Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

Archives for 11/02/2008 - 11/08/2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another Minority Community Disappoints at the Ballot Box

posted by on November 8 at 5:13 PM

This time, my own.

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones compared 2004 and 2008 exit polls, and lists the groups that Obama did worse with than Kerry. Topping his list? Gay voters. Kerry won 77%, of the gay vote in 2004; Obama won 70% of gay voters, while the percentage of gay voters going for third-party candidates rose from from 0% to 3%.

Obama did better with gun owners—gun owners—than Kerry did.

So who are the members of this suspect 7%? Who are the homos who voted for Kerry in 2004 but this year voted against the guy that promised to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and DOMA, who voted against the guy who believes that same-sex couples should all the same rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex couples, who voted against the guy that supports adoptions by same-sex couples, who voted against the guy who mentioned gays and lesbians at his convention acceptance speech, who voted against the guy who confronted African American homophobia in an African American church (Martin Luther King’s church), who voted against the guy who endorsed a “NO vote on Prop 8? And instead voted for the guy who supports DOMA and DADT, opposes adoptions by same-sex couples, endorsed the anti-gay marriage amendment in Arizona, and sold his soul to the religious right?

Who are these homos?

I have an idea: The 23% of gays and lesbians who voted for Bush in 2004? Deluded dumbfucks, each and every one, Log Cabin Republicans, rich queers who identify most strongly with other folks in their tax bracket. Hopeless and past help. But the 7% who voted Kerry in 2004 and McCain in 2008? It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that they’re racist gay men and women, homos who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the black guy who, despite his opposition to marriage for same-sex couples, backs us on every other issue.

And as I said in this blog post—a post that brought charges of racism down on my head—these racist homos are scum.

Tomorrow Morning: Seattle Protest Against Prop 8

posted by on November 8 at 4:30 PM

From Slog tipper Matthew:

I am writing today to alert you of a protest taking place at 8:00 am this Sunday, November 9, in front of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 5701 8th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105.

The protest will be in response to the church’s involvement in Proposition 8 passing in CA. We are demanding marriage equality, respect, and an investigation into the Church’s tax-exempt status.

Stupid Mormons and their early church. See you there.

The New Coke?

posted by on November 8 at 4:02 PM

A friend pointed out to me today that she’d gotten a bottle of Coke Zero, and that she couldn’t drink it. Not because the artificial sweeteners had finally rendered her colon useless, but because the bottle lid smelled like body odor. Isolated incident? Not according to her coworkers, who have also drank the stank, and a Google search for “coca-cola smells like bo” brought this story up:

I went to take a sip from the bottle, and I smelled a terrible smell. Something smelled like body odor. Oh my gosh, did I forget deodorant? I didn’t realize that my body could smell so foul! After a quick and discreet arm pit sniff, I realized it wasn’t me. What was it? Like a human hound dog, I started sniffing around. The smell was coming from-MY DIET COKE! Ahhhh! The cap to my diet coke smelled like body odor. It was the most disgusting thing ever, so I of course shoved it in Heather’s face so she could smell, and I took it back to work for everyone else to smell.

This girl proceeded to call Coca-Cola, complain, and get a free eight-pack, which she admits didn’t stink. But what say you, soda nation? Any stinky Cokes in Seattle? Happily ignoring corn syrup beverages? Sticking with coffee to promote negative local stereotypes? Wish this was less of a worthless story? Mr. Pibb 4 life?

The Irony Is Apparent to Some…

posted by on November 8 at 12:42 PM


But not to others.

And, no, this isn’t about blaming the blacks—or Latinos. But we can’t bask in the symbolism of Barack Obama’s election without also reflecting on the symbolism of Prop 8’s approval. Black and Latino votes alone weren’t enough to pass Prop 8; that’s not the point. A large numbers of minority voters helped to strip another minority—a minority that with millions of African American and Latino members—of their basic civil rights and helped to write discrimination and bigotry into California’s constitution. Attention must be paid. This isn’t about blame; it’s about diagnosing the problem and beginning to address it.

In the Books Section This Week

posted by on November 8 at 12:00 PM


In the books section this week, I write about idolizing the most realistic super-hero I’ve ever encountered:

…like me, Herbie had a heroic side his parents couldn’t see. Frankenstein’s monster feared him. Movie stars wanted to be him, and mermaids and other beautiful women thought he was dreamy, in part for his marvelous flamenco-dancing skills. Leaders like John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill sought him out for counsel and assistance. George Washington was a fan. With his wit and skills, Herbie made fools out of enemies of America like Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro, and even Satan. He traveled through time in a grandfather clock and battled evil cowboys and giant mutated ants. And if a bulldog bit Herbie on the ass, he’d bite that bulldog’s ass right back.

Read the whole thing, won’t you please?

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 8 at 11:00 AM


‘Hot Grits’

Hot Grits is clearly the best value for your entertainment dollar in all of Seattle this weekend. You’ll sate your appetite for compelling theater as you watch four women form an all-black, 50-percent-lesbian punk band in our lily-white, apathetic city. And you’ll get to see an enthusiastic rock ‘n’ roll show, as the ladies play a dozen tight, loud punk songs, including one inspired James Brown cover. And it’s at a bar, so you can get totally hammered while getting your drama fix and your Saturday night rawk on. (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. 7:30 pm, $15, 21+.)


The Turn

posted by on November 8 at 10:54 AM

Remember this:

Can you guess who is praising Obama now?

That whole anti-American, friend-to-the-terrorists thing about President-elect Barack Obama? Never mind.

Just a few weeks ago, at the height of the campaign, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota told Chris Matthews of MSNBC that, when it came to Mr. Obama, “I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views.”

But there she was on Thursday, after narrowly escaping defeat because of those comments, saying she was “extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year.” Ms. Bachmann, a Republican, called Mr. Obama’s victory, which included her state, “a tremendous signal we sent.”

The hand of the snake.


posted by on November 8 at 10:40 AM

Sent last night to my Stranger email, from one “Garret Lonegrin”:

Ha ha ha, it was bad enough learning that “super-nigger” was elected prezzy, but you guys found out what kind of allies you had thanks to Prop 8, huh? All your little marxist jiggerboos come out to the pols to vote for Osama bin Nigger, and they ALSO voted down faggot weddings! Ha ha ha at least ONE thing went right election night, and you fucking queers are stuck with a whack-o coalition and some of the niggs want to KILL you.

Conservatism will be back. You’ll see. And when it does and Sarah runs STRONG in 2012, we wil deal with both of you. Islam, faggots, terrorists, niggers- get a job, get a life, or GET IN THE OVENS!!!!!!

You want to fuck with Christians and GOD, motherfuckers??? Payback is a BITCH and it starts with your little pals the monkeys. Ha ha ha!!!!!

Sucky downside to election triumph: now the crazy bigots get to feel like underdogs.

Still: totally worth it.

Reading Today

posted by on November 8 at 10:00 AM


First off, we have three events going on at the Elliott Bay Book Company today. In the early afternoon, Bucky Sinister reads from Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, Freaks and Weirdos. This is a book about recovering from drugs and alcohol, not recovering from being a misfit, freak or weirdo. Then, Stephen Botek reads from Song on My Lips: Jazz Greats Were My Mentors, which is a memoir about being mentored by jazz greats. And then, in the evening, John Keeble reads from his “almost Faulknerian portrait of the Pacific Northwest,” Yellowfish, which has recently been republished. I have not read it, but I think this would be the reading of the night, just in terms of the stories this man has to be able to tell.

And then, at the Fantagraphics store in Georgetown, JimBill Griffith*, who is the creator of Zippy the Pinhead, will be signing his books. I kind of forgot about Zippy the Pinhead. Back when I read the newspaper every day, it was really nice to read, there at the bottom of the comics page, but I’ve never really enjoyed entire books of his stuff. Still and all, you’ve got to respect the guy for holding down his corner of weird for so long in such a sterile environment.

The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here.

*I could explain how I pulled up Jim Griffith, but it’s a very long story that involves associations with Andy Griffith, a childhood memory, and a not-very-funny story. Apologies to Bill Griffith and to everyone else who read Reading Tonight before I realized my error.

Take It From a Sex and Relationship Columnist

posted by on November 8 at 9:25 AM

When you’re dating someone who’s very publicly thinking about breaking up with you, or you’re dating someone that could take or leave you, the best thing for your own sense of pride and dignity is to dump that person before he dumps you.

Lieberman not happy with Reid’s offer, flirting with Republicans

An aide to Sen. Joe Lieberman tells CNN that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Lieberman he wanted him to give up his position as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and instead take the helm of a lower profile full committee….

Nothing was resolved in the meeting, and the Lieberman aide tells CNN that although he still wants to caucus with the Democrats, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell has contacted Lieberman about formally aligning with Republicans, and that Lieberman is “keeping all of his options open.”

An aide to McConnell confirms to CNN that the two men “have been talking.”

Dump Joe, Harry, before he dumps you. You’ll be glad you did.

The Morning News

posted by on November 8 at 8:35 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

Daily Palin: Homeward bound.

Turkey Doesn’t Want IMF Band-Aid: Resisting aid package.

Prop 8 Protest: 2,000 march in Long Beach.

Boycott Utah: Boycott idea has traction.

Westlake Center For Sale: Yup.

Daily Palin Redux: 64 percent of Republicans want Palin in 2012.

Venezuelan Gold: Venezuela to nationalize country’s largest gold mine.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Darcy Burner Concedes

posted by on November 7 at 8:29 PM

Her statement, in response to this:

It is likely at this point that Congressman Reichert has won re-election, and while we will certainly ensure that every valid vote is counted, we accept the decision of the voters.

I would like to thank the thousands of people who put so much time and effort into the campaign, as well as the countless thousands more who went beyond voting to actively participate in our democratic process this year. The election of Barack Obama as our new President will ensure that the change to the direction of our country called for in this campaign is realized in the new year.

Hey, Remember When This Happened?

posted by on November 7 at 6:15 PM

Shit. Bye, George.

Yes on 8 from the Inside

posted by on November 7 at 5:58 PM

One of the more crazy-making claims coming in the wake of Prop. 8 is that the Mormon Church did nothing to encourage (or coerce) church members into giving the 25 million dollars donated by Mormons to Yes on 8, which spent millions disseminating duplicitous ads about what Prop 8 was fighting and what it would accomplish. “The church didn’t order anyone to do anything!” an LDS troll wrote me yesterday. Maybe so—cults often depend on subtler devices than direct orders.

But here’s the thing: I have the firsthand testimony of a California Mormon—my sister-in-law Ana—who told Jake and me that she donated $100 to Yes on 8 specifcally to “obey the prophet.” From her letter:

You already know we believe in the Church—and, by corollary, the importance of thoughtful and considered obedience to divinely called leaders, and have made our decision to stand in that place. We both know our leaders can sometimes make mistakes, and we make our choices in that knowledge. Sometimes it feels like being a politician who votes for a bill with one horrendous clause added by an opponent, because the bill has other, more important content that must be implemented. It’s not clean or easy. It’s very hard to decide what is right when there are so many components both good and bad.

But when we look back at polygamy or the “Negro question” for example, we feel like as awful as those things are, we wouldn’t have wanted to give up on our most important feelings and beliefs because of them. I guess I feel like we were not so much supporting Prop 8 as making this small signal that we believe in a prophet. If it were just me, I’d probably be firmly on the other side. But I feel like “just me” is not the supreme authority and I have to acknowledge that I might be wrong. I know this probably will not sit well with you, but if we are wrong we are wrong with the best organization we can find, and if (I hope when) it someday changes for the better we will rejoice with the body of the Saints in that change - not look at them as outsiders wondering why it took so long.

Additional facts about Ana: She and her husband are the parents of four children, all adopted, all brown (two African-American, one Latina, one biracial). Here’s what she blogged on election night:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How a couple of black kids feel tonight

A lot of my friends might not have immediate access to the responses of the elementary-school-age African American demographic without me, so I thought I’d help you out tonight.

A, biracial, age 7, praying: “Thank you for giving us a good blessing and letting Barack Obama be the president. Bless John McCain that he won’t feel too bad, because he’s a good man and he tried really hard.”

S, full African-American, age 9, listening to the victory speech: “Martin Luther King is alive again.”

I’ve kept quiet throughout the hubbub surrounding the discovery of Ana’s donation to Yes on 8 (a discovery made extra galling by her family’s financial dependence on her parents/my father- and mother-in-law, whose feelings about Prop 8 couldn’t be clearer). But I can’t help wondering how the kids of the 20,000 same-sex couples that Proposition 8 turned into bastards feel.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on November 7 at 5:58 PM

Movies! It’s the weekend! It’s this weekend at the movies!

There are lots and lots of movies opening this week, almost all of them reviewed by the great Charles Mudede:


Charles absolutely insists that you see The Romance of Astree and Celadon:

In the room with the three women (one of whom is actually a man—watch the movie to solve that mystery), what’s charming is clearly this nipple. It casts a spell on the rays of light, the fresh blankets, the beings in the beds, the walls, the tall windows, and the magical forest that surrounds the castle. The director of this exquisite composition, Rohmer, is 88 years old! It’s hard to believe that a man of that age still has access to a realm that is often closed to old folks—the realm of the senses.

He says much the same for Paris Vu Par:

In Paris Vu Par, a perfect balance is struck between the big city and individuals, the cityscape and interior spaces, the public and private. In one apartment, a bourgeois family is slowly but surely falling apart (at the dinner table, the wife and husband debate with no real emotion or concern about important matters like the death penalty). In another apartment, a young dishwasher prepares pasta for a proud but aging prostitute.

He also offers opinions on The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (yea); Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (nay); and Soul Men (dead). Thanks, Charles!

Jon Frosch does not recommend the bland, pretty, French-sploitation number I’ve Loved You So Long:

The story is ripe with tantalizingly creepy questions about Juliette’s crime, her motivations, and her sister’s reluctance to ask questions; a more daring, visually rigorous filmmaker might have made this stuff shiver with mystery and paranoia. But Claudel (a novelist trying his hand at directing) delivers little more than a gracefully packaged, Gallic Lifetime-TV soufflé. Juliette’s path back to normalcy is so predictably plotted and staged—and accompanied by such annoying acoustic guitar—that it’s hard to maintain more than minimal interest.

And I risk incurring your highbrow wrath by totally enjoying the totally stupid Role Models:

There is something so satisfying about a dumbass comedy, made by dumbasses about dumbasses for dumbasses. I used to live for this shit, way back when (not that long ago). And if you’re going to watch a dumbass comedy, you could do worse than one from the remnants of The State (David Wain, Kerri Kenney, Joe Lo Truglio) and their attendant pals (Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks)—a comedy crowd that’s always been a few rungs higher on the smart/funny/weird ladder than, say, Road Trip or Dude, Where’s My Car? or, I don’t know, Spring Break Boob Poop Party Train Poop Train 2: It’s Boobies Time! (coming soon).

Oh, and I completely stand by my words about the overwrought, overcomplicated, under-understandable, long, dismal grind that is Synecdoche, New York. I still love Charlie Kaufman. I didn’t even hate this movie. It wasn’t boring, just exhausting. And no fun. Anyway (as always), what Anthony Lane said.

In Limited Runs:

You’ve got Goke: Body Snatcher from Hell (late night), It Came from Outer Space, and Creature from the Black Lagoon at the Grand Illusion; Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback and the Sprocket Society Secret Sunday Matinee at Northwest Film Forum; Hank and Mike at Central Cinema; Thelma & Louise at the Egyptian late night; and the Olympia Film Festival in, you know, Olympia.

Have fun, you crazy kids. Complete Movie Times here.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on November 7 at 5:31 PM

Nine: Pot-friendly ballot measures pass.

Stupid Trick: Guy stuffs meth into kid’s trick-or-treat bag.

Stupid Stoners: Pot deal turns to shooting.

Fat Chance: Weight-loss medication dropped.

Roped In: Hemp store told to stop selling legal hemp products.

Biden: The leading drug warrior of the last 30 years is heading to the White House.

One More Thing About Rahm Emanuel

posted by on November 7 at 5:29 PM


In addition to the information Erica already provided is this tidbit: Rahm Emanuel’s younger brother Ari Emanuel founded the Endeavor talent agency and is the real-life inspiration for Ari Gold on Entourage. True fact.

Yes, You Can

posted by on November 7 at 4:51 PM

I’m hoping that some of this political involvement stuff will stick in the wake of this election. Here are two things to do.

In the comments to Dan’s post about boycotting Utah and Mormonism, commenter pox points out the Mormon Stock Index, which lists businesses owned by Mormons. I was surprised by a couple of these, in particular Dell, American Express and Diebold.

And Daily Kos runs the phone numbers of Democratic Senators to call and insist that Joe Lieberman be stripped of his major committee chairmanships. Both of these actions are long overdue, and I hope people are willing to put in the time and make a difference.

Musical Chairs

posted by on November 7 at 4:35 PM

Here’s something interesting that I learned this morning: Washington’s senior Senator, Democrat Patty Murray, could be a big beneficiary of some post-election reshuffling that’s likely to take place in the Senate.

The scenario: Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, now 90 years old, is removed from his post as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Which means Murray, who has been doing a lot of hard work helping the aging Byrd run the committee, moves up significantly in appropriations influence.

At the same time, Senator Joe Lieberman, ardent McCain supporter, is stripped of his chairmanship of the Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs. In which case Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii would likely be given Lieberman’s post. That would mean that Sen. Akaka would have to give up his chairmanship of the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs (because a Senator can only hold one chairmanship at a time), which would give Murray, next in line on that committee, a very strong shot at becoming the first female chair of Veteran’s Affairs.

UPDATE: As I was typing, I realized that half of this scenario happened today. Byrd has now stepped aside. Patty Murray: movin’ on up in appropriations. Veterans Affairs next?

Lede of the Week

posted by on November 7 at 4:19 PM

I will have the first four paragraphs of this story, from the BBC, tattooed on bicep:

A suspected Italian mobster who went into a clinic for liposuction surgery has ended up losing more than his excess weight.

Domenico Magnoli, a suspected cocaine trafficker, also lost his freedom.

Soon after he regained consciousness, police officers disguised as nurses and visitors bearing flowers arrested him in his hospital room.

We performed a little operation of our own,” police spokesman Col Aldo Jacobello said.

I would only move the “said” in the last sentence so it immediately follows the quote. Other than that, it’s a crown of splendor.


What a Tough Life You Lead, Sam

posted by on November 7 at 4:11 PM

I’m inundated in video games—most of the big games for this fall, in fact. Some people would call this Christmas. I’m a little less excited (though, uh, this is totally Christmas).

Big budgets and too many hands in the pot often have an inverse effect in the games world—just look at this year’s Snore Spore. Did you know the game was originally gonna be science-crazy, and then a “cute” movement sprung up at the dev, and they proceeded to dumb the game down? Ugh.

Thankfully, none of this season’s hyped releases have disappointed the way Spore did. But that’s like saying none of them took a dump in my ear. Let’s get back on gaming track by looking at the PlayStation 3 care package I received earlier this week. Jump with me for that console’s big Christmas exclusives: LittleBigPlanet, Motorstorm 2, and Resistance 2.

Continue reading "What a Tough Life You Lead, Sam" »

Re: Today in Nerd

posted by on November 7 at 3:57 PM

First a black president, and now… a black Wonder Woman?!

Beyoncé: I Want to Play Wonder Woman

“What would be better than Wonder Woman?” she tells the Los Angeles Times. “It would be great. And it would be a very bold choice. A black Wonder Woman would be a powerful thing. It’s time for that, right?”

The singer-actress, 27, has met with representatives at DC Comics and Warner Bros. to discuss donning the red, white and blue bathing suit on screen, she says.


Today in Nerd

posted by on November 7 at 3:55 PM

There was a website that went up a few days ago, at the address It featured some little girls looking up at a brick wall and a poster that said ‘It’s time for a new “W”’. Every day a little more of the poster was pulled away to reveal the poster beneath. One day it read “A woman’s job is never done,” which is very close to the actual expression about how a woman’s work is never done.

Finally, the top poster was pulled away to reveal this movie poster:


It’s Megan Fox in a Wonder Woman costume, with a bunch of helicopters and tanks behind her, presumably as an advance for an upcoming Wonder Woman movie. The problem here is that there is no Wonder Woman movie coming out. Warner Brothers, who owns the rights to any potential movie, have denied any involvement on the Wonder Woman film website front. The entire thing was produced by a Wonder Woman fanboy—I’m assuming it’s a boy, here, and I’ll apologize if it turns out I’m wrong—who’s apparently trying to build publicity for Megan Fox to star in a Wonder Woman movie. He photoshopped Fox into the picture and even applied logos for Warner Brothers and DC Comics, as though it was a real website for a real upcoming movie.

Thank God, on this week of all weeks, this anonymous fanboy put all this energy into making sure Megan Fox would star in the not-even-close-to-being-a-reality Wonder Woman movie. His bravery and resolve should be an inspiration for us all.

Good News and Bad News for City Parkers

posted by on November 7 at 3:43 PM

First, the bad news: Parking rates are going up!

In the proposed budget that’s currently before the city council, the maximum rate for on-street parking would increase from $1.50 to $2.00, giving the city an additional $3.6 million in revenues. This will be the first parking rate increase since 2004, when meter rates were increased from $1 an hour to $1.50. The maximum rate would apply in downtown, Uptown, Broadway, the Denny Triangle, First Hill, Pike-Pine, Ballard, and the University District. (Other neighborhoods that would see a 25-cent-per-hour increase include South Lake Union, Fremont, and the Uptown Triangle*).

The good news: If you live or work in Roosevelt, Green Lake, near Providence Hospital, or on 12th Avenue, your parking rates are going down—to a new, low rate of $1.00 an hour! Don’t you feel lucky?

The other good news, if you are parking downtown: A proposed new Center City Parking Program would give drivers directions to available parking downtown. It won’t be any cheaper, but at least you won’t waste as much gas circling around! This assumes, of course, that the program doesn’t get cut due to the economic crisis; according to a recent budget forecast by city budget director Dwight Dively, the city is facing an $18.2 million budget gap between 2009 and 2010.

*Want to find out what the city means by all these arbitrary-sounding neighborhood designations? Check out the Seattle DOT’s parking web site for borders.

Prosecutors File Hate Crime Charges In Election Night Attack

posted by on November 7 at 3:10 PM

King County Prosecutors have rush-filed hate crime charges against a California man for assaulting a cab driver on election night.

Around 11 pm on November 4th, just hours after Seattle residents took to the streets to celebrate Obama’s big win, prosecutors say Danny Rube Fields climbed into a cab outside of the Boxcar Ale House in Interbay and told the driver to head to Ballard.

Minutes into the cab ride, court documents say Fields began shouting “bullshit, idiot, you don’t belong in this country. This is not your country” at the cab driver. Records do not indicate the race or the national origin of the cab driver.

As the cab crossed the Ballard Bridge, court records say Fields screamed “go back to your fucking country, you idiot” and began punching the driver in the back of the head.

“We were on the bridge. I was scared he might have a knife or a gun. I was driving, I was afraid, I told him to please stop,” the cabbie later told police.

The driver pulled into a Safeway parking lot and called police to report the assault. Coincidentally, police also received an anonymous call from another man who told police he was in the Safeway parking lot and claimed cab driver was threatening to shoot him.

Police arrived and questioned the driver and Fields. Fields denied making the call and no gun was found in the cab.

The cabbie told officers he would be willing to ignore the assault if Fields paid his fare. Instead of handing over the fare, Fields began screaming “I’m not paying that prick a fucking dime.”

Police arrested Fields and took him to the North Precinct. On the way, Fields told officers “Yeah, you like helping that nigger. I’m an American.”

It’s Not Just Disgruntled McCain Aides Who Are Trashing Sarah Palin

posted by on November 7 at 2:26 PM

Slog tipper Jack sent this picture…


“Thought the folks over at The Stranger might appreciate this,” says Jack. “The life-size cardboard cut out of Ms. Palin was in my front window for weeks, next to a sign that read ‘I Can See Russia From My House!,’ which, while seemingly tame to the average Seattle-ite, was not so warmly embraced by the folks in Monroe where I live.”

That’s Not Helpful

posted by on November 7 at 2:18 PM

We have to be able to talk about the problem of homophobia in the African American community—but calling gay black men at a “No on Prop 8” rally “nigger” is isn’t gonna win any hearts and minds.

Once again: the people harmed the most by African American homophobia are African American gays and lesbians. Bigotry must be addressed, not adopted.

About That “Unprovoked” Invasion of Georgia…

posted by on November 7 at 2:14 PM

If you recall, McCain got some fleeting traction this summer when Russia invaded Georgia. He was particularly fond of eviscerating Obama for a cautious early statement saying both sides should “show restraint.”

Turns out cautious Obama might not have been so far off the mark. From today’s NYT:

TBILISI, Georgia — Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.

Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia’s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.

The accounts are neither fully conclusive nor broad enough to settle the many lingering disputes over blame in a war that hardened relations between the Kremlin and the West. But they raise questions about the accuracy and honesty of Georgia’s insistence that its shelling of Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, was a precise operation.

p.s.: Hello again! Law school’s fun. But not as delightful as Slogging.

The Villains in the Piece

posted by on November 7 at 2:11 PM

Talk of a boycott against Utah grows louder

Utah’s growing tourism industry and the star-studded Sundance Film Festival are being targeted for a boycott by bloggers, gay rights activists and others seeking to punish the Mormon church for its aggressive promotion of California’s ban on gay marriage.

It could be a heavy price to pay. Tourism brings in $6 billion a year to Utah, with world-class skiing, the spectacular red rock country and the film festival founded by Robert Redford among the state’s popular tourist draws.

“At a fundamental level, the Utah Mormons crossed the line on this one,” said gay rights activist John Aravosis, an influential Washington, D.C-based blogger. “They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards. You don’t do that and get away with it.”

Salt Lake City is the world headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints….

[Aravosis is] calling for skiers to choose any state but Utah and for Hollywood actors and directors to pull out of the Sundance Film Festival. Other bloggers and readers have responded to his call.

“There’s a movement afoot and large donors are involved who are very interested in organizing a campaign, because I do not believe in frivolous boycotts,” said Aravosis, who has helped organize boycotts against Dr. Laura’s television show, Microsoft and Ford over gay rights issues. “The main focus is going to be going after the Utah brand. At this point, honestly, we’re going to destroy the Utah brand. It is a hate state.”

The Mormon church put up four out of every five dollars spent to ban same-sex marriage in California. More than 18,000 legally married couples in California were forcibly divorced on Tuesday thanks to the members of a church founded by a polygamist and a pedophile with more than a dozen wives. Since all Mormons-in-good-standing must tithe 10% of their earnings to their church, some part of any dollar you spend in a Mormon-owned business—and they’re almost all Mormon-owned businesses in Utah—flows toward an anti-gay church that wages anti-gay political campaigns. Ski Colorado, Washington state, and British Columbia. Don’t ski Utah.

Honest to God: My boyfriend and I were talking about taking a trip to Utah this winter to go snowboarding. We’ve heard great things about the resorts there, and our kid wants to go, and we’ve never been. But you know what? We’ve never been to Whistler either. Or Bear Mountain in California. Or to any of the resorts in Colorado. So fuck you, Utah—we’re going to big, blue Colorado.

Oh, and the leaders of the Mormon church—which financed all the bigoted distortions of the “Yes on 8” campaign (gay people recruit children! they’re going to teach gay sex in schools!)—are out there calling on people to treat each the with “civility, with respect and with love.” Uh-huh.

Sorry, douchebags, but you can’t throw a punch like that and scream “play nice!” or “you can’t be mean to us—we’re a church!” You wanna play politics with peoples’ lives? Fine. But they game’s on now and remember: you started it.

Utah is the new Coors. Pass it on.

In the Books Section This Week

posted by on November 7 at 2:00 PM


I was really pleased in this week’s book section to host David Schmader writing about his long and complex relationship with Nancy.

At the core of every story: the lonely, homely little freak-girl Nancy, who looks like the mutant spawn of Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, and who slogs through her ugly life like Charlie Brown without the crushing self-pity. Nancy’s situation could hardly be drearier: Lacking parents of her own (their absence is never addressed), Nancy lives in a loveless arrangement with her single-and-sexy Aunt Fritzi, who offers nothing but scolding and spoonfuls of cod-liver oil. (The one moment of tenderness documented in my well-worn Nancy compilation: Aunt Fritzi’s warm feelings upon claiming the $600 tax exemption her annoying dependent affords her.)

You should read the whole thing.

Looking Forward

posted by on November 7 at 1:54 PM

I’m excited about Obama’s choice of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff. On one of my key issues, women’s rights—it’s hard to consider this a “pet issue” when how the country treats its female citizens affects all its citizens—he’s been stellar. He supports funding for embryonic stem cell research, opposed the so-called “partial birth abortion ban,” cosponsored legislation (along with Biden and Obama) expanding women’s access to basic reproductive health care, and received a 100% rating from NARAL. (He’s also been great on environmental issues, earning a 94 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters). Plus, he’s a fucking badass—exactly the kind of asshole Obama should appoint for this key position. (And I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Josh Lyman.)

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for some other reported short-listers for key positions in the Obama administration: Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar, reportedly under consideration for Secretary of State, and Larry Summers, reportedly on the short list to head the Treasury Department.

Let’s start with Hagel. Over his career in the US Senate, he’s received a zero-percent rating from NARAL, reflecting the fact that he has consistently voted against abortion rights, birth control, and embryonic stem-cell research, as well as supporting failed abstinence-only education programs. (As long I’m talking about “interest groups” like women, I should note that Hagel opposes gay marriage, too.)

Lugar, too, received a 0 percent rating from NARAL for his rabidly anti-choice record. Along with Biden, he supported Bush’s proposal to deny African agencies US AIDS funding if they so much as refer clients to family planning and birth control services. On issues that matter to women, these guys are both Republican throwbacks, not the change we need.

A brief note about Summers. In addition to his famous statement that women are underrepresented in math and science professions because the ladies just aren’t good at math and science, Summers has expressed the opinion that “Africa is underpolluted” (a statement he made in advocating for dumping toxic waste in developing countries); has said that children choose to work in sweatshops in Asia; and does not believe in the wage gap between men and women.

According to Women’s Voices Women Vote, women overwhelmingly supported Obama—particularly unmarried women like me, who went for Obama by a 70 to 29 percent margin. (Married women supported Obama 50 to 47 percent; unmarried women with kids supported Obama 74 to 25 percent.) The strong pro-Obama turnout among women demonstrates two things: 1) The hysteria that Hillary Clinton was going to “destroy the Democratic Party” as silly women voted with their vaginas, not their brains, was dead wrong (as Melissa McEwan notes here); and 2) The new administration needs to pay attention to us. Surely there are candidates for these important positions that take women’s rights—our right to birth control, our right to medically accurate sex education, our right to equal pay for equal work, and our right to choose—more seriously than these three.

Mormon Protest Slogan Contest!

posted by on November 7 at 1:47 PM

This just in from Utah Democrat Katherine:

I’m going to the Prop. 8 protest with my family tonight in downtown Salt Lake City, next to the biggest, fattest LDS temple. I want to make as many protest signs as possible, but I’m so enraged that I’m having trouble coming up with pithy stuff to put on them. (I drove by the temple this afternoon while picking my son up from school and saw dozens of Mormon brides parading across the street to Temple Square. I could hardly drive in a straight line after that.)

Might Sloggers have any ideas?

I wrote back and told her Sloggers will have nothing but ideas. Please make good on my promise in the comments.

My best bet: A group sing of “Take the M out of Mormon and it’s moron,” sung to the tune of the Motels’ “Take the L Out of Lover (And It’s Over)”.

(Also: “Keep your cult out of our culture wars!” and, of course, “FUCK YOU, BIGOTS!”)

The President-Elect’s First Press Conference

posted by on November 7 at 1:20 PM

I missed it because of this. In case you did, too, here’s the video:

(Comments by Jen and Dan below.)

This Seems Like a Bad Idea

posted by on November 7 at 1:00 PM

This website, which has one of those annoying ads that automatically starts speaking about how you’ve won a Wii as soon as you open the page, says that Clint Eastwood might direct a Mark Twain biopic.

Eastwood himself might star as the ailing author in the bookend scenes of the movie. It would be called Remembering Mark Twain. Eastwood would be working with the producer of Cannonball Run on the movie. I hope they get Sean William Scott to star as young Samuel Clemens. Bleh.

Homophobia Isn’t a Problem in the African American Community

posted by on November 7 at 12:54 PM

To get a handle on just how big a problem African American homophobia supposedly isn’t, you might want to read this blistering blog post by TerranceDC—black gay dad—over at Pam’s House Blend.

I no longer give a shit about defending African Americans against the notion that they’re more homophobic than whites, for the same reason I no longer give a shit about defending a Black politician like Harold Ford against the racist attack ads the Republicans are running against him. Because Harold Ford is no different than the racist Republican candidate running in Virginia, and the students at Central State University are no different than the Klan or a gang of marauding skinheads. I don’t defend anyone who would turn around and leave me and mine twisting in the wind. I no longer care….

They don’t care what happens to couples like Alicia and Saundra or what happens to people like Michael Sandy or Tyrone Garner as much as they care about a two thousand year old book that damns them as surely as they believe it damns us; even as it leads them to lie down with politicians who will send their brothers and cousins and sisters off to die in a needless war, and leads them to stand beside politicians and a party who don’t flinch at appealing to racism in voters or fielding racist candidates, who will turn around and attempt to bring back the poll tax, and who’ll promise big things but leave you holding the bag.

But more than anything else, they don’t care about the hell they create for their brothers, sisters, etc., in the name of a heaven that sounds about as plausible as the big rock candy mountain.

Go read the whole thing.

The Backlash Begins

posted by on November 7 at 12:50 PM

Fears of a Dem crackdown lead to boom in gun sales
“I think they’re going to really try to crack down on guns and make it harder for people to try to purchase them,” said Smith, 32, who taught all five of her children—ages 4 to 10—to shoot because the family relies on game for food.

Last month, as an Obama win looked increasingly inevitable, there were 62,000 more background checks for gun purchases than in October 2007, a 25 percent increase. And they were up about 8 percent for the year as of Oct. 26, according to the FBI.

It makes a kind of sense—Obama supports the assault weapons ban, voted for the Illinois handgun ban, voted to leave gun manufacturers open to lawsuits, and so on. All of which is fine. But if gun sales keep up this way, it might not matter.

Anybody holding stock in Smith and Wesson? Don’t sell it for a couple of months.


Press (and Mutt) Lover

posted by on November 7 at 12:37 PM

As Dan wrote, we now have a president-elect who can string together entire sentences. Obama’s press conference today also proves that we have a president-elect who, you know, actually holds press conferences. Taking questions. From the press.

It wasn’t particularly hardball but there were good questions: Has anything you’ve seen in your security briefings in the last few days given you pause about what you said during the campaign? (He said he couldn’t answer based on the fact that what he’s learned is classified information.) Did you respond to the happy-election note Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent you? (No, along with a repeat of the belief that Iran developing a nuclear weapon is “unacceptable.”) (What would Emily Post say about answering this card?)

And then, of course, there was the question that Obama answered with the words, “This is a major issue.”

The dog question.

The Obamas want a shelter dog (specifically a “mutt like me,” Obama said), but Malia is allergic. The search is ongoing—just like the family’s pending decision on whether to enroll the girls in private or public school.

Signing off.

The Beauty of Desertion

posted by on November 7 at 12:26 PM

Welcome to the dead dreams of San Zhi.

This future appeared outside of Taipei, Taiwan, in the early 1980s.

Ghosts offer one explanation for San Zhi’s failure…

The speculation about why the site was abandoned varies, with the most interesting being that a series of fatal accidents occurred during construction, causing locals to believe the site was haunted, and therefore instigating the developer’s decision to stop construction (and also putting a stop to any future redevelopment).

This town has always been a ghost town.

Seattle: It Rains Here!

posted by on November 7 at 12:18 PM

Well, it sure did rain last night. It rained everywhere. From the sky, on the roof, on my head, on cats, on dogs, on squirrels, on the homeless, on pretty ladies, on smokers, on public art, on trees, on lakes (redundant), on fugitives from the law, on any pies set outside to cool and then forgotten. It rained, rained, rained!

Apparently, it also rained in my car.


This morning, unsuspecting, I went out and I dunked my dainty toe right in there. In that dirty puddle! IN MY CAR! It is deceptively deep. Who could have anticipated a deep, dirty puddle where my driver’s side floor used to be? What is a dirty puddle doing in my car, anyway? The window wasn’t open. The door wasn’t open (or was it?).

After the jump, please enjoy* the arduous process of bailing out my vehicle.

Continue reading "Seattle: It Rains Here!" »

Breaking Borders

posted by on November 7 at 12:06 PM

Borders Books & Music, which I have written about in the past, is having problems paying its distributors, according to Galleycat:

GalleyCat has received a copy of a “special alert” sent from a major book distributor specializing in independent publishers to its clients, warning them that Borders, whose financial difficulties are widely recognized, “now tell us that they will not be paying us for two months due to anticipated excessive returns,” a situation the company views with understandable concern.

This is not good news for the bookseller, heading into what could be the most dismal retail Christmas in a very long time.

Now He Has a Reason to Live

posted by on November 7 at 12:03 PM

A Seattle man is suing the city after, the man claims, police “illegally” sent him to a hospital for observation after he called a suicide hotline from the Aurora Bridge.

According the suit filed in King County Superior Court on November 6th, the man walked to the northeast side of the bridge around midnight on August 22nd and used an emergency phones to call a suicide-prevention hotline. The man told the operator he “just wanted to talk about some personal problems.”

The suit says twenty minutes later, SPD and Seattle Fire showed up and, man claims officers “illegally ordered [him] to get into [an] ambulance” and was taken to the UW Medical Center against his will.

The man does not have health insurance and says the city’s policy has left him with an $883 medical bill, “even though [he] did not need service at the time.”

“If somebody is exhibiting signs of suicidal tendencies or is depressed, our policy is typically to send them to the hospital for a mental evaluation,” says SPD spokesman Mark Jamieson.

In his suit, the man claims he “was totally able-bodied and the only problem I had was a debt of about $4,980 [in student loans]. The Seattle Police Department should have transported me or called a taxicab to transport me to the hospital.”

The man, who appears to be representing himself, is asking for a jury trial and wants the city to pay $500,000 for his medical bills and to “financially support [him] for life.” He is also asking the city to install 12 foot high iron bars along the bridge walkway to prevent future suicide attempts.

It’s a Whole New World

posted by on November 7 at 11:59 AM

I’m listening to Obama’s first press conference as president-elect. Ladies and gentleman, on January 20 we’re going to have a president who can speak in complete sentences.

Obama says “uh” quite a lot—and it’s a low, gravelly, croaky smokers “uh.” I’m listening to this on the radio and I just realized, when I wished I was watching it on TV, that I was picturing Obama in the White House briefing room. Which he’s not in, since he hasn’t been sworn in yet. It’s going to be a long ten and a half weeks.

Stop Being Such an Asshole, Salon

posted by on November 7 at 11:49 AM


You’re at the top of Google News, Salon. But rather than looking confident like Obama, who just appointed his bad cop, and confident like the headstrong Rahm Emanual, who doesn’t give a shit what you call him, you put up a wimpy headline with the word “a - - hole”? Everyone knows you mean ASSHOLE. And you know that we know you mean ASSHOLE. So stop being such a wimpy ASSHOLE and just spell A-S-S-H-O-L-E.

“I Do Now.”

posted by on November 7 at 11:37 AM

This morning on the bus two women, two strangers, started talking about the weather, their families, and the election. They were both excited that it was Friday, they both agreed that it’s “been a big week.”

One woman came to the US from Russia. After talking about how great it is that Obama won the election, the other woman asked the Russian woman: “Do you like it here? Do you like America?” The Russian woman laughed: “I do now!”

It feels really nice to be liked again.

Neocons Accuse Black President of Bringing Back Slavery

posted by on November 7 at 11:31 AM


I know it’s crazy to highlight any of the dumbasses at the Free Republic, but in these first few days, I’m amazed by what they object to. In response to this part of the incoming administration’s agenda, which calls for…

…a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start…

The Freepers are posting images from Nazi Germany and getting outraged on behalf of their children. Most insist their children will never do community service as long as they draw breath:

There is the little matter of the 13th Amendment, which bars compulsory servitude (otherwise known as “slavery”).
Pretty soon it’ll be time to change my name to Prisoner 668.
One more reason not to enroll our children in the pagan academies AKA socialist government schools.
Our first black President is mandating slavery for everyone.
My children will never comply, bring it on.
welcome to the new reich
We Jews are not so easily rounded up after The Holocaust. Pound sand, you totalitarian slavers.

Weirdly for Freepers, a few posters actually think this is a good idea, although they try to ease their neocon friends into the idea by saying that “a stopped clock is right twice a day” and talking about some Republicans who are in favor of the idea. These posters are, of course, immediately called trolls and socialists. If we can keep the far right protesting things like community service, there’s a good chance the Republican Party will eventually become more moderate. And that’s good news for all of us.

Updated Election Results

posted by on November 7 at 11:01 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

As of 11:00 this morning…

Dave Reichert is beating Darcy Burner in the Eighth Congressional District by 51.1 to 48.9 percent—a margin of 5,332 votes. Burner has lost ground since last night.

All the other races haven’t changed significantly since yesterday morning.

Statewide voter turnout in Washington was 62.39 percent and King County clocked in at 58.25 percent. The county with the highest turnout was San Juan County with 89.01 percent. The county with the lowest turnout was Pierce County with 43.14 percent.


posted by on November 7 at 11:00 AM

I was on the bus this morning reading the October 20 New Yorker, when I came across an article by John fuckin’ Updike. After the Sherman Alexie piece, every time I see that name my mind fills in the middle. I can’t stop it.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 7 at 11:00 AM


Mad Rad and Champagne Champagne

Two emerging local rap groups will turn the party out with the legendary 2 Live Crew. You could not ask for more fun on the weekend. Indeed, “the freaks come out at night.” Mad Rad have just released a fantastic album, White Gold, that’s packed with the kind of bumping music that makes your hips want to dip. The hipster hop of Champagne Champagne will keep things interesting and strange. As for the 2 Live Crew? “Me so horny, me love you long time.” (Nectar, 412 N 36th St, 632-2020. 9 pm, $10, 21+.)


Am I Toast?

posted by on November 7 at 10:53 AM

Does all of Capitol Hill smell like toast right now, or do I have whatever ailment that is where you smell phantom toast and then you die?



posted by on November 7 at 10:33 AM

Mormon is the new Coors…

UPDATE: Excuse me, Utah is the new Coors. More info soon.

Reading Tonight

posted by on November 7 at 10:22 AM


There are three readings tonight.

The first two are for very specialized tastes. At Elliott Bay Book Company, Arkadi Kuhlmann, who is the founding CEO of a “Canadian Internet-based direct bank,” will be talking about being the founding CEO of a Canadian Internet-based direct bank. Maybe he’ll have some insight on President-Elect Obama’s* press conference on financial issues, which is coming up this afternoon. And at 1:30, on the UW campus, Eric Hershberg, who is a “specialist on the comparative politics of Latin America and on the politics of development,” reads from his new book, The International Context and Development Strategies of the Latin American Lefts.

Then, this evening, W. S. Merwyn reads from his newest book, The Shadow of Sirius. If you don’t know W.S. Merwyn, you really should. He’s a great poet, and his poetry is not so hard for newcomers to poetry (a description which includes yours truly) to understand and enjoy.

The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here.

Continue reading "Reading Tonight" »

Today in Inappropriate Uses of the Word “Rape”

posted by on November 7 at 10:21 AM

Take it away, Beth Shaw:


If you read through the whole thing, which I strongly do not recommend, you’ll discover that what Shaw means when she says Palin was “raped” is that she was “watched and analyzed,” her words “recorded, examined and dissected”… by women.

Sorry, Beth, but that word does not mean what you think it means.

Currently Hanging

posted by on November 7 at 10:00 AM

By Gabi Campanario

At Gabi Campanario’s blog Seattle Sketcher.

Here’s his whole Seattle Sketchbook on Flickr.

And here’s Urban Sketchers, a whole blog devoted to artists from around the world making sketches of where they live.

The Prop 8 Backlash Continues

posted by on November 7 at 9:59 AM


Towleroad (which also supplies the above pic) reports on the avalanche of protests taking place in California today and through the weekend.

(To the numbskull troll types decrying these “attacks on the Mormon Church”: Fighting back against an attack is not the same as attacking. Please make a note of it.)

Also in Morning News

posted by on November 7 at 9:58 AM

As the state and county economy tanks, a proposal to put King County employees on unpaid furlough for two weeks next year has been rejected by the King County Superior Court, which says shutting down courtrooms on non-holiday weekdays would violate the state constitution. The result could be the elimination of drug court—which allows felony drug defendants to accept treatment in lieu of jail—and Family Court Services, which mediates between estranged parents and protects children at risk of violence. It’s unclear what, if any, ramifications the courts’ decision will have for other divisions of county government that Sims has proposed to put on furlough. The unions for court staffers have already agreed to Sims’s proposal.

Letter of the Day

posted by on November 7 at 9:28 AM

Sent to my inbox this morning.

Cindy and I would like to take a moment to thank you for your loyal and steadfast support during the course of this campaign. Governor Palin, her husband Todd, our families, friends and campaign staff extend our deep appreciation for your tireless dedication, support and friendship.

It is the end of a long journey and your support through the ups and downs has meant more to us than you may ever know.

Although we were disappointed with the results, we must move beyond this campaign and work together to get our country moving again.

It is our sincere hope that you will join us in putting our country first and continue to work to keep our nation safe, free and prosperous.

We urge you to join us in not just congratulating Senator Obama, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together as a nation. Whatever our differences may be, we are all fellow Americans.

We are truly blessed to live in this great country and call ourselves Americans, and we will forever be her loyal servants.

Today, let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

With warm gratitude,


Cindy and John McCain


Whose World Is This?

posted by on November 7 at 9:22 AM

There has been much talk about the fact that soon a black president will live in a house that was built with the labor of black slaves.
Those who keep talking about this fact do so out of astonishment. They just can’t get over it. But I have a way around this astonishment. Read this chapter, “Independence and Dependence of Self-Consciousness: Lordship and Bondage,” in The Phenomenology of Mind. The chapter will transform your heated astonishment into a cool understanding. As for Palin, a Hegelian reading would transform her into nothing more than a victim of an inevitable historical process.

The Flickr President

posted by on November 7 at 9:05 AM

Another collection of great, behind-the-scenes photos, these from Tuesday night’s speech in Chicago, via Barack Obama’s photostream.


On the Radio

posted by on November 7 at 8:55 AM

I’ll be on Weekday this morning, starting at 10 a.m., to talk about the only things anyone wants to talk about right now: Barack Obama, the election, and the local results here in Washington State.

That’s 94.9 FM if you want to listen. And if you want to fill my head with your spin before the show, the comment thread awaits.

Confidential to After Elton

posted by on November 7 at 8:41 AM

I don’t write about “the intimate details… of [my] own sex life” in my column, in part because my fake-mustache-wearing boyfriend would divorce me if I did. Our love life? Sure. Our married life? Obviously. But our sex life? Uh, no. So there’s actually quite a lot my readers don’t know about my boyfriend. And that’s just how Terry likes it.

And anyone curious about why Terry occasionally wears a fake mustache can find the answer here.

The Morning News

posted by on November 7 at 8:30 AM

Slow October: Retailers report worst October sales in decades.

News hog: Man buys 10,000 election day papers.

Consolation prize: Migraine sufferers less likely to get breast cancer.

President Obama’s first accomplishment: Elevating the level of American comedy.

“D’ja ever notice how much it hurts when Chinese smugglers beat you?”: 60 Minutes news crew roughed up in China.

Three cheers for people who do things like this: Entire set of cancer genes decoded.

“I’m snitting next to Borpo!”: Whisper-shrieked by Liz Lemon last night, still cracking my shit up this morning.

For my final Morning News video, I’d like to share the second greatest music clip I’ve ever seen (after that Aretha clip from Monday). I first saw this on MTV Unplugged back in the very early ’90s and it gave me something very close to Beatlemania. I wish the sound quality were better, but it remains awesome (3:10-4:00!!!!), and offers a vivid picture of what one forceful African-American man can accomplish, even when backed by a band/cabinet filled with honkies who look like rejects from Phish and Huey Lewis’ News. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Solving the WASL Questions of Doom

posted by on November 6 at 6:58 PM

Winding down—still at work—from my day, I decided to solve the WASL questions of doom.

Question 1:

The easiest was the Tom, Dick and Harry one.

Harry, earning more than the manager, cannot be the manager, nor the teller (that earns the least.) Therefore Harry is the Cashier.

Tom cannot be the teller, as he has a sister. Since Harry is the Cashier, that makes Tom the manager.

Dick is the teller by default. Sucks to be him, being poorest paid.

Total Time: 2 minutes, using a neato match-chart.

Question 2:

65 sides, by my calculation.

5 on each short side x two short sides = 10
25 on each long side x two long sides = 50
5 on the top x 1 top = 5

Total = 65

I did this by making a little engineering plan style drawing.

Total time: 2 min.

Question 3:
This fucking compactor/cube problem was the worst.

x is the edge size of the older compactor, and y is the edge size of the newer compactor.

We’re told x > y and x and y are integers.

The volume of each cube is x^3 and y^3.

Each cube has twelve edges, so the total length of all the edges on both cubes is 12x + 12y.

Some asshole observed the following:
x3 + y3 = 12x + 12y

I spent much misery in algebra, attempting to get this down to something edible. My misery was unconstrained.

Among many others, I can make it all of the following:
x(x2 -12) + y(y2 -12) = 0

x3 / (x+y) + y3 / (x+y) = 12

and my personal favorite manipulation:

x4 + y4 + x^3y + xy3 -12 = 0

at this point, I became stuck, and brute forced it. (I have a feeling the last equation above is readily solvable. I got fed up, and realized that there aren’t that many integral candidates that even potentially would work.)

x = 4, y = 2 satisfies the initial equation.
4^3 + 2^3 = 12(4+2)
64 + 8 = 72 = 12*6

Total time? 30 fucking minutes.

Who the fuck “notices… that the combined volumes of one cube from each compactor was numerically the same as the combined length of all their edges.” I work in a lab, a real scientific lab, and can guarantee such a situation never happens. Nor will it ever happen. I mean, really, this has no business being a word problem. Fucking stupid. I’m glad she lost.

They Must Have Provoked Those Dogs Somehow

posted by on November 6 at 6:10 PM

What will we talk about now that the election is over, Lindy? How about those adorable killing machines

An Indianapolis man continues to recover in a hospital four days after he was mauled by three pit bulls as he tried to save a woman from the attacking animals on the city’s Eastside. Thomas Wimberly, 48, and Carrolle Bales, 42, both Indianapolis, suffered severe puncture and bite wounds in Monday night’s attack, according to an Indianapolis metropolitan police report.

According to IMPD, Bales was walking in an alley near her home in the 2800 block of Brookside Avenue when three pit bulls bolted out of a yard and attacked her…. Wimberly, who lives in the 3000 block of Forrest Manor Avenue, saw the attack while driving by in his pickup and began honking to distract the animals. He ran to Bales’ aid, at which point the dogs turned on him and dragged him to the ground…. Police said Bales suffered gaping holes in her left arm and leg and torso, and that she may have suffered a broken arm. Wimberly suffered deep puncture wounds to both arms and his face.

And I think we may have a contender for pit bull fancier of the year:

Carolyn Boss, 49, Indianapolis, said she was caring for the animals while their owner—her son—is in prison. Boss, of the 2800 block of Brookside Avenue, told police that someone came to her residence to alert her that her dogs had escaped their enclosure

Carolyn Boss, 49, Indianapolis, said she was caring for the animals while their owner — her son — is in prison. Boss, of the 2800 block of Brookside Avenue, told police that someone came to her residence to alert her that her dogs had escaped their enclosure…. Police said Boss went to the alley, where she found her dogs loose and a person lying on the ground. She confined the animals, and later told police that she thought they had been provoked.

An IMPD officer who responded to the scene reported seeing blood on all three animals, scuff marks and splattered blood in the alley behind where Boss lives.
Police said that two of the dogs had water but lacked proper shelter, and that one of the animals had been tethered to a tree by a 7-foot-long heavy tow chain.

So… Boss finds her son’s dogs covered with blood and a person “on the ground,” and she puts the animals back in their enclosure and then insists to the police that her dogs must have been provoked somehow. No word on whether Ms. Boss called for assistance for the person she found “on the ground.”

The Indianapolis Star provides this insulting sidebar to its story about this pit bull attack. The sidebar is full of instructions about what you can do to do avoid dog attacks. Not one thing on this list would’ve protected the victims of this unprovoked attack.

Ban these violent, dangerous dogs already.

One Toke Over the Line

posted by on November 6 at 5:23 PM

The White House drug-policy office, with less than three months before Obama replaces the drug czar, is launching one of Bush’s last anti-pot campaigns. The announcement comes from the drug czar’s blog, Pushing Back—which sounds like an instructional resource for bottoms. Strangely, it doesn’t “push back” against the marijuana decriminalization law that just passed in Massachusetts, but it does announce that this is where your tax money is going:


The ad warns, “Hey, not trying to be your mom, but there aren’t many jobs out there for potheads.” Oh, snap. You see, if you smoke pot, you could end up like these pot-smoking layabouts: Barack Obama, Carl Sagan, Michael Bloomberg, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Rick Steves, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Martin, Stephen King, Montel Williams, Peter Lewis, and almost every musician and actor on earth.

Terry Bergeson Concedes in School Superintendent Race

posted by on November 6 at 5:13 PM

From the News Tribune:

Terry Bergeson just called to say she’d decided to concede the state Superintendent of Public Instruction race to challenger Randy Dorn.

Bergeson, a former Tacoma schools teacher and counselor and onetime president of the Washington Education Association, said she called Dorn after seeing the latest vote count. She now trails 51.25 percent to 48.75 percent.

“All my pals have said, ‘Wait it out, wait it out,’ ” she said. “But those numbers are not getting better.”


Police Arrest Third Teen in Tuba Man Case

posted by on November 6 at 5:04 PM

Seattle Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy believed to be involved in the death of 53-year-old Edward McMichael, better known as the Tuba Man.

On October 25th, McMichael was beaten and robbed on 5th and Mercer. He died at his home two weeks later from injuries sustained in the attack.

Police have already arrested two other teenagers for their involvement in the attack.

Star Spangled Intersection

posted by on November 6 at 4:51 PM

Yesterday, people sent me two great videos (here and here) from the post-election street party at Pike and Broadway. But neither of the videos showed the Star Spangled Banner sing-along that was led by a drag queen on the roof of Neighbours.

Today tipper Brian remedies the situation:

Recession = Cheap(er) Gasoline

posted by on November 6 at 4:38 PM

Good news if you drive a lot; bad news if you’re in retail:

Oil prices neared $60 a barrel Thursday, their lowest point in about a year and a half, as a growing number of economic reports point to a long and painful recession.

The number of Americans continuing to draw unemployment benefits surged to a 25-year high, the Labor Department said Thursday, and the nation’s retailers saw their sales plummet last month to the weakest October level since at least 1969.

When the economy slows, the demand for energy fades. One side effect: the price of gasoline has tumbled from summer highs, when a gallon cost more than $4. Experts say gasoline could cost half that by year’s end.

Light, sweet crude for December delivery fell 7 percent, or $4.53, to settle at $60.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices tumbled as low as $60.16 at one point, a level last seen in March 2007.

Oil prices have now fallen nearly 60 percent since peaking at $147.27 a barrel in mid-July. They surged above $70 Tuesday, but a crude sell-off began the following day when prices dipped 7.4 percent.

Congratulations to anyone who can still afford to drive a car.

Via Forbes.

Maybe We Will Get A Cultural Bill of Rights After All

posted by on November 6 at 4:37 PM

A few weeks ago I wrote about how smart Bill Ivey’s new book about cultural reform is.

Well, Americans for the Arts just announced that Ivey’s been appointed as the leader of Obama’s arts and culture transition team.

World News at a Glance

posted by on November 6 at 4:36 PM


The front page of newspapers from around the world. Awesome. Scroll down to get past the English-speaking parts of the world.

(Thanks, Superfrankenstein!)


posted by on November 6 at 4:30 PM

The count goes on, with the race still too close to call. The latest tally:

Reichert: 50.46

Burner: 49.54

What’s going on is very similar to what happened last time around, when it took several days to sort out a winner and Reichert ultimately prevailed by 3 percentage points.

The 8th Congressional District sits in both King and Pierce Counties and—also like last time—the King County votes are breaking somewhat in favor of Burner while the Pierce County votes are breaking heavily in favor of Reichert. Burner will need to really run up the numbers in King County in order to prevail.

So far she’s not doing that, but it’s impossible to know where things will move as the count goes on. Possibly a good sign for Burner: over the course of the day today, the number of votes separating her and Reichert narrowed to 1,965 out of 214,781 total votes cast.

Cascade People’s Center to Close After City Cuts Funding

posted by on November 6 at 4:16 PM

South Lake Union’s Cascade People’s Center (CPC) is finally closing.

The CPC has provided free after school programs, support groups, language classes to immigrant families and services for the homeless in South Lake Union for the last ten years, but will close on December 31st unless the center can secure $75,000 in funding.

CPC almost shut down last year, but the city council gave CPC $100,000 to stay open and develop a financial plan.

CPC Program Director Myla Becker says the center’s been working to raise money but has asked the city council to fund them for an additional year. “Basically we heard, ‘we like what you’re doing,’” Becker says, “but nobody was willing to write a [budget request] for the funding.”

Becker says CPC had planned to hold an auction and fund raising dinner in the next few months, but now it’s unlikely the events will happen if the center isn’t able to come up with additional money by the end of the year.

“The struggle is that ultimately we need two years of [funding] so that we can build the funding capacity for the next two years,” Becker says.

Becker says the center raised almost $60,000 from foundation grants, individual contributors and last year’s auction, which raised about $40,000. The year before, it only brought in $6,000. “The capacity [for fundraising] is there,” Becker says. “We really just need the time.”

Don’t Forget ArtWalk

posted by on November 6 at 4:14 PM

Yes, the weather is miserable. But I just walked around in it for hours looking for art and it’s worth it. Here’s some of what I found (and a couple of things I didn’t see that are also opening tonight; please don’t blame any of these artists for my bad photography):

Justin Colt Beckman is turning Punch Gallery into a functioning honky tonk. Here it is under construction, with a view of the bar (with “fireplace”), and with a still from the video of him performing country songs. (In case you want to know, they’re serving Busch tonight.)


At Howard House, there’s Richard Barnes’s photographs behind the scenes at natural history museums:

SOIL’s got an installation devoted to Portland Goodwill stores.

And in SOIL’s backspace, a small but interesting show of tactile photographs and a video of a nighttime construction site accompanied by the reading of a love letter, by Josh Tonsfeldt and Uri Aran (images arranged respectively).

At Gallery4Culture, dermatographia artist Ariana Page Russell takes a major step forward in glamor shots that use temporary tattoos made of photographs of her own blushing skin (and a wall covered in her skin):

One more: Angle Gallery, with photographs by Nick Hall documenting an Alaskan salmon run.

Note: Lawrimore Project is closed all day today, so don’t walk yourself all the way down there in the rain!

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on November 6 at 4:03 PM

May I suggest that the gay community respond to Mormon church—which pushed through the anti-gay marriage amendment in California—by politely yet firmly sexually harassing Mormon missionaries whenever they come to the door? I plan to come out to every Mormon missionary I meet for the foreseeable future. If they’re hot, I’ll offer them a chance to make their case—but only after I blow them.

I want these people to absolutely wince with fear each time a guy opens the door. I want them to feel as violated as all gay Californians do.

Latter Day Sinner

P.S. Two years ago you helped my boyfriend and me through a rough patch. Thanks! We’re celebrating ten years next month (9.75 of which have been great), in part due to your help.

I was planning to blow up in the faces of the very next Mormon “elders” who dared to show up on my porch, LDS, but I like your plan better. But I’m going to offer to let ‘em make their case after they’ve finished blowing me.

Liberal Fascist Communists to Real Americans: We (Heart) You

posted by on November 6 at 3:54 PM


From 52 to 48 With Love is a website like Sorry Everybody on which Democrats demonstrate their ability to be gracious winners. It’s really kind of charming. And, just as I was linking to Sorry Everybody, I noticed that the site is now titled Hello Everybody:

Some of us — apparently, most of us — would like to say hi to you, world. We had a rough patch there. We would have called earlier, but things were a little weird between you and us, and I wasn’t sure what else there was to say. You know how it is: you think of calling, you stare at the phone, and then one day the sun is shining and you elect a black guy who reads a lot and did great in college.

So, hello, world. Let’s get to know each other again. We cool?

The whole internet is exploding with love!

Prop 8 Protest Outside of LA Mormon Temple

posted by on November 6 at 3:40 PM


‘Yes we can! Yes we will!’ with a chorus of ‘Shame! Shame! Shame!’ is number one with a bullet here at the West LA Mormon Temple,” writes devoted Slog tipper Keith.

UPDATE: Keith just texted: “New chant: ‘405!’ As in shutting down the freeway…”

Stay tuned, and in the meantime, won’t you help strip the law-breaking Mormon Church of its tax-exempt status?

Update 2: Here’s a more direct and effective way of getting the “no tax exemption for the Mormon Church” ball rolling: How to File an IRS 501(c)(3) Complaint.

Re: Our New Internet-Powered Administration

posted by on November 6 at 3:33 PM

I hope whoever’s been in charge of Obama’s websites gets to take a whack at the entire government’s web presence. It’d be great if every time you wanted to get information from the United States online, it was this easy and attractive. Also, it’s a great relief to go to a website ending in .gov and see this:


Listed as the government’s agenda.

Re: Re: Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

posted by on November 6 at 3:30 PM

And, for the flip side of Japan’s ambivalent relationship with suicide, this fake commercial for a “wrist cutter” from the movie Tokyo Gore Police (NYT review here), also from Slog tipper Ben.

And now, to get the taste of that out of your brain, please enjoy this story about the dramatically falling rates of polio in poor countries.

Go world!

And old-timey Santa!



Stranger Election Party on ABC

posted by on November 6 at 3:15 PM

For about 1.7 seconds, ABC News featured The Stranger’s Election Night Party. You may notice certain Slog commenters featured rather prominently.

ABC doesn’t have a video embed thingie, so click the screenshot to view it in their player, which will also helpfully move your browser window for you.


Red Book, Blue Book

posted by on November 6 at 3:05 PM

Amazon has a few graphs up relating the connections and differences between conservative-themed books and liberal-themed books. There are lots of pretty graphs:


This is just part of Amazon’s Red-Blue Roundtable, an interesting, if slightly dry, look into the ideological divide and how it affects books. If you’re jonesing for lack of political analysis in the last day or two, it’s well worth your time.

Our New Internet-Powered Administration…

posted by on November 6 at 2:55 PM

can be found at And have you heard the victory album?

Seattle Center Makes an Example of The Stranger

posted by on November 6 at 2:53 PM

On Tuesday afternoon, a Seattle Center manager sat down about 20 groundskeepers at a meeting to announce that certain materials would be forbidden in their break room. The issue came up because a staff member discovered pornographic playing cards on top of a locker. The sexual harassment policy at the Seattle Center, governed by the city, bans nude and sexual images in public areas. So the manager said the nude playing cards were prohibited, and so were the city’s two weekly papers, due to the erotic escort ads in the back of the papers.

“We were told … that you can’t bring The Stranger and the Weekly in,” says an employee who attended the meeting and asked to remain anonymous. “I was shocked, personally.”

Carolyn Lacey, an employment attorney, was also concerned the city overstepped it bounds. “This is not as though somebody with a Seattle Center uniform is holding up The Stranger and giving the public the impression that somehow the Seattle Center endorses The Stranger or … escort services,” she says. “To infringe on someone’s First Amendment rights, there has to be a real compelling reason.”

But the Seattle Center seems to be backing off. “There will be no restriction on The Stranger or the Weekly and nobody will be penalized for having a copy in the workplace,” says Deborah Daoust, a Seattle Center spokeswoman. “The back sections [of the papers] were used as examples of things that could be seen as inappropriate or be seen as sexual harassment.” She says the Seattle Center never intended to ban the publications outright.

“It could have just been the way they heard it,” Daoust says.

But the way the employees heard it seems clear. By the Seattle Center’s own admission, the employees were told about prohibited materials, and the newspapers were used “as examples” of the types of things that violate the policy.

“My understanding leaving the meeting was that we should not bring [the papers] in and not even have them in the locker,” says the employee. “People could have complained. There are, it seems, a lot of Christians that sort of dominate things there.”

First Hill Senior Housing Facility Being Investigated for Abuse

posted by on November 6 at 2:10 PM

A First Hill assisted living facility is under investigation by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and has been told to stop accepting new residents until staff receive additional training.

An October 28th DSHS report accuses Faerland Terrace—located on Minor and Pike—staff of improperly handling residents suffering dementia. According to the report, staff apparently pinned the arms of a combative resident in order to get them dressed, and failed to brush another resident’s teeth for over a year.

The report says a staff member also struck a resident in the back of the head, and the facility apparently has had problems with some residents urinating and forcing tongue kisses on other residents. There also appear to have been problems with residents assaulting, chasing, biting and tripping each other.

Faerland, which has about 100 residents, is appealing DSHS’ “stop placement” order, and the facility’s executive director, Tommy Tomlinson, says she’s filed a complaint with the state, claiming her staff was harassed by a DSHS inspector.

“I’ve already asked the inspector not to step into the building again,” Tomlinson says. “The state inspector came in and intimidated and harassed my staff…pushing them, asking them the same question four or five times [and] upsetting the residents.”
DSHS was unavailable for comment on Tomlinson’s claims of harassment.

Tomlinson downplays the incidents listed in the report, insisting that DSHS’ accusations are “erroneous and false.” But, she says, “We’re guilty until we prove otherwise. All of our patients are happy as can be.”

Considering these alleged abuses are exactly what supporters of I-1029—which would double the training requirements for caretakers to about 70 hours—have been crowing about, I asked Faerland what she thought of the initiative.

“1029 will be onerous for everyone in long term care. There’s no way the state’s going to be able to oversee this,” she says.

DSHS has given Faerland until November 17th to retrain its staff.

“I Haven’t Been to Many Political Events Where You Smell That”

posted by on November 6 at 2:03 PM

A reporter with a nose for news at Obama’s victory celebration in Century City.

You gotta love that the anchors in the news room laugh. We’ve won the culture war to legalize pot.

John Hodgman Tonight at Town Hall

posted by on November 6 at 2:02 PM

Is the John Hodgman event at Town Hall tonight—in Stranger Suggests today—sold out? It is, according to Brown Paper Tickets. But the lady who answered the phone at Elliott Bay Book Company (who’s running the event) an hour ago said they had about 30 tickets left. (Their phone number is 206-624-6600.)

Not mentioned in Suggests: Hodgman will be joined onstage by his coonskin-cap-wearing sidekick Jonathan Coulton. There will be further music and funny stuff by John Roderick and Sean Nelson (best known as the frontman for the Long Winters and the frontman for Harvey Danger, respectively), who haven’t played music together for years. Pressed for specifics about what they’re going to play, Nelson said, mysteriously, “”It’s pretty up in the air. I wouldn’t be surprised if we did ‘Only Living Boy in New York,’ especially if people request it.” You know what that means.

Meanwhile, look at it out there. Look at it pour. Need it be mentioned that Town Hall is but a few short (if steep) blocks from the Sorrento, and inside the Sorrento are the chairs and tasseled ottomans of the Fireside Room, where drinks aren’t cheap but the fireplace roars and roars? (Lo those many years ago, roughly at this time of year, Bar Exam paid a visit) If you can’t get in to see Hodgman tonight at Town Hall, you should riot, and if that doesn’t work you should just stay in one of those Fireside Room chairs forever, reading and rereading the audience review Hodgman wrote for The Stranger the last time he was in town.

Ewwwww… and Yay!

posted by on November 6 at 2:01 PM


Workers just cleared that very, very clogged drain at Pike and Broadway. Now you don’t have to jump over a small lake to cross the street or get to the QFC. Oh happy day.

“Why are you takin’ a picture of that,” one of the men asked me, as he reached for a handful of the sludge he just pulled from the backed-up drain.

“I’m excited the drain is clear! I’m going to put it on the internet! People will be stoked!”

“Hahaha… whatever.”

That’s A Load Off My Mind

posted by on November 6 at 1:44 PM

Screenshot of the day, part deux:


Sent in by Meagan: “I was worried about Joan Baez, weren’t you?”

In other top headlines: Joni Mitchell Wants a Sandwich; Harry Belafonte: Slightly Put Out; and Kris Kristofferson Feels Nothing But the Suffocating Truth of His Own Mortality.


posted by on November 6 at 1:13 PM

It looks like Obama might pick up one more electoral vote by winning the Omaha area of Nebraska. It will be the first time a state has split its electoral vote for a candidate. McCain tried to do the same thing in the northern half of Maine, but Obama won the entire state easily. Repeat: Obama won part of Nebraska. Holy fucking shit.

Win Tickets to Tomorrow Night’s Helio Sequence Show

posted by on November 6 at 1:11 PM

All the necessary info is on Line Out.

What the Transit Vote Means

posted by on November 6 at 12:56 PM

Seattle Transit Blog writers recently issued a couple of mea culpas to me, The Stranger in general, and former news editor Josh Feit, who they (and lots and lots and lots of other transit supporters) trashed last year for saying we should vote against roads and transit and hold out for a transit-only package. What they’re referring to is stuff like this:

Oh and the anti-Prop. 1 post? Ms Barnett of the Stranger in her usual form. Not much analysis there other than assuming it will fail without much evidence, and calling anyone who endorses Prop. 1 a “defeatist”. Nice. I wonder which of the three here actually thought this issue through more seriously?

And this:

Josh Feit of The Stranger has a very kooky argument against the RTID. … We can’t sit and wait for the perfect proposal that pleases everyone, we have to accept what will make the best compromise and move forward from there.

And this:

Erica C Barnett at the Stranger wrote a piece lauding the Sierra Club for fighting against Prop. 1, and then turning around to lobby Sound Transit into put “station access funds” in place of park-and-rides for suburban stations. Station access funds could be spent on anything, including parking, but the use is decided by the local government and not prescribed by Sound Transit.

Nice idea, but I find this piece extremely self-congratulatory and completely off-mark, Erica wrote the piece as if Sound Transit 2 had passed already …This could end up a complete waste of time, since it’s looking ever less certain we’ll get a ballot measure this year. In fact, I think the odds are slipping past even as I write this, if they haven’t already. I’ll congratulate the Sierra Club when they actually endorse a plan that passes.

While I’m glad fellow transit proponents are acknowledging, belatedly, that we were right (Goldy wrote a sweet mea culpa a few months ago, so I’m only picking on the Transit Bloggers here), it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that in a high-turnout, heavily Democratic election, voters in the Puget Sound region—which is about to get light rail next year from Seattle to the airport—would support expanding transit now. The economy may be bad, but people are optimistic; and optimistic people are capable of seeing beyond the next year or two (and beyond their narrow interests.) The era of big road-building projects is over. The voters know that, and they want alternatives. They got them Tuesday night.

Or, as Sierra Club chairman Mike O’Brien put it,

Last year, a $5 million campaign in good economic times to pass Roads and Transit failed. This year, a $750,000 campaign in bad economic times to finance more transit passed. The difference — no climate-changing roads. When the voters defeated Roads and Transit last year, they weren’t just saying bring back light rail, they were also saying bring us realistic transportation solutions that help solve global warming.

I’ve Said It Before

posted by on November 6 at 12:47 PM

But let me say it again:

If Great Granddaddy “Fell Off His Dinosaur And Broke His Wooden Underwear” McCain drops dead of old age and/or neck cancer and/or gaping-vacuum-where-his-soul-should-be-itis in, say, February, HOW HARD ARE ALL OF YOU MCCAIN VOTERS GOING TO PUNCH YOURSELVES IN THE FACE!?


Yikes. I’m so glad we won.

The Chart of the Week

posted by on November 6 at 12:31 PM

So many more pleasing cartogram charts are on Mark Newman’s (of University of Michigan’s Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems) website.

(Thank the prolific NaFun.)


Obama is likely to win Omaha’s electoral vote. (Nebraska, like Maine, splits their electoral votes.)


Erotic Services Just Got More Expensive

posted by on November 6 at 12:09 PM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

Craigslist announced today that they will begin charging a fee for those who post ads in the “Erotic Services” section.

The Associated Press, in their story released today, has quotes from such heavyweights as Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

What about those who really matter? The ones most directly affected by this decision?

“That’s crap,” says a w4m who claims to be of “Dark Brown Complexxxion.” She sounds irritated. “Well, I guess if they do they will start losing people. I don’t feel like I should pay for something that I once had for free.”

Someone in our office seconds that argument.

Is this woman with a dark brown “complexxxion” alone in her frustration? I called up the number for an ad labeled: “FROM DUSK TO DAWN I GET MY F**CK ON - w4m (TACOMA).”

“It’s already bad enough that they got cops on there doing stings on girls. I wouldn’t mind if they could guarantee that cops wouldn’t use the site,” the erotic service provider/poet says. Her ad also claims that there will be “GUARANTEED SATISFACTION.” I couldn’t resist. How can my satisfaction be guaranteed when she doesn’t even know me?

“Cuz my shit’s good,” she claims.

Not satisfied, I looked for another service provider to call. “Looking For Excitement Call Me… - t4m - 27 (Tacoma)” caught my eye.

I asked the person who picked up the phone what they thought of Craigslist’s announcement to start charging a fee. First, they said, “no comment.” Then, perhaps also experiencing dissatisfaction, they continued, “I’m always going to use it. I don’t care. I have money.”

Weary from all this reporting work, my eye fell upon one last ad: “RELAX WITH A REASONABLE RATE!! - m4m - 29 (Capitol Hill Area).”

I asked the erotic service provider about the new fee. “I think that’s kind of funny. I guess that’s cool. At the same time they will have to stop using the flagging system. In order to be totally fair, if you are going to be charged for it, it needs to be more protected.” He doesn’t know if he will continue to use the Craigslist site if a fee is required. “It’s not a steady line of work and there are too many hassles and issues.”

Screen Shot of the Day

posted by on November 6 at 11:48 AM


Via TwitPic. Thanks to tipper NaFun.


posted by on November 6 at 11:35 AM

A bridge that attracts them. A debate over a fence. Worries about media attention encouraging even more suicides.

Same situation, different city, great writing and reporting.

The Latest Results in Selected Races

posted by on November 6 at 11:24 AM

As of 10:30 this morning…

Proposition 1, mass-transit expansion, is winning 59 to 41 percent.

Initiative 985 is failing 59.78 to 40.22 percent.

Initiative 1000 is winning 58.67 to 41.33 percent.

Initiative 1029 is winning 73.45 to 26.55 percent.

Dave Reichert is beating Darcy Burner in the Eighth Congressional District by 50.49 to 49.51 percent—a margin of 1,853 votes.

Democrat Jim McIntire is defeating Republican Allan Martin for state treasurer, 51.93 to 48.07 percent.

Republican Rob McKenna is defeating Democrat John Ladenburg for attorney general, 58.71 to 41.29 percent.

Democrat Peter Goldmark is defeating Republican Doug Sutherland for lands commissioner 50.79 to 49.21 percent.

Randy Dorn is defeating Terry Bergeson for state schools superintendent, 51.17 to 48.83 percent.

Reuven Carlyle is defeating fellow Democrat John Burbank for state representative in the 36th district, 65.21 to 34.69 percent.

Scott White is defeating fellow Democrat Gerry Pollet for state rep in the 46th district, 71.56 to 28.44 percent.

Tim Bradshaw is defeating Sue Parisien for King County Superior Court judge, 58.93 to 41.07 percent.

Holly Hill is defeating Julia Garratt for KC Superior Court judge, 54.18 to 45.82 percent.

Barbara Mack is defeating Jean Reitschel for KC Superior Court judge, 52.31 to 47.69 percent.

And every King County charter amendment is winning except charter amendment 7, which would have increased the signature threshold to change the county charter (essentially, its constitution) by citizen initiative.


posted by on November 6 at 11:15 AM

Another Republican Senator falls, this one Gordon Smith of Oregon.

Despite Smith’s rather brazen attempts to link himself to Barack Obama, he will be replaced by Democrat Jeff Markley, who was actually endorsed by Barack Obama (and helped along by a last-minute television ad that Obama cut for him).

That brings the number of Democrats in the new Senate to 57, with Senate races still to be called in Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia.

As people try to tally up the races across the country that were swung by the Obama coattail effect, this race—in which high turnout in the liberal centers of Portland and Eugene appears to be swamping Republican votes from elsewhere—is probably one that should be added to the list.

Re: Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

posted by on November 6 at 11:14 AM

Why build a fence on the Aurora Bridge when you can hire a guy?

(Thanks to Slog tipper Ben.)

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 6 at 11:00 AM


John Hodgman

John Hodgman’s first book, The Areas of My Expertise, turned the trivia-book genre into an exercise in supershort fiction. His newest book, More Information Than You Require, applies this formula to memoir, describing what Hodgman’s surprise midlife fame—the Apple ads! the movies!—is really like. It’s hard to imagine fake trivia being deeply personal, but amid the one-liners (the citizens of Richmond, Virginia, call a sandwich a “meat coffin” and “Randy Quaid has had secret rabies since 1991”) there’s the story of a man who is grateful for, and deeply puzzled by, his own success. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 652-4255. 7:30 pm, $5.)


Art Talk

Dias & Riedweg

The large back room at the Frye Art Museum has been mostly sealed off, and it’s dark in there. Two facing walls of videos and mirrors stand in the center; on them, sexy young men and women perform a parodic restaging of a 16th-century German mariner’s account of Brazilian cannibals, this time set on a favela rooftop to catchy beats. The installation, by Mauricio Dias and Walter Riedweg, is the beating heart of this season at the Frye; the artists will give a talk about traveling the world and making art out of social distortion. (Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave, 622-9250. 7 pm, free.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Carr Wreck

    posted by on November 6 at 10:53 AM

    Tom Carr, our city attorney, is up for re-election next year. So how is Carr priming the electorate as our local budgets are in freefall? By protesting ways to save money and defending expensive programs that don’t work.

    In a letter to the editor on Tuesday—which I didn’t see until today—Carr chastises the PI for reconsidering how we spend our criminal justice funds. An editorial on Monday had calmly suggested that we “rethink the enforcement of drug laws” to handle a huge city and county revenue shortfall. We wrote about the impacts on drug cases at the county here. The PI asked, “What if resources could be shifted from the prosecution of low-level drug crimes into recovery programs?” That strategy, of course, has been proven to save money and be more effective. But Carr shot off this testy missive:

    Decriminalization, a word that you do not use in your Monday editorial, but which you seem to be advocating, has not worked anywhere that it has been tried. European countries that have gone down this road are reconsidering their policies because of an increase in both drug addiction and drug-related crime. A balanced approach of prevention, enforcement and treatment is the answer. This is the approach that we take and it has worked well. Discarding a working model for an unproven one because of budget concerns would be the worst kind of foolishness. …

    Decriminalization is the functional equivalent of giving up. We have proven answers to the drug problem that we employ. It is disappointing the P-I failed to recognize these efforts.

    Is Carr seriously saying we shouldn’t provide more treatment? That our drug policy, as it stands, is working? Really? And Carr is just wrong when he says decriminalization can’t be part of a functional drug policy. In September, the Beckley Foundation in the UK released a report (.pdf) on cannabis policies that concludes, “Measures to reduce penalties or to decriminalize possession and use have been adopted in numerous jurisdictions without an upsurge in use.” A ton of studies show decriminalization works. And in the Netherlands, where they focus on treatment and avoid incarceration for drug possession, use of drugs is far below the US.

    Meanwhile in King County, law enforcement agencies reported 1,650 arrests for misdemeanor marijuana possession last year. Carr would rather we lock up those people—and spend time whining about it—even though the city just sent a press release titled “Mayor Working to Identify Additional Reductions to Balance Budget.”

    Hey, Greg Nickels, here’s a way to balance your budget: Slash Tom Carr’s funds for low-level drug offenders (such as paraphernalia and pot), put more money into drug treatment, and use the net saving for other city programs. And hey, everyone else, let’s recruit a new candidate for city attorney who doesn’t waste his time writing backward letters to the editor.

    Re: What the Fuck Are We Going to Talk About Now!?

    posted by on November 6 at 10:40 AM

    Puppies! That live stream is still going—they’re bigger now, and they’re just starting to wake up this moring.

    I wonder if one of these puppies is the future First Puppy? They grew up in front of the camera, I’m sure they could handle the fame.

    Chickens, 1. Gays, 0.

    posted by on November 6 at 10:40 AM

    Hey, sorry about your equal rights, gay people. But at least chickens get to move their wings now! The concerned citizens of California passed Prop 2 by a landslide (63%), granting chickens and baby veal cows the rights to stand up and turn around and fully extend their limbs. Because the chickens were sad! Give the chickens bigger houses! Baby veal cows are people too!


    OH, BUT SORRY, GAY PEOPLE. You are not people too.


    **For the record, I am totally in favor of animals being able to stand up, turn around, and fully extend their limbs during the brief span of time before we eat them.

    Update: Perhaps I am not being clear. The idea that someone could go into a voting booth, consider a chicken, feel compassion and empathy for the chicken, and vote in favor of basic chicken rights; and THEN, immediately afterward, consider a person, feel no compassion or empathy, and vote to strip that person of a basic human right, is ABSURD AND CRIMINAL. That is what I am saying. Priorities, people.

    Too Good To Be True

    posted by on November 6 at 10:39 AM

    But true: the county that Sarah Palin described as the “real America” went for Obama—and so did North Carolina.

    Take That, Tim Eyman (and Dino Rossi)

    posted by on November 6 at 10:38 AM

    Now that Tim Eyman’s proposal to prohibit tolling on I-90 to pay for a new 520 bridge and Dino Rossi’s proposal to build a massive new eight-lane 520 replacement have gone down in flames, the reality-based community is getting together to talk about how to actually pay for the damn thing. On Monday in Redmond, the 520 Tolling Implementation Committee will release the latest results from its ongoing evaluation of tolling across Lake Washington at Redmond City Hall, from 3 to 5 pm (info about the options available here). Also, all next week, they’ll be holding open houses on the various proposals; a list of times and locations is below the jump. The tolling plan is still a work in progress, but it’s nice to know that the nightmare scenario—a huge new bridge proposal with no money to pay for it—is off the table.

    Continue reading "Take That, Tim Eyman (and Dino Rossi)" »

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on November 6 at 10:31 AM


    Things are finally back on track after the election, with the author of a popular young adult series reading in town tonight. There are other books being discussed tonight, too, about surfing and gorillas in Uganda and there’s even one titled Who Will Build the Ark? The Architectural Imagination in an Age of Catastrophic Convergence. And then there are the three readings I want to talk about here.

    The Hugo House is hosting Cheap Wine and Poetry, a reading series in which wine is available for only a dollar a glass. The thought of alcohol, in this post-Election Day world, still vaguely makes me want to vomit, but I’m sure many people are ready to get their drink on again. Readers at this event include Marya Sea Kaminski, Daemond Arrindel, and the one-man talent storm known as Brian McGuigan, who is just a joy and a pleasure to everyone who knows him. Also, Stranger writer Cienna Madrid will be reading from her work-in-progress novel.

    If that wasn’t enough for you, there’s also Jonathan Hodgman at Town Hall. I didn’t realize, when I wrote up this event for our Suggests calendar, that John Roderick and Sean Nelson will also be performing at this event. This is sure to be a good time, and could be the best entertainment option of the evening.

    Lastly, at the University Bookstore, Sherry Jones reads from her book, The Jewel of Medina. I wrote about this book in Constant Reader a few months ago:

    Random House imprint Ballantine Books paid $100,000 for the rights to The Jewel of Medina and a hypothetical sequel by Spokane author Sherry Jones. Medina is a novel written from the point of view of Muhammad’s wife Aishah, and the book had all the signs of becoming a best seller with the book-club crowd. When Ballantine sent an advance copy of the book to Middle Eastern Studies professor Denise Spellberg in the hopes of a blurb, Spellberg contacted Muslim message boards and alerted them that the book “made fun of Muslims and their history.” Soon, angry Muslims were calling for a boycott and demanding that Random House disassociate from the book.

    Of course, Random House did drop Medina, for fear of retribution. Medina has been picked up by another publisher, and now the author is in town, and people who would like to show their solidarity with a publisher that is not a total fucking coward like Random House should attend this reading.

    The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here.

    I Love the New York Times

    posted by on November 6 at 10:18 AM

    Always have, always will. My devotion to the NYT caused me to make a terrible first impression on my in-and-out-laws—my boyfriend’s parents (in-laws in Canada, where my boyfriend is my husband; outlaws in the USA, where my husband is my boyfriend)—on my debut visit fourteen years ago. I had them drive me all over Spokane, Washington, in a futile search for just one copy of the New York Times. A copy of the Spokesman Review wasn’t good enough for me and they thought me a bit snotty as a result.


    While I was moved by the NYT’s lead editorial today about the travesty of justice in California, and while I appreciated the editors’ decision to run their story about the approval of anti-gay-marriage amendments in California and two other states on the paper’s front page and above-the-fold, and recognizing that there’s no way to say this without looking like a self-serving ingrate, it has to be said: The New York Times needs to add a gay writer to the its roster of opinion columnists. (And, no, I’m not thinking of the gig for myself; I’ve written for the NYT op-ed pages in the past, but I’m fond of the column I’ve got, thanks, and way too fond the “f” word to be a NYT columnist. I’m thinking of Andrew Sullivan, who would be a great choice, as would Jonathan Capehart, Pam Spaulding, and a dozen others I could name off the top of my head.) I came to this conclusion after reading the three opinion columns on today’s NYT op-ed pages.

    Nicholas Kristof writes

    America is more than a place. At its best, it also is an idea.

    When my father was driven from his home in Eastern Europe in World War II, he initially settled in France. But France offered no opportunity to impoverished refugees, so my father sought better prospects for himself and his descendents by moving on to an Oregon logging camp to begin to learn English and start a new life. What lured him was not the real estate of America, but the idea of America.

    We Americans have periodically betrayed that idea of equality and opportunity, but on Tuesday evening we powerfully revitalized it.

    Uh, Nicholas? Voters in three states—including the nation’s largest—betrayed the “idea of equality” for gays and lesbians on Tuesday. I agree that the election of Obama powerfully revitalized the idea of America, but the symbolism of Obama’s election was marred by the results in California, Florida, and Arizona.

    Gail Collins writes today


    We are only thinking cheerful thoughts today, people. America did good. Enjoy.

    Gay and lesbian Americans aren’t so cheerful today, Gail, particularly gays and lesbians who read your paper’s front-page story about the “stunning victory” of the religious right’s efforts to ban gay marriage in California, Florida, and Arizona.

    Maureen Dowd writes

    In the midst of such a phenomenal, fizzy victory overcoming so many doubts and crazy attacks and even his own middle name, Obama stood alone….

    There have been many awful mistakes made in this country. But now we have another chance.

    As we start fresh with a constitutional law professor and senator from the Land of Lincoln, the Lincoln Memorial might be getting its gleam back.

    Tuesday didn’t offer a fresh start for gays and lesbians, Maureen, just more “awful mistakes,” more bigotry and discrimination, courtesy of straight voters in three states who exercised their “special right” to vote on the fundamental civil liberties of their gay and lesbian fellow citizens. (Is any other minority group subject to this treatment in this country anymore?) No gay American can read the words chiseled onto the walls of the Lincoln Memorial today—”With malice toward none, with charity for all…”—and conclude that the Lincoln Memorial got its “gleam back” on Tuesday.

    I’m sure Frank Rich will have something to say about the anti-gay marriage amendments that passed on Tuesday in his column this weekend. Rich is passionate defender of the dignity and equality of gay people; like no other straight writer in America (maybe it’s his love of the musical theater?), Rich understands that our struggle for equality under the law is the civil rights struggle of our time. For that reason alone the NYT should have a gay opinion columnist. That the three devastating blows delivered to the “idea of equality” on Tuesday failed to register with even one of the opinion columnists featured in today’s paper makes the need for a gay columnist at the NYT that much more pressing, urgent, and obvious.

    Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job

    posted by on November 6 at 10:16 AM

    So says the Onion:

    WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation’s broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind.

    Thanks, tipper Emily Jo.

    On the Cover

    posted by on November 6 at 9:00 AM

    Don’t miss our slightly inebriated election coverage in the print edition, which features this fabulous, zeitgeist-capturing cover photo by regular Stranger contributor Adam L. Weintraub, who spent a glorious evening at the Showbox with us…


    The Morning News

    posted by on November 6 at 8:51 AM

    “His ‘take-no-prisoners attitude’ earned him the nickname ‘Rahm-bo’”: Meet Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s Chief-of-Staff-to-be.

    Not everyone rallied around Obama: “U.S. Stocks Post Biggest Post-Election Drop on Economic Concern.”

    It goes on: Reichert v. Burner.

    How $25,000 for six new suits became a $150,000-plus makeover for an entire family of “Wasilla hillbillys”: The New York Times reports on the amazing shit that went down trying to turn Sarah Palin into feasible Vice President.

    Sometimes death seems so random, but not this time: Wrong-way driver dies on Oregon freeway.

    Third time’s a charm?: Pit bull attacks family for second time.

    Taped lady, dancing, slapping, pull the blind’s hair one by one (clap clap!): Woman duct-taped to plane seat after causing a disturbance, allegedly slapping the buttocks of a crew member and pulling the hair of a blind passenger.

    Painted babies: Child psychologists icked out over the marketing of makeup for toddlers.

    In this case, it involved swatikas: Cheerleader fired for cheifing.

    Meanwhile in the Northwest: “Expect heavy rains, snow today”?

    And finally, yesterday brought an amazing collection of election-night videos to Slog—Journey in the streets!—but there’s one I want to highlight once more: Stranger videographer Kelly O’s report from Seattle’s Royal Esquire Club. (The moment when the woman’s acknowlegement of her Victoria’s Secret bra segues into the announcement of the Obama win is magic.)

    The Last Store in the World

    posted by on November 6 at 8:36 AM


    The nation’s retailers saw their sales plummet last month in what is likely the weakest October in decades, as the financial crisis and mounting layoffs left shoppers too scared to shop.

    The drop-off from an already weak September performance is further darkening the outlook for the holiday season and dimming hopes for any industry recovery until at least the second half of next year.

    As merchants reported their dismal sales figures Thursday, Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, proved to be among the few bright spots as it benefits from shoppers focusing on buying basics at discounters.

    Wal-Mart is a company store at the national level.

    Last Night’s Southpark

    posted by on November 6 at 8:28 AM

    How they hell did they turn this around so quickly?

    Via Sullivan.

    No riots, but some knuckleheads

    posted by on November 6 at 7:59 AM

    While everyone is happy that there was none of the urban disorder many predicted, never underestimate the Knucklehead-American population’s ability to get in trouble. There were very few arrests in Chicago Tuesday night; most were for discharging firearms in celebration, but one young person thought that Obama’s election entitled her to slap a cop.

    “White bitches. F—- McCain. You white police can’t do nothing,” 19-year-old Celita Hart taunted officers as she stood with a throng of Obama supporters in the 6900 block of South Western Avenue, Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said in a court Wednesday. At some point, authorities said, Hart left the crowd, which had been chanting “Obama, Obama,” walked up to a squad car, and smacked a male officer in the face.

    She’s in County, awaiting justice.

    Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

    posted by on November 6 at 7:45 AM

    Not again:

    Heard this morning (Thursday) at 5:30 from my brother who just drove past that there was another potential jumper on the Aurora Bridge. Woman in white parka standing on other side of railing, about six cop cars on scene.

    UPDATE: There was a woman threatening to jump from the Aurora Bridge earlier this morning, but according to the SPD the woman got down off the railing and is being taken to Harborview for treatment.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    Re: Oh, and a Big Wrist Slap to Caffe Vita

    posted by on November 5 at 8:16 PM

    For the dozens and dozens of you who think I’m a histrionic jerk for calling Vita to the mat for cashing in on a beautiful thing—I admit it, the post was a little shrill. But my point stands. From the comments thread:

    Monday night, a friend and I went out at about 1 am to poster the HOPE posters that Shepherd Fairey had sent to us to ensure a victory here in Washington state (hey, it was officially a swing state at the time they sent them to us).

    I saved them until Monday night so that people could wake up Tuesday morning and see them, and be like “YEAH. WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS THING!” (I based it on a “This American Life” story about a guy who spray painted frogs around his neighborhood.) My friend added the VOTE TODAY slips to help ensure no one flaked out.

    It was cold and really, really rainy. Like soak-to-the-bone rainy but we saw late-night partiers who were like, Right on! So we kept going, taking a few to near the U District too.

    Tuesday morning, I woke up, and Caffe Vita had papered over Shepherd’s posters with their own. My heart dropped.

    With gillions of blank walls all over Capitol Hill, they papered OVER his artwork with their ad. We had put them up in two places. They picked one of those specifically to paper over ours.

    In order to sell coffee with Barack’s image. When we have 5,000 coffee places on the hill.


    We repapered at about 4 p.m:

    But they wrecked the moment, for reasons I still don’t understand.


    Absolutely. My friend has “before” pics from when we were putting it up at 2 am that he’s posting to his blog.

    You know, whatever. Obama won. The Supreme Court won’t be filled with Alitos. In the end, it’s just posters.

    But it was so great when Shepherd Fairey’s people gave them to us, and violating the spirit of that to sell more coffee is just…yucky.

    Yucky. That’s the word I should’ve used in my original post. Parodies of and homages to the Obama icons are fine—we put one on our cover the week before last—but appropriating them in order to sell people stuff is yucky.

    Proposition 8 Protesters Take to the Streets in West Hollywood

    posted by on November 5 at 7:45 PM


    “The crowd just moved onto the intersection , blocking traffic at Santa Monica and San Vicente,” reports Slog Tipper Keith.

    Required Viewing

    posted by on November 5 at 6:50 PM

    Sarah Palin thought Africa was a country, not a continent—that and so much more in this report from… uh… FOX News.

    Oh, man. After watching this a second time it’s really hard not to feel sorry—yes, sorry—for Sarah Palin.

    Tit’s in the PI

    posted by on November 5 at 6:32 PM

    Go to the PI’s real estate blog. Scroll down to links. Look for the fifth link—”Realty Objectives”—and click on it.


    Uh… nice objectives they’ve got there.

    Our First Black President

    posted by on November 5 at 6:16 PM


    You have to watch this old Richard Pryor sketch. Whoa… lots of spooky moments.

    No, wait. I meant prescient, lots of eerily prescient moments.

    Courtesy of Slog tipper Christy O.

    The Magic of Slog Comments

    posted by on November 5 at 5:45 PM

    Earlier this afternoon, a three-way involving regular—and notorious—Slog commenter Mr. Poe was proposed (“I’ll fuck any chick as long as there’s a giant cock in my mouth”), negotiated (“Stats? Pics?”), and declined (“Boy-ish looking is a big turn-off”) in a post about a charity for foster children.

    What the Fuck Are We Going to Talk About Now!?

    posted by on November 5 at 5:37 PM

    So, the election’s over. Did you hear? And as much as I’m going to enjoy huffing the fumes of last night for the next million years, I can’t help but remember all the stuff I used to think about. Before the election. Before it happened.

    Here’s a list of stuff I’ve been neglecting for the past two years. You are welcome to start thinking about these things again too. And other stuff. (Like what?)

    1. Tyra Banks
    I used to spend a LOT of time talking and thinking about this asshole. Tyra is magnificently heinous. An actual quote from earlier in this interview (with rapper T.I.): “I used to have a crush on you! But on a serious note, you’re about to go to jail.”

    2. Foetus humain

    3. The opening credits to The Wayans Bros.

    4. Chiang’s Gourmet

    5. “I’m tired.”

    Just off the top of my head. Bye!

    A Belated Report from the Nader Party

    posted by on November 5 at 5:27 PM

    The SECB swung by the Nader party at the Alibi Room last night just before president-elect Obama gave his acceptance speech. (Mr. Nader wondered later—out loud—whether Mr. Obama would be “an Uncle Tom” in his new role. Stay classy, Ralph.) Among the tumbleweeds rolling around were just a few sour grapes; one gentleman remarked of Mr. Obama, “I think he’s going to break a lot of hearts. He’s charming, he’s charismatic, he gives great speeches…people project their hopes on him….” But, he continued, Mr. Obama is not actually a true liberal/progressive/etc., and everyone’s gonna be really, really disappointed when they see his real stance on Iraq, on healthcare, and on a couple other things the SECB lost interest in and failed to write down. We literally ran back to the Showbox as fast as our SECB legs could carry us, just in time for the (yes!) great speech.


    He’s like a maverick!


    And like THAT ONE, you know, that maybe-Uncle-Tom one, kinda!

    It’s Pronounced CHOOT. Seriously.

    posted by on November 5 at 5:00 PM

    This New York Times profile of Carolyn Chute, the author of The Beans of Egypt Maine, is pretty fascinating stuff.

    The 2nd Maine Militia, or Your Wicked Good Militia, as it’s sometimes known, is progun, against corporate lobbying and campaign contributions, and opposed to tax subsidies for big business. The group has been known to meet in a hired hall, but more often it assembles in the woods behind the Chutes’ home, where the members shoot at cans and other targets, talk about what’s wrong with the world and dine on potluck.

    In 1996, in an incident recreated in “The School on Heart’s Content Road,” the militia invaded the State Capitol in Augusta, carrying placards that read, “Smash Corporate Tyranny.” Many of the militia children were in costume, and Mr. Chute wore a Revolutionary War uniform. There were some kazoo-playing and a little shouting, and someone duct-taped a piece of cardboard over a portrait of Joshua Chamberlain, the Maine governor and Civil War hero.

    When I was a very young kid back in Maine, I was at a supermarket with my mom. We rounded a corner and came face-to-face with this old woman with ratty hair and rumpled clothes, muttering to herself in the tampon aisle. After we passed her, I asked my mom what was the matter with the crazy lady. She responded, with not a little bit of fear in her voice, “She’s a writer.” And that’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer. So thanks, Carolyn Chute.


    posted by on November 5 at 4:55 PM

    Slog tipper Keith writes: “Just when you thought you were done crying tears of joy…”


    “The Wasilla Hillbillies”

    posted by on November 5 at 4:53 PM

    Disgruntled McCain aides doing all they can to undermine Sarah Palin’s plans for 2012:

    NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin’s shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain’s top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus…. One aide estimated that she spent “tens of thousands” more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast,” and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

    Can’t wait. And it appears that McCain’s people didn’t want Palin to launch her 2012 bid immediately before McCain’s concession speech:

    McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on clothes because they were sure he would be offended. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.

    The Northern Lights of Happiness

    posted by on November 5 at 4:53 PM

    It’s the fifth day of November. It’s nearing 4 pm. I’m standing on the corner of 6th and Main. Behind me is a small beauty business, and heading west on 6th is a truck for a plumber. As it passes, I read on its side: “A way goes trouble down the drain.” An old black man is slowly walking down the steep hill between Main and Washington. Two white woman in a red BMW (dented door, dirty windows) stop and let a very pregnant Asian woman cross the street. In the distance, cars flowing up to the freeway. Further still, a string of airplane lights. Then it seizes me. A rush of joy. It emanates from a warm area deep in my being and terminates with tingles on my flesh. To see the inside of my body is to see an aurora borealis on an arctic sky. Obama is the president of the United States of America.

    Obama Victory March Tonight

    posted by on November 5 at 4:38 PM

    According to fliers that were being passed around during last night’s “dancing in the streets” celebration, there’s going to be an Obama victory parade tonight at 6 pm, starting at the corner of Pine and Melrose.

    Election Night at Seattle’s Oldest Private Black Social Club

    posted by on November 5 at 4:35 PM

    When the Stranger Election Control Board asked me to go to Columbia City, to watch the election results come in at The Royal Esquire Club, um, I have to admit, I was a little nervous. The Royal Esquire is Seattle’s oldest-running members-only black social club. As we were driving there, I wondered what a room full of African American men (who might look like THIS, only in front of a television) - I wondered what they might think when I came be-bopping into the room.

    I mean, I look like this. That’s me in the middle…


    I was on assignment with Lindy West. Also female, also blonde. It definitely didn’t help matters that when we stopped at Wendy’s on the way there, to grab some quick fast food, an angry Native American in a wheelchair rolled up to the drive-thru, up our to car window, and yelled “HONKYS!” super frickin’ loud.

    But all the nervousness was for not. It wasn’t just a men’s club - there were women, kids, old, and young. Everyone was kind and friendly, and when those results came in, and Obama took the Presidency, I couldn’t think of another place I would have rather been, anywhere. Two ladies with tears streaming down their faces grabbed me and we alternately held hands and jumped up and down, then hugged and kissed each other like great old friends. It completely surprised and absolutely inspired me. I couldn’t believe no one batted an eye when I blurted out “WE DID IT! WE DID IT!”

    But then again, I suppose we ALL did do “it”.

    There’s been a million videos on SLOG, I know. But here’s the video we made there last night. Please watch it. I promise, it’s a pretty good one…

    Palin as President

    posted by on November 5 at 4:30 PM

    Did you visit the “Palin as President” website before the election? It’s worth one last visit. Check it out.

    Thanks to Slog tipper Griff.

    Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

    posted by on November 5 at 4:25 PM

    Overheard in bar in downtown Seattle bar about an hour ago:

    “Kerry Killinger and his wife let their their household staff go last night. And then they vanished.”

    Killenger is the former chief executive of Washington Mutual. He lives—or lived—in the Highlands. Anybody know any suddenly unemployed “household staff”? We’d love to hear from ‘em.

    Don’t Forget ArtWalk

    posted by on November 5 at 4:10 PM

    Yes, the weather is miserable. But I just walked around in it for hours looking for art and it’s worth it. Here’s some of what I found (and a couple of things I didn’t see that are also opening tonight; please don’t blame any of these artists for my bad photography):

    Justin Colt Beckman is turning Punch Gallery into a functioning honky tonk. Here it is under construction, with a view of the bar (with “fireplace”), and with a still from the video of him performing country songs. (In case you want to know, they’re serving Busch tonight.)


    At Howard House, there’s Richard Barnes’s photographs behind the scenes at natural history museums:

    SOIL’s got an installation devoted to Portland Goodwill stores.

    And in SOIL’s backspace, a small but interesting show of tactile photographs and a video of a nighttime construction site accompanied by the reading of a love letter, by Josh Tonsfeldt and Uri Aran (images arranged respectively).

    At Gallery4Culture, dermatographia artist Ariana Page Russell takes a major step forward in glamor shots that use temporary tattoos made of photographs of her own blushing skin (and a wall covered in her skin):

    One more: Angle Gallery, with photographs by Nick Hall documenting an Alaskan salmon run.

    Note: Lawrimore Project is closed all day today, so don’t walk yourself all the way down there in the rain!

    Witness the Magic of Regression Analysis…

    posted by on November 5 at 4:09 PM

    … and some damn good statistics.

    FiveThirtyEight’s election-eve prediction, of 349 electoral votes for Obama:


    Reality this afternoon, of a projected 349 electoral votes for Obama:

    I might start caring about baseball, just to further appreciate the awesomeness of Nate Silver.

    Stupid Marches On

    posted by on November 5 at 4:00 PM


    The above stupid British kid legally changed his name from George Garratt to Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined. He clearly did this for attention, because he is a stupid kid. Let’s stop paying attention to this stupid, stupid kid.

    Joy in Seattle

    posted by on November 5 at 3:47 PM

    Video from the Showbox…

    Kate, who shot this video, writes…

    It was wonderful euphoria, and I don’t remember when I started crying but by the end of this video there were tears running down my face. I hugged strangers who had become friends (nice to meet you, Regina!). An older man who had been drinking tall boys all night was standing next to me and gently crying. I tapped him on the shoulder and said “cheers.” We clinked beers and he said, “Something just happened.” “Yes it did, yes it did,” I replied. My face hurt from smiling. And that night, as we danced in the streets and the cars honked their horns in rhythm (beep beep beep. yes we can.), it felt like we were all thinking and celebrating as one conscious person. This must be what unity feels like, I thought. How amazing to be a part of it this moment.

    I went to The Showbox by myself since my friend had bailed on me (something about catching a plane that night, details), but I never once felt alone. Thank you for last night, for giving me a community. The Stranger and The Slog got me through this election (and my boring day job). I don’t know if it was because I was sitting close to the doors or just because of the energy in the air, but I had the chills all night.

    It’s That Time of Year

    posted by on November 5 at 3:13 PM


    We are now accepting donations for Strangercrombie, our annual fundraiser for charity. This year we’re raising money for Treehouse. Treehouse helps over 5,500 foster kids a year with clothing, school supplies, tutoring and other critical services.

    Each year Seattle businesses generously donate their finest goods and services to our holiday auction—last year we raised more than 60,000 dollars for charity. We’re also asking you for your help, to make Strangercrombie an even bigger success.

    We need your donations!

    Here are the kind of things we’re looking for:

    Fabulous vacation packages.
    Rare orchids.
    Those vintage LPs you’ve finally decided to give up.

    Here’s what we don’t want: Junk. No, we don’t want your bodily-fluid-crusted couch or the musty bag of ugly polo shirts you were going to dump at Goodwill. We want your best goods and services, because it’s for charity and because we’re serious about this.

    If you have something to give, send us an email:

    And if you’re a business that would like to donate, feel free to let us know, too.

    Strangercrombie. Once a year, we do something good.

    Headline of the Minute

    posted by on November 5 at 3:09 PM

    Palin’s Future? Grandma Governor, for Now.

    I hereby banish Caribou Barbie to the graveyard packed with would-be Palin nicknames (Missy Shit-for-Brains, Madame Vice President), replacing it for all time with Grandma Governor.

    Joy in Brooklyn

    posted by on November 5 at 3:06 PM


    Lizzie Leitzell grew up in Seattle and now lives in Brooklyn. She was out in the streets last night, taking pictures, when Obama won. I particularly love her photo, above, of a pair of cops joining in the celebration. There are lots more terrific pictures at Leitzell’s blog.

    UPDATE: It seems that not all the cops out in Brooklyn last night joined in the celebration: “Cops Rough Up Partying Barack Hipsters on Burg’s Bedford Ave.” Via Towleroad.

    Joy in Texas

    posted by on November 5 at 2:42 PM

    Last night on Slog the SECB had this to say when Texas, as expected, was called for John McCain about .0001 seconds after polls there closed.

    Fuck You, Texas

    And the horse you rode into national politics on.

    Just now Slog tipper Joshua sent us this picture—taken at the packed party Joshua attended in San Antonio—at the precise moment CNN projected that Obama would win the White House.


    Indiana went blue, Virginia went blue, North Carolina still could. Joshua’s picture fills me with hope for Texas. So let’s amend our comments: Fuck you, Texas… for the time being. Swing over to the blue column in 2012 and all—well, most all—is forgiven.

    A few more…

    posted by on November 5 at 2:34 PM

    from the moment of the announcement at the Showbox, from Matt Hickey.




    “We’re Coming to the End of A Tragedy”

    posted by on November 5 at 2:31 PM


    Philadelphia Weekly devoted its election-issue feature to photographer Zoe Strauss (here’s the story), whose book America is coming out on November 7 and includes the above images—which are particularly perfect for today.

    Here’s a podcast I did with Strauss a few months ago when she was showing at Open Satellite in Bellevue.

    The Most Boring Thing I Have Ever Received in the Mail

    posted by on November 5 at 2:27 PM





    A Conversation With My Mum

    posted by on November 5 at 2:25 PM

    It was 8:56 p.m. last night and my mom wouldn’t turn on the television.

    She was born in Australia in 1938. Despite living here longer than she lived there, she never really became an American, by citizenship or culture. She brews tea three times a day, steeps it in a knitted tea cozy, and sips it boiling hot with a bickee. She doesn’t know what R & B stands for. American politics freak her out. But after Bush’s re-election, my mom switched her citizenship—so she could vote for a different kind of president. Here she is, caucusing for Obama in February:


    “Hello?” she answered the phone last night.

    “He-ey, mum. Have you been watching the election results?”

    “No,” she said. She hadn’t answered a call a few minutes before, either. “I was afraid John McCain,” her voice froze, “had won.”

    “Obama’s winning, mum. He’s going to win.”

    “Oh, praise God. Praise God. Praise God. Praise God,” she said. “Now we praise God that someone doesn’t shoot him.”

    She’s always been a worrier. But then again, she’s not the only one worrying about that sort of thing.

    Local Zeros

    posted by on November 5 at 2:25 PM

    There’s an interesting search widget up at the website of the San Francisco Chronicle. It allows curious readers to look up donors to the campaigns for and against California’s Prop 8. You can look people up by name, by zip code, or by state. I was gratified to see that Washington state donors to the “No on 8” campaign (737) outnumbered donors to the “Yes on 8” campaign (99) by more than seven to one. But some ridiculously large checks from local “Yes” donors swamped the generally smaller checks written by local “No” donors.

    Now let’s meet some of Washington state’s “Yes on 8” donors.

    Deborah Bell of Bingen, Washington, does engineering and land surveying for Bell Design Company. She donated $2,500 to “Yes on 8.”

    Craig Morley of Saint George donated $5,000 to “Yes on 8” campaign. Mr. Morley is an appraiser for Morley & McConkie, LLC. Here’s hoping Mr. Morley doesn’t miss the 5K, what with the real estate-bubble bursting and all.

    Bryant L. Adams of Tumwater donated $5,000 to the “Yes on 8.” A Bryant L. Adams is listed as the president of HEAL, “a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity research corporation funded totally by public donations” that is looking into “cancer prevention and cure by using new methods involving natural products.” Gays and lesbians and supporters of fairness who want to help fund the fight against cancer might want to direct their donations to other charities.

    Lin Whatcott of Maple Valley is an accountant for DaVita, which “provides dialysis services for those diagnosed with chronic kidney failure.” Ms. Whatcott made two donations to “Yes on 8.” A $10,005 donation on October 18, and a $9,995 donation on September 16. Ms. Whatcott was also made the maximum possible personal donation to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

    Donald Pugh of Bellevue donated $50,000 to the “Yes on 8” campaign. According to the records submitted to the Califorinia Secretary of State’s office by the “Yes on 8” campaign, Mr. Pugh is a consultant with Thermo King Northwest. Gays and lesbians and supporters of fairness might want to get their thermo consulting done elsewhere.

    Mikesmall.jpgThe biggest local donor to “Yes on 8” was Mike Murray of Redmond. Mr. Murray is a former Microsoft exec who retired in his early 40s so that he might “commit his time to humanitarian causes.” Mr. Murray lists his employer as the “Crystal Springs Foundation,” a charity that he founded (their website appears to be defunct). Mr. Murray donated a whopping $100,000 to “Yes on 8.”

    The SF Chronicle’s search widget is here. I only looked up donors who gave $2,500 or more. Feel free to do a little poking around yourselves, Sloggers.

    Oh, and a Big Wrist Slap to Caffe Vita

    posted by on November 5 at 2:22 PM



    Is mercenary, opportunistic, and tone-deaf.

    Way to be the first people to take an awesome political moment and use it for purely commercial self-promotion.

    I’ll be staying away from Vita and its sister business, Via Tribunali, for perhaps the duration of the first Obama administration.

    You’re jackasses.


    I take back “jackasses.” That was unnecessary. (I’m still grumpy from having to hang out with Republicans last night who muted Obama’s acceptance speech.)

    But I maintain that the impulse—to cash in on something beautiful—deserves calling out.

    “Hey, Remember When I Fucked Everything Up for 8 Years Straight?”

    posted by on November 5 at 2:12 PM


    Here’s a story about Bush’s inevitable memoirs:

    In less than three months, President-elect Barack Obama will take office and the Bush administration will belong to history. With the president reportedly interested in writing about his White House years, publishers have a suggestion:

    Take your time.

    “If I were advising President Bush, given how the public feels about him right now, I think patience would probably be something that I would encourage,” says Paul Bogaards, executive director of publicity for Alfred A. Knopf, which in 2004 released Bill Clinton’s million-selling “My Life.”

    That’s probably good advice. I wonder what poor sucker is gonna get saddled with the task of ghost-writing the thing?

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on November 5 at 2:02 PM

    At the entrance to the King County Election Headquarters:

    Nola Avienne’s amygdala (layered) (2007), iron filings embedded in paper created on a magnetic drawing machine, 2 by 8 feet

    Artist Nola Avienne knew that this piece of hers had gone into a public collection, but she didn’t know it was at Elections HQ. I wrote to tell her this morning, and she responded that it gave the piece an unintended meaning:

    I am delighted that all those circles made hundreds of “O”s for Obama.

    I hope it hypnotized and subliminally swayed those undecided voters. I finally got a good night’s sleep last night knowing we had hope.

    O, Nola

    Don’t Stop Believing

    posted by on November 5 at 1:35 PM

    A companion video to this, here’s what happened at Pike and Broadway last night when Neighbours brought speakers up to the roof and started blasting Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

    I keep hearing rumors that Neighbours is going to be replaced with condos soon. If so, this will go down as one of its great final acts.

    Majority Rules

    posted by on November 5 at 1:31 PM

    A few weeks ago, while eating breakfast in a hotel in Florida with my family, FOX News on the TV in the corner, my step-grandmother, diehard Republican, said, “There’s no way this country will elect a black man. It’s not going to happen.” She lived in Germany the first half of her life, before marrying my grandfather, a politician from California, also a diehard Republican; she was too young to be a Nazi but has talked unapologetically about how she would have been one if she were old enough; she refers to Asian men and women as “ornamentals.” She chewed her eggs and shook her head and added, “And if it does happen, we get what we deserve.

    Those words—we get what we deserve—were reverberating in my mind after midnight last night in the sea of revelers at the intersection of Broadway and Pike when someone I barely know emerged from the crowd, handed me a full bottle of champagne, and then disappeared back into the crowd. There was a magical quality to the crowd—the unbridled joy, the to the lack of irony, the brotherhood/sisterhood, the genuinely-liking-each-other, the gravity-less monkeying on the street utilities, the open drinking in front of cops. It had the electric, unselfconscious feeling of a sports victory but it was amplified by the fact that we were celebrating not a team’s victory but the victory of liberal ideas as a framework for the future of the free world.

    One got the startling sense last night that we were bigger in number than we realized. It is possible to deeply internalize your family’s fucked up Republican arrogance, to believe on some level that you are outnumbered—as another of my relatives, also a diehard Republican, likes to chirp whenever we talk about politics, “Majority ruuu-ules!”—and one great gift of last night was the realization not only that there are lots of liberals out there (duh) but also that there are enough people out there who like liberals to make this happen (easy to forget). Obama has made liberalism likable again.

    The dance club Neighbours made its contribution to history by dragging a speaker out onto the roof, blasting a couple songs (“Don’t Stop Believing”) for people to dance to (or take off their shirts and put each other on their backs and run around to), and then handing the microphone to a drag queen who—even though she was unlit up on that roof and basically out of sight (there’s a metaphor in there somewhere)—led the crowd through the most glorious, sincere, elated national anthem I’ve ever been part of. It was the middle of the night, it was the middle of the street, and everyone—EVERYONE—sang.

    “Let’s Start with One or Two Latin Terms”

    posted by on November 5 at 1:25 PM

    New York, Chicago, Seattle

    posted by on November 5 at 1:13 PM

    Street parties erupt in New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia. Who won last night? The Urban Archipelago won, the United Cities of America.

    Make Prop 8 a Phyrric Victory—Bankrupt the Mormons

    posted by on November 5 at 1:00 PM

    OK, so Prop 8 has lost. How to turn this around? How to make this a beginning rather than an end?

    Two political strategies: first, it’s not hard to get Propositions on the California ballot. So, get a repeal of Prop 8 on for 2010, when it won’t be a Presidential election year and so turnout may dip, especially among voters who were primarily coming out to support Obama, or to vote for the old-timer. This would perhaps make the demographic issues of race (African Americans opposed to gay marriage, and senior citizens ditto) irrelevant.

    Second, expect the Church of Latter Day Saints to once again pour millions of dollars into defeating the repeal. If it doesn’t get repealed in 2010, get it on the ballot in 2012. 2014. 2016. However long it takes, the demographics will shift our way, and perhaps in the process we can bleed the Mormons dry. If they want to impose their religious values on the rest of us, in a secular society, let’s make them pay.

    The Youth Vote

    posted by on November 5 at 12:51 PM

    Remember all the debates over whether young people would actually turn out for Obama? In addition to videos like this and photos like the ones below, we now have some preliminary statistical answers:

    Young voters diverged sharply from the population as a whole, preferring Obama/Biden over McCain/Palin by 66% to 32% in the NEP. This is by far the highest share of the youth vote obtained by any candidate since exit polls began reporting results by age categories in 1976.

    But that’s just percentages of a whole. What is the whole itself? What are we talking about in terms of the actual number of young voters who turned out? Some more numbers, again preliminary:

    An estimated 21.6 million-23.9 million young Americans voted in Tuesday’s presidential election, an increase of at least 2.2 million compared with 2004, according to national exit polls, demographic data, and projections of total numbers of votes cast.

    New York’s Just as Happy as Seattle

    posted by on November 5 at 12:49 PM

    Former Seattle-ite Melissa Quayle just sent in this video she took in the streets of New York last night, the moment Obama won. Think about this while you think about what you were doing in Seattle while you think about what was happening in Chicago… for this much happiness to be simultaneously … pretty remarkable.

    I Didn’t Get Into the Showbox Last Night Either

    posted by on November 5 at 12:33 PM

    So for those of you who were left outside (and those of you who want to relive the moment), here’s what it looked like the moment Sen. Barack Obama was officially declared PRESIDENT Barack Obama. (I got goosebumps as I typed that.)

    All photos by Adam Weintraub unless otherwise noted.





    showbox6.jpgPhoto by Andy Pixel

    The Future Dictionary of Right Now

    posted by on November 5 at 12:29 PM

    Slog tipper Maggie informs us that today, to celebrate the election, McSweeney’s is offering up The Future Dictionary of America for free.

    The Dictionary was produced as a fundraiser for the election in 2004. It’s a collection of short dictionary entries written by authors like Ryan Boudinot, Stephen King, Jonathan Safran Foer, Kurt Vonnegut, Sarah Vowell, Colson Whitehead, Paul Auster, Dave Eggers, and Aimee Bender. And there’s also a CD in the book, with songs by Elliott Smith, Death Cab for Cutie, and Tom Waits, among others. It was an entertaining, if uneven book, but it is totally worth the freeness. Maybe also you should give McSweeney’s a little bit of love by picking up a few other titles, too.

    Google Street View Finally Comes to Seattle

    posted by on November 5 at 12:27 PM

    Apparently done covering all the important places like Shreveport, Louisiana and Abilene, Texas with their street-level photo feature, Google has finally gotten around to adding Street View for poor little Seattle.

    Here’s Stranger helpdesk wizard Brian, forever enshrined on 18th Avenue.


    Post links to your favorite Seattle Street View finds in the comments.

    The Ugly American

    posted by on November 5 at 12:17 PM


    “This was spray-painted along a walkway at North Carolina State University in Raleigh called the Free Expression Tunnel,” writes Slog tipper Cassidy, “which is a space where students (or anyone else) are permitted to graffiti, chalk, paint, etc. When I walked by and took the picture this morning at about 10am, several university facilities officials were there, presumably discussing what they were going to do to cover it up. For us NC natives celebrating our new senator, governor and blue-state status, it was a reminder that we have a long, long way to go.”

    Police Action on Aurora

    posted by on November 5 at 11:58 AM


    Seattle Police have surrounded a motel around 43rd and Aurora after they received a call about a man threatening suicide.

    The man has been holed up in his room since 9am. Police negotiators are on scene.

    North of Nothing

    posted by on November 5 at 11:52 AM

    We must keep a cold eye on this cold state.

    Did You Need More Proof He’s a Dick?

    posted by on November 5 at 11:52 AM

    Ralph Nader questions whether Obama’s an Uncle Tom. A Fox News reporter asks Nader if that’s what he wants his legacy to be. Nader affirms. Then this is what Ralph Nader’s legacy will be:

    Rossi Concedes

    posted by on November 5 at 11:51 AM

    Looks like someone has to go and get a real job now. No more running for governor for a living, Dino.

    Rossi said at a news conference at his campaign headquarters in Redmond that he called Gregoire this morning to congratulate her.

    Wouldn’t you have loved to be in the room with Gregoire when she took that call? I like to think she was polite while Dino was on the line, and then did a little dance while screaming “FUCK YOU, MOTHERFUCKER! HA! FUCK YOU!” just as soon as he hung up.

    Massachusetts Decriminalizes Marijuana

    posted by on November 5 at 11:51 AM

    By 65 to 35 percent, voters in Massachusetts just decriminalized up to an ounce of pot. A crime punishable by arrest, court, jail, and butt poking is now a $100 citation. It’s like a parking ticket.

    This could have an impact in Washington very soon. For years, the funders and nonprofits that supported this sort of thing were reluctant to run a decriminalization measure here. They feared that high-credibility opponents—cops, prosecutors, and tough-on-crime Democrats—would use baseless fear mongering to crush the measure. That is, in fact, what they tried to do in Massachusetts:

    The opponents, who include the governor, attorney general, and district attorneys around the state, argued that decriminalizing marijuana possession would promote drug use and benefit drug dealers at a time when they say marijuana has become more potent. They warned it would increase violence on the streets and safety hazards in the workplace, and cause the number of car crashes to rise as more youths drive under the influence.

    So how did that tactic work? It apparently backfired. Polling two weeks ago showed Question two leading by 19 points, but—after the opposition ramped up its campaign—it passed by a 30-point margin. Police speaking out against pot-law reform doesn’t have traction with voters that we thought. We can’t be sure why, exactly, but perhaps cops screaming about needing to bust stoners to protect public safety comes off as a self-serving ploy to retain power.

    This could set off a chain-reaction of similar initiatives in other states. “I don’t think we can say that Washington voters should be thought of as the same as Massachusetts voters,” says Alison Holcomb, director of the ACLU of Washington’s drug policy project. “However, our conversations with Washington residents have shown us that they have given the same careful and considered thought to this issue.” She adds that there have been conversations about running an initiative here. “But it also possible that our elected officials may want to take the initiative in this area.”

    Every time people start talking about loosening pot laws, opponents make the same claims: that it will increase pot smoking and send the wrong message to kids. (Some states decriminalized marijuana in the 1970s, but most of them still punish people with huge fines and some still require court appearances. Those states, however, aren’t “sending a message” because there’s been no public hubbub over the issue.) Well, to gauge the impact of the loud and clear message in Massachussetts, let’s watch what heppens there in the next year. If there’s no increase in pot smoking, violence in the streets, and kids don’t get “the wrong message,” those arguments from the drug czar and law enforcement are refuted. The U.S. will have a domestic model to prove that pot can be decriminalized without any ramifications. That’s the hard evidence that will make it easier to pass a similar elsewhere. So I predict that by 2010, funders and nonprofits will run decrim in another state. Rumor has it that Washington is next on the list.

    Our New First Lady, Michelle Obama

    posted by on November 5 at 11:37 AM

    I cried when I woke up today, not about our new president Barack Obama (SCREAM!!!) but about our new BEAUTIFUL AND STYLISH FIRST LADY!!! Would it be antifeminist to say IN YOUR FACE, STUPID ALASKA BARBIE BITCH?!

    LOVED the dress.

    More of Your Photos From Last Night

    posted by on November 5 at 11:27 AM

    obamawinsflickr.jpgPhoto by christophernelsonphotog raphy

    pikestsign.jpgPhoto by christophernelsonphotog raphy

    crowdsurf1105.jpgPhoto by mraaronmorris

    hopecrowd.jpgPhoto by sea turtle

    chicago1105.jpgPhoto by charity.lynne

    So many more amazing photos of Seattle and beyond in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

    No on Prop 8 Campaign: It Ain’t Over

    posted by on November 5 at 11:24 AM

    They’re not conceding:

    Roughly 400,000 votes separate yes from no on Prop 8 – out of 10 million votes tallied.

    Based on turnout estimates reported yesterday, we expect that there are more than 3 million and possibly as many as 4 million absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted.

    Given that fundamental rights are at stake, we must wait to hear from the Secretary of State tomorrow how many votes are yet to be counted as well as where they are from.

    It is clearly a very close election and we monitored the results all evening and this morning.

    As of this point, the election is too close to call.

    Because Prop 8 involves the sensitive matter of individual rights, we believe it is important to wait until we receive further information about the outcome.

    The Gay Perspective

    posted by on November 5 at 11:12 AM

    Want a gay perspective on last night’s election? Or, um, a gayer perspective than you’re getting on Slog? Seattle Gay Scene has a complete rundown on how local elections played out for local ‘mos.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on November 5 at 11:10 AM


    There is one reading tonight, at the University Book Store.

    Brandon Sanderson and David Farland, the authors of Hero of Ages: Book Three of Mistborn and Wyrmling Horde: The Seventh Book of the Runelords, will be reading. I think it’s safe to assume that they are fantasy authors.

    The weird/perspective-y thing is, I bet this reading is going to be the high point of someone’s week.

    Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, here.

    Savage Love Letter of the Day

    posted by on November 5 at 11:01 AM

    Despite the enormous victory for President-Elect Obama (and out country), I am writing you today regarding Prop 8 in California.

    Despite all the blood sweat and tears that the gay community has put in to defeating Prop 8, it looks like the cause of marriage equality in this country has been dealt another blow. Another defeat. Another example of the commingling of church and state and the “tyranny of the majority” that our founding fathers fought against. Blah, blah, blah.

    I think there are many gay and lesbian citizens who, like me, are enraged by the campaign in support of prop 8. As you know a large chunk of the funding came from the Mormon Church. Instead of just bottling our rage, let’s all get on planes and trains, and in automobiles, and go to Utah. The plan would be for gay and lesbians to visit Utah en masse to make the point that if religious folk are going to encroach on our lives, we will encroach on theirs.

    I’m envisioning hoards of drag queens tastefully posing in front of statues of Joseph Smith. Chirping bottoms singing “We are Family” and dancing on that well manicured lawn in front of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City. Above all, I’m seeing gay couples everywhere HOLDING HANDS in front of the very people who financed this attack on us. I think we need people wearing pink triangles and leather daddies to get the point across, not preppy HRC pencil pushers.

    Yes, yes. I know that not ALL Mormons were for Prop 8. And I know that not ALL the money for Prop 8 came from the Mormon Church. However, this excursion is not about protest or even changing minds. It’s about preserving the collective mental health of the gay community through catharsis. I can’t think of a better “FUCK YOU!!” than to litter Salt Lake City with santorum-laced condoms.

    Your thoughts?

    Stephen G.

    It sounds like a hell of a lot more fun than Gay Days at Disneyland or gay cruise, SG, and if someone out there wants to organize “Gay Days in Salt Lake City” and get it off the ground, I’ll help promote through the column and I’ll attend.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 5 at 11:00 AM



    Dennis Cooper is the most harrowing living novelist writing in English. His novels like My Loose Thread are a horror show of intermingled sex and violence. Their viscera are repulsive but their visceral understanding of the basic human enigma—why do people do fucked-up things to each other?—makes them fascinating. Cooper has teamed up with French director Gisèle Vienne to stage Jerk, a solo puppet show based on the true story of serial killer Dean Corll, who slaughtered over 20 boys in Texas in the 1970s. (On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. 8 pm, $24. Through Nov 9.) BRENDAN KILEY

    More Obama Victory Parties

    posted by on November 5 at 10:56 AM

    On Endor:

    In Mortville:

    (via Child Prison)

    The Birth of the Global

    posted by on November 5 at 10:40 AM

    Until now, the global has been limited to economic events—the networking of markets, the circulation of money and commodities. What we saw last night, what made its appearance for the first time, was the global as a political event.

    Germany was just a microcosm of what was going on across the globe. People from Australia to India, Brazil to Russia watched with bated breath as the returns came in. Never before had an American presidential election generated so much international interest; never before had the globe been so clear about who it wanted Americans to cast their vote for.

    America elected Bush; the world elected Obama.

    Obama Wins Indiana

    posted by on November 5 at 10:37 AM

    It’s finally been called here, and probably elsewhere. Still waiting on Missouri and North Carolina.

    As the Electoral Colleges stands now: Obama 349, McCain 162.

    But Obama’s tally, if he takes both Missouri and North Carolina, could go up to 375—which would beat Bill Clinton’s margin of victory in 1992.

    Michael Crichton

    posted by on November 5 at 10:34 AM

    Dead, of cancer, at 66. I know people never really respected him, but for mass-market thrillers, his books were really good. I’m speaking here of books like Congo (hyperintelligent gorillas!) and not books like State of Fear, which was maybe the world’s only global-warming-denial thriller, and which won him an award from oil companies. The book Jurassic Park, much more than the movie version, is a really fucking great thriller. That’s not an easy thing to write.

    Did You Lose Your Keys Last Night at the Showbox?

    posted by on November 5 at 10:29 AM

    Do they look like this…
    …and does your “Las Vegas” keychain thingy say “Sara” on the other side? If so, I have your keys. Email me.

    No Riots!

    posted by on November 5 at 10:10 AM

    Friends, editorial writers, and Naomi Wolf had me convinced that riots (victory riots or defeat riots) were going to happen (spontaneous or manufactured) and that cops were going to be cracking skulls.

    Guess what?

    No riots!

    Good job, America.

    Pike and Broadway After the Obama Speech

    posted by on November 5 at 10:05 AM

    Where were you when it all went down?

    Black Homophobia

    posted by on November 5 at 9:55 AM

    African American voters in California voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8, writing anti-gay discrimination into California’s constitution and banning same-sex marriage in that state. Seventy percent of African American voters approved Prop 8, according to exit polls, compared to 53% of Latino voters, 49% of white voters, 49% of Asian voters.

    I’m not sure what to do with this. I’m thrilled that we’ve just elected our first African-American president. I wept last night. I wept reading the papers this morning. But I can’t help but feeling hurt that the love and support aren’t mutual.

    I do know this, though: I’m done pretending that the handful of racist gay white men out there—and they’re out there, and I think they’re scum—are a bigger problem for African Americans, gay and straight, than the huge numbers of homophobic African Americans are for gay Americans, whatever their color.

    This will get my name scratched of the invite list of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which is famous for its anti-racist-training seminars, but whatever.

    Finally, I’m searching for some exit poll data from California. I’ll eat my shorts if gay and lesbian voters went for McCain at anything approaching the rate that black voters went for Prop 8.

    UPDATE: Early the morning after this post went up Stephanie wrote in comments…

    Mr. Savage, do you endorse the hostile, racist things some people are saying here? Since I know you have read some of these comments, please clarify that the angriest posters are misreading your position or taking things too far. You are a community leader, and I think some of your readers need some guidance from you.

    Of course I don’t endorse any of the hostile, racist comments posted here. I stopped reading this thread, though, early yesterday afternoon; I couldn’t keep up. I will be posting something else to Slog about this today, after I file my weekly “Savage Love” column. And please note: My original post described black homophobia as a big problem for all gays and lesbians, whatever their color. This isn’t about African Americans beating up on gay white men and women; African American gays and lesbians are the ones who suffer the most from African American homophobia.

    And I was asked why I didn’t go after, say, the Mormon Church, which bankrolled this thing: I have written numerous posts slamming the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church, as any regular reader of Slog would be aware.

    More later.

    The Tears of Others

    posted by on November 5 at 9:48 AM

    Watching Jesse Jackson cry…

    …makes me cry.

    But Sarah Palin’s tears…


    …only make me giggle.

    Obama Saves Newspaper Industry

    posted by on November 5 at 9:47 AM

    You cannot find a newspaper on the North Side of Chicago or in Evanston. My decision to sleep in after celebrating is seriously fucking up my ink-on-newsprint habit. The Tribune ran a second edition, but New York Times and Sun-Times are all gone. One local bookstore reports they never even had a chance to sell any: someone stole all their bundles from the drop off spot on the loading dock before anyone arrived to open.


    posted by on November 5 at 9:40 AM

    I haven’t subscribed to a newspaper since college, when The New York Times basically gave itself away to me for free so it could hook me on the habit. It didn’t hook me on the habit of having an actual physical newspaper in hand each morning, but it did condition me to check its front page when big things go down, just to see what the font sizes and headlines-written-for-history are trying to tell me about relative momentousness.

    Which is why, on days like today, I find myself going here. Maybe you’ve seen this already. Probably you have. But I can’t stop looking at it:


    I love blogs, but they scroll and scroll and scroll, pushing huge happenings away within minutes, while front pages are forever.

    “Oh, Honey…”: Anderson Cooper Gives Us Our Homo Moment

    posted by on November 5 at 9:39 AM

    Of course we’re all shaking our heads about Prop 8, but gays, rejoice! Yesterday Anderson Cooper appeared via live feed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. After riffing on the importance of dancing in the election, the “Ellen factor,” and fun with split screen, Coop breaks from his television character and fags out for a second on the Real Housewives of Atlanta—especially NeNe. With two magic words, Anderson Cooper outs himself. The good stuff starts at 3:00.

    Did you know you can create a link that skips directly to a certain time on YouTube videos? Check it out.

    My Next-Door Neighbor

    posted by on November 5 at 9:32 AM

    The Central District is rapidly gentrifying but I still live on a block with Floyd, Ms. Harris, Mother Moore’s family, and the couple with a concrete lawn who rarely come outside—all black folks, all my immediate neighbors, all who’ve lived in these houses for four decades.

    This morning I knocked on Ms. Harris’s door—she moved here from Texas in 1965 with her husband, a police officer who died in the 1980s, and I think she’s about 85 now—and when she answered it she had tears in her eyes. “I know why you come,” she said. “To tell me about the president!”

    Ms. Harris, mother of seven children, has an RFK/JFK/MLK tapestry on her wall and a black Last Supper above her fireplace. She says her husband bought those. She makes it sound like Obama’s not such a big deal, but she’s not really fooling me. “My parents, they worked. But I don’t know anything about slavery. I didn’t live through that. No, I just said, whoever gets its, I hope they do something for us, to make things better. I’ve never seen peoples lose their houses before.”

    When I ask how her husband would have felt today, she changes her tune a little. “There’s a lot of people who didn’t live to see this. That’s the first thing I said last night.”

    I want to take her picture very much, but I can’t bring myself to ask her because she doesn’t have her teeth in and is holding her hand over her mouth the entire time she’s talking.

    The last thing she says about Obama is, “We’ll just have to see what he does.” She sounds like a great mother—one with tears of pride in her eyes, yes, but high expectations, too.

    Surrender, Dino!

    posted by on November 5 at 9:30 AM

    Sorry, Dave & Jake

    posted by on November 5 at 9:16 AM

    It’s over.

    A measure to once again ban gay marriage in California was passed by voters in Tuesday’s election, throwing into doubt the unions of an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who wed during the last 4 1/2 months.


    posted by on November 5 at 9:15 AM



    Today in Conservatives

    posted by on November 5 at 9:08 AM

    Dry it up and move forward. We’re at rock bottom, with nowhere to go but up.
    Congratulations, moonbats. You finally have your revenge for being forced to look at all those flags after 9/11. This is a day of celebration for everyone hostile to America and the principles of individual liberty for which it stands. Enjoy it while you can.

    There are people lowdown enough to know in advance who and what was elected yesterday, and to have voted for the Moonbat Messiah anyway. What they have done to this country is beyond forgiveness.

    The Battle is Over, the War Begins Today I unpacked my winter clothes in preparation for a long winter, and a long winter is coming if not of the thermometer, then of the soul. A man that represents not simply an opposing view but the view of those who oppose America and all it stands for, will sit in the Oval Office. Worse still he did not get there through a democratic election but through fraud, voter intimidation and every dirty trick culminating in a campaign that had little in common with conventional American politics and a great deal in common with the cults of personality cultivated by totalitarian dictators.
    Our nation committed suicide tonight.

    This is even better than I ever thought it would be.

    Props to the Cops

    posted by on November 5 at 9:01 AM

    As Happy Renter wrote in the comments to The Morning News:

    The Seattle Police showed a lot of class, respect, and restraint last night. I wrote them a note of thanks, and I encourage others to do so as well. I was very impressed with how they handled the crowds.

    Agreed, and sending a note is a very nice idea. (And if you want to add a P.S. about finding the monsters behind this ASAP, please do.)

    The Morning News

    posted by on November 5 at 8:52 AM

    This beat’s been covered a bit already this glorious, glorious morning, but let’s make it official.

    The front page: The Chicago Sun-Times.

    The Resurrection of John McCain: A concession speech for the ages.

    Boo fucking hoo: “The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace,” says the Wall Street Journal.

    Still up in the air?: California’s same-sex-marriage-negating Prop. 8 and Burner v. Reichert.

    Never mind: California voters approve Prop. 8.

    All sewn up: Congratulations, Gregoire, Sound Transit, and I-1000

    In closing, please enjoy this message from Martha and the Vandellas.


    posted by on November 5 at 8:50 AM

    Surrender, Dino.


    What He Said

    posted by on November 5 at 8:47 AM

    Jon DeVore at HA:

    As Republicans survey the smoldering wreckage of the party of Lincoln and the inevitable reassessment occurs, here’s some free advice for them: stop lying about everything.

    I don’t mean spinning and fudging and trying to put a good face on your policy positions. I mean stop lying as a first, middle and last resort about every last damn thing under the sun. If you think a specific tax proposal is a bad idea, just explain why, don’t paint anyone and everything who might think it is a good idea as a communist. Don’t call birth control abortion. Don’t paint opponents as lovers of sex offenders. If your opposition is pointing out that the Constitution needs to be upheld, don’t call them terrorist sympathizers. If Americans are concerned about the economy, don’t try to blame people who were in office 30 years ago.

    Stop lying. If you can.

    Yes We Did

    posted by on November 5 at 8:33 AM

    A local blogger writes

    I ride the 7 bus to work those mornings I can’t face my bicycle. It comes up from south Seattle and traverses rich and poor neighborhoods, the International District, Pioneer square and Downtown. Usually, it is a hateful, loud, messy conglomeration of tired people. This morning, an older black man sat with a grin on his face. He was dressed for construction work. Out of the blue, he shouted, “YES, we can!”

    It was completely infectious- people responded in a chorus of “Yes, we can,” and there was clapping, and there were grins, ear to ear. And we rode on together.

    There Is No Morality Without Religion

    posted by on November 5 at 8:25 AM


    The United Nations said Tuesday that a Somali stoned to death by Islamist militants after she had been accused of adultery was a 13-year-old girl who had been raped while visiting her grandmother.

    In the first such public killing by the militants in about two years, she was placed in a hole and stoned to death on Oct. 28 in a rebel-held port city, Kismayu, in front of a crowd, after local leaders said she was guilty under Shariah, the legal code of Islam based on the Koran.

    Last Night

    posted by on November 5 at 8:21 AM

    Last night, while I was getting totally fucking wasted—which was a very different totally getting wasted than the totally getting wasted I got when John Kerry lost to George Bush—a friend of mine pointed something out about Obama:

    Obama is maybe the first president in a very long time who is smart enough to realize how fucked he is. Surely any kind of man who’s able to put together the smoothest, best presidential campaign in history—and what a relief to actually say that, now!— understands the burden of what he’s trying to achieve. Every president is fucked, yes, but when George Bush won for the first time, when Bill Clinton won for the first time, when Ronald Reagan won for the first time, they didn’t seem to appreciate the gravity of the situation. They were just happy to win.

    When Obama gave his speech last night, he looked relieved, yes, and assured, yes, but he also looked tired. And it was the kind of tired you see on the face of someone who’s run five miles and has to go fifteen miles more before he or she sleeps. Intellectually, he realizes the burden of a presidency, and he’s getting ready for it. It’s amazing to watch. Here’s a man who’s giving up the rest of his life for this national service, and, completely understanding what it means, he’s doing it willingly. That’s a kind of heroism.

    Of course, I could just still be drunk, too.

    Good Morning, Racists

    posted by on November 5 at 8:15 AM

    My brother, his wife, and their two kids (ages 9 and 11) woke up to this display on their neighbor’s house in Richmond, VA.


    My niece and nephew sure learned a lot about America in the past 24 hours.

    Big Embrace From Italy

    posted by on November 5 at 6:06 AM

    Hi Charles, I’m sure that is fantastic day for you today, and is important for me to tell you that it is great day for us also, because in Obama there is a good hope of better world, best future for everybody. Another world is possible and we hope that this is a good beginning in the right way A big embrace and good luck for everything.

    Fabrizio Trocco

    The Climb

    posted by on November 5 at 4:19 AM

    I can’t sleep.

    I just crawled out of bed and sat down at my kitchen table, giving my brain an attempt at accepting all that has happened tonight.

    The results for the Washington State races seem almost unbelievably good—Tim Eyman destine for definitive defeat, transit for a definitive victory along with death with dignity, the reelection of our democratic governor and the potential victory of Darcy Burner.

    And then, there is Obama. It doesn’t seem possible. We live in a country willing and able to reelect George W Bush a mere four years ago, to probably pass a punitive and vicious discriminatory State Constitutional amendment on this very evening. And yet, Obama. With a landslide.

    And it’s all over the country. As I write this, there is a distinct chance that the Democrats will achieve a 60 person super majority in the Senate and pick up a larger than expected number of seats in the House.

    We asked the country, and received “yes” as an answer this time.

    On my kitchen table are the week’s New York Times—surrounding me with the pre-election moment.

    A few scattered headlines:

    “Steep Decline in October Auto Sales Leaves No Seller Immune”

    “New Terrain For Arbiters Of a Bailout”

    “Afghan Officials Aided an Attack on U.S. Soldiers”

    “U.S. Rejects G.M.’s Call For Help In a Merger”

    “Debt Links to Huge Buyouts Is Tightening the Economic Vise”

    “Next President Will Face Test On Detainees”

    “Fed Adds $21 Billion To Loans For A.I.G”

    “New Anxiety Grips Russia’s Economy”

    “Economy Shrinks With Consumers Leading the Way”

    “Mortgage Plan May Aid Many And Irk Others”

    “Specter of Deflation Lurks As Global Demand Drops”

    “A Rescue Hindered By Politics”

    After eight—perhaps twelve—years of terrifying, out-of-control skidding it finally feels as though our collective feet have found purchase. We’ve finally stopped our plummet, or at least started to stop our decline, far closer to the edge of a deep abyss than any of us would like. Or so I hope.

    Trudging back up is going to make the next four years (and probably many more) as difficult as anything known to the overwhelming majority of us. And have no more illusions. It won’t be the Chinese, the Russians, the EU. We must be in the lead of the difficult rise as much as we were the leaders of the swift and easy fall.

    McCain, and particularly Palin, were selling the notion that these problems weren’t real, that the real problem is we aren’t belligerent and profligate enough, that all we need to do was double down. Obama means we’re finally ready to about face, and start grappling with the long-neglected reality of our situation.

    So, as I sit anxiously awake at four AM, all these thoughts—and a few others, of the sweet feeling of victory, of the vanquishing of so much hatred and fear, of relief of the end of procrastination—swirl through my mind. Much coalesces to a sharp point. I’d work for the Obama administration, grinding my life against what we collectively face.

    And I suspect I am not the only one.

    We Were in Bellevue

    posted by on November 5 at 3:21 AM

    The SECB was at Darcy Burner’s election-night celebration when all hell broke loose. We wept when Obama gave his speech, and an Obama-happy Iranian lady clutched at us when the vote was announced. She was quickly followed by an old woman—a longtime Kennedy fan—who grabbed at us as though we were on fire. Nobody could really uderstand that this was the current situation, that the election was decided. Everybody grabbed at strangers as though the moment was real.

    Bellevue was not as crazy as Seattle reportedly is at the moment, but it was sincere. To hug complete strangers at the ascendancy of a Democratic presidency, at the first moment on the planet earth that a western industrialized nation has accepted a minority as its leader, is beyond believable at this point. No Democratic president has assumed this level of acceptance from his electorate since FDR. This is completely stunning. Bellevue is in awe, as are we all.

    It’s 2:30 in the Morning…

    posted by on November 5 at 2:31 AM

    And the streets in Seattle are still wild as all hell. Sirens, cars honking, people chanting, screaming, whooping, kissing, and ultimately celebrating a New United States.

    Thank you Barack Obama. Thank you with all my heart. Love, Kelly O



    Lots more 2:00 a.m. photos after the jump!

    Continue reading "It's 2:30 in the Morning..." »

    Dept. of Sorry to Leave You Hanging: Local Election Results

    posted by on November 5 at 1:25 AM

    Sorry to keep you waiting. We’ve been partying our assess off all night.

    Here are the latest local election results as of 12:30:

    Gov. Christine Gregoire: 53.53% (!!!!!!)
    Dino Rossi: 46.47%

    Darcy Burner: 50.39%
    Dave Reichert: 49.61%

    John Ladenburg has conceded the AG race to Rob McKenna

    Peter Goldmark: 50.39%
    Doug Sutherland: 49.61%

    Randy Dorn: 50.86%
    Terry Bergeson: 49.14%

    Reuven Carlyle: 65.12%
    John Burbank: 34.88%

    Scott White: 71.26%
    Gerry Pollett: 28.74%

    Pike Place Levy:
    YES 62.58%
    NO 37.42%

    Parks Levy
    Yes: 60.76%
    No: 39.24%

    And finally, Sound Transit:
    Approved: 59%
    Rejected: 41%

    Beautiful, ain’t it?


    posted by on November 5 at 1:12 AM


    Where is the party right now?

    posted by on November 5 at 12:50 AM

    Pike and Broadway, the party continues. It’s still going. There are tons of people.





    These blocks are awash in red and blue, and there are riot cops at the perimeter, but everyone’s drinking in the street—PBR, wine, bottles of champagne—and the police don’t care.


    There are young men taking off their shirts.


    Someone climbs a lamppost, stands on a WALK/DON’T WALK sign on one side and something else on the other side, and starts waving an American flag.


    There are fireworks, there is a rousing rendition of the national anthem led by a drag queen on the roof of Neighbours and sung by everyone in the street, and there are riot police looking on peacefully. One is asked, “Have you ever seen anything like this?” and he responds, “It’s peaceful! It’s peaceful!”


    Capitol Hill: Also Wylin’ Out

    posted by on November 5 at 12:29 AM

    Broadway and Pike has been totally shut down by another pack of elated Obama supporters.


    According to several revelers, two separate groups converged from the east and west sides of Broadway and just took over the intersection at Broadway and Pike.


    Neighbours has moved their speakers out on to the roof, there’s a red SUV circling the block booming Baby Got Back and there are hundreds of people dancing in the street.

    People are walking up and thanking the cops surrounding the perimeter—police have blocked off Pike between Harvard and 10th—for letting the party continue.

    One officer described the scene as “a big hug fest” and said no arrests had been made. Police also say there’s another group marching up 10th on the north side of the hill.

    More Pictures of Victory

    posted by on November 5 at 12:27 AM

    capitolhillcrowd21104.jpgPhoto by g e o ff r e y

    champagnetoast1104.jpgPhoto by watermelon4linz

    broadwaycelebration.jpgPhoto by Matt Westervelt

    victorykiss.jpgPhoto by .Ariel

    Barack Obama Just Text Messaged

    posted by on November 5 at 12:02 AM

    We just made history. All of this happened because you gave your time, talent and passion to this campaign. All of this happened because of you. Thanks, Barack

    Congratulations, buddy.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Dig This

    posted by on November 4 at 11:30 PM

    Headlines from around the world, via Americablog. Beautiful.

    School Superintendent Sweating the Final Exam

    posted by on November 4 at 11:15 PM

    The first thing the SECB noticed at the party for incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson was that we didn’t get kicked out. At her primary party, also at the Red Lion on Fifth Avenue, we were unceremoniously booted before we even made it through the door. We think it had something to do with mocking Bergeson, the leading proponent of the WASL exam, for cramming the WASL test down the throats of Washington students even though she couldn’t pass the same test herself. Bergeson’s change of attitude toward the SECB may have been prompted by a change in the polls. Whereas in the primary election Bergeson was showing a lead, tonight she is trailing.

    “When the first results were posted, I almost had a heart attack,” said Bergeson. She was losing by eight points at the time. But, while she’s closing the gap on challenger Randy Dorn, Bergeson is still, as of now, behind by two points.

    Shiny Happy People

    posted by on November 4 at 11:15 PM

    obamanewhope.jpgPhoto by sarah joann murphy

    obamafountain.jpgPhoto by Paul Israel

    happyhugs.jpgPhoto by sarah joann murphy

    peacecelebration.jpgPhoto by Paul Israel

    finallyhand.jpgPhoto by .Ariel

    Madness Outside the Showbox

    posted by on November 4 at 11:15 PM

    Hundreds of people have been marching up and down 1st and Pike since our election night party got out a few hours ago. It’s the most beautiful mob scene we’ve ever seen.

    The totally peaceful, completely gleeful crowd has been cheering, dancing and intermittently chanting “Yes-we-can!” “O-bam-a!” and “wooooooooo!”

    If you look closely, you can see the drum circle. Seriously.


    Ron Sims was at the epicenter of this crazy mass of people.

    Apparently a group of skinheads showed up and were taken down in about six seconds. After that, the cops were just hanging back and chuckling.

    And, for good measure, a robot.

    Pike and Broadway Right Now

    posted by on November 4 at 10:48 PM


    One member of the SECB remembers what it was like in Seattle in 1992, when Bill Clinton won the White House: absolutely comatose. The bars were empty, the streets were quiet. What a difference 16 years makes.

    “A Whole New Generation”

    posted by on November 4 at 10:48 PM

    Thousands of people—mostly in their 20s and 30s—are streaming through the streets of Seattle. They are pouring down First Avenue, chanting, “Yes we can!”

    At the Westin Hotel, a crowd overflowed from the grand ballroom. As Obama spoke, people hollered, shrieked, and sobbed. “I can’t recall anything like this,” says Council Member Nick Licata. “Before, at events like this, it has always been old politicians, but look at this. This is a whole new generation.”

    Indeed, on the other side of the ballroom while Obama addressed the country, Angela Boone punctuated every break in Obama’s cadence with a “Yes we can!”

    “This is Martin Luther King’s Dream,” says Boone, who is African American. “Not just because he is African American, but because he is bi-racial. It is amazing to see a a room of people of different ethnicities,” she says waving her hand over a sea of people. “I am so thankful to be alive to see this,” she says.

    Outside, thousands of revelers poured down Pike Street, hollering for Obama. The police stayed back.

    “This is our generation’s candidate,” says Jeff Wood, 27. He did a flip and the crowd cheered. Thousands of people hit drums and danced in the brick paved streets under the Pike Place Market sign. “Every one of us is involved in this change.”

    “This is the first election I’ve felt like there was a candidate I could stand behind,” says 23-year-old Lauren Fellows. “He stands for everything I stand for.”

    The Night: In Your Pictures

    posted by on November 4 at 10:39 PM

    Photos are already starting to come in to the Stranger Flickr Pool. As soon as you’re done happily rioting in the street, sobered up, whatever, be sure to add yours to the pool.

    showboxwin.jpgPhoto by manthropologist

    liberty.jpgPhoto by ryanparrish

    obamabuttons.jpgPhoto by sprizee

    obamatv.jpgPhoto by Fnarf

    California Proposition 8 Too Close to Call, Leading

    posted by on November 4 at 10:38 PM

    With 29% of the precincts reporting, Proposition 8 is passing 52.9% to 47.1%.

    This is fucked.

    Street Party

    posted by on November 4 at 10:30 PM

    On First Avenue, Mohamad Burale, a cab driver from Ethiopia, celebrates Obama’s victory:


    While others dance on the roofs of cars:


    And wave flags:


    And gather at First and Pike in a massive throng:


    Democrats and Good Causes Kicking Ass All Over the Place

    posted by on November 4 at 10:27 PM

    Holy fucking shit! Everything is going the way it’s supposed to!

    The first ballot drop of the night has Governor Gregoire a narrow lead over Dino Rossi: 50.85% to 49.15%

    Darcy Burner has 56% of the vote.

    Tim Eyman’s I-985 is going down in flames with only 39% of the vote.

    I-1000 has come alive with a whopping 74% of voters approving the measure.

    At the local level, Pike Place is at 59%, Parks is at 57% and Sound Transit is passing in King and Snohomish counties with 62% and 55% respectively. Pierce County has yet to post any results.

    The only Republicans winning tonight: Doug “Bathing Suit Area” Sutherland who’s up 51.41% to 48.59% and female-to-male transexual Rob McKenna, who has 59% of the vote.

    There’s another ballot drop in about 5 minutes and we’ll update again when we get the new numbers.

    The Real Party Is Outside AND Inside

    posted by on November 4 at 10:25 PM

    On First Avenue outside the Showbox, traffic is stopped completely.




    But that’s nothing. There’s LOVEFIRE in the street on the Castro!


    Gregoire’s Victory Speech

    posted by on November 4 at 10:23 PM

    .. is going on right now. Watch it with us!

    (Private to Rossi: That little shit “Prefers G.O.P. Party” trick didn’t work out all that well, eh? Couldn’t run far enough away from the Republican stink.)

    Celebrating on the Hill

    posted by on November 4 at 10:21 PM


    “Sorry about the shaky camera,” writes Slog tipper Aimee, “but this is what you missed while you were downtown at the Showbox—it’s on the corner of Harvard and Pike across from the War Room.”

    Aimee’s video is here.

    Did You See Palin Cry?

    posted by on November 4 at 10:14 PM

    I could watch her cry for the rest of my life.


    Earlier Tonight at the Royal Esquire Club

    posted by on November 4 at 10:09 PM

    The Royal Esquire Club is the oldest African American private club in Seattle. Tonight the club, located on Rainier S. in Columbia City, threw open its doors. The SECB was there when Barack Obama was declared president-elect tonight. Words can’t describe the the joy that swept the room. So we’ll let Kelly O’s pictures do the talking…


    Parental Quote of the Day

    posted by on November 4 at 10:06 PM

    My dad just call and said “I haven’t felt like this since John Kennedy won.”

    David Remnick’s Scoop

    posted by on November 4 at 10:04 PM

    His interview with Bill Ayers on Election Day.

    From the Drunken Depths

    posted by on November 4 at 10:04 PM

    S.E.C.B. has, through the magic of reporting, gained access to a fraternity on 17th and 45th. Tall pillars dominate the front and thumping music throbs inside.

    Fraternity Brother Sean O’Donnell tells us that “honestly, what I think is that it’s an unfortunate day for America and that 51% of the country doesn’t realize it yet.”

    We beg to differ.

    UW sophomore Riley Jones, who is thinking about majoring in either business or industrial design, says, “I think it’s fucking awesome. Well, I like Obama’s ideas. I like the guy. I like where the country is going. I mean, I’m excited for the future.”

    Jones goes on, saying, “I really don’t like Gregoire but I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Rossi.”

    Sarah, an intern for the Gregoire Seattle office since June, tells S.E.C.B. that she thinks Gregoire is “going to win, but I think it will be close.” Her drink is neon-blue and mixed with freedom.

    There are two dudes arguing in a hallway, both wearing the American flag as a cape. What an amazing country.

    Somebody shouts: “This is the best day ever!”

    He is not wearing a shirt and “Obama” is scrawled in black ink across his chest.
    The music thumps and we flee from the scene. We resign ourselves to partying for the rest of the night.


    posted by on November 4 at 9:57 PM


    First Avenue is full of people. No cars are moving. People are screaming, crying, chanting “USA! USA! USA!” It’s pandemonium down here.

    Reichert and Rossi Sweating on KOMO. ABC News Declares Gregoire Victor!

    posted by on November 4 at 9:53 PM

    KOMO 4 is running its own local coverage. Among the delights we’ve devoured in the past few minutes are an interview of a grimacing Dino Rossi, explaining why he is behind in the polls even without most of King County counted.

    Next up, a miserable looking David Reichert giving a speech rapidly approaching concession, for good reason.

    Update: ABC news (at least on the national level) is calling the governor’s race for Gregoire.

    Death With Dignity Passes

    posted by on November 4 at 9:25 PM

    Seattle Times is calling it.

    Obama, Schmobama

    posted by on November 4 at 9:07 PM

    Mass Transit Now appears (knocking wood until knuckles bleed) headed for victory! With 100,000 early absentee votes counted in each county, the mass transit expansion measure had 61 percent and 56 percent in King and Snohomish Counties, respectively; although Pierce County hadn’t yet reported any results, mass-transit campaign volunteers tell the SECB they needed about 45 percent of Pierce County votes if King and Snohomish Counties had gone for the measure by smaller margins. It’s still too soon to declare victory for Sound Transit and mass transit in this region, but right now, the numbers look pretty good.

    The Most Adorable Sentence Ever Spoken

    posted by on November 4 at 9:06 PM

    “You have more than earned the puppy that is coming with us to the White House.”

    Obama Speaking Now

    posted by on November 4 at 8:58 PM

    Watch it with us…

    UPDATE: Is Obama standing behind bulletproof glass?

    Reporting From Hawaii

    posted by on November 4 at 8:57 PM

    Beloved Stranger alum Amy Kate Horn is in Hawaii tonight. She writes…

    Election Day is a government and school holiday in Hawaii. The polls only just closed here in Hawaii though it was clear who would win president two hours ago. I’m at Duke’s on the Beach in Waikiki and a middle-aged woman told me, “the only thing that sucks about living in Hawaii is your vote doesn’t count.”

    The locals are smiling everywhere at the news but the mood in Waikiki is subdued—half the tourists are glum Rs. A hot male couple were bickering—they voted absentee in their home state (Ohio), one for McCain, one for Obama. They would not let me take their photo.

    Got to suck down my piña colada and run to a bar where the TV sound isn’t drowned out by a hula show to hear Obama’s acceptance speech!

    There Are Fireworks in Ballard

    posted by on November 4 at 8:55 PM

    They’ve been going off, intermittently, since they announced Obama has won the election.

    Exile on Bellevue Way

    posted by on November 4 at 8:52 PM

    Lots of frowning and shaking of heads here on the Eastside, where all overheard snippets of conversation are variations on “I can’t believe it” and “things are falling apart” and “even Burner is winning” and “what is this country coming to?”

    One middle-aged blonde in the wine line—wine is the only free drink here at Republican HQ—tells us she lives in Seattle and “it’s so refreshing to be here in Bellevue. I’m such a minority in Seattle.”

    We ask why the Republicans are doing so poorly across the board.

    “It’s because of Bush,” she says. “They all hate Bush. Nobody hates McCain. What’s McCain ever done?”

    We ask if she hates Bush.

    “Are you a reporter?” she asks.

    “Yes,” we say.

    “Do you feel out of place?” she asks.

    “Eh,” we say.

    What we mean by “eh” is: We are furious to be stuck with these dark-suited downers on the happiest night of our recent lives. The schadenfreude is less fun than you would expect. And when we get back to civilization, we are going to strangle our news editor with our bare hands for sending us here.

    Musgrave Going Down?

    posted by on November 4 at 8:50 PM

    The Advocate:

    The antigay congresswoman who initiated the federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage appears to be goin’ down! She’s got 40% of the vote with 40% of precincts of reporting… Democrat Betsy Marky has 60%!!

    We’ve Never Been So Happy to Be on the Bus

    posted by on November 4 at 8:50 PM

    It was business as usual on the number 18 bus to Ballard around 7:45 or so. Until, of course, the driver announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.”

    Everyone on the bus cheered.

    “The black man won!” declared the woman from behind the wheel.

    Everyone on the bus cheered even louder.

    An older woman started mumbling that it was about time, she was looking forward to good health care. A loud man at the front wouldn’t stop yelling about how great that is. People called their friends, strangers nodded and smiled… it was the teary-eyed, goosebumpy moment we’ve been waiting months for.

    Text Message from Belltown

    posted by on November 4 at 8:45 PM

    Walking through Belltown. People are literally cheering in the streets.


    posted by on November 4 at 8:44 PM

    Jesse Jackson breaks down on MSNBC … just like SECB here at the Showbox.

    When We Learned Obama Won

    posted by on November 4 at 8:31 PM

    …we were in a small suite in the Bellevue Hyatt, where Marcia Mcgraw was losing badly. The Republicans in the room didn’t even notice. Marcia was talking to us about her automobile race across Mexico and when her car caught on fire. A man walked into the room. She greeted him in Mandarin Chinese: “The real test of success,” said her husband, “is if you get more votes in this state than John McCain.”

    I want to win,” she said.

    Text Message of the Evening

    posted by on November 4 at 8:30 PM

    Fuck Bradley and his fucking effect.

    Congrats, Governor Gregoire

    posted by on November 4 at 8:30 PM


    It’s close right now, but Thomas Goldstein of the Washington Bus assures the SECB—in the SECB’s glamorous green room at the Showbox—that Gregoire has it in the bag. No way can she lose. Dino? A two-time loser. Gregoire? Safe at home. You can take that to the bank. God Himself couldn’t sink Gregoire’s second term.

    “King County hasn’t reported any numbers so far, and it represents a third of the electorate,” says Goldstein, speaking for himself and not as a representative of the Washington Bus. “And King County will vote for her by the greatest margin of any county in the state.”

    There you have it. If Gregoire loses and the memory of reading this post torments you, take it up with Goldstein. The SECB is officially agnostic—not because we don’t believe the numbers, but because we remember 2004, and we don’t want to jinx things.

    Dear Barack Obama…

    posted by on November 4 at 8:29 PM

    You’re the president-elect now…


    I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

    We just made history.

    …so you can stop blowing smoke up our asses, Barack. You did it, man. You made history. Enough with the emails praising us for what we did. Okay?


    posted by on November 4 at 8:28 PM

    When it was called, 75,000 voices screamed as one. Instantly, everyone within earshot of Grant Park knew Obama had won. And the crowd went wild.

    The crowd: black, white, east asian, south asian, hispanic, you name it. Old white folks in formal attire, youth in baggy pants and hip hop fashion, young kids with their parents, teenagers in groups, twentysomethings crying and hugging and jumping around. Complete strangers high-fiving and low-fiving and hugging. At least one couple, right in front of the Art Institute’s Lions, locked in one of those End of the War swooning kisses.

    The noise: every car horn ever. Motorcyclists revving their engines. Bicyclists weave among the traffic, invulnerable. Music, live and recorded. People screaming, chanting, crying.

    Unbelievably positive energy. No one seems on the prowl, no one seems worried about being pickpocketed or having their purse snatched. The crowd ebbs and flows, mostly towards the south end of Grant Park, where Obama will be speaking, but also back outward. If I see one more pair of parents with small children who are ecstatically smiling, I will lose my shit.

    gonna head away, though. don’t like crowds, except at sporting events, and I want to be somewhere I can hear the speech.

    wish you all were here. but of course, you are.

    McCain’s Speech

    posted by on November 4 at 8:26 PM

    The Stranger Election Control Board can’t hear most of it through the crowd noise at the Showbox, but what we can hear sounds gracious and sincere.

    McCain specifically mentioned his admiration for Obama, what he’s accomplished, and the profound change that he has brought about by becoming the first African-American president of the United States. Also, he thanked Sarah Palin… and was immediately drowned out by Showbox boos as her face flashed on screen.

    Canada Reacts

    posted by on November 4 at 8:23 PM


    “Here’s the crowd reaction in the Kilkenny Pub in Calgary, Alberta, Canada as CNN calls the election,” writes Slog tipper Jason Lee. “Obama is Elected President! Yay! My faith is restored and I can sleep tonight….now what about Prop 8?”

    As of right now… no news on Prop 8. We’re almost afraid to look. We don’t want to destroy the high the SECB is currently enjoying. The crowd hear at Showbox is chanting “Na-na-na! Na-na-na! Hey-hey! Goodbye!” as McCain delivers his concession speech. From what we can tell, McCain’s speech is a hell of a lot more gracious than his campaign was.

    Too bad, so sad.

    The Moment

    posted by on November 4 at 8:20 PM

    The Showbox, after CNN called the race for Obama:




    McCain’s Concession Speech

    posted by on November 4 at 8:19 PM

    … is going on right now.

    It’s genuine, and reflective of the historic nature of the victory.

    The crowd is booing Obama. Palin is nowhere to be seen, at least so far. There she is.

    Wish you were here

    posted by on November 4 at 8:19 PM

    all of you. i’ve never seen or felt anything like it. pandemonium. horns, sirens, people singing, chanting (Yes we Can! Yes We Did!)

    Election Night at Work

    posted by on November 4 at 8:08 PM

    People are yelling outside. I hope it’s because they’re happy.

    Election Called for Obama by Everyone

    posted by on November 4 at 8:00 PM

    CNN, everyone calls the election for Obama, with the West coast results.

    Loud cheering all over Capitol Hill!

    Virginia went for Obama, the first Democrat to carry the state since 1964. Florida was also just called for Obama by the AP.

    Landslide victory!

    At the Bellevue Republican Party

    posted by on November 4 at 7:55 PM

    At the Hyatt, that is.

    Where one has to pay for the wi-fi, because free wi-fi would be a handout.

    There are maybe 100 people here. The atmosphere is funereal, except for one fidgety young man named Mark who says he feels “really good, because they have to recount Philadelphia, the drive-by media—I’m sorry, I just have to call them that—is just driving by the story. Sorry, I just have to say that.”

    Three smiling young men have “just come here for the free beer.” Tim Eyman is preening in front of the cameras.

    Report from the Showbox

    posted by on November 4 at 7:45 PM

    “Don’t Stop Believing” is, as always, a huge hit.

    CNN Headline: Red States Turning Blue on U.S. Map

    posted by on November 4 at 7:43 PM

    Here you go.

    Re: Out for Obama

    posted by on November 4 at 7:42 PM

    Sorry, Neighbours. All the drinky Dem fags are down here the Showbox.


    Vulcan Discovery Center Is Like Having A Party Inside an IKEA

    posted by on November 4 at 7:35 PM

    Party’s just getting started to support the parks levy. People seem to be optimistic but nervous.

    “I hope people realize going to a park is cheaper than going to a movie theater,” says Sierra Club volunteer Patrick.

    Michael McGinn of the Sierra Club told the SECB that we “wimped out” in our endorsement, which he implied was sort of backhanded.

    This is, of course, horseshit.

    Go vote for parks!

    After all, we endorsed that shit.

    In other words: You might be focused on Obama, but you can still vote for parks.

    McGinn says he feels “optimistic, but nervous.”

    (The bike rack out front is full.)

    Here’s Mike McGinn and his daughter.


    Montana is Leaning to Obama!

    posted by on November 4 at 7:33 PM

    50% Obama, 47% McCain right now.

    Montana only has three electoral votes, but holy crap. Montana. For Obama.

    This seems unbelievable, and thus probably is.

    Smiles, Smiles, Smiles

    posted by on November 4 at 7:30 PM

    At the Showbox:


    Greek and Fox

    posted by on November 4 at 7:28 PM

    So, Chinatown and Pilsen and “University Village” are quiet. Almost no one on the streets, except smoking outside bars. I stopped to eat at Rodity’s, a restaurant in Greektown. My presence immediately increased the total number of customers by 50%. One couple at a table eating, a morose Greek watching the returns on Greek language local TV. When I sat down, he switched after a minute to Fox News. I almost asked him to turn it back to the Greeks, even though I don’t speak the language. The bartender, a lovely young woman, switched to CNN every time the owner walked around to count empty seats. She wondered why anyone watched Fox, where “All the men look so mean and ugly.” She cheered as Karl Rove and Brit Hume glumly announced various Dem victories.

    I’m sending this with my laptop perched on a garbage can outside a closed Starbucks on Halsted. Lots of sirens, helicopters in the air. Riding north earlier, I looked east and saw the lights from Obama’s party piercing the sky like spots at a Hollywood premiere.

    Let’s hope it’s reality.

    Another Sign of the End of the Bush and Republican Era

    posted by on November 4 at 7:26 PM

    In Michigan, an initiative supporting stem cell research, after being banned the state, is leading and likely to pass. So is the medical marijuana bill in the same state.

    Enter the era of sanity.

    Fuck You, Texas

    posted by on November 4 at 7:22 PM

    And the horse you rode into national politics on.

    (Texas goes, of course, McCain.)

    Repubs Turn Their TVs Off

    posted by on November 4 at 7:21 PM

    Eat it. (From our beloved Merc.)

    Vote! VOTE! VOTE!

    posted by on November 4 at 7:19 PM

    If you haven’t yet, vote.

    Obama might be our next president, but if you live on the West coast, your job isn’t done. Too many close races remain.

    Vote against Prop 8, if you are in California.

    Vote for I-1000, Prop 1 (the transit measure) and Christine Gregoire—as well as many other close and critical races, if you live in Washington. Vote. Vote now.

    You still have time to be a part of the historic 2008 election.


    posted by on November 4 at 7:05 PM

    TIME Magazine’s Mark Halperin calls it. Nate Silver calls it. We’re calling it, too, for what that’s worth. The networks and the cable channels are going to have to call this as soon as Colorado and Nevada results come in. But it’s already over. The math doesn’t work anymore for McCain.

    At The War Room

    posted by on November 4 at 7:03 PM

    With “The War Room for Obama” emblazoned right on the posters adorning the walls in this Capitol Hill club, there wasn’t much tension among the mostly 20- and 30-somethings in the house. The crowd here’s heavily tilted toward the music industry, with musicians, rappers, talent bookers, and music journalists milling about.

    When Obama wins Pennsylvania, enthusiastic cheers erupt. When McCain wins Arkansas, boos blossom. Predictable—and comforting, too. The mood’s cautiously optimistic. Nobody’s too cocky at the moment. The possibility of Republican shenanigans seems to be caroming around in the back of people’s minds.

    Nothing else to do but interview some flaming left-wingers.

    Skye [white male]:
    What will do you if McCain wins?
    “Load my new gun.”
    What will do if Obama wins?
    “I’m gonna drink till I black out and make a lot of friends with a lot of strangers. Well, I’ll make the friends before I black out.”
    Are you confident Obama’s gonna win?
    “Actually I kind of am,” he says, sounding surprised. “But I have that gun just in case.”

    Eli [white male]:
    What will you do if McCain wins?
    “Cry. Vomit in terror. And a friend and I plan to take French classes so we can move to Montreal. Because Montreal has the highest number of attractive ladies on Facebook.
    What will you do if Obama wins?
    “Cry. Vomit in happiness. And I think tomorrow’s gonna look just a little better. It’s been a very stressful couple of months on a lot of levels for everybody. It’s all coming to a head.”

    If Obama wins, there’s going to be a sense of orgasmic relief among liberals.
    “Seriously. That’s why I wanted to come out. This is the first time I ever feel like I voted for somebody. He’s such an orator. He really seems to stand for what he says. He can sell you anything—which is also what’s scary about him. But at the same time, he sold me. I’m so excited about him being the president. I feel like this is a momentous thing. If he wins, Seattle will feel a big sense of relief. Not usually do you see 20-somethings this worried about something like this. Hopefully, it’ll go our way.”

    What will you do if McCain wins the election?
    Lily [Asian female]: “Flee the country.”
    Coventry [white female]: “Cry. Spend a week curled up in bed. Take up chain smoking, drugs.”
    What will you do if Obama wins?
    Lily: “Celebrate!”
    Coventry: “Jump for joy.”

    Both are hopeful Obama will win.

    Their friend Corey [white male] approaches, sees SECB’s tape recorder and shouts, “Obama! Super-optimistic.”
    What will you do if McCain wins the election?
    “Have probably 10 or 12 more of these [beers] tonight and try to forget about it.”
    What will you if Obama wins?
    “Have 10 or 12 more of these tonight and celebrate.”

    Report from the Showbox

    posted by on November 4 at 7:02 PM

    Flipping channels to the Daily Show—past a football game featuring teams in, respectively, red and blue uniforms; past That 70s Show; past anonymous beige talking heads—is one of the funniest moments of the evening. Huge cheers audible in the green room as the magic cable channel is reached.

    Marijuana Wins

    posted by on November 4 at 7:02 PM

    Voters in Massachusetts have decriminalized possession of up to an ounce of marijuana; Michigan has legalized medical marijuana. This is, of course, a massive fuck you to the White House drug czar’s office, law-enforcement officials, and politicians who aggressively campaigned to block both measures.

    No More Pizza at the Vera Project

    posted by on November 4 at 7:00 PM

    There aren’t very many people at the Vera’s election party, but a few more are starting to trickle in now that the Showbox is supposedly at capacity. The pizza is gone, the cupcakes are about to be, and the election results are being projected proudly against a wall in the lobby.

    A DJ is playing some hihop that I don’t recognize, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, and I think an old Breeders track. No one’s dancing, but with Obama ahead, everyone’s still feeling really good.

    Out for Obama

    posted by on November 4 at 6:56 PM

    The invitation for Out for Obama, the LGBT election-night party at Neighbours, promised huge screens, free food, bumper stickers, buttons, souvenirs, and “the beverage of your choice.” There was no memorabilia or food when the SECB arrived. In fact, there wasn’t much of anything.

    While the event was called Out for Obama, it appeared everyone was out somewhere else. The place was as deserted as you’d expect a gay dance club at 6:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.


    Besides the SECB, only two guys were in the room, camped out in armchairs on the dance floor running a commentary like Statler and Waldorf.

    “There’s a lot of LGBT support for Barack Obama,” said Statler over the booming voice of Tom Brokaw. “They just aren’t here yet.”

    North Carolina and Virginia Are Still Tossups

    posted by on November 4 at 6:53 PM

    Consider this. The first black president—yes, his victory is a near mathematical certainty, unless McCain plans on winning Oregon, Washington or Hawaii—has brought a vote in Virginia and North Carolina to a near split.

    A split. A black candidate for president.

    To paraphrase our next first lady, I’m deeply and truly proud of our country.

    FiveThirtyEight agrees. President Obama.

    Now That’s the Motherfucking Way to Bring the Motherfuckers Down

    posted by on November 4 at 6:51 PM

    Obama is not resting on his laurels even at this late hour. SECB just got a text from him:

    1 hour until polls close in Washington! Tell your friends they have the right to vote if they are in line by 8 pm. Help make history, fwd this msg to everyone!

    The New Math

    posted by on November 4 at 6:50 PM

    On CNN, John King just went through the electoral math required for McCain to win this thing now that Ohio has gone to Obama. The crowd at the Showbox went wild as, slowly, slowly, King used his magic map to flip state after hypothetical state into McCain’s hands: Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arizona, everything but the west coast states.

    It still doesn’t add up to 270.

    Which drove home this point: McCain needs Washington, Oregon, or California to win.

    And he’s not going to get any of them.

    The crowd saw this, realized that they were part of the brick wall of blue that McCain is running into on the west coast, and roared.

    Eli Sanders Says It’s Over

    posted by on November 4 at 6:49 PM

    And when he talks national politics, the SECB listens.

    New Mexico just went down.

    Imagine, If You Can…

    posted by on November 4 at 6:38 PM

    …not being ashamed to be an American.

    Report from a Cab

    posted by on November 4 at 6:35 PM

    We were called away from Neumos to deliver some record needles to the Showbox. The cab driver on the ride down said he was cautiously optimistic, and that he liked Al Franken and thought he was a good guy.

    Spaghetti Feed Obamafest

    posted by on November 4 at 6:33 PM

    S.E.C.B. is on the scene of a house party in Green Lake. We are soaking wet after having braved a flooded Ravenna on a wobbly bike made unsteady from having a 24-pack of beer spilling out of our backpack. A fire burns in the fireplace warming a living room full of young Democrats attentively watching the election returns.

    It has been nearly two years since Barack Obama declared his candidacy. It has come to this: beer, a huge pot of spaghetti boiling in the kitchen, home-made hummus on the table and a roomful of young citizens feeling excited about the future.

    “He has the potential, the oratorical ability, the best chance to change the collective American consciousness and to change the trajectory of America and the world,” says John Muller, one of the guys hosting the gathering.

    Well, maybe he does and maybe he doesn’t. That’s what the next four years will be all about.

    That fire crackles in the corner and the S.E.C.B. is reminded of the 10th Federalist Paper. Madison wrote:

    Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

    Citizenship , which in America can mean the ability to choose, is truly a great right to exercise.


    posted by on November 4 at 6:30 PM

    MSNBC just called Ohio for Obama. They almost called the whole goddamned thing for Obama, but they backed off that as soon as they said it.

    UPDATE: And New Mexico, too.


    posted by on November 4 at 6:28 PM

    With 39% of precincts reporting, Obama is still ahead in Florida, 52-48. That’s with 0% of precincts in Democrat-rich Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties reporting.

    UPDATE AT 6:28 PM: With 53% of precincts reporting, Obama is still up in Florida, 51-48. That’s with 0% of precincts in Palm Beach County, 28% of Broward County, and 18% of Miami-Dade County. Don’t want to get too jinxy, but this is good news.

    Report from Gregoire HQ

    posted by on November 4 at 6:26 PM


    Back at Gregoire/Democratic campaign headquarters, the governor arrived a few minutes late, at 5:15, looking calm and rested after a long day of campaigning. In a room filled with shredded paper and junk all over the floor that compared unfavorably to a dorm room, Gregoire talked to a crowd of media and eager supporters. After telling a TV reporter that she didn’t expect to know much until way later tonight—like 3:00 in the morning—Gregoire took a few minutes to talk to the SECB.


    We asked her how far she thought Obama’s Democratic coattails would extend in Washington State. “We don’t know,” Gregoire responded. “Clearly some people are energized for Barack. Whether they go past Barack is the question.” Asked whether she would go back and change anything about her campaign, which has been widely regarded as lackluster and defensive, Gregoire responded, “I’m proud of my team. I have no regrets.”


    The SECB also talked to a volunteer named Betty Harris, whom the other volunteers call “the mom around here.” She’s been running the desk for the campaign for the last couple of weeks. She caucused at the state level for Obama and went to the national convention on her own dime, selling Obama buttons and t-shirts. She told the SECB, “Obama will be a very good president and Michelle Obama will be a very elegant first lady.”

    Jean Shaheen Wins New Hampshire Senate Seat

    posted by on November 4 at 6:20 PM

    Another Democratic Senate pickup, says CNN. (The network also just called the Kentucky Senate race for the Republican, Mitch McConnell.)

    MSNBC Reports McCain’s Home State Too Close to Call

    posted by on November 4 at 6:19 PM

    Come on, Arizona.

    Indiana Tea Leaves

    posted by on November 4 at 6:10 PM


    The exit polls show [Indiana independents] went for Obama over McCain by 58 to 39 percent. If the exit polls are right, Obama’s going to win Indiana. Which means it’s over. I can’t yet quite believe it. But my self-protective denial is slowly breaking down.

    So Long, Liddy

    posted by on November 4 at 5:59 PM

    Republican Liddy Dole loses her Senate seat to “Godless” Democratic challenger Kay Hagan. Long live Satan!

    Report from Neumos

    posted by on November 4 at 5:59 PM

    AT&T keeps showing an ad in which a black man in a blue track suit outruns his competition while using a BlackBerry; the next ad is Tiger Woods, half-black, in RED! Mixed messages, capitalism!

    Neumos is only about half full, btw. Two screens in the mezzanine; one big screen in the showroom.

    Change, and Lack Thereof

    posted by on November 4 at 5:57 PM

    North from Hyde Park to Bronzeville, then Bridgeport. The streets are mostly empty. I suspect most people are either at home watching the results, at bars, or downtown already.

    Bronzeville was the section of Chicago where Barack Obama, had he been born two generations sooner, would have been forced to live, probably in horrific slum conditions. It’s mostly been obliterated, first by the construction of Public Housing in the ’50s to ’70s, now by the stirrings of gentrification. It’s telling that the part of Bronzeville known as “The Gap” is the portion which was NOT bulldozed by either Michael Reese Hospital, IIT, or the CHA. Waiting for the light at 31st and King Drive, a middle-class black couple in a spotless new minivan, sporting Obama baseball caps, and I discussed how safe the streets of Chicago are tonight, with cops at every major intersection and traffic control cops everywhere else. I said it should be so safe all the time, and they laughed and headed off to the rally. I continued west and then south, into Bridgeport.

    Bridgeport is the home of Chicago’s political power, has been for nearly a century. I rode towards 3536 S. Lowe, the bungalow where the current Mayor Daley was raised by his father, Richard J. Daley. I thought about whether things have changed that much in the home of The Hamburg Social and Athletic Club, the quasi-street gang where Daley cut his political chops, and which was at the front of the 1919 Race Riots in Chicago. Less than a decade ago, a young man was beaten almost to death for the simple crime of being a black kid west of the Dan Ryan Expressway. I thought about stopping in Schaller’s Pump—which some say is the real headquarters of the Cook County Democratic Party—but it looked packed, and I doubt it has wifi. Instead, I’m at the Richard J. Daley branch of the Chicago Public Library.

    Is this neighborhood ready for an African-American President?

    Who knows. I did see something on the street that would not have happened in the old man’s time: two teenage girls, one white and one black, walking along together talking, down 36th between Wallace and Lowe, then north on Halsted. Hope? Maybe.

    The Ron and Don Show at Tini Big’s

    posted by on November 4 at 5:57 PM

    It’s packed, and TV screens are playing CNN loudly. You can’t hear Ron and Don. (The SECB would also like to note that either Ron or Don has a face for radio.) Every once in a while the “-on”s give away gifts but for the most part they’re hanging out by themselves in a corner.

    Apparently, there is good food, but the SECB is not eating it and does not know what it is, either. Everyone else, however, is eating a $14 appetizer plate.

    The room is overwhelmingly Obama. People still seem curious and hopeful.

    During the first burst of big news—that Kay Hagen is whooping Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina—many people screamed, including the SECB.

    SCCC’s Election Return Party Was Only Eventful Because of the Fight That Almost Broke Out

    posted by on November 4 at 5:54 PM


    The SECB was exactly two minutes early for “Election Watch 2008” at SCCC. We walked into the library and saw a sign directing us to room T. After a circle around the room, we found room T, and expected some small sign of a party—but there was nothing. No food, no posters, no drinks—just empty tables and some students working at the computers that lined the wall. Based solely on the backs of their heads and the absence of election coverage on their computer screens, they didn’t even seem aware that today is election day.

    We took a seat at an empty, round table in the middle of the room and waited for a few minutes for a sign of the show to start. Five minutes passed, and nothing. Everyone was so focused on work, we didn’t think it’d be appropriate to ask any of them if they knew when the presentation was supposed to begin. Especially because one young woman who did have the audacity to speak out loud was immediately shushed by someone from across the room.


    So we kept sitting at that empty table. We stared at a blank screen and waited some more. And then eventually we looked at the returns ourselves via cell phone. “Election Watch 2008” via our G1.

    Ten minutes later, two young men came and sat down next to us. “Do you know when this is supposed to start?” one asked.

    “We know as much as you,” the SECB replied.

    “I’m curious to hear how things are going,” he said.

    “Obama just took Pennsylvania, according to CNN,” we stated, reading from the glowing screen of the phone.

    “Pennsylvania? Isn’t that where Joe the Plumber is from?” He laughed. “Oh Joe the Plumber… what a strategy that was.” He took a deep breath. “So we’re gonna have a black president, huh? About time. We need to show the world we’re forward-thinking. Especially after the last eight years.”

    With 15 minutes passed and no sign of any kind of official election coverage happening, the second man got up and left. But the first man continued to talk—he told us he served in the military for four years. He voted for Obama. He’s a musician, but he very often wishes he wasn’t one.

    He asked the SECB if we wanted to hear a song. Being polite (read: cornered) we said yes, assuming he’d hand over an iPod or a pair of headphones or something. Instead the young man turned to a computer in the quiet library and started playing a song through the PC’s speakers. It was an acoustic track, there were lyrics about catching or holding or finding someone. We can’t remember.

    “How long have you been a musician?” we asked.

    “Since I was a kid,” he said.

    Another guy stood up from his computer and walked across the room, and, taking the mouse into his hand, turned down the song.

    “Is that okay? Thanks,” he said sarcastically. “This is a library.”

    “No, it’s not okay. I’m playing a song. Why don’t you get outta here?”

    “Me get outta here? This is a library!”

    The Obama-voting musician turned back to the computer and turned it up.

    “Why don’t I go get some of my friends and we’ll all come in and talk to you.”

    “Go ahead.”

    “You’re going to regret saying that. Turn it up. Go ahead, turn it up.”

    “I can’t. It’s as loud as it’d go.”

    The angry man walked out.

    We kept our eyes glued to our phone. The song ended. “So, what’d you think?” he asked.

    “We’re usually into heavier stuff,” we said, our eyes still on our phone.

    While CNN called even more states for Obama, a librarian came in and was shocked that there wasn’t even a TV in the room. She walked out. It was 30 minutes after 5; we left before the fight broke out and before the party started.

    Report from Drinking Liberally

    posted by on November 4 at 5:42 PM


    The SECB just dropped by the Montlake Ale House, where the Drinking Liberally crowd is setting up shop for the night. At this hour, the crowd was a mix of families taking their kids out to dinner (from the smell, we’d guess fried food and burgers) and guys who were obviously hard-core bloggers; when the SECB arrived, a heated debate was underway about whether the group should be watching returns on MSNBC—which is apparently calling states earlier than other channels—or CNN, which was blaring from the television.

    David Goldstein, blogger for Horse’s Ass and the main organizer of Drinking Liberally events, was checking the scores for his daughter’s soccer team online when the SECB dropped in on him (“they’re kicking ass,” he said), but he quickly switched to election prognostication. Goldstein predicted that unexpectedly high Democratic turnout would propel both Gov. Christine Gregoire and Democratic 8th Congressional District challenger Darcy Burner to victory, and that every statewide initiative except I-985 would pass. Goldstein also predicted that Proposition 1, the mass transit expansion measure, would fail because liberal voters put too many resources behind I-1000, the death with dignity initiative, and not enough behind mass transit. Goldstein also predicted that both local measures—the parks levy and the Pike Place Market—would pass. He had no comment on the fact that his predictions so drastically differed from the SECB’s own, made at 8:00 this morning.

    Reuven Carlyle, Feeling Good in Ballard

    posted by on November 4 at 5:41 PM

    Reuven Carlyle, the candidate opposing John Burbank in the tight race for the 36th District State Representative (in Ballard), spent Tuesday radiating charisma from the corner of 15th and Market. He kicked up his legs. He called out to children in backseats, who responded by giggling and hiding their faces. You could hear him from blocks away, and the people seemed to dig it.

    (We at the Stranger Election Control Board suggested he run for office.)


    “Whoo-hoo!” “Have a beautiful day!”

    This woman, Melody Brown, told Carlyle she voted for him. “We met on my doorstep,” she said.


    Heather Jacobo, carrying her four-week old son Sebastian, also told Carlyle she voted for him. He cooed over Sebastian. “I have four [children], so I’m a professional,” he said. “I know,” she said. “I saw that in the booklet. I like your energy.”


    Carlyle took exception with Burbank’s characterization earlier today to the SECB of Carlyle as the wealthy candidate backed by restaurants and other businesses that might want to pull back Burbank’s attempts to keep the minimum wage up. “I stand strongly for a strong minimum wage,” Carlyle said. “That’s just a silly statement.”

    Carlyle said the biggest difference between him and his opponent is Carlyle’s passion for environmental issues. (Carlyle, who was endorsed by the SECB, is on the board of a company that works on the electric car grid. He also pointed out that he believes in an open waterfront along the viaduct rather than a retrofit.) “I think I’m bigger on the environment,” Carlyle said. “It’s just in my DNA and it’s not in his DNA to lead on that.”

    It was hard to talk much to him with everybody stopping to talk to the gregarious candidate. A white-haired guy walking by called out, “You got one today!” “So you’re the one!” Carlyle shot back. A woman in a wheelchair stopped to tell a long story that we only caught the tail end of (it sounded like it involved an athletic victory for an Ivy League school team from way back in the day).


    Carlyle promised to pick up his own campaign signs quickly because he sees them as environmental pollution. (He has a plan to give them to a woman who’s going to reuse them—they’re not recyclable). So he took a break from the street corner to pull one of his signs out of the ground.



    New Hampshire for Obama

    posted by on November 4 at 5:32 PM

    CNN calls it. And MSNBC calls New Jersey for Obama and South Carolina for McCain. Virginia, meanwhile, is still too close to call.

    MORE: MSNBC calls Georgia for McCain, ending hopes that Obama might pull off an upset there. Obama, no surprise, is projected as the winner in Illinois and Maine. McCain has Kentucky.

    Honk for Participation

    posted by on November 4 at 5:20 PM


    There’s no love lost between Gerry Pollet and Scott White, two Democrats running for state House from North Seattle’s 46th District. Pollet’s supporters have repeatedly sued White for alleged ethics violations, and the candidate himself has all but accused White of being a corporate shill. So how they found themselves waving signs on the exact same street corner—North 80th Street and Lake City Way—is anybody’s guess. “I was here first, by a little bit,” White told the SECB. Nuh-uh, Pollet responded. “We arrived at the exact same moment.” Pollet’s sign included an attached, secondary sign, which read, “Ethics and Integrity”; White’s own secondary sign read simply, “I’m Scott.”

    Neither man, unsurprisingly, would budge from his position. Instead, they stood on the freezing corner, waving wildly at every passerby who honked. When the SECB asked him how he could tell which candidate voters were honking for, Pollet responded, “We’ve been out here so long, people just honk for participation.” As we talked, his 12-year-old son hiked up and down the block, waving at cars. Asked whether he’d pulled his son out of school for the election, Pollet was vague. “Let’s just say it was Democracy Day at Eckstein Middle School,” he said.

    The Early Word

    posted by on November 4 at 5:20 PM

    CNN says: With polls now closed all over the eastern seaboard, Obama is up early in North Carolina and Florida.

    And: ABC has called Pennsylvania for Obama. If that holds, it may be game over for McCain. If it holds.

    Meanwhile, watching at waiting at the Showbox, which is filling up fast:



    posted by on November 4 at 5:14 PM

    At 4:30, Moe bar was already standing room only, besides a few tables reserved for the “elitists.” There were huge cheers at 5pm when CNN did a round of projections—just projections, mind you—favoring Obama. At the elitist tables, one drinker, who’s spent the last three weeks in Bali trying to avoid the election coverage for a change, says that the Indonesians think Obama’s a muslim (Indonesia Bali is majority hindu, he says, and they don’t much care for the muslims), but they’re still super excited for him to become president. Neumos just opened next door; more news from there soon.

    Letter from Frankfurt

    posted by on November 4 at 5:00 PM

    From my friend Nevdon and his wife.

    Your today is my tonight. Mischele and I are driving to Frankfurt, having a cocktail, joining the American Consulate Obamunards at 10:30, and watching the results roll in through the night. After two nights of restless sleep, I am finally shaking off my panicky fears of a Republican nightmare. Mostly this is based on polling the students at school, on the theory that kids repeat what their parents tell them about candidates. At this school, it is 20 to 1 for Obama. Although this is an international school, many of the kids come from conservative banking and some blue-collar, military base families.


    Drive Time

    posted by on November 4 at 4:55 PM

    My boyfriend writes…

    On our way home from school and running errands we saw some people waving Obama signs. DJ asked if those people and their signs really changed peoples minds. Just as he asked we passed a guy was standing on the corner with a hand-drawn Obama sign. This guy was down at that point where Aloha crosses I-5 and heads down into the Cascadia neighborhood. He was waving it, standing there of his own volition, clearly not a volunteer, not someone sent by the campaign to that corner. He was just a guy that wanted to be counted and was out there representing himself as an Obama voter.

    I started to cry and couldn’t answer DJ. When I was finally able to choke out an response I said, “Who knows? But the important thing is that there are enough people out there who care about people like you and me enough to stand out in the cold and try.”

    DJ put his hand on my shoulder from the back seat and said, “I know, Dad.”

    I’m still a little weepy.

    Earl’s On The Ave

    posted by on November 4 at 4:51 PM

    It took a little convincing for the regulars at Earl’s to believe that we were from The Stranger. In their defense, S.E.C.B. was taking down notes on a soiled Dick’s napkin found, soaked in beer, on the bar.

    Tim, whose recent stint in Washington State goes back to 1989, tells us that he is “hopeful.”

    For what?

    “A filibuster-fuckin’-proof Congress.”

    A conversation on infixes ensues with help from the bartender: “abso-fuckin-lutely.”

    “Gregoire is the lesser of two evils,” Tim says, taking a sip from his drink. “But, everyone is over there in Medina and the Eastside just hoping for something, even if they only win east of the mountains. Hoping for Reichert.”

    “Left-hart,” a fellow drinker quips.

    There are several well-placed televisions in Earl’s. Though designed to facilitate the viewing of sporting events, S.E.C.B. can think of no reason that the entire U-fucking-District population shouldn’t descend on Earl’s tonight to watch the election returns.

    Everyone claps as CNN projects Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Illinois for Obama. In lieu of a successful local team, sports fans can cheer for the Democrats.

    10 wings and a pitcher of PBR is only 8 bucks. Sounds like a feast. A feast for victory.

    Report from the Comet

    posted by on November 4 at 4:47 PM


    People are already drinking at the Comet on Pike Street, where two big-screen TVs are showing election results to a sparse crowd of about a dozen guys (and one woman).

    The SECB talked to a guy named Owen who had just voted for the second time in his life. Although Owen wouldn’t give the SECB his last name or exact age, he was friendly enough, telling us he’d be “drinking until Obama wins.” With beer selling for a dollar, the Comet may be the cheapest place in the city to do that. Owen said he had trouble deciding on a couple of measures, including the $173 million parks levy. “That was a tough one,” he said. (Ultimately, he voted against it.)

    The subdued atmosphere at the Comet was broken when some early returns started pouring in from the East Coast, causing the crowd to erupt into cheers (when states seemed to be going for Obama) and boos (when McCain was ahead.)

    “If McCain and Palin win, I’m selling my US citizenship on EBay,” said Owen, who worries that Americans are too racist to vote for a black President. “There’s a lot of stupid rednecks left to vote.”

    Damn Mormons

    posted by on November 4 at 4:43 PM

    I expressed my frustration with the Mormon Church earlier today. A friend writes…

    Have you in your travels witnessed any backlash against the Mormon church as a result of this campaign? I fully support anti-Mormon bigotry now. I know there are pro-gay Mormons, but they’ve gotta start speaking truth to power here. I wish there were a way to turn this into a public relations disaster for the Church of LDS. The waste of money alone is infuriating.

    Considering that no black person could be a priest (and all baptized LDS men are priests) until June 6th 1978, that might encourage a more level-headed church to keep their heads in the sand about civil rights battles. Especially considering that it took the potential loss of their tax-exempt status for their God to offer the new “revelation.”

    There are some decent Mormons out there—I’ve heard from a few, via email, some of whom donated to the “No On Prop 8” campaign. (You can read a very moving letter from a pro-gay practicing Mormon here.) The most prominent? Steve Young.

    The signs on the front lawn of former 49er quarterback Steve Young’s Peninsula home say “No on Prop. 8,” which normally wouldn’t be much of a story in the Bay Area, a gay-friendly region which is the center of opposition to the effort to ban same-sex marriage in the state.

    But Young isn’t only a Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s also the great-great-great grandson of Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon church. The church has pushed hard and publicly for Prop. 8 and Mormons have pumped millions into the campaign.

    Considering that the Mormon Church has excommunicated people out for publishing beefcake calendars, Young and his wife’s opposition to Prop 8 is no trifling gesture. Still, the hateful “Yes On Prop 8” campaign—underwritten by the Mormon Church—makes we wanna kick in a few stained-glass windows. (Do Mormon Churches have stained-glass windows?) For sure the next Mormon “elder” who shows up on my porch is going to limp back to Utah with a few dozen new assholes.


    posted by on November 4 at 4:40 PM

    This is an early-poll-closing state that the Stranger Election Control Board suggests you keep a very close eye on. If Obama wins Indiana—well, that’s generally thought to be the landslide scenario.

    Indiana was the place where Obama had all that trouble with “working class whites” during the primary with Hillary Clinton. He couldn’t quite beat her there because of that. So, the thinking goes, if Obama has improved his standing enough among that demographic to take Indiana, then he’s also going to easily take Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and a number of other places that are, relatively speaking, much easier going for him.

    With that in mind, while we wait for the call on Indiana, some early parsing of county-by-county results from Nate Silver:

    Just looking at some of the places where we have results in so far. Obama is substantially outperforming Kerry — which is what he needs to do to win the state, of course, but the differences are pretty substantial.

    Steuben: Kerry 34%, Obama 42%

    DeKalb: Kerry 31%, Obama 38%

    Knox: Kerry 36%, Obama 54%

    Marshall: Kerry 31%, Obama 50%

    Obama’s Hood

    posted by on November 4 at 4:38 PM

    OK, so much for getting to see Obama’s house: the Chicago Police have all streets blocked a quarter of a mile from his house, which is on a major bus route. This is causing a lot of disgruntled honking, which balances out the cautiously happy mood on the street. I’m at Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap, a U of Chicago bar about a half mile from Obama’s place. The joint is full put not packed, extra bartenders on duty, U of C students (The U of C mottos: Where Fun Goes to Die, and Where the Only Thing That Goes Down is Your GPA), with some neighborhood old-timers. When I pulled out my laptop at the bar, this drunk old fuck hectored me about how laptops have no place in bars. Alice Lemieux, grad student in Linguistics, is sharing a table with me (we both broke for it at once). She’s from Vancouver, but did her undergrad at Washington. She’s here for the Gregoire-Rossi results, and is cautiously optimistic, but everyone in Hyde Park is pro-Obama, says it’s a bubble. She sends greetings to Aiko and Martha, friends she misses.

    Next stop for this wandering reporter: Bronzeville, then Bridgeport.

    At the Showbox

    posted by on November 4 at 4:15 PM

    When the doors opened at 4 p.m., people were on the sidewalk waiting…


    …as inside the Stranger Election Control Board watched one of the three giant screens, this one hit by the glow of the kleig lights brought by ABC News:


    We also looked lustily at the bar behind the screen on stage left…


    …and recalled yet another Obama corner, Pine and Boren, which we passed through on the way down here from Capitol Hill:


    Has Everyone Seen This Already?

    posted by on November 4 at 4:07 PM

    Doesn’t matter. It’s still soothing to look at.


    Here We Go

    posted by on November 4 at 4:05 PM

    CNN gives Obama Vermont (3 EVs) and McCain Kentucky (8 EVs). Kentucky’s pretty close, still, at 51 to 48.

    One Final Distraction Before the Results Start Coming In

    posted by on November 4 at 4:00 PM

    Barbra and Judy sing “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “Get Happy.”

    Please, God…

    Odegaard - UW campus

    posted by on November 4 at 3:56 PM

    S.E.C.B. is in Odegaard. The University of Washington’s undergraduate library is, lets put it this way…not a maelstrom of political activity. In fact, the entire campus feels a bit subdued today. Red Square is empty except for a large amount of wet leaves, a few students and a collection of flowers marking the spot where a man burned himself to death last week.

    A hologram is conversing with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. S.E.C.B. had no idea that the black arts were so widely known. There is little reaction in Room 220, a darkened meeting room in Odegaard reserved for politically attentive students who don’t have television at home but still want to watch CNN.

    Kyle, a Sociology and Political Science undergraduate, has a giant sea turtle on his computer. He is sitting by himself, separate from a small circle of students huddled in the middle of the room, quietly watching the huge projection screen.

    “I don’t think I’ll stay all night,” Kyle says, somehow disciplined enough to not cut completely loose at this VIP event. “I ended up voting for Obama. I thought about McCain because I used to identify with Republicans. At this point in time I just thought that Obama was the right choice in this election.”

    Local politics?

    “I voted for Dino; I’m a Dinocrat,” Kyle chuckles. “I’m worried about the state budget. Gregoire’s positions on crime worried me.” When pressed on what these positions were, Kyle said, “a lot of her attacks on Rossi have been unfair.”

    We completely blame The Daily’s credulous endorsement of Dino Rossi for the obvious schism in Kyle’s voting choices.

    A cart laden with bottled water and snacks has just been wheeled into Room 220. Let the party begin.

    About Those Exit Polls

    posted by on November 4 at 3:53 PM


    The current round of exits are showing Obama up in pretty much all the toss up states. But remember, they said that about John Kerry too. And he’s still a senator from Massachusetts.

    Rick Santorum Had a Bad Election Night in 2006…

    posted by on November 4 at 3:50 PM

    …and it looks like he’s going to have a bad one this year too.

    Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum’s right to vote in Penn Hills has been challenged—and election officials will not count his absentee ballot (or that of his wife) until the matter is resolved, Allegheny County Elections Department director Mark Wolosik confirmed.

    Erin Vecchio, chairman of the Penn Hills School Board and chair of the Penn Hills Democratic Party, says she challenged the Santorums’ right to vote in Pennsylvania this morning because they really live in Virginia.


    Door-to-Door with John Burbank in Ballard

    posted by on November 4 at 3:45 PM

    Decked out in über-Ballard blue fleece, John Burbank is spending the final hours of his campaign for 36th District State Representative the way he spent the rest of his hours—walking the streets of Ballard.

    Of the about 170 doorbell-able precincts in his contested area, he estimates he’s doorbelled 136 of them and counting.


    Both Burbank and his opponent are Democrats, and theirs should be a tight race.

    The way Burbank tells it, his opponent, Reuven Carlyle (who The Stranger endorsed), is the corporate lackey to Burbank’s neighborhood hero. Burbank says he refuses money from corporations—”Period. Not a dime.”—while Carlyle does not and is endorsed by restaurants that want to fight Burbank’s efforts to raise the minimum wage. When we ask Burbank to describe the greatest difference between him and his opponent, he says it’s his support for the economic security of the middle class.

    That’s enough for Tony Jackson, who jumps out of the hole he’s working in to tell Burbank he voted for him.


    Most people aren’t home today, or they tell Burbank when they open the door that they’ve already voted. Every one who does that says he supports Burbank. When asked why, this guy—Ray Fischer—says it’s because Burbank is a Democrat. Considering that Burbank’s opponent is also a Democrat, it makes you wonder how much people have paid attention this far down the ticket even in their own neighborhoods…

    Here’s Fischer and Burbank, happy together at Fischer’s door near 64th and 24th.


    Burbank says his opponent has more money than he does and could afford to go on TV and radio. But Burbank insists on being even-handed: “Make sure you say that I said that Carlyle has done a good job doorbelling, too, because he has.”

    Over and out with John Burbank.


    A report coming soon from a tour with Carlyle as he scours the neighborhoods picking up his own campaign signs. “They’re such garbage—they’re pollution, these signs,” Carlyle said on the phone this morning. He’s playing to the perception, because of his past promotion of the electric car, that he’s the environmental candidate.

    You Keep Voting and Voting…

    posted by on November 4 at 3:45 PM

    noprop8.jpgPhoto by halfcanadian

    betterfutureballot.jpgPhoto by urn

    dan10thingsballot.jpgPhoto by dan10things

    ballotbracelet.jpgPhoto by JeanineAnderson

    Share your election day photos with us!

    4th & Union

    posted by on November 4 at 3:44 PM


    The man behind the woman with the homemade Gregoire sign saw me taking her picture and started chanting “Team GOP! Team GOP!” That’s what his t-shirt has written on it. I didn’t notice if he had to look down between chants.

    Re: The Smaller Seattle Times

    posted by on November 4 at 3:37 PM

    A little free advice for Frank: Go tabloid, like the Times of London and the Independent (“London Papers Go Tabloid, And Circulation Is Going Up,” NYT, March 29, 2004); go free (at least downtown); drop the “family newspaper” crap (newspapers are for adults); stop pretending to be objective (you’ve already done it on the estate tax, why not everything else?); and—seriously—put “fuck” in a headline, above the fold, and instantly rid yourselves of the readers that 1. are killing you demographics 2. refuse to let you drop “Sally Forth,” “The Wizard of Id,” “Luann,” etc.

    You’re welcome.

    Exit Polls

    posted by on November 4 at 3:30 PM

    They’re creeping out… But. Remember 2004. And remember how many people early-voted this year. And remember 2004.


    Gawker says the exit polls are tighter than recent polling.

    Drudge says “Obama Big.”

    And The Page has video of FOX News leading with bad news for Obama among white male voters. (Which isn’t all that meaningful, since Obama has never needed to, or been expected to, win a majority of this demographic.)

    A Little Hectic

    posted by on November 4 at 3:28 PM

    Volunteers were spilling out the door when the SECB arrived this afternoon at the Seattle headquarters of the Washington State Democrats headquarters on Mercer. Dozens of bicycles were lashed against the guardrail next to the building, and the sidewalk was littered with Obama and Gregoire posters. (The SECB would have posted pictures, but the SECB was informed that no photos were allowed inside the Dems’ HQ).

    Inside, the classroom-sized main room was packed with more than 60 volunteers, making last-ditch phone calls and heading out to wave signs on the street. We couldn’t find anyone who knew how many more volunteers were expected to turn up, or really, anyone who knew much of anything about what was going on. It was a little hectic. We did get to chat with the newly-arrived volunteers, who were sitting on a couch waiting to be called to the phone lines or drive voters to the polls.

    Pam Goodman, who took the day off work to make calls, told the SECB about a conversation she had on the phone with a voter who was still undecided. “She was still worried about Obama’s relationship with Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright,” Goodman said. “I was able to convince her that it was all character assassination.” Mary, the woman next to her, was compelled to volunteer by Sarah Palin. “I don’t want to spend the next 40 years fighting all over again for women’s rights,” she said.

    Every surface inside the HQ was plastered with Obama and Gregoire signs, the tables were littered with half-eaten doughnuts, and the walls were lined with telephones and computers, volunteers sitting elbow-to-elbow.

    Twenty-eight-year-old Byron (the youngest person the SECB could find to talk to) told us between phone calls that he was volunteering to dispel some of his election anxiety. A Canadian named Chris was nervous enough to drive down from Vancouver Island to volunteer for Obama. “It was important for me as a person of color,” he said.

    The real anxiety there was reserved for the Gregoire-Rossi race—volunteers are frustrated with the amount of voters who tell them they’re splitting their vote between Obama and Rossi. Still, volunteer Anne, who seemed to wield some authority over the bustling room, was all smiles. “We’re cautiously optimistic,” she said.

    Pretty Much Just Elephants Left at the Ballard Bartell’s

    posted by on November 4 at 3:24 PM


    Seattle Public Utilities Does Not Negotiate With Terrorists Extortionists

    posted by on November 4 at 3:18 PM


    An employee for a garbage company that contracts with Seattle Public Utilities says he’s being extorted after losing a set of master keys used to gain access to dumpsters across the city.

    According to a police report filed on October 29th, the garbage company employee received a call from a man who told him he’d found the ring of keys said he’d return them if the city paid him $100.

    “We don’t pay ransom,” says Seattle Public Utilities spokesman Andy Ryan. “He said ‘no money no keys’ and we turned it over to [SPD]. They’re not marked so there’s no way he can know what they go to.”

    The police report says a detective was able to track the alleged extortionist’s cell phone, but police were unable to locate the man.

    The garbage company is contacting building managers to let them know that the security of their trash may have been compromised.

    The Smaller Seattle Times

    posted by on November 4 at 3:01 PM

    A source at the Seattle Times shares more details on the 100 layoffs announced yesterday. Managers have notified employees that they will be paring down the sections. The weekday edition is being reduced to just three sections: Main, local, and sports. All the Lifestyle content will be folded into the local and main sections, and Northwest Life’s food, wine and garden sections are being eliminated. There will be no more Saturday inserts. The last day for those who get the pinks slips will be December 12. There’s still no announcement on who is getting cut—but the above housecleaning, the source says, suggests the layoffs aren’t over.

    A letter sent yesterday from Frank Blethen and Carolyn Kelly to the Times’s employees is pasted below the jump.

    Continue reading "The Smaller Seattle Times" »

    A Little Tap Dancing Should Take Your Mind Off the Election

    posted by on November 4 at 3:00 PM

    With any luck we’ll all be singing this song tomorrow…

    Courtesy of Slog tipper Cameron.

    What January Will Look Like If Obama Wins…

    posted by on November 4 at 2:54 PM

    …according to the Republicans:

    This is one of those hateful conservative videos I have to watch because I’ve got all kinds of self-loathing issues. If you’re not up for eight minutes of hateful and homophobic idiot right-wing interpretation of what an Obama presidency would look like (Homeland Security head Ayers! Michelle Obama cheering with children about the bombing of the Pentagon! Osama bin Laden crowing about his victory!), you should at least get a load of this still, which I clipped out of context from the video:


    That’s right, motherfuckers. First America, then the universe.

    All the Anxiety Is Probably Making You Crave Carbs…

    posted by on November 4 at 2:45 PM

    So why not enjoy an Obama cupcake at Trophy!

    obamacakes.jpgPhoto by Eden Weaver

    (This will be my last post about cupcakes for the rest of… forever.)

    And Wall Street…

    posted by on November 4 at 2:40 PM

    A broad-based stock rally on Tuesday left the market with its biggest gain ever on a presidential Election Day.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 305.45 points to 9625.28, leaving it up 3.3% on the day and easily outpacing the previous record Election Day gain of 1.2% set in 1984 as President Reagan won a second term in a landslide over Walter Mondale. Prior to that, the New York Stock Exchange shuttered trading during balloting for the presidency.

    I’m not saying anything.

    The Most Enjoyable Republican Campaign Video of the Year

    posted by on November 4 at 2:40 PM

    I love watching this filthy fucker squirm and beg for votes.

    “Fringe theatre is too conventional.”

    posted by on November 4 at 2:39 PM

    In a two-second break from thinking about the election:

    Remember the first two points of the Ten Things Theaters Need to Do Right Now to Save Themselves article?

    They were “enough with the goddamned Shakespeare already” and “tell us something we don’t know” and were primarily aimed at fringe theaters.

    At the Shitstorm forum the Rep hosted last week, several theater people vigorously denounced those two, accusing me of being a philistine and not having enough reverence for the classics. (Director George Mount—and founder of Wooden O, a fringe company dedicated to performing Shakespeare in parks—was particularly nettled, saying “we stand on the shoulders of giants.” In fact, his brand of aesthetic conservatism is fast asleep at the feet of giants.)

    It’s refreshing to see my favorite arts section in the whole wide world, the Guardian’s, arguing the same points.

    it would seem the fringe’s purpose is to provide a home for the terminally reactionary. The Finborough’s show is the sort of kitchen sink drama that died out everywhere else years ago, while The Courtyard’s Measure for Measure is the straightest reading of a Shakespeare I have seen in years: no “concept”, no “reading”, no attempt to make it relevant, no freighting with contemporary political significance - in short it looks like the director has just tried to “let the play speak for itself”.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that, per se, but it is nevertheless baffling. The fringe grew up to provide space for new and experimental forms of work; theatre that could not be staged under the nose of the Lord Chamberlain; theatre that challenged the status quo; theatre that asked unpalatable questions of society; theatre that made aesthetic choices that outraged audiences - disquieting theatre; disruptive theatre.

    Its receiving houses are all too often home to productions by directors seeking to showcase their mainstream talents and its producing houses play it safe with solid revivals of tried and tested classics.

    Preach it, Guardian.

    Read the whole thing here.

    The Answer to Your Burning Question

    posted by on November 4 at 2:28 PM


    Thanks, tipper Nafun.

    Vote or Die, Motherfucker

    posted by on November 4 at 2:09 PM

    Get out the vote, Diddy-style.

    Letters from Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Florida

    posted by on November 4 at 2:08 PM

    I’m getting more and more excited as I read about the great voter turnout across the country and our international support.

    At my polling place in Harrisburg, PA, there were 100 people in line ahead of me when I arrived just as the doors opened this morning. It was awesome to see the numbers and the diversity that came out to vote in my mixed-race neighborhood, and many first time voters too.

    There was applause as many first-timers placed their votes. I sensed in the crowd a feeling of optimism, and also of sheer determination. It was a beautiful morning outside and I felt a level of purpose and hope as I waited to vote that I haven’t felt in many years. Let this be only the beginning.


    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Continue reading "Letters from Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Florida" »

    The Republican Party Bus

    posted by on November 4 at 2:02 PM

    Democrats are the only ones having fun tonight. The Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Marcia McCraw, just called. She’s going to the Republican’s party at the Bellevue Hyatt. But, because that should be real fun, she’s planning to jet over to The Stranger’s party at the Showbox at 9:15 p.m. in a rented party bus.


    “It’s a 24-passenger bus and I’m putting a banner on it,” says McCraw. She says the coach, in red-state fashion, will be stocked with wine and Bud Light. Last time we got a call from McCraw, an extremely unconventional Republican, she was on a road race through Mexico.

    But does McCraw have a Democrat’s chance in Oklahoma of winning against incumbent Brad Owen? “I think I’m still a long shot but I have a chance,” McCraw says. Raising money was hard, she says, because Owen had all the funding sources sewn up. “I consider myself a very good fund raiser, but I just hit a wall wherever I looked.”

    Photo via Hugodk on Flickr.

    While California Voters Decide Whether or Not to Render My Marriage Certificate a Novelty Item…

    posted by on November 4 at 2:00 PM

    ….my sense of indignation is mitigated by this wonderful TV news report on my fella Jake’s family, Mormons of varying degrees of faithfulness for whom the church’s attack on same-sex marriage has been a heartrending mindfuck. You can see it here.

    Horny Frenchmen

    posted by on November 4 at 2:00 PM

    Another YouTube distraction to pass the time, this one courtesy of Slog tipper Sarah.

    Long Lines in Long Beach

    posted by on November 4 at 1:58 PM


    Slog tipper Scott voted in Long Beach, California, this morning…

    St. Patrick’s Catholic Church - Polling Site

    posted by on November 4 at 1:53 PM

    We are sitting sitting on the front steps of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in North Capitol Hill, a friendly neighborhood polling site, reflecting on participating in a democracy. There are currently no lines here. Presumably, everyone is busy getting their free sex toy from Babeland so that they can use it in the voting booth later. When we walked up to the church, a fellow citizen was skipping through the front door with a smile on his face. We assume that, being an American, he is free and happy to vote. One of S.E.C.B.’s roommates is not even registered to vote. We assume that, being a dickweed, he is imprisoned and sobbing uncontrollably, at home, in a pool of his own waste.

    But enough of this. Today’s theme is Hope and Change.

    The polling site is in the basement of the church, well-lit and decorated with laughing toddlers spilling out of an adjacent daycare. At first we got lost, confused by green signs labeled “vote” pointing in two different locations. It turns out that one is pointing towards an elevator and another towards a flight of stairs. Democracy is for everyone.

    Except our dipshit roommate, apparently.

    Psych Ward

    posted by on November 4 at 1:49 PM

    What he said.

    Blast from the Past

    posted by on November 4 at 1:44 PM

    As of now, Google’s top 20 search terms:

    1. black panthers
    2. irina shayk
    3. exit polls 2008
    4. election results 2008
    5. early voting exit polls
    6. who s winning the election
    7. election polls
    8. election update
    9. voting results
    10. poll results
    11. election news
    12. poll results obama vs mccain
    13. who is winning the presidential race
    14. election returns
    15. election coverage
    16. cnn polls
    17. current polls
    18. msnbc politics
    19. election status
    20. jacques rickerson

    Black Panthers! Today of all days!
    A lot of white people are freaking the fuck out!

    As for number two—a Russian!

    Obama Has the Puppy Vote

    posted by on November 4 at 1:40 PM



    Both photos by meaganhm via the Stranger’s Flickr Pool

    A Very Lucky Boy

    posted by on November 4 at 1:38 PM

    We’re getting lots of email about the election—but this letter, sent by a reader in California, made me cry.

    Four years ago my husband and I adopted a nine-year-old boy. He’d been taken from his biological family when he was three and shuttled through six different foster homes in six years. The three of us have worked very hard to create our family. Our son has added to our lives in ways we could never have imagined. We love him very much.

    This year our son, who is now thirteen, came out to us. Our son is gay. We are fine with this.

    The amazing thing about our boy is that he goes to school every day and lives his life true to himself. He’s a happy child. He writes poetry. He skips. He’s a track star. He excels at algebra. He loves the Stylistics. He has a blinding smile. Most of the kids at his school love him. But some of the boys call him “faggot.” Yesterday our usually sunny boy, all five-feet-four inches of him, came home staring at the ground, visibly upset. Some of the boys at school were taunting him with cries of Yes on 8, the California proposition aimed at eliminating the right to marry for those who want to marry another of the same gender. The boys were punished by the school, but the damage was done.

    Who are these followers of Jesus Christ who would tell my son, taken from his family at three, and homeless until he was nine, that he cannot marry and have a family of his own?

    Today my thirteen-year-old son joined me in the voting booth. As I voted for Obama my son put his hand on top of mine. He did the same thing when I voted no on Proposition 8. He was late for school, but I can’t think of a better reason.

    Miss Poppy
    Adult Christianity

    Highly Recommended

    posted by on November 4 at 1:26 PM

    William K. Wolfrum’s blog, where he’s exhaustively liveblogging Fox News Channel’s election-day coverage.

    Re: The Fear

    posted by on November 4 at 1:24 PM

    The prescriptions.

    “I’m Feeling Pretty Good, Actually.”

    posted by on November 4 at 1:15 PM


    Eastside Democrat Darcy Burner cast her ballot this morning in Redmond (photo of Burner at her polling place via NPI). Afterwards, she had time for a quick cell phone chat with the Stranger Election Control Board about her close, close race against incumbent Republican Congressman Dave Reichert.

    Riding through unincorporated King County toward a Democratic phone-banking center in Issaquah, Burner told us:

    I’m feeling pretty good, actually. The attitude of the voters I’m talking to is so excited for the opportunity to change our country. I’m getting just an enormous amount of positive feedback. I think it will be close, but I’m optimistic.

    Like the Gregoire-Rossi contest, the Burner-Reichert race is a rematch, and one that’s gotten rough (and a bit loopy) in the final stretch.

    A number of days in the last two weeks featured the Burner and Reichert campaigns sniping at each other over which candidate was riding on an inflated resume, with Burner being charged with falsely claiming an economics degree from Harvard (she has a Harvard degree in computer science with a special focus in economics) while Reichert was accused of claiming to have a Bachelor’s degree (when in fact what he has is a two-year Associate’s degree from a Christian college in Oregon). Burner downplayed the fracas, which was touched off by Republican operatives who leaked doubts about Burner’s Harvard degree claims to the Seattle Times.

    I think voters are smarter than that. There are big issues at stake here about what direction we want to take the country. To avoid those issues is the sign of a desperate campaign.

    As for the polls:

    I’ve certainly liked the last few, which have shown me up.

    They have, indeed, shown her up. But only slightly. In 2006, this race took days to settle out as all the absentee ballots had to be counted before there was a clear winner. That could very well happen again.

    More Voting, More Pictures

    posted by on November 4 at 1:10 PM

    stickernose1104.jpgPhoto by by emailwarrentime

    presidentialdonuts.jpgPhoto by shutzer

    votingbaby.jpgPhoto by jilldw

    voteflag1104.jpgPhoto by jenzwick

    What are you doing on election day? Post your photos in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool.

    Not Election-Related, but Holy Shit!

    posted by on November 4 at 1:06 PM


    Scientists in Japan say they have successfully cloned a mouse from a body that had been frozen for 16 years, theoretically opening the door to a range of possibilities from preserving endangered animals, to resurrecting extinct animals to cloning Ted Williams.

    And they laughed at my cryogenic chamber. They laughed!

    A Wonkacious View of Your Vote-Processing Factory

    posted by on November 4 at 1:05 PM

    We’re down at King County Election Headquarters in Renton, where about 500 people are working feverishly to count your absentee votes. According to Bobbie Egan, the spokeswoman giving us a tour, King County receives the second most absentee ballots of any county in the nation (beat only by L.A. County).

    This is your vote-processing factory. It’s a new building (opened Dec. 1, 2007) tricked out with 59 security cameras, a high-security inner area, and an outer perimeter loop where anyone can come and watch.


    According to Egan, voter turnout is expected to be 85 percent today, up from 83 percent in 2004. In this building today, about 80,000 to 100,000 absentee ballots will be counted to be reported at 8:15 pm. That should count for about 39 percent of the total. The count is not expected to be 97 percent complete until next Tuesday.

    Here’s how it works. The ballots come up from a big mailroom warehouse to be sliced (in the top machine) and sorted by Pitney Bowes postal machines (seen behind the crate).



    The Pitney Bowes machine sorts the ballots by legislative district into batches of about 200. Each ballot stays with its batch its entire counting cycle. A cheerful man named Muhammadu Kora is one of the people who carries your ballot onward.


    The Pitney Bowes machine also takes a digital picture of the signature on the outside of the ballot. Those pictures are sent to another team out in the main room, where workers trained in signature verification vet them against your voting record.


    If there is a signature “miscompare,” you get one of these yellow letters in the mail.


    If not, your ballot goes to the openers. They take the security envelope out, remove the ballot, and stack the security envelopes on a giant twist tie that goes through the center hole in each security envelope. This hole-in-the-middle design was created after the 2004 election, when in the recount workers discovered security envelopes that still had ballots in them, unremoved and uncounted. Here’s Mary Isabell doing her twist-tie thing.


    The openers determine whether there’s been undervoting or overvoting. If there’s overvoting, the ballots have to be duplicated by hand by election workers (both the original and the copy are coded and saved for reference). Finally the ballots go to the tabulation room, where they’re fed into a little tabletop reading machine one batch at a time. Kathstacie Green is running a machine. If the machine detects trouble, it stops and Green checks the marks herself.


    “The Cage,” where the ballots are stored, was designed in consultation with high-security casino experts. To get in you have to be on a list, swipe your card, and have your fingerprint tested. (You can use either pointer finger; both are on record in case one is burned off or cut off.)


    Three things:

    1. The Whites. When we were there, one lonely family was walking the loop. Homeschoolers Joelle White of Des Moines and her husband brought their daughters, 11 and 8, to check it out. The older daughter said the loop is inconveniently shaped. The younger daughter wishes she could touch things, because, as her mother added, she is a kinesthetic learner.

    2. The blacks. We realize we ended up with more pictures of black election workers than whites. This is not by accident. It seemed like were lots of black election workers.

    3. Christmas music. The Renton Tully’s where we are filing this report is playing it.

    Her First Time

    posted by on November 4 at 12:57 PM


    “This is the first time I’ve voted in a presidential election!” writes Kristy. “Yeehaw for me! Thought I’d send a celebration picture along!”

    A Refreshing Blast from Motown

    posted by on November 4 at 12:56 PM

    Stevie Wonder, for whom I already had much love, will forever be associated with the 2008 election—at least in my mind.

    This One Goes Out to the Mormon Church

    posted by on November 4 at 12:56 PM

    Another distraction, this one courtesy of Slog tipper Drew: Tracey Ullman singing “They Don’t Know”…

    That song—from the summer of 1983—got a lot of us through the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic; it was a particular comfort for guys like me who had just come out, as teenagers, right as “gay cancer” was morphing into GRID and then into AIDS. My young gay friends and I used to joke, darkly, that we’d missed the party but somehow got the hangover with everybody else. Then my young gay friends started dropping dead. And for a minute there in ‘84/’85 it looked like we were all going to die, or be rounded up and sent to internment camps—excuse me, “quarantined.”

    I haven’t thought about this song in years, Drew, but these lyrics really spoke to us then:

    They say we’re crazy but I just don’t care. And if they keep on talkin’, still they get nowhere. So I don’t mind if they don’t understand when I look at you and you hold my hand. Because they don’t know about us. And they’ve never heard of love.

    Why should it matter to us if they don’t approve. We should just take our chances while we’ve got nothing to lose.

    For a while it felt like we had everything to lose—our families, our freedom, our lives. And yet we came out anyway, we had sex anyway, we fell in love anyway. And the haters kept on talkin’ and our families thought we were crazy. Sometimes we thought we were crazy. But we had faith in a future that, at that dark time, seemed anything but assured. So whatever happens today in California—and Florida and Arizona and Arkansas, which also voting on anti-gay ballot measures (gay marriage ban, and gay foster/adoption ban, respectively)—remember this: We’re going to get through this and we’re going to win.

    Everybody Loves a Free Sex Toy!

    posted by on November 4 at 12:55 PM

    It’s voting day and turnout has been HUGE…at Babeland.

    Babeland is giving out free Vibratex Maverick Sleeves and silver bullets to voters and before they’d even opened their doors this morning, people were already lining up down the block.

    When the SECB walked in Babeland’s door at 11:30, the store had already given out 87 sex toys—60 Maverick Sleeves and 27 silver bullets. By the time the SECB left 15 minutes later, Babeland had given out 113. Babeland’s New York store has apparently gone through 600 silver bullets and 100 Maverick sleeves in three hours.

    “We didn’t think it was going to be so popular” says Audrey, Babeland’s education coordinator.”

    The Seattle Babeland store is already out of Maverick sleeves. Audrey says they’ll be getting in one more shipment tomorrow but will only be giving out toys while supplies last.

    The SECB asked Audrey whether any McCain supporters had come in for free masturbation aids. “If they do, we’re out,” she joked.

    The Palin plug

    Babeland was nice enough to provide the SECB with a few toys. If the election goes badly, at least the SECB will have these to keep us warm through the night.


    The Fear

    posted by on November 4 at 12:49 PM

    VIRGINIA: Dozens of polling places are experiencing varying degrees of machine malfunctions. Some polling places are either completely closed or have been closed for hours. Thousands of voters may have been turned away illegally by polling workers. Voters have illegally been issued with provisional ballets where machines have been broken.

    Students at Virginia Tech, previously the victims of misinformation, have seen their polling place suddenly and unexpectedly moved six miles to a location with little parking.

    PENNSYLVANIA: Voting machine malfunctions are widespread and at least a dozen locations, mainly focused on Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Election Protection has received reports of campaign materials being illegally distributed at polling locations in Pittsburgh. Voters across the state are reporting that they never received their absentee ballots, which is creating additional chaos at the polls.

    If you see anything unusual out there, make sure to report it to Election Protection immediately at 866-OUR-VOTE. They’ve received over 50,000 calls already today.

    Via First Read.

    Note: We will still win. These fuckheads will not succeed in stealing this one. Obama will beat the cheat spread. Say it. Believe it.

    Obama Bulls

    posted by on November 4 at 12:48 PM

    The story:

    Barack Obama’s Kenyan family to celebrate by slaughtering bulls, chicken and goats. Times reporter attends the Obama family victory feast in the village of Kogelo, Kenya, and brings along a live goat.

    The best passage in that story:

    “The reason we are here is that we are looking forward to a great day to celebrate,” he said, rubbishing any suggestion that Mr McCain might win. “We are not considering that possibility. I am not,” he said confidently, as a cock crowed in the shade of a mango tree.

    Want Your Relatives in Red States to See You Toasting Obama’s Victory Tonight?

    posted by on November 4 at 12:41 PM

    Then come on down to our election night party at the Showbox…


    An ABC News correspondent will be reporting live from the Showbox tonight as results roll in. Ours is one of a handful of election night parties across the country at which ABC News has embedded a reporter—that’s their reporter, setting up right now. So do you have GOP-leaning family back in Bumfuck, Idaho, or Fuckwit, Indiana? Let ‘em see you partying your ass off tonight at the Showbox!

    Damn Lies: Shenanigans to Stop Drug Initiatives

    posted by on November 4 at 12:39 PM

    You are sitting here, fretting about the election. Obama, McCain. The governor’s race. You’re not thinking about the drug laws in this country—no matter how fucked up they may be—they are etched in the stone tablets of law. Nothing is ever going to fix them, right? Not true. It’s the year of Obama. There is hope.

    Under the national radar, three initiatives on state ballots are at the vanguard of changing drug laws:

    The most revolutionary initiative is in Massachusetts. Question 2 would reduce the penalty for an ounce of marijuana from a toss-your-lily-white-ass-in-jail misdemeanor to a $100 fine. No state has ever, by public vote, decriminalized marijuana. And the states that have “decriminalized” pot still carry expensive penalties for people who are busted.

    “It takes a whack over the head from the voters to pull the politicians out of their default tough-on-drugs mode,” says Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a backer of the initiative. “And it appears the voters could be ready to give them one.”

    A poll two weeks ago found Question 2 was leading by 19 points, 51 to 32 percent.

    But politicians are firing on the revolutionaries. A fleet of public safety officials, district attorneys, police, and even John “Lieberman” Kerry are lining up to oppose the measure.

    In a squawking Massachusetts accent, Bill Breault, a public safety official, warns in a radio ad that “our state is under attack…” He says the initiative would “put marijuana, a dangerous and addictive drug, into the hands of our children.” He adds it would “legalize marijuana.”

    Of course, the measure doesn’t legalize marijuana. But Breault tells the Sentinel and Enterprise, “If legalize helps us to get the public’s attention, we will use it.” Who cares if it’s not true?

    “What the opposition has tried to do it make it confusing enough that if you are not sure, then vote no,” says Mirken. “Stay with the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t know.” Mirken points out, however, that places that have decriminalized marijuana haven’t shown more pot smoking. Supporters are hitting back with their own phalanx of former cops in favor of decriminalizing pot. You can see their television ads over here.

    The next proposal is in Michigan. Before you fall asleep, let me say this: medical marijuana seems boring until you watch someone writhing in agony who needs pot to eat and stay alive. But no states in the Midwest have passed medical marijuana laws; Michigan is ready to be the first.

    Proposition 1 would allow people with certain diseases—cancer, AIDS, MS, etc.—to use medical marijuana with their physician’s permission. It would also create an identification system, managed by the state, which provides patients instant proof to police officers that they are complying with the law.

    The thrust of an opposition campaign against the measure warns that it would create a climate like California, where “hundreds of pot smoking clubs opened in strip malls over the state… just blocks from schools.” In this ad, shot in C.O.P.S. cam, shady, stoned characters emerge form a pot club to whack a middle-aged woman walking down the sidewalk.

    There’s one problem with this ad—and the entire campaign that rests on this attack. The initiative doesn’t allow pot clubs. But voters don’t seem to be falling for the sham.

    A poll shows the initiative leading 21-point lead—57 percent to 36 percent.

    “After Tuesday it is very likely that one in four Americans is going to live in a medical marijuana state,” says Mirken. “It may be that some years from now, when we look back, this will be distinct turning point when we went from an uphill struggle to an emerging national consensus that we need to do something different, at least about medical marijuana.”

    California’s attempt to dismember the prison industrial complex after the jump.

    Continue reading "Damn Lies: Shenanigans to Stop Drug Initiatives" »

    Reports From the Neighborhood Blogs

    posted by on November 4 at 12:38 PM

    MyBallard is reporting long lines at Ballard polling sites, including a crush of voters at Trinity United Methodist at 23rd and 65th.

    Central District News says the line was out the door at TT Minor Elementary when they went to vote at 9 this morning, but that things seemed to be moving smoothly.

    West Seattle Blog is updating so frequently that I’m just going to refer you to their site.

    Columbia City Blog has a guide to voting.

    And Capitol Hill Seattle is photoblogging the election from polling places and all around Capitol Hill.

    For Those of You Who Want to Take Your Kids to An Election Party (Or For Those of You Who Really Like Cupcakes)

    posted by on November 4 at 12:30 PM

    The Washington Bus and the Vera Project have teamed up to host a free, all-ages election party tonight with free cupcakes, a DJ, and a whole lot more. Doors open at 5 pm. Here’s the complete and official info (with a lot of exclamation points… exciting!!):

    Tuesday November 4 | 5:00 PM
    Washington Bus & The Vera Project present:
    Exit Polling!
    Early Returns!
    Tom Brokaw!
    Free Cupcakes!
    A DJ!
    Free Food!
    The Political Process!
    Fun! Games!
    And more Free Cupcakes!

    I can’t get there until about 7, so save a cupcake for me.

    Lunchtime Quickie

    posted by on November 4 at 12:30 PM

    Isn’t the way Jan Terri feels about her motorcycle man, kind of like what we’re all feeling about Barack Obama today? I think yes…

    More Election Day Photos

    posted by on November 4 at 12:20 PM

    dougsballot.jpgPhoto by Dougois

    obamachampagne.jpgPhoto by liquidnight

    palinbuttonballot.jpgPhoto by beatnikside

    Upload your election day pictures to the Stranger’s Flickr Pool!

    Your Maps

    posted by on November 4 at 12:20 PM

    I haven’t forgotten about them. I’ve just been deluged with them since I put out the call yesterday. Here, again is my predicated Electoral College map for tonight:


    And here’s what I’m going to do with all the maps you’ve sent me: If I don’t have time to post a bunch of them later today, I will hang on to them and, after the election, will give prominent Slog credit to those who accurately predicted the outcome.

    Meantime, if you want to be on record with your predictions, shoot me an email with your map attached, or, if you can do it in words, use this comment thread.

    I Want My Sticker!

    posted by on November 4 at 12:05 PM

    Since I’m an absentee voter, I’ve never been to a polling place in my adult life (I got to punch a hole in the ballot for Dukakis when I was 8, though). So this year, because I wanted to do more than just fill out my ballot alone and send it in the mail alone, I took my absentee ballot and dropped it off at a polling place so I could at least pretend I was voting with the rest of the country.

    On the way there, I ran into this group of nice kids:


    Then I went inside SCCC, dropped off my ballot, smiled at the volunteers and said “thank you.” I stood there for a second. They looked at me. I looked at them. They said “thank you.” We kept looking. Then I walked away.

    I didn’t get a sticker. They didn’t offer a sticker. I wanted a sticker, but I didn’t ask for a sticker. Sigh. Why don’t absentee ballots come with a sticker?

    Report from the Baltic Room

    posted by on November 4 at 11:59 AM


    The SECB just dropped by the Baltic Room, where a small crowd of earnest Obama volunteers is calling voters in the 43rd District to get out the vote for Obama. The scene down here is pretty sedate, with volunteers in their 30s and 40s handing out bottles of HonesTea and talking to voters. They’re targeting the 43rd because it has the highest number of Democrats and the lowest voter turnout of any legislative district in Seattle—a stat intern Mel Lotz called “embarrassing”; however, some of the targeted voters seem annoyed to be getting their 14th or 15th call from the Obama campaign.

    “We get that you’re annoyed by us,” Lotz tells one person who’s tired of being hounded by Obama volunteers. “Get out and vote and we’ll stop calling you.” The campaign is setting up rides to polling places for people who can’t get there on their own.

    The volunteers are pretty secretive about their scripts—campaign coordiators instructed phonebankers not to take the scripts outside the building, lest they fall into Republican hands. But one volunteer, Penny Bolton, does tell the SECB what phonebankers are supposed to do when the person they’ve called turns out to be a member of the tinfoilhat brigade (one person today asked her Obama’s position on selective vaccinations): Give the call to someone else.

    An Ode to Traditional Marriage

    posted by on November 4 at 11:57 AM

    Letters from California

    posted by on November 4 at 11:55 AM

    Hi Eli,

    Slog has been a staple of my election coverage for the last few months… thanks for posting all these stories. Some of them have really tipped me over the edge—the edge that started around 7:30 this morning when I went to vote.

    My wife and I brought our absentee ballots to our local polling place this morning, and there was a line out the door and to the apartment building next door. We’ve never seen anyone in the polling place when we were there, so it was a nice surprise. On our way to drop off our ballots, we passed a woman with a “no on 8” sign. There was another guy across the street and a third woman at the corner on the other side of the polling place. Our neighborhood’s a pretty safe No on 8 area, but it was so touching to see them out.

    What tipped me over the edge, though, was on my way to the store. No on 8 supporters were around every polling place, at freeway off ramps and outside the grocery store. As is custom here in the Bay Area, I beeped my horn and waved as I passed, tears welling up in my eyes. Coupled with the NPR story interviewing couples like us who rushed to be married this summer, I’ve been weepy ever since.

    It’s such a momentous day, and even though I’m working at home, and not around a bunch of people, I can feel the energy in the air…. I’m vibrating like a tuning fork! Not much work will be done today…

    -Kathy in Oakland

    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Continue reading "Letters from California" »

    Church and State

    posted by on November 4 at 11:50 AM

    The SECB voted in person this morning, as we always do because it gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling. Today, however, we felt much more like we’d just taken a questionable hallucinogen (perhaps handed to us by a dime-pupilled music freelancer) and were in that difficult period in which it’s uncertain a.) whether we’re going to vomit, and b.) whether it’s going to be really, really fun or whether we’re going to completely freak out, not understand what is happening in a suddenly nightmarish world, and want to kill ourselves.

    Anyhow, the grass and the moss outside the church fence seemed especially verdant. (We vote at St. Joseph’s, which used to seem weird and now we embrace: church and state! God bless America!) The woman checking identification said that the SECB was the 50th person to vote in our precinct: “That’s amazing. We’ve never had such a turnout.” Nearby, another pollworker joked with a voter, “Would you like a Chinese ballot?” We bet that one never gets old. (Tangent: A friend of the SECB is volunteering as a “Comfort Captain” at the polls today, which sounds vaguely sexual but apparently involves cookies.)

    We voted. A nice lady offered us an “I voted” sticker; we hesitated; she said, “Sure! This is an important one!” and stuck it upon us. Looking at it now, we note that it says “farewell to polls,” and we’ve been informed that this is the last time we will vote in person. The SECB has thus become teary (not for the first and certainly not for the last time today).


    538’s Final Projection

    posted by on November 4 at 11:49 AM

    The folks who says they’ve got “Electoral Projection Done Right” have made their predictions: Obama will win with 353 electoral votes.

    The last polls have straggled in, and show little sign of mercy for John McCain. Barack Obama appears poised for a decisive electoral victory.

    Our model projects that Obama will win all states won by John Kerry in 2004, in addition to Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, Florida and North Carolina, while narrowly losing Missouri and Indiana. These states total 353 electoral votes. Our official projection, which looks at these outcomes probabilistically — for instance, assigns North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes to Obama 59 percent of the time — comes up with an incrementally more conservative projection of 348.6 electoral votes.

    We’ll find out soon if 538 lives up to its cocky slogan.

    I Be All Hatin’ On Mormons, Yo

    posted by on November 4 at 11:41 AM

    I had a dream last night. My husband* announced that he was leaving me for a nice Mormon lady half his age because he wanted more children. Lots more. I asked him just how he was going to accomplish that, seeing as lady parts don’t do it for him. He explained that he planned to stay with me for three more months. During that time we would “save up enough” to get his Mormon bride pregnant at least 10 times. I agreed to his plan.

    When I told my husband* about it this morning he got mad. He would never agree to break up with me in a dream, he insisted. I told him to be mad at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, not at me. The Mormon church has poured $20,000,000 into California in an effort to ban same-sex marriage in that state. With this election the Mormon Church has shot past the Baptists and Catholics in the race to be the gay community’s Craziest Mortal Enemies. Think about that: $20,000,000. Think of how many hungry people that kind of dough could feed; think of how many homeless people that kind of dough could house; think of how many Jewish victims of the Holocaust that kind of dough could baptize. But instead of spending that money on any of that crap, the Utah-based Mormon Church and individual Mormons all across the country opted to almost single-handedly finance the fight against marriage equality in California—a fact that inspired this ad:

    This ad is upsetting people—well, it’s upsetting Catholic archbigot Bill Donohue, at any rate, who idles on outraged. Donohue put out a press release today condemning the ad because, you see, it “demonizes” Mormons for doing… well, it demonizes Mormons for doing exactly what Mormons are attempting to do: strip some Californians of a basic civil right because that basic civil right runs counter to Mormon theology. And while it’s fine for Mormons, Catholics, Baptists—for all people of faith, whatever their faith—to attack gays and lesbians in the most despicable terms (the haters in California have resurrected the circa ‘76 “they want to recruit our children” libel), Bill Donohue doesn’t believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to push back. We’re supposed to take punches, not throw them. We’re certainly not allowed to point out that the same church that opposes our right to marry might have a broader agenda, that that church might also oppose some of the rights other Americans take for granted. Today a ban on gay marriage financed by the Mormon Church, tomorrow a ban on birth control? Divorce? Coffee? Cocktails? Non-magical underpants?

    Sorry, Mormon Church, but if you’re going to attempt to strip minorities of their basic civil rights on the basis of your religious convictions, you can’t declare that any discussion of your faith—any examination of your motives for entering this debate in the first place—to be unfair or bigoted or out of bounds.

    Finally, my fellow homos, there are roughly 13,000,000 Mormons in the world. How many of us are there? At least 15,000,000 of us in the United States alone? They’re a smaller minority than we are; we outnumber them. Why are we letting these douchebags push us around?

    * Legally married in Canada and three U.S. states; marriage not recognized by our federal government.

    Why Aren’t You People Obsessed With the Election?

    posted by on November 4 at 11:36 AM

    The strangest thing about last night’s annual awards ceremony for the American Institute of Architects is that people were even there. Over 1000 folks in angular eyewear packed into Benaroya Hall, sipping on Pinot Grigio and picking at towers of cheese. But why the fuck weren’t they glued to Anderson 360 like every other election-obsessed American?

    “People are thinking that with a downturn in the economy, I better schmooze,” said one woman who asked to remain anonymous.

    Lisa Richmond, director of AIA Seattle, says, “We didn’t intend to do it the night before the election when we booked it a year ago.” But last night’s awards were, essentially, catching up to the bubble that burst last year. The buildings completed in 2006 and 2007 are finally eligible for recognition, and, for several firms, this is the last hurrah of their heyday.

    AIA Seattle accepted a record 177 submissions from around the state under the theme Perform/Transform, which is a clear nod to green building. But as Dan Bertolet points out over at Hugeasscity, this also marks the industry turning away from a circle jerk over big, fancy houses. More people are living in denser, greener communities—and the designs worth celebrating are those we share, that relate to the street, and don’t suck a skyscraper’s worth of power off the grid. And the firms’ entire staff showed up because, like the Academy Awards, the winners aren’t announced until everyone is awkwardly jammed into one theater.

    The judges were cruel. In specific, the moderator Susan Szenasy, editor of Metropolis magazine, was like a German version of that host from the Weakest Link. “A word to the wise, don’t do this again,” she said about one submission. One architect used a central air shaft to circulate air through the building without a ventilation system. The interior was impressive, Szenasy said, but “the same was not matched on the outside.” That architect had included a lighting feature on the building to improve its environmental rating. “You’re doing something superfluous to get a point,” she said. “Think about that.” But, God bless her salty heart, it saved the event from being a total industry blowjob.

    The winners of the four honor awards are: EX3 Ron Sandwith Teen Center by Weinstein AU, “7” by Robert Hutchinson and Sarah Biemiller, the Woodway Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, and Seattle’s Montlake Library also by Weinstein AU. You can see all the submissions over here.

    They were all pleasant enough, but the most interesting was a conceptual piece by The Miller Hull Partnership called Bumper Crop, an urban garden suspended over a parking lot. Unfeasible, perhaps, and a somewhat gross place to grow a tomato—but a great idea for urban agriculture.



    This One’s For You, California

    posted by on November 4 at 11:29 AM

    Judy Garland singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

    Courtesy of Slog tipper Balt-O-Matt. Got a video that either inspires or momentarily distracts? Send it to me.

    “We’re Taking Back This Country”

    posted by on November 4 at 11:20 AM


    Governor Christine Gregoire showed up at 9 a.m. this morning to rally supporters at a joint Democratic headquarters in Eastlake, where the entryway said quite a bit about her re-election strategy.

    Inside, the place was crawling with phone-bankers and strewn with call lists, campaign signs from Democratic races around the country, and technocratic memos with headings like “Get Out The Vote Weekend Script.” Sen. Patty Murray warmed up the crowd by crediting Obama for much of the passion in the room.


    This is the kind of passion that Barack Obama started and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude… Our country is just going to be dancing. This is going to be the best party ever.

    The Stranger Election Control Board assumes Murray was referring to tonight’s party at the Showbox. Murray continued with a statement about how excited she is about the prospect of crafting new policy with an Obama-Biden administration, and a warning about the Gregoire-Rossi contest:

    This race is dead even… We don’t want to look back here to Washington State and have all of those policies reversed.


    Next up was Gregoire, who also grounded her exhortations in the Obama excitement she knew was consuming most people in the room.

    Everybody is ready to take back this country…. Washington State is going to decide tonight that they want a partner with Barack Obama… This is the day. This is the day we’re taking back this country.

    Continue reading ""We're Taking Back This Country"" »

    Seattle Voter Open Thread: North of Ship Canal

    posted by on November 4 at 11:19 AM

    Seattle people: Tell us what you’re seeing, feeling, and experiencing, and where it all went down, in the comments. This thread is for those who voted north of the Ship Canal, and it will move upward on Slog throughout the day.

    Seattle Voter Open Thread: South of Ship Canal

    posted by on November 4 at 11:19 AM

    Same as above: Tell us what you’re seeing, feeling, and experiencing, and where it all went down, in the comments. This thread is for those who voted south of the Ship Canal in Seattle, and it will move upward on Slog throughout the day.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 4 at 11:00 AM


    Election Day

    If you haven’t voted by mail already, get up as early as you can, get to your polling place, wait in line, and vote the fuck out of that ballot. Then go to Pacific Place and catch W. Richard Dreyfuss’s quietly terrifying portrait of Dick Cheney should be a cause for celebration. You’ve done your part to ensure that the world won’t be run by a stubby-armed supervillain! Then head down to the Showbox at the Market and join hundreds of Stranger readers in drunken election-result-watching revelry. (See movie times,, for details. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 4 pm, free.) PAUL CONSTANT

    Citizen Mudede

    posted by on November 4 at 10:56 AM

    30 minutes ago, I found myself in the situation of voting for the first time in my life. As a lover of philosophy, and Greek philosophy in particular (Socrates is my holy ghost; Plato my king; Aristotle my prince), it was meaningful to finally perform (rather than consider or read about) a democratic act. I was too young to participate in the only democratic election in Zimbabwe’s history (1980), and by the time I was old enough to vote (1988), there was no reason to—one of my own relatives, Zimbabwe’s Register General, kept one man and one party in power.

    I got my American citizenship three years ago, and today I really did this thing. I voted for people and propositions. I committed the act in the International District, and during my walk to work, I didn’t listen to a reading of Plato’s Republic (I wanted to revisit his anti-democratic allegory of the ship) but instead listened to the traffic on Interstate 5. Seattle has become my Athens.

    Everyone’s Doing It

    posted by on November 4 at 10:55 AM

    Seattle AutoNet—a blog “on cars, daily traffic, wet roads and better driving—just endorsed a “yes” vote on Proposition 1 (mass transit) and a “no” vote on Tim Eyman’s Initiative 985 (opening HOV lanes to all traffic).

    Even though we’re an auto blog, we think that a vote in favor of light rain is not a vote against cars, but a vote to build much needed infrastructure. […]

    Nobody loves a 500 hp Viper that can tear across 520 in under 20 seconds as much as we do, but we also love the environment and our city even more. That’s why we’re supporting Prop 1.

    The Voice of Unreason

    posted by on November 4 at 10:51 AM

    Some of the voice messages we’ve been getting over the past few days about a certain story that was linked on a certain site and drove certain people totally fucking crazy:


    Feliz día de las elecciones!

    posted by on November 4 at 10:50 AM

    The only sticker you can have when you vote in Seattle:


    The sticker a friend opted for in Austin, Texas:


    Text Message from an SECB Member

    posted by on November 4 at 10:45 AM

    I am the 50th voter in my precinct. “That’s amazing. We’ve never had such a turnout.”

    It’s true. Statewide turnout in this election is expected to top 83 percent.

    Letters from Dublin, D.C., and Julie’s Unconscious

    posted by on November 4 at 10:37 AM

    Thank you for posting so many wonderful election stories; some of them choked me up. Mine is pretty usual, I definitely felt great pride filling in the Obama bubble (and Gregoire, and I-1000).

    The story I actually wanted to tell you was this: Last night I dreamed we were dating. I think it was a blind date thing, but you were so nice and sweet I was really into you. I’ve never met you, and I don’t know if I’d seen a picture, but I looked up a picture of you this morning, and you looked remarkably close to how you looked in my dream. Isn’t that weird? I’m sure I had the dream because of how much the letters you posted touched me.

    Thanks for reading.


    p.s. Yes, I know you’re gay (but it didn’t make any difference in the dream).

    Wow. And keep ‘em coming.

    Continue reading "Letters from Dublin, D.C., and Julie's Unconscious" »

    Lando/Lobot 2008!!!

    posted by on November 4 at 10:28 AM

    Arab Garb

    posted by on November 4 at 10:22 AM

    En route to monitor the goings on at the King County Elections voting headquarters in Renton, one of our Stranger Election Control Board correspondents received an urgent cell phone call from her “daddy” in upstate New York. She reports:

    My daddy has received an email showing Obama in Arab garb. He is now worried that McCain is going to win. He says: “The radicals are out.”

    Step Right Up

    posted by on November 4 at 10:18 AM


    No lines to vote at the polling site at Capitol Hill’s Trinity Lutheran Church, reporters Slog tipper Ivan.

    Slog Readers Are Voting

    posted by on November 4 at 10:18 AM

    obamaballot.jpgPhoto by Fnarf

    votedsticker.jpgPhoto by Secret South

    gregoireballot.jpgPhoto by Life As Art

    Post your election day photos in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool!

    News from Wingnut Land

    posted by on November 4 at 10:18 AM

    The folks at One News Now have already conceded, and are making lemons out of lemonade. Their spin: At least now Sarah Palin (who’s lately been resorting to strongly implying that Democrats love terrorists) can say what she really thinks about immigration!

    According to [Mark] Krikorian [head of the right-wing Center for Immigration Studies], once Sarah Palin is free from the McCain campaign, she will be able to speak freely about the immigration issue. “There’s a real possibility, once Senator McCain is history, that she will likely take a much more hawkish position on immigration,” he adds. “Now maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part — it’s possible, but I don’t think so.”

    Paul’s favorite batshit-crazy Objectivist predicts that big, menacing black men are going to intimidate little old white ladies into voting for Obama.

    Readers of WorldNetDaily, meanwhile, are keeping hope alive, predicting McCain will win variously because “the pre-election polls have been grossly biased and distorted,” or “because at the last minute, people realize they can’t trust Obama.” (Twelve percent, however, believe Obama will win “due to massive fraud by Democrats and groups such as ACORN.”)

    The Freepers, always good for a laugh, are alternately predicting a huge McCain landslide and predicting that Obama will “easily take the White House,” thus unleashing “treason from within.”

    Little Green Footballs blames the media.

    And Michelle Malkin is just not making any sense.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on November 4 at 10:18 AM

    Nobody’s reading tonight. Come on! Seriously? Even if someone was reading tonight, I wouldn’t give them any press because they were dumb enough to schedule a reading on the night of the election.

    I woke up sneezing this morning. I think my entire immune system is going to collapse tomorrow, either from relief or sheer exhaustion. But there will be readings, and Reading Tonight will cover them.

    The full readings calendar, including actual upcoming readings, is here.

    There’s No Excuse for This

    posted by on November 4 at 10:09 AM

    It’s not even its first appearance on Slog, but… I love this song, and this video, and watching it kept me sane for the last, oh, 4:12 minutes. Enjoy.

    Department of Counting Chickens

    posted by on November 4 at 10:05 AM

    McCain’s current “win percentage” at FiveThirtyEight: 1.1%.

    Letters from London, Kentucky, and Israel

    posted by on November 4 at 9:58 AM

    Hi Eli,

    I live in London currently, having moved up from Sydney last year and am a Tacoma voter (oh yes.) … My friends are either rushing to my side for moral support (some from as far as Dublin), or a bit afraid of what will happen as I have guaranteed them that I will be sobbing no matter what. Everyone here is, of course, holding their breath and hoping for Obama (there are “Obama Watch” parties all over London in pubs tonight) and getting ready to stay up all night. People are extremely emotionally invested in this all over Europe (and Aus as well) and it is basically all anyone has spoken to me about for a month. I just hope there will be good news for them later and that we can all celebrate Guy Fawkes night tomorrow knowing that come January the world may be back on track.

    - Eleanor

    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Continue reading "Letters from London, Kentucky, and Israel" »

    Market Watch and Honking for Light Rail

    posted by on November 4 at 9:51 AM

    Two rosy-cheeked volunteers stood on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street this morning waving signs for the Pike Place Market levy. The measure, if approved by voters today, would direct $75 million from property taxes to restore the failing systems of the Pike Place Market.


    Marlys Erickson, director of the Pike Place Market Foundation, says, “It’s kind of cold.” Lots of passersby are giving her the thumbs up this morning, but she’s nervous about the levy passing.

    “I spent several nights calling older voters who said, ‘My pension is in the toilet so I have to vote no on all of the levies,’” she says. “That scared the bejeezus out of me.”

    Kitty corner, inside the Starbucks, frazzled employees scurried about, fulfilling the company’s promise to give free drip coffee to people who said they’d voted. One harried barista said they’ve given out “a ton.” Several people inside hadn’t heard of the Pike Place Market levy—despite the signs right outside the window. But they did know about the other Proposition 1, which funds the expansion of Sound Transit’s light rail.

    Two volunteers carrying “Mass Transit Now!” signs were sipping free joe in the corner after standing with their signs on Mercer Street. How’s the response been? Were drivers honking—for light rail?

    “The honk-to-finger ratio has been about 40 to one,” says Sara Nikolic, a two-year veteran of the Sound Transit Campaign. Last year’s transit proposition, which included rail and roads, failed. She’s got more hope this year, though. “I think for people in the campaign, the environmental conservation movement has unified around it,” she says, “Whereas last year they were fractured about it.” She thinks the Sound Transit measure will pass by the margin that Tim Eyman’s so-called anti-congestion measure, I-985, will fail. Fingers crossed.


    posted by on November 4 at 9:35 AM

    Now in 3-D! Just kidding. HERE’S THE CHEAT SHEET! It’s also in this week’s paper-paper for your pre-polls corner-newsbox convenience. Here are our full endorsements, for those who enjoy reading &etc.

    And here’s our 2008 page, with tonight’s Showbox party info, all the nail-biting election-only coverage on Slog, endorsements (with a link to the CHEAT SHEET, on the right), and OMIGODITSHAPPENING everything you need to get through this.

    I’m going to vote right now. I feel like I’m going to throw up.

    Youth Pastor Watch

    posted by on November 4 at 9:30 AM


    A Green County man was sentenced Friday to 10 years in federal prison for using a computer to entice a Madison County girl to engage in sexual activity. Timothy Scott Richerson, 40, of Greensburg, admitted in July in U.S. District Court that he met the victim, a 14-year-old girl, on a MySpace page where he represented himself as a16-year-old male…

    In September of 2007, Richerson—a former youth minister at Freedom Baptist Church in Campbellsville—traveled from his home to the victim’s residence, according to a press release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

    Richerson then picked up the victim and drove her to a nearby location where they kissed. Six days later, he again made the trip to Madison County. “They went on a motorcycle ride together and when they were alone together, the defendant digitally penetrated the 14-year-old female and she rubbed his penis,” the plea agreement states.

    A Man Named Brad Wonders…

    posted by on November 4 at 9:26 AM


    A question, to which I suspect many Slog readers are searching for an answer:

    Where’s the best place in Seattle to get a bloody mary with breakfast on a Tuesday?

    It shouldn’t be so difficult to answer this one, but seemingly it is.

    Thank you.

    Well, Brad, here is a piece that the lovely Marti Jonjak wrote on the topic of bloody marys (or would that be bloodies mary?); however, I don’t believe any of these places are open before 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Two places spring to mind that are: the Mecca and Cafe Presse.

    Marxism Rising

    posted by on November 4 at 9:24 AM

    Forget Obama’s purported “socialism”—historians are saying the current crisis of capitalism is going to drive all governments towards statist economic policy.

    “Laissez-faire, c’est fini,” said President Nicolas Sarkozy. “We will intervene massively whenever a strategic enterprise needs our money.”

    Such language can now be heard daily across Europe. It can only intensify as the fall-out from the EU’s €1.8bn trillion (£1.4 trillion) bank rescue becomes clearer, and as Europe’s elites discover that their own banks are the most leveraged in the world and have played their own Wagnerian part in Gotterdammerung.
    Professor Hobsbawm, who spent his youth watching Hitler’s rise in Berlin, has a warning for those who think this will help the Left in any recognizable form. “In the 1930s, the net political effect of the Depression was to enormously strengthen the Right,” he said.

    More at the Telegraph.

    RIP Tuba Man (and Rot in Hell, Tuba-Man Assaulters)

    posted by on November 4 at 9:22 AM


    Edward McMichael—aka the Seattle Center Tuba Man—died this weekend after a brutal assault.

    (Thanks for the pic, Scott Eklund/Seattle P-I.)

    Your Polling Place

    posted by on November 4 at 9:16 AM

    Slog tipper Jezbian has made an awesome Google map of all 392 polling places in King County. You can also find your personal polling place at the King County Elections web site, or at the Secretary of State’s office. (The KC link appears to be down right now, but you can enter your address on the sample ballot link to the right side of the main elections page.

    She also wants us to let you know that writing in a candidate is a big ol’ waste of your and King County election workers’ time. On the other hand, it can be satisfying, especially in races where you aren’t thrilled with either candidate…


    Family Values

    posted by on November 4 at 9:15 AM

    Last week on the “Savage Lovecast”—my weekly podcast that features all original questions from listeners—I took a call from a young gay kid in California. Jordan was out to his immediate family, and his mom and dad were planning to vote against Proposition 8, the initiative on the ballot today in California that would ban same-sex marriage in that state. The kid wasn’t out, however, to his extended family—aunts, uncles, grandparents—and he was worried that many of his relatives would be voting for Prop 8. He asked me if he should come out to his extended family and ask them to vote against Prop 8. I told him he should come out to them before the election because they were going to find out sooner or later, so why not now? Why not give them the opportunity to do the right thing?

    Well, the kid came out to his whole family. You can hear how it went by clicking here.

    UPDATE: The final polling on Prop 8 (via Sullivan)….


    The polls in California are looking good—thanks in part to you, Jordan. Full marriage equality comes to Connecticut on November 12. If Democrats gain control of the New York State Senate, marriage equality could come to New York—which already recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states—early next year. Obama has promised to work toward a repeal of DOMA, which, if he’s successful, would make the federal rights and responsibilities of marriage available to same-sex couples who live in states with marriage equality.

    What of Washington state? If Dino Rossi wins today—thanks Help’s husband—our state’s gradual movement toward full marriage equality for same-sex couples, successfully pushed by state Sen. Ed Murray and state Rep. Jamie Pedersen in the wake of the Washington state Supreme Court’s appallingly bigoted ruling against marriage equality, will come to a screeching halt. Rossi says he isn’t “running on” the issue of same-sex marriage, but he will veto a gay marriage bill and, most likely, any further expansion of Washington state’s domestic partnership law.

    Vote Gregoire.

    Remember When James Carville Was Human?

    posted by on November 4 at 9:13 AM

    Remember how good a documentary The War Room was? I hope someone gave a speech like this at Obama HQ last night.

    Art Letter from D.C.

    posted by on November 4 at 9:07 AM

    Slog reader and artist Alison Spain emailed to say that this is “where I was living” yesterday and for weeks beforehand (landscape by Anselm Kiefer):


    This morning she voted at 7 am “with my siblings, grandma & folks in the DC area. I am now living here” (landscape by Georgia O’Keeffe):


    The Internet is a Race…

    posted by on November 4 at 9:05 AM

    …and this YouTube video has already been viewed 1.75 million times. But I didn’t see it until Slog tipper Naters sent it to me just now. No doubt you’ve already seen it—which means YOU WON! The Internet is a race and YOU WON! But here’s the video for other stragglers…

    My Predictions

    posted by on November 4 at 9:01 AM


    (Image taken this morning from the bus, whose driver honked like crazy at the “Mass Transit Now” sign-wavers at MLK and Rainier but just flashed her lights at these Democrats… presumably because bus drivers are supposed to be nonpartisan.)

    Predictions in contested/close races are below the jump, in deference to the superstitious.

    Continue reading "My Predictions" »

    The Morning News

    posted by on November 4 at 8:39 AM

    Hell on wheels: Man in wheelchair sought in sexual assault in Seattle, another man in another wheelchair found sitting on a cache of guns in Boston.

    Hell on wheels 2: Pennsylvania man arrested for DUI twice in six hours.

    Hell on wheels 3: No one is buying cars.

    Third probe’s a charm?: Second probe clears Sarah Palin of Troopergate wrongdoing.

    Never again will you wonder where your bitches be at: Feminist-angering lingerie comes equipped with GPS.

    This just doesn’t seem right: Study finds women much germier than men.

    Why must everything I love be forbidden?: Ear experts discourage use of cotton swabs.

    While the rest of the nation frets about the election: The Supreme Court will hear arguments about the dirty words you can’t say on television.

    Speaking of the Supremes, here’s today’s dose of election-anxiety-mitigating musical uplift. (If you’re looking for Diana Ross, you will not find her, as by this point she’d fled the group for her ever-less-interesting solo career. Good riddance, I say—skinny bitch would’ve never climbed a ladder to a roof, unless Berry Gordy airlifted her in a mink helicopter. These Supremes are Jean Terrell, Mary Wilson, and Cindy Birdsong.)

    Vote vote vote!

    Gregoire v. Rossi: An Intervention

    posted by on November 4 at 8:37 AM

    “Help” writes in comments

    I need help! My husband told me this morning he wants to vote Obama-Rossi! I need information to show him this is a terrible idea. I already brought up the choice issue, but he doesn’t think the governor has any control over that. Any ideas?

    Help should tell her husband that governor’s offices are launching pads to national offices, where Rossi would have an impact on choice issues. Also, access to birth control, morning-after pills, fundy pharmacists denying women medication, sex education—these are all “choice issues” that the governor DOES have control over.

    Got some advice for Help’s husband? Toss it up in comments and Help will make sure her husband reads it.


    posted by on November 4 at 8:30 AM


    ALSO: Want some free Obama swag? Show up at our party with a donation for the White Center Food Bank and a local Obama fan will give you buttons, rally signs, and stickers according to your contribution. A can of food = one official Obama item of your choice. A jar of jelly or jam = two official Obama items of your choice. (Because food banks always have plenty of peanut butter, but apparently not enough jelly.) An entire bag of non-perishable groceries = something very special, I’m sure. (For your shopping list: items that are especially needed include the aforementioned jam and jelly, and also cereal, beans, rice, canned meat [everything but tuna], and dry goods such as Hamburger Helper and Rice a Roni.)

    See you there!

    The Chicago River Flows Uphill

    posted by on November 4 at 8:30 AM

    But it won’t have any boats on it later today; the Coast Guard is shutting it down for “security reasons.” The nearest the Chicago River gets to the site of the Obama rally is about a half mile.

    More local coverage here

    Dedicate Your Vote

    posted by on November 4 at 8:25 AM

    There’s a website where you can dedicate your vote to someone. The Chicago Sun-Times religion writer Cathleen Falsani did so for Studs Terkel. Check out her column, with a brilliant quotation from Studs about the last time Americans voted in the midst of a Depression.

    Letters from Seattle

    posted by on November 4 at 8:12 AM

    We’re going to do some open threads pretty soon for all of our Seattle readers to report on their polling place experiences, but until then, some letters from our soggy city:

    6:45 am at Northgate - line going out the door already. 7:05 in the voting room - all booths full, lines for booths three people deep. Never thought I’d want to take a picture of me and a ballot before. I wish I had volunteered to work at a polling place, I want to be around that kind of vibe all day long! Don’t care if you post this - just wanted to say that I love the letters you are putting up.

    Anya Illes

    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Continue reading "Letters from Seattle" »

    Where To Find the Pro-Family Perspective

    posted by on November 4 at 8:04 AM

    Pro-family, sure, but not necessarily pro-your-family.

    It’s finally here! Election Day has arrived, and we invite you to our Election Night coverage at starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern to get news and analysis from a pro-family perspective.

    Here’s hoping that when we check in on CWfA tonight we can hear them sobbing for a change.

    Re: Group Show! How Are the Artists Feeling Today?

    posted by on November 4 at 8:01 AM

    Yesterday I posted artworks that artists said represented how they’re feeling on the eve of the election.

    I had a latecomer last night who’s worth adding: Jeffry Mitchell. His choice is this 1964 seether by Vija Celmins.


    If Prosecutors Had Their Way, Teen Shot At Garfield High School Would’ve Been in Jail

    posted by on November 4 at 8:00 AM

    If King County Prosecutors had gotten the sentence they’d asked for when they filed burglary, possession of stolen property and vehicle prowls charges against 15-year-old Quincy Coleman, he would’ve been in jail instead out on the street in front of Garfield High School where Coleman was shot and killed on Friday.

    Last September, Court records say prosecutors, along with Coleman’s probation counselor, recommended a 52-65 week sentence for the charges, which included a February 2008 break in at a Capitol Hill home.

    Instead, Judge Carol Schapira gave Coleman one year of supervision, 400 hours of community service, mandatory counseling and a 4:30pm curfew.

    Court records show Coleman had been in trouble before for multiple trespassing, burglary and drug charges and his Myspace page features a photo of Coleman cradling a handgun, along with pictures of stacks of cash, drugs and a pit bull and references to the Bloods street gang. Coleman’s death is being investigated by SPD’s gang unit.

    With such a long rap sheet, it’s unclear why Coleman was out on the street instead of in juvenile detention receiving treatment.

    The city has been making moves—such as Mayor Greg Nickels’ Youth Violence Prevention Initiative—to crack down on and prevent any further surge in what council member Tim Burgess describes as “a serious gang crisis.”

    “We need to acknowledge—publicly, out loud—that we have a serious gang crisis in our city,” Burgess wrote on his blog yesterday. “There are likely fewer than 100 individuals in Seattle responsible for the vast majority of the youth violence we are experiencing. We need to identify and target these individuals for proactive policing and aggressive prosecution.”

    Coleman’s record doesn’t link him to any violent crimes, but he’s just one of several kids—like Pierre LaPoint—who’ve been spit out of the juvenile court system in the last year who end up right back in danger or in trouble.

    Clearly the city has its work cut out for it if it intends to crack down and prevent youth crime. A large part of that might be coordinating with the already overburdened juvenile court system to find out why kids are getting back out on the street before they’re ready or before it safe.

    Letter From Chicago

    posted by on November 4 at 7:40 AM

    ballot%20receipt.jpgI’ll save Eli one posting… got to my polling place at 7:30, as usual. No line, but I was the 30th person in my precinct to vote—normally, I arrive there and am among the first five to vote. My precinct includes many college students, so I suspect the lines will be longer later. No electioneering outside, just a lonesome dog tied to a post, with a plastic bag, already filled, dangling from the same post. My main thought: Man, let’s throw that sack of shit out. And whoever owns that dog oughta do the same.

    Chicago updates will start around 4:30 pm Seattle time. First stop: someone who lives across the street from Obama.

    Letter from Oklahoma City

    posted by on November 4 at 7:34 AM

    Usually on election day, I get to my polling place and walk right in. There are the elderly poll workers, but at 7:30 a.m., it’s just me and them.

    Today? Packed. Lines out the door. Now, I’m a Democrat and I cast my futile ballot for Obama in a state he has no chance of winning. I live in a fairly mixed-race area of Oklahoma City, but I was so happy to see as many black voters as white and so many people eager to vote, to let their voices be heard, even though we Democrats are so far outnumbered.

    It took an hour to get from the parking lot to my cardboard privacy booth, but I would have gladly waited two or three hours. Hell – all day, if it took that long. I can’t wait to tell my children that I voted for the first black POTUS and that it was a turning point for all sorts of freedoms and equalities to come.

    Greg Elwell
    Oklahoma City

    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Nebraska

    posted by on November 4 at 7:33 AM

    I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, the heart of one of the reddest states in the country. I have voted in the same polling location for the last 8 years. Every election, my wife and I are the first two people at the poll when it opens (we like to vote immediately). Today, when we arrived a half-hour before the polling place opened, there were already fourteen people in line. The poll workers were astonished, my wife and I were shocked – and the line kept growing. When we left, after voting, the line was longer than it was when we got there. This has NEVER happened before.

    Ahead of us in line was three-generations of an African American family. It was the first time voting for all three of them. The youngest, who graduated high school last year, was calling his friends and getting them out of bed while we waited in line. He was describing the polling place and giving directions for getting there. After he voted, he had probably the biggest grin I’ve ever seen and the poll workers (all over 65 and white) were shaking his hand and congratulating him for voting. I love voting and vote in every election, but I will never forget seeing his smile and I have a suspicion that I will see him again at the next election.

    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Kansas City

    posted by on November 4 at 7:29 AM

    We showed up at 6:15 this morning to our polling location in central Kansas City, Missouri. There were about 150 people in line. The line didn’t move for 15 minutes before a girl when a green shirt with the Obama logo in white that said “voting rights advocate” told us that the election representatives inside had the wrong books - the ones without our names in them. She told us that as long as we had our voter ID#s we would be able to vote. As soon as she said that people were sharing their phones and blackberries to either call the election board or get on their website. Soon as we got organized, the line started moving. It took almost two hours to vote, but I was thrilled when we finally got in and I got to darken the circle next to Obama’s name.

    Oh and PS - our voting location is at a senior citizen “community”, but 95% of the people in line looked to be under 30.


    April Fleming
    Kansas City, Missouri

    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Mobile

    posted by on November 4 at 7:25 AM

    Dear Eli,

    I live in deep red Mobile, Alabama. I know the polls have McCain leading by 20+ here, but I just don’t care! I’m fifth in line at my poll, the doors open in twenty minutes and I CANNOT WAIT TO VOTE!!! I can feel the change coming from the other parts of the country and I’m confident it’ll be enough to counterbalance my racist and regressive brethren.


    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Lovely Weather

    posted by on November 4 at 7:23 AM


    Man, it looks like a great day for standing in long lines outside polling places…

    Letter from Louisville

    posted by on November 4 at 7:22 AM

    Eli -

    Just thought I’d add a report from a red state. I arrived at my tiny polling place at 5:45 this morning, and there were already about 30 people in line. Everyone was giddy and happy and hopeful, and the air was overwhelmingly pro-Obama. (Granted, I live in one of the only counties to vote Kerry in 2004, and one of only 2 that voted Obama over Hillary in the primary, but still…)

    People were excitedly looking down the street as the line grew and grew. The older lady in front of me even turned around and said, “Wouldn’t it be great if Kentucky went in another direction?” I told her I would weep with joy if that happened. Another gentleman said that he hadn’t seen anything like that kind of turnout since the election in 1960 when everyone was excited about JFK.

    As I was driving away about 45 minutes after my arrival, I felt a rush of pride in my cynical heart: pride at what our country once was, and what we hopefully will be again. I know my state will probably stick with the status quo, but I’m desperately hopeful that the country as a whole will prove to the rest of the world that, despite the last 8 years, we don’t WANT to be the bad guys.

    I know this isn’t a very interesting story compared to the throngs of reports you are no doubt receiving, but I thought I’d take a chance to let you and your readers know that even in the Red States there are people with hope. A lot of it.


    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Abidjan

    posted by on November 4 at 7:16 AM

    Hi Sloggers,

    I’m writing from Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. I received my absentee ballot from the friendly and efficient Whatcom County Elections people via email and dropped it off last week at the U.S. embassy here, which has nicely offered to send ballots through the diplomatic pouch. My experience was relatively painless compared to some of the other U.S. citizens here who had a harder time exercising their right to vote.

    Now I am just hoping my ballot arrives in time to help keep Dino the Dinosaur out of the governor’s mansion. On a more selfish note, I am sure hoping that Obama really wins (it still seems too good to be true) and I can take part in the huge celebration this continent will throw in his honor. I figure that an Obama win has got to be good for free drinks for Americans for the next four weeks.


    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Brazil

    posted by on November 4 at 7:11 AM

    Hey Eli,

    It is with great pride all the way from Florianópolis, Brasil, that I report that the 6 Americans I know here (including Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Texas!) have voted weeks ago for Barack Obama. We are all anxiously awaiting today’s results and will be glued to the net (no live TV coverage here) all night tonight drinking beer and caipirinhas!

    My students from English class can’t ask enough questions about this race. And, I, for one, am looking forward to changing my introduction from, “I’m American, but please don’t hold it against me — I don’t like GW either.” to “I’m American, and I voted for Obama.”

    -Nick D’Agostino

    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letters from All Over

    posted by on November 4 at 6:00 AM

    It started with an unsolicited letter from Saudi Arabia. Now, less than a day later, we have letters from American citizens all over the world, and all across the United States, telling us about what it was like to finally cast their ballots in this endless, epochal race for the presidency.

    Scroll back on Slog and you’ll find them, in all their hopeful, idiosyncratic glory, written from places such as British Columbia, Colorado, Paris, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Atlanta, Massachusetts, Glasgow, Australia, Missouri, Argentina, Montreal, Amherst, Japan, New Delhi, Los Angeles, Malawi, and, of course, Washington State.

    So far these letters have all been tales of votes cast via absentee ballot. But now that it’s Election Day, I’m hoping to get tales of votes cast at polling places as well. So if you’ve had, or end up having, a compelling voting experience that you want to share, please send it to me.

    I can’t post all of the letters here on Slog due to the volume, but I’ll post the best of them throughout the day as we wait for tonight’s results.

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    Letter from Malawi

    posted by on November 3 at 11:20 PM

    Hi Eli,

    I’m an education volunteer in a rural area of southern Malawi.

    Throughout this election - during the primary and the general - almost everyone here in the village of Namitembo has been paying close attention to Obama’s progress. Often times, when I go out for a morning walk, I’ll hear the latest election news from a teacher, one of my students, the local tailor, or one of the many, many subsistence farmers that lives around here. Just this morning, a shoesmith from the nearby trading centre stopped me to ask if I thought Obama could win McCain’s home state of Arizona.

    I filled out my ballot in the 7th grade classroom where I teach part-time, and all the students (along with the headmaster and a teacher from the class next door) huddled around to watch. The BBC World Service will be issuing regular updates on the radio as the polls close tonight; I know quite a few people here who’ll be staying up late to listen.


    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Los Angeles

    posted by on November 3 at 10:55 PM

    Hola Sloggers and Slogettes,

    I voted absentee from Southern California a few weeks ago, but I’m still registered in Washington. I moved down here just in time for the economy to collapse and the unemployment rate to shoot up to 8% (…and that’s 8% I’m now part of).

    My anxiety about the election is not who will win, but if our democracy will ever be rescued. So I polished off a bottle of three dollar wine, read up on the issues and filled out my ballot. I was so disenchanted by the end of it I was voting for Judge Reinhold and Mike Judge as write-ins for the unopposed Judge positions. Maybe next year I’ll get around to registering in California.

    As liberal as the Los Angeles area is, I’m still kind of creeped out when I go jogging by houses with pro Prop-8 signs (to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry). Wooo bigotry!


    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Kansas City

    posted by on November 3 at 10:51 PM

    I’ve enjoyed reading letters from all over - dunno if this one will be as interesting, but thought I’d share too.

    We live in Kansas City, Missouri. We’re excited (and nervous) to be in a swing state with no early voting. We got a car full of gays and girls hitting up our polling station at 6am when it opens, and we can’t wait. We’ve got emails and texts going out tomorrow morning to remind all of our friends - not that they need it, the Obama volunteers have been all over our asses for days.

    We’ll do our part to push our state, kicking and screaming, into the blue.


    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    Did We Have a Crank Party at 7:00 am This Morning? I Can Barely Remember

    posted by on November 3 at 10:15 PM

    From Slog reader Wisepunk:

    Holy fuck, did you people have a crank party at 7 am this morning? I think I counted 90 posts to slog today! I think it might be time to pull a huff po and divide up the blog. Or is this the pre-orgasmic build up to your collective election wad being shot? If this keeps up I feel that the rss reader on my new iPhone is going to get a lot more usage.

    Letter from New Delhi

    posted by on November 3 at 10:10 PM

    I voted absentee from New Delhi a couple weeks ago. It was a bit of a hassle with forms and emails going back and forth between myself and the Chicago Elections Commission (some confusion about my address in Chicago or something), but so very, very worth it. While I realize my vote doesn’t count that much (a Dem from Chicago, how original…), I was so proud to at least be part of the process.

    I was living in Australia at the time of the last Presidential election and wasn’t of-age before that, so I’ve never actually voted for President at a polling place in the US, an experience I certainly hope to have next time around. A handful of the expats here are planning to get up at 6am tomorrow to watch streaming results online. If things go well, I will be deeply sad not to be there to watch my city celebrate; if things go badly — god forbid — I will be prefectly content to be thousands of miles away from Grant Park…

    Thanks for profiling these stories - especially those from Americans abroad. It makes this midwestern girl living in India feel very connected.


    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Japan

    posted by on November 3 at 10:08 PM

    Hi Sloggers,

    Two weeks ago I cast my ballot from the U.S. Navy Base in Yokosuka, Japan. My husband serves in Navy Band Seventh Fleet here (tunes not bombs!) and it was thrilling to fill in the “Obama/Biden” spot and help elect his new boss. Everyone I’ve talked to on the base is voting for Obama, and the Japanese agree. My spouse votes in your state, so he also got to support I-1000 and death with dignity in Washington.

    Since we don’t have time to go to the town of Obama, we will spend tomorrow morning (Tuesday evening in the U.S.) glued to the coverage and praying for decisive, progressive victory.


    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Amherst

    posted by on November 3 at 10:05 PM

    Hi Eli,

    I’m 20, so this is my first presidential election. I filled out my absentee ballot while home this weekend (my hometown is only about 100 miles from UMass Amherst, where I go to school). I hadn’t been planning on voting for Obama; instead, I had planned on voting for Cynthia McKinney, hoping to send a message to the Democrats to move just a little further to the left. Massachusetts is a safe blue state, after all. However, when it came time to fill in the bubble, I realized that I wanted to be able to tell my children that I cast my first presidential ballot for this historic candidate, and so I filled in the bubble next to “Obama-Biden.”

    I’m voting for Obama because I’ve been afraid that my generation has been cheated out of the American Dream; Barack Obama has given me hope that maybe we can reclaim it.

    -Dan from MA

    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Canberra

    posted by on November 3 at 9:56 PM

    Hey there—

    I’m really enjoying the election coverage on Slog. Keep it up!

    I’m a Tacoma native and recently moved to Canberra, Australia for a three-year research post. I miss the heck out of the states, especially right now— wish I could be there to vote in person. Canberra has a pretty international workforce but not so many Americans, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this sign just down the street from my house. In a small city, in the middle of nowhere, on the other side of the world, we’re hopin’.

    Fingers crossed,


    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from an Imaginary Girl

    posted by on November 3 at 9:52 PM

    Hey Eli!

    I love that you’re compiling these.

    I just wanted to add yet another “I had my child with me to mark the historic occasion of voting for the amazing Barack Obama.” She’s a little too young to actually hold the pen, but she helped. Photo attached.

    Thanks for all you do, and GOBAMA!!!

    Dana (and Ainsley)


    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Montreal

    posted by on November 3 at 9:45 PM

    Hey Eli,

    I’m from Massachusetts, but I go to school in Montreal, and I can’t tell you how many of my Canadian friends are so impressed and inspired by Obama. How many students and even professors, upon learning that I am American, smile at me when I say that I voted for Obama. The day after the election four years ago, I came to school dejected and depressed. On Wednesday I hope to go to school proud, and very happily hungover.

    - Simone

    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    Letter from Argentina

    posted by on November 3 at 9:41 PM

    Hey Eli-

    I´m a Whatcom County voter living and studying abroad in Argentina. I sent off my absentee ballot a few weeks ago… I was so excited to vote, and to vote for Obama! It amazes (and inspires) me how much people here pay attention to US politics. Every cabbie I get a ride from asks me about Obama, and all the cheesy night time talk shows say something or other about him - the argentines flippin´ love him! Me too.

    Tomorrow we´re having an election party! Have fun in the USofA, please. So excited…


    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    The Results Are In…

    posted by on November 3 at 9:26 PM

    …And Dixville Notch, the New Hampshire town that’s famous for always being the first town in America to vote, has gone overwhelmingly for Obama, the first time the town has picked a Democrat in 40 years:

    Dixville Notch, NH (AHN) - The town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, with a population of around 75 people and only 21 registered voters, has picked Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to be the next president of the United States. Obama defeated Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by a margin of 15 votes to 6.

    Dixville Notch has a Republican history, voting for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, while previously voting for both President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Bob Dole in 1996.

    This means nothing, I’m sure, but I’m happy the first bit of news out of election day is positive.

    Omens and Portents

    posted by on November 3 at 8:51 PM

    Obama Defeats McCain, 23 to 6.

    Also? 98.1% to 1.9%:



    I am resorting to superstition and statistics. This is the peak of my anxiety.

    ESPN’s Moronic Interview With the Candidates

    posted by on November 3 at 7:53 PM

    Obama and McCain just showed up in the middle of my football game. I’d rather have gotten some news on Kyle Orton’s ankle. My fantasy team could be in trouble!

    I was under the impression that the interviews w be live. Instead, I got two bland, obnoxious taped interviews with questions like “What did you learn about yourself [on the campaign trail?” and “if you could change one thing in sports, what would it be?”


    Here’s a rundown of the Q&A:

    Berman: What did you learn about yourself?

    Obama: “I don’t get too high when things are going well and I don’t get too low when things are tough. We just try to run our game plan and don’t get distracted too much.”

    I was getting a beer and missed McCain’s answer. Sorry.

    Berman: “If you could change one thing in sports, what would that be?”

    Obama: “I think it’s about time we had playoffs in college football.”

    I actually kind of dug this answer and he said it like he meant it and it’s a legitimate point of debate amongst sports nerds. McCain, on the other hand, got all crazy and hawkish.

    McCain: “I’d take significant action to prevent the use of performance enhancing drugs. Right now…someone’s trying to develop something that can’t be detected. I think it can attack the very integrity of all sports going down to high school.”

    Wooooo! War on drugs!!!

    On top of the general craziness of the answer, McCain said it in a way that seemed to imply that steroid manufacturers are just below Al-Qaeda on the totally-fucking-evil scale.

    Berman: “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in the sports world?”

    Obama, talking about his college(?) basketball coach: “He said to me, look, it’s not about you, it’s about the team. It took me awhile to really understand that.”

    McCain:”I think the most important lesson was, you’ve always got to do the honorable thing. Even when nobody’s looking. Maybe nobody will know, but you’ll know.”

    Berman also asked Gramps—but not Obama—what the one personal quality McCain wanted people to know about:

    McCain, in Chris Berman’s obnoxious sportscaster style: “He. Could. Go. All. The. Way. To the White House.”

    The whole thing ended with Berman telling McCain that the Arizona Cardinals’ rise to the top of the NFC West could be an omen for his chances tomorrow. Then Gramps quoted one of his contemporaries:

    McCain:: “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”


    UPDATE: The Steelers D punched traitorous Jim Zorn in the dick for four quarters. Final score: 23-6. It absolutely killed my fantasy team, but if it means a win for Obama I’ll cope.


    Letter from Missouri

    posted by on November 3 at 7:30 PM

    I waited in line for about an hour, and stared at the screen for about 30 seconds, just savoring the moment I voted for Barack Obama.

    Like the letter from Saudi Arabia [which started all of this off], it is my memory of hope.

    Mike in MO

    Send a letter about your voting experience here.

    Lies and Damn Lies (Gregoire and Transit Edition)

    posted by on November 3 at 7:10 PM

    Although a frequently-cited Washington Poll has shown the Mass Transit Now light-rail expansion measure failing by eight percent (and Gregoire leading by a within-the-margin-of-error two percent), those numbers demand, at least, a little context. For statewide races like Gregoire’s, the poll surveyed just 387 voters—about a third as many voters as as were surveyed in the poll on Mayor Greg Nickels I cited this morning. That’s a margin of error of about five percent. For the mass-transit expansion measure, Proposition One, most of those who responded to the poll didn’t even live in the Sound Transit taxing district. If you narrow the poll to those who actually live in the district, several sources who’ve looked at poll results in detail report, you end up with only about 130 people. Although the poll sets the margin of error for the mass transit race at about seven percent, it’s hard to imagine that 130 people are truly representative of a taxing district of millions… which is why I’m optimistic (with apologies to the superstitious) about Proposition 1’s chances at the polls tomorrow.

    Letter from Australia

    posted by on November 3 at 7:08 PM

    Alas, I am not an American citizen. If I were, I’d be able to cast an absentee ballot from my home in Brisbane, Australia and vote for Barack Obama.

    Like every other country in the world (including, I’m delighted to say, the USA), Australia is overwhelmingly behind Obama.

    Why do we care so much? Why have I followed every sling and arrow of Barack’s outrageous fortune over the last 2 years with excitement and hope? Why have I invested more time and emotional energy in your election than in my own? Because your President affects our lives more profoundly than anyone living in the USA can imagine.

    I ask you to imagine for a minute, leaving domestic issues aside for a minute, what a different place the world might be today if Al Gore had won in 2000. How many of those who have died in the last 8 years might still be alive today? How might the plight of the world’s poorest and underprivileged have been improved? How many voices, silenced or overborne by Bush’s foreign policy priorities, might have been heard? How might the middle east look now? Iraq? How might democratic progress in Iran have played out if Bush’s aggressive policies not scared the voting population into electing Ahmadinejad? How fearful might we be today about Al Qaeda and the threat of terrorism? How might the pace of climate change in the world have been slowed?

    Thank you America for voting for Obama. The world is going to change tomorrow. And I for one can’t wait…

    Keep on sending these.

    Two Letters from Washington State

    posted by on November 3 at 6:46 PM

    Both with a similar theme:

    I let my eight year old daughter fill in the Obama circle on my absentee ballot because I wanted her to be connected to this historic moment, and feel empowered by the value of participation.


    On Thursday I opened up my absentee ballot and filled in everything but the presidential race. Then I called over my 6-year old daughter and she laid her hand on top of mine as together we drew the line connecting the arrow to cast the vote for Barack Obama.

    Kirsti Thomas
    Tacoma, WA

    Send me a letter about your voting experience here.

    Chicago Builds New Monorail for Obama

    posted by on November 3 at 6:44 PM

    OK, not quite, but Chicago’s public transit directors know that with summer-like weather and the potential for an Obama victory, they have to keep the trains running. On time, as a sop to the Fascists.

    Letter from Glasgow

    posted by on November 3 at 6:29 PM

    I’m an Scottish student living in Glasgow, but by virtue of my American mother, I have dual citizenship. I’m registered to vote in Pierce County, where my grandmother, a staunch Republican lives. For years she’s complained that she and my mother cancel each other’s votes out; now, my vote tips the balance towards to the Democrats.

    Despite living in Scotland, I have a good track record at seeing the candidates speak. In 2004, I was working in Porltand, OR for the summer when John Kerry came to town. This summer, I was traveling around Europe, and by coincidence was in Berlin for Barack Obama’s speech. Kerry’s was fun to be at, but in retrospect, pretty forgettable. Obama is a great public speaker, and the atmosphere in the Tiergarten was electric. I never thought I’d be in the middle of Germany with 200,000 other pro-American Europeans. The difference from when President Bush had his state visit to the UK in 2003 is impossible to over state.

    Late tomorrow night, I’ll be watching the results with friends. I’ll be the only one who has voted, but I doubt anyone will be even slightly less excited than I will be.


    More, please.

    Letter from Massachusetts

    posted by on November 3 at 6:28 PM

    My polling place is glowing.

    I passed it on the way home from work tonight. It’s in a firehouse with big glass doors. The trucks have been relocated from two bays and there were a lot of voting booths set up and all lit up inside. It made me smile to see it and excited to get there first thing in the morning. I tried to take some photos, but it’s too dark and my camera isn’t that good. It’s better to just imagine it, a beacon for democracy.

    I had the thought today to make a “Just Voted” sign for my car, sort of like “Just Married”. We’ll see what I can find.

    Belmont, MA

    Send your letter here.

    Lettter from Atlanta

    posted by on November 3 at 6:25 PM

    Hi Eli!

    I voted early here in Atlanta, home of the national-news wait times. I got lucky: from parking to getting back in my car, it took two and a half hours. Mine was one of the shortest wait times any of my friends have had.

    I brought a camcorder in to tape my voting, and when I saw your call for letters on voting, I edited my footage into a response. Enjoy!

    Christin Clatterbuck

    Got a compelling voting experience story? Send it to me.

    Letter from Switzerland

    posted by on November 3 at 6:25 PM

    Hi Eli,

    I voted right here on my kitchen table in Basel, Switzerland. I don’t know what was more exciting: marking Obama for president or No on Prop 8. My fingers are still shaking even as I type this. All my flatmates wanted to touch the ballot, as if touching it would make it even more real. They passed it around with the fragility of a rose petal, held it up to the light, smelled it. We were all derailed by the sanctity of the moment. When I finally mailed it in the big yellow “Die Post” box at the central station, I couldn’t help but point it out to all the passing strangers. Of course some looked at me like a raving lunatic, but some looked at me with the fear that I had voted for McCain. They would ask, “did you vote for …?” and let it trail off instead of putting real words to their imagined fears.


    Keep ‘em coming.

    It’s the Family Values Party! Seriously!

    posted by on November 3 at 6:03 PM

    Wonkette posted a little round-up of extremely sensitive reactions to Madelyn Dunham’s death from the Free Republic.

    They’re all fucking bonkers, obviously:

    Seriously, has anyone actually seen this woman in recent years? If Obama has some of his thugs guarding her (and if there is, indeed, a body) I hope they do an autopsy to make sure Granny’s passing was a natural event.

    Murdered? It’s not murder when it’s for the chosen one. The dems will blame it on lack of universal health care and get a double bang for the buck. Obama will forgive her racism and find another family member to use and throw under the bus.

    But I particularly like this one:

    She was swindled into raising someone else’s child. I do not believe that hussein is half white.

    Because what, exactly, is the scenario you’re envisioning here, right-wing insane person? That one day, way back when, Obama’s mother was out shopping, and grabbed a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats, and went home to pour herself a bowl, but instead of delicious cereal an all-black baby fell out? And then she said, “Hmm, I have found this all-black baby. What should I do with it? I know, I’ll play a trick on mom!” And then she did!? FOR 47 YEARS? I just don’t know if you’ve thought this theory through, is all.

    Twenty Four Little Hours

    posted by on November 3 at 6:01 PM

    We could know who won this fucking thing by this time tomorrow.

    Beware the Crab People!

    posted by on November 3 at 6:00 PM

    This went up on Fortress of Solitude on Halloween, but I think the story still works as a nice pre-election-day diversion. It’s called “They Crawl by Night,” and it’s one of those weird twisty horror stories that used to be all the rage in the funnybook world:


    This particular twisty horror tale is especially noteworthy, though: It’s a collaboration by the always-wonderful Basil Wolverton and Dan Keyes, who would later write Flowers for Algernon. These are some pretty great comics.

    Council Approves Taller Buildings in Interbay

    posted by on November 3 at 5:45 PM

    The city council voted this afternoon 7-2 to allow residential buildings up to 85 feet in Interbay, the valley between Queen Anne and Magnolia. Previous regulations allowed only commercial buildings up to 40 feet. In effect, that limited development to big-box, auto-oriented retail. The new rules could allow Interbay to blossom into a small neighborhood.

    Even though the area is prime for more residential density—as per the city’s plan for tighter, concentrated development—the decision was controversial. Under the rules approved today, developers must include 17.5 percent of the added floor area, above the previous 40-foot limit, as “workforce housing” (units affordable to people making 80 percent of the county’s median income, or about $1,150 a month for a one-bedroom apartment). Affordable-housing advocates said developers should include over 20 percent, and the leading developer in the neighborhood, the Freehold Group, said that any requirement for affordable housing would render their building plans financially unfeasible. At a hearing last month, developers and activists formed an unlikely alliance to ask the council to delay the entire process.

    Undaunted, Council Member Sally Clark, chair of the planning and land use committee, struck a compromise to create the workforce housing requirement above and appease the Freehold Group. With the help of Council Member Richard Conlin, she included a provision that exempts the developer from paying city property taxes for the first 12 years.

    Seattle Public Utilities Does Not Negotiate With Terrorists Extortionists

    posted by on November 3 at 5:43 PM


    An employee for a garbage company that contracts with Seattle Public Utilities says he’s being extorted after losing a set of master keys used to gain access to dumpsters across the city.

    According to a police report filed on October 29th, the garbage company employee received a call from a man who told him he’d found the ring of keys said he’d return them if the city paid him $100.

    “We don’t pay ransom,” says Seattle Public Utilities spokesman Andy Ryan. “He said ‘no money no keys’ and we turned it over to [SPD]. They’re not marked so there’s no way he can know what they go to.”

    The police report says a detective was able to track the alleged extortionist’s cell phone, but police were unable to locate the man.

    The garbage company is contacting building managers to let them know that the security of their trash may have been compromised.

    Go, Dog. Go!

    posted by on November 3 at 5:38 PM

    Joe writes:

    this is a page from my little boy jonah’s favorite book, “go, dog. go!

    let’s hope it is prophetic.


    Obama! McCain! Football! Don’t Forget!

    posted by on November 3 at 5:33 PM

    In case you missed my heads up last week, Obama and McCain will be interviewed during ESPN’s Monday Night Football’s halftime show by the super-obnoxious Chris Berman, seen here:

    The Steelers/Redskins game—which could predict the outcome of the election—just started.

    Will Madelyn Dunham’s Vote Count?

    posted by on November 3 at 5:17 PM


    I was talking with a coworker earlier today about how sad it was for Barack Obama’s grandmother to have died on the day before the election. My coworker took the sadness one step further, wondering if Madelyn Dunham’s vote (she voted by early absentee ballot) would now not be counted.

    Not knowing the answer, I called the Office of Elections in Hawaii. Kevin Cronin, chief election officer for the state, just got back to me. Here’s what he said:

    Ms. Dunham’s absentee mail ballot was received and reviewed under the Hawaii standards for processing absentee mail ballots… She was alive at that time. Her ballot will be opened tomorrow, and it will be counted in the same way that all absentee voters would be treated under our law.

    The key point appears to be that Ms. Dunham was alive at the time her absentee ballot was received and reviewed, and that it met the standards for review at that time.

    Madelyn Dunham’s vote will count, even if she is not here to learn the final tally.

    Shots Fired on 27th and Jackson

    posted by on November 3 at 5:13 PM


    Seattle Police are swarming the Central District after receiving reports of gunfire near 27th and Jackson, about a half-mile away from where 15-year-old Quincy Coleman was shot and killed last Friday.

    Witnesses say a passenger in an SUV exchanged gunfire with another man on the street.

    SPD spokesman Mark Jamieson says it doesn’t appear anyone was injured.

    Update: Central District News has info on ANOTHER shooting on 19th and Main.

    Post Your Election Party Pictures!

    posted by on November 3 at 5:00 PM

    If you’re going to any sort of election party tomorrow, be sure to take pictures of all the celebrating, crying, drinking, eating, kissing, hugging, screaming, and/or general debauchery that goes on.

    While the Stranger Election Control Board is going to be reporting from all over the city, we most likely will not be in your living room, so share your celebrations with us! You can post your photos in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool, and we’ll be putting up your shots throughout the night Tuesday (and probably Wednesday too).

    Fuck You, Daylight Savings Time

    posted by on November 3 at 4:59 PM

    It’s 5pm, and it’s dark out. This was not worth the extra hour of bar time on Saturday.

    (Update: it’s been brought to my attention that there was no extra time at the bars this year—isn’t there usually? And yes, I’m mad at DST for leaving us, every year.)

    Obama on His Grandmother’s Death

    posted by on November 3 at 4:57 PM

    From an appearance today in North Carolina:

    Letter from Amsterdam

    posted by on November 3 at 4:23 PM

    The entire city is high on Oba-mania, and even though all of the big ticket events go till the morning (due to the time difference) - that didn’t stop them from being sold out. Even small pubs are breaking out their TVs as if the World Cup was on.

    One argument against Obama - that he was “just talk” - never caught on over here. Firstly, because they know that a skinny black dude with a funny name winning a US Presidential election will be an accomplishment of historic and unparalleled action. And secondly, because Europeans understand that the moment he steps into office, before any words are spoken at all, foreign relations worldwide will change for the better.

    Scott, living in Amsterdam

    More, please.

    Fun With Photoshop

    posted by on November 3 at 4:00 PM


    This and many more sci-fi and fantasy book titles edited for truth at Mighty God King here, here, and here.

    Many of these are very funny if you spent your teen years reading sci-fi and fantasy. But the second collection of these, when linked on BoingBoing, took down his server and rendered his site inactive for at last a week. They’re not that funny. (Although I have a special place in my heart for Knights Who Say “Fuck” and It Sure Would Be Cool if Your D&D Game Was for Really Real.)

    Hell Hath Frozen at the Seattle Times

    posted by on November 3 at 3:56 PM

    A source at the Seattle Times says the paper’s 100 layoffs announced earlier today stem from a bleak forecast for 2009—like most daily papers. A number of people just emerged from an editorial meeting, but there are no specifics yet on who will be cut from which departments. What we have heard is that the paper will be slimming down, and the Times plans to start offering front-of-section ads on main news. How long till we see ads on the front page?

    MORE: Folks at Fairview Fanny say the main news section has already consumed the business section; now they speculate that local news may get combined into the main news section, as well. They also think that the Lifestyle desk will be hit hard. NW Life and Arts & Entertainment have already been combined into one section—and the travel section may be folded in next.

    Letter from the Blur

    posted by on November 3 at 3:53 PM

    Nothing is really that compelling about my voting story (it was done absentee at the People’s Pub in Ballard). The real story is what is going to happen tomorrow. I hop on a plane at 8:30 am and will end my day at Grant Park in Chicago. I do happen be one of the 65,000 who have tickets to get beyond the gates. Why I bought the plane ticket? How I found out to email about attending the “celebration”? It is all a blur. I bet the next 48 hours will be the same. Right now my feelings are nausea, sugar-fueled panic and tense glee. Why am I doing this to myself?

    -Jessica Obrist, Seattle

    Send your voting experience letters to me here.

    Savage Love Letter of the Day

    posted by on November 3 at 3:50 PM

    I’ve been with my boyfriend 8 years, and the last few years we’ve become sexually bored. Well, I’m bored, he seems disinterested. I’m in my mid 30’s, he’s in his late 40’s, and his sex drive has always been lower than mine. But now we’re barely at once a month—not functional! There is affection and warmth, but no passion.

    The problem: We’re not indulging each others kinks. I’ve always been into being a sub but I have no desire to be topped by him. I’d like to try out the dom role—he’s expressed interest—but he wants me to fight him for dominance. Which is ridiculous being as he is twice my size and strength.

    And then there’s the food fetish. He would love to eat food off of my body, esp. my pussy. I consider myself GGG and would like to indulge him. Esp. as this could tap into my submissive side. However I am prone to yeast infections and worry about the health and safety of my pussy if he puts, say raw oysters or strawberries in/on my delicates. The real clincher: He’s gained at least 40 pounds since we hooked up. I find his eating of large portions of rich food repulsive, and now he wants to bring it into the bedroom? How can I find this erotic when his over eating turns me off?

    He’s a keeper is so so many ways. I really need your insight on this. Thanks so much.


    So… much… to… discuss…

    Your kinks: You can fight for dominance without having a physical fight. Monopoly? Winner doms? Or something sexier—Stratego? Gin? Connect Four? And he can eat stuff off you without having stuff anything into your delicates. Your health concerns, of course, are reasonable and should come first. He can also lay a piece of Saran Wrap over your pussy if he wants to slurp something off your twat. You can’t be expected to endure infections to indulge his kink.

    Weight gain: A real problem, considering your feelings about it. But… he’s aging, and bodies change. He should be conscious, however, of the risks of obesity—to his health and his love life, considering your feelings. He should be anxious to do something proactive about his weight for both of those reasons. And you could make it a delightful game: For every five pounds he loses, he gets to indulge his fetish—and you’ll buy the food, set it all up, and present him with a big fantasy-fulfilling spread.

    And, hey, strawberries and oysters aren’t exactly calorie-laden foods. Maybe you should be encouraging him to indulge his fetish so long as it replaces whatever he’s eating at meals currently.

    Group Show!: How Are the Artists Feeling Today?

    posted by on November 3 at 3:45 PM

    I called a bunch of artists this morning and asked to describe how they’re feeling on the eve of the election by choosing a work of art that represents their mood. Here’s what they came up with:

    Brad Biancardi (who’s right there in Chicago): Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper

    Claude Zervas: Salish basket

    Anne Mathern: Canned Heat doing “Going Up the Country”

    Margie Livingston: Giacometti, The Artist’s Mother

    Whiting Tennis: Nothing. No work of art is real enough, he said while driving on tour with his band (he was heading into Baltimore and has spent the last few weeks listening to the Christian radio stations of the south, which has been upsetting): “This is not about metaphor or aesthetics. I’m almost at the point of not breathing. It feels like a make-or-break thing for me. I don’t know if I could handle it if [Obama] doesn’t win.”

    Matt Browning: Dan Attoe’s Lightning storm above timberline (says in tiny letters at the top, “You still have some time”)

    Sherry Markovitz: One of Francis Bacon’s screaming popes

    Drew Daly: The Butthole Surfers, “Moving to Florida”

    Margot Quan Knight had already made her own Obama-related work:

    Here’s a photo I took recently. I was watching the Daily Show and they were joking about “small town values” and how “American” values change depending on who you talk to. I made a 3 x 4 foot glass quilt out of pieces of mirror. I hang it up vertically and photograph the reflection on the mirrors. The quilt is a blank, it only gets color from the surroundings. So I’m taking it to different people’s houses. This one was a test, during the first presidential debate.


    Jeffry Mitchell: Vija Celmins’s 1964 seether

    A Little Something to Take Your Mind Off the Election

    posted by on November 3 at 3:36 PM

    For the gay men and the ladies—and, yes, the guy in this video isn’t going to be hold universal appeal. Not all gay men and all ladies appreciate the same body types, ethnicities, eye colors, hair lenghts, etc., but try to enjoy nevertheless, okay?

    I’m right there with him until the legs bit. Via Towleroad’s Guide to the Tube.

    Now back to stressing out about the election…

    Time Waster of the Day

    posted by on November 3 at 3:34 PM

    Having trouble working through those pre-election jitters?

    Why not play a little Air Milf?

    Take to the skies with Alaska’s governor and eliminate those pesky wolves for big cash.


    Go for the high score!!!

    Shouldn’t You Wait for the Election?

    posted by on November 3 at 3:29 PM

    I can’t believe this exists already:


    I know “impeachment” isn’t just for presidents, but it’s good to know the machines are already being greased up. There’s an online petition for people to sign, too. I’m afraid to look and see how many people have already signed it.

    The Forces of Dimness

    posted by on November 3 at 3:10 PM


    Gay journalist Rex Wockner deserves the Purple Heart for attending a large “Yes on Prop 8” rally held at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium this weekend. (Although it wasn’t anywhere near as large as backers claimed.) You can read Wockner’s thoughts and check out his photos at his blog. But here’s the takeaway:

    Lots of words came into my head during my hours there: Cultlike. Brainwashing. Frenzied. Frightening. Depressing. But, interestingly, there wasn’t really any hate on display. They seemed to just want to “save” marriage. And, as for the homosexuals, they love us, they pray for us, they want us to be set free from sin and demons….

    Instead of explaining what it is that gays are going to do that will harm marriage, they talk about schools indoctrinating children and about churches losing their freedom-of-religion rights. Neither of these fears is reality-based, according to the state superintendent of public instruction, constitutional-law experts, and, well, according to just about everyone except the folks pushing Prop 8, which, if voters pass it Nov. 4, will amend California’s constitution to re-ban same-sex marriage, negating the California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage.

    It’s called “bearing false witness,” and it’s a sin—one of the biggies, right there in the Ten Commandments and everything. Unlike, you know, biblical condemnations of homosexuality.

    Speaking of cultlike: What the hell is going on in this picture? Why is everyone on their knees, foreheads pressed to the ground? Did a bad case of Islam break out at the Christers’ anti-gay rally or what?

    Letter from Paris

    posted by on November 3 at 3:10 PM

    Eli —

    I’m an American living in Paris. Like most Europeans, the French dig Obama. For the past two school years, I taught English in a high school in heavily immigrant areas of the suburbs, and when Obama first announced his candidacy my generally pessimistic students seemed to feel like new possibilities now existed for their own lives. The next school year, when I told them about voting in the Democrats Abroad primary on Super Tuesday, the excitement was once again palpable.

    Just last week, when I dropped my absentee ballot into a yellow La Poste box here in the 11th arrondissement where I live, the box was tagged with a racial slur. Perhaps silly or overemotional, but dropping a ballot marked for Obama into that tagged box made me feel like I was helping all of these kids feel like they could do anything, because Barack Hussein Obama just might become president of the United States.


    Keep ‘em coming.

    The Dustbin of History

    posted by on November 3 at 2:50 PM

    Archeologists have uncovered Martin Luther’s household waste, including beer mugs, toy marbles and a child’s crossbow. The find is being shown in a new exhibition that casts the religious reformer’s private life in a new light.

    Brother Martin, a stout man, was sitting on the toilet in the Wittenberg Monastery, wearing the black robe of the Augustinian Order, when he was suddenly struck with the fundamental concept of his reformist body of thought.

    More—including dead cats and his wife’s wedding ring—over at Der Spiegel.


    He Might Be Getting the “Don’t Let the Door Hit You in the Ass on the Way Out” Part Right

    posted by on November 3 at 2:50 PM

    We’re all excited to see Bush leave office. The shocking thing is that he might be preparing to leave gracefully, efficiently, and with maximum ease for his replacement:

    …Bush is engineering what may be the most carefully considered and potentially successful presidential transition in modern times, both Democrats and Republicans close to the process say.

    The president started the preparations last spring, ordering federal agencies to get ready for a new administration, with deadlines for various tasks. By August, White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten had persuaded representatives of Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama to join in. The advance work may get the new president off to a fast start, participants say.

    “I do feel pretty good about this one,” says Harrison Wellford, a former White House and congressional aide who has worked on presidential transitions since Jimmy Carter’s back in 1976 and is now advising Obama. “The White House and the agencies are doing a good job, learning from mistakes of the past.”

    Will wonders never fucking cease.

    Letter from Colorado

    posted by on November 3 at 2:45 PM

    Hi Eli

    I remember reading the stranger after the last elections (the blue archipelago article) and remember vividly the words you wrote about moving to purple states. That message has been in the back of my mind since I moved to Denver back in 2005, and may have played just a little role in my move. I wanted to let you know that I voted early last week, and I’ll let you guess who I voted for….

    Noah in Denver.

    Just to make sure the credit flows in the right direction, that piece was written by the Stranger editors at the time. I offered an updated look at the Urban Archipelago idea in 2006, here.

    But thank you, Noah, for the letter. More, please.

    Sign of The Times

    posted by on November 3 at 2:35 PM

    The Seattle Times is cutting their work force by about 10%, it was announced today.

    The Seattle Times Co. announced more cutbacks today, including a reduction of 130 to 150 staff positions through a combination of buyouts and layoffs…In a memo to staff, Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen and company President Carolyn Kelly blamed the moves on industry changes and the worldwide financial crisis. They said the company needs to adjust to structural changes that have reduced advertising revenue in all media. Even the growth of online revenue — previously a bright spot for the company — has stalled during the worldwide economic slowdown, Blethen and Kelly wrote.

    The company hinted there might be more cutbacks to come: “As the 2009 budgeting process continues, there will be additional expense reductions, which may include additional layoffs,” the memo stated.

    This is not good news for anyone.

    (Thanks to Slog tipper Susie.)

    The McCains on Obama’s Grandmother

    posted by on November 3 at 2:30 PM

    A truly decent statement from John and Cindy McCain after a truly heartbreaking turn of events:

    We offer our deepest condolences to Barack Obama and his family as they grieve the loss of their beloved grandmother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as they remember and celebrate the life of someone who had such a profound impact in their lives.

    Letter from Vancouver, B.C.

    posted by on November 3 at 2:25 PM

    Keep ‘em coming

    I’m Brian, an American citizen currently living in Vancouver, BC. As I’m sure you can imagine, Vancouver loves Obama; I did a fair amount of volunteering for the Canadian elections, and most of them were as curious about the American election as I was about the Canadian one.

    The same evening I filled out my absentee ballot, a friend came over to pick up some things. She’s very politically interested. I let her add more ink over my already-filled-in Obama bubble, and after she finished, she jumped up and down a couple of times and said, “That was more exciting than I thought it would be.”

    A lot of people in Vancouver are sad they can’t vote for Obama, but at least one Canadian got to cast a symbolic vote.


    Letter from Saudi Arabia

    posted by on November 3 at 2:15 PM

    This email, received a short time ago, reminds me of something…

    Hi Eli-

    I tried to post to your entry but was denied as I am logging in from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I have been in this country for four days. The entire country is in the tank for Obama. It has nothing to do with his “origins” and everything to do with their disgust with Bush. I voted and posted my ballot from here. Ballots are not a common sight in this country. As I finished filling in the circle for Obama/Biden I looked up to see this Saudi beaming at me with this huge smile of happiness. It is my memory of hope.

    Also, it’s been a nice surprise to be able to access the Slog from here. Obviously no one has told the Wahabists what you are up to. Thanks for the excellent coverage. And hi to the entire Stranger Staff.

    Lawrence Molloy

    …and what the letter reminds me of is this, a request I’ve been meaning to make: if you have a story about voting (by absentee ballot, in person at an early voting location, or, skipping ahead to the future, if something compelling happens tomorrow at your polling place) please write me and tell your tale. I’ll post the best of these here on Slog.

    Crime Is Actually Down in Southeast Seattle

    posted by on November 3 at 2:08 PM

    South Seattle residents have been freaking out over a perceived spike in violent crime in neighborhoods like New Holly, Rainier Beach and Beacon Hill in the last few months.

    In September, neighbors met with the SPD to talk about the supposed crime wave. The department wasn’t very forthcoming with info and was fairly non-committal about how much crime had increased, but SPD representatives assured neighbors that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

    Despite several high-profile shootings in the area and residents’ claims that they’re plaged by shootings, drug sales and prostitution happening in broad daylight, SPD’s statistics indicate that crime is actually down in Southeast Seattle.

    According to SPD records for the South Precinct—which covers everything between Georgetown and Lake Washington south if I-90—as of the end of September, there have been 821 assaults—including 401 shootings—193 strong-arm robberies, 120 burglaries and 9 murders.

    Last year, there were 1,214 assaults, 202 strong-arm robberies, 955 burglaries and 7 murders (statistics on shootings aren’t available) in the South Precinct. That’s 400 fewer assaults, and 800 fewer burglaries.

    In 2006 there were 1,388 assaults, 232 strong-arm robberies, 1218 burglaries and 6 murders.

    Yes, there has been an uptick in homicides but assaults and burglaries appear to be way down. Again, we’ve still got to get through November and December, but it would seem that Southeast Seattle isn’t under siege. Of course, there will be folks who believe that SPD isn’t accurately recording/reporting incidents or that people aren’t calling because they feel there isn’t an adequate police response or presence in the neighborhood.

    Despite the apparent drop in crime, someone fired at least 20 shots at a Beacon Hill home over the weekend.

    As long as things like this keep happening, people are going to stay scared.

    Tweedledee or Tweedledum? Tweedledumber!

    posted by on November 3 at 2:00 PM

    The first comment on Sean’s fabulous post this morning (My response: of course I’d still love Obama. I never had any use for Kerry, except that he wasn’t Bush, which clearly made him the best choice of the two. But I’ve been pulling for Obama since early aught-seven) is from the kind of doofus I didn’t think existed in 2008:

    I read your article, and also read this one afterward. This one is much more interesting… find it at

    The title is “Why Voting in the U.S. Election is a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME…”

    Posted by Syd | November 3, 2008 2:32 AM

    I’m not usually one to give any truck to trolls, but I went to the article Syd posted:

    The reality is that the two remaining political parties, the Democratic and Republican parties are in fact one, and the only reason that the ultimate step is never taken and the parties merged is that with one party to vote for and an election being completely superfluous, even Joe Sixpack would realize that he is living in a dictatership. So the 2 remaining parties continue to dumbbell around each other for ever, maintaining the thinnest facade of democracy, and controlling the country for their elitist masters via their duopoly of power.

    It’s exactly the kind of poorly spelled, completely unsubstantiated rambling that makes the internet such a great and entertaining place. Is it a sign of progress that people can look at these two candidates and say “There’s no difference between them?” Or are these people really callous enough to consider tens of thousands of dead Iraqis and American soldiers—which is almost undeniably the cost of choosing Bush over Gore in 2000—is not a discernable difference?

    Whatever. They’re complaining about the two-party system. I understand that complaint. I wish we had a good four or five parties. But just for you, Syd, I found a candidate you can get behind: Lee L. Mercer. Here’s a bit of his platform:

    1. The United States Federal Congress has encouraged me to want to become President of the United States so that I can do what the President of the United States of America is supposed to do and complete the federal and military government biography and autobiography in development in Eye Spy Community-Military Intelligence (All Three) Business and Commerce Intelligence Education across the board National and International. … 23. To Prove I have solved every crime in the world as it happens from zero to start to finish for every crime done in Business and Commerce Intelligence National and International.

    Look: There’s your candidate! He makes as much sense as your “interesting article,” Syd, and he is a marked difference between those two exact physical and ideological twins, John McCain and Barack Obama. Or is it John Obama and Barack McCain? I can never tell those two apart.

    Obama’s Grandmother Dies

    posted by on November 3 at 1:44 PM


    Just So You Know

    posted by on November 3 at 1:40 PM

    Barack Obama is cautiously optimistic. Just like most of you.

    From Our Archives: “The Long Winter”

    posted by on November 3 at 1:35 PM

    longwinter1103.jpgIllustration by Paul Hoppe

    I feel that this story, originally published about this time last year, is more than appropriate for this week’s “From Our Archives” given that a) it’s officially November and a cold, wet, dark winter is upon us and b) a man jumped from the Aurora Bridge this morning. “The Long Winter” is all about winter. And depression and suicide. And cookies.

    Two short excerpts:

    Suicide was the eighth cause of death in Washington State in 2005 according to the Department of Health’s website. That doesn’t sound impressive until you realize that means over 800 people killed themselves in 2005, which amounts to roughly 2.2 people killing themselves in this state every day. The Aurora Bridge, a bridge I drive across almost every day to avoid the traffic on Denny, is the second most popular suicide bridge in the nation. I probably don’t have to tell you how Kurt Cobain died. No one in the Pacific Northwest should ever be shocked that they’re depressed; they should be thankful they’re surviving it.
    By the time I got home, I’d decided I was going to make every single cookie in that fucking magazine. I was going to wrap Chocolate Malt Sandwiches in cellophane bags and tie them off with candy-cane-striped string just like on page 15. Then I was going to ship carefully organized tins of crunchy Pecan Logs and Lime Meltaways to my friends in Oregon and California as shown on page 11. This was going to be the best holiday season ever. I wasn’t going to spend one more minute thinking about how un-fucking-happy I was. I was gonna make cookies.

    Click here to read the whole piece (and get one of Martha Stewart’s recipes for some really delicious cookies, should you need a pick-me-up).

    Youth Pastor Watch

    posted by on November 3 at 1:20 PM


    GideonSlusher1103.jpgA former assistant youth minister at the Rochester First Church of the Nazarene has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

    Gideon Slusher, 25, of Oakland Township was arraigned Wednesday at the 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills on two charges of third degree criminal sexual conduct and two charges of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct…. Police said that in February, when the girl was 15, Slusher sexually assaulted her in a youth group room at the church.

    Police said Slusher started calling the girl from the Academy of Waterford, where he was an eighth-grade teacher, because his wife had become curious about all of the phone calls and texting between the two. He also set up an e-mail account, so he could write to the teen without his wife knowing, police said.

    It was in late February that Slusher allegedly assaulted the teen in the youth group room.

    According to this roundup of 2005 “e-tidings” from the First Church of the Nazarene, both Slusher and his wife are preachers’ kids.

    Congratulations to Gideon Slusher and Sarah Crum who were married on May 14th at Rochester Church. Gideon is the son of Rev. Gary & Cheryl Slusher of Southwest Church and Sarah is the daughter of Rev. Larry and Ruth Crum of Rochester Church.

    Wondering If You Should Go See Guy Ritchie’s New Movie?

    posted by on November 3 at 1:18 PM


    Paul Constant doesn’t think so:

    The biggest travesty of RocknRolla requires me to spoil the ending. Ready? THERE IS NO ENDING. The film actually ends with a promise that the story will continue in a sequel, called The Real RocknRolla, and Ritchie has declared these films to be a trilogy in the making…It takes real balls to announce a sequel to a movie at the end of a comeback movie, and it takes a heroic act of imagination to believe anybody besides Ritchie actually gives a shit about these characters. If the universe is a good and just place, the proposed trilogy will be aborted with the swift and decisive failure of this awful, awful movie at the box office.

    The Kindle Killer?

    posted by on November 3 at 1:00 PM


    Even as Oprah has given the Kindle a huge endorsement, Google might be en route to something that could completely upend Amazon’s e-reader platform.

    A few days ago, Google paid a $125,000,000 settlement to publishers:

    As part of the settlement, Google is paying $125-million to settle the legal claims, pay legal costs for the two groups, and — more importantly — will set up a new entity called the Book Rights Registry, which will be responsible for distributing payments that come from online access to books provided through Google (and through any similar programs created by other providers). The registry will also be responsible for locating rights holders for old and out-of-print books, collecting and maintaining accurate info, and for providing a way for rights holders to “request inclusion in or exclusion from the project.” In effect, Google is setting up a body that does what ASCAP and similar groups do for musicians.

    Some are wondering if this ruling—which in effect gave Google access to millions of books—is setting up a Google e-reader that will challenge the Kindle. I think it fits perfectly into Google’s mission statement to produce a portable library—probably paid for with ads—that has access to just about every book ever published. That would be the perfect use for an e-reader, in my opinion.

    Meanwhile in Ballard

    posted by on November 3 at 12:53 PM

    Hey, are you in Ballard somewhere and can you see a white man with long blond hair, a mustache, and a scar on his upper lip? Run. And if you get stabbed in the “left chest area,” please go to the hospital right away. Don’t go home and bleed for “several hours” before you decide to swing by the ER.

    More at MyBallard.

    Accidental Hedonist on Pike Place Market Levy

    posted by on November 3 at 12:52 PM

    Kate Hopkins, a Seattle food writer who blogs at Accidental Hedonist, has this to say about the Pike Place Market levy (also endorsed by the Stranger!):

    Pike Place is one of the few institutions that I have faith in. It provides, and it provides well. When others praise their local food scene, all a Seattleite has to do is mention PPM, and others nod their head in agreement. It’s the trump card in any discussions surrounding Seattle’s validity as a food destination.

    It’s also iconic, and brings more value as such than the other Seattle tourist destination, the Space Needle. You go to the Space Needle once, stand on the observation platform and then eat at the restaurant, and you’ve done all there is to do there. Pike Place Market can be a different experience with every visit. It has an Italian Deli, several fish stands, oodles of vegetable stands, fresh flowers, a Mexican grocer, a German Deli, Starbuck’s first location, an East Asian grocer, two decent butchers, and, oh yeah, it has a kick-ass comic store deep within its recesses.

    It also needs money. It needs it for a variety of reasons which you can read here. Some of the updates include basic maintenance, such as Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning upgrades, others are more pressing, such as seismic upgrades.

    The cost? $37 per year for each Seattle resident for the next five years.

    Think about what Pike Place means, not only to you, but to the city of Seattle. It is an integral part of our community, as well as part of our national persona. For what we get in return, $37 a year is a bargain.

    If you haven’t voted yet, consider saying “yes” to Seattle Proposition 1. This one-time levy is a smart investment in the city’s cultural and economic future.

    Here’s My Map. Now Show Me Yours.

    posted by on November 3 at 12:45 PM

    I’m being asked to offer my election predictions for another blog, so I figure I should share some of them here first. Below is my predicted electoral college map for the presidential race, which I made using this:


    States I’m still feeling a bit uncertain about: Ohio (if it went to McCain that wouldn’t surprise me), Missouri (if it went to Obama that wouldn’t surprise me), and Arizona (because allegedly it’s now within Obama’s grasp, though I don’t quite believe that). States that I think Obama will pick up if this ends up being a huge, huge landslide: Montana, Arizona, Georgia, and Indiana.

    But enough about my map. Show me your map. Use the map-maker that I used, or any other map-maker, and then take a screen capture and send it to me as a .jpg file. I’ll post your maps today and/or tomorrow (unless I get deluged by these, in which case I’ll aggregate somehow) and then we’ll see who’s right on Tuesday night.

    I Don’t Get It…

    posted by on November 3 at 12:00 PM

    …but I can’t stop watching.

    Is It Too Early to Hope for a Touring Production?

    posted by on November 3 at 12:00 PM

    WHAM City is doing a production called “Shoot Her! Jurassic Park, the Play.”

    Here’s a description:

    Dinos roam the earth again, animated by what Natalie Jenison and Dina Kelberman call “papier-mâché technology.” Director Donna Sellinger swears that this production is neither a joke nor a parody, but a loving, scene-by-scene homage to Spielberg’s original.

    And here’s a picture:


    I can’t explain why I’m so fond of hyper-low-budget adaptations of giant movies, but I really am. I’d love to see someone (Open Circle Theater?) mount this production here ASAP.

    Interview with Roy Lichtenstein

    posted by on November 3 at 11:54 AM

    The artist in cartoon superhero terms: Clark Kent hair, Tobey-Maguire-Peter-Parker eyes, the mind of Professor Xavier. BAM! He’s amazing.

    (This embed capture is showing Warhol, who follows Lichtenstein on the same video. Warhol is just Warhol. The anti-superhero. But if you click, you should get Lichtenstein first.)

    This and other artist interviews here. (Via BoingBoing.)

    You Know Why Hillary Clinton Isn’t on Tomorrow’s Ballot?

    posted by on November 3 at 11:51 AM

    Celine Dion. Never forget.

    I’ve Always Hated Criss Angel…

    posted by on November 3 at 11:49 AM


    …and today the Los Angeles Times came out on my side, giving an extravagantly negative review to Criss Angel: Believe, “the gloomy, gothic muddle of a show that officially lurched into being on Halloween night like some patched-together Frankenstein’s monster.”

    “Believe’s” framing device is that Angel accidentally receives a 6-million-volt jolt of electricity that fries off most of his face (a spectacle captured by an ever-present video camera). This propels him into deep hallucinatory space where our Siegfriedian hero must confront demons and angels that stalk his imagination.

    These include a sinister troupe of dancing rabbits who, in one early sequence, tear Angel’s parboiled “corpse” apart and dance, exultantly hoisting his severed limbs and torso. In a later scenario Angel gets sliced in half with an electric blade, his oozing intestines visible through the smoky atmospherics.

    Cirque du Soleil helps Angel with the theatrics, but it’s not much help:

    [W]hile Cirque’s poetic imagery at its best can leave you rubbing your eyes and holding your breath, spectators here are more likely to find themselves stifling a yawn or wincing with embarrassment.

    Read the whole thing here.

    Re: Not Jittery Enough with Election Anxiety?

    posted by on November 3 at 11:22 AM


    To hell with free cups of coffee, Dom. Babeland is passing out free sex toys to voters—and voters can claim their free sex toys anytime between tomorrow and November 11.

    Stop by any brick and mortar store (New York or Seattle) between November 4th and 11th and bring your voter registration card, voting stub or word of honor. If you voted, we’ll give you a Silver Bullet or a Maverick Sleeve (get it?) for free! Yes, free. It’s because we value voting that much.

    Go vote and okay, sure, go grab a cup of coffee. Then drop by Babeland for your free sex toy, head down to the Stranger’s election night bash, celebrate (jinxy!) Obama’s victory, and cap off your night by inviting a some new friends back to your place to try out your new sex toys…

    Not Jittery Enough with Election Anxiety?

    posted by on November 3 at 11:21 AM

    Starbucks will give you a tall cup of coffee after you’ve filled out your ballot.

    Rewarding people for meeting their civic responsibilities with a dose of stimulants is, frankly, a little strange. Following the election is addictive enough. But if it gets people to vote—even as a shameless marketing ploy—that’s fine with me.

    How Are You Feeling?

    posted by on November 3 at 11:20 AM

    I know from my unscientific surveying that the Slog readership is about 99.9 percent pro-Obama. I also know, from reading the comments, that your levels of anxiety about tomorrow are all over the map (and changing by the moment). But it’s been a while since we had one of our group therapy sessions, so, with one day left to go, a poll to get the conversation started:

    How are you feeling?

    Crist on the Cross

    posted by on November 3 at 11:06 AM

    Sarah Palin isn’t the only Republican ducking the media. Another dispatch from that poorly-attended McCain rally in Florida today:

    Republican Gov. Crist, who had previously agreed to do interviews with CNN and various local affiliates, bolted right after the rally with no explanation.

    Maybe Crist has some last-minute wedding plans to attend to.

    Tweeting the Vote

    posted by on November 3 at 11:02 AM

    Results and updates from King County Elections will be available Election Night on Twitter, for which I blame Ron Sims.

    Actually Reading Tonight

    posted by on November 3 at 11:01 AM


    Commenter Dave pointed out I was wrong on my last post. There is a reading, one that must’ve gotten missed as I switched from one intern to another last week. At Elliott Bay Book Company, the interestingly named Linas Alsenas shows up with his book Gay America: Struggle for Equality. It’s an illustrated history of the gay rights movement. Perfect for all those who are obsessed with how Proposition 8 will turn out tomorrow. Thanks to Dave, sorry to Mr. Alsenas and Elliott Bay and everyone in the whole wide world, especially if they are gay.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 3 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Fear(s) of the Dark’

    Equal parts elegant and terrifying, Peur(s) du Noir is a collection of six animated, black-and-white horror movies produced by French people. You can taste the Frenchiness in the intermittent comedy segments, geometric blanc-et-noir kaleidoscopes with voice-overs about particularly Gallic terrors: “I’m scared of being uninformed about politics… I’m moving center-left.” The rest is classic horror about power (an aristocrat with homicidal dogs), possession (an anime short about Japanese schoolchildren and bloody-minded ghosts), and infestation (a nasty bit by hometown hero Charles Burns about sex and bugs). How can something so scary be so beautiful? (See movie times,, for details.) BRENDAN KILEY

    We’ve Got Him Right Where We Want Him

    posted by on November 3 at 10:57 AM

    John McCain that is, speaking before a crowd in Tampa, Florida—a crowd of 1,000. Bush spoke in the same town two days before the 2004 election and drew 15,000 people.

    Polls, Polls, Polls

    posted by on November 3 at 10:45 AM

    After all the emotional ups and downs it’s given our readers over the last few months, here is the final Gallup tracking poll, traditional-model edition (the new model produces exactly the same result).


    Other national polls are showing the same thing:

    FOX NEWS: Obama 50, McCain 43.

    MARIST COLLEGE: Obama 53, McCain 44.

    NBC/WSJ: Obama 51, McCain 43.

    But, as I’ve been trying to remind people all along: the national polls matter a lot less than the state polls. Those, as almost always, are looking very good for Obama.

    And Now for Some Election News

    posted by on November 3 at 10:41 AM

    The 2009 election, that is!

    According to a poll conducted by Constituent Dynamics, Mayor Greg Nickels is in trouble. In a survey of more than 1,000 Seattle voters, just 26 percent said they would vote for Nickels for reelection; 53 percent said they would vote for another candidate. Among perfect voters—those who’ve voted in all four of the last four elections—those numbers were even worse for Nickels: just 22 percent said they would vote to give the mayor a third term, and 57 percent said they would vote for another candidate. Perfect voters may be a better predictor of actual voter behavior in next year’s election, because they tend to vote in lower-turnout off-year elections like next year’s. Asked about Nickels’s job performance, 31 percent of those voters said they approved, and 57 percent disapproved.

    The pollsters also asked voters who among several possible candidates they’d vote for against Nickels. The strongest possible contender among those included in the survey was Peter Steinbrueck, who scored 39 percent of all voters and an impressive 44 percent of perfect voters against Nickels’s 26 percent of all voters and 27 percent of perfect voters. Nick Licata also beat Nickels in a hypothetical election, with 35 percent of all voters and 44 percent of perfect voters to Nickels’s 28 percent of all voters and 25 percent of perfect voters. Older voters—again, more likely to vote in off-year elections—tended to favor both Steinbrueck and Licata over Nickels, and to have stronger negative opinions about Nickels’s job performance. (Other candidates included in the survey included Richard Conlin, Sally Clark, and Mark Sidran, none of whom beat Nickels in a hypothetical election.) Interestingly, voters in Nickels’s own 34th Legislative District had the strongest negative opinion of him, with a whopping 67 percent disapproving of his performance and 59 saying they would vote for another candidate.

    What does all this mean? For one thing, it means it would be a good time for a credible candidate like Steinbrueck to declare his intent to run against Nickels. Nickels’s strength has always been that people are afraid to run against him and take on the “Nickels Machine.” The fact that people are looking for an alternative to that machine—even saying, in effect, “anyone but Nickels”—is an opportunity that an ambitious politician would be wise to grab.

    This Freaked Me Out

    posted by on November 3 at 10:39 AM


    I got it from Queerty who got it from MollyGood who got it from Gawker.

    State-by-State Predictions

    posted by on November 3 at 10:37 AM

    Here’s a very interesting, very thorough run-down from Chuck Todd of NBC. His Washington State prediction:

    Washington: Looking for a bright spot on E-night for the GOP? It could be in this state’s governor’s race, where Republican Dino Rossi is hoping to revenge his close ‘04 loss to Christine Gregoire. Right now, Gregoire is trying to ride Obama’s coattails to victory; it could very well be enough. Tip: Democrats are worried they won’t be able to win a House seat that on paper should be theirs in a year like this, the 8th District.

    Re: Are Washington Voters Anti-Catholic?

    posted by on November 3 at 10:35 AM

    Well, Dan, I’m anti-Catholic. But I went to Catholic school as a kid so I’ve got good reason: Nuns would hit children with a paddle for having a good time. Now the church is refusing to hit adults with a paddle when it’s the last thing that can end their misery.

    But, perhaps in a targeted effort to warm Washington’s secular hearts, a story emerges from the Vatican that actually kinda, sorta—okay really, really, really—makes me want to hug a nun. They refuse to make people navigate the hell of those automated phone directories. Old nuns personally operate that big switchboard in the sky.

    For 50 years, the nuns of the order of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master have operated the Vatican switchboard. They are the gatekeepers of the Holy See.

    The sisters field half a million calls a year from all over the world. They assist the friendly, the loud, the troubled. They help the faithful negotiate a labyrinthine Roman Catholic Church bureaucracy whose instincts tend toward discretion, if not mystery. …

    Sister Maria Grazia, 71, became an operator 14 years ago after serving as a missionary in Africa. The robust, jolly Italian speaks English, Spanish, French and Korean and gets by in other languages too. Most of her calls come from Asia, Africa and the Americas. And she talks to quite a few people who say they need an exorcist

    The sisters work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. They recognize and tolerate certain regulars. One frequent caller identifies himself as Saint John the Baptist. He’s harmless, though he gets touchy if they don’t address him as “Saint John.”

    “He asks me to pray with him, and I do,” Sister Maria Clara said earnestly. “Sometimes I have to put him on hold to take other calls. But he waits.”

    The Vatican directory is over here, in case you need an exorcism, want to reach the pope, or just wish to some day be paddled out of your misery.

    Palin Just Says No to the Media Elite!

    posted by on November 3 at 10:33 AM

    This time Palin stands up FOX News—yes, FOX News.

    And the media elite rolls right over—again. “Regardless of” Palin ducking a scheduled interview at the last minute, the FOX News anchor says, “we will still bring you the Palin event live when she starts speaking.”

    With just 24 hours left in this campaign, it’s probably a little late for the media to grow a fucking set, but… grow a fucking set already. FOX News, CNN, MSNCB, NYT, WSJ, AP, Washington Post, et al: Refusing to cover campaign events—refusing to provide airtime and print—is the only leverage you have over national politicians who attempt to evade necessary media scrutiny and duck tough questions. She’s not obligated—obviously—to answer questions. But you are not obligated to “bring [us] the Plain event live” either. The McCain/Palin campaign, like all other national political campaigns, desperately wants you to cover their campaign events—it’s the reason they have campaign event and rallies at all. When you cover campaign rallies featuring politicians who won’t make themselves available to you, when you cover campaign events featuring politicians who don’t answer questions or hold press conferences, you’re not covering the campaign. You’re airing campaign commercials.

    UPDATE: Good point, Think Progress:

    Palin even had time this weekend for a seven-minute phone conversation with comedians posing as French president Nicholas Sarkozy. But when it comes to finding ten minutes to meet with someone who might be a tough interviewer—even on Fox News—like Kelly, Palin suddenly has no time left in her schedule.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on November 3 at 10:29 AM

    Dear Seattle,

    There are no readings tonight. There are two open mics. We are all obsessed with the election. I bet even the open mics will mostly be about the election. I instead advise that you take sleeping pills or vodka tonight—not both! never both!—and wake up tomorrow so you can be obsessed with the election on a day that will actually provide some closure, unlike the wasted exercise in penultimate-ness that is today.

    And, as a side note, you will note that there are various books features on slog that have fallen by the wayside in the last month and a half, like Book Club of the Damned and Lunch Date. Those features will return again as soon as I can stop thinking about the goddamned election, which I estimate to be about Thursday in a best-case scenario world. Thank you for your patience in this matter and thank you for your kind attention.

    Paul Bobby

    P.S. The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here.

    Helpful Chart from the McCain/Palin Campaign Today Breaks It Down

    posted by on November 3 at 10:25 AM


    1 Day…

    posted by on November 3 at 10:20 AM


    ALSO: Want some free Obama swag? Show up at our party with a donation for the White Center Food Bank and a local Obama fan will give you buttons, rally signs, and stickers according to your contribution. A can of food = one official Obama item of your choice. A jar of jelly or jam = two official Obama items of your choice. (Because food banks always have plenty of peanut butter, but apparently not enough jelly.) An entire bag of non-perishable groceries = something very special, I’m sure. (For your shopping list: items that are especially needed include the aforementioned jam and jelly, and also cereal, beans, rice, canned meat [everything but tuna], and dry goods such as Hamburger Helper and Rice a Roni.)

    See you there!

    Tomorrow in Chicago

    posted by on November 3 at 10:13 AM

    If Barack Obama wins the election tomorrow, someone is going to get shot near Obama’s victory party in Chicago’s Grant Park. If Barack Obama loses the election tomorrow, someone is going to get shot near Obama’s victory party in Chicago’s Grant Park. Chicago is the murder capital of the United States. Someone is always getting shot in or near Chicago’s Grant Park. Please don’t allow your racist relatives to tell you that tomorrow’s inevitable shooting immediately before, during or after Obama’s big party in Grant Park had anything to do with how Obama did in the election.

    The Latest from Michael Hussein Gregory

    posted by on November 3 at 10:07 AM

    More about the man who should be the next president’s New Media Adviser here.

    The Dance of Galaxies

    posted by on November 3 at 9:39 AM


    The eye of the world that thinks (or the eye of the one world that produces a substance that thinks about thinking), the Hubble telescope, recently enabled the mirror and recorder of deep space (thought) to reflect on a blue ring

    …[that] was formed after one galaxy (on the left) passed through another (the galaxy on the right). Just as a pebble thrown into a pond creates an outwardly moving circular wave, or ripples, an outwardly propagating ring of higher density was generated at the point of impact of the two galaxies. As this excess density collided with outer material that was moving inwards due to the gravitational pull of the two galaxies, shocks and dense gas were produced, stimulating star formation.

    Poetry is the condition of all writing that details celestial events.

    What Next for the Election Bloggers?

    posted by on November 3 at 9:25 AM

    This is the first presidential election that The Stranger, or anyone else, has covered since blogs became the medium of choice for political junkies. Yes, blogs existed in 2004. (Though Slog didn’t.) But back then, in those far-gone days of Kerry v. Bush, blogging was hardly the agenda-setting force that it is now and American politics certainly wasn’t as obsessed with online information-sharing as it is today.

    So I’ve been interested to read a couple of recent stories that look at what certain popular bloggers are going to do once the election and its attendant traffic spikes are over. Short answer: Pretty much the same thing they’re doing now, with perhaps a much-needed rest first.

    Ben Smith:

    I’ve been doing this since Politico launched in January of 2007, and it’s so metabolic at this point I’m not sure I can really unplug. Also, I’m very boring. I have vague aspirations of spiriting my two kids (3 and 5) off to some beach and crawling around with them for a week.

    Markos Moulitsas:

    I’m beat, and will take it easy — by working “normal” eight-hour workdays. I may even start paying attention to my kids again. But while I may be able to scale back from sixteen-hour workdays, the election won’t be the culmination of our efforts, just a waypoint. We have a big year ahead of us.

    Andrew Romano:

    Andrew Romano came to Newsweek to do long feature pieces but was conscripted as a blogger. “I’m not one of these crazy political junkies,” he told me after another long blogging shift, in which he struggled not to say, “Obama is winning today, too.” “It’s not my life. It’s just a story I was interested in. For a long time I was feeling like I’m looking forward to this being over and going back to writing long-form journalism as opposed to writing multiple stories every day.” But then a funny thing happened. His blog, long buried on Newsweek’s website, started drawing nearly four million hits a month, making Romano the site’s most-read author. “It’s kind of like, this is who I am now, so the idea of the campaign being over and not doing a politics blog is a little bit like, who am I after this election?”

    And me?

    Well, I have no illusions about being as popular, or as trail weary, as any of the above bloggers. But I do identify with parts of their answers. I’m looking forward to being allowed to take a vacation again. I’m looking forward to writing features that aren’t about politics. And I’m looking forward to the bloggy continuation of this huge political story, which won’t end on Nov. 4, and in many ways only gets more interesting then.

    Chicago, D-minus-one

    posted by on November 3 at 8:59 AM

    So, went to the Bears game yesterday—what a suckass contest—and for those of you unfamiliar with Chicago’s geography, that meant walking through Grant Park, past the area where tomorrow’s Obama Rally will be held. The place is nearly locked down: fencing all around, tons of cops (already), several hundred portapotties lining Columbus Drive. It’s going to be chaos, one way or the other. Luckily, the weather is unseasonably nice: highs in the 70s, just down to the 60s at night. And Chicago, as all you jealous Seattle cyclists know, is flat as a board, so I’ll be riding around and slogging about the situation from various WiFi hot spots around town. From seeing how close I can get to Obama’s home in Hyde Park before the Secret Service stops me, to seeing if there’s any looting on the West Side or frat-boy style riots in the Viagra Triangle, I’ll keep you sloggers at the Stranger Party informed on the action in Obama’s adopted home town. Sadly, our bonehead Police Superintendent has said “We can’t have any mischief.” So all my plans involving whoopee cushions and electric hand buzzers are out the window. Just serious slogging.

    Are Washington Voters Anti-Catholic?

    posted by on November 3 at 8:49 AM

    Anyone who reads Joel Connelly religiously—not that something we recommend, except as penance—might conclude that voters in Washington state are rabid anti-papists. In his latest and (hopefully) last screed against I-1000, Connelly condemns backers of Washington state’s “death with dignity” initiative for using “code words” to bash life lovin’ Catholics. Joel would have his readers believe that supporters of I-1000 gain some sort of unfair advantage at the polls by bashing Catholics, which can only mean—or Joel can only mean—that voters in Washington state are anti-Catholic bigots.

    An ad for Initiative 1000, which would legalize assisted suicide, condemned a “small group” of “out-of-state religious leaders” for trying to buy the election, impose their will and defeat “Washington’s death-with-dignity law.”

    The “religious leaders” reference is a slam at the Catholic Church. The campaign has openly bashed Catholics in missives to liberal bloggers. Code phrases are used in the state Voters Pamphlet and on the air.

    Holy mother of God! Backers of I-1000 are using code words to whip up anti-Catholic bigotry in Washington state—this isn’t the Washington state this lapsed Catholic knows and loves. So while I intend to vote for I-1000 tomorrow, I’m going to strike a blow against anti-Catholic bigotry in Washington state and cast my ballot in the governor’s race for the Catholic candidate. That would be Christine Gregoire, Catholic… or, um, Dino Rossi, also Catholic. And then I’m going to put a call into the office of the Attorney General for Washington state and ask Rob McKenna (Catholic) to launch an investigation. And then I’m going to write a letter to both of my U.S. Senators—Maria Cantwell (Catholic) and Patty Murray (Catholic)—and ask them to hold hearings.

    If we all work together we can root out this anti-Catholic bias on the part of Washington state voters!

    Dept. of Substantiated Rumors

    posted by on November 3 at 8:42 AM

    Several lanes of the Aurora Bridge are indeed shut down as SPD and emergency crews try to talk a man out of jumping.

    There’s a good way to keep this from happening again: build a fence.

    Update: After two hours on the bridge, the man jumped and has been taken to Harborview.

    The Exercise Gap

    posted by on November 3 at 8:40 AM

    This morning the New York Times offers two compelling vignettes on the mood and style of the candidates as the campaign winds up. There’s one for Obama, which I believe was already mentioned below, and one for McCain. They’re both great reads, with lots of of points of contrast, including a particularly strong contrast in workout regimens.

    On McCain’s:

    During the day he gets almost no exercise, eats the candy and junk food strewn all over his bus, and naps slumped in his seat in the curtained-off front section of his plane.

    On Obama’s:

    On Sunday, he was in the gym of the Doubletree Hotel here shortly after 6 a.m., but he spent some time with his wife and daughters before boarding his plane at 9:30 a.m.

    Obviously, a 72-year-old man is going to have a different workout routine than a 47-year-old man. But life on the campaign trail is grueling, most often compared to a marathon in terms of the sustained energy it takes, and candy and junk food are probably not the winning combination when it comes to fueling the necessary stamina.

    Beyond that, though, is the fact that it would be nearly impossible, even if he had perfect eating habits and was in the best of shape, for McCain to match Obama’s energy. Relative youth has its advantages.

    Which brings up something I’ve been thinking often during these last campaign days: what we may be seeing in this race, among many other things, is a de facto addition to the rules about running for president. The Constitution says a person must be at least 35 to run for president, but it doesn’t specify a point at which someone is simply too old to run. If nothing else, John McCain’s campaign may succeed in setting that upper age limit. When it comes to the sheer physical stamina required by modern campaigning, 72 is probably too old.

    The Morning News

    posted by on November 3 at 8:26 AM

    Boeing machinists: Back on the job.

    Joe the Plumber: Ambushed at Ohio political rally by actual plumbers.

    Identity theft: Hillary Clinton blasts the McCain campaign’s use of her voice in robo-calls.

    Lazy dicks: Washington state ferry workers caught trashing tons of would-be recyclables. (It was even pre-sorted.)

    White flight: Honkies swarm around Obama.

    “I sense it, I feel it, I know it”: John McCain on his enlarged prostate impending election triumph.

    Pacing is good cardio and fingernails are naturally low in calories: The fretting of the celebrity left.

    “From Inert to Inept”: The Seattle Seahawks’ headline-making terribleness.

    Stop the Violence in Hiphop: Def Jam executive found dead from self-inflicted gunshot.

    The sexy chicken or the pregnant egg?: “Groundbreaking research suggests that pregnancy rates are much higher among teens who watch a lot of TV with sexual dialogue and behavior.”

    Because there’s no hotter foreplay than a purity pledge: The New Yorker investigates why so many evangelical teens become pregnant.

    And now I release you to your nerve-wracking days of life and work and election-related obsession. There’s no denying that today only exists as the day before tomorrow, and perhaps your inner voice has hit upon a mantra similar to mine. (Loose translation: Omigodomigodomigodomigod.) If so, please consider soothing yourself with uplifting music. (I’ve posted this before, but it’s literally the best music clip I’ve ever seen, and I cannot watch it enough.)

    This. Fucking. Election.

    posted by on November 3 at 8:15 AM

    A web site that lets you scroll through about two years of presidential race vocabulary:


    Via Sullivan.

    Two Views of the White Vote

    posted by on November 3 at 8:13 AM

    One way of looking at it:

    If Tuesday’s election were confined to white America, polls show, Senator Barack Obama would lose.

    Another way of looking at it:

    …[E]lection pollsters estimate, Democratic nominees have averaged 39 percent of the white vote. In last week’s New York Times/CBS News poll, Mr. Obama drew 44 percent support among whites — a higher proportion than Bill Clinton captured in his general election victories.

    Obama is in every way an American anomaly. He is an event in the political constellation that continually puzzles as it amazes. We understand from where (and for why) McCain issues; we understand the nature of Palin’s power. We don’t really understand Obama. Why and how? Why now and not tomorrow? Why do so many whites accept this particular configuration of blackness and not another? And Obama is not an Uncle Tom—a configuration of blackness that is safe because it is ball-less. Black Americans are surprised not so much by Obama but by the solid white support of Obama. Our best explanation: He just happened because things in the world do happen.

    Obama’s Private World

    posted by on November 3 at 8:10 AM

    An amazing paragraph in the New York Times:

    His world is awash in powerful, conflicting emotions: the realization, presumably, that he may be about to become president; the huge optimism that he has unleashed, evident in the crowds he is drawing (and something he has told aides worries him a bit, given the expectations set for him); the weighty thinking he is gradually giving to how he would staff a government and deal with a transition in such a difficult time. All of this is taking place as a woman who played a large role in raising him, his grandmother, is approaching death.

    Accompanied by an amazing photo by Doug Mills:


    Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

    posted by on November 3 at 7:47 AM

    A Slog tipper texts…


    i am stuck in some fucked up traffic on southbound 99 @ the entrance to the aurora bridge. looks like someone might’ve jumped… they have the “heavy rescue” truck out & @ least a cpl dozen crew people.

    Pre-Post-Election Hypothetical

    posted by on November 3 at 2:12 AM


    I don’t believe in superstition—or maybe I’m just contrasuperstitious: I always feel like the thing you’re not supposed to say is precisely the thing you must say, if only to take away its imaginary power. I hope the plane doesn’t crash. I hope it doesn’t rain. Et cetera. Well, all the “Obama Victory” parties and people quoting polls proving electoral college math and talking as though it’s all wrapped up and we’re about to begin the actual 21st century for real this time with a real president who isn’t a venal buffoon, have triggered a familiar feeling.

    I know I’m not the only one who sustained lingering trauma in 2004, when it seemed inconceivable that anyone could actually choose Bush, regardless of Kerry. Perhaps naively, perhaps just emotionally, I felt that we (not Kerry/Edwards, we) would win, because we had to. And then to just simply not come close. To retroactively not even have had a chance, in spite of being better, in spite of being right. Because of being better, because of being right. Because Idiot America said so. The way the collective spirit of the Stranger Election Night party just sank into abysmal dread. The way everyone—rightfully—took it as a personal defeat. The way everyone I knew was a zombie on some level for weeks afterward, months even. And the way, as a direct result, I couldn’t bring myself to pay passionate attention to this election until a couple months ago (thank you, Sarah Palin, actual demonstrable enemy of everything I have ever cared about or believed in, for disgracing an already disgraced campaign, and for waking me up—I was always going to vote, but now I’m yearning to do the only thing I can to reproach you and your masters)…

    ANYWAY. I know this is not then. I know things are looking better now: better candidate, better campaign, better momentum, better speeches, better pretty much everything. But I can’t ever forget that night four years ago, and all the certainty that seems to be swelling around the likelihood of an Obama victory (it even feels good to type it), is reminding me of the time when we, or when I anyway, thought that the thing that obviously should happen would happen but then didn’t happen because the real truth about real America was that the majority of its citizens were small-minded and easily fooled into voting for a complete bastard because he pretended to believe in god.

    I guess this is all just a long way around saying that like you, I want Barack Obama to win, and win commandingly, tomorrow. I want him to fulfill the promise of his oratory and the goodwill of all the sign wavers, button wearers, bumper stickerers, and money donors, and to be the president who reverses as much of America’s social, economic, educational, psychic, and spiritual riptide as is possible for a president to reverse. I want this to be his moment, and therefore our moment, so much I could burst. I want it to matter that we feel like a proper we—not united by contempt for someone we want to depose, but by the desire to elect someone we are inspired by. That someone is plainly, by any rational, intelligent measure, the best man in this contest, and everything seems to point to his certain triumph.

    Everything except for the putrid racist heart that beats deep inside that same Idiot America that fucked us last time, and the time before that, and all those other times.

    Those rational, intelligent measures didn’t help the last two best men who ran for president against Idiot America’s idiotic prejudices. And this time, the IA arbiter isn’t as ephemeral or imaginary as religion or just folksiness. It’s skin color. We can pretend otherwise because we are human and progressive and liberal and awesome, but it just is. Because poll fraud aside, Idiot American objection to Barack Obama’s mixed-race pallor seems to be the only thing that can stop him now. Despite being the most pluralistic major country in the world, America’s heart is choked by racism, and its land is lousy with overt and covert racists—white people of all ages, classes, and Christian denominations who simply can’t countenance the idea of a black president, no matter how righteous he is, no matter how much better he is than his gnarly white opponent, no matter what, full-stop.

    I know, I know: duh. But are there more of them than there are of us? I really hope not, but I have no fucking idea. And neither do you. And neither does any poll.

    I’m just saying that every time somebody says the math proves Obama can’t lose, I get ready to vomit blood, because Idiot American somehow always manages to get left out of the math. Which leaves me wondering what it would feel like if he not only lost, but got trounced. If the same Idiot America hive mind that rallied behind Bush II was just quietly, in the absence of a candidate they actually liked, waiting to rise up and defeat one they wouldn’t allow in their homes. If he had to give a concession speech, after everything he’s said and done, and it had to be a corker anyway. If he had to congratulate President-Elect McCain on running a tough but fair campaign, and pledge to work with him and VP-Elect Palin on moving America forward. If he had to go back to the Senate like Kerry. If we had to hear the news show dimwits give their trenchant analysis of McCain’s stunning, come-from-behind win, and the idea that in times of crisis, Americans really do put their faith in conservative stand-bys. If we had to well up at Keith Olbermann’s rhetorically rousing Countdown salute to “Senator Obama, who changed the face of modern electoral politics in the country, a change that was long in coming; the citizens of this great nation owe you a debt of gratitude. Senator Obama, I join them in saluting you, sir.” If the only solace was, again, in bitter laughs from Onion headlines and Daily Show and Colbert Report bits. If we had to read infinite blog posts and screeds, another round of Urban Archipelagos and Fuck the Souths to make everyone feel even worse. If we had to listen to all the sideline politicos rant in bars about where it all went wrong. If there wasn’t another black candidate for decades because the tacit understanding was that he lost because just couldn’t get past the race thing. If the Bush War went on another 20 years. If the recession became a depression. If John McCain became President of the United States.

    [Cue: Alarm sounding. It was all a bad dream. Time to go to the polls]

    But seriously, the reason I even started this is because I had a hypothetical question to consider before we know what’s what. It concerns the experiences a lot of people had in 2004 when Bush II beat Kerry and this blanket of anomie shrouded everyone and everything for a long time, eventually leading to increasingly scathing disavowals of Kerry and the board he windsurfed in on.


    Are you still going to be glad you voted for him, proud you volunteered to boosterize him, wore the t-shirts, flyered the doorknobs, donated the cash, gave him the motor of your genuine conviction that he was the right man not just for the job, but for THE job, that you listened and heard and were stirred and moved by the oratory to get on board and give a damn? If Obama loses, will you still love him tomorrow?

    (But really, let’s just say he does win, ok? ok!)

    Sunday, November 2, 2008

    “There are no real or fake parts of this country.”

    posted by on November 2 at 5:43 PM

    Obama in Ohio today…

    Seattle, You Looked Fantastic This Weekend

    posted by on November 2 at 4:30 PM

    Just a small sample of all the sexy, scary, gross, funny, and weird costumes in the Stranger’s Flickr Pool:

    crowdhalloween.jpgPhoto by Paul Israel

    garthhalloween.jpgPhoto by tomika davis

    audreyhalloween.jpgPhoto by Audrey K.

    mcleodhalloween.jpgPhoto by POC Photo

    juiceboxhalloween.jpgPhoto by tomika davis

    devilhalloween.jpgPhoto by Paul Israel

    2 Days…

    posted by on November 2 at 2:15 PM


    Making the Rounds

    posted by on November 2 at 1:12 PM

    I love how she pronounces Barack—”ber-ACK”—and the shit-eating grin on the face of her accompanist when she finishes up.

    Peeing Outdoors at the Hugo House

    posted by on November 2 at 12:00 PM

    This week’s Constant Reader is about the most recent reading at the Hugo House. Aimee Bender, who is one of my favorites, Marie Howe, who is an excellent poet, and Matt Ruff all read work on the theme of Road Trip. But that wasn’t what people were thinking about at first:

    There was a communal morbid, rubbernecking curiosity at the outset of the Hugo House’s “Road Trip” presentation last Friday. It was the first major House event since September, when Lyall Bush suddenly departed his position as executive director, and it was the kickoff for this season of the House’s Literary Series, featuring nationally renowned authors reading on a theme, which Bush helped found.

    How did it go? Read the column to find out.

    Obama the “Virtual Incumbent” in this race?

    posted by on November 2 at 11:15 AM

    So says McCain surrogate Lindsey Graham.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on November 2 at 11:00 AM


    ‘This Is the Worst Trip I’ve Ever Been On’

    Best friends Anne Mathern and Chad Wentzel have created a wistful, simple show about themselves—that is­, disjointed urban creatures reaching toward each other—and home. Wentzel and his sister, Seattle natives, perform the Catholic “Dona Nobis Pacem” hymn they were taught as kids, this time over a speaker phone (him at home in New York, her at home in Alaska). Other works are absurdly, touchingly intimate: Mathern’s pelt in the shape of Wentzel’s chest hair, her laborious video performance of Wentzel’s intricate, improvised dance moves. (Crawl Space Gallery, 504 E Denny Way, 201-2441. Noon–5 pm, free. Through Nov 16.) JEN GRAVES

    Graph of the Day

    posted by on November 2 at 10:47 AM

    This year is not like the other years.


    via Open Left

    Past Tense

    posted by on November 2 at 10:45 AM


    Having “the talk” about drugs with your teenager can be pretty darn stressful—particularly for parents who used to do drugs themselves. So take a Xanax a half an hour or so before the talk. But check with your doctor first to make sure that Xanax doesn’t have any negative interactions with the Zoloft you’re taking for your depression. And wait until after lunch, so that you’re head is clear of the lingering aftereffects of the Ambien you took to get to sleep last night. And if you still have an erection—one that’s lasted four hours or more—from the Viagra you took this morning before the kids got up, postpone the talk for now and go to an emergency room right away. You can have that talk with your kids about how you used to drugs some other time.

    But make sure your kids take their Ritalin before you leave for the ER.

    Re: SNL with John and Cindy McCain

    posted by on November 2 at 10:00 AM


    Speaking of Palin going rogue

    At a boisterous Sarah Palin rally in Polk City, Florida on Saturday afternoon, one name was surprisingly absent from the campaign décor—John McCain’s.

    Looking around the Fantasy of Flight aircraft hangar where the rally took place, there were all the usual reminders that it was a pro-McCain event. There were two large “Country First” banners hung on the walls along with four enormous American flags meant to conjure the campaign’s underlying patriotic theme…. [But] the GOP nominee’s name was literally nowhere to be found on any of the official campaign signage distributed to supporters at the event.

    Members of the audience proudly waved “Country First” placards as Palin delivered her stump speech. Those signs were paid for by the Republican National Committee.

    The other sign handed out to supporters read “Florida is Palin Country,” but those signs were neither paid for by the Republican National Committee nor the McCain campaign. In small print, the signs were stamped with the line “Paid for and authorized by Putnam for Congress”—as in, the re-election campaign of Florida congressman Adam Putnam, whose district skirts Polk City.

    McCain seemed like a good sport on SNL last night—but he was clearly being a good sport about having lost this election. McCain joked about his campaign being broke, about lines of attack that have hurt him with independent voters (Ayers, Not-Joe the Non-Plumber), and, most revealingly, about Sarah Palin’s plans for after Tuesday—which don’t include serving in a McCain/Palin administration.

    Reading Today

    posted by on November 2 at 10:00 AM


    If you have anywhere to go today, I hope you remembered to set your clocks back