The Week in Review
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5 This week of mind-blowing progress (and luxuriously humiliated obstacles to this progress) kicks off along the United States' knocked-sideways-and-submerged Northeastern coast, where one week after Superstorm Sandy, 1.4 million homes and businesses remained without power and everyone started to freak out about gasoline. "Long gas station lines and empty gas pumps have plagued drivers across New York and New Jersey since Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast, leaving a gas shortage across the region," reports CBS New York. In addition to stories of price gouging and fistfights at filling stations, the gas shortage is reportedly inspiring some below-the-belt bartering, with men placing internet personal ads offering to trade gasoline for sex. A sample ad, from NewYork.Craigslist.org: gas4sex- m4w 35 – 6 foot 1 225 Italian workout good looking/looking to hang out I have 5 gallons of gas. Price gouging, fistfights, and disruptions in the supply chain for necessities are all regrettable. However, prostituting oneself for gasoline is literally the most American thing a person can do, and Last Days salutes it.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 Nothing happened today, unless you count the 2012 National Election, the ferociously anticipated day of judgment for President Barack Obama, same-sex-marriage rights, and jackass politicians who make atrocious comments about women's reproductive rights. Last Days greeted this momentous occasion with light but persistent anxiety: So much was at stake, and certainly our side couldn't win on everything, and so we prepped ourselves for inevitable disappointment by constructing a desired hierarchy of failure (Obama win > marriage equality) and hoping for the best. Things kicked into high gear once we arrived at the Showbox, the Seattle nightclub where The Stranger was hosting its open-to-all election night party. In a kicky twist, this year's bash involved Stranger staffers blogging/writing/editing onstage, and Last Days had the heady experience of doing our normal job while looking out at a crowd of intense revelers staring at the giant screen behind us. Our first hints of the night's results played out across the faces of the crowd, whose expressions alternated between stressy winces and hopeful smiles for the first hour or so. But then things took a turn for the ecstatic, as, in rapid succession, Elizabeth Warren took Scott Brown's Senate seat in Massachusetts, Claire McCaskill defended her Senate seat from Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin in Missouri, and Tammy Baldwin beat Tommy Thompson for the open Senate seat in Wisconsin, becoming the United States' first openly gay senator in the process. Then the Midwest states start reporting results, instigating an Electoral College avalanche that suddenly and decisively confirmed the reelection of President Obama. Speaking of glorious triumph: For the first time in history, same-sex-marriage rights were upheld by popular vote, with both Maine and Maryland approving marriage equality, and Minnesota striking down a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Meanwhile, the success of Washington State's marriage-equality-upholding Referendum 74 looked exceedingly promising, but we couldn't allow ourselves to fully celebrate until...
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 "After crunching numbers throughout the night, Washington United for Marriage, the broad coalition that built an historic statewide campaign, from a record-setting donor base to an unprecedented get-out-the-vote effort, today announced that Referendum 74 will be approved by voters," reported Stranger news editor Dominic Holden late this morning. "This is a clear win," said WUM campaign manager Zach Silk. "This is an historic day for Washington, for our country, and, most of all, for families across the state who have dreamed of this day and the wedding celebrations to come." Dear everyone who joined the fight to make marriage equality in Washington a reality—manning phone banks, knocking on doors, raising money, and voting yes on R-74: Thank you so, so much.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8 In lesser but still delightful news, today we turn from the triumph of Barack Obama to the failure of Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential hopeful who ran a campaign riddled with flip-flops, factual distortions, and grotesque failures of diplomacy, and who "planned to celebrate his election as the nation's 45th president with an eight-minute fireworks display over Boston Harbor," reports the Boston Globe. Instead, the $25,000 extravaganza was hauled back to the warehouse undetonated, as Romney gave a characteristically wooden concession speech and immediately began dismantling his failed campaign. "[Romney campaign workers] taking cabs home... found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked," reports NBC. A more substantive postmortem of Romney's failure will arrive this Sunday, from the New York Times' Maureen Dowd: "Romney and Tea Party loonies dismissed half the country as chattel and moochers who did not belong in their 'traditional' America. But the more they insulted the president with birther cracks, the more they tried to force chastity belts on women, and the more they made Hispanics, blacks, and gays feel like the help, the more these groups burned to prove that, knitted together, they could give the dead-enders of white male domination the boot."
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9 Nothing happened today, unless you count King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg's dismissal of all pending misdemeanor marijuana possession cases following the approval of Initiative 502, which legalized possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in Washington State. "Although the effective date of I-502 is not until December 6, there is no point in continuing to seek criminal penalties for conduct that will be legal next month," said Satterberg in a statement. Last Days looks forward to the quickly forthcoming day when we can get gay-married while smoking pot in a charter school.
•• Meanwhile, at the Pentagon: Today David Petraeus resigned his position as director of the CIA, following revelations that he adulterously boned his biographer.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 Today we return to where the week began: the United States' knocked-sideways-and-submerged Northeastern coast, where the wreckage wrought by Superstorm Sandy has left tens of thousands of people with nowhere to live. "Some are without power and heat—even if the utilities have their power back, the electric and heating systems in their homes may have been destroyed by the floods," reports Reuters. "Others have a longer-term problem—their houses were made completely uninhabitable by flooding, ripped apart, or burned to the ground." How can you help? Donate money to the Red Cross at www.redcross.org. How else can you help? Get your ass to the November 20 benefit being put together by Seattle music hero/New Jersey native Rachel Flotard and Seattle culinary hero Tom Douglas at the Palace Ballroom, where a slew of hot-poop Seattle restaurants—Salumi, Skillet, Spur, Dahlia Lounge, Lark, Staple & Fancy, Monsoon, Ma'ono, Tilth, and more—will present their take on dishes from their favorite New York–area restaurants. Tickets are $75, and 100 percent of proceeds go to the Red Cross. For tickets and full info, see www.tomdouglas.com.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 The week ends, fittingly, with a national holiday: Veterans Day, which honors all who have served in the armed forces. Thank you, veterans.
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