This was originally published Friday at 4:55 pm.
The SECB is Bethany Jean Clement, Christopher Frizzelle, Jen Graves, Dominic Holden, Tim Keck, Brendan Kiley, Eli Sanders, Dan Savage, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, and Lindy West.
Full disclosure: Kay Smith-Blum, the candidate we're endorsing for School Board Position #5, owns a business that advertises in The Stranger. The Election Control Board does not take advertising into consideration when making endorsements.
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted to provide an emergency $2 billion for the “cash for clunkers” program on Friday, and the White House declared the program very much alive, even though car buyers appear to have already snapped up the $1 billion that Congress originally appropriated.Seriously, if the billions that were thrown at the banks went instead to programs like this, (social engineering) programs that circulate money and have some positive environmental results, then we would be climbing out of this recession at a faster rate. And, yes, I'm a lover of successful soft social engineering.
The House shoved other business out of the way on its last day before the August recess to rush through a measure to address the cash shortage of the car program. The vote was 316 to 109, with significant support from Republicans as well as Democrats.
Tonight at Cal Anderson Park, Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema continues its summer series of beloved '80s trash with 1980's Flash Gordon.
I have never seen 1980's Flash Gordon, but every bit of info I learn about it makes me think I should. Specifically:
*Leading man Sam Jones posed nekkid for Playgirl! And eyewitnesses say his performance in Flash Gordon is "bulge-o-rific!"
*Soundtrack by Queen!
*Villainy by Max Von Sydow!
*An 83% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with the movie mag Empire opining, "This campy extravaganza has it all—heroes, villains, beautiful women and high stakes. Laughably bad and fantastically good all at once, this is a guilty pleasure that everyone can enjoy."
If all that's not enough to entice you, there's this:
Gay nerd herd!
Tonight a bunch of gaymers are meeting up to watch Flash Gordon in Cal Anderson Park. We're meeting at Molly Moons for ice cream at 8. About 20 people are going so far but it would be great to get the word out to more gay nerds. I'll be wearing a Flash Gordon tshirt!
Gay nerd herd! Movie starts around 9pm, when the sun goes down. Bring blankets for the grass (and vice versa). Free!
Even though they say that Mallahan isn't ready to be the mayor. Weird. And wasn't Joni Balter's starry-eyed obsequiousness to Mallahan at City Club last week really weird, too? Is it just his money, Seattle Times? You like him because he's rich?
Lots of great stuff in the film section this week. Plus, movies = air conditioning (sometimes)!
Sean Nelson says In the Loop is the new Dr. Strangelove:
Iannucci isn't advancing an argument for a superior ideology the way inferior political satires like War, Inc. or Bob Roberts or Bowling for Columbine did. Instead, the film seems to argue that ideology is utterly beside the point—either in terms of its politics or its satire. For the powerful, the only doctrine that has any meaning at all is the one that preserves the power structure.
He interviews director Armando Iannucci HERE.
Jen Graves falls in love with hobbity art legends Herb and Dorothy Vogel in Herb & Dorothy:
Megumi Sasaki's documentary about their lives is a gem: We see them heckling artists like Richard Tuttle about the "rejects" he's made, which they would like to acquire; we see their perplexed relatives in matching blue recliners wondering why the hell these people can't just "live like us"; we see plaid blankets drawn back on artworks in their apartment that they've been protecting from the light for decades (by Sol LeWitt, Richard Artschwager, Andy Goldsworthy); we see their Carl Andre sculpture in a chocolate box.
Charles Mudede discusses Africa then and now, in Soul Power:
There is so much hope in this music, in Ali's rapping, in the faces of the Africans building the stadium or performing in the streets of Kinshasa. But night is falling on this world. Zaire is on the verge of becoming again "one of the dark places of the earth."
Andrew Wright is unimpressed by Funny People, Judd Apatow's attempt at sincerity:
Taken as a sloppy, maudlin, two-and-a-half-hour whole, it paints the picture of a talented filmmaker whose insular self-regard is beginning to attract small planetoids.
I am suitably alarmed by 1969 political thriller Z:
In our Daily Show—dependent modern lives, the coping mechanisms of choice seem to be farce and outsized disbelief (see In the Loop). Z takes on government corruption with eerie uncertainty and shaky paranoia wrapped in sobering blandness: gray suits, filing cabinets, calm threats.
Brendan Kiley could care less about Shrink, but loves Kevin Spacey:
The plot devices are pat and sometimes ridiculous, but Shrink is all about acting and the acting is superb. Spacey unobtrusively fills the film with his usual understated richness. The first time we see Dr. Carter, he’s waking from another bout of self-administered anesthesia—he sits up, lights a joint, and exhales, his baleful, basset-hound eyes glancing upward with the look of a man who knows he’s in trouble.
And in Limited Runs:
Flash Gordon plays in Cal Anderson Park tonight; Cry-Baby is at Central Cinema; NWFF has On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Topaz (plus Herb & Dorothy, above); the Grand Illusion is playing Phase IV, and their late-night is Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam; the Egyptian late-night is Spice World; and Wallingford Meaningful Movies is screening Why Sex? tonight.
Find more showtimes, reviews, and recommendations on our film page, HERE.
Have fun, y'all! And don't forget, Northwest Film Forum could use your help right now.
Over a thousand people have voted for the Worst Comic Strip of All Time, with Bil Keane's brain-dead schmaltzfest The Family Circus and Cathy Guisewite's eternally ack!-worthy Cathy each holding eactly 29 percent of the vote.
For those of you who don't have the time to analyze C-Span on a day-to-day basis, a new website called Congress Speaks takes care of that for you—and more (in a nod to centaur fetishists, politicians' bodies are either donkeys or elephants). The site has compiled the number of words spoken in the 110th Congress (2007-2008), all 14,548,598 of them, and specified who said what.
Below you can see how many words were spoken by Washington state's congressional delegation, as well as the three words each of them used the most, giving a glimpse of their priorities. Somewhat shocking is that Doc Hastings talked more than anyone else in our House delegation last session because, well, who the fuck knows anything about Doc Hastings?
38,278 Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Pasco): tax, Democrat, question
35,044 Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Seattle): Iraq, war, children
32,806 Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Bainbridge Island): energy, clean, company
13,125 Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Auburn): Washington, Country, Police
12,228 Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Belfair): million, funding, service
11,580 Rep. Brian Baird (D-Vancouver): research, science, urge
7,685 Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane): Washington, Community, Spokane
6,023 Rep. Adam Smith (D-Tacoma): yes, Iraq, unable
2,563 Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Arlington): Washington, wilderness, local
65,663 Sen. Patty Murray (D-Shoreline): home, care, country
35,895 Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Seattle): oil, energy, market
Now you can create songs that sum up the priorities of your favorite members of Congress, just like Ali G does here (at around the 3:50 mark):
...or pay more—quite a bit more, if you like the fancy stuff—tomorrow.
Thanks, again, for nothing, Washington State Liquor Control Board.
Photo by J. Kraemer from The Stranger's flickr pool.
Later this afternoon, The Stranger will post a cheat sheet of our endorsements for the August 18 Primary Election (for those folks planning fill out their ballots this weekend). Our complete endorsements will come out early next week. But in the meantime, here's a legally binding straw poll on who Slog wants to be Seattle's next king:
Image via Lincolnian (Brian) on Flickr.
The Seattle Times posted an editor’s note this morning, correcting and removing the first three paragraphs of a June 24 story on the $25-per-employee “head tax”—used to fund pedestrian and bike street improvements—by reporter Emily Hefter.
The since-removed section (which can still be found in Google's cache):
Seattle's "head tax" costs Carl Hoeflick less than $1,000 a year — $25 annually for each of the employees at his Duwamish manufacturing company.
That's not a lot of money, but still the tax infuriates him. He sees it as a sign the city doesn't show small-business owners enough support.
"The amount is not significant, OK," said Hoeflick, whose company, Katskill Engineering, makes gaskets for vehicles. "But it is the idea of the city sticking it to us, having no clue and having no concern. ... It is an unnecessary burden on us."
As it turns out, Carl Hoeflick doesn’t exist. He is a fictional person, created by a Seattle Times commenter who called Hefter to bitch about the head tax, claiming to be a disgruntled business owner.
Last week, while I was researching the head tax, I called Hefter to try to find out more about Hoeflick. I couldn’t find any information on Hoeflick or his company Katskill Engineering in the phone book or on Google. I called the Department of Licensing, which had no record of Hoeflick or his company, and then called Hefter.
A week later, the Times issued this correction:
The article by Emily Heffter, published June 24 on Page B3, referred to a Carl Hoeflick, owner of a Duwamish-area manufacturing company called Katskill Engineering. After an inquiry from a reporter from The Stranger newspaper who was trying to reach Hoeflick, Times editors determined that neither that person nor his business exists.
Further research revealed that the person Heffter interviewed by telephone, and who initiated the contact, was in fact Edward Seeto of Seattle. Seeto is a frequent commenter on various Web sites, including seattletimes.com. He was the subject of a King County District Court anti-harassment order in 2005, an order sought by and granted to an official of the Seattle Monorail Project.
In a telephone call Thursday, Seeto said he had misrepresented himself to our reporter. He said he did so because "There are people in King County who would retaliate against me."
The Times erred seriously in not confirming the caller's identity before the story was published. We require that the identities of all sources be verified before publication.
As Erica has reported over at Publicola, the Times' editorial board has refused to meet with head tax supporters, and has taken a firm position against the tax.
While editorial boards and news content are supposed to be separate, it certainly is curious that the Times would fail to double check a source who calls in to provide quotes supporting the board's position.
You think that's crazy, Christopher? No. This was crazy:
Former State School Superintendent Terry Bergeson's failed attempt at the WASL
The King County Prosecutor's office will not file charges against a King County Sheriff's Deputy who put a man into a coma following a foot chase in Belltown last May.
On May 10th, around 1 a.m., witnesses mistakenly identified 29-year-old Christopher Harris as an assault suspect after a fight at a bar in Belltown spilled out into the street. Witnesses pointed to Harris, and deputies on scene ordered him to stop. Instead, Harris took off running.
Deputies chased Harris down and Deputy Matthew Paul, seen in the above video, hit Harris, sending him backwards into the wall of the Cinerama movie theater. Harris has been in a coma ever since. Deputy Paul returned to regular duty in Downtown Seattle last month.
The Sheriff's office investigated the case and found no apparent criminal misconduct by deputies, but referred the case over to prosecutors for a final decision. King County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Dan Donohoe says prosecutors came to the same conclusion. "It’s a tragic incident but there’s no legal basis for a criminal charge," Donohoe says.
According to Donohoe, "the law provides that an officer shall not be held criminally liable for using force without malice and with a good faith belief that such act is justifiable." In this case, Donohoe says, deputies believed Harris had committed an assault when they pursued and slammed him into a wall.
Prosecutors informed Harris's family of the decision on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the family was not able to provide comment on the decision or whether the family intends to file a civil suit against the county.
It's not so blinding hot today! We can play outside again. Maybe you can even take your dog for a nice bike ride later, like this classic...
We're not publishing our primary endorsement picks until today at 4:55 pm. That's more than five hours away. What will you do until then? How many times will you hit refresh? For now, enjoy the penmanship of one of the candidates for school board. This letter just arrived in the mail. Bethany Jean Clement suggests that the pitched angle of the lines and the erratic use of upper-case Es as lower-case es suggests a crazy mind. "I like it," Lindy West counters.
Yesterday's protests, in mourning for Neda and others who were killed by security forces or died in prison:
Foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki blames the wicked West.
"Western and European countries, with their overt and covert capabilities, interfered in Iran's election... the worst among them being Britain," Mottaki was quoted on the state broadcaster's website as saying.
"The countries who interfered through their television networks by telling how to instigate riots, build explosives and other tension creating activities are accomplices in all the committed crimes, murders and are held responsible."
Who else blames the U.S., Israel, and Britain for Iran's problems? University professors in the U.S., Israel, and Britain.
Iran and Russia can't get enough of each other—Ahmadinejad hid there during the initial protests and now they're engaging in joint military operations in the Caspian Sea. (Ostensibly for environmental cleanup exercises, which is as plausible as Iran wanting nuclear power without warheads.)
Also this week: Ahmadinejad's interior minister was convicted of fraud, the U.S. Senate voted to ban companies who do oil business with Iran from receiving Energy Department contracts to sell crude to the U.S. Strategic Reserve, and the fucking Germans at Knauf Gips have threatened to fire any Iranian employees who participate in protests.
Get a load of the nerd! Okay, I agree this is moderately—MODERATELY—cool… but c'mon. He either needs to find a girlfriend, or raise some money on the internet to buy one.
Big (bad) news for the dog lovers of Seattle:
New Seattle Seahawks coach Jim Mora and ex-con Michael Vick(notes) were apparently good buddies when the pair were together with the Atlanta Falcons so now word is spreading that Vick could end up quarterbacking Seattle this season.Wow. Nothing but wow. I did not see that coming. Next? Make Sarah Palin the team's general manager.
From the ashes of yesterday's Family Circus-soaked poll rises today's follow-up poll:
What is the worst comic strip of all time?
(Click names of comics for examples of each.)
One reading tonight.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt reads at Elliott Bay Book Company. Crow Planet: Finding Our Place in the Zoopolis is about the relationship between humans and crows.
The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here. And if you're planning on staying in and you're looking for personalized book recommendations, feel free to tell me the books you like and ask me what to read next over at Questionland.
I'll be on KUOW's Weekday this morning to talk about the news of the week: the heat, the bag tax debate, the heat, the possible smoking ban in parks, the heat, the murder in South Park, the heat, and last night's "beer summit" at the White House. Oh, and the fucking heat.
94.9 FM starting at 10 a.m. if you want to listen.
This morning, NPR aired a great piece on how Jody Hall, owner of Seattle's Cupcake Royale, is fighting for national health care reform that includes a strong public option. Readers of The Stranger already know a bit about that, but this morning's piece brings up something else I've been meaning to mention. From a press release sent out today by a local small business group advocating for the public option:
This week, Hall began stamping each of her coffee cups with a toll-free number to Congress (1-877-264-4226) urging her customers to call Congress in support of health reform this year.
Her idea inspired other coffee shops and small business owners to join in promoting health reform to their customers. Coffee shops across the country have begun stamping their cups with the call Congress stamp designed for Hall’s store. Businesses who would like a free “Call Congress for Health Care” stamp can contact the WA Small Business for Secure Health Care Coalition at email@example.com.
Photo of Jody Hall by Kelly O, and photo of cups via Joshua Welter.
In its 95 years of existence, Cornish College of the Arts has never had dorms—until now.
This summer, Cornish is in the (rapid) process of transforming the former Days Inn (at Seventh and Blanchard) and the former Eighth Avenue Inn (on Eighth between Bell and Blanchard) into residence halls for 280 mostly first-year students, who move in starting Sunday, August 30.
Associate Provost Jenifer Ward talks about what's behind the change, why you shouldn't call them dorms, and about Cornish's long-term real-estate dreams.
JG: I want to ask you about Cornish's new dorms—but I'm not supposed to call them dorms, right?
JW: Yeah, let's don't call them dorms. A dorm is a place where you sleep. What we're looking at is more along the lines of a living-learning center, where the co-curriculum dovetails with what the curriculum does, and where life at an arts college is taken seriously as something that happens both in and outside of the classroom.
JG: So in those terms, what is the co-curriculum?
JW: That's yet to be seen. We've just hired a residence life director and a hall director, and they're both dynamite. They've both got good backgrounds in student development.
JG: At arts colleges?
JW: No, but they've both got the right kind of training and background and openness, and they get it—they get students. …It begs the question: Is an 18- or 19-year-old first-year student at an arts college primarily a student or primarily an artist? And I don't have a good answer to that. I think they're both, and I think that we needed to hire people that would not typecast in either direction but would meet these students where they are and try to craft an experience for them, or actually with them, in creating a community that serves them and their whole lives.
JG: Has Cornish ever had residence halls before?
JW: No. So this is just an incredible opportunity for us. One of the things that Cornish says about itself is that it fosters interdisciplinary inquiry and it's innovative, and it tries to push against those boundaries that structure disciplines and explore and all of that, but at the end of the day we do have departments and they have pretty tight curricula and they're pretty structured—and there's not a whole lot of opportunity for people to meet each other outside of their departments. That's in part because it's an urban institution where people come to do their work and then they scatter to Capitol Hill or Queen Anne or wherever to live their lives, and that we still do have a split campus, with part of it in the Denny Triangle, and with music and dance up on the Hill. This is a way for us to forge community that doesn't live only in those boundaries.
JG: Is this only for first-year students?
Nicaragua's ban on all abortions, even when a woman's life is at risk, is compelling incest and rape victims to give birth and contributing to an increase in maternal deaths, according to a report from Amnesty International.Some Christians really know how to make life easy for Satan.
Delegates from the human rights charity, who recently visited the predominantly Catholic country, say young girls subjected to sexual violence by family or friends are forced to give birth even when they are carrying their own brothers and sisters.
The report also says the law has led to a recorded rise in pregnant teenagers committing suicide by consuming poison.
There's an intense debate going in the comment thread connected to yesterday's post on how Teresa Butz fought back, and it includes an equally intense sub-debate: If it turns out that Isaiah Kalebu, the man who has been charged with raping and murdering Butz, was off his bipolar medication at the time of the attack, would that make him more or less responsible for his actions?
Posted by Bi-polar is as real as the consequences:
When I went manic, I bought $32,000 worth of items on credit, ruining said credit. All items were repossessed and I still owe about $50,000 with interest.
Was I forgiven of my debt by my creditors or the government for things I did while out of my mind?
Neither should this guy.
Posted by Take it all in:
This guy is fucked to the max. This crime is fucked beyond belief. The story made me cry.
That said, killing him will not make any of you feel better about what happened to this woman. Nor will it make the world a bright and shiny place with rainbows and unicorns.
Posted by Fnarf:
If I could wish anything for [Butz's] killer, it would be for him to see and understand [the suffering he caused], really understand it. He should be made to go around and share his nightmares, and the ones he has created in others, with at-risk youth like himself who haven't murdered yet. Scare the crap out of them. Make him really PAY, not in more misery but in reducing the misery in others. He'll never balance those books, but he should be made to try.
Posted by Balderdash:
Bipolar disorder, or any mental disorder, is not an excuse for any crime. It's an explanation. People don't commit horrific acts for no reason.
Personally I think executing the perpetrator of this crime is a reasonable and efficient way of ensuring that he never hurts anyone again, under the assumption that anyone who could do something like this is beyond repair and will never be safe or sane.
All the same, downplaying or dismissing mental illness as a contributing factor out of a desire to assign blame, responsibility, and punishment - even though that's an entirely natural reaction - only leads us down the path of failing to do whatever we can to prevent things like this from happening in the future.
Posted by not convinced:
it does seem like there are cases where people are just broken beyond rehabilitation. Criminally insane individuals like Kalebu are exactly what swing me towards the death penalty side. (I'm not talking about whether or not his living out his life in prison costs money, or whether or not he will ever contribute to society, or whether or not future murderers are deterred...but just that he cannot be allowed to ever be free and "snap" like that again.) A life sentence also potentially puts the surviving woman through the hell of having to testify at parole hearings every few years for the rest of Kalebu's life
Posted by Theo Magyar:
Why isn't anyone here advocating for the death penalty advocating for increased funding/ assistance for people diagnosed with mental health issues? And just in case that stance isn't clear , Fnarf is correct about a civilized response ..... and yes, I have seen people who had committed terrible crimes reintegrated into society. For example, I know a man with schizophrenia who murdered his son while undignosed and unmedicated who now lives out of prison (on parole) as a fairly normal member of society due to his diagnosis and treatment... [And] NO, I don't know enough about Kalebu to suggest he is treatable. No one else posting here knows that either, though.
Posted by yucca flower:
It's not that he isn't treatable, but [that] he refuses treatment.
"Declare Victory and Go Home": A senior U.S. military advisor's advice on Iraq.
So That's What It's For: Killer of armored-car guard pleads guilty to avoid death penalty.
Hungry for Blood: Puget Sound Blood Center needs type O, stat.
That Was Fast: 'Cash for Clunkers' plan already broke.
Not So Fast: Congress races to allot another $2 billion for Cash for Clunkers.
Chaw Down!: Study suggests smokeless tobacco poses no cancer risk.
Worst Trip Ever: 'Shrooming Kentucky teen enters wrong home, gets fatally shot.
And finally: Now that the heat wave has broken, we can begin sharing lore about How I Survived Heat Wave '09. I was fine, but as Bethany's slog post of earlier this week pointed out, heat waves totally suck for dogs, which don't even have the luxury of sweating. When things got freakishly hot, we'd put our dog Diane in front of a fan and drape her in a couple of cold, wet washcloths. Not only did this cool her down, it made her look a lot like Little Edie Beale.
Enjoy the cool while it lasts.
A whopping 58 percent of Republicans either think Barack Obama wasn't born in the US (28 percent) or aren't sure (30 percent). A mere 42 percent think he was.It's not a matter of evidence. No final, incontrovertible proof could change a Birther's position. Why? Because the whole sad business is not about facts but a feeling. The feeling is that Obama is not an American. His name, his color, his politics—all form this one code: unAmerican. Everyone knows that John McCain's right to run for the highest political office in this country was on even more rocky ground than Obama's (he was not born on American soil). But from Cain, the Birther receives the codes (a look, a way of talking, a way of acting) that generate the this final feeling: an American.
That means a majority of Republicans polled either don't know about — or don't believe the seemingly incontrovertible evidence Obama's camp has presented over and over and over that he was born in Hawaii in '61.
It also explains why Republicans, including Roy Blunt, are playing footsie with the Birther fringe.
Surprise, surprise: Birther sentiment was strongest in the South and among the 60-plus crowd - presumably because seniors can't log on to the Internet and rely on rumor, word of mouth and right-wing talk radio.
True, a black person can generate the code "an American." Most Birthers certainly feel that Micheal Jordan is an American. But the problem is a question of association. Jordan's associations are understandable for a black American; Obama's are not (he lived overseas, his mother is a white woman who slept with exotic men, he is intelligent, he talks good English). This is the point of crisis. This is why that woman with her birth certificate was having such a fit. Her sense-making systems had crashed. What was left was to shake and shake. Obama is not even a black American to the Birther. He is not even a nigger. He is a completely foreign body.
Tons of photos after the jump...