bottle of the juice, while the back has a strip that peels up and off, with text that reads: “For a TASTY fact, remove & LICK.”

    Voting. Spying. And Torture.

    posted by on February 13 at 9:23 AM

    If you’re a little unclear on what FISA is or what happened in the U.S. Senate yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation—the group that’s actually suing AT&T over their complicity in working with the government to circumvent the 4th Amendment—has a comprehensive roundup.

    Yesterday, I noted that Sens. Cantwell and Murray voted against cloture on the bill (meaning they attempted to filibuster the spying bill).

    They also deserve credit for—earlier in the day—voting for Sen. Dodd’s amendment to strip the AT&T immunity provision out of the bill. And what’s more, at the end of the day, sticking by their principles and voting against the final bill.

    Sen. McCain voted against Dodd’s amendment, for cloture, and for the bill.

    Obama voted for Dodd’s amendment, against cloture, and he didn’t vote on the final bill.

    Clinton didn’t vote on any of it.

    I’m glad Obama made his position clear by voting for Dodd’s amendment and against cloture. Sometimes in our endorsements, we shy away from the wonky stuff. But in last week’s Obama endorsement for the caucus we highlighted some issues that were important to the SECB, and we wrote:

    “… 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.”

    Another referendum on the Bush era is hitting the Senate today—a Sen. Diane Feinstein bill to outlaw waterboarding. It will be interesting to see how Sen. McCain votes.

    Additionally, I’m curious to see how Rep. Reichert goes on FISA as the battle goes to the House.

    Solar Capitalism

    posted by on February 13 at 8:59 AM

    Let the alternative energy bubble begin!

    Phoenix-based thin film solar-module maker said fourth-quarter earnings brightened to $62.9 million, or 77 cents a share, from $8 million or 11 cents a share in the year-ago period. Profit rose about 50% from the third quarter.
    First Solar said revenue climbed to $201 million from $52.7 million in the year-ago period.

    Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast earnings of 53 cents a share and revenue of $180 million, on average.

    During the fourth quarter, First Solar said it benefited from the full capacity of its new Frankfurt/Oder plant.

    Shares of First Solar rallied 18% to $207.91 on Wednesday.
    The stock traded above $270 a share in late December, but fell to the $150 level amid rocky market conditions in recent weeks.

    Paul Constant Joins the Staff of The Stranger

    posted by on February 13 at 8:38 AM

    Ladies and gentlemen, exciting news: Paul Constant is now on staff at The Stranger. Starting today. Yes, Constant has written for every section of the paper and, yes, his writing has largely come to define The Stranger’s tone and, yes, Paul Constant sounds like a made-up name, but the truth is he is an actual human being, and a great writer. Expect to hear a lot more from him now, in the print edition, on Line Out, and here on Slog.

    For now, let’s revisit five great pieces of writing by Paul Constant from The Stranger’s archives, listed here in no particular order:

    On the Oprah-Endorsed Best-Seller The Secret
    “When I worked at Borders, I came to hate Oprah Winfrey and NPR. The reason for this was simple: Both suggested books all the time—and every time a title tumbled from the lips of Oprah or Ira Glass, our phones would start ringing like a celebrity disaster telethon.”

    On Oprah Choosing The Road for Her Book Club a Month After The Secret
    “One has to wonder how Oprah’s book club will take this selection—will soccer moms across the country slit their wrists after being exposed to McCarthy’s Mad Max–meets–The Sorrows of Young Werther magnum opus?”

    On the 9/11 Truth Movement
    “There is no end to the variety of what Truthers believe, but almost all of them believe that the United States government perpetrated 9/11 in an elaborate conspiracy to bring about the decomposition of civil liberties and the fortifying of the American empire in the Middle East. The reason that they think this is because, since 9/11, we’ve witnessed the decomposition of civil liberties and the fortifying of the American empire in the Middle East.”

    On the Weird Loneliness of Publishing Industry Conventions
    “So here I am, at the Cosmos Club, one of the oldest old-boy clubs in D.C., one which just started allowing women in three or four years ago. I’m at a party celebrating the upcoming titles from Thomas Dunne Books. I have already gone to the bathroom and stolen an engraved Cosmos Club comb, and I have just eaten pâté, which I put in my mouth thinking it was hummus, when who walks in? G. Gordon Liddy, followed by a C-SPAN crew.”

    On Gerald Goddamned Ford
    “Not long after he became president, Gerald Goddamned Ford took a vacation to Vail, Colorado, for some skiing. According to the book Presidential Anecdotes, while the Ford family ate dinner, one of their dogs took a shit in the lodge…”

    (About that Gerald Ford piece: remember this?)

    The Morning News

    posted by on February 13 at 8:00 AM

    On Trial: Former Evergreen student accused of helping torch UW horticultural center.

    On Track?: Japan says it will be able to meet its Kyoto goals.

    Winning Big: Obama and McCain in the “Potomac primaries.”

    Passed: Surveillance bill makes it through Senate.

    Still Included: Retroactive immunity for telecoms that spied for Bush.

    Um, Really?: FEMA to stick tornado victims in formaldehyde-contaminated Katrina trailers.

    In Guantanamo: US may carry out executions there over international protests.

    McCain: “Insulting” to ask how long we ought to stay in Iraq.

    “Culture of Life”: Women fight contraception ban in the Phillipines.

    Incidentally: Thirty-nine percent of men in the Phillipines admit beating their wives. Does it surprise you that divorce is also illegal?

    Eating Insects: The latest eco-trend.

    Recipe of the Day: Buttery Salsify Puree with Horseradish (Recipe and photo via Apartment Therapy)


    Continue reading "The Morning News" »

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008


    posted by on February 12 at 10:43 PM

    We need warrantless wiretapping to be safe? Bullshit.

    The Cole bombing? The attacks on 9/11? The invasion and occupation of Iraq? Yes. All were failures of intelligence—failures of properly interpreting, of presenting and of acting upon information already available through constitutional and legal means. “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” tells you that.

    Adding more raw data, crappy massive aggregate data like that gathered by the NSA’s program, won’t help. It’s a distraction, a waste, a horrifying compromise of the basic premise of our society for a dubious gain.

    Smart people, clever human minds sifting through a high quality trickle of data are far, far, far more likely to succeed. Who do we need working at the CIA and the NSA? A person who finds the notion of spying a little uncomfortable, who feels a bit of the moral compromise behind covert work. The exact sort of Liberal, well-educated, and principled individual who would find a warrantless wiretapping program to be abhorrent. The sort of person who wouldn’t want to work for a president supporting such a program.

    I think about all the talented cryptographers, computer engineers, linguistic experts, political scientist, historians—all the sharp minds I’ve encountered in my long education—who have no place in, who would feel no welcome within an unconstrained intelligence agency. We’re less safe without their service.

    This argument was never about collecting information or defending our country and interests. This is about checks upon the executive branch, of acknowledging the vital role of the Judiciary branch of government, of legal oversight. This is the very core belief of a big-L Liberal nation—the rule of law over all. It’s imperative for the next president to recognize this ugly error, imperative for him or her to constrain the overgrown power of the present presidency.

    So, shame on the 17 Democratic and 49 Republican Senators who voted to excuse this behavior, to protect the complicit telecom companies. (Qwest, our RBOC, refused to go along. Good for them.) Obama and Washington’s senators—even if resistance was symbolic—voted against this dangerous forgiveness. Senator Clinton didn’t vote at all—but at least opposed immunity in the past. McCain voted for the spying.

    Great Diane Keaton Performance

    posted by on February 12 at 10:40 PM

    I just watched Diane Keaton in a commercial for some kind of Loreal skin product. It was excellent. It was much better than Mad Money.

    Wonder What the Republicans are Thinking About November?

    posted by on February 12 at 8:54 PM


    Here’s a stilted editorial that will appear in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal.

    They don’t sound psyched or even confident, but, with a little luck (please no recession, they pray), they think they can retain the White House.

    They argue that the success of the surge will woo Independents back into their camp (who, they acknowledge, abandoned them in droves in ‘06). And ultimately, on Iraq, they argue that it may be “a wash” … which takes away an issue from the Democrats.

    Really, they don’t have much innovative advice: McCain should pick a VP who’s credible, since McCain is old, and a VP who appeals to social conservatives. Unpopular Bush should stump for McCain, but infrequently and wisely. And, um, Clinton better get the Democratic nomination.

    They also zero in on McCain’s bind: His strength is his weakness. The reasons he appeals to Independents are the same reasons he turns off social conservatives.

    Just for unPC

    posted by on February 12 at 8:52 PM

    In the comments, unPC referred to, but didn’t link, this NYT story about the Catholic vote going to Clinton by impressive margins. It’s an interesting piece, especially from my perspective—I went to an all-girls Catholic high school headed by a woman principal (who was also my AP calculus and physics teacher), and I concur that, at least in my limited experience, there’s a simpatico for female leadership among the Catholic laity, despite that whole no-women-priests thing. (And the fact that my Catholic mom is a precinct delegate for Obama.) But it seems equally likely that a larger share of Hispanic and low-income voters would identify as Catholic.

    But given that HRC has been winning the Catholic vote, how did things turn out today?


    Catholic (weekly church attendance) 7%: Clinton 41%, Obama 55%
    Catholic (< weekly attendance) 10%: Clinton 49%, Obama 50%


    Catholic (weekly church attendance) 9%: Clinton 49%, Obama 38%
    Catholic (< weekly attendance) 12%: Clinton 47%, Obama 50%

    Looks like Catholic voters are still an Obama weakness, but there’s some movement in his direction. Seems to me like he could pick up a few more—especially among voters who care about just war theory, the death penalty, and asking for forgiveness when you’ve made a terrible mistake. But I was raised by hippie Catholics, so what do I know.

    (If you’re curious: Obama won the small Latino vote in Virginia but lost the smaller Latino vote in Maryland.)

    Obama Wins Virginia, D.C., and Maryland

    posted by on February 12 at 6:01 PM

    Now waiting for D.C. and Maryland.

    UPDATE: While we wait, check out the exit polls from Virginia, as dissected here:

    Hillary wins 56 percent to 44 percent in Western Virginia — which accounted for just 13 percent of the vote, according to the exits.

    Obama won everywhere else, and the story for the night is how strong he is among a range of groups…

    UPDATE: NBC calls D.C. for Obama.

    UPDATE: Clinton’s deputy campaign manager has resigned.

    UPDATE: McCain wins Virginia and D.C.

    UPDATE: Obama and McCain win in Maryland. It’s a sweep of all three primaries for both of them.

    McCain, in his victory speech, says he’s “fired up and ready to go.”

    Obama, in his victory speech, says McCain = “the failed policies of the past.”


    posted by on February 12 at 5:20 PM

    So this actual ad for Axe’s stinky cologne spray is circulating around the blogs today (I first saw it here)…


    The “Axe Effect” usually refers to the cologne’s ability to magically compel all nearby women to immediately fall down and fuck any man who wears it (see, for example, here, here, and here), so I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean in this context. Axe makes women swoon for stinky man-scent? Old married chicks dig Axe-wearers too? Axe makes the ladies abandon their silly ambitions?

    Whatever: Um, vote Axe!

    About Time!

    posted by on February 12 at 4:16 PM

    All apologies:

    Australia apologized on Wednesday for the historic mistreatment of Aborigines in a move indigenous leaders said would help end generations of pain.

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told parliament that past policies of assimilation, under which aboriginal children were taken from their families to be brought up in white households, were a stain on the nation’s soul.

    “Today, the parliament has come together to right a great wrong,” Rudd said.

    “We apologize for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.”

    Indeed, white man come and took everything!

    Jen Graves, Art Dealer

    posted by on February 12 at 3:38 PM

    A week ago today, Jen Graves posted this oil-on-linen painting by Linda Davidson, Genie, and the post got a ton of comments, including: “Oooooh I like that!” and “That’s stunning” and “Papa like” and “Bad ass!” Jubilation T. Cornball weighed in: “Wow. I could see this being done by a 19th Century English landscape artist. It’s got Industrial Revolution vibes all over it. And it’s gorgeous.

    You remember the one, right?


    The day after it was posted, Jubilation T. Cornball posted another comment to the thread: “At lunch today, this I went to the gallery and, I am pleased to report, this painting became the newest addition to the Jubilation T. Cornball Collection of Modern Art. Thanks, Jen, for alerting me to this beautiful painting.”

    It’s true. I just got off the phone with Catherine Person at Catherine Person Gallery and she told me how it went down last week: “My assistant got a call from a Stranger reader asking me if the painting was still available. And we said: ‘Yeah.’” They hadn’t noticed that the painting had just been one of Jen Graves’s daily Currently Hanging posts. Catherine Person Gallery gives images to the media all the time.

    I didn’t know it was even online and then this guy came in and said: ‘I saw it online and this is so what I’m into.’ I hadn’t met him before. I was so happy. I’ve had a lot of coverage before but nothing has resulted in a sale from print media. Not directly, like, ‘I saw it here and I’m buying it now.’ Not like that. It was great. And the guy’s great. I’m actually going to deliver the piece on Saturday to his house, because it was too big for his vehicle.

    The painting went for $1,900, plus tax. Linda Davidson has a solo show at Catherine Person Gallery in November.

    McCain V. Choice

    posted by on February 12 at 3:22 PM

    Two rundowns, one targeted, one more detailed, about John McCain’s atrocious record on choice. The first comes from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which released this video yesterday highlighting some of McCain’s statements opposing Roe v. Wade:

    The second is more comprehensive (and damning). A few highlights:

    He scores a zero from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood, thanks to votes against comprehensive sex education, against over-the-counter access to Plan B, against abortion access for women in the military, and against freeing up money for international family planning efforts… among many other anti-choice statements and votes.

    He vocally supported the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding a ban on so-called “partial-birth” abortions, calling it “a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary.”

    He opposed legislation making it a crime to forcibly prevent someone from entering a clinic that provides reproductive health care services.

    He voted to uphold the “global gag rule,” which bars federal assistance to NGOs that so much as provide abortion counseling or lobby to make abortion safer, even when they use completely separate money to do so. The gag rule has drastically increased the number of maternal deaths, deaths from botched abortions, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, worldwide.

    Read the whole litany here.

    Sheep and Goats on the Road

    posted by on February 12 at 3:21 PM

    You gotta love it when politicians use biblical metaphors to justify draconian laws. Here’s state Sen. Mike Carrel on DUIs.

    He’s sponsoring a bill that would require people convicted of drunken driving to put fluorescent-yellow license plates on their cars for one year — once their driving privileges have been restored.

    “I’ve talked to the law-enforcement agencies and they think it would be an awfully good idea to have a way of visibly telling sheep from goats out on the road,” said Carrell, R-Lakewood.

    Drunk driving is wrong and deserves punishment, no question. But, under Carrel’s pious proposal, it would be the poor and racial minorities disproportionately branded with the penalty plate—those are the folks who are profiled for vehicle stops or can’t afford top-notch lawyers to beat the DUI rap. To Carrel, however, those who get caught are the sinning goats mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew that must “…depart from me into the eternal fire…” Jeez, Mike, haven’t people who paid their debt to society and had their drivers licenses restored already atoned for their sins?

    In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

    posted by on February 12 at 3:20 PM

    Feist: Classy, unlike those Grammy-winning crack addicts.

    British Sea Power: Get a U.2 from Pitchfork. Ha!

    Idiot Pilot: Their new album, Wolves, gets two stars from me.

    Billy Ray Cyrus: He crashes Sam Machkovech’s morning, makes music that’s real.


    NOFX: They’re comin’ to Seattle and people still care (myself included).

    Phil Collins: Trent Moorman says he’s an asshat.

    Holy Fuck, Super Furry Animals, Wyclef Jean: They’re all playing in Seattle tonight.

    The Horrorpops & Pink Spiders: They played in Seattle last night. Unfortunately. They also sold underpants and condoms. Also unfortunately.

    Mountain Goats: Just one of the many good bands our readers have been listening to lately.

    Baby Dee: She was selling bird calls at her show last night. Neat!

    Helms Alee: A new local band that’s really fucking good.

    Kanye West: Announces a Seattle date with Rhianna, Lupe Fiasco, N*E*R*D.

    Every Musician in Seattle: Should be a part of our upcoming Musician’s Directory.

    More Idiot Pilot and Phil Collins: Jeff Kirby bravely attempts to defend them both.

    The Pretty Things: Just because.

    Alpha: Charles Mudede tells you the what and the how of the most undervalued Bristol band.

    Atom & His Package: A band I wish I had listened to sooner.

    Lenny Kravitz: He’s in the hospital. Also, Stone Temple Pilots are on tour with… Kid Rock?

    Governance Reform (AKA Turn Sound Transit into a Transit and Roads Agency) Dead for Now

    posted by on February 12 at 3:10 PM

    The state senate bill to morph Sound Transit into a roads and transit agency wiped out in the transportation committee after a contentious meeting this afternoon—the final day to move bills out of committee.

    Indeed, the meeting was so contentious, the bill’s sponsor (and the chair of the committee, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-10, Camano Island) didn’t even call for a vote. Sen. Haugen tried to move it out of committee yesterday as well.

    Causa Y Efecto

    posted by on February 12 at 3:04 PM

    The signs of flight among Latino immigrants here are multiple: Families moving out of apartment complexes, schools reporting enrollment drops, business owners complaining about fewer clients.

    While it is too early to know for certain, a consensus is developing among economists, business people and immigration groups that the weakening economy coupled with recent curbs on illegal immigration are steering Hispanic immigrants out of the state.

    A persistent decline in the immigrant population could damage the overall Arizona economy, Ms. McLaren said. A study by the Pew Hispanic Center released in January said illegal workers made up close to 11 percent of the state’s work force of 2.9 million people in 2006, double the national estimate.

    Another possibility remains, a reversal of the causality. The horrific scapegoating of immigrants by the political party in power causes the immigrants to (rationally) leave—collapsing an underground economy, leading to broader economic distress.

    In other words, the simple-minded bigotry of the Republican party might be contributing to the economic downturn.

    Which way is it? How can we tell?

    … a drop in Border Patrol arrests — they have been steadily declining the last couple of years — typically preceded an economic downturn or slowing.

    Causes, generally, precede effects.

    For Charles

    posted by on February 12 at 2:56 PM


    Breaking News! Gary Coleman is Secretly Married!

    posted by on February 12 at 2:03 PM

    Ok, maybe it’s not news, but it is hitting the tabloids today.


    Of marriage, he says, “It’s not a picnic, dude.”

    She says, “He lets his anger conquer him sometimes. He throws things around, and sometimes he throws it in my direction… I don’t like the violence.”

    Ah, romance!


    posted by on February 12 at 1:59 PM

    This just arrived at, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t meant for me or Frizzelle. Ksyusha is looking for the person, and I don’t think I’m the person, nor is Christopher. But maybe you are the person? If so, feel to exchange with Ksyusha letters.



    My name is Ksyusha. I saw that you are lonely and consequently I have decided to write to you. As you very much interested me. I as am lonely to me of 29 years I live Russia. My country very much greater, but I to you about shall not tell as you about it and heard. I shall a little tell to you about myself very interesting and and the sociable girl. At me is many friends and girlfriends, but unfortunately I cannot find to myself the person. And consequently I have decided to write to you. If I you than that have interested that I shall be very glad to exchange with you letters. Certainly if you write to me that I shall send you many my pictures as I shall be glad to see set of your pictures.

    Here my e-mail address: KSYUSHAVERSHININA@GMAIL.COM

    It’s Cutoff Day

    posted by on February 12 at 1:55 PM

    Today’s the day in the state legislature that bills need to make it out of committee and into the important Rules Commitee or else they’re yenemsvelte.

    Rep. Sharon Nelson (D-34, Vashon Island) had two bills aimed at halting Glacier Northwest’s strip mining on Maury Island. One bill that dealt generally with licenses and would have specifically called Glacier Northwest’s practices into question on the grounds that they were harming fish habitat—passed into the Rules Committe earlier this week. However, the Glacier Northwest language got stripped out of the bill.

    Her second bill—which could have halted Glacier Northwest’s strip mining by reassessing whether the state actually owned the gravel on Maury Island—got killed in the House Appropriations Committee last night.

    Seen in the Stranger Offices

    posted by on February 12 at 1:37 PM

    Part three in an ongoing series.


    O They Will Know We Are Christians By…

    posted by on February 12 at 1:30 PM

    hidden cameras.

    An Edmond man accused of using a hidden video camera to tape teenage girls as they changed clothes at his house has left his fate in the hands of an Oklahoma County judge. Jason Adam Fly pleaded guilty Friday to seven felony counts, including three counts of manufacturing child pornography….

    The 47-year-old Fly pleaded guilty to three counts of manufacturing child pornography, two counts of possessing child pornography and two counts of using electronic equipment in a clandestine manner.

    The charges were filed in August 2006 after Edmond police investigated allegations Fly had used a hidden camera to record his daughter’s friends as they undressed…. Fly’s daughter and two of her friends were getting something out of her parents’ room on Dec. 21, 2005, when they noticed an image of another friend—who had just gotten out of the shower—on the computer, Detective Chris Cook wrote.

    Fly tried to cover the screen and quickly closed the program he had been using, the affidavit states. The girls found a camera hidden under a hat on a shelf in his daughter’s bedroom, according to the affidavit.

    Fly told police he had hidden three cameras—one in his daughter’s room, one in his son’s room and one near the front door—because he was worried his son had been sneaking out, the affidavit states. He said he was the only person who knew about them…. Police found more than 400 pictures of partially clothed teenage girls on an electronic organizer, the affidavit states. Most of the pictures on the organizer were taken in his daughter’s room or the adjacent bathroom.

    There were 24 pictures of one 13-year-old girl’s breasts and pubic area, according to the affidavit. Fly, a former deacon at Edmond Church of Christ, remains free on $40,000 bail.

    Thanks to Slog tipper Michael.

    The Million Fag March

    posted by on February 12 at 1:24 PM


    Sick of the stomach-churning antics of Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church, a pair of Kansas City residents are organizing the Million Fag March to challenge the church’s violent homophobia. From the website:

    The Westboro Baptist Church, of Topeka, Kansas, is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church.

    Led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, the misguided members of this church target homosexuals and a range of others with messages of hate. The church’s outrageous protest actions - the group prefers to picket funerals - have earned Phelps and his ilk much media coverage.

    To date, the WBC’s protests have taken place in at least 22 states, and have inspired a wave of grassroots anger. As a result, 38 states have introduced bills to limit protests near funerals, and at least 29 of those states have passed such measures. Phelps has vowed to challenge the legislation, alleging that these new restrictions unconstitutionally restrict freedom of speech.

    The time has come to turn the tables. Let us all gather in one place, at one time to (peacefully) show Phelps and his church that freedom of speech works both ways.

    Towleroad has a short interview with the march’s organizers here.

    Bubble Economics

    posted by on February 12 at 1:24 PM

    After housing, the alternative energy bubble:

    ‘Alternative energy’ bubble or PR gimmick? We’re told the “next bubble” is already here: “Alternative energy,” says Janszen. In his new “perpetual bubble-blowing machine” theory this means that biofuels, solar, wind, nuclear, hydroelectric and geothermal energies are the new bubble, until it peaks and “creatively destructs” around 2013. 2013? Yes, then Wall Street will replace it with a new bubble. Bubble after bubble, accelerating, increasing in size and frequency ad infinitum. And each time, “we will be left to mop up after yet another devastated industry,” while Wall Street “will already be engineering its next opportunity.”

    The Market Watch column from which the above quote is taken concerns Eric Janszen’s essay, “The Next Bubble,” in the present issue of Harpers Magazine.

    But bubble-burst (boom-bust) cycles engine the core of capitalism itself. Capitalism is dialectical in exactly this way. The dialectic of bubble-burst is the motor by which it moves through history, by which it builds here and destroys there. Bubble-burst is not the invisible hand but the cunning of history. This is why Macherey describes Spinoza’s philosophy (and ultimately the philosophy of liberation) as “post-dialectic.” It’s liberated from the negative power of the crisis: the crisis of overproduction, the housing crisis, the tech crisis, the oil crisis. The disaster is not new to capital; it is capital. What might be new is not the disaster (or even its size) but the frequency of disasters.

    “There will and must be many more such booms, for without them the United States can no longer function. The bubble cycle has replaced the business cycle.”

    U.S. Senate Green Lights Immunity for Telecoms

    posted by on February 12 at 12:44 PM

    The FISA bill that would grant retroactive immunity for telecoms like AT&T who spied for the White House just overcame a filibuster and is assured to pass.

    Sen. Obama joined our Sens. Cantwell and Murray voting against cloture (meaning they supported the filibuster). Clinton didn’t vote.

    Happy Birthday, Abe!

    posted by on February 12 at 12:34 PM


    Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. From his myspace page:

    About me: Im turning 199 years old this year! Holy shit! I freed the slaves, I was Americas tallest president and was born on the same day as Chuck Darwin! (Never met him) They used to call me The Railspliter, Uncle Abe, Honest Abe, The Illinois Baboon, The Sage of Springfield and some other shit. My Wifes name is Mary Todd and she cooks a mean potato pancake! I had a son Willie who died in 1862. The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. Im on a mountain, a penny, the five spot and theres a nice statue of me in the nations capitol. Whatever you are, be a good one. It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues…

    [I am resisting with all my might the desire to correct the presidential punctuation, spelling, “and some other shit.” He apparently should have worked a bit harder on those lessons he learnt on the back of a coal shovel. Also notably absent from his myspace page is his hobby of gaying around, though he does say he’s a “Swinger.” His interests: “Bible Study, Hats, Dentistry, Drinking.”]


    In honor of his special day, a score or so of local men have been growing Lincolnesque beards; they will celebrate tonight by dressing as their hero and getting extremely intoxicated. It all begins at the Hideout at 8 p.m. (marauding onward to the War Room, Linda’s, the Cha Cha, King Cobra, the Comet, Moe Bar, Havana, and [alarmingly enough] “possibly some others around there”).

    Also note: Next year the Abrahams aspire to be 10 score in number in honor of his 200th. They will need you! (Those physiologically incapable of growing a beard may resort to spirit gum or Sharpie.) Photos here are from February 12, 2007. During those festivities, it is said that the Abes visited a certain downtown house of erotic repute. Upon making the acquaintance of one of the entertaineresses, one of the Abes declared, “It’s my birthday!” upon which the dancer-lady in question laughed, said, “I’m an Aquarius, too!” and displayed a tattoo of their shared astrological sign.


    Council Asks Nickels To Release $50,000 of Frozen Tenant Fund

    posted by on February 12 at 12:21 PM

    This morning, Councilmember Tim Burgess—Chair of the Council’s Human Services Committee—asked the Mayor’s office to release $50,000 from the Council’s tenant relocation fund, which is in limbo at the City’s Human Services Department (HSD). The $50,000 would be used to cover tenants who were displaced in January and February.

    According to Burgess, 30 tenants were displaced by conversions in January, although not all of them would be eligible to receive relocation assistance.

    Nickels told HSD to hold off on distributing the $350,000 fund to displaced tenants—without informing the Council—until the city comes up with a way to fill a half-million dollar gap in HSD’s budget. The Council fund was intended to temporarily help tenants until the state legislature agrees on a plan to protect displaced renters.

    Burgess says he has not received a response from the Mayor’s office.

    Islam Means Peace

    posted by on February 12 at 12:04 PM

    Danish police said Tuesday they have arrested three people suspected of plotting to kill one of the 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings that sparked a deadly uproar in the Muslim world two years ago. Two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan origin were arrested in pre-dawn raids in western Denmark, the police intelligence agency said.

    The Dane was suspected of violating Danish terror laws but likely would be released after questioning as the investigation continues, said Jakob Scharf, the head of the PET intelligence service. The two Tunisians would be expelled from Denmark, he said.

    More On That Nintendo Lawsuit

    posted by on February 12 at 11:48 AM

    Last week, I slogged about a vague lawsuit, filed by Nintendo, against 10 “John Does” for misappropriating company secrets. Well, I’m told the lawsuit may have something to do with this.

    Apparently, the game manuals for Nintendo’s upcoming—and crazily anticipated—Super Smash Bros. Brawl were printed in Seattle, and someone leaked several pages from the manual to Kotaku, a big time video game blog.

    Still working on getting more info, but hopefully this nerdy mystery just got a bit closer to being solved.


    Even a Stopped Clock…

    posted by on February 12 at 11:43 AM

    …is right once a day. Of course the clock stopped in Saudi Arabia about, oh, four centuries ago. This leads too all sorts of idiocy—the prosecution of rape victims, the beheading of homos, the disallowing of cocktails, etc.—but every once the fatwa-happy dickfucks that wreak such havoc on the lives of average Saudis do ‘em a favor.

    Saudi Arabia’s religious police have banned the sale of red roses ahead of Valentine’s Day.

    Every year officials visit florists a few days before Feb 14 to issue warnings on red items, which are widely seen as symbols of love, according to local newspapers.

    The Commission raids shops on the eve of Valentine’s Day, which it sees as an encouragement of relations outside of wedlock, to ensure that the ban is being carried out.

    American consumers should be so lucky.

    Re: Primary Pushing

    posted by on February 12 at 11:34 AM

    I made some calls and sent some emails to prominent local Clinton supporters about this rumor that the Clinton campaign is encouraging Washingtonians to vote in the Feb. 19 primary—in the hopes that it will become a counterweight to Obama’s big Feb. 9 caucus win here.

    Turning weirdo Washington State into a demonstration project for the way that caucuses tend to favor Obama and primaries tend to favor Clinton could be a smart move for the Clinton camp. (And, as suggested below, a Clinton primary win here could give her Washington superdelegates some cover.)

    One of the calls I made was to Linda Mitchell, president of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington and a member of Hillary Clinton’s Washington campaign committee. I asked her if she’d been hearing about Clinton people encouraging Washingtonians to vote in the primary, even though the primary won’t be used to apportion any Democratic delegates. Mitchell replied:

    Am I hearing it? I’m feeding it. As the president of the Women’s Political Caucus, and as a supporter of Hillary Clinton, I think that the caucuses are not very representative of the voting public and I’m hoping that the primary does show greater support for Hillary Clinton.

    Mitchell said informal discussions among local Clinton campaign committee members have produced some agreement that it would be smart to push for a Clinton win in the Washington primary. But she added that she’s not speaking for the national Clinton campaign on this.

    “I wouldn’t say there’s a strategy,” Mitchell told me. “There may be. It would be great if everybody voted in the primary and Hillary showed a win there. But I don’t want to say I’m speaking for the national campaign.”

    She said she hopes to use the campaign committee’s email lists, and her network of contacts, to encourage votes for Clinton in the primary, but that there’s no money for robocalls or a more formal effort. “It’ll be more of a viral, tell your friends kind of thing,” Mitchell said.

    Clinton’s Washington campaign committee will be meeting this afternoon, and Mitchell said they’ll be having more discussions about the primary effort then.

    UPDATE: Ben Smith gets an official Clinton campaign reaction to this: “Not a campaign effort.”

    Finger Liking Good

    posted by on February 12 at 11:28 AM

    From Slog tipper Brian…


    The ballard KFC has had chicken misspelled on their sign for nearly a week now. I’m entertained. I wish I would have taken a picture of the coagulated fat on top of the puddle in their parking lot during the last freeze.

    Wilson Weighs In

    posted by on February 12 at 11:10 AM

    Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson has a Clinton-endorsing op-ed in today’s Baltimore Sun (Go Os, hon!).

    The piece is purportedly about Clinton, but he spends most of it hurling cheap shots at Obama, basing his claim that Obama can’t stand up to McCain on a series of letters about ethics reform the two exchanged in 2006.

    But will Mr. Obama fight? His brief time on the national scene gives little comfort. Consider a February 2006 exchange of letters with Mr. McCain on the subject of ethics reform. The wrathful Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of being “disingenuous,” to which Mr. Obama meekly replied, “The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you.”

    Wilson deems this encounter a “TKO” for McCain.

    A junior Senator professing respect for a senior colleague while regretting their disagreement is so “meek” that it proves the man could never lead? He should have called McCain a fuckhead and pissed in his shoe, I guess.

    Furthermore, according to Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt probably would have endorsed Clinton. So there.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on February 12 at 11:00 AM


    Super Furry Animals, Holy Fuck at Neumo’s

    Tonight’s main draw may be Welsh beach boys Super Furry Animals, who have been frying retinas and massaging lobes with their bright, cartoon psych rock and electronic excursions for nearly 15 years. But do not miss expletive- enhanced improvisers Holy Fuck, who summon unpredictable dance grooves, throbbing synthetic pulses, and steady rock rhythms from a mess of arcane machinery, aided by live drums and bass. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $15, 21+.)


    Winners and Losers

    posted by on February 12 at 10:42 AM

    WGA membership is voting today on whether to accept their new contract, so this piece is technically premature. But I’ll link it anyway. David Carr (who’s a decent reporter when he’s not mincing embarrassingly beside various red carpets) on who won the writer’s strike:

    Emboldened by the strike, the studios severed existing contracts with writers, successfully turned over more of their prime-time schedules to reality programming and vowed to hold the line on filming new shows for next season.

    Some 70 development deals in which writers were essentially paid lucrative stipends to come up with shows that might not ever be broadcast are now gone, and they will not be coming back any time soon.

    The events are likely to bring at least a few lean years to the workaday writers. With less spending on pilots, established writers will be in the hunt because they lost their cushy deals on the lot. With increased incursion from all forms of reality programs, finding work that pays the bills, never mind the residuals, is going to be a slog.

    Ugh. Can the public please rebel against reality TV already?

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on February 12 at 10:30 AM

    Michael Leavitt’s Scarecrow Penny Place (2008), 10 by 5 by 1 inches, acrylic on wood panel, acrylic on copper penny

    Michael Leavitt’s Crocodile Guitar Pick (2008), 1 by 1.5 inches, acrylic on plastic pick

    At Gallery 63 Eleven.

    Re: Petition Passing

    posted by on February 12 at 10:24 AM

    O fans might want to chill out on the idea of getting Sens. Cantwell and Murray to switch over to Obama based on his victory here.

    As Hillary has responded, she’d be happy to get Sens. Kerry and Kennedy to switch their superdelegate votes based on the fact that she won Massachusetts. (Maximum burn on Ted Kennedy, by the way.)

    Indeed, Annie crunched the numbers, and if you currently make superdelegates vote based on who won their state, Clinton would be up 217 to 158. Superdelegates are a bit like electoral votes—bigger states have more. For example, Alaska has 7 superdelegates and California has 66.

    If Clinton wins Ohio (18), Pennsylavania (27), and Texas (32), this populist tack might not be such a good move for O fans.

    The way it actually stands: Clinton leads 224 to 132 in superdelegates.

    And for O fans who want to get rid of the superdelegate rules…do you also want to scrap the current Party rule that Florida and Michigan shouldn’t count? Can’t have it both ways.

    Where the Love Is

    posted by on February 12 at 10:18 AM

    WA. Caucus Charade for McCain

    posted by on February 12 at 10:05 AM

    Golday at HorsesAss has a post up explaining why the GOP “caucus” was even more of a chimera than you think.

    His main point:

    Unlike the Democratic caucus there is no counting and reporting of presidential preference, and no allocation of delegates proportionate to the stated preference of the attendees.

    Goldy was up late figuring this all out. It’s worth a read.

    Primary Pushing and Petition Passing

    posted by on February 12 at 9:45 AM

    I woke up this morning to an email from a local Democratic source who’d seen all the Slog talk yesterday about Clinton dissing caucuses:

    Just saw your post on activist caucuses. I have it on good authority: The Clinton people have made Wash calls and are trying to push their supporters big time to vote in the primary—hoping for a different outcome to diminish caucus blow out. This also gives the super delegates cover.

    And here’s another email I woke up to, this one concerning those superdelegates who might be in need of cover:

    Please read and sign this petition calling on Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to follow the lead of their Washington constituents and endorse Senator Obama for the Democratic Presidential nominee.

    The Morning News

    posted by on February 12 at 8:00 AM

    Reopened: Snoqualmie Pass.

    Anti-Contraception: “Pro-Lifers” in South Dakota.

    Still Not Out
    : Huckabee vows to stay in the race.

    And a Million iPhone Owners Cackle With Glee: Massive BlackBerry outage reported.

    “Must-Win”: For Clinton, Ohio and Texas.

    Meanwhile, In Kenya: Women are beaten for wearing pants.

    Meanwhile, in Divorce Court: McCartney and Mills try to sort it out.

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father: The Pope delivers another anti-woman, anti-gay sermon on marriage.

    Speaking of Which: Mistrial declared in case of mother who microwaved her baby.

    Recipe of the Day:

    Mario Batali’s Short Ribs with Gremolata (Recipe via The Paupered Chef; photo of gremolata via Creative Commons.)

    Continue reading "The Morning News" »

    McCain/Rice ‘08?

    posted by on February 12 at 12:27 AM

    Larry King just asked Michelle Obama if she had heard the rumor.

    Anyway, discuss.

    Monday, February 11, 2008

    Natasha No More!

    posted by on February 11 at 10:31 PM


    “Dirty Natasha” was, for hilarious reasons (that I’m not sharing), the unofficial mascot of a recent trip to Amsterdam. She was a whore. A hooker. A pros-ti-tootsie. Maybe she still is. But not for long.

    “Amsterdam plans to close down its most famous (Red Light) district, citing sleaze, criminal activity and human trafficking. Not everybody is happy about it.”

    “Not everybody’s happy about it”, indeed. Certianly not we human traffickers.

    The full wretched tragedy of it can be read here.

    I just know Rudy fucking Guiliani has something to do with this.

    Governance Reform Storm

    posted by on February 11 at 6:39 PM

    Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen’s (D-10, Camano Island) governance reform bill—the one that would turn Sound Transit into Sound Transportation (a roads and transit agency)—is teetering.

    She didn’t bring the bill up for a committee vote today (in her transportation committee) because it wouldn’t have passed. There’s reportedly too much disagreement in the Democratic caucus about the bill. Basically, the bill reconstitutes Sound Transit to spend its money on roads and transit and makes the agency accountable to a regional elected board. The effect, I imagine, would be to empower roads advocates to siphon dough away from light rail.

    She’s going to try to move it again tomorrow, the last day to do so.

    Get Those Shackles Back On, STAT!

    posted by on February 11 at 6:20 PM

    Girls are drinking more and doing more drugs! And, OMG, at the SAME time, the academic and work worlds have opened up to give girls some of the same opportunities boys have always had! How does that rule go again—if two things are correlated, one must cause the other? Bingo! Blame feminism!

    A generation of parents and educators have pushed to ensure that girls have the same opportunities as their male counterparts, with notable results. In 2007, for example, it was girls who dominated the national math and science competition sponsored by Siemens. But a growing number of reports show that the message of equality might have a downside.

    Teenage girls now equal or outpace teenage boys in alcohol consumption, drug use and smoking, national surveys show. The number of girls entering the juvenile-justice system has risen steadily over the past few years. A 2006 study that examined accident rates among young drivers noted that although boys get into more car accidents, girls are slowly beginning to close the gap.

    “When you take off the shackles, you release all kind of energy — negative and positive,” said James Garbarino, the Maude C. Clarke chair in humanistic psychology at Loyola University in Chicago. “By letting girls loose to experience America more fully, it’s not surprising that they would absorb some of its toxic environment.” […]

    In the same breath, the young women talked about feeling “empowered” because they can choose from myriad colleges and careers, and about how that “freedom” extends to partying at clubs, drinking and smoking. Experts worry that those feelings, coupled with a teen’s natural sense of invincibility, can be a potent and dangerous combination.

    They said it in the same breath, so it must be related. And teenage girls were totally unaware of drugs and alcohol before equal opportunity made the scales of innocence fall from their eyes. And blah Britney blah “The Hills” blah “music” (ha!) blah blah blah. Tell me, is there ANY trend among young women that can’t be blamed on all that ewwwyuckygross “empowerment”?

    Steve Gerber is Dead

    posted by on February 11 at 6:07 PM

    I imagine that this will only be sad for a very few people, but Steve Gerber passed away on Sunday. Gerber wrote some great mainstream comic books in the 1970’s, particularly Omega the Unknown, a weird Superman-type story that was strained through Nixon-era paranoia and probably a few hallucinogens. (More on Omega here.) Jonathan Lethem is writing a completely unnecessary revamp of Omega for Marvel Comics right now.

    Gerber will probably always be best known for creating Howard the Duck, which is a character who will probably always be best known for the atrocious George Lucas-produced bomb that was released in theaters for something like four days in the 1980s. This is a shame, because the Howard the Duck comic book was a wonderful satire of America in the 1970s. Howard ran for President but had to drop out in disgrace after a phony sex scandal brought him down. He also fought villains like The Beaver, who was perhaps the only Canadian superpatriot, and the terrifying Doctor Bong. It was maybe the most personal mainstream comic ever produced, and it deserved much more than to be buried in the wake of a miserable big-budget movie. And Gerber deserved a lot more respect than he received at the end of his career. I hope his early work will got a lot more love in reprints and popular recognition, because it stands as some of the best comic book satire ever produced.

    Against Activist Caucusers

    posted by on February 11 at 5:13 PM

    Hillary Clinton analyzes her losses in Washington and elsewhere:

    WHITE MARSH, Maryland (CNN) — Hillary Clinton on Monday explained away Barack Obama’s clean sweep of the weekend’s caucuses and primaries as a product of a caucus system that favors “activists” and, in the case of the Louisiana primary, an energized African-American community.

    She told reporters who had gathered to watch her tour a General Motors plant here that “everybody knew, you all knew, what the likely outcome of these recent contests were.”

    “These are caucus states by and large, or in the case of Louisiana, you know, a very strong and very proud African-American electorate, which I totally respect and understand.”

    Clinton has publicly dismissed the caucus voting system since before Super Tuesday, seeking to lower expectations heading into a series of contests that played to Obama’s advantage. His campaign features what many consider to be a stronger and more dedicated grassroots organization than Clinton’s.

    Noting that “my husband never did well in caucus states either,” Clinton argued that caucuses are “primarily dominated by activists” and that “they don’t represent the electorate, we know that.”

    Well, All Those Thumbs Needed a Rest Anyway

    posted by on February 11 at 5:00 PM

    North American Blackberry network crashes. Campaign apocalypse declared.

    A Hillary Superdelegate Dies.

    posted by on February 11 at 4:46 PM

    Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA.), a Superdelegate for Clinton, died from cancer today. Lantos, 80, was a Holocaust survivor—the only Holocaust survivor to ever serve in Congress.

    Clinton leads in Superdelegates 223-131.

    Oly Update: Take Heart Carless in Seattle

    posted by on February 11 at 4:03 PM

    Over at Carless in Seattle, they’re concerned that Rep. Dave Upthegrove’s (D-33, Sea-Tac) bill to set goals around reducing car use—or “vehicle miles travelled”—isn’t in play as we head into cut off (tomorrow at 5) for bills to make it to the Rules Committee.

    Fortunately, Rep. Upthegrove was slick enough to put his vmt reduction language into another billa governor’s request bill on global warming that is sailing through the legislature this year.

    Indeed, take heart Carless (a cool blog): A new section, section 7 in the governor’s bill, says explicitly: “Decrease the annual per capita vehicle miles traveled by fifty percent by 2050”

    And Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) reports that his bill to lower VMT passed out of committee late this afternoon.

    Three on Amanda

    posted by on February 11 at 3:52 PM

    From the Times Online:

    Cellmates of Amanda Knox, the American student suspected of involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia last November, have pleaded with prison authorities to stop her repeatedly singing the Beatles’ classic “Let it Be” at the top of her voice.

    Father Scarabattoli, the prison chaplain at Perugia, said Ms Knox, 20, from Seattle, had asked for a guitar so she could play the song as well a sing it, but this had been refused. Inmates have complained that Ms Knox sings the song all day long, with one jailer reported as agreeing with them that it “drives you mad”.

    However Father Scarabattoli said she only sang the song at exercise time, in the open air, and he insisted it had a “spiritual dimension” since it referred to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. Ms Knox, who attended a Jesuit school, has been receiving religious instruction from the chaplain and reading the Bible.

    The lyrics to “Let It Be” run: “When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”

    As for the PI’s interview with crime writer Doug Preston?

    [The PI:] What about Raffaele Sollecito, the other suspect? [Is he the killer?]

    [Preston:] I looked at him and said right away, “This guy is not a killer. Are you kidding me?”

    I think he is just as innocent as Amanda is. They are not protecting each other. They are innocent.

    He seems like a perfectly normal nice Italian boy. He has not ever shown any sign of deviancy. He comes from a good family. He had a normal upbringing. He looks like a fine upstanding Italian ragazzo.

    People like that very seldom kill people.

    Preston bends over backwards to reject the evidence against Amanda and Raffaele but makes no effort to question the evidence against Rudy Guede (the African). For him, Rudy is guilty because he looks guilty.

    Preston also says nothing about why Amanda fingered Patrick Lumumba (who was arrested, held for two weeks, and released due to a complete lack of evidence). Why did Amanda finger a completely innocent person?

    About Rudy’s certain guilt, Preston states:

    This is a very simple rape and murder, to me obviously committed by this fellow Rudy Guede. All of the forensic evidence points toward him. He’s a man with a history of petty crime, a known drug dealer. I believe he is the culprit.

    [The PI:] But the prosecution has claimed this was a “group action” with the three suspects engaged in an elaborate sex game, resisted by the victim.
    Look, I write thrillers for a living. And in my thrillers the person you least expect is the guilty party. But in real life, it doesn’t work like that. There is no conspiracy here. In real life, murders are banal and obvious.

    Yet the picture he paints of Judge Giuliano Mignini (the prosecutor in the case) is totally out of a sensational crime novel.

    He believes the Monster killings were the work not of a lone killer but a satanic sect dating back to the Middle Ages. His theory, based on nonexistent evidence, supposition and conspiracy logic, was that this sect was operating in high places in government and they needed female body parts to perform Black Masses.
    Judge Giuliano Mignini is a maestro caettini (sinister master), a regular Count Fosco.

    My problem is Preston’s certainty. The truth is somewhere in the haze, but no one really knows it. That is the best we can say at this moment.

    As for the Oregonian: Thanks!

    Today and This Weekend in Line Out

    posted by on February 11 at 3:37 PM

    With the Grammys happening last night, there’s a lot to talk about in the music world. We have all that and so much more over on Line Out. See?

    Saturday’s Sound Off Competition: Meet the band’s who competed. Then click here to find out who won.

    Saturday’s Flotation Device: Starring Josef Anton Riedl, Alwin Nikolais, Byron Au Yong, and others.

    New Helvetia Song: Listen to “Old New Bicycle.

    Liveblogging the Grammys: I did it. It’s over. You missed it. But you can read the whole transcript if you really want to see what I and dozens of those watching with me had to say about Alicia Keys’ awful dress.

    And if You Want Just the Highlights: Click here for the list of winners and awards show wrap-up.

    And if You Want to See Kanye’s Performance With Daft Punk: Click here (it’s awesome).

    And if You Want to See the Look on Amy Winehouse’s Face When She Won: Click here (she totally wanted to cry).

    And if You Want to See Vince Gill of All People Give Kanye Shit: Click here (it’s hilarious).

    Now Back to Grammy-Free News: KEXP partners with New York, creates Radio Liberation.

    Schoolyard Heroes on Tour: And drummer Brian Turner is keeping a blog of all the adventures.

    Tonight in Music: Baby Dee, the Tallboys, and “the dreaded a-billy.”

    Two Records in One Year: This is all Charles Mudede listened to in 2007.

    Death Metal: 10 crushed, 6 injured at a rock concert in Indonesia.

    Beans and Rice: And disco!

    Wagging These Puppies: Dolly Parton has to postpone tour because of her breasts.

    Another Two Bite the Dust (Sorta): Magazine Resonance and dance night Krakt both scale back.

    Nina Simone: World’s greatest badass.

    And About KEXP Going to NY: John Richards promises neither he, nor the station, will turn their back on Seattle music.


    Submitted to the Flickr Pool by whatsthatbug?.

    Huckabee: I Was Against Counting All the Votes Before I Was For Counting All the Votes

    posted by on February 11 at 3:27 PM

    Remember 2000?

    The nation’s Republican governors contended today that the Gore campaign was ”brutally abusing” the good name of Florida’s top election official and seriously threatening the foundations of American democracy by continuing to challenge the results of the state’s presidential balloting.


    Ms. Harris is the top election official in Florida, and she has contended, and ruled, since the first round of ballot-counting was completed that Governor Bush appeared to be the winner, pending a count of some late-arriving absentee ballots. That contention has been the basis of much of the legal action questioning the results of the balloting.

    Almost all the 26 governors here campaigned hard for the Bush ticket throughout the summer and fall. Many — among them Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Bob Taft of Ohio, Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania, William J. Janklow of South Dakota, Don Sundquist of Tennessee and the association’s chairman and vice chairman, Edward T. Schafer of North Dakota and James S. Gilmore III of Virginia — eagerly joined Mr. Graves in his condemnation of the Gore recount efforts and of the attacks on Ms. Harris.

    Thanks, Slog tipster Rob!

    Have You Seen These Dildos?

    posted by on February 11 at 2:43 PM


    Boylston and E Pike
    Capitol Hill

    Early last Friday, someone shattered the front window at Capitol Hill’s Babeland, and stole (dildo-napped?) twenty glass dildos in the store’s Valentine’s Day display, valued at over $1500.


    With Valentine’s Day on the way, the timing of the dildo heist seems unsurprising. However, Babeland’s Retail Director Jen May doesn’t believe the crime was related to the upcoming holiday. “I think the hill is experiencing a little crime spree,” she says. May says nothing like this has ever happened at the store before.

    A quick search on Ebay and Craigslist did not reveal any sort of dildo black market, and it seems unlikely that anyone would have a use for so many sex toys, so please let Babeland know if anyone on the street offers to sell you a deeply discounted glass dong.

    The View From My Window

    posted by on February 11 at 2:42 PM


    It’s freaking cold in Chicago. When I got in last night, though, the Chicago River wasn’t frozen. Now it is—the surface, at least—and it’s snowing, and the snow is sticking. To the river. That’s why it appears to be dusty white in this photo. It would be beautiful if I didn’t have to leave my hotel room.

    Today in Rugby Thugs

    posted by on February 11 at 2:26 PM


    I’ve slogged previously about the ridiculous accumulation of attractiveness that is Ben Cohen, and the English rugby star continues to earn my admiration. As Towleroad reports, Cohen recently gave a short interview to Outsports, in which he shared a most enlightened view on the prospect of a gay player in British rugby:

    “My impression is that it would be fine to be able to ‘come out’ in rugby. Most rugby players are cool about it and think that people should be allowed to live their lives how they want to, but I can’t speak for everyone….One of my aunties is a lesbian and lives with a female partner. We are all laid back about it because it has always been the same.”

    Cohen hearts gays, and gays heart Cohen, so much they propelled him past David Beckham to the top of the Sunday Times’ gay icon list. Aw.

    Speaking of gay-friendly rugby thugs, Slog tipper Skweetis directed me to the curious ad below, which scores major points for thug-on-thug mashing but is less successful hyping whatever product it’s supposed to be hyping. (I’m still not quite sure what it is.)

    “He likes to be squashed.”

    posted by on February 11 at 2:10 PM

    I don’t have any problem with fat people. Really, I don’t. I like big people. I descended from a long line of larger-than-average people. What I have a problem with are full of shit people—you know, people who aren’t content to simply be whatever size they’re gonna be, and be happy at that size. The people I can’t stand are the ones who insist that there’s absolutely no connection between diet (meaning “what you regularly eat,” not “how you occasionally starve yourself”) and exercise and a person’s weight. I don’t think a decent diet and reasonable exercise will make us all size zeros, nor do I think everyone should be a size zero, and I don’t think fat people should be discriminated against or mocked.

    Which brings us to this YouTube selection. Now, some will insist that I’m putting this up for laffs, and that I think these two are ugly or ridiculous, that I’m making fun, blah blah blah. I didn’t, I don’t, and I’m not. I think this woman is articulate and charming, and her husband/boyfriend is lucky to have found her. Some men are into BBWs, as I’m constantly emphasizing in “Savage Love,” and this woman’s a BBW with a sense of humor and a thoroughly GGG attitude. I adore her.

    Now here’s the video:

    And here’s why I’m posting this video: I’m curious how Tyra got away with showing this on teevee. Where’s the FCC? Where’s Tyra’s big, fat fine? The squashing going on in this short clip is sex—it’s a sex act, that’s fetish play, it’s that dude’s biggest turn-on. He’s probably hard and for all we know he blew a load in his pants while this video was shot. How is it that Howard Stern gets slapped with fines for talking about sex, but Tyra Banks actually shows sex acts—fetish sex acts, but still—without a peep of protest?

    Also Seen In the Stranger Offices

    posted by on February 11 at 2:09 PM

    Second in an occasional series.


    Our hydroponic system arrives next week.

    Huckabee: WA Is the New USSR!

    posted by on February 11 at 1:44 PM

    Huckabee on Luke Esser and the Washington State Republican Party: “That is not what we do in American elections. That may be the how they used to conduct it in the old Soviet Union, but you don’t just throw people’s votes out.”

    Via TPM.

    How Many Votes Does a Superdelegate Get?

    posted by on February 11 at 1:18 PM

    Now that we know the approximate turnout at the caucuses in Washington this weekend, we know about how many people make up a delegate. With 78 delegates at stake and 200,000 caucusgoers, each national delegate represents the vote of about 2,564 people.

    That means each superdelegate equals 2,564 peons. (Did some superdelegates actually participate in their precinct caucuses? Greedy motherfuckers.)

    Now, I’m not one of those supposedly “venomous” (Krugman has really gone batty) Obama supporters who thinks superdelegates shouldn’t count. The Democratic Party agreed on some ground rules, and those rules shouldn’t change mid-race. That goes for Florida (where Clinton announced campaign events before voting day) and Michigan (where Clinton went ahead and got left her name on the ballot in defiance of the party rules) too. But those rules do not in any way prohibit Obama supporters from asking superdelegates to take their state’s popular vote into consideration when committing to a candidate. The fact that they were created to exercise independent judgment means that they may decide independently to create the appearance of greater fairness—especially in a case like this, where both of the candidates are qualified and electable.

    Clinton’s rejoinder is certainly snappy:

    “Superdelegates are by design supposed to exercise independent judgment,” she said. “If Senator Obama and his campaign continue to push this position, which is to the contrary of what the definition of superdelegates has historically been, I will look forward to receiving the support of Senator Kerry and Senator Kennedy.”

    Since each state has at least two senators, independent of population, don’t small states have a disproportionate number of superdelegates, just like in the Electoral College? I haven’t been able to find a breakdown of delegates by state, and even if/when I do, my hypothesis would require some further analysis. But if I’m right: Obama has been winning more states and more smaller states than Clinton. If all the superdelegates really fell into line—committing to the candidate who won their state—this could only benefit Obama. Let Clinton have her Kennedys and Kerrys. Power to the people!


    OK, I did the research, and I’m wrong! (At least I beat the haters to it.) Using this state-by-state breakdown of committed superdelegates, I have determined that Obama would have won 158 supers so far if they all went the way of their state’s popular vote, and Clinton would’ve won at least 217 (Dem Con Watch doesn’t seem to know how many superdelegates are from Massachusetts). Feel free to check my math if you’re bored, I did it rather quickly.

    Typo of the Day

    posted by on February 11 at 12:57 PM


    I’m looking for XXXXXX XXXXX. Need to speak with him asap for our Stranger’s Sexist issue…

    Two Best Campaign Slogans I Saw This Weekend

    posted by on February 11 at 12:56 PM

    “He’s Black. I’m Proud.”

    “Hillz Yes.”

    Flora & Henri Celebrate the Year of the Rat

    posted by on February 11 at 12:39 PM

    2008 is the Year of the Rat, and to celebrate, swanky children’s clothier Flora & Henri is playfully incorporating rats into their downtown Seattle window displays.


    Because nothing says “buy a $200 cashmere sweater for your toddler to outgrow in minutes!” like a humongous rat gnawing on a baby’s foot.

    Thanks to Slog tipper Jake.

    RE: Sean Nelson: Not Braindead

    posted by on February 11 at 12:31 PM


    You’re nice.

    But, also, as I said in our text exchange, I don’t think it’s immoral to want to win. At all. I think it’s very important. And maybe “immoral” isn’t exactly the word. But I do feel disheartened when people’s argument for a given candidate involves the word “electability,” because that word takes the discussion out of the realm of what you actually think or believe, and into the realm of supposing what other people will think or believe or do (which is different from Annie’s defense of Sen. Obama’s ability to carry the news about democratic values—that’s something real). It’s unhelpful speculation, born of an obsession with polls (which are objectively untrustworthy and intrinsically damaging) and the increasing blog-and-24-hour-news-channel-assisted delusion of ordinary citizens believing they have some kind of inside line on the insider baseball of politics. And it’s deeply cynical. It’s also very likely inaccurate, because how the hell do you know what people think? I don’t believe most people tell anyone how or what they think. I mean, bloggers do, but…

    Like you, I want a good, intelligent, inspirational president with a progressive agenda and the capacity to press that agenda through the Byzantine fistulas and conduits of Washington process and corruption to make it policy. Failing that, I guess I’ll settle for a democrat. And yes, because at least a democrat will be better than a republican. But I don’t think party politics is very compelling. Still, don’t tell me that Obama is my candidate because Hillary makes Republicans upset. Is that really what we’re looking for: someone who doesn’t make the opponents want to fight? Shouldn’t we want a fight? Isn’t that what we should want to win? Let’s just say hypothetically: if there were a democratic candidate with an authentically liberal agenda, who spoke to us in language that stirred our souls (not just comparatively), and who was honest the way even forthright-seeming politicians simply can’t be, would it not be worth getting behind him or her not only if but because it made the other side—which, as you rightly say, really is the other side because they want truly different things—upset? I just don’t think “because s/he can beat McCain or Huckabee or blah” is a particularly stirring reason to back a candidate, especially at this point in the process, when, as a voter and a person, I feel entitled to a bit of stirring.

    Moreover, I think the arguments people are making for and against electability are unconvincing at best (more on this below), and based on the desire to win—not the election, but the argument. When I said “immoral” I guess I just meant beside the immediate point (and damaging in a much deeper way to the discourse). I know it’s a race, and you have to win, but as a matter of first principle, I want to want the candidate I want to be president to really be president.

    Maybe Senator Obama is that candidate. I’m still a little undecided. My mother isn’t. She voted for him in the Tennessee primary, her first time in a ballot box since she voted for McGovern in 1972. But I changed my caucus vote from undecided to Obama not just because I didn’t want to be undecided. I believe he has a lot of merits. But more to the point, I couldn’t bring myself to write the word “Clinton.” Just as I couldn’t bring myself to vote for President Clinton in 1996. I don’t trust her, even though I respect her acumen. I know she’s not the one I want to fight for. So maybe this really is all academic.

    But as long as we’re being academic and talking about electability… Am I blind (love see no color), or has everyone just decided not to talk about the mere fact that Barack Obama’s blackness is going to be as objectionable to as many racist Americans who vote as Hillary Clinton’s Clintonness is to all Republicans? Is it un-team-spirity of me to notice that as people talk about Republicans “mobilizing” against Hillary Clinton (what, they’re not going to try and win, too?) they seem to be forgetting that the idea of an actual African-American being in charge of the country is actually anathema to people with racism in their hearts? And that, at the risk of speculation, that’s still a fucking lot of America? And that, further, they’re not all republicans (even if they mostly are— I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who read that Jesse Helms article in the Sunday Times)? Racism hasn’t gone away. I don’t believe it has even abated. It has just become socially unacceptable, and thus driven largely underground, or at least inward. So no one’s really publicly objecting. But I bet they’re waiting. Because racism isn’t necessarily hatred. It’s fear. And ignorance. And religion. And provincialness, lack of exposure to the world. All major factors that “mobilized” rural and suburban voters and contributed to Presiden’t Bush’s victory over Senator Kerry in 2004.

    There were many bad ideas vomited forth in the Stranger’s Urban Archipelago crie de coeur (of which I was a proud co-author) just following that election. One idea was right on the money, though: we still live in a metropolitan bubble of privileged isolation, and the rest of America is the rest of America, even as Senator Obama speaks of a “United States” (I like that line). I don’t claim to know or understand the rest of America, but I have been all over it, and I know it’s not like us, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t like us. And that isn’t something to be ashamed of either. I’m thrilled by the amount of idealistic support that Senator Obama has engendered. It can’t be denied. Why would you want to? It seems like he’s doing for democrats what Reagan did for republicans. And without the shallowness of character or gesture. Maybe this really is the disenfranchised underclass rising up. I do find it odd, however, that so many of his true believers, including the guy who pitched me at the caucus, seem to insist that a much-hated white woman is the one who’s going to get the right wing to mobilize. I never stop being amazed by the number of people I’ve met who have repeated to me the ratfucking smear that Barack Obama is a Muslim terrorist sleeper who will, like the Manchurian Candidate in that overrated old movie, be “activated” when he enters the White House. I don’t know if that particular whispering campaign was started by the Clintons or the republicans (maybe Karl Rove on his way out the door?), but I do know that the people who’ve repeated it to me, many of whom are educated and not stupid, weren’t laughing at its patent absurdity. They said it like it was something important to keep in mind, a worry they had about the candidate. That’s mobilization, and I don’t doubt it’s just the beginning.

    And, ironically, it’s probably the best reason I can think of to fight for Obama.

    Socs vs. Greasers

    posted by on February 11 at 12:25 PM

    In 2004, the most common gripe I heard from frustrated Democrats was: Why are the working classes—underpaid, undereducated, white lumpenproles—voting against their interests by voting for the GOP?

    So, I’m bummed out that the Democratic front-runner, Barack Obama, is emerging as the Whole Foods candidate while Hillary Clinton is getting the Safeway vote.

    Not only does Clinton win this important bloc over Obama, she’s also won decisively among the working classes in New York State, twice, over Republicans.

    It’s nerve-racking that Obama hasn’t gone head-to-head with a Republican (unless you count cuckoo Alan Keyes) for the greaser vote, like Hillary Clinton has.

    At my precinct caucus, two Clinton supporters who’d recently moved here from New York—one from upstate and one from the city—both made this point. The city slicker explained how popular Clinton was with the cops and firefighters in the city. And the upstater said how she saw Clinton come in and win the hearts of her working-class neighbors.

    Obama has recognized this and has tweaked his stump speech. Here’s what he said in Virginia on Saturday: “Another family puts up a for-sale sign in the front yard. Another factory shuts its doors forever. Another mother declares bankruptcy because she cannot pay her child’s medical bills. And another soldier waves goodbye as he leaves on another tour of duty in a war that should’ve never been authorized and never been waged.”

    I hope he sticks to this, and uses his rock-star charisma to—as we said in our endorsement—transform Democratic goals into mainstream no-brainers. That’d be: Offing the Bush tax cuts for the rich and shoring up government services that working people depend on.

    Health care for all would be nice, too.

    Have You Seen This Man?

    posted by on February 11 at 12:13 PM


    According to some lady in Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s office, Bruce has been “getting orientated” for the last month and a half. We haven’t heard from him in a while, and we’re starting to get worried.

    Re: A Few Thoughts on the Caucus

    posted by on February 11 at 12:13 PM

    While caucuses do privilege the well-informed (Slog readers, that’s you) and those who do not have to work on weekends, they are more democratic than primaries in one small but important way: They provide a path for ordinary voters to represent their candidate at the national convention. When you cast your vote in a primary, you’re asking some party hack you’ve never met and whom you will never speak to to represent you in Denver.

    True, it’s tough to make it through to national from the precinct level—party insiders have the edge. It’s still possible, and I love that.

    It does suck that some people are disenfranchised because they work on weekends. So why don’t we do like Maine and permit absentee balloting? Sounds like platform plank…

    Hearts and Minds

    posted by on February 11 at 12:09 PM

    A 38-year-old Marine is accused of raping a 14-year-old middle-school student while stationed in Okinawa; he claims he “merely” got on top of her and kissed her.

    A Few Thoughts on the Caucus

    posted by on February 11 at 11:46 AM

    Like Eli, I enjoyed the opportunity to meet my neighbors (literally—two of the Obama supporters in my precinct live across the hall), but I still think caucuses are a profoundly undemocratic system. The parties designed the caucuses as exclusionary, and they are—they exclude people who aren’t exceptionally well-informed, people who have jobs they can’t leave for three hours, people who have kids and can’t arrange child care, people who feel uncomfortable revealing their political preferences in public. One woman in my caucus group (a nurse, SEIU member and Obama supporter) said that if she had had to work, she wouldn’t have been able to attend the caucus. “Not all of us have the luxury of taking off work or even choosing our lunch hours,” she said. “What is the Democratic Party doing about that?” The Democrats allow proxy votes for military members and people who can’t attend for religious reasons, but not for people who have to work or take care of family members.

    This has real impacts. Although my precinct seemed fairly representative of the neighborhood—lots of well-off homeowners and apartment-dwelling college kids—the presence of only two non-white faces in a crowd of more than 100 was glaring. One commenter in a post over the weekend noted that in Columbia City—a neighborhood that, even when you throw in lily-white Seward Park, is one of the most diverse in the city— caucus participants were overwhelmingly upper-middle-class and white. I’m not pointing this out merely because it favors Obama (although exit polls have shown that it does), but because excluding so many people, and particularly so many low-income and minority people, is totally contrary to the principles the Democratic Party espouses.

    Speaking of exclusion: Many first-time caucusers I talked to expressed annoyance at the regimented, drawn-out nature of the process, and doubted if they’d return in four years. “Is this really how it always goes?” one asked me. This is my second time caucusing, and I’m sure I’ll be back, but I don’t blame them one bit.

    Here’s how it went in my precinct: Two precincts (43-2017 and 43-2018) packed together in a crowded art room in the basement of Lowell Elementary School. It was hot. I passed the time talking to a table of Obama supporters. Every now and then, a Democratic Party representative would come in and stand on a table and shout some bit of information. Finally, my precinct was shuffled off to another room, where we were asked to name things that pissed us off about the Bush Administration, which turned out to be a pitch for money. That was another big turnoff for many in the room, many of whom seemed reluctant to participate.

    After a long, long while, the number of votes for Clinton, Obama, and Undecided was announced. Then one speaker from each side was allowed a single minute to make the case for each candidate. This, by the way, really is what the rules dictate; precincts that allowed more than one person to speak were breaking the rules. Unfortunately for us, our caucus leader was a stickler. More interminable waiting while the switched votes were counted and the delegates allocated, after which we split up—bye, new Obama friends!—and elected delegates by written vote.

    The whole thing took a good three hours. And while I do geek out over the process (and enjoyed the discussion that took place in the down times), I can also see why so many people are turned off by caucusing—it’s boring, it takes half the day, and at the end of it, all you’ve really done is cast your vote and maybe swayed a person or two to your side. Yes, that’s pretty much the definition of an “intimate connection,” but I can’t help feeling that a less intimate process would be a far more effective (and representative) one.

    So what can be done? Assuming the party isn’t ready to ditch the caucus and replace it with a primary—and that looks pretty unlikely—they ought to at least make it easier for more people to cast their votes by proxy. They should also loosen the rules to allow more debate, and figure out a way to make the process more streamlined so that people won’t defect halfway through. Finally, the Democratic Party has lists of voters—that’s how they raise money, after all; why can’t they use those lists to send postcards to Democrats reminding them the caucus is coming up, and where to go?

    Luke Esser on Voting Rights

    posted by on February 11 at 11:41 AM

    While Luke Esser’s Republican party is still counting votes from Saturday, amused and aghast onlookers are digging into his past, which includes this article, originally muckraked here, from the UW Daily:

    Like any sport worth its salt, in politics you have adversaries, opponents, enemies. Our enemies are loudmouth leftists and shiftless deadbeats. To win the election, we have to keep as many of these people away from the polls as possible.

    Now your average leftist loudmouth is a committed individual and can almost never be persuaded to ignore his constitutional rights. The deadbeats, however, are a different matter entirely. Years of interminable welfare checks and free government services have made these modern-day sloths even more lazy. They will vote on election day, if it isn’t much of a bother. But even the slightest inconvenience can keep them from the polling place.

    Many of the most successful anti-deadbeat voter techniques (poll taxes, sound beatings, etc.) that conservatives have used in the past have been outlawed by busybody judges.

    The only means of persuasion left available to us are Acts of God, who we know is exclusively on our side. I’m talking about seriously inclement weather. I want Biblical floods and pestilence. I will settle for rain, sweet rain. The deadbeats won’t even go out in the rain for their welfare checks (they send one of their social workers to pick it up). There’s no way they’ll vote if it’s raining.

    You’ve Probably Already Watched This…

    posted by on February 11 at 11:38 AM

    …seeing as it’s been viewed 1.5 million times already. But on the off chance that some Slog readers are among the nearly 6 billion people on earth that haven’t watched it yet, here it is:

    Objet du Désir

    posted by on February 11 at 11:32 AM

    What I have said about Italian women
    ..also goes for French women:

    The idea that older women are desirable goes right to the top. Before Nicolas Sarkozy hooked up with his new bride, 40-year-old Carla Bruni, a French magazine suggested some matches for the newly divorced president, including 50-ish TV presenters, writers and an extremely buff sailing champion. After all, Sarkozy, 53, had just been dumped by his then 49-year-old wife Cecilia, who had famously obsessed him and who had had no trouble finding other suitors.

    …This post-menopausal sexiness is palpable here. In the lingerie section of an upscale department store, I recently watched a gray-haired man earnestly inspecting the black lace bra and panties that his similarly aged companion had just picked out. “That’s just what’s needed,” he clucked, handing his credit card to the clerk.

    …In the French version, women weren’t expected to forgo high heels and chivalry in exchange for equality. So it’s not surprising here when successful women retain their charms. In the United States, the two can seem mutually exclusive. The right-wing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh felt free to question Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy in December by sneering, “Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?”

    …When the French writer Elisabeth Weissman interviewed dozens of older Frenchmen for the book “Un Âge Nommé Désir” (“An Age Named Desire”), she found that “they see in maturity a form of eroticism.” French Playboy’s photo spread on the 43-year-old Juliette Binoche in November carried text that gushed, “The more time passes, the more her inner beauty glows.” Wisdom — combined with regular exfoliation — is sexy here.

    It’s mostly a matter of mode, a matter of articulation, a matter of being the right or best way toward death. What America needs is a new mode, a new articulation, a post-Christian body and erotics.

    Mayor Freezes Council Housing Fund

    posted by on February 11 at 11:26 AM

    A $350,000 fund set aside by City Council to assist financially vulnerable tenants displaced by condo conversions, has been indefinitely frozen by Mayor Greg Nickels’ office. The fund, passed as part of the City’s 2008 budget, was created to act as a stop-gap solution, so Seattle residents would not have to wait for the state legislature to deal with the massive number of apartment conversions in the last few years.

    Since 2004, Seattle has lost over 6,000 rental units to condo conversion. Previously, displaced tenants—who made less than $41,700, or 80 percent of Seattle’s median income—were given $500 to move out of converted buildings. Tenants and housing groups complained the $500 did not sufficiently provide low-income tenants with the financial means to move, let alone pay for a deposit and first and last month’s rent on a new apartment.

    The $350,000 set aside by council would have provided as much as $1500 to tenants who made as little as 30 percent of the median income. Households that made 31-50% of median income would get $1000, and those in the 51-80% range would get $500.

    According to the City’s Human Services Department (HSD), Nickels wanted to hold off on setting up the fund—despite Council’s 2008 budget proviso—until the legislature came back with a plan to deal with conversions or HSD’s budget shortfall was squared away. However, Senate Bill 6411—designed to regulate condo conversions at the state level—failed to make it out of committee last week, and is effectively dead. With SB-6411 dead, there will undoubtedly be a fight between Council and the Mayor’s office over the frozen funds.

    “To play with people’s lives like this is an outrage,” says John Fox of the Seattle Displacement Coalition. “It’s just shameful and we’ve got deal with it.” Fox pushed for the Council legislation, working with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen last year, and he says he was shocked to find out about the Mayor’s move. “To sacrifice the needs of a couple hundred households [and hold] tenants hostage is unacceptable. It’s just shameful and we’ve got deal with it.”

    “We’re just on hold for the next few weeks,” says HSD spokeswoman Sara Levin. According to Levin, HSD was instructed by Nickels to hold off on setting up the council fund in the hopes that the state legislature quickly comes back with a plan to deal with conversions.”Our first and foremost concern is how do we fill a half million hole in [our[ budget,” she says, adding the now-gone $565,000 was used to pay for down payment programs, homeless shelters and AIDS housing.

    The $350,000 council fund has already been absorbed into HSD’s $114 million general budget, but the City’s Department of Finance is apparently working to find a way to fix HSD’s finance problems. However, the fix may come too late for some tenants.

    Gregoire’s Obama Endorsement Rattles Elitist Christian Right. Accuse Gov. of Having “Ideas.”

    posted by on February 11 at 11:21 AM

    Gary Randall, the president of the Faith & Freedom Network (Washington State’s version of Focus on the Family) sent out an e-mail to his supporters today decrying Gov. Gregoire’s Obama endorsement.

    His letter gets tangled up in contradictions. At once, he acknowledges that Obama appeals to independents, but then he tries to argue that Obama is on the “elitist, secularist, and socialistic” far left.

    Randall also knocks Gov. Gregoire for leading with “ideas” rather than “beliefs.”

    In her political world its all about ideas. While ideas are very important, there is something that transcends ideas. It is the deeply held belief that peoples of faith base their very lives upon. A Biblical worldview.

    Who’s the elitist now, Mr. Randall? This is just your cute way of saying—without having to prove it—that what you believe is more important than what she believes.

    What a stuck up dude you seem to be.

    I’ve linked Randall’s entire statement after the jump.

    Continue reading "Gregoire's Obama Endorsement Rattles Elitist Christian Right. Accuse Gov. of Having "Ideas."" »

    No You Can’t

    posted by on February 11 at 11:03 AM

    Another McCain campaign spot…

    Via Sullivan.

    Billy Joel Will Say Farewell to Shea

    posted by on February 11 at 11:01 AM

    NEW YORK (AP) — Billy Joel will make “The Last Play at Shea” in a final concert at Shea Stadium on July 16.

    The Piano Man will perform the night after baseball’s All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, the Mets announced Thursday.

    “It’s an honor to help throw Shea the ultimate concert farewell party,” said Joel, 58. “As a sports fan and a music lover, I will always have a place for Shea Stadium in my heart. I thank the Mets for giving me and my fans a chance to rock Shea Stadium one last time for the ages.”

    A new stadium, Citi Field, is to open for the 2009 season.

    Land of the Free

    posted by on February 11 at 11:00 AM

    Soon gays and lesbians will be be able to marry. In Cuba.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on February 11 at 11:00 AM


    ‘The Rape of Europa’ at SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall

    This epic film, based on the book by Lynn H. Nicholas, is the story of the Nazi march on Europe, told not through field battles, but in battles for art. Hitler compiled a hit list of wanted artworks before invasions, from Leonardo in Poland to Rembrandts, Raphaels, and Vermeers in France, Russia, and Italy. An army of people who wanted to keep art out of criminal hands fought on the other side, including museum staffers (some died in the freezing cellar of the Hermitage); the little-known American “Monuments Men”; and mousy little Rose Valland, the French spy. (SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St, 324-9996. 7:30 pm, $8–$10, Feb 8–14.)


    Luke Esser is Famous!

    posted by on February 11 at 10:55 AM

    Up now at Talking Points Memo

    I already noted in the post below the comically unfolding story of Washington state GOP chair Luke Esser, who decided to stop counting the votes in the state GOP caucus with 13% of the votes still uncounted and has spent the last 24 hours coming up with increasingly ridiculous explanations of his actions.

    TPM Reader NM just flagged this article in the Seattle Times which quotes Esser now saying that the state GOP is going to try to get as “close as we can to 100 percent” of the vote counted.

    I mean, don’t knock yourself out, right?

    I guess I’m not surprised that the GOP bigwigs are yawning over this. Huckabee’s just a speed bump they want to roll over and be done with. But I’m more than a little curious why the national political press hasn’t tuned in to this yet. This Esser fellow makes Boss Hogg look like a good government man.

    Esser is the new Logan. Pass it on.

    KEXP Partners with Radio New York

    posted by on February 11 at 10:50 AM

    So that’s where those “John Richards is moving to New York” rumors started…

    Read about it, and discuss, over in Line Out.

    Caucusing Was Sexy

    posted by on February 11 at 10:36 AM

    I wouldn’t say my caucus site on Capitol Hill was cruisy, but there were a few moments when it looked like a gay bar hand emptied out into the crowded halls of Seattle Central. And, thanks to a link from a commenter whose comment I can’t find right now, I know that there were more than a few caucus crushes—m4m, w4m, w4w, etc. From you know where:

    I wanted to talk to you after the caucus but had to run. Really liked what you had to say. We made eye contact a few times across the room, I have wavy blonde hair and was wearing a scarf. Want to meet up in your old neighborhood?

    P.S. You were my delegate of choice:)

    We spotted each other at the Saturday Democratic caucus at the Madrona School at the end of Union Street. We are both in the 1884 precinct and we both support Hillary Clinton. I wanted to introduce myself after our exchange of mutual glances, sparks flew! But the crowd was intense, and I thought you were with a lady. It was clear you were alone only as you were leaving. I am the short bald buzzed beard guy. Do connect and I can supply pics and info to support this contact. Our glances spoke volumes. Let’s have coffee and I can supply the next chapter. Woof!
    Hey, I kept catching your eye, but I was also trying to see what the story is with these caucuses. I hoped to catch you on the way out but you left early. Something about a gorgeous girl at a democratic caucus… would lov to have coffee or something… I was in jeans and a track jacket, jeans, blue hat…

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on February 11 at 10:30 AM

    A detail from Timea Tihanyi’s The unexpected momentum of small things in a space occupied by other small (and relatively large) objects (2008), handmade paper, felt, and video.

    At Gallery 4Culture.

    From a Brand New Delegate

    posted by on February 11 at 10:01 AM

    Received on Saturday:

    Thanks for all your great election reporting—I learned everything I needed to know about caucusing from the Slog!

    Today I was elected to be an Obama delegate, and quite a few other people I know are either delegates or alternates for their precincts. I hope someone on the Slog will step in to tell us what to expect, because my precinct leader was clueless… she had to run next door just to find out when the next meeting would be for delegates, and that’s all the information she provided.

    Never fear. The Slog is a full-service election geek help center, and we will assist you in navigating the county convention process and legislative district caucus process when the time comes. (And by “we” I mean, most likely, Annie Wagner: Stranger film editor, 2008 and 2004 delegate, and all-around encyclopedia of Democratic procedural knowledge.)

    Also: You probably won’t be surprised to hear that a good number of Stranger and Stranger-connected people are brand new delegates for their precincts. I’m thinking a list of all the Stranger-minded delegates could come in very handy. (Imagine the party platform planks they could push!)

    So if you consider yourself a Stranger-minded delegate, shoot me an email with “I’m a delegate” in the subject line.

    Maybe you’ll never hear back from us. Or maybe someone will arrange a boozy delegate meet-up before (or after? or during?) the convention. Or maybe you people will take over the party.

    The Morning News

    posted by on February 11 at 10:00 AM

    In Iraq: Car bombs and gunmen kill more than 50.

    In Guantanamo: US charges six for alleged involvement in 9/11.

    In Zurich: Four important paintings stolen.

    Rejected: Microsoft’s Yahoo takeover bid.

    Clinton: Staff change “not significant.”

    Obama: Narrowly leading McCain in latest nationwide poll.

    Huckabee: Not backing down.

    Gates: Endorses delay of troop reductions.

    Today in Religious Stupidity

    posted by on February 11 at 9:51 AM

    In the UK some Muslim medical students are refusing to obey new hygiene rules—because exposing their forearms to scrub up would be “immodest.” From the Telegraph:

    Women training in several hospitals in England have raised objections to removing their arm coverings in theatre and to rolling up their sleeves when washing their hands, because it is regarded as immodest in Islam.

    Universities and NHS trusts fear many more will refuse to co-operate with new Department of Health guidance, introduced this month, which stipulates that all doctors must be “bare below the elbow.”

    The measure is deemed necessary to stop the spread of infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile, which have killed hundreds.

    So, Joel, do the dictates of religious tolerance require Brits to risk exposure to MRSA? Or can these women be shown the door?

    Crossing the Bridge

    posted by on February 11 at 9:48 AM

    I don’t have a whole lot to add to all the other Roy Scheider tributes popping up out there, only to say that those who just knew him from the high points of Jaws or All That Jazz should immediately get to the video store to check him out grimly busting up cars in The Seven-Ups, or going all the way with Cronenberg’s gloppy conceits in Naked Lunch, or Marathon Man, where he makes Dustin Hoffman’s Method acting look silly within their first few seconds on screen. Whatever the part, he always mixed true professionalism with a genuine enthusiasm for being on screen. Without his busted schnozz, the movies just seem a little more bogus.

    The only time he ever seemed truly unhappy in a movie, really, was in William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, a legendarily cursed shoot that’s only now starting to creep beyond cult status. Whatever the conflict and shooting difficulties off-screen (Scheider was reportedly pissed off enough at Friedkin’s Gestapo directing style to refuse to ever talk about the film in interviews), it’s a credit to his very real, very underrated talent that he managed to take it all in and work with it to create a tight-lipped, scary marvel of a performance – a true existentialist hero, even for folks who don’t bother much with philosophy. The director wanted Steve McQueen; he wouldn’t have pulled it off half as well.

    posted by on February 11 at 9:46 AM

    The viral video of the moment…


    posted by on February 11 at 9:45 AM

    This cosmic event…

    …and this social event?
    They met exactly a decade ago, 1998, in this movie. Remember the president in that disaster flick? This is no joke. As the rap group The Coup learned on September 11, 2001, the traffic between reality and fiction is not one-way. It also moves from fiction to reality. Shamwari (my friend), if Obama is elected, daily do your best to keep one eye on the sky.

    Dangerous Toys

    posted by on February 11 at 9:30 AM

    Yesterday’s New York Times Magazine had a piece by Peggy Orenstein about two books for girls inspired by the best-selling Dangerous Book for Boys. Orenstein discusses the appeal of Dangerous (nostalgia for a lost form of boyhood) versus the appeal of The Daring Book for Girls or The Girls’ Book: How to Be the Best at Everything (pre-nostalgia for a new kind of girlhood). This graph broke my big, gay heart:

    Whether girlie or girlist, girls, because they’re allowed more latitude in their identities, can still be girls: Boys, on the other hand, must be boys—unless no one is watching. In another study of younger children, Cherney and London found that if ushered alone into a room and told they could play with anything, nearly half the boys chose “feminine” toys as often as “masculine” ones, provided they believed nobody, especially their fathers, would find out. That made me question whether any more expansive vision of girlhood can survive without a similar overhaul of boyhood, which, apparently, is not in the offing. Learning to “create an amazing dance routine” (as suggested by “Everything”) is still far more Dangerous for boys than, as their own volume suggests, learning to juggle.

    Today in Coffee and Internets

    posted by on February 11 at 9:30 AM

    Local coffee concern “Starbucks” ditches longtime wi-fi partner T-Mobile for AT&T, offering customers lower prices and free access with purchase.

    If you have a Starbucks stored-value card, you get 2 hours of free wi-fi per day, with purchase. Otherwise, it’s $4 for 2 hours or $20/month—significantly cheaper than T-Mobile’s pricing.

    I still think Starbucks is crazy not to make their wi-fi just plain old free (or at least free with purchase, no time limit, no silly cards), but this is an improvement*. I’m not a regular Starbucks customer, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve been stuck with an urgent task, no access, and nothing but 6 Starbuckses in range.

    T-Mobile will lose 7,000 of their 9,000 access points. Ouch.

    * An improvement, that is, except for the part about AT&T seeming to really enjoy colluding with our psychotic overlords and all that. That part not so good.

    Downtown’s Hope Diamond

    posted by on February 11 at 9:19 AM

    Today’s Seattle Times has a story on the crystalline Fifth and Columbia Tower, being shoehorned into the same block as the Rainier Club and the First United Methodist Church. In December, Daniel Development revised its plans from a 33-story office building to a 660-foot, 41-story tower, reflecting the surrounding metropolis in its 18 facets. This rendering by Zimmer, Gunsul, Frasca Architects puts it in context with the skyline.


    Can the city expect more awesome proposals like this one?

    The Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects is sponsoring a public conversation on the future of downtown today at noon at the downtown public library, 1000 Fourth Ave., in the Microsoft Auditorium on Level 1. Speakers include City Librarian Deborah Jacobs, Seattle Art Museum Director Mimi Gates, architect John Nesholm and developer Greg Smith. The event is free.

    UPDATE: I just posted a rendering of the comparatively drab ground-floor after the jump.

    Continue reading "Downtown’s Hope Diamond" »

    Daily Paper to Become Free Weekly

    posted by on February 11 at 8:57 AM

    Actually it’s going to become a free bi-weekly.

    Beginning April 30, the news and opinion edition of The Capital Times will be published on Wednesdays. It will be distributed with home-delivered Wisconsin State Journal subscriptions throughout and just beyond Dane County and offered free throughout the Madison area in newspaper racks. It will offer in-depth news and public affairs stories as well as the newspaper’s highly regarded opinion and commentary content, Frink said.

    The Capital Times will also produce a weekly arts, entertainment and culture section that will be distributed on Thursdays with the Wisconsin State Journal and offered free in newspaper racks in the Madison area. It will replace the current Rhythm publication, which is co-produced with the State Journal and appears in both newspapers.

    The 90 year-old Capitol Times in Madison, Wisconsin, is the liberal paper; the older Wisconsin State Journal is the conservative paper. And the papers are operated under a JOA, like the PI and Seattle Times, meaning they have joint business operations but independent editorial departments. A sign of things to come in Seattle?

    Slog Happy This Thursday

    posted by on February 11 at 8:33 AM

    Sean Nelson: Not Braindead

    posted by on February 11 at 8:14 AM

    It was interesting reading Savage’s take on the caucus he went to, which included this sentence—

    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…

    —and then reading Sean Nelson’s take on the caucus he went to, because Nelson’s post was all about being undecided and not only was it not braindead, it had more brain power in it, more thinking, than anything I’ve read about the Washington caucus. Nelson’s basic position: “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.” That’s pretty good, although Nelson’s best sentence is: “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.’” Or possibly: “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.”

    Then Nelson gets into it with this Mormon-like Obama fan…

    He told me how on Maher’s show, a leading Republican pollster said the Rs were chomping 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?

    …and this… well, this is where I’m not with you, Sean. I don’t think it’s immoral. The fact is, Democrats have a platform the way Republicans have a platform—generally speaking, there are things Democrats agree on, things they disagree with Republicans on. As Josh Feit and Annie Wagner—authors of the Stranger Election Control Board’s endorsement of Obama for president—write: “His promise lies in his ability to appeal to a wide cross section of Americans, and hopefully persuade them that…long-standing Democratic goals are mainstream no-brainers.”

    I do think that Obama can do that, that he’s persuasive on that level, and that Clinton isn’t—and it’s not immoral to think like that. Matter of fact, I stood up in my precinct meeting and said a few brief words, to the tune of: It’s important to me to win. Sure, we shouldn’t listen to polls, but when pollsters match up Clinton and McCain, independents go for McCain. When it’s Obama and McCain, independents go for Obama. And whoever has the indepents wins. I didn’t even mention Republicans.

    Then I sat down and a guy raised his hand and stood and said, “I wasn’t going to tell anyone this, but I am a lifelong Republican and I am here to vote for Obama.” I couldn’t have planned the moment better.

    Bye Bye Life

    posted by on February 11 at 8:11 AM

    Straight boys of a certain age will always remember Roy Scheider for his performance as Chief Brody in Jaws, of course. Gay boys of a certain age will always remember him for his performance as a so-so entertainer, not much of a humanitarian, and nobody’s friend in All That Jazz.

    This is some freaky, tripped-out shit—courtesy of director Bob Fosse—and it ends with Scheider… well, I’m not going to say. It’s 10 minutes long, morbidly depressing, and totally worth watching.

    Your Early Morning Appetite Suppressant, Mr. Savage

    posted by on February 11 at 7:31 AM

    So…. Tony Orlando is doing commercials for a weight-loss program now, and the first thing I see this AM is a “before” picture of Mr. Orlando shirtless, 63, and 103 pounds overweight. Cancel my room service order, please.

    Sunday, February 10, 2008

    Don’t Play Hockey

    posted by on February 10 at 11:33 PM

    Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik takes a skate to the carotid artery in tonight’s game against the Sabres.

    More from The Hockey Herald

    Via Slog-tipper and ex-Stranger helpdesk wizard John.

    Oh, and yeah, it appears the guy is going to be okay.

    Re: Unconfirmed Reports

    posted by on February 10 at 10:51 PM

    Dan asks… Anybody nearby? Anybody got pictures?

    Yup! Lots of ‘em.

    There is always the danger that these kinds of shenanigans only create sympathy for the “church,” and inevitably people will go too far and do just that or worse. That will be bad for everybody.

    Still, every time I tell someone the long, twisted, rambling (hilarious!) story of my confrontation with Scientology (On bookshelves one day maybe! Watch this space!), they are shocked and horrified. Scientology’s quest for legitimacy has been far, far too successful, and they need some serious exposing.

    The Jaws of Death…

    posted by on February 10 at 9:40 PM


    …have claimed Roy Scheider.


    posted by on February 10 at 9:05 PM

    Maine goes for Obama by a wide margin, Clinton cans her campaign manager.

    You Know You Want to Watch the Grammys…

    posted by on February 10 at 3:18 PM


    Will Amy Winehouse perform? Will she be able to stand up on her own?

    Will Michael Jackson show up? Will Britney? Will the two of them fight for the crazy crown?

    There’s only one way to find out—we’re gonna have to watch. I’ll be liveblogging the Grammys over on Line Out starting at 8 pm (the show airs on CBS, channel 7). So many exciting things could happen! Or… they could be excruciatingly uneventful. Either way, let’s get through it together.

    See you then!

    (Click here to see the full list of awards and nominations.)

    Huckabee Lawyers Up Over Washington Caucus Results

    posted by on February 10 at 2:35 PM

    Via Postman, Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager is blasting Luke Esser, chair of the Washington State Republican Party, over the way the Republican caucus vote count was conducted here.

    In particular, the Huckabee camp is furious that Esser’s people apparently stopped counting votes and declared victory for McCain with only 87-percent of precincts reporting, 242 votes separating McCain and Huckabee, and 1,500 votes still uncounted.

    After all the very loud complaining the state Republicans have done over the way votes were counted during the 2004 governor’s race, and after all the charges of incompetence and liberal bias they have leveled against vote-counters in King County, it must be a bitter irony for Esser that he is now being called on the carpet by fellow Republican (and current Huckabee campaign chair) Ed Rollins.

    Rollins, for his part, does not miss the irony. Here’s his statement:

    The Huckabee campaign is deeply disturbed by the obvious irregularities in the Washington State Republican precinct caucuses. It is very unfortunate that the Washington State Party Chairman, Luke Esser, chose to call the race for John McCain after only 87 percent of the vote was counted. According to CNN, the difference between Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee is a mere 242 votes, out of more than 12,000 votes counted—with another 1500 or so votes, apparently, not counted. That is an outrage.

    In other words, more than one in eight Evergreen State Republicans have been disenfranchised by the actions of their own party. This was an error in judgment by Mr. Esser. It was Mr. Esser’s duty to oversee a fair vote-count process. Washington Republicans know, from bitter experience in the 2004 gubernatorial election, the terrible results that can come from bad ballot-counting.

    Frankly, I am disappointed in the way that Mr. Esser has handled this urgent matter. So I call upon Mr. Esser and his colleagues to cooperate fully with the Huckabee campaign—and all Republicans, everywhere, who care about honest and transparent vote-counting—to make sure that every vote is counted and that all Republicans in Washington have the chance to make their votes count. Attempts by our campaign to contact Mr. Esser have been unsuccessful. Our lawyers will be on the ground in Washington State soon, and we look forward to sitting down with Mr. Esser to evaluate this process, to see why the count took so long, and why the vote-counting was stopped prematurely.

    It would be a disservice to every voter in Washington State to not pursue a full accounting of all votes cast.

    This is not about Mike Huckabee. This is not about Senator John McCain. This is about the failings of the Washington State Republican Party. All Republicans should unite to demand an honest accounting of the votes, so that Republicans can have full confidence in the results, and full confidence in the eventual Republican nominee. As I said, we are prepared to go to court, and we are also prepared to take our case all the way to the Republican National Convention in September.

    Our cause is just. We must reemphasize the sacred American principle that all ballots be counted in a free, fair, and transparent manner.

    Baby on Board

    posted by on February 10 at 1:08 PM

    In Brooklyn some bar owners are being praised/pilloried for banning strollers—and, consequently, infants—from bars.

    I have two questions: Why don’t more people use baby backpacks? They don’t take up whole sidewalks, they’re not nearly as bulky, and you actually get some exercise walking around carrying the baby on your back. And… if screaming infants don’t belong in bars… how about the first class compartment of an airplane? There are three in here with me. It doesn’t seem right. (And for the record: I got here with miles people, not money.)

    Will Huckabee Sue the Washington State GOP?

    posted by on February 10 at 12:53 PM

    Huckabee says “we’re looking at some legal issues up there.” This is getting interesting…

    Maine Event

    posted by on February 10 at 12:49 PM

    It sounds like they’re having similar turnout issues at Maine’s caucuses today:

    I am at the Portland caucus now and things here are very chaotic. The line stretched around the block 30 minutes before the doors opened and now encircles the entire block. There are far more people trying to get in than the high school can hold. It will be interesting to see how they sort this out.

    The Great Gall of China

    posted by on February 10 at 12:39 PM

    Via Drudge:

    British Olympic chiefs are to force athletes to sign a contract promising not to speak out about China’s appalling human rights record—or face being banned from travelling to Beijing. The move—which raises the spectre of the order given to the England football team to give a Nazi salute in Berlin in 1938—immediately provoked a storm of protest.

    The controversial clause has been inserted into athletes’ contracts for the first time and forbids them from making any political comment about countries staging the Olympic Games.

    Are American athletes being asked to sign similar contracts?

    Headlines of the Day

    posted by on February 10 at 12:04 PM


    Caucusing with Jack: A Belated Report

    posted by on February 10 at 12:03 PM

    All you people who were crammed into mayhem for your caucus: That sucks. My caucus, at a lovely Private Home on Capitol Hill, was crowded (114 people, a record for the Private Home; previous largest Democratic event crowd, 80 people) but highly civilized: Refreshments included several kinds of cookies, satsumas, tea, coffee, and those tiny bottles molded out of chocolate filled with different kinds of liquor. I had Jack Daniels. (All our delegates but one went to Obama. The holdouts included me, my mother, and the oldest, most wonderful lady in America, who during the debate period compared H.R.C. to another of her all-time favorite candidates, Adlai Stevenson.)

    Patty and Maria: Super Delegates Spoilers?

    posted by on February 10 at 11:49 AM


    Washington’s U.S. Senators—Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell—are both Dems, and both endorsed Hillary Clinton before Washington state’s Democratic caucuses. Murray and Cantwell are also Democratic super delegates. If Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both fail to reach the magic number of delegates needed to secure the nomination—2025—when the primaries are over, which is looking like a distinct possibility, Democratic super delegates could pick the party’s nominee. Clinton right now, according to Real Clear Politics, has more super delegates pledged to her (213) than Obama does (139). So it’s possible that Democratic voters could give more delegates to Obama only to see Democratic super delegates—powerful party figures, elected officials, etc.—hand the nomination to Clinton. Says John at Americablog:

    Again, why do these people even get a vote? Oh that’s right, they were created to steal the election in case the party thought your choice was stupid.

    Says Barack Obama in the NYT:

    “My strong belief is that if we end up with the most states and the most pledged delegates from the most voters in the country, that it would be problematic for the political insiders to overturn the judgment of the voters,” Mr. Obama said.

    So… now that Washington state Democrats have gone for Barack by a two-to-one margin, it’s fair to ask Murray and Cantwell what they intend to do if Barack Obama emerges from the primaries with more delegates than Clinton but not 2025 delegates. Will they give their support to the person that won the most delegates during the primary? Or will they stick with Clinton, perhaps awarding the nomination to the person that got fewer delegates during the primary? At the moment we don’t know who will get more delegates—could be Barack, could be Hillary—so now’s the time, I think, to pin super delegates down: Are they going to respect the will of Democratic voters or not?

    Of course, as the NYT points out, super delegates were created to thwart the will of the voters:

    Superdelegates, created in 1982, were intended to restore some of the power over the nomination process to party insiders, tempering the zeal of party activists. About 15 to 20 percent of the delegates at Democratic conventions are superdelegates.

    And, hey, fair’s fair: Chris Gregoire is also a super delegate, and she’s endorsed Obama. The question—stick with the person she endorsed? go with the candidate Democratic voters prefer?—should be put to Gregoire too.

    Brown Nosing Made Easier

    posted by on February 10 at 11:20 AM

    Chris Wallace at Fox News is a “probing, hard-nosed journalist,” says Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, and that comes in handy at Fox News. Because, you see, it’s a lot easier to probe the president’s ass with a hard nose than it is with a soft one.

    Unconfirmed Report

    posted by on February 10 at 11:15 AM

    Hey… we just drove past the Washington State Scientology headquarters building on Aurora @ Broad. There are about 50-75 goth-costumed (with skeleton masks) people on both sides of Aurora all chanting and holding up signs that say stuff like “Scientology Kills.” What gives?

    Anybody nearby? Anybody got pictures? And here’s hoping protesters start showing up in Westlake Center and Golden Gardens and Alki whenever the Scientologists set up their pointy yellow tents.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on February 10 at 11:00 AM

    Abstract Hiphop

    DJ Shadow at Showbox at the Market

    Just go to this show—it’s the right thing to do. What makes it right? DJ Shadow simply means it can’t go wrong. The legendary Bay Area producer, remixer, and scratcher will be in the house with Cut Chemist. (The two recently released a collaboration called Hard Sell.) Kid Koala, the turntable genius from Montreal, will also be in the house. Indeed, this is less a show and more of a temporary temple for a hiphop art that was eclipsed many years ago by the self-obsessed rapper. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-0888. 8 pm, $30 adv/$35 DOS, 21+.)


    Re: Full Farce

    posted by on February 10 at 10:21 AM

    OK, Dan is confused. The numbers cited below represent precinct delegates elected; those totals are static regardless of turnout. The Ds have released their estimated turnout, but 200,000 is obviously a rounded number. The Rs haven’t released theirs, as far as I can tell, so we have no stat to compare.

    However, even if we had the Republican turnout number, we still wouldn’t be able to compare those stats fairly. For the Rs, you basically cast half of your vote in the caucuses; if you want to cast your other half a vote, you have to vote in the primary. Obviously, many Rs may have decided that they’d settle for half a vote in exchange for a free Saturday. Ds didn’t have that option.

    Confusing enough?

    Huckabee Isn’t Conceding Washington

    posted by on February 10 at 9:40 AM

    We know the GOP as a rule doesn’t like to count every vote—Florida 2000, Washington state 2004—but the GOP usually seeks to shut down vote counting in general elections, not primaries. But with nearly 13% of the vote left to count, Luke Esser and the rest of the gang at Washington state’s GOP stopped counting the votes from yesterday’s GOP caucus. And Mike “Miracles” Huckabee ain’t havin’ it:

    The Washington State GOP, with 87.2 percent reporting, discontinued the counting process. We are looking into the matter. We are committed to making certain EVERY vote is counted. We will keep you posted.

    Oh, that’s so cute. A Republican presidential candidate demanding that every vote be counted—live long enough, I guess, and you’ll see everything.

    The question, of course, is why the state GOP stopped counting those caucus votes. And the answer seems obvious: McCain might have lost if they kept counting votes, which would have given Huckabee a three-state sweep yesterday. When they stopped counting the vote yesterday McCain had 25.7% to Huckabee’s 23.9%.

    Ha ha. Last week after McCain won most Super Tuesday states and Romney dropped out, Republicans were crowing about the advantage they now held over the Democrats. The GOP was uniting behind McCain, their presumptive nominee, while the Democrats were going to slug it out all the way to the convention, Hillary and Barack bloodying each other up for months, while the GOP prepared to take on the wounded Dem nominee in November’s general election. But the GOP isn’t uniting behind McCain: Romney got CPAC’s endorsement after withdrawing from the race, and wound up taking 16.7% of the vote here in Washington state. Huckabee refuses to drop out, won two states yesterday, and may have won Washington state too.

    Full Farce

    posted by on February 10 at 9:27 AM

    The chairman of the Washington State Republican Party had this to say in a press release yesterday evening:

    What a great day for Washington Republicans. They came out in full force today to support their candidates, and to make their voices heard.

    If the showing at your caucuses yesterday represented the “full force” of Washington state Republicans, Luke, then yesterday was a great day for Washington Democrats. All four of your candidates—McCain, Huckabee, Romney, Paul, and Uncommitted—pulled 13,475 votes combined. Obama alone, on the Dem side, pulled 21,629 votes. Hillary, our loser, got nearly three times as many votes as McCain, your winner.

    If yesterday represented the GOP’s full force in Washington state, well, you might wanna tell Dino Rossi not to shut down his lil’ tink tank, Luke. He’s going to need a job come 2009. And so are you.

    UPDATE: Okay, so I’m confused—the whole caucus process is confusing. The votes I cited above—from the NYT—represent precincts won, not votes counted. Duh. I am dum. Does the GOP have fewer precincts in Washington than the Dems? Or, wait, they have fewer delegates in the same number of precincts? Someone set me straight. Roughly 200,000 Dems participated in the caucuses yesterday compared to… how many at the GOP caucuses? That’s the relevant number and I haven’t been able to find it in the last five minutes. Anybody?

    The Morning News

    posted by on February 10 at 9:00 AM

    For Those Living Under a Rock: Obama sweeps three states.

    Superdelegates: Obama and Clinton put on the charm.

    Shudder: Ron Paul comes close in Washington.

    Stabber: U-District.

    To Fight for Your Party’s Right: 27 killed at Pakistan rally.

    Walk this Way: 12,000 Darfur refugees leave for Chad.

    Turkey Wraps: Lifts college scarf ban.

    Urban Resistance: Tell them of a magical land called Shoreline.

    Commocean: Woman allegedly threatens to detonate Scandinavian oil rig oil rig named “The Safe Scandinavia.”

    Guaranteed Deadlock: Gay Mormons want to work things out with church.

    Rigs in Space! Unspecified illness causes delays.

    Campaign Trail by Fire: Newsweek stokes McCain’s resentment from right.

    Till Death Do Us Part: 36-year-old bride dies at wedding reception.